Saturday, August 9, 2014

Interview & #Giveaway with Jennifer Slattery

Howdy y'all! Crystal here, and have I got a great gal for you to meet today. Jennifer Slattery is one my writer friends from ACFW, and her new story Beyond I Do is bound to bless many readers. Maybe even you. :) She's giving away a copy to one of today's commenters.

So Jennifer, tell us a bit about yourself.

Now that's a scary invitation. ;) I'm often goofy, sometimes moody, and always and forever deeply in love with Jesus. Having been married to a railroader for the past 19 years, I've moved a fair amount but have finally landed and put down roots in the blizzardy-tornadoey-sweltering-hot midwest. (A place I love, despite what my non-flattering description implies.) I have a sixteen-year-old daughter who fills our home with laughter and has one more year before she launches off to college. I have a fierce addiction to flavored coffee and frozen yogurt, and when I'm not writing or hanging out with my family, I'm buried deep in a book of almost any genre.

A railroader? I'm sure there's a story in that. :) Speaking of stories...Congratulations on your newest release! What is Beyond I Do about? 

It's about a pharmaceutical representative who, in her quest for security, lost sight of who God created and called her to be. Which is kind of a problem, considering she's about to make a life-long commitment.

Will seeing beyond the present unite them or tear them apart?

Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.
Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignites a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancĂ©. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.

Where did you get the inspiration for your story?

Much of this story came from the very depths of my heart. :) It centers on homelessness, striving to show the impoverished and homeless from a Christ-like perspective. I chose to do this because I went through a period of homelessness during my teen years, and years later as an adult and suburban housewife who successful hid her past, I often encountered some harsh statements from other Christians. Statements like: "If you give [the homeless] money, they're just going to drink." and "They choose to live on the streets." Or, "They did this to themselves."

Whenever those statements were made, they cut deep, and honestly, shocked me. I couldn't understand how one could proclaim the love of Christ, have the love of Christ dwelling within them, yet look with such disdain upon a human created by God's own hands. The more I thought and prayed about this, I came to realize this came from ignorance. Unless people had been there or encountered someone who had, they had no frame of reference from which to draw. I wanted to help them gain a different, hopefully more accurate, view of this broken and desperate population.

But now that the book has launched, I've come to see God had an even deeper role for this book and me. I've prayed on numerous occasions, "Why, Lord, did you choose to take a hopeless, homeless teen, set her in American suburbia, and give her a voice? Of all the people you could have created to write this book, why me?" The answer came very clearly: "So people would say no one, absolutely no one, is beyond my grace and transforming power."

That sounds like such a powerful story. I find it amazing how God uses our uniqueness in such special ways to glorify Him, and that is what it's all about.

Do you have a favorite scene in the book? If so, can you tell us a bit about it?

Oh, that's hard! There's one seen I find incredibly romantic, and that's where the heroine and her guy friend spend an evening at Kansas City's Plaza during the holidays. If you've never been to the plaza during Christmas time, I have to say, it's a must. The entire area is lit up, from trees to every storefront, and couples ride on horse drawn carriages--also lit up.

Ooo, that sounds beautiful. I'll have to put that on my bucket list of places to visit. :) What do you plan to work on next?

I've just finished plotting a third book to follow this one and am really hoping my publisher will contract it along with the second book in this series, Freedom to Love. I've been told I should be receiving substantive edits shortly on my second release, When Dawn Breaks, another missional romance scheduled to come out in 2015. I'm also researching a drama for Christ to the World Ministries, an international ministry that shares the gospel with 32 countries via radio waves. When I'm done with that, I plan to plot two books to follow When Dawn Breaks.

Wow, you are the busy bee. :) Where can readers connect with you? Where can readers buy your book?

Folks can connect with me at my personal website,, or on Facebook at As to where they can get the book--the normal online outlets like, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble, and their local bookstore. (If their favorite bookstore doesn't carry it, they can always have the store staff order it.)

Last but not least, apart from writing, what is your favorite creative outlet? 

Hm... Does shopping count? (I have a teenager. ;) ) My husband and I are taking a painting class, so we'll see where that goes. I'm looking forward to creative-date nights! And would you believe the class was his idea? Yep, he's a keeper.

Most definitely a keeper. :) Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Jennifer.

Thank you so much for having me, Crystal! I'd love to hear from your readers. In the novel, I included a scene set in one of the most romantic locations in Kansas City (in my opinion). Where was the most romantic location you've ever gone to?

(Remember y'all, commenters are entered in today's drawing, plus this month's grand-prize giveaway.)


