Meet author Jackie M. Johnson

Jackie M. Johnson is an author and blogger who inspires readers worldwide with practical help and biblical hope to grow a better life. Jackie is the author of the popular Power Prayers for Women, the helpful breakup recovery book,  When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty and the inspiring Praying with Power When Life Gets Tough. She blogs at www.jackiejohnsoncreative.com and Living Single on Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk website.

Tell us about your newest book.

Praying with Power When Life Gets Tough is my most recent book. It’s a helpful resource for people going through challenging times. When you’re stressed or depressed—or you feel like giving up—you can find encouraging stories and powerful prayers that will speak to your need.

The book is arranged so you can turn to the topic you need at the moment, or read it from beginning to end. Some of the issues covered in the book include: When Life is a Mess, When You Feel Like Giving Up, When You’re Busy and Stressed, When You Have Health Concerns, When You Have Relationship Issues, and When You Feel Distant from God. I want people to know that prayer is powerful because God is powerful. Hope and help are just a prayer away.

What genre do you focus on and why?

I write nonfiction books. I want to help people “grow a better life.” And, that means not only knowing more about who God is but also experiencing firsthand how He helps us in our daily lives. I want people to know the power available to them that God provides. He helps us to love better, forgive when we don’t feel like it, and have the strength to live this hard and messy life with contentment and joy.

Two of my books have been on the topic of prayer. One book was for single and single again readers on how to get over a relationship breakup.

Why do you write? What drives you?

Most people are busy and stressed. They want to have a better life, more joy, a loving family, and so much more. But often they get swept away in the busyness of life and get emotionally and spiritually parched.

Through my books and blogs, I want to offer a cold glass of water to desert-dry hearts. I want to bring hope and encouragement to life-weary souls and point them to God—and all He offers us. Love. Joy. Peace. Power for living. Healing. Wisdom. Courage. Fortitude. A New Perspective. Eternal Life. And, so much more. I write for singles. I write for women. I write for anyone who needs hope and joy.

What is the hardest part of being an author? Why?

For me, one of the hardest things about being an author is finding time to write. I have a full-time job and I am an author and blogger. I also do all of my own marketing, social media and PR. As most authors know, we wear many hats to write and promote our books.

I’ve learned that it’s not about finding time, but about making time for writing. It’s about choices. Generally, what I do is: work all day at my full-time job, come home and eat dinner, relax for a bit, and then I choose to get myself in the chair in front of my computer and write—even if it’s for a short time.

What’s the best part of your author’s life? Why?

The best part of my author life is helping readers to know our amazing and loving God more, and inspire them to have more hope and joy, courage and confidence in their daily lives. I also enjoy expressing my creativity and changing the world with words.

What are you most proud of?

In addition to the English language, all of my books are also translated into Portuguese. One is in Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and soon Afrikaans. It makes my heart happy to know that people all over the world can learn more about God, and find heart healing and hope through my writing.

What is your favorite pastime?

It’s hard to pick just one! I love to write, read, go to movies, be out in nature and do nature photography, travel, and spend time with friends and family.

Do you have other books?

Yes! Power Prayers for Women, which offers inspiring content and short, starter prayers for 21 areas of a woman’s life—like praying for your family, your emotions, your dreams and goal, your job, your church, your nation and more. Each prayer is derived from Scripture, so you’ll be “praying the Word,” the most powerful way to pray.

My other book is a helpful breakup recovery resource for single or single again readers called, When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty. This book provides practical help and biblical insight to help you get out of emotional darkness and into the light of a brighter and better future.

What are you working on now?

I write a blog called “Living Single” for singles of all ages on Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk website: https://www.drjamesdobson.org/blogs/living-single-blog

I am also working on a book proposal for my next nonfiction book. Someday I would love to write fiction and a screenplay.

Website: www.jackiejohnsoncreative.com

Link to book:

Praying With Power When Life Gets Tough:

https://www.amazon.com/Praying-Power-When-Life-Tough/dp/0800727363/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535075428&sr=8-1&keywords=praying+with+power+when+life+gets+tough

Social media links:

Facebook: Jackie M. Johnson – Author https://www.facebook.com/Jackie-M-Johnson-Author-188809573072/

Twitter: @jackiecreative https://twitter.com/jackiecreative

Pinterest: Jackie M. Johnson

https://www.pinterest.com/jackiecreative/?autologin=true

Instagram: jackiejohnsoncreative

 

 

 

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Christmas Charity, Susan’s novella, is out!

Hi friends! I’m thrilled to let you know that my newest book has just come out. Here’s a little more about it.

