And Then There Were Five…


“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

When my last book was in its finishing stages, I sensed a stirring in me to write a sequel. I’ve never been a series writer, and haven’t considered it before, but the wind blew this mysterious woman into the end of When the Wind Blows, and I knew I had to tell her story.

Her name is Tyrina Lousie Duvall, and her story isn’t easy, but it will offer hope and healing to someone.

It’s interesting how book ideas materialize. No sooner had I thought about the mystery woman, than I realized Bailey Crenshaw, a twenty-year-old character in When the Wind Blows would need a book of her own as well. So a third book in the now series will follow Tyrina’s story. The two characters will end up being intertwined so how could they not both have a book? Besides, some who have finished When the Wind Blows want to know more about how Jessica’s character has changed too. She’ll pop in here and there in both books.

But the two new books, Where Blows the Wind – Tyrina’s story and Winds of Change – Bailey’s tale (the current working titles that may end up changing) were added to a list of books I’ve already started. I’m pretty sure the word I sensed from the Lord was prolific writing. Wow. Here we go!

Faith’s Song, based on the best friend of Sara Matley in A Deadly Silence, walks with Faith when she receives devastating news and can’t seem to rally her faith to handle it. How will she deal with the ramifications of this shocking news?

And then there’s The Fisherman’s Wife. Simon Peter is impulsive and brash, spending long hours fishing in often stormy waters. When Jesus calls Peter to follow him, how will Abigail handle another one of Peter’s crazy plans – this time to leave her for an undefined time? A couple of readers mentioned that they hoped I’d write more along the lines of Rachel’s Son. Here you go.

Bed and Breakfast isn’t what it seems. Two activist inventors clash in a contemporary romance when they each believe they have the perfect answer to create housing for the homeless. Can they combine their talents and innovations to alleviate one of the world’s worst problems?

And that’s not all! The list continues…oh, my!

On the back burner is Silk Stalkings, Out of Egypt, a possible yet-to-be-named sequel to Voices of the Past, and a couple of middle school series featuring Perry Trotter and Justin Case.

Not to go crazy or anything about book writing, but Beyond the Miracle: When the Fairy Tale Meets Reality, the continuing saga of my Aussie husband, Brendan, and me is also in process.

That said, let me take a survey. I”m curious. Of the books I’ve mentioned here, what would be your first choice? Anyone who responds will have their name entered in a drawing for a signed print copy of A Deadly Silence. Let my know in the comments below that you submitted your vote.

Thanks for participating! From my desk chair of piled notes, proof copies of books, and computer manuscripts, I thank you. Thank you for reading, commenting, voting, and following! It means so much.

Are You in a Season of Hope?


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This week’s post is featuring author, Sara Jane Jacobs, and her new book, Season of Hope.

The Bible has a lot to say about hope.

Our hope is in Jesus. When we hope in him, we won’t be disappointed. God gives us hope and has a future hope for us. When our character is built through trials, we develop hope. Our endurance is inspired by hope. All good, right?

But sometimes what we hope for takes longer than we expect.

As is the situation with Amanda and Tyler, the main characters in Season of Hope.  An answer to prayer begins their season of hope.

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Sara Jane Jacobs, has given us a sneak peak into her life as an author, the premise for this book and a little about her upcoming projects…

  1. Do you work with an outline or just write?

I just write! I’m definitely a panster. When I first start a project, random scenes will pop into my head and I have no idea where they will end up in the story.

  1. Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

The next book in the series, Season of Deception, starts at the very moment book one ends. A new character is introduced in book two, and Amanda moves to Paris. We get to check in on Tyler, too. There are a couple of BIG surprises, a visit back to Nathan’s mountain, and the people that annoy you and creep you out come back stronger than ever. That’s pretty much all I can tell without giving anything away! I’ll be sharing a synopsis on my website soon and start revealing a little more about the story as it gets closer to launch.

  1. Is there anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

There are flashes of memories from my childhood laced throughout chapter one. Ha-ha, there is a conversation that Amanda has with Tyler about a cow, in the upcoming book that was based on an experience.

