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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New Mercies by Julia Colquitt Allen (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Juniper Grove Book Solutions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for New Mercies by Author Julia Colquitt Allen!

Author Guest Post

If you could change places with one of your characters, who would it be and why?

If I could change places with any of my characters for a day, I would like to be Christopher Tanner. Chris grew up in the Amazon Basin of Brazil, the son of missionary parents. I envy his experiences. I have always felt a certain call on my life toward missions, and still believe that one day I will follow that call and go and serve in another part of the world even if it’s just for a short term. I would love to experience living in a culture vastly different from our own, with people far removed from the busy, self-absorbed American way of life. He’s also unafraid of spiders. Me… not so much.

Chris is a wonderful minister. I am a little bit impressed by his dynamic preaching style. I struggled with shyness myself as a young person but unlike Chris, I was absolutely terrified of speaking in public. My brothers were involved in dramatic arts and starred in all sorts of plays throughout high school and college; the closest I came to the drama club was ushering and working the hat check booth. In college I took a public speaking course and learned to overcome a bit of that fear. As an adult I was asked to fill in as a last minute substitute in a church play and discovered I actually liked acting. Now teaching and speaking publicly is a regular part of my job, and one I actually enjoy. But I lack Chris’s powerful presentation skills and doubt I could preach like he does. It would be nice for a day to have that gift and be able to present like that.

I appreciate the gentle way Chris helps people. He doesn’t come off too strongly. He isn’t pushy about his faith. He just lives it out in front of others, and then as he comes to their aid they want what he has. I aspire to that kind of faith-walk. I am afraid I haven’t learned to control my temper quite as well as Chris has, and my flair-ups probably get in the way of my testimony sometimes. Then when others challenge my faith, I tend to be combative rather than allowing others to be where they are. I think Chris is more accepting of others and allows them to find God at their own pace. If I could get inside his head for a day, maybe he would rub off on me and help me learn to be a better Christian.

About The Author

Writing has long been a passion of Julia Colquitt Allen. She began writing poems and short stories at the age of 7. She lives in picturesque East Texas with her husband of 27 years and four of her children. Her grown son and his wife live nearby and visit often with her two grandbabies. If the kids and grandkids aren’t wild enough, they have a household full of cats (7 at last count).

Julia works at a nearby university as a learning technologist, where she provides assistance and professional development to faculty on online course development and instructional technology. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in learning technologies. In her spare time, she enjoys reading inspirational romance and mystery stories, sewing, and cooking.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page

Book Review

New Mercies by Julia Colquitt Allen
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: December 20, 2014
Format: Paperback - 228 pages
              Kindle - 648 KB
ISBN: 978-1503291225
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Buy The Book:

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 Juniper Grove Book Solutions.

Book Description:

Delores Hansen’s life is crumbling around her. Her little son has been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, and her marriage has fallen apart as a result. Forced to return to the small town of Meadowbrook to live with her parents, Delores feels like a failure and a burden on everyone, and must find a way to stand on her own feet.

New minister Chris Tanner is dynamic from the pulpit but painfully shy one-on-one. He is touched by the plight of this young woman and her sick child and vows to do anything he can to help her. As he gets to know her he finds his own courage growing from her strength.

The two soon become close friends, perhaps more than friends. But no good could ever come from a relationship between a divorced woman and a minister; especially in a town as gossip-ridden as Meadowbrook. Could it?

Book Excerpt:

As choir practice wound to a close and the others started to file out, Chris found himself lingering over his paperwork much longer than necessary. He told himself he was concerned about Dodie being the last to leave. How silly. Meadowbrook doesn’t have a crime problem. Dodie is in no danger in the empty church parking lot. Still he lingered, filing the last bit of paperwork, until he heard her keys jingling on her way out the door. Chris grabbed his jacket and followed a few feet behind.

He watched Dodie settle into her car, and went to his own car, chiding himself for his foolishness. As his engine rumbled to life, he was aware that Dodie had not yet left the parking lot. He steered his clunker alongside her, popping it into neutral and gliding out all in one motion. “Won’t start?” he queried.

Dodie looked up from the driver’s seat, strain apparent in her voice. “No! I think the battery’s dead.”

Chris opened the car door for her. “Mind if I give it a try? I know a bit about cars.” Dodie stepped out for him. He turned the key, one foot still on the ground. A clicking noise told him what he needed to know.

“Your battery’s fine. See, the lights stay on when I turn it over. The problem’s your starter.” Chris stood, handing her the key.

“What am I going to do?” Dodie’s usual strong demeanor was suddenly replaced with hysterics. “I can’t afford this right now! All the expenses of a new apartment have drained my savings. I’ve got $16 to my name and I just can’t ask my parents for anything else!”

Chris was unprepared for tears. Of their own accord, his arms wound around her. He pulled her close, stroking her long curls and hushing her, hardly realizing what he was doing. “Shh, it’s going to be alright,” he whispered over her sobs. “I can fix the car.”

My Book Review:

New Mercies is a wonderful contemporary Christian Romance story that will tug at the heartstrings. Author Julia Colquitt Allen weaves an uplifting tale that follows the story of newly divorced and single mom Delores "Dodie" Hansen, who returns to her hometown of Meadowbrook after he ex-husband abandons her because he couldn't deal with the news that their two year old son Danny was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. As Dodie struggles to come to terms with her rebuilding a life for herself and her son, Chris Tanner, the town's shy new Minister, befriends the young mother and despite the petty gossip of nosy church members, they overcome obstacles and their friendship slowly blossoms into a romantic relationship.

The author easily draws the reader into Dodie and Chris' story, you can't help but feel compassion and hope for as this couple struggles to deal with their pasts and finding their place in life. While Dodie struggles with her recent divorce and her son's diagnosis, Chris is struggling to find his place in his new ministry position, and as a couple their budding relationship struggles under the gossip from the town's nosy busybodies. You can't help but cheer Dodie and Chris on, and hope that their faith will strengthen their bond and help them overcome the obstacles together, so that they can get a chance of finding love. This is a inspirational story of forgiveness, faith, and personal growth, that will stir the reader's soul.

New Mercies is a touching romantic story that is enjoyable and heartwarming, it will put put a smile on your face.


Contest Giveaway

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Virtual Book Tour

Click on the above link for the tour schedule.


  1. Hi, Kathleen, Thank you for hosting my book tour, and for this wonderful review!
    Julia Colquitt Allen

    1. Hi Julia! Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour. I really enjoyed reading New Mercies, it is a wonderful romance story. :)