Anne Greene, multi-published, award-winning author, said, “This truly delightful novella goes straight to the reader’s heart. I love the Irish traditions and the family interactions. Susan Hawkins’ difficulties as a stepmother are real issues of life today and Susan G Mathis, does a masterful job showing the wise solution. This story grips the reader from the first scene to the last. Based on a true story, the reader will want to put this novella on her keeper shelf and reread it often.”

[Click here to buy Christmas Charity now.]

What’s Christmas Charity about?

Susan Hawkins and Patrick O’Neill find that an arranged marriage is much harder than they think, especially when they emigrate from Wolfe Island, Canada, to Cape Vincent, New York, in 1864, just a week after they marry—with Patrick’s nine-year-old daughter, Lizzy, in tow. Can twenty-three-year-old Susan Hawkins learn to love her forty-nine-year-old husband and find charity for her angry stepdaughter? She hope so—before Christmas comes.

Who’s your main character?

Susan is the ten-year-old girl from my debut novel, The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy. If you haven’t read it yet, get it here. Susan is all grown up now and loving her teaching job on Wolfe Island. But when her parents betroth to a man twenty-six years her elder and the new family moves to America just days after the wedding, life gets tough, especially when she becomes an instant stepmother.

How would you describe your writing to someone who hasn’t read any of your books?  As with The Fabric of Hope, my writing is full of faith, hope, and love. My writing style is inspiring, yet a little pensive, for I deal with real topics that happen to real people, whether they live in the 1800s or today.

What inspired you to write Christmas Charity?After the great feedback from so many readers who enjoyed The Fabric of Hope, several wanted to know more about Susan, my great grandmother, whom I’m named after. Susan really was given in an arranged marriage to my great grandfather, Patrick, and yes, he was twenty-six years older. Oh my! I thought it’d be fun to write about such a marriage.

How did you research your book? My cousins did a lot of research on our ancestry, and I did extensive research about the history and culture, the customs, and so much more. I also enjoyed visiting Wolfe Island, Canada, and Cape Vincent, NY several times, and have made friends in both places.

Do you have any photos of the setting of your book?Since I didn’t have photos of my great grandparents, the man who represents Patrick is actually my grandfather. I have many, many photos of the setting—both Wolfe Island and Cape Vincent—on my website and Facebook pages. I hope you’ll check them out.

What’s your next project? Katelyn’s Choice releases on March 15thwith Lighthouse Publishing, and it’s the first in the Thousand Islands Gilded Age series!

It’s the story of nineteen-year-old Katelyn Kavanagh who leaves her family’s struggling farm to work on Pullman Island for the famous George Pullman. There she finds herself serving powerful men such as President Ulysses S. Grant, and Generals Sherman and Sheridan—and falling in love with her best friend’s brother. Katelyn gains popularity with some of her friends by spilling the sensitive high society gossip she’s privy to. But when she overhears a possibly damaging presidential conversation, she knows she can’t tell anyone. She could lose her job—and endanger the president’s 1872 reelection—and jeopardize her relationship with the man of her dreams. Still, the scandalous news just keeps begging to be told…

I hope you’ll consider picking up Christmas Charity and/or The Fabric of Hope for yourself—and don’t forget they’d make great Christmas gifts.  [Click here to get Christmas Charity.]

Kathi Macias, bestselling author of more than 50 books, including To the Moon and Back said, “Christmas Charity is an absolutely delightful read—at Christmas or any time! With her lovable, well-defined characters and captivating storyline, the story carries the reader with it. I hope this is among the first of many such offerings from this talented author!”

 

 

 

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Meet Ellie Gustafson

Ellie Gustafson grew up in Branchville NJ, in a county with more cows than people. She attended Wheaton College in Illinois as a music major, then married a pastor/college professor/tree farmer/organist and writer. Together, they have three children and eight grandchildren. Ellie’s early writing attempts saw friends—and even her mother—advising her to stick to music as a career. An Unpresentable Glory is her sixth novel.

Tell us about your newest book.

An Unpresentable Glory is a multi-dimensioned love story. A stranger, more dead than alive, shows up in Linda’s garden. She cares for him and only later learns who he really is. An investigative reporter uncovers the secret, and both Linda and her guest are vilified.

The story has an American Indian component. Kill the Indian, and save the manbecame the watchword of this brutal project. Other fascinating stories are woven together in this complex tapestry that blazons the glory of God.

What genre do you focus on and why?

I’ve jumped around a fair amount, for no other reason than I wanted to. Imaginations are, after all . . . imaginative. I’ve written contemporary, time travel, speculative, and biblical fiction.