  1. How did you come up with the title?

The “season” part of the title originated in what is now book two, which started out as the original manuscript. Amanda writes a note to Tyler, making a slight reference to a verse in the third chapter of Ecclesiastes and saying they will only be apart for a “season.” Obviously, she wasn’t counting on the “deception” part. When I had to come up with a title for book one, I felt Season of Hope was fitting, as the move Tyler and his mother make to Nathan’s mountain gives them opportunities for a better life.

  1. What project are you working on now?

Book three which follows the story a couple of the characters from book two.

ABOUT THE BOOK:season of hope 3

When Amanda Jarvis prays that a special friend will move into the vacant house near her isolated mountain home, she isn’t upset when God sends a boy instead of a girl. But Amanda’s not the only one receiving unexpected answers to her prayers. After fleeing with his mother from an abusive father, Tyler Armstrong finds much-needed love and acceptance with Amanda’s family over the next ten years.

As high school graduation nears, Tyler is shocked when one carefree afternoon with Amanda churns up an inner turmoil he would have never imagined; he’s crushing on his best friend. And for the first time in his life he’s hiding a secret from Amanda. Convinced the timing is all wrong, Tyler pushes his feelings aside as he and Amanda prepare for the future. He will soon begin training to pursue his dream of becoming a Navy SEAL, while Amanda makes plans to spend the summer in Manhattan with her aunt and then return home to the community college.

When Amanda’s summer job catapults her into a modeling career, she readily accepts the much-needed distraction. Tyler’s impending deployment is turning her world upside down. Along with the fact that she’s falling for her best friend. And, for the first time in her relationship with Tyler, she’s hiding a secret, too.

Phoebe Garrison, Amanda’s controlling aunt, is thrilled when she is given the power to act on behalf of her underage niece. Bored with her Fortune 500 advertising agency, becoming Amanda’s manager is just what she’s been looking for to rekindle her aspirations. But as Tyler becomes aware of Phoebe’s obsession to push Amanda into supermodel status, tensions rise. As the three of them become entangled in a mass of concealed ambition and desire, each will make decisions that will send ripples of turbulence across their futures.

GET YOUR COPY HERE:

Amazon: http://a.co/aDtFaUz

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-season-of-hope-sara-jane-jacobs/1125877392?ean=2940157214357

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/708666

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY BELOW TO WIN A COPY OF THE BOOK

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Enter to win the SEASON OF HOPE giveaway! One person will win the following items…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

season of hope authorI began writing as a hobby while raising my two children. In 2015, I dusted off my stories and my dreams to see if I could turn my hobby into a career. My first story, Season of Hope, was inspired by summer vacations which always included a trip to Franklin, North Carolina, to visit family and explore The Smoky Mountains. When I’m not writing, I enjoy spending time with family. I love most any activity that involves being outdoors, especially camping, hiking and spontaneous excursions to splash in the ocean. I currently live along the Emerald Coast of Florida with my cat Selah and her delightful offspring, Colby, Jack and Tuesday.

AUTHOR CONTACT LINKS:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarajanej

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarajanejacobs

Website: http://www.sarajanejacobs.com

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jacobsjanesara

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/50289360-sara-jane-jacobs

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jacobsjanesara

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpH25j4GdaoKDMXkOVNlxA

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June 26 – Truth to Shine

June 27 – ASC Book Reviews

June 28 – Meagan Davenport

June 29 – Linda Shenton Matchett

June 30 – Barbara Brutt

July 3 – Ink From an Earthen Vessel

July 4 – Faithfully Bookish

July 5 – A Real Writer’s Life

July 6 – Smiling Book Reviews

July 7 – Bookworm Mama

July 10 – Tell the World

July 11 – 2014 and Beyond

July 12 – Tammy Karasek

July 13 – Rebecca DeMarino

July 14 –  Julie Arduini

July 17 – Laura Bennet

July 18 – All Betts Are Off

July 19 – Rachel Scott McDaniel

July 20 – Rebecca Van Daniker

July 21 – Leslie L. Mckee

season of hope 7This blog tour was coordinated by A Latte of Literature Blog Tour Services. Find out more:

http://christiswrite.blogspot.com/p/life-literature-blog-tour-services-for.html

 

