Welcome, Jennifer. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
Tell us a little about your family.
We only have one child, so we are a small family of 3. Our daughter has Epilepsy, which disappeared for 10 years and came back during her adolescent years due to a hormone imbalance. A few months ago she was also diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and suddenly everything is starting to make sense. It is a developmental disorder, not a mental disorder, and Celina’s case is very mild. Prior to her diagnosis, I thought of Rainman when I heard of Autism, but our daughter is high functioning and you would never know it unless you spent several days with her. She is nothing like Rainman. We are still learning all the various components, but one thing we have discovered is that she likes a set routine.
I’ve been around several children with Asperger’s Syndrome, and my brother has one grandson with the disorder. I’m so glad you and your husband are able to take the needed time with her. Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Yes, I read less. I don’t have as much time to read for pleasure as I would like.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on The War Woman, the 2nd book in the MacGregor Quest series. It is set in
, during the American
Revolutionary War. I’m trying to stay true to specific events that took place
during that time, but create a place and purpose for my characters. I want my
readers to experience a measure of faith, romance, and mystery. Wilmington, North Carolina
What outside interests do you have?
I enjoy parasailing over the ocean and horseback riding when I get the chance. Last year on my birthday, my husband’s gift was for my daughter and I to go horseback riding on the Biltmore Estate. Since my birthday is October 30th, the fall colors of the trees were beautiful. It was a wonderful gift. I love traveling and visiting historical sites. I wish the opportunity for this was more often in our lives.
I really want to visit Biltmore sometime. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
That it would be a poor person’s profession—much like a starving artist. I had hoped that once I achieved publication, I would be able to transition to part-time work, but now I realize that is very unrealistic so I have accepted my fate and know I will continue working full-time to help pay the bills until retirement—or close to retirement.
And I’m doing it during retirement. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
That God is in control regardless of my past experiences, expectations, and fears. When my husband gave up his job, we feared we wouldn’t be able to make ends meet with my salary, but God has provided in numerous ways. I have received unexpected bonuses from my job, freelance work through my company Upon the Rock Publicist, my writing, and other things that God has gifted to us. We have not lacked for anything.
We learned that about halfway through our adult life thus far. It’s such a freeing realization. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
1) Never give up
2) Promote yourself before publication and continue after publication
3) Don’t have unrealistic expectations
Tell us about the featured book.
Path of Freedom, releases January 2013 and begins in
, in 1858. When Quakers Flora Saferight and
Bruce Millikan embark on the Underground Railroad, they agree to put their
differences aside to save the lives of a pregnant slave couple. With only her
mother’s quilt as a secret guide, the foursome follows the stitches through
unknown treachery. As they begin their perilous journey, they hope and pray
that their path is one of promise where love sustains them, courage builds
faith, and forgiveness leads to freedom. Greensborough, North
Please give us the first page of the book.
A shiver of excitement rushed through Flora Saferight at the thought of their upcoming trip to
It had been at least two years since she’d seen her aunt and uncle, and even
then they had traveled as a family by wagon. Now she and her younger sister
would be making the trip by train.
“I think this is sensible for our journey.” Standing in Gilmer General Store, Irene held up a red shawl with a lining. Her blue eyes shone bright in the hope of Flora’s approval. Blond curls framed Irene’s heart-shaped face beneath her white bonnet. With a delicate nose and smooth skin heightened by a blush of enthusiasm, Irene was considered the beauty between them.
“Mother would prefer a sensible cloak,” Flora said. “
Charlottesville can get
awfully cold in the fall.”
Her sister bit her bottom lip and lowered her gaze in disappointment. A dramatic sigh slipped from her lips. Flora glanced around the general store and spied a rack of cloaks in the far corner by the front counter.
“Why not try one of those?” She pointed beyond a table displaying hats and bonnets, hoping to lift Irene’s spirits. “Since we don’t have time to make a new cloak and thee has grown out of thy clothes from last winter, I’m sure Mother would approve.”
“True.” A bright smile lit Irene’s face as she sailed over to investigate. “Now that I’m taller than thee, I won’t be inheriting thy clothes.”
The shop door opened, ringing the tiny bell at the top.
“Good morning,” Mrs. Edwards, the store clerk, called from where she stood on a small stepping stool, stacking bolts of fabric on the wall shelves.
