*Contest Following the Interview*
As a child, Jennifer AlLee lived above a mortuary in the heart of Hollywood, California, which may explain her unique outlook on life. Her publishing credits include The Love of His Brother, a contemporary romance from Five Star Publishing (November 2007) as well as skits, activity pages, and over one hundred contributions to Concordia Publishing House’s popular My Devotions series. Her latest novel, The Pastor’s Wife, released February 1, 2010 from Abingdon Press. She’s an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers and serves as the Nevada Area Coordinator. Jennifer resides in the grace-filled city of Las Vegas, Nevada with her husband and teenage son. Please visit her website at http://jenniferalleesite.blogspot.com/
I absolutely love the cover of your latest book, The Pastor’s Wife. What was it like to see your book in its finished form and hold it in your hands for the first time?
Thanks, Sharon. It was quite a thrill! Even though I’d seen the final version in PDF form, there’s nothing like seeing it in 3D. I can’t tell you how pleased I am with the artist’s interpretation of my work. The Abingdon team has a real knack at creating amazing covers.
Maura Sullivan never intended to set foot in Granger, Ohio, again. But when circumstances force her to return, she must face all the disappointments she tried so hard to leave behind: a husband who ignored her, a congregation she couldn’t please, and a God who took away everything she loved.
Nick Shepherd had put the past behind him. At least he thought he had, until the day his estranged wife walked back into town. Intending only to help Maura through her crisis of faith, Nick finds his feelings for her never died. Now, he must face the mistakes he made and find a way to give and receive forgiveness.
As God works in both their lives, Nick and Maura believe they can repair their broken relationship and reunite as man and wife. But Maura has something to tell Nick before they can move forward. It’s what ultimately drove her to leave six years earlier, and the one thing that can destroy the fragile trust they’ve begun to rebuild.
How has your spiritual walk with the Lord shaped your writing?
I never set out to write a “message” book. Instead, I want to write engaging stories that will entertain and uplift people. Naturally, my relationship with the Lord is part of that. I believe the best way to share my faith with others is to live it. In the same way, the characters in my books experience their faith (or lack thereof). Through their struggles and triumphs, you can see how God works in their lives. Like it says in John 13:35, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
How do you balance writing, family, and church activities?
Some days I do it better than others! It’s a huge blessing that I don’t have another job outside of writing (thanks to my hard working husband). My son is sixteen, so beyond chauffeuring him back and forth to school, he’s fairly self-sufficient. My biggest challenge is working out my own schedule. The temptation is to put things off till the last minute. What I try to do is work on my new writing and editing during the day when the house is quiet. It’s easier for me to write blog posts and do marketing and networking stuff when there’s more noise, so I save that for the evening. As for church activities, right now, I’m in a somewhat fallow season. In the past, I’ve been extremely active in worship team and drama ministry, among other things. And I believe the time will come when I can pick those things up again. For now, I do the scripture reading one Sunday a month, attend a weekly Bible study, and pray for people. When God’s got more for me, He’ll let me know.
What are you reading right now?
I’m almost done reading Wildflowers of Terezin by Robert Elmer. It’s a truly moving story about the underground efforts to save Danish Jews during WWII. Of course, like most writers, I have a huge to-be-read pile. In the stack is Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes, A Matter of Character by Robin Lee Hatcher, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg.
Thanks for letting me visit with you and your readers, Sharon. Blessings to all!
Contest time! Jennifer has graciously offered to giveaway The Pastor’s Wife to one lucky blog reader. To enter the drawing, leave a comment and your email address in the following format reader[at]blogsphere[dot]com. The contest winner will be announced April 27th. Chances of winning depends on the number of entries. Contest open to U.S. residents only.