Welcome to Jersey Girl Book Reviews Jennifer!
How long have you been a writer?
I've loved writing since I was a kid, but I didn't start writing for others until about nine years ago.
Do you have a "day job," or is being an author your career?
I recently left my job as a middle school math teacher, and now I am homeschooling my two boys during the day. Writing is still something I have to fit in at night when everyone else is finally asleep.
What inspired you to become a writer? Describe your journey as a writer.
I started out writing a story on Fictionpress based on how I met my husband. At first, I kept to the real story, especially since I didn't even consider it a real novel. But as I posted chapters and started getting reviews, I realized I enjoyed connecting with readers. The first draft, once I finally finished it, was horrible. But I was excited that I had actually completed it, so I started reading books about writing. Stephen King's book, On Writing, was amazing. It made me believe I could be a writer, even if I didn't have a fancy degree in a writing field. I started consuming books on writing, and I rewrote my true story, turning it into a fictional novel that still held some small gems from the the real-life version. Hopefully, I've learned enough that the next novel won't take nine years to finish!
Please give a brief description/storyline about Love's Providence.
Love's Providence explores the conflict within many woman about what we're really looking for in love - is it the best friend who knows your soul, or the guy who is all fireworks and mountain tops?
What was the inspiration for this story?
Many of the settings and some of the themes are based on my own life as a collegiate volleyball player, and many of Lily's inner conflicts are the same battles I had as a young adult trying to figure out who I wanted to be.
How did it feel to have your first book published?
It was amazing and terrifying. I'm still amazed and terrified.
Do you write books for a specific genre?
No. I look for stories that intrigue and inspire me, no matter the genre.
What genres are your favorites? What are some of your favorite books that you have read and why?
I do have a soft spot for romances, but I also want there to be more to the story than just the romance. My favorite book of all time is Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, but I also love To Kill A Mockingbird, Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter, and Water for Elephants.
Do you have a special "spot/area" where you like to do your writing?
Not really. Any place where I can be alone works, though that tends to be hard to come by in my house. My four-year-old is especially good at finding me.
How do you come up with the ideas that become the storyline for your books?
I start with something familiar, a real-life story close to my heart, and then I start asking all kinds of "what-if" questions.
When you write, do you adhere to a strict work schedule, or do you work whenever the inspiration strikes?
I work whenever the stars align to give me a quiet room. That's usually between the hours of 11pm and 2am.
What aspects of storytelling do you like the best, and what aspects do you struggle with the most?
I love rewriting and reforming what's already there. The hardest part for me is the initial blank page.
What are your favorite things to do when you are not writing?
I love volleyball and enjoy coaching young people. I coach junior Olympic volleyball during the winter and spring.
What is/was the best piece of writing advice that you have received?
Just write. No matter what you think, feel, or are told by others, just keep writing. It's HARD work, but connecting with someone in a meaningful way is worth every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears.
What is the most gratifying thing you feel or get as a writer?
There's nothing like having someone you don't know read your work and really get it. I just want them to enjoy the ride.
How do you usually communicate with your readers/fans?
Email and Goodreads.
Is there anything in your book based on real life experiences or are they purely all from your imagination?
Much of the scenery and the volleyball in the novel are from my real life experiences. I also used some of the stories my husband has told me about his time as a police officer.
What authors have been your inspiration or influenced you to become a writer?
Jodi Piccoult, Zora Neale Hurston, Stephen King (even though I don't really enjoy his horror books).
What is your definition of success as a writer?
Success as a writer is when I get to the end of the day, and despite all the craziness, I was able to spend some time with the characters I love.
Are you currently writing a new book? If yes, would you care to share a bit of it with us?
I am writing a trilogy based on the life of my grandmother and her experiences during the Great Depression. I've always known she was an amazing person, someone kind and intelligent, with enough spunk to square off with my grandfather over the years. But my cousin and I recently discovered some well-guarded family secrets that made me realize I had no idea just how amazing she really was. I can't wait to share hew with the rest of the world. I hope to have the first book, Healing Ruby, finished by next summer.
