Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Jill Weatherholt

Good morning dear reader. It is so good to be back. I had the best vacation, but I must confess that I missed you guys. I’m happy to be visiting with you and the lovely Jill Weatherholt this morning. Jill is offering a book giveaway, (US only), so don’t forget to leave a comment.

Personal

Good morning, Jill. Tell us about yourself.

HQ HeadshotI work a full-time job with the City of Charlotte, so I’m a weekend warrior writer. I do manage to get some words written during the week, but the real writing happens over the weekend. But, I’d never be able to do all that I do, if it weren’t for my real-life hero, Derek. From the beginning, he’s been my number one supporter, beta reader and brainstorming partner. He’s there when I have those meltdown moments, and he’s a great cook, too.

Growing up, my best friend and I used to exchange multi-page notes, detailing the events of our day. I recall one such note being over twenty single-spaced typed pages! Yes, on a typewriter. Fast forward, forty-something years and the note writing was replaced with short stories, journaling, and then ultimately writing books.

I’d never planned on being a published author, but sometimes God gives us a special gift that takes us completely by surprise. My path to publication was fast and somewhat painless. At times, I’ve felt guilty, especially when I see writers who’ve received countless rejections and have shed many tears, but I know this is what God wants for me, so I’m simply following His lead.

The statement, “I’d never planned on being a published author” made me think of the following scripture.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord (Isaiah 55:8).

If we merely follow His lead, our plans are sure to change. Yes? Let’s talk about Jill Weatherholt, the writer.

Professional

coffee-2306471_1920Where did you get the idea for your latest WIP or your current release? And what inspired you to choose the setting of your story? 

My current release and second Harlequin Love Inspired book, A Father for Bella, came about in 2012 while participating in the National Novel Writing Month, better known as NANOWRIMO. I’m a huge fan of this competition, as my first book, Second Chance Romance, was also a NANOWRIMO project. Each book was merely a rough and incomplete draft, but I met the goal of 50,000 words in 30 days and learned a great deal about myself.

The idea for A Father for Bella was sparked after hearing a news report about a woman who’d lost her firefighter husband in a fire. Once I mapped out my heroine’s backstory, I knew I wanted the setting to be a fictional town in my favorite part of Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley. Although I’m now living in North Carolina, I grew up in Virginia, and for me, that will always be home.

I travel through North Carolina and Virginia several times a year. Both are beautiful! Next question…

What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not writing?

When I’m not writing, I love to spend time with my family. In 2012, my mother was diagnosed with dementia. Spending as much time as I can with her is a priority. My father is her full-time caregiver, so I like to give him a break, whenever possible.

Golfing is another thing I like to do. Derek and I both enjoy playing. In fact, I was the one who got him hooked on the game when we first started dating. Although we don’t play as much as we used to, we live on a golf course, so when the urge strikes, we don’t have to go far. In the evenings, before our friendly Jeopardy competition, we both enjoy working jigsaw puzzles. We always have a puzzle going on opposite ends of the dining room table. We listen to music, talk and brainstorm story ideas…it’s my favorite time of the day. Of course, during the warmer seasons, I love to watch our hummingbirds.

I’m so sorry to hear about your mom, Jill. I know dementia can be hard on a family. Praying for you all. Jigsaw puzzles and hummingbirds are favorites of mine too.

Please share a writing quirk—a ‘must have’ or a ‘must do’ to get words down on paper.

Since I’m easily distracted, disconnecting from the internet and phone is a must when I write. Several years ago, I purchased an Alphasmart Neo from eBay. It’s a portable word processor that can be taken on the go. Since the product is no longer manufactured, it was the best $25 I’ve ever spent.

I totally understand the distraction thing. So many distractions. We definitely have to guard our writing time. 😉

Inspirational

stones-451329_1920Final question. This year’s theme is First Things First. Setting our priorities is a must if we’re to be about our Father’s business. What advice would you offer someone struggling to spend time with Him? And, how has spending time with Him changed your life?

Growing up, my Mamaw always started her day reading, The Upper Room devotional and then her Bible. My grandfather, a Methodist minister, died young while preaching a sermon. In the years that followed, my grandmother remained strong in her faith and trusted God for everything. I’ve followed in her footsteps, and I do my best to make God first. I don’t just start my mornings with Him; He’s with me every minute of the day. If He wasn’t, I don’t think I’d be able to get out of bed in the morning.

