Tag Archives: Jennifer Slattery

Author Spotlight with Jennifer Slattery, Intertwined

This week I’m please to have Jennifer Slattery sharing about her new release Intertwined. The cover alone makes me want to read it.

Intertwined_N154121

Nick Zimmerman knows the ache of growing up without a dad and is determined not to allow his boys to experience the same pain. When his ex-wife continually thwarts his efforts, Nick’s forced to fight for full custody. Except custody battles aren’t cheap, and when a catastrophe threatens to close his restaurant and tragedy buckles his knees, it appears he might lose the battle before it begins. Just when it seems as if life itself has turned against him, he encounters an old flame from high school, and the two realize their lives are critically intertwined.

Abandoned by her husband for another woman, Tammy Kuhn, an organ procurement coordinator often finds herself in tense and bitter moments. After an altercation with a doctor, she is fighting to keep her job and her sanity when one late night she encounters her old flame Nick. She walks right into his moment of facing an unthinkable tragedy. Because they both have learned to find eternal purposes in every event and encounter, it doesn’t take long to discover that their lives are intertwined but the ICU is no place for romance….or is it? Could this be where life begins again?

Intertwined, part of New Hope Publisher’s contemporary fiction line, is a great reminder of how God can turn our greatest tragedies and failures into beautiful acts of love and grace. Readers will fall in love with the realistic characters and enjoy the combination of depth, heart-felt emotion and humor that makes Jennifer’s novels so appealing. Readers will be inspired to find God in every moment and encounter in their own lives!

Excerpt for Intertwined:

Tammy pulled into her garage and stared at the entrance door to her home with a heavy sigh. Most likely, her husband Brody was asleep. Or zoned out watching television.

Completely oblivious to their rapidly decaying marriage.  

She paused to read the verse taped to her dashboard: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy…it is not easily angered . . .”

A similar verse was tacked to the door leading into the house, and another one stuck to her bathroom mirror.

They weren’t helping. Nothing was. No matter how hard she tried, how fervently she prayed.

With a heavy heart, she glanced back at her two sleeping kids. Tylan’s chest rose and fell, his small lips slightly ajar. Beside him, Becky’s strawberry-blonde head leaned against the window, her bangs splayed across her forehead. Such precious little angels.

She reached back and squeezed her daughter’s knee. “Hey, sweet girl, we’re home.”

Becky stirred before opening droopy eyes. Strawberry blonde hair muffed, she glanced around, yawned, then got out, shuffling forward in a semi-alert state.

Tammy moved to the rear passenger side of the car to retrieve her sleeping son. The buzz of cicadas filled the thick Missouri air, ushering forth memories of lazy summer evenings. Back when she and Brody were still in love. Was it too late to rekindle their romance? To begin again?

As if to answer, the door to the kitchen creaked open, and Brody appeared.  

“Hey, Dad.” Becky stopped in front of him as if waiting for a response.

“Hey.” Brody stepped aside to let her pass.

No, How was your day or hello hug? When had he become so cold, so uncaring? Swallowing past an unsettled stomach, Tammy offered him what she hoped to be a welcoming smile. “Hi.”

He nodded, stepping into the garage and continuing to the car. “I’ve got Tylan.”

She studied his face. The normal edge was replaced by dull eyes and a slackened mouth. “Rough day?”

He held her gaze for a moment, causing the knot in her gut to twist tighter. “We’ll talk later.”  

Nothing good ever followed those words, but whatever it was, they’d get through it.

Right?

Her pulse quickened as she followed her husband, carrying a sleeping Tylan, down the hall and into his bedroom. Crossing the room in three long strides, he laid the child on his comforter, decorated with the Royals’ logo. He stirred, and his eyes fluttered open, before closing once again. A slight smile emerged as he rolled on his side.

Tammy unfolded a quilt on the foot of his bed and spread it over him, tucking the edge around his shoulder. She brushed a kiss against his temple. “Good night, sweet boy.”

Behind her, Brody’s footsteps receded.

She exited Tylan’s room and paused in the dimly lit hall to brace herself against an impeding argument. Brody’s words replayed through her brain. “We’ll talk later.”

Whatever he had to say, she would respond with love.

The floorboards creaked as she continued down the hall. She popped her head into Becky’s room to say goodnight before entering the dark living room. Brody sat with his back to her, in his favorite chair—one she and the kids bought him several Christmases ago.