Thank you Jennifer for stopping by and sharing a bit about yourself and your writing career with us!
About The Author
Birmingham is my heart, the place where I lived out my story. I go there to remember my best friend, my first love, my first job, my first heartbreak.
And then there is Saint Simons Island, the place I go to feel alive, to feel the breeze off the ocean, the salt on my tongue, the excitement of my first (and only) summer fling.
I may reside in the suburbs of Atlanta, creating memories with my sweet boys, but I call several places home.
Jennifer H. Westall's Love's Providence Virtual Book Tour Page On Reading Addiction Blog Tours
Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway
Win An eBook Copy of Love's Providence
Publication Date: May 24, 2012
Format: Paperback - 417 pages / Kindle - 594 KB / Nook - 641 KB
Genre: YA Christian Romance
BUY THE BOOK: Love's Providence
BARNES & NOBLE
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Reading Addiction Blog Tours.
Collegiate athlete Lily Brennon has always been the piece that doesn’t quite fit in the puzzle, especially in her fragmented family, and no amount of rule-following perfection seems to bring her any closer to the love and acceptance she desperately seeks. If not for Jackson Carter, her childhood best friend and the only boy she’s ever loved, she’s sure she would have run away years ago. But when Jackson loses his father and a future basketball career within months of each other, his faith is so shattered, he shuts out everyone, including Lily.
After months of heartache, Lily begins to piece together a life without Jackson, and while vacationing on a beautiful island off the Georgia coast, she begins a long-distance romance with Alex Walker, a police officer with a quick wit and a cocky grin. He revives her hope in love again, but their intense attraction and his devastating secret test Lily’s values, stretching them until they break. Through her struggles to remain true to her principles, an agonizing choice between Alex and Jackson, and a series of terrifying events that threaten all of them, Lily must endure losing everything she’s been grasping so tightly. Only then will she discover the depth of the love that already surrounds her.
My Book Review:
Lily Brennon and Jackson Carter have been childhood best friends for twelve years, and have dated from their late high school years into their college years in Birmingham, Alabama. Lily always thought that they had a relationship that was going to last forever, but when Jackson suffers the tragic loss of his father and a blown knee sidelines his dream of joining the NBA, he slides down the slippery slope of depression and pushes everyone away including Lily.
While on a family vacation to St. Simons Island, Georgia over the fourth of July holiday, Lily meets handsome local policeman Alex Walker. Alex helps Lily see that she can move forward with her life without Jackson being in it.
Back home in Birmingham, Jackson realizes that he has messed up and wants Lily back in his life, but there is an attraction between Alex and Lily, and this love triangle will take all three of them on a journey that will bring their secrets, hopes, love, faith, heartache, choices, decisions and compromises to the surface, it will test their principles and beliefs, and ultimately change their lives as well.
Love's Providence is a YA Christian romance story that delves into the struggles of young adults making decisions of the heart while maintaining their faith and principles. Written in the third person narrative, the storyline alternates between the perspectives of Lily, Jackson and Alex. The setting of the story flips back and forth between Lily and Jackson's hometown of Birmingham, Alabama and Alex's hometown of St. Simon Island / Brunswick, Georgia. While the storyline mainly deals with the struggle to make choices and decisions of the heart, it also has an intriguing addition of mystery and suspense thrown into the mix with enough twists and turns that will keep you guessing.
The author has created an intriguing cast of complex characters that easily draws the reader into their individual stories. I really enjoyed getting to know Lily, Jackson and Alex, and reading about their individual personal issues that they had to deal with in addition to their love triangle / romance issues. The author weaves a thoughtful tale about maintaining one's faith while navigating down the tricky path of life and the ups and downs that happen along the way.
Love's Providence is an inspirational story about the bonds of friendship, the choices one makes in the matter of the heart, and maintaining your faith and prinicples. This is a wonderful story that young adults and adults can share with each other, it can open up the lines of communication and provide much food for thought for the young adults as they go through the transitional years from teen to adult.
RATING: 4 STARS ****