Why do you write? What drives you?

My mother fed me story from a young age, and it nourished my DNA. God first touched me through story and then made the bigger story come alive. I love Him passionately and want to communicate His love.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

The book has two main characters. One goes by the name Jay in the first few chapters, but telling more would spoil things. Linda’s official name is Kileenda Jensen. Her parents, deep-rooted in Westchester County, New York, had made tiresomely sure she knew her uncommon heritage and social standing. Linda, though, was comfortable with a plain name because her real worth did not rest on money or position. I waffled between two names—Kileenda and Eileenda—both patterned after a missionary friend named Kyleen.

What is the hardest part of being an author? Why?

Marketing is hard. You have to know things that are foreign to story DNA. Market resources are available, but my math-challenged brain is also marketing challenged. I do, however, love doing blogs and interviews. Thank you, Susan!

God has been gracious, though.  At a recent conference, I was feeling bad about my tendency to misuse people’s time and confessed it to God. When I returned to my book table, a young man came with money in hand to buy a book. Gift enough, but we somehow got talking about King David, and I asked if he would like me to read a passage from The Stones. He sat enthralled as I read of the prophet Nathan’s confrontation with David over his sin with Bathsheba. He loved it and declared his intention of buying the Kindle version. I, in return, hugged him for allowing me to read (which I love doing and do well). I saw this as a special, handcrafted gift from God.

What’s the best part of your author’s life? Why?

Loving and talking with people about things that matter is right up there.

What is the craziest thing you’ve experienced as an author?

En route to a TV presentation, I belatedly realized that airport Security takes a dim view of penknives in jeans pockets, and I had forgotten to shift mine from my pocket to my luggage. What to do? Spotting a large, potted plant near the door, I looked around surreptitiously and “planted” the knife next to the stem and went through the line. I returned the next day, retrieved the knife—damp and dirty—and left the airport smiling. Cathy at Whitaker House said, “Thank God we didn’t get a call from the county jail to post bail for you!”

What are you most proud of?

I think I take the most pleasure (not pride) in the gift of Love that God has granted me. It’s not natural to me, and it came relatively recently. I love people—in church, in whatever book venues, on email—and receive much love in return. Here’s a quote from a book I’m currently reading: “Christianity is the world’s great love religion. . . . The Christian God woos us with love and works our transformation through love” (Surrender to Loveby David Benner).

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

I have five:Appalachian Spring, Wild Harvest, Middle Night,The Stones, and Dynamo.

What are you working on now?

My next project is to stop writing. In what time remains to me, I hope to have space to smell the roses, read for pleasure, and listen to music that makes me cry. The segue into heaven could be abrupt and definitive, but it could also be reflective of a life full of learning and adventure, of growing into the real person that God has been shaping these many years.

Website:www.eleanorgustafson.com

Link to book:An Unpresentable Glory https://tinyurl.com/y9lpft6a

Social media links:

Facebook: Ellie Gustafson

Twitter: @EgusEllie

Pinterest: Ellie K Gustafson

Goodreads: Eleanor Gustafson

 

 

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An interview with Susan G Mathis

Hey friends,

Several of you wanted a deeper look into me as an author. Why? Beats me. But since you asked, here it is. Enjoy!

Smiles, Susan

~ ~ ~

 

How would you describe your writing to someone who hasn’t read any of your books?  I currently have five published books, and I have three more coming out in the next twelve months—one in November—so standby for more.

My debut novel, The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, hooked me on writing fiction, and I’m excited to turn my attention to writing historical fiction full-time. In fact, I have so much fun with it that just a few weeks ago I wrote 8,667 words in one day—almost three chapters of my newest book!

My journey has been multi-faceted, and I consider my writing as ministry. My first two books are Tyndale published nonfiction premarital books—The ReMarriage Adventure and Countdown for Couples. I also have two published children’s picture books—Lexie’s Adventure in Kenya: Love is Patient and Princess Madison’s Rainbow Adventure. You can find more information and links right here on my website or on Amazon.

I’m also published in several compilations as well. And as the former Editorial Director at Focus on the Family of 12 unique publications and Founding Editor of Thriving Family magazine, I’ve done a lot of writing. I can’t remember not writing. I’ve taught Language Arts for nine years to 4-8 graders, had my own newspaper column, wrote missions curriculum, and have written just about anything God put in my path. It’s been a really fun journey!

