Monday, May 17, 2010

Author Interview and Book Giveaway: The Heart's Journey Home

Jen Stephens grew up in a small Ohio town where she developed a passion for writing at an early age. She participated in Young Authors contests in grade school, wrote her first novel in high school, and wrote dozens of poems and short stories in between. She majored in elementary education with a concentration in English and the humanities at the University of Toledo.

Jen lives in the Nashville, Tennessee, area with her husband and two beautiful daughters. She teaches third grade at a Christian school and is very active with the youth in her church. A member of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Nashville Christian Writers Association, she writes in her “spare” time. Her first novel, The Heart’s Journey Home, released in February 2010.



1: How long did you write before you were published?


I’ve been writing since I was in grade school. My first story was about a boy who befriends an Indian chief and together they capture a burglar who breaks into the boy’s house. I was (and still am) a slow reader with a very active imagination, so I didn’t do a lot of reading as a child, but I was always making up stories. I wrote my first novel when I was in junior high and another one in tenth grade. I took a break from it while I was in college and gradually returned to it after I got married eleven years ago. I’ve been writing—and working on honing my craft—ever since. I discovered that I was a writer at a young age, but didn’t know I could do anything with it until just a few years ago.

2: When you held that first book in your hands, what was your first thought?

That’s a funny story. I was on the phone with a friend who was helping me plan my release party when the UPS guy brought it to my door so my 6-year-old got it and brought it to me. Now you have to know that it’s a strictly enforced rule in my house that my daughters don’t open the door for ANYONE so my very first thought was that Olivia shouldn’t have opened the door. Then it sank in and my two girls and I happy danced in our living room for quite a while.

3: What are you working on now?

The second book in the Harvest Bay Series, The Heart’s Lullaby. It’s about two things I care deeply about – kids and our United States military.

4: Where can readers find out more about your books?

http://www.jenstephens.ne/ t, http://www.sheafhouse.com/ , http://www.amazon.com/,  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/,  http://www.christianbook.com/

5: What message(s) do you want to be clear to your readers?

I want those who read The Heart’s Journey Home to feel sense of hope above all else. I want this book to clearly illustrate Romans 8:28, that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” The key words here, I believe, are “His purpose”. God has a plan and a purpose for our lives that often may not be what we expect, but is ALWAYS perfect. It’s when we put our hope and trust in Him that we can see that.

6: What are two things that people wouldn't normally know about you as a writer and or person?

I’m really an open book . . . and I’m boring. I don’t think there’s too much that my readers don’t know about me, but let’s see. Here are the first 5 of the 25 Random Tidbits on the Getting to Know Me page of my website: 1. I was born and raised near Sandusky, Ohio. It was great except for in the summertime when Cedar Point opened and traffic was a nightmare! 2. I am second out of four girls, and my three sisters are also my very best friends! 3. My school was so small I went to grades K-12th all in the same building. A breezeway separated the elementary from the high school. I LOVED it! 4. I have been married to Chris for 11 years! We never really dated. He already lived in Nashville and I was still in Ohio. We decided we liked each other in September, got engaged in December, and married the very next December! 5. We have two beautiful little girls - Alison (8) and Olivia (6) - who are exact opposites. Ali has long straight hair and Livi has tight corkscrew curls . . . and that's just where the differences begin! But they are my very biggest blessing in my life!

Thank you for being with us today. Any final words for readers?

Thank you for hosting me, Casey! The Heart’s Journey Home is very special to me, and I hope and pray that whoever reads it will be as touched as I was writing it. I believe that many of the scenes were Spirit-led because of the way it flowed and the way I felt as I wrote them. This is NOT my biography, but I come from a blended family and my Daddy went home to be with the Lord nine years ago, so in many ways writing this book was an emotional release for me. I pray that my readers can sense even a fraction of that emotion.

Readers to enter to win Jen's book, PLEASE LEAVE AN EMAIL ADDRESS! If I draw your name and there is no email, YOU WILL NOT WIN!

For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber

And a NEW one:
~Follow Jen's blog.
(to do this, simply copy and paste her address, visit your dashboard and click "add" under the list of blogs you follow and follow the instructions. : )

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items of said prize.
Thanks for coming by to enter!

Contest closes on May 28th

94 comments:

  1. I would love to read this book. It sounds really good.
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am a email subscriber.
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

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  3. This book sounds great! Please enter me!

    Blessings,
    Molly
    Mollydawn1981 AT aol DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  4. +1 I am a WforC follower!

    Mollydawn1981 AT aol DOT com

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  5. +1 I am a WforC email subscriber!