I agree with you, Jill. I don’t know what I’d do without Him. Thank you so much for sharing with us on Women of Faith and Fiction.

Click to Tweet: “I’d never planned on being a published #author, but sometimes God gives us a special gift that takes us completely by surprise.” ~ @JillWeatherholt via @GailJohnson87 #WomenofFaithandFiction


Book Blurb

For Gail's BlogWhen single mom Faith Brennan discovers the Virginia Inn she grew up in is for sale, she’s determined to make a bid. Even if that means going head-to-head with handsome real estate broker Joshua Carlson. But competing with Joshua would be a lot easier if Faith’s young daughter wasn’t growing so attached to him…and if Faith could stop picturing running the Inn with Joshua by her side.

 

 


Author Bio

By day, Jill Weatherholt works for the City of Charlotte. At night, and on the weekend, she writes contemporary stories about love, faith and forgiveness. Raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., she now resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, but her heart belongs to Virginia. She holds a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and Paralegal Studies Certification from Duke University. She shares her life with her real-life hero and number one supporter. Their relationship grew on the golf course, and now they have one in their backyard. Jill believes in enjoying every moment of this journey because God has everything under control.

You can find Jill on the web at JillWeatherholt.com
or on Facebook @jillweatherholtauthor

What Year Is It?

Perfect Tree Canopy CHW-1I saw a meme about writing last week. The writer was wondering what year it was. I thought it true because I lose so much time in the process. To look at the calendar yesterday and realize it was the first of July was a shock, to say the least. LOL. Half the year has gone. So, I plan to take a couple of days off this month to spend time with Mr. Incredible and my kids. Hope you plan to take some time off to be with your family as well.

Here is a list of books I’ve read in the past months.

 

Summer Fiction Reading Recommendations

Rebecca's Song by Dawn Kinzer

Rebecca Hoyt’s one constant was her dedication to her beloved students. Now, a rebellious child could cost her the job she loves. Without her teaching position, what would she do?

Detective Jesse Rand prides himself in protecting the people who ride the railroads. But, when his own sister and brother-in-law are killed by train robbers, the detective blames himself. Yet, another duty calls—he must venture to Riverton where his niece and nephews were left in the care of their beautiful and stubborn teacher, Rebecca Hoyt. They need to mourn and heal, but Jesse is determined to find his sister’s killers. Rebecca is willing to help care for the children, but she also fears getting too close to them—or their handsome uncle—knowing the day will come when he’ll take them back to Chicago.

Will Jesse and Rebecca find a way to open their hearts and work together? Or will they, along with the children, lose out on love?

 

Betty Owens Sutter

Still reeling from tragic losses, Connie and Annabelle Cross face life with their signature humor and grace, until fresh hope arrives on their doorstep.

In early spring of 1955, Annabelle Cross and her daughter-in-law, Connie have nearly made it through the first winter on their own. Then the skies open up as West Tennessee and much of the south endures one of the worst floods in history. As many of their neighbors endure losses due to the flooding, Annabelle and Connie sit tight on dry ground.

As spring gives way to summer, Annabelle begins to dread Connie’s upcoming marriage and removal to Sutter’s Landing. Though she’s happy to note the growing affection between Alton Wade and her daughter-in-law, their marriage means Annabelle will be on her own for the first time in her life.

Connie’s doubts increase when Alton’s bigoted brother Jensen uses every opportunity to drive a wedge between them. Is she doing the right thing? Did she move too quickly? Unexpected summer visitors and anticipation of a new neighbor provide diversion and open possibilities for both Annabelle and Connie.

(Sutter’s Landing is going on sale next week.)

 

How Sweet the Sound“With poetic prose, lyrical descriptions, and sensory details . . . this story dives into the Gulf Coast culture of pecan orchards and debutante balls, exposing layers of family secrets and sins. In the end comes redemption, grace, forgiveness, and faith. Bravo!” —Julie Cantrell, New York Times bestselling author

Wealth and etiquette can hide a lot of things in the South, as the esteemed Harlan family of sleepy Bay Spring, Alabama, knows. But behind the gentle facade of white pillared porches and acres of cultivated pecan orchards, family secrets smolder.