Not wanting to see her husband’s loveless eyes, she kept the lights off.

She sank into the corner of the couch across from him, drawing up her knees and hugging them. Brody stared at his hands, twisted his wedding ring. Silence stretched between them.

She broke it first. “I’m sorry I’m late. Did you get my message?”

He raised his head, nodded.

“Look, if you’re mad about—”

“I’m leaving.”

Her breath caught. “What?”

He inhaled then let it out slowly. “I’m sorry. This isn’t working.”

“What do you mean it’s not working? Marriage isn’t a vacuum or blender you toss out when there’s a glitch. Listen, I know things have been . . .”

“Dead. Our marriage is dead, Tammy.”

She closed her eyes and massaged her forehead. “So let’s fix it. With God’s help—” Lord, give me strength.

“I’m in love with someone else. We’re getting a place.”

Tammy froze, bile seeping up her throat as a sharp pain seared her heart.

“I’m sorry.” His eyes softened. “I never meant for this to happen.”

“You’re sorry?” Hot blood coursed through her, turning her stomach. “You’re sorry? Don’t give me that garbage. You’re sorry for spilling soda or forgetting to pick up the clothes at the dry cleaners, not for . . .not for . . . How could you?”

He stood and raised his hand. “Calm down.”

“Don’t you dare.” The verse taped on her steering wheel flashed through her mind with little effect. “After twelve years! Twelve years of dirty underwear and socks thrown on the floor. Twelve years of packing your lunch, going to your work parties, wiping your whiskers out of the bathroom sink.” Tears pricked her eyes as she struggled to control her breathing. Lifting her chin, she leveled her gaze at her husband. “Think about what you’re doing. For the kids’ sake.”

“Mom? Dad?” Becky’s voice quivered as her big, blue eyes looked from one parent to the other.

“Oh, baby.” Tammy’s torso caved inward, a dull ache stabbing at her throat. How could Brody do this? “Everything’s okay.” Her voice shook. “Go back to bed. I’ll be there in a minute.”

Standing, she waited until Becky’s footfalls had faded then turned to her, her legs threatening to give way. “Don’t, Brody. Don’t throw it all away.”

He exhaled and shook his head. “It’s over, Tammy.”

Used by permission. Intertwined: A novel by Jennifer Slattery (New Hope Publishers, Birmingham, AL) NewHopePublishers.com 

headshot2013Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte

Buy it:

CBD: http://www.christianbook.com/intertwined-a-contemporary-romance-novel/jennifer-slattery/9781596694439/pd/694430?event=ESRCN

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Intertwined-Jennifer-Slattery/dp/1596694432/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/intertwined-jennifer-slattery/1121268293?ean=9781596694439

 

 

 

 

 

 

“It’s a Test” Devo by guest Jennifer Slattery

Iheadshot2013t’d been a crazy week. More like a crazy year. After much prayer and emotional angst, my husband and I had decided to homeschool. Assured God had called us to it, we felt confident He’d stand behind us.

So what could possibly go wrong?

Everything. I’m pretty sure the floodgates of disaster opened above me, because I nearly drowned in a surge of chaos.

Perhaps you can relate. God called you to do something, and you stepped out in faith, only to find the storm waters grow more frantic.

That was how I felt. I was failing! Failure alone is enough to bring most of us to our knees, but failing in an area that involves our kids? Ouch!

One evening, tense and a little melodramatic, I vented every detail to my husband.

He responded with a grin, “It’s a test.”

I stared at him. “What?”

“God’s testing you.”

This failed to bring clarity to my confusion. After all, why would God need to test me? He’s omniscient. The Bible says He knows my every thought, motive, and action.

Yet the Bible is clear: God does test us. He tested Abraham (Gen. 22:1-18), the Israelites during their desert wanderings (Deut. 8:2-18), and Peter when He and the disciples encountered the hungry crowd of 5,000 (John 6:1-13).

When we read these accounts, we begin to see that the testing was not for God’s benefit, but rather for the benefit of those being tested. For it is only when our faith is tested that we begin to see our faults. Through testing, God also allows us to reach the end of ourselves—our strengths, resources, and abilities—so we can recognize our need for Him.

