Friday, February 24, 2017

DOOR TO FREEDOM - Jana Kelley - One Free Book

Welcome back, Jana. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I’ve always heard “write the kind of books you like to read” and that’s exactly what I’ve done. I like realistic fiction as well as autobiographies and some memoirs. I like real stories and I like to feel like I’ve learned something in exchange for the time I have taken to read a book. When you finish the last page of Door to Freedom, I want you to know more about Sudan and more about Muslims and more about the people who love them.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
The happiest day was the day Kris asked me to marry him, because then I knew he wouldn’t get away! And also because it was the beginning of a lot of years filled with a lot of adventures. Why wouldn’t that be the happiest day?

How has being published changed your life?
Being published has encouraged me to believe that I have a message others want to hear. It has developed in me the willingness to receive constructive criticism and grow better at storytelling for the sake of the message. Being published has helped me accept that writing can be more than a hobby.

What are you reading right now?
I am reading The One-In-A-Million Boy by Monica Wood. If the second half is as good as the first half, then I highly recommend it!

What is your current work in progress?
I am up to my eyeballs in editing the sequel to Door to Freedom. It is called Mercy Triumphs and it will finish the Side by Side trilogy. It should be ready for release in Fall 2017 and that is super exciting to me.

What would be your dream vacation?
I love to travel and I feel very blessed that I get to do a lot of overseas travel. My dream vacation is to visit Italy. I have been to Rome for one night because of a mix-up with an airline, but one day I’m going to Italy on purpose!

How do you choose your settings for each book?
I chose settings that I have been to personally for my books. I like to be able to close my eyes and remember myself right there, and then open my eyes and type what I see, hear, taste, and touch from my memories of actually being there.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
 My first book, Side by Side, was dedicated to “the real Halimah.” I have not seen this beautiful young woman in many years and I would like to spend the evening with her. Her courage to follow Christ no matter what and to trust Him inspires me.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I like to make things and I mostly like trying projects that I have never done before and I like DIY kinds of things. So I’ve made a treehouse for my kids, a quilt for my son’s graduation, numerous 3D birthday cakes, I crocheted a rug out of ripped up bed sheets, and I cut my kids’ beds in half horizontally to convert them from platform beds to normal beds. My most recent fail, though, was trying to repair an external hard drive by myself. The silver lining was that I learned a lot about hard drives.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
For Door to Freedom, my most difficult obstacle was trying to accurately portray life in a difficult place in a way that is also entertaining. This involved a lot of trying to explain things through story that are almost impossible to describe unless the reader has seen it for themselves. This was a challenge, but I think I mostly got it right.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Keep writing! And don’t give up. If you love it, do it and keep your eyes open for opportunities, but don’t ever stop writing.

Tell us about the featured book.
Door to Freedom is about following Christ. That phrase carries infinitely different meanings depending on who you are and where you live. Mia is an American Christian and Rania is a Sudanese Muslim and both have chosen to follow Christ. What happens when opposition comes their way? That’s what Door to Freedom is all about.

Please give us the first page of the book.
“You’re a frog in a pot.” That’s what Mia Weston’s mother would say when she heard the news. “The water is boiling all around you, and you don’t even know it.” Maybe she was right.

Mia pondered the thought as she piled the breakfast dishes in the kitchen sink. For two years she and Michael lived and raised their family in North Sudan. The Islamic country often made news headlines because of human rights violations and strict adherence to Sharia law. She couldn’t blame her mother for being concerned. But the Sudanese people Mia and her family knew were kind and friendly. Mia and Michael planned to renew their contract with Kellar Hope Foundation and stay an additional two years.

Mia imagined the conversation she would have with her mother over video chat. Mia would explain, once again, how Kellar Hope Foundation was providing food and clothing and better health care and education for refugees in Sudan. She would sell the vision for humanitarian aid organizations like Kellar Hope. And remind her that by legally living and working in Sudan, they had a unique opportunity to also share the gospel with their friends and neighbors. Then her mother would remind her that Sudan was not stable and that the risks outweighed the good they were doing. The conversation would end with an agreement to disagree, and a sincere but sad, “I love you, Mia.” Followed by her own frustrated, “I love you, too, Mom.”

That conversation would come later. First, she and Michael would go to dinner to celebrate their decision to stay. He had already dropped off nine-year-old Corey and six-year-old Annie at school and headed to the foundation’s office to sign the contract papers. Beth, Mia’s best friend, agreed to babysit Corey, Annie, and four-year-old Dylan. And to think that Michael had cleared his schedule and arranged it all himself. He could be so romantic sometimes.

For free sample chapters visit

How can readers find you on the Internet?
You can find me at where I also have links to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Thank you, Jana, for sharing this new book with us. I have a dear friend who is a missionary in Africa. I’m eager to read your story.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Door to Freedom -
Door to Freedom: A Contemporary Novel - Amazon
Door to Freedom: A Contemporary Novel - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (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.

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Connie said...

This sounds like a great read! Thanks for sharing.
Connie from KY

Abigail Mitchell said...

This looks like a great story! Would love to read it.
Abigail in VA

Raechel said...

Oh I really want to read this one! I read the first book and really enjoyed it. :)
Thanks for the interview and giveaway!
Raechel in MN

Melody B said...

Sounds like such a good story. I would love to read it!
Thank you for the chance to win.

Melody B (Que, Canada)

EJ said...

Wow - I haven't read any Christian fiction that is set in Sudan. Looking forward to reading this book. Thanks for the great interview - Jana tackles some interesting DIY projects! Elaine in Wisconsin

Melanie Backus said...

I would love to read this one and I thank you for the opportunity .

Melanie Backus, TX

Caryl Kane said...

Sounds like a wonderful story!

Caryl K in TEXAS

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway SC.

Heather said...

I loved the first book & cant wait to read this one.
Heather in Texas

Becky Jenkins said...

Becky J from Idaho,USA - interested in the drawing ��So proud of you Jana & all your hard work to share these stories. You're an inspiration!

rubynreba said...

Thanks for the great review! Love to read this.
Beth from IA

Anonymous said...

Karin from Malaysia...loved book one and can't wait for another from jana!

Unknown said...

Borgar from Norway.