    Mollydawn1981 AT aol DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  6. +1 I follow and subscribe to Jen's blog!

    Mollydawn1981 AT aol DOT com

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  7. I love the cover of this book and am sure the inside will be just as great.

    I am a follower.

    pepsi324[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  8. Good interview. Thanks for offering the book.
    I am a subscriber and follower of you and I just became a follower of Jen's blog.
    wsmarple/at/gmail/dot/com

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  9. Maybe my computer will accept yours! Your book theme really entices me to want to win your book. Please enter me. Thanks.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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  10. I'm a follower by Google friend.

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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  11. Please include me! Thanks

    dcf_beth at verizon dot net

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  12. I subscribe by email.

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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  13. I'm a follower!

    thanks!

    dcf_beth at verizon dot net

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  14. Great interview, I would love to read this book!
    ~Lauri
    http://knitsandreads.blogspot.com
    l_meinhardt@yahoo.com

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  15. I follow your blog!

    ~Lauri
    http://knitsandreads.blogspot.com
    l_meinhardt@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. I subscribe!
    ~Lauri
    http://knitsandreads.blogspot.com
    l_meinhardt@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm following Jen's blog as well!
    ~Lauri
    http://knitsandreads.blogspot.com
    l_meinhardt@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow! Thanks so much, ladies, for your interest! And Casey, thank you so much for hosting me today. Linda, I have no idea what happened there, but, yeah, maybe this blog will like you better! Haha! Good luck to all! Many blessing!

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  19. Please enter me:) Thanks!!

    esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  20. Looks interesting
    gijanechosen(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  21. This book looks very interesting. Love the cover.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm a follower!


    Blessings,
    Sandee61

    Muzzley56[at]aol[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'd love to read this book, please enter me in your giveaway. Thank you! I'm enjoying your blog very much.

    Blessings,
    Sandee61

    Muzzley56[at]aol[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Sounds like a good book. Thanks for the interview
    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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  25. google friend follwer
    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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  26. subscriber
    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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  27. google friended at Jen's site too.
    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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  28. Sounds Great...please enter me. Romans 8:28 is such a wonderful verse!

    we posted about your giveaway at Winning Readings.

    inspiredbyfiction[at]gmail[dot]com

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  29. I'm a follower!

    inspiredbyfiction[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I just became a follower of Jen's blog too!

    inspiredbyfiction[at]gmail[dot]com

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  31. Please enter me for this book....sounds great. Thanks!!!
    jackie.smithATdishmailDOTnet

    ReplyDelete
  32. I subscribe to your blog via e mail.
    jackie.smithATdishmailDOTnet

    ReplyDelete
  33. I am following Jen as of today!!
    jackie.smithATdishmailDOTnet

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  34. I would love a chance to win this book! Thanks, Casey!

    That's such a cute story, Jen, about when you first got your books! Isn't it funny how it takes so long for our minds to comprehend certain things? And our minds are so easily distracted! :)

    Thanks again!

    Also, I'm a follower of this blog!

    ~Amber

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  35. would love to read this book...thanks for the chance :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  36. email subscriber :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  37. I went to your website Jen, the book sounds great. Can't wait to read it! And by the way, I have three sisters too! I totally understand the best friend thing. :)

    lakela20@hotmail.com

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  38. I'm a follower and a subscriber!

    Doreen
    priviesandprims at yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. The Hearts Journey Home sounds like a book I need to read. One of my favorite Bible verses is Romans 8:28

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  40. I am a subscriber.

    Smiles,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  41. I am also a follower of your blog.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  42. I would love to win this book. thank you trishbazin@yahoo.com

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  43. I love discovering new authors and know I will enjoy Jen's book. Thank you for the interview and chance to win a copy.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

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  44. +1 I'm a follower of Writing for Christ.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

    ReplyDelete
  45. +1 I also subscribe to Writing for Christ.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

    ReplyDelete
  46. +1 I also subscribed to Jen's blog. Thanks for telling us about it, Casey.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

    ReplyDelete
  47. Please enter me in this giveaway - Thanks!

    seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  48. I am a follower.

    seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  49. I love the cover and would love to read the book.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  50. Jen's book sounds great! I'd love to win it.