Pause to read Deuteronomy chapter 8 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+8&version=NLT) . In this chapter, Moses urges the Israelites to remain faithfully obedient to God, asking them to remember the testing they endured while they wandered through the desert.

Moses said this testing:

  • Humbled them (v. 2)
  • Revealed their character, and at times, lack of, and their propensity (or lack of) to obey (v. 2)
  • Showed them God’s provisions could be surprising, which taught them to hold loosely to their expectations (v. 3-4)
  • Taught them to rely solely on Him for everything (v. 3-4, 18)
  • Showed God’s faithfulness and therefore, earned their trust (v. 4-10)
  • Hindered their propensity for disobedience (v. 11-18)

Their testing revealed the depths of their sin and their complete dependence on God. It showed them He was faithful, attentive, nurturing, loving, gentle, and true, in a way and to a depth they couldn’t have grasped otherwise.

You see, true, victorious, overcoming faith occurs at the heart level, and heart change occurs once we’ve come to the end of ourselves. When, empty handed, humbled, and in need of mercy, we willingly surrender everything, even that which we hold most dear, to the God who met our need when we were most desperate for His aid.

Are you in a time of testing? What might God be trying to show you about your faith, your fears, your strongholds, and your obedience level?

Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her teenage daughter and coffee dates with her handsome railroader husband.

Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud. 

Jen Slattery coverWhenDawnBreaks_N154102_300dpiRGB

As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution motivate her to head north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend. Dealing with his own issues, Jacqueline isn’t sure if he will be the one she can lean on during the difficult days ahead. And then there are the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must she relinquish her chance at having love again in order to be restored?

Read a free, 36-page excerpt here: http://issuu.com/newhopedigital/docs/slattery_sampler/1

You can buy a copy here: On Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/When-Dawn-Breaks-A-Novel/dp/1596694238/

Low Dose Spirituality

headshot2013This weeks guest devo blogger is Jennifer Slattery.

Imagine chocolate without cocoa.

Imagine salt without, well, salt.

Peruse the grocery aisles long enough and you’ll quickly recognize American’s love-hate relationship with salt. Crackers, potato chips, pretzels, even cottage cheese is loaded with the stuff. We’ve become so saturated with salt, “low-sodium” has become the latest buzz word.

In our culture, salt has become so prevalent, it can be hard to understand why Jesus talked so much about its importance, but in Bible times, salt played a crucial role. It added flavor, preserved food and was even used medicinally. Salt was so important, in fact, it was often used as money.

Salt was a big deal.

When Jesus talks about His followers being the salt of the earth, He is telling us to add flavor to our surroundings and preserve what is good in our culture. (IMHO)

As a tortilla-chip lover, I understand this analogy. I can visualize flavor-producing “salt” pouring from my Spirit-filled being, but what I couldn’t understand for the longest time was how to keep my salt from losing it’s saltiness, something Jesus warns us about in Mathew 5:13.

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”

I know salt. I’ve been using salt, in one way or another, for–oh, do I really want to age myself? Let’s just say, for a long time.  I’ve dissolved it, re-crystalized it, looked at it under a microscope, and tasted. The flavor didn’t change.

Which was good, because flavorless salt would be bland, ineffective and basically worthless.

The same is true of a flavorless Christian.

I certainly don’t want to be bland, but how in the world can I keep my witness salty?

To understand Jesus’ analogy in Matthew, we need to understand ancient salt cultivation. Most of the salt used in Israel came from the Dead Sea and was full of impurities. These impurities caused the salt to lose some of its flavor.

Is it easier to see how it might apply to my spiritual walk now? Just as impurities weaken salt’s flavor, impurities in our lives, known as sin, weaken our witness for Christ. We talk about the love of God in one breath, and in the next, gossip about our neighbor. We share how great life is with Christ then complain about our jobs or the housework, or chasing after energetic two year olds. We say God is loving and in control then openly and loudly fret about our finances. We talk about the power of the Holy Spirit then allow our emotions to control us.

All this must be very confusing to the non-Christian world.

For me, my greatest impurity is selfishness. My selfishness weakens my witness, mutes my “flavor” and, when left unchecked, reduces my words, no matter how heart-felt, to flavorless powder.

And it’s time I’m diligent with my flavor-preservation.

