Welcome back Jennifer! Thanks for talking about your latest book.
This is your second release, correct? Can you tell us more about your novel?
Yes, When Dawn Breaks is my sophomore novel, my debut being Beyond I Do, which released in August of 2014. When Dawn Breaks is about a 51 year-old realtor who’s displaced by a hurricane. When a mandatory evacuation goes into effect for Jacqueline Dunn’s home town of Crystal Falls, she heads north, hoping to start over, find purpose, and reconnect with her embittered adult daughter.
Lonely and discouraged, she forms a quick friendship with a handsome widower named Jonathan. She also grows deeply attached to three children, also displaced by the storm, who’ve been abandoned by their mother.
Her relationship with Jonathan grows and both begin to wonder if perhaps they might have a second chance at love. But when a conspiracy comes to light at his work, he begins to consider relocating, and Jacqueline fears she won’t be able to count on him during the difficult days ahead. And then there are the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must Jacqueline relinquish her chance at having love again in order to be restored?
Are there any major themes or core issues prevalent in When Dawn Breaks?
Absolutely. The novel centers largely on the issue of Foster Care and God’s call to the believer to care for the orphan. But more than that, the novel focuses largely on the theme of surrender. Jacqueline has spent her entire adult life living for herself, and all that did was lead to a string of broken relationships, including with her daughter. And thanks to the hurricane, everything she’s spent decades working for is destroyed. All she has left is surrender, and yet, she begins to realize, that’s all she needs.
Surrender seems to be a common theme in your novels. Why is that?
Maybe that’s because it’s a common theme in my life. For me, everything comes down to surrender. In willingly relinquishing control and trusting God to know and do what’s best not only for me but for everyone I love. I was thinking about this today, actually—how surrender is the perfect anecdote for a host of emotional gunk. When we’re grumpy, if we dig deep enough, we’ll often find the toes of our selfish ambition got stepped on. When we’re anxious, it’s because we haven’t reached that place where we can honestly say, “Not my will but Thine be done.” When we’re stressed, it’s usually because we’re trying to do things in our own strength or to accomplish our own agenda. For each of these situations, surrender can be such a deep breath of fresh air! And it places us squarely in the palm of Christ’s hand, which is the best place to be.
What’s next for you?
Oh, my, that’s a loaded question. J I have another novel coming in October. This one is about forgiveness—for ourselves and others, and viewing everything, even our greatest tragedies, through the lens of eternity. I do hope you’ll have me back, because there’s such an amazing God story attached to this one. A case of God using the writing of my story to work deeply in my and my husband’s life and ultimately leading him to donate a kidney. Through that, God reminded me He is always at work, even when we can’t see Him working.
Where can readers connect with you?
I love Facebook (working on that. Need. To. Focus), so they can always engage with me there. They can find me here: https://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte I have a Twitter account, @ Jenslattery, though I don’t use it as often as I probably should. They can also visit my devotional blog, Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud (http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com) or my group blog, Faith-filled Friends.
Of course, they can connect with me right here! I’d love to read their thoughts on surrender, in fact. Here’s my question for you all: What role has surrender played in your spiritual life? Can you share a story of a time when you felt God calling you to surrender something hard? What was the result? Did you surrender right away or did it take some prodding?
Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her teenage daughter and coffee dates with her handsome railroader husband.
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.
As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution forces her to head north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend. Dealing with his own issues, Jacqueline isn’t sure if he will be the one she can lean on during the difficult days ahead. And then there are the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must she relinquish her chance at having love again in order to be restored?
Read a free, 36-page excerpt here: http://issuu.com/newhopedigital/docs/slattery_sampler/1
You can buy a copy here: