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I am so excited to have author Jennifer Slattery on my blog today. I love how she writes about real people and isn’t afraid to touch on the parts of life that we do not always want to talk about. Her latest book, Healing Love really tugged at my heart and made me think about those less fortunate, plus a love story came with it. That’s a winner in my book. 🙂
I’ve asked Jennifer to tell us a little bit about herself and her newest release, Healing Love. You can check out my review of it here. And now, without further ado, please give a warm welcome to:
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Jennifer: Thanks so much for having me on your site! I live just outside Omaha, Nebraska in a town called Papillion. I’m originally from the west coast, but I’ve fallen in love with the Midwest, its people, and its four seasons. My husband and I just celebrated our 22nd anniversary (wow, that makes me feel old!), and we’re empty nesters who are simultaneously enjoying our time with one another and missing our adult daughter!
Loraine: 22 years! Wow, that is awesome. I love the name of your little town, by the way. 🙂
What are you working on now?
Jennifer: I have my hands in numerous projects. I’ve got a fair number of speaking engagements lined up in the coming year, so I’m trying to prepare ahead for them. I’m revising a cowboy romance set in a small, fictional town in the Texas Hill Country. I’m also updating a proposal for a tween devotional I hope to get to my agent by the end of this month.
Loraine: Jennifer founded the Wholly Loved ministry which “helps women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ”. Doesn’t that sound like such a great ministry? Check out her website for more details on that.
What do you do when you are not writing?
Jennifer: Is that a thing? Haha. I’d say I’m probably revising or dreaming up my next project. Or reading. I might … eh, hem … spend a tad too much time reading, especially at night when I should be sleeping.
Lately, I’ve been feeling the nudge to dive in to some nonfiction projects. I’m not entirely sure what that will look like, and if it’ll turn into anything more than articles and a blog series, but I’m staying open to God’s leading, however He chooses to lead. 🙂
What is your favorite place to be?
Jennifer: Home by far. I can be incredibly outgoing and I have no problem being around people, but I cherish the time I spend alone in my office, with no one but me and my imaginary characters. I also love visiting new coffeehouses! I have a few that are my favorite, but there’s something fun about trying new locations and settings. I also love going for walks on the bike path near our neighborhood though we’re in a hot spell, so I don’t do that so much in the summer.
About your latest release, Healing Love:
What inspired you to write this novel?
Jennifer: The idea for this story came as I was flying home from a week long mission trip to El Salvador. At the time, all I had was a vague idea, but I knew the ending. Normally, that doesn’t happen. My stories usually start with a character that won’t leave me alone. I’ll know her struggle, her insecurities, her dreams, and soon, her arc. The plot points and endings usually evolve slowly.
Healing Love is partially set in El Salvador. What made you chose this particular setting for your book?
Jennifer: The setting arose from our family’s trip to the country when I absolutely fell in love with the culture and the land. It’s such a beautiful area with wild coconut trees, green everywhere you turn, and some of the nicest, most hospitable people you’ll ever meet.
One thing that struck me, when we were there, is how united the body of Christ is. When were driving around, visiting various restaurants, etc., our translator would introduce us to other Christians, saying, with great enthusiasm, “She’s a sister!” Or, “He’s a brother!” I left wondering how I could take that same attitude and love back with me to the states.
Brooke, Ubaldo, and Fatima are the main characters in Healing Love. How did you choose those names for your characters?
Jennifer: With Brooke, I’m not sure. Somehow her name just felt right. Fatima was the name of a young girl we met at the orphanage we served at. Ubaldo just seemed like a strong, intriguing El Salvadoran name. 🙂
What would you like your readers to take away from this book?
Jennifer: First and foremost, that God is and always will be love. He doesn’t just love, it’s who He is. In the story, I used the story of Hagar, an Egyptian slave biblical scholars believe was given to Sarai/Sarah when she and Abram/Abraham fled Egypt in Genesis 12. Though Scripture tells us, once she had Abram’s child, she treated Sarai with contempt, I can’t help feel sorry for her. To think, to be given to someone as their property, then she was given to Abram as a surrogate mother, and then she and her child were sent away into the wilderness.
The ancient wilderness with wild animals, no fast food joints or convenience stores. Not to mention they had to leave everyone they’d come to know—the other slaves they’d probably grown close to. And I imagine Ishmael loved Abram, his dad, so that had to hurt. In other words, Hagar and her kiddo were in a really bad place.
But it was there, in their desperate place, in the middle of their wilderness, that God met them. I find that to be such a beautiful picture of His love and grace! When everyone else and everything else fails, God’s there!
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Loraine: Jennifer, thank you so much for visiting us today and for sharing your heart for God’s love of us. It truly doesn’t get any better than that does it?
More about Jennifer: Author, speaker, and ministry leader Jennifer Slattery writes for Crosswalk.com and is the managing and acquiring editor for Guiding Light Women’s Fiction, an imprint with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She believes fiction has the power to transform lives and change the culture. Healing Love is her sixth novel, and it was birthed during a trip she and her family took to El Salvador that opened her eyes to the reality of generational poverty and sparked a love for orphans and all who’ve experienced loss.
Her deepest passion is to help women experience God’s love and discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she travels with her team to various churches to speak to women and help them experience the love and freedom only Christ can offer. When not writing, editing, or speaking, you’ll likely find her chatting with her friends or husband in a quiet, cozy coffeehouse. Visit her online at Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud and connect with her and her Wholly Loved team at Wholly Loved.
More about Healing Love:
Genre: Women’s fiction with a strong romantic thread
Dual setting—Southern California, and El Salvador
A news anchor intern has it all planned out, and love isn’t on the agenda.
Brooke Endress is on the cusp of her lifelong dream when her younger sister persuades her to chaperone a mission trip to El Salvador. Packing enough hand sanitizer and bug spray to single-handedly wipe out malaria, she embarks on what she hopes will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
But Brooke is blindsided by the desperation for hope and love she sees in the orphans’ eyes. And no less by the connection she feels with her handsome translator. As newfound passion blooms, Brooke wrestles with its implications for her career dreams.
Ubaldo Chavez, teacher and translator, knows the struggle that comes with generational poverty. But he found the way out – education – and is determined to help his students rise above.
When he agrees to translate for a mission team from the United States he expects to encounter a bunch of “missional tourists” full of empty promises. Yet an American news anchor defies his expectations, and he finds himself falling in love. But what does he have to offer someone with everything?
Be sure to check out Jennifer’s newest release plus her other books at her website, but before you go, please take a minute to give Jennifer some reader love by commenting. Thanks!! 🙂