First Chapter Fun


Tricia Goyer, well known author of Mom’s Night Out , the novelization of the motion picture, and more than fifty other titles, has inspired me with her new First Chapter Fridays. Tricia has been sharing the first chapter of one of her books and offering a giveaway each Friday. Check out Tricia’s site and her latest release. You may find you love what she has to offer. Not only is she an prolific author, but she encourages teen moms, adoptive parents, and homeschooling families.

In the meantime, enjoy the first chapter of my book, The Miracle of Us: Confessions of an Online Dater, and enter a drawing for a free copy by commenting below. Thanks for the idea, Tricia!

Happy reading.

Is this really happening?

I surveyed the scene around me as an observer, despite my role as the primary participant. The delicate gown of ivory lace hanging from a cupboard door whispered reality. My bridesmaids sharing a mirror to apply makeup nodded at me in confirmation. A few close friends conversing over croissant sandwiches and grapes solidified the certainty of this remarkable day. My youngest granddaughter attempted first steps on wobbling legs.

At forty-seven, starting over after two failed marriages seemed frivolous and impossible even for an optimist like me. I believed God could do incredible things, but marriage a third time? After my previous heartbreak, marriage seemed like an attempt to grasp a school girl’s dream.

Only now it wasn’t merely a dream. It was becoming a reality.

God was offering me another chance at life with my soul mate. Yet the process of getting here hadn’t been an easy one. It took faith, prayer and patience.

Even with my adventurous and hopeful spirit, I still couldn’t have conceived of the enterprise embarked on years previous to this moment. And I never imagined God would use the internet to introduce me to Brendan, my amazing man from Australia.

Yet here I stood with the sun’s descent casting fragile streams of light through the upstairs window of the church. My attendants circled me, arms outstretched to adorn me with bridal blessings before I joined my life with Brendan for the remaining years we had.

My three daughters squeezed in close. The eldest, Vici, already a wife of two years and Ashley, my youngest, the twenty-one year old “baby” flanked my soon-to-be stepdaughter, eight year old Bella. They brushed elbows with my dearest friends, all participating in the momentous evening. Tears threatened my mascara, and I breathed deeply, both to keep them from spilling over and to calm my eager heart.

All eyes closed, but I peeked again at my homemade spider orchid bouquet. Can you love flowers? Every time I visually caressed the creamy burgundy tinged petals, I thought I love my bouquet!  And I thrilled at my dress and my bridesmaids’ dresses and the wonderful people taking such great care of me. This aged school girl released a contented sigh.

Closing my eyes, I forced my mind to concentrate on the words being spoken. I wanted so badly to remember as much as I could about this beautiful night of redemption and hope, the culmination of miracle upon miracle. My soul soared, my heart spilled over with love, and songs of worship played in my mind. Songs that I knew provided the background to our slideshow which entertained friends and family as they gathered downstairs in the sanctuary, preparing to celebrate with us.

In a few minutes, I would walk down the aisle on the arms of my two grown sons, Josh, the eldest and Chris, my towering younger boy, toward the man of my dreams.

Only You could have pulled this off, God.

Chapter 1

I had been single for only a year and a half when a friend asked if I would ever consider marrying again. A longing stirred in my heart, but I wasn’t so sure. Twenty-one accumulated years of two devastating marriages made me hesitate to answer her. Something in me wanted to hope that marriage held possibility, but my wounded heart felt like it had sustained a bad sunburn still too tender to touch. Marriage was a risk I wasn’t sure I was ready to take. Again.