Young Anniston Harlan cares little for high society and the rigid rules and expectations of her grandmother, Princella. She finds solace working the orchards alongside her father and grandfather, and relief in the cool waters of Mobile Bay.

Anniston’s aunt, Comfort Harlan, has never quite lived up to the family name, or so her mother Princella’s ever-apparent scowl implies. When she gleefully accepts the proposal of her longtime boyfriend, Solly, a flood tide of tragedy ensues that strips Comfort of her innocence and unleashes generations of family secrets, changing the Harlan family forever.

While Comfort struggles to recover, Anniston discovers an unlikely new friend from the seedy part of town who helps her try to make sense of the chaos. Together, they and the whole town of Bay Spring discover how true love is a risk, but one worth taking.

 

Summer Non-fiction Reading Recommendations

Fix Her UpperFor every woman who could use a life reno—anyone who’s ever had heart places that feel a little worn, torn, or tired—we have a God who loves to fix the broken.

Who doesn’t love to see a glorious before and after? A grand transformation? And who wouldn’t love to see her own life restored, refreshed, refurbished, revived, reclaimed—renovated? That’s exactly what’s awaiting us. If you’re ready to go higher—if you’re ready to get to a place where you feel less broken, more revitalized—you can find just what you’re looking for in a glorious, Jesus-empowered life-reno.
Get ready to strip off some old layers and that old way of existing. Lets get renovated!

 

Daily Wisdom for te Mommy-to-Be

 

There are few things more exciting in life than the nine months that lead up to the birth of a baby. God’s miracle of creation is happening less than a heartbeat away, and mommies are looking for encouragement and celebration at this joyous expecting time!
This daily devotional will lead you through the forty weeks of a full-term pregnancy, each week focusing on a specific topic/reminder: that you are accepted, called, treasured, renewed, strengthened, supported, and more. Each devotion is paired with a relevant Bible verse along with a prayer to help you focus on your relationship with God and growing baby. This devotional will leave you spiritually refreshed and reminded of your security in Christ.

 

Prayer It's not about you

Is prayer a mighty spiritual weapon or a waste of time? Is it something to be engaged in fiercely, as if wielding a weapon in the midst of a spiritual battle, or is it a just a personal practice to achieve a calmer, more focused and disciplined life? Does prayer really change anything?

Those questions and so many more are discussed inside the pages of this book. The book does not simply offer one writer’s perspective on the topic of prayer. Instead, it delves deep into scripture to see how prayer is presented in God’s word.

The book offers a thorough study of prayer from a Biblical perspective. Moving from Genesis to Revelation, this book looks at instances of prayer as recorded in the Bible, exploring the who, what, where, when, how, and why.

How did God respond to the prayers? What can be learned from these and how can that knowledge be applied to everyday life?

We pray readers of this book will gain a fresh perspective on prayer, too.

What are your plans for the summer?

Share the Love ~ June

Good morning, dear reader. I’m happy to say that I’m working on a new manuscript! I’m excited about this new story. Can’t wait to share the characters with you!

What are you planning for your summer fun? Will you be working on a new manuscript? How about reading a new book? Whatever you’re planning, stay safe and have fun!

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Reading

Rebecca’s Song by Dawn Kinzer ~Sandra Ardoin
Warning – A Fresh New Fantasy That Will Intrigue You ~ Margaret Kazmierczak
Highly Anticipated Mid 2018 Reads ~ Faithfully Bookish

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Writing

What Goes On A One Sheet? ~ Erica Vetsch / Seekerville
Dive Deep Into Dialogue ~ Lori Freeland / Writers In The Storm
How to Make Your Sentences More Descriptive ~ Jordan Conrad / Live Write Thrive

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Inspiring

The Best Advice I Ever Received ~ Kelly Goshorn / Seriously Write
Facing Feelings of Defeat ~ Norma Gail/ 2 Me from Him
Facing Our Fears ~ Melinda Inman

Click to Tweet: Share the Love ~ June #reading #writing #inspirational @GailJohnson87