Today, as a first step effort, I’m going to focus on the needs of others by asking them for specific ways I can help or serve them. Waiting for them to come to me is too easy.

Wanna join me? What is your greatest “impurity” and what are some steps you can take to purge that sin from your salt?

Jennifer Slattery writes Missional Romance for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. Her debut novel, Beyond I Do, is currently available in print and e-book format for under $10! You can find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Slattery/e/B00JKQ4ZTW/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Jennifer loves helping aspiring authors grow in their craft, and has editing slots open beginning in November. Find out more here: http://wordsthatkeep.wordpress.com/

Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud. 

BeyondIDocoverBeyond I Do:

Will seeing beyond the present unite them or tear them apart?

Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.

Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignite a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.

Read a free, 36-page excerpt here: http://issuu.com/newhopedigital/docs/beyond_i_do_sample?e=6362996/8842858

Beyond I Do

headshot2013Jennifer Slattery is here to share with us about her book Beyond I Do. Thanks for joining us Jennifer. Please tell us about your story.

Beyond I Do is contemporary romance about a pharmaceutical representative who, in her quest for security, has lost sight of whom God created her to be. Raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, Ainsley Meadows falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignite a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.

BeyondIDocoverThis sounds like my kind of book!

Of all the characters in your book, do you resemble in anyway one of them? How?

You know, there’s a bit of me in every character I craft. As I write, I always tap into whatever experience or emotion resembles whatever my characters face. That allows me to understand them on a deeper level. However, in many ways I most relate to Ainsely as I, too, fought my calling for some time, allowing a desire for security to overshadow my surrender. Praise God, true joy and fulfillment–the abundant life Christ promised–begins and is sustained by full surrender.
I hope Ainsley learns this as well.

How many books do you have published?

This is my debut, though I have two other novels (and hopefully many more!) following.

I hope so too. 🙂 What is next for you?

As I mentioned, I have two other novels contracted and scheduled to follow Beyond I Do, so I’m working on edits for those. I’ve also proposed a sequel tentatively titled Freedom To Love and am in the plotting stage of a third book in this series. So, God willing, readers might get even more of Ainsley and her friends and family in the years to come. J

Did you or do you have anything fun planned for this summer?

Considering this summer is almost over—wow, how did that happen?—our plans are largely finished, but I’ve had a great summer. We went on vacation over the Fourth and had a blast. Missed the fireworks, but still had a great time enjoying new foods—I tried alligator—frequent desserts and live shows. In case you’re wondering, we went to Branson, MO, one of our favorite vacation locations. Very family friendly with lots to do.

Yikes alligator! You are more adventurous than me.

Do you have a favorite spot in which to write?

My favorite spot or where and how I should write? 😉 I struggle with chronic pain and am learning my preferred spot to write—in a recliner—is not the best for my body. Transitioning to a more spine-supporting location, I’ve moved to a coffee table with a raising top and a medicine ball for a chair. Although I still migrate to my recliner on occasion.

If you weren’t a writer what do you think you would be doing?

You know, I’m not sure. Writing really wasn’t on my radar until the past decade or so. I wanted to go into fulltime ministry. But God continually closed those doors, directing me toward writing.

Now, almost ten years later, I can see His merciful, gracious hand in this. Since then, I’ve developed two chronic illnesses that can make things challenging. There are days where standing—actually, life in general—is a struggle. Had I followed a traditional career path, I probably would’ve had to quit. But the beauty of writing is it can be done anywhere and largely on my time schedule. If I’m not feeling well, I’ll stay in bed and work on edits or perhaps conducting research.

To me, this journey has been a reminder of God’s wisdom, mercy, and grace. Though I don’t believe He caused my illnesses, (those are the result of living in a fallen world), He knew they were coming and made a way for me to remain productive and fulfilled, even on my worst days. Still makes me teary when I think of this. Isn’t He amazing?

Yes He is! Thanks for sharing, Jennifer.

Okay, everyone, Jennifer is giving away one copy of her book Beyond I Do. If you’d like to be entered for a chance to win, please leave a comment.

Rules: Drawing is open to USA mailing addresses only. Drawing ends August 10th. The winner will be notified by me via email August 11th. The winner will have until August 17th to respond or forfeit the book. No new winner will be drawn. Void where prohibited by law.

Jennifer Slattery writes Missional Romance for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. Her debut novel, Beyond I Do, is currently available for preorder at a 26% off discount. You can find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-I-Do-Jennifer-Slattery/dp/1596694173/

Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.

 

Loving Others Even When it Hurts

Jennifer Slattery is our guest blogger for this week’s devotional. I must say this one really hit me on the head. Thank you, Jennifer for sharing your heart with us.

Panoramic of Yaquna HeadWe were like a combustion waiting to ignite. My goal—to leave the encounter without saying or doing something I’d regret. My preference would’ve been to avoid the individual entirely. She was angry, negative, hostile, and verbally combative. Quite frankly, she drained me. And irritated me something fierce!

Oh, to spend my life in my nice Christian bubble surrounded by those who look like me, talk like me, think like me, and actually like me!

Except early in this encounter, my heart sensed a whisper, one so soft, so gentle, I could’ve missed it. Or ignored it.

But I didn’t. Not at first, anyway.

Rather, I paused to pray, and that whisper grew to certainty. God had me encounter this person for a reason. The reason was simple: He wanted me to demonstrate His love and grace. The same grace He’d shown to me, back when I was angry, negative, and hostile.

I knew this, and yet, by the third encounter, I erected an emotional wall equal to hers. Frowning, I sat with my arms crossed, my words few, my ears closed.

So what happened? When did my surrender turn to avoidance?

The moment I took my eyes off my Savoir and His beloved—the hurting child of God hiding a wounded heart with hateful words—and placed it smack dab on myself, which is sadly where my view tends to land.

It wasn’t long before God called me out. The next day, my husband I attended an Art of Neighboring seminar where we learned how to be, well, good neighbors. We learned about being kind, helpful, compassionate, nonjudgmental…

“Yes, yes!” I thought, “I excel at these things! I take time to deliver meals and clean houses and send text messages…”

But before I got too far in my list of self-accolades, the woman I’d been called to engage but longed to avoid came to mind. Only it wasn’t her scowling or harsh conversation that rushed to the forefront. Rather, it was mine.

I’d fallen short. So very short, and in my self-sightedness, I’d ignored something so glaringly obvious, it’s like a punch to the gut: I ignored the evidence of the deep, deep wounds driving this woman’s behavior. I ignored the evidence of self-loathing and discouragement. Of incredible loneliness, a loneliness so pervasive, it causes her to spurn the relationships she longs for most.

So now what will I do with this new-found clarity?

Hopefully, I’ll begin to look deeper, listening for more than words but for heart-whispers that call out for hope and healing. And then I’ll begin building relational bridges, even if it means taking a few hits in the process, because sometimes relationships get messy, but that doesn’t mean we throw in the towel. Rather, it means we go for reinforcements, and the best reinforcement we’ll find is Christ living in us. If we’re a believer, He’s already there. Our role is simple: to get our eyes—our thoughts—of ourselves and surrender to the One who loved my neighbor and my enemy so much, He gave His life for them.

We all have nasty neighbors, those folks that seem to feel a special thrill in making us squirm. But what if that’s not their motivation at all? What if rather, their behavior is but a symptom of something deeper, something broken?

Will we take the time to find out?

What about you? As you read this, I imagine a name or face rushed to mind—that person you’d do anything to avoid.

What if that’s the very person God’s asking you to love? Will you? Not just today, not just for a week or a month, or until you lose patience?

BCheadshot2013

***Jennifer Slattery writes missional romance for New Hope Publishers, Christian living articles for Crosswalk.com, dramas for Christ to the World Ministries, and devotionals for Internet Café Devotions and her personal blog, JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud. She also manages the social media and blog for Takin’ it to the Streets, an Omaha Metro ministry for the working poor and homeless. When she’s not writing, she enjoys hanging out at the mall with her teenage daughter, going on long walks with her husband, or losing herself in a great book.

BeyondIDocoverBeyond I Do (available for preorder at a discounted price): (Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-I-Do-Jennifer-Slattery/dp/1596694173/ref%3Dsr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397064427&sr=1-1&keywords=Beyond+I+Do+New+Hope)

Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.

Ainsley Meadow’s encounter with a woman, her child, and their abuser sparks a passion that threatens her engagement. Will seeing beyond the present unite her and her fiancé or tear them apart?

Raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignites a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.