What inspired you to write The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy?  I swore I’d never write fiction, but never say never! My hubby and I went to Angela Breidenbach’s book talk/signing, and after we left, I jokingly said, “I could write a story about a quilt!” I then proceeded to tell him the entire story, and he said, “Well, write it!” Thus began my journey of writing The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb? The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacyis the story of a 1850s Irish immigrant and a 21st-century single mom who are connected by faith, family, and a quilt.

How did you research or plan your book? My cousins did lots of research on our ancestory, so that was the basis for the 1850s immigrants. But I did extensive research about the Irish potato famine, the history and culture, the customs, and so much more. I also visited Ireland and Wolfe Island, Canada, and my hubby and me event went to Ireland to see where it all began. It was an epic trip!

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book? Any woman who enjoys historical and contemporary fiction would find The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy interesting. The book is full of history, family, faith, and most of all, hope.

Do you relate best to any one of your characters?  The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy is based on my family story—my great great grandmother, Margaret, and loosely based on my story as well. The hardest part about writing Maggie’s story was not holding tooclosely to my story!

Do you have any photos of the setting of your book?  The antique photo on the cover that represents Margaret is my grandmother. I have many, many photos of the setting on my website and Facebook pages.

Tell us about any places your characters visit that you’d encourage readers to visit. Northern Ireland, upstate New York, Wolfe Island, Canada, and Colorado Springs. By the way, all of my novels are set in the beautiful Thousand Islands in upstate New York. If you haven’t been there, you definitely should add it to your bucket list.

How does your personal experience enrich this book?Oh my! It’s all about personal experiences! The historical family, my ancestors, have six children from ages nine months to thirteen years. Can you imagine immigrating on a famine ship with six kids? And how did they feel leaving Ireland and moving to the New World? The contemporary character has her own struggles similar to my past. She’s a single mother who has lots of challenges, especially when her only daughter nearly dies in Africa. Yes, it is two stories of my personal journey in one novel.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book? I’m a Morning Dove, so after working out at the Y, I spend most of my mornings and early afternoons plugging away on my computer, dreaming up a fine story, and creating characters that connect to the reader.

What’s your next project? I actually have three: Christmas Charity comes out November 1 and it’s about Susan, the ten year old in The Fabric of Hope. She’s all grown up now, and Susan Hawkins and Patrick O’Neill find that an arranged marriage is much harder than they think, especially when they emigrate from Wolfe Island, Canada, to Cape Vincent, New York, in 1864, just a week after they marry—with Patrick’s nine-year-old daughter, Lizzy, in tow. Can twenty-three-year-old Susan Hawkins learn to love her forty-nine-year-old husband and find charity for her angry stepdaughter?

In March, the first in the Thousand Islands Gilded Age series comes out. Katelyn’s Choice is the story of nineteen-year-old Katelyn Kavanagh who leaves her family’s struggling farm to work on Pullman Island for the famous George Pullman. There she finds herself serving powerful men such as President Ulysses S. Grant, and Generals Sherman and Porter—and falling in love with her best friend’s brother. Katelyn gains popularity with some of her friends by spilling the sensitive high society gossip she’s privy to. But when she overhears a possibly damaging presidential conversation, she knows she can’t tell anyone. She could lose her job—and endanger the president’s 1872 reelection—and jeopardize her relationship with the man of her dreams. Still, the scandalous news just keeps begging to be told…

Next summer, Sara’s Surprise comes out. It’s the story of Sara, Katelyn’s best friend and kitchen maid from Katelyn’s Choice. More to come about this soon.

And now I’m working on the second book in The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series. It’s about Singer Castle on Dark Island. Intrigued? I am!

Do you have any writing quirks or quirky habits when you’re on deadline? When I’m writing, I love to sip a cup of tea from a fine china teacup and burn a lovely scented candle. Hey, I’m Irish and I love sensory stimulation. Smiles.

What person has been most beneficial to your writing career? My husband has been my cheerleader, my coach, my confidant, my comforter, and my godsend through all the challenges, changes, and accomplishments.

What’s one unusual fact about you? I grew up very, very Irish. I went to St. Patrick’s church and school. St. Patrick’s Day was my family’s biggest celebration. All that has rubbed off in the pages of The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy.

What’s your passion in life? Loving others—my husband, family, friends, and grandkids. But my writing passion is to bring God glory.

Hope you enjoyed that. Stay in touch for more!

 

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Meet Andrea Boeshaar

Andrea’s publishing career began in 1994 when her first novel was released by Heartsong Presents book club (Barbour Publishing). In 2007, Andrea earned her certification in Christian life coaching and she’ll soon earn her bachelor’s degree in Business Management.