  1. Ooo, the most romantic location I've ever gone to? Humm, I was born and raised in Michigan and a creek ran through my parent's property there. That's where my husband (of 30 yrs) proposed. Beside the creek with wildflowers all around and the breeze rustling through the trees. My brother lives there now, and every time we visit I'm whisked away to that moment. :)

    1. Ooo, I'd love to see that creek with the wildflowers.

    2. Hi, Michele,

      Sorry I'm late in responding. My other computer was acting goofy. That sounds so incredibly romantic! So, you said you've been back. Have you and hubby ever returned for a romantic get-away? I'm envisioning a picnic of chocolate covered strawberries and finger foods, a blanket to sit on, and maybe some soft music playing on a smartphone/MP3/iPad. :) Congrats on 30 years! That's awesome!

  2. Great interview, Crystal. Thanks for introducing us to Jennifer.

    Jen, I'm glad that you've brought up the subject of homelessness, because folks need to hear your side of the story too. In my experience, we've seen beggars on the side of the street that are a part of a type of 'ring', they don't want food, they don't want help, they just want money. I've had acquaintances that have tried to offer food or something of value besides money to one of these and ended up being cussed out by the individual. It's things like this that cause people to have that opinion about homeless people. Maybe you can shed some more light on this subject for people who've had and heard of these experiences.

    I'll be checking out your book! It has a beautiful cover, by the way.

    To answer the question, I've been to a LOT of really beautiful places, and I don't know how to pick which one is the most romantic. Last weekend we went up to Steamboat Springs, CO which is so, so beautiful this time of year. Nestled in a lush valley, surrounded by mountains, with a waterfall...swoon. I'm sharing pics and a trip report on my personal blog today if you'd like to see.

    Well, I must be off. I'm hoping to get a little writing done this morning. My dad is turning 50 years old today, so we're throwing him a Jubilee party.

    Amber Schamel
    Bringing HIStory to Life

    1. That sounds like a beautiful place, Amber. Hope your dad has a wonderful birthday!

    2. Hi, Amber! Thanks for the encouraging words! I can understand how frustrating that can be, to try to help someone who appears not to want help. I think that's why it's so important to follow God's leading in whatever we do. When we do that, then it doesn't matter how the other person responds. :) Plus, I try to remember that everyone has a backstory, even the hardest of hearts, and sometimes it takes a lot of consistent love before those thick and maybe even offensive walls begin to crumble. So I would probably suggest, keep loving and giving because one of these days, the acts of love just might stick and point the person to Jesus. :)

      I love, love, love Colorado! Hubby and I have been there often for romantic get-aways. We love Denver and Boulder. I'll have to go check your post out. :) Thanks for sharing the link!

  3. Really enjoyed the interview, and I'm looking forward to reading the book. Will it ever be a Kindle selection? As for the most romantic place I've ever been...probably New Orleans/Evangeline country. There's just something about that area...the hanging moss, old homes...

    1. That does sound like a lovely place to visit.

    2. Hi, Patricia!

      Yep, as far as I know, it'll be available in Kindle form. I've never been to New Orleans. We lived in LA for a year, and it was beautiful. So green and lush, and the cooking--oh, my! We'd talked about taking a trip to New Orleans, but then Katrina hit, and then we moved. We need to go back. :) Have you been to Savannah, GA? I love that city, and they have a tour you can go on that takes you through the city, pointing out historical areas and such. Lovely place!

  4. Thank you for a wonderful interview. Hawaii is a very romantic place.....we loved our visit there!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

    1. Ooo, I bet you got some great pictures from that visit. :-)

    2. Oh, yes, Hawaii! How wonderfully exotic! When did you go, and what was the most romantic thing you did there? We went to Hawaii for our honeymoon, and we went snorkeling, which was lovely, though the fish were so plentiful, I got a bit nervous and quickly got back in the boat. I wish I hadn't! I'd love to go again!

  5. Thank you so much for the introduction to Jennifer Slattery! We have visited lots of beautiful, romantic places. One that comes to mind is the Napa Valley.

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

    1. You're so welcome. :-)
      Napa Valley does bring to mind some beautiful images.

    2. Hi, Britney, thanks so much for stopping by! Oh, yes, Napa Valley would be incredibly romantic!

  6. Guess I should get about selecting a winner for Beyond I Do.
    And the winner is...
    Britney Adams

    Congratulations! I hope you enjoy the story. :-)

    1. Congrats, Britney! I can't wait to hear what you think of the story! Come back and tell us your favorite location or scene or character, when you finish reading it. :)

  7. Wonderful interview. Thanks Crystal and Jennifer.

    The most romantic place for me is Savannah, Georgia. Old houses with gingerbread trim, live oak with Spanish moss, lazy river with sea gulls overhead, sultry gardenia scented air, cobblestone streets with hidden nooks. Of course what made it romantic was my husband by my side.

    1. Hi, Elaine,

      That is so very sweet! How long have you two been married? I have to agree, Savanna is beautiful! Hm.... are there any romance novels set there? I'd love to read one. I love the south with its lush greenery, southern cooking, and old fashioned charm.