Monday, October 08, 2012

THE HEART'S LULLABY - Jen Stephens - One Free Book

Today, I'm introducing you to another author. Welcome, Jen. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write Contemporary Christian Women’s Fiction because it allows me to write about real life issues while sending a positive message of hope and healing.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I really, really wish I could say the day my two beautiful daughters were born, and I was so happy, so I love with those girls, but I was also scared out of my mind!

The happiest day of my life probably happened October 9th, 2011, at the first benefit run/walk I planned and put on in my hometown in memory of my best friend, Patty. It was a lot of hard work and ended up being more of a success than I could’ve imagined. It was really special to do something that honored Patty with the whole community, and it’s really satisfying to be a part of something that is so much bigger than yourself, ya know? I’m over the moon excited for the next one!   

How has being published changed your life?
Um, as far as day-to-day business is concerned, it really hasn’t. I still teach. I’m still a mama, and that’s my number one priority. I still have to take my girls to dance and basketball practice and music lessons. The one big change there is that I HAVE to write now so I have to be on a strict schedule, especially the closer I get to a deadline.

But in the grand scheme of things, my life has been changed because through writing these books, I’ve grown in the Lord, and I’ve learned more about myself. I also hear from readers how my writing has touched their lives and that directly affects mine, makes me feel like in some small way I’m making a difference in this great big world.  

What are you reading right now?
Home Front by Kristin Hannah. I highly recommend it.

What is your current work in progress?
The 3rd book in the Harvest Bay Series titled The Heart’s Hostage. It’s just in the beginning stages because I promised my girls I’d take some time off after The Heart’s Lullaby, but it is about a broken marriage and how the Lord heals and restores things that seem irreparable.

What would be your dream vacation?
Haha! Just to HAVE a vacation! I am a beach girl. I’d love, love, LOVE to be on a beach somewhere with a good book and do NOTHING else! That would be my dream vacation.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
Harvest Bay is a fictional town in North Central Ohio based a little bit on my hometown and the town where my mom grew up. It’s funny. I’ve lived in the Nashville, Tennessee, area for 14 years, but I couldn’t picture my stories taking place anywhere but Ohio. Not surprisingly, we are in the process of moving back “home.”

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
My mom because she’s one of my best friends, and is one of the strongest, most godly women I know. She has been there for me, believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, loved me when I was unlovable. Mostly, I just love spending time with her.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love to bake and I love photography. Constantly in search of the perfect photo op. Haha!

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Always time. I have to follow a strict routine, which is a challenge with a busy household. When I am seriously working on a word count, I try to work daily from 8pm-midnight. This way it doesn’t take away from my girls or other duties. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Get involved with writers groups, either online or in person. It’s so important to have a support system other than your family who thinks everything you write is genius. Also, believe in your abilities—if you have the drive to write a book, there’s a reason—and just write it.

Tell us about the featured book.
Here’s the back cover blurb: After two years of trying without success to have a baby, Elizabeth Truman learns that her husband may already be a father. While he bonds with the son he never knew he had, Elizabeth’s increased desperation to have a baby of her own causes her to choose a path of deception. When it deadends in despair, however, she questions both her faith and the faithfulness of the Lord.

Amy Beauregard arrives in Harvest Bay with her ten-year-old son, harboring secrets that could destroy her chance at happiness, and the conviction that God has long since abandoned her. But while she picks up the pieces of her shattered life, things start to fall into place that she couldn't have predicted.

With Thanksgiving approaching, an unexpected visitor and a strange twist of fate remind both Elizabeth and Amy that even in the darkest times God is guiding His children, drawing them together in a way neither could have imagined. Will their renewed faith be strong enough to lead them through another crisis—or will The Heart's Lullaby be left unsung?

The Heart’s Lullaby was difficult to write because it deals with issues I have no experience in. Thanks to the help many knowledgeable friends and experts on the related topics, I’m really pleased with this story and am in love with these characters. Also, The Heart’s Lullaby is dedicated to my best friend who passed away from ovarian cancer in February 24th, 2011. A portion of royalties from this book and all others in the series will be donated to Ovarian Cancer National Alliance ( in honor and memory of Patty.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Chapter One

Elizabeth Truman sat on the edge of the bathtub, her hands pressed together and wedged between her knees. The coolness of the beige marble penetrated through her soft cotton shorts to her thighs, but did little to soothe her fiery nerves. The clock on the wall ticked off the seconds. Still the three-minute wait seemed unending.