“Morning.” Bruce Milikan stepped inside wearing a white buttoned shirt, tucked into a pair of black trousers. His reddish blond hair lay against his neck beneath his tall black hat. Heat pooled in the pit of Flora’s stomach. She took a deep breath, eager to escape before he noticed her.
Bruce glanced back to ensure the door closed properly. Flora gulped and turned, taking advantage of his momentary distraction to hurry behind a shelf of oil lanterns.
“Flora Saferight!” His deep voice flowed over her like bittersweet honey before she reached her destination. She waited for the sting of a familiar insult. Other girls may have enjoyed his teasing and attention growing up, but she hadn’t. She closed her eyes, cringing as his booted footsteps charged across the wooden floor.
She clenched her teeth and forced a smile as she squared her shoulders and prepared to greet him. Staring stared into his broad chest, Flora had to lean back to gaze into those amazing green eyes. When had he grown so tall?
The freckles she remembered had faded beneath a ruddy complexion and a slight tan. A smile eased his lips, revealing straight teeth—too perfect in her opinion. If only he would smile a little wider, then she’d have the satisfaction of seeing the gaping hole on his left side. Too bad a fall from a tree had been responsible, for she would have dearly loved to claim the honor—especially after he‟d teased her about her two front teeth.
What was wrong with her? Guilt sliced through Flora. Her thoughts were much too bitter for a proper Quaker. They had been children. Still, all his barbed words had cut her to the core and continued to sting like a nasty bee buzzing around inside her soul. “Good morning, Bruce Milikan. I wasn’t aware thee was back in town.”
It had been eight months since she’d last seen him, but she did her best to avoid him prior to that.
“I arrived home a fortnight ago.” He blinked and his smile waned. “For a moment, I thought thee might be trying to avoid me.”
Flora lifted her chin and met his gaze. “Do I look like I’m avoiding thee?” She folded her arms across her chest and glared at him with what she hoped was her best disapproval.
“Goodness, Bruce Milikan, thee acts as if I knew thee would walk right through that door. Since when has thee known me to back down from anything?”
His lips curled as two thin lines framed each side of his mouth into a smile. He shook his head in slow motion. “No, Beaver Face, no one could ever accuse thee of ignoring a challenge.” He shook his head with a reminiscing chuckle. “Thee is the most headstrong girl I’ve ever known—and foolhardy at times.” He folded his arms and stared down at her as if she were still a wayward child.
“Foolhardy? Beaver Face? Really Bruce, one would hope thee would eventually grow up and leave the childhood name calling behind.” Flora bristled, heat searing through her boiling blood as it scalded her heart. “We may only be a year apart in age, but thee hasn’t changed one bit.”
“Come on, Flora, I didn’t mean it like that. It’s more of an endearment now.” He stepped closer, leaning forward. “The rest of thy teeth have grown in and are now perfect.” He glanced behind him as if to see if anyone else was listening. “I’m sorry. I wish I’d never called thee that. I’ve sure spent the rest of my days paying for it.”
She stepped back, too confused by his nearness and stunned by his apology. Flora swallowed, clearing her mind. The childhood taunts she could forgive, but the idea that he would insinuate she’s foolish when she’d worked so hard to become a proper young lady of eighteen, chafed her?
“Apparently, thee isn’t sorry. For thee just called me foolhardy. I’ll have thee know, there’s a good doctor in Virginia who thinks very highly of me. As a midwife, he believes I’ll compliment him his practice rather well.” Clint Roberts had only mentioned it once in a letter, but she chose to interpret his words to mean that. No need in letting Bruce know she exaggerated.
“What doctor?” The light left his green eyes and his lips dropped in a frown. “Is thee courting a doctor?” He shifted, placing his fists at his side.
Irene walked over with a dark purple cloak draped over her arm. The bell rang and a new customer walked in, greeting Mrs. Edwards.
“It’s true,” Irene said. “Flora met him two summers ago when we were visiting our aunt and uncle. They’ve been corresponding ever since.”
How can readers find you on the Internet?http://www.twitter.com/jt4novels
Thank you, Jennifer for sharing your life and your book with us today.
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Path of Freedom: Quilts of Love Series - Kindle
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