    Ann Lee Miller
    Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

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  51. I loved the excerpt I've read of The Heart's Journey Home, please add me to the drawing. Thanks!
    worthy2bpraised[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  52. I'm a follower.
    worthy2bpraised[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  53. I'm a subscriber.
    worthy2bpraised[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  54. I'm a subscriber of Jen's blog.
    worthy2bpraised[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  55. Have not read any of Jen's books, but they sound great! Will have to find her books and check it out!
    plhouston@bellsouth.net

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  56. Holy cow! I'm away for a few hours running my girls here and there and everywhere and everyone here decided to have a party! Haha! Thank you all so much for stopping by and for your interest in The Heart's Journey Home. I meditate on Romans 8:28 often to get my attitude straight, ya know? Something might happen that'd bring me down and I force myself to try to see how God might use it for good. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't. Rachel, my sisters really are my best friends! I have the best childhood memories of them and my oldest sister is a nurse so she helped me a lot with the medical parts of the book. Amber, it's certainly not your typical "getting-your-first-book-in-the-mail" story. I guess it just proves that I'm a mama first and foremost! :o) As for my cover, well, I was tickled "pink" (get it?!) when I saw it. I just love, love, love pink! So, yeah, I'm kinda fond of it, too! Good luck to all!

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  57. I'd love to read this book! Please enter me!

    lubell1106(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  58. I'm a follower.

    lubell1106(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  59. I subscribed via e-mail.

    lubell1106(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  60. I would love to read this memoir. Great Giveaway!!!

    patientlywaitingbooks at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  61. I am a follower!!!

    patientlywaitingbooks at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  62. I am a subscriber!!!!

    patientlywaitingbooks at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  63. I'd really like to read this book! Thanks.

    embracingdestiny at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  64. I follow your blog now!

    embracingdestiny at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  65. jenyamin@comcast.netMay 20, 2010 at 7:38 AM

    Story is great, author is precious!

    ReplyDelete
  66. i'm a follower of jen's blog! would love to read her book.
    teresa diseker

    pauldiseker@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  67. Hi, Jen! Hi, Teresa! *waving* Thank you all for your interest in The Heart's Journey Home!

    ReplyDelete
  68. Like the theme of this book. Please include me!
    Carman sent me.

    alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  69. Sounds like a very interesting book. I would love to read it. Please enter me. Thanks!

    ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  70. Hi, please enter me.

    estherym[st]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  71. I'm already a follower :)

    estherym[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  72. I am also a subscriber :)

    estherym[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  73. I would love to enter this giveaway.
    I am a follower(Dakota)
    dakotasky55 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  74. Email subscriber
    dakotasky55 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  75. Enter me!
    I am a follower!
    caliblue7 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  76. Email subscriber too!
    caliblue7 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  77. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  78. I am a follower. Hope to win this book!
    dianarod23 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  79. Email subscriber.
    dianarod23 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  80. I follow via GFC.
    johnnystruckwash at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  81. I subscribe by email also.
    johnnystruckwash at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  82. Wow! You guys rock! So many comments! Thank you all so much for your interest in The Heart's Journey Home! I hope it touches your heart in a special way. Good luck in the drawing!!

    ReplyDelete
  83. I am an e-mail subscriber. I enjoyed your interview. I would love to have this book. Thank you for the opportunity to enter the drawing.

    louann@carolina.rr.co

    ReplyDelete
  84. I would love to read this book.
    naburcaw@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  85. Great interview! I would love a chance to win!

    Blessings
    Michelle V
    m.vasquez[at]grandecom[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  86. I am a follower.

    Blessings
    Michelle V
    m.vasquez[at]grandecom[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  87. I'm following Jen's blog.

    Blessings
    Michelle V
    m.vasquez[at]grandecom[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  88. I would like to be entered in the drawing for this book. It sounds wonderful. Thank you for the opportunity.

    louann@carolina.rr.com

    ReplyDelete
  89. I am a follower. Thank you for the opportunity to be in the drawing for this book.

    louann@carolina.rr.com

    ReplyDelete
  90. I am a subscriber. Thank you for the opportunity for this book.

    louann@carolina.rr.com

    ReplyDelete
  91. I am following Jen's blog. Thank you.

    louann@carolina.rr.com

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for stopping by, I love to hear from those who traffic my blog! Have a wonderful day. :)

FTC Rules

According to new FTC rules I must let you, the reader know, that all views shared on this blog are strictly my own. Books to review are either provided for me by the author, publisher or ones I have purchased and I am under no obligation whatsoever to present anything, but my true opinion on any product. I receive no monetary compensation for anything written on this blog. Any giveaways on this blog are provided by the author/ publisher and I am not responsible for any views they express in their work or on this site. Giveaways are void were prohibited and chances of winnng are based on the number of applicants. A random winner is draw when a book is given away.

 
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