This could be it. The wait may finally be over, and in just three minutes our lives could change forever. She glanced down at her flat belly, imagining how she’d give Elijah the good news, smiling at the thought of how happy he’d be. Just the other day, when they were strolling through the mall together, a ball and glove caught his eye from the window of the toy store and he made a comment about playing catch with his son someday. He was ready to be a daddy.

And there was nothing she wanted more than to be a mother. Over the past several months the deep longing had intensified, preoccupying her thoughts during the day and her dreams at night. Her arms ached to hold their baby—a perfect combination of her and Elijah. Her soul yearned to nurture their child, to watch him or her grow day by day. She already loved this little miracle that she was sure the Lord would bless them with.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Jen, for the interesting interview.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Heart's Lullaby - paperback
The Heart's Lullaby (Harvest Bay Series) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Jo said...

Looks like I am the first one to leave a comment. Great interview! I always love reading about new to me authors and their books. This definitely sounds like a great book and thank you for the opportunity of the giveaway.

Jo from Southern Arizona

Jen Riffle said...

Hi, Jo! Nice to meet you! Good luck in the give-a-way!

Lyndie Blevins said...

Thanks for the opportunity to get this book.
Lyndie Blevins
Duncanville, tx

Jen Riffle said...

Hey, Lyndie! You bet! Thanks for stopping by!!!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Lena for introducing me to a new to me author. Jen's novel sounds intriguing, and i'd love to do a review on it. Thanks for the chance to win!


Unknown said...

i'm from northern Alberta


Kaye said...

Jen is an awesome author and has such a sweet spirit. I am looking forward to reading "The Heart's Lullaby". Kaye from Castalia, OH

Michele Clark said...

The book was as beautiful and intriguing as the author. Can't wait for #3! (And please let someone else win the book because I bought mine already :)

Anonymous said...

I would be blessed to win.
angela from ky

misskallie2000 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
misskallie2000 said...

Enjoyed the interview Jen and Lena. I will be reading this great book as soon as possible and have it on my wish list.
Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

Brenda from Georgia

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Unknown said...

Jen is an amazing person and amazing writer! So happy to call her friend!
Pastor Amy Little

Jen Riffle said...

Wow! I'm overwhelmed by the nice comments and encouragement! Thank you all so much and good luck in the drawing!!!

mongupp said...

This sounds like a beautiful story.

Monica , Ontario

Jen Riffle said...

Thanks, Monica! Good luck in the drawing!

Unknown said...

Jennifer, You are the most amazing writer I know. I was most honored when I read about your favorite person to spend time with is your mama. I happen to know your mama loves to spend time with you too. I love you so much and am so very proud of you. Your Mama!

Jen Riffle said...

Hi, Mommy! I love you and am so glad I've made you proud of me!

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Mary Preston said...

I just know that when I read THE HEART'S LULLABY I am going to be very moved.

Mary P


rubynreba said...

Thanks for the chance to win this beautiful book!
Beth from IA

Jen Riffle said...

Mary, I hope and pray you are right! I know I was moved writing it. Beth and Linda, good luck! I hope you all enjoy this book!

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this inspirational story

kmkuka at yahoo dot com
(from PA)

Diana Gardner said...

Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks! Portsmouth, VA

Angie Adair said...

This sounds like a great book. Please enter me! Angie in Illinois

Judy said...

This book sounds so good. I would be thrilled to win a copy of it. Jen is a new author to me.

Judy B from Indiana

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond

Jen Riffle said...

Ladies, thanks for stopping by! It's always good to make new friends. Good luck in the drawing!

Angela Carpenter said...

This sounds like a wonderful book. Would love to win it...

Jackie Tessnair said...

I would love to win and read this book.Sounds great.Thanks for the interview and chance to win.Jackie Tessnair from N.C.

Jen Riffle said...

Hi, Angela and Jackie! Thanks for stopping by! Good luck in the drawing!

Shopgirl said...

What an interesting story idea. Sounds very emotional. I'm in MN.

Patti Shene, Executive Editor, Starsongs Magazine said...

Great interview! I'd love to win a copy of Kathy's book!

Patti Shene, Executive Editor, Starsongs Magazine said...

Sorry, forgot to mention where I'm from. I live in Southeastern Colorado, quite a distance from the Rockies I'm afraid!