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.
When Dawn Breaks:
As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution propel her north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend. However, he’s dealing with a potential conspiracy at work, one that could cost him everything, and Jacqueline isn’t sure if he will be the one she can lean on during the difficult days ahead. 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:
On Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when-dawn-breaks-a-novel-jennifer-slattery/1120694122?ean=9781596694231
On CBD: http://www.christianbook.com/when-dawn-breaks-a-novel/jennifer-slattery/9781596694231/pd/694231
Thanks for hosting me today. I'm excited to share about the origins of my book, When Dawn Breaks.
It was haunting. Terrifying. Heartbreaking. And for many, life changing. To this day, I wonder where many of the men, women, and children I met in the wake of Katrina are. Hopefully they’ve moved on with their lives, but I know they’ve never forgotten the incredible devastation that ravished the Gulf Coast that summer in 2005. Back then, I had no idea my experiences—what I’d witnessed—would one day find their way into one of my novels.
The initial idea came as nothing more than a fleeting thought: “Imagine a story based on hurricane refugees, refugees who can’t stand each other, or at the very least, find it incredibly difficult to tolerate one another, but who, because of the storm, are forced to live together.”
But the thought left my brain as quickly as it came, and I went about my life which included homeschooling our daughter, serving in our church, and showing Christ’s love and grace to the massive number of storm refugees that flooded our town.
To be honest, I can’t even remember how I learned of Katrina. I’ve never been one to watch television, and it all happened so fast. One minute, everyone was going to church, going out to eat, buying groceries, whatever, the next minute, everyone was scrambling to find shelter for the massive number of storm refugees being bussed into our cities and towns. First came Katrina, displacing hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, and shortly after, Rita hit, resulting in an estimated 1.5 million refugees seeking aid and shelter.
Though our family lived far enough from touchdown to remain unaffected personally, we saw the effects in the faces of the thousands clogging our library and milling about our stores. And we did all we could to help. Churches were by far the first responders. Some housed refugees in their basements, others turned their sanctuaries into make-shift food pantries. Honestly, it was a beautiful thing, to see so many churches, so many families, come together to help their fellow man.
My hope in humanity grew during that event. I know the news portrayed things as horrible. They showed the looting, the filth, the devastation, and yes, there was that. But there were also incredible displays of love and generosity.
One family in particular made a lasting impact on me. They went to our church, and they had adopted two children from Romania not long before. Those children who understood what it was like to have nothing, and this understanding birthed within them a deep compassion. When they heard of other children being displaced by the storm, of losing everything, they were moved to action; they donated their treasured stuffed animals. If you have children, you know what a big deal that is. My daughter, aged 17, still has her most prized childhood “friends”.
I’ve thought of those children and what they did often, of how their experience of pain enabled them to understand the pain of others, and at such a young age! But these children did much more than empathize—they engaged and found a way to help.
These children and the many loving, generous, compassionate women I watched serving in the aftermath of Katrina, found their way into my novel, When Dawn Breaks. Hopefully, through the lives of my characters, people will catch a glimpse of the beauty I saw amidst the terrible storm. There’s an important analogy, I feel, here. Storms hit, sometimes so hard they knock us down, but even in the worst of it, there’s beauty. Sometimes we just need to look a little harder to find it.
Jennifer will be happy to answer any questions that you have. Feel free to leave them in the comments.