Meanwhile, Andrea continues to write. Her latest releases include: Give Me Thine Heart and Love’s Guiding Light (Steeple View Publishing). In 2019, the long-awaited third installment in her Shenandoah Valley Saga will release.

Tell us about your newest book.

My latest release is Love’s Guiding Light. It is a historical romance about a young woman fearing the loss of her home at the North Point Light and the men in her life who attempt to help her—but only one is successful.

The story is set here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is centered around the North Point Lighthouse. I grew up not far from the lighthouse which fell into disrepair by the time I set out to research it back in 1999. At the time the Coast Guard owned it and I wasn’t allowed inside the cottage or tower for fear it might be unsafe. Now, however, it’s owned by a private entity who has fixed and refurbished the North Point Light and visitors are welcome.

What genre do you focus on and why?

My work is more-or-less Christian historical romance. Some books contain more romance than others and some are even lighter on Christianity than others—mostly because of publishers’ requirements. Now that I’m a hybrid author, however, and one who is concentrating on the Indie side of hybrid, I can enjoy writing the stories God puts on my heart. I’m not beholden to a publisher’s guidelines, and it’s quite freeing. It almost feels like the way Christian romance / fiction used to be in the 1990s.

Why do you write? What drives you?

I write because I can’t NOT write. Oh, I take breaks, but sooner or later, I’m drawn back to my pen and journal (to write devotionals) or the computer keyboard. I suppose it’s the same reply a musician might give if asked a similar question. He cannot stop making music like he cannot willfully stop his heart from beating. So it is with me and writing.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

My main character’s names are Amanda and Ezra. For him, I wanted a less-common, biblical name and for her, I wanted a name that brought a strong yet naïve young lady to mind—I don’t mean that in a negative way at all. Quite the opposite as you’ll see that Amanda in Love’s Guiding Light is quite a force to be reckoned with.

What does a day in your writing world look like?

I like to write early in the morning—sometimes before it’s even daylight. I don’t shower or get dressed, I write while wearing my jammies. I usually get a couple of hours in before getting ready for my day job. Unfortunately, I’m unable to write for a living.

What is the hardest part of being an author? Why?

Being an author is hard work. Period. Why? Because authors aren’t paid by the hour for what they do. In fact, sometimes they are not paid at all.

Before going Indie, I fretted over making back my advances from my publishers and worried about disappointing my editors. I think many times my fear got in the way of good writing. Now that I can impose my own deadlines and my company is publishing my stories, I feel freer because no one is investing in me—except me. I also have a very good critique partner and editor, both are distinguished in the publishing world. I don’t want readers to conclude that going Indie means my work gets published unchecked. It does not. There are still rewrites and revisions to deal with—and even then, having to pay my editor, a formatter, a cover creator, an author may not see a single monetary reward. And that’s just the beginning investment. Next comes the advertising.

Yes, there is much to consider as an author. I like to say that typing “The End” on a manuscript really means it’s just the beginning.

What’s the best part of your author’s life? Why?

The best part of being an author is getting that email or handwritten letter from a reader who says my story changed her life somehow. The readers who contact me range in age from 12 to 94 and it makes my day when an email from a reader pops into my inbox. That’s the reason I write. I write for my readers. I write to show faith in Christ in action so readers’ faith might be strengthened somehow.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my family. I have a husband of 40 years who still loves me; I have three grown sons who each has his Master’s Degree. I have a wonderful daughter-in-law and 5 precious grandchildren. They are my pride and joy.

What is your favorite pastime?

I enjoy family get-togethers which, now that the grandkids are getting older and busier the get-togethers are, unfortunately, few and far between. I also enjoy Civil War Re-enactments. I LOVE Christmastime. I love the baking, the shopping and buying gifts for others. It’s September as I write this, and I was just thinking this morning that I should wrap all the gifts I have already purchased so little eyes don’t spy them in my closet. They know where Grammy keeps them.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

Yes, I’ve written quite a few books. Readers can find them on my Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Andrea-Boeshaar/e/B001JPCEJK/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

What are you working on now?

I’m writing the third installation of my Shenandoah Valley Saga. This book is called There Is A Season. I anticipate the release date to be April 2019.

Website:  https://andreaboeshaar.com/

Link to book: https://www.amazon.com/Loves-Guiding-Light-Andrea-Boeshaar-ebook/dp/B07F6JD59C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536609351&sr=8-1&keywords=love%27s+guiding+light

Social media links:

Twitter: @AndreaBoeshaar

Facebook: @Andrea.Boeshaar

 

 

 

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