However, when this new friend shared her romantic, divorced-mom-of-three story, it kindled a small, warming flame of hope. Like many others, from the time I was a young girl, I dreamed of romance and a life shared with my “soul mate.” I watched hundreds of movies depicting boy-meets-girl adventures and wished they could be my life. I confess I wanted a story that would defy everyone who ever told me I was unrealistic, idealistic or a dreamer. Deep down I believed God meant us to have that kind of romance—that He created it in the first place. Wasn’t it His good plan for man not to be alone?

The flame flickered in my heart, and I wondered if maybe that could still happen for me. Some day? But it certainly would take a miracle. Being alone at that point trumped the marital distress I had previously experienced.

A few years passed after that conversation. Within the safe acceptance of my loving church family, my broken heart was learning that relationships consisted of more than me attempting to be good enough to please someone else. I settled into single life with contentment as I pursued a deeper intimacy with Jesus. Over time, watching other happily married couples renewed my hope, and I felt the desire to try relationships again. While I felt satisfied and fairly confident about my life as it was, I did long for the proverbial “soul mate,” partner, friend, lover that I had somehow missed out on in two previous tries.

But how does a forty-something woman with grown children meet men? The single women at my church seemed to outnumber the single men by about four to one.

In the past, my “guy meeting” experiences were limited to youth groups, school, and church. As a teen, life was one social scene. But now? I hadn’t dated since I met my first husband at a college church group.

Not one of the few men at church showed any interest, and I couldn’t bring myself to bar hop looking for a match. A local Christian singles group appeared to be the only avenue available, but it didn’t thrill me either. Some of my acquaintances practically obsessed over each outing as they desperately sought Mr. Right. But that felt a little too intense for me. I cringed at the idea of attending events hunting for a man. Besides, I wanted a relationship to come from God’s timing, not my arrangements. If God did have someone for me, I prayed I could simply bump into him randomly, like at the grocery store or post office.

Or, be set up like one of my best friends, who met her husband from a friend-of-a-friend. I liked the idea, but that wasn’t happening for me either. Most of my friends were married with married friends. You get the picture.

Then one night, I sat in my parents’ living room after sharing a delicious meal during one of my rare visits. Naturally, as it usually did, the conversation turned to my struggling, single-parent-of-teenagers life. My parents felt the time had come for me to have a husband—preferably one who cared deeply for me and could support me in the fashion in which I had been raised as opposed to the one in which I had survived for the previous twenty-five years.

They had an idea of how to launch me back into dating society.

“You need a man. A nice Christian one with a good job. We have this friend…”

It’s not what you think. The friend was not someone they thought I should date. He was an acquaintance who met his match on the well-known, vastly popular internet dating site eHarmony, an establishment that has been harmoniously matching soul mates for more than a decade.

E- what? Internet dating? Never heard of it.

What did my parents, who barely used computers, know about dating online?

I chuckled at their ludicrous suggestion and wondered how I could steer us out of the conversation.

However, they seemed pretty convinced. My dad proceeded to relate some stories of people they knew who had actually met and married as a result of meeting on eHarmony. I confess it intrigued me. I went home that night with the idea rolling around in my mind. A few days later I decided to look up the site “just to see what it was like.”

I still remained skeptical, but waded around in the shallow end looking at a few free matches. Then I ended up filling out a questionnaire that took days, but taught me a great deal about myself. Worthwhile, but after a few months, I let it go. The stress of waiting for matches built up until I wondered if I were obsessed. Nonetheless, the concept lingered.

It resurfaced a couple of years later. The usual ways of meeting guys still weren’t working for me or my never-married-yet friend, “adopted” sister, housemate, and business partner, Carol. I told her about my previous experience, and after talking and praying about it for a few months, we decided to plunge into the deep end of online dating. What once seemed crazy to me now became a viable option.

Social networking wasn’t what I thought to look for, but I’m grateful to my parents for making the suggestion.

Carol and I held a conviction that finding marriage between two people absolutely created for one another held possibility. Granted, internet dating hadn’t been in our list of options, but why not? We figured if God could do anything, did it matter what vehicle he used?

Comment below for the chance to win a free copy of the book.