Shannon here: I’m excited to feature Women’s Fiction author, Jennifer Slattery this week. We met first online, then once in person at a long ago ACFW conference. This past summer, we became critique partners and she got me a gig teaching at the Catch the Wave conference in Marrietta, GA. We got to catch up a bit, but not long enough. Today, she shares insight into her real life romance. Plus a chance to win a copy of her latest release, Intertwined. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated Oct 19 – 23 to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: Oct 31st, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Jennifer:
Twenty years ago, everyone we knew felt certain my husband and I wouldn’t make it. Seventeen years ago, my husband and I agreed with them. After years of fighting, of pulling away from one another, we had finally had enough. Our marriage was over.
Or so we thought, but God had other plans. On a lonely night while our daughter was sleeping and my husband was working the graveyard shift, I curled into the corner of our couch, and my heart cried out to God.
“I can’t do this anymore,” I said. “You’re going to have to do it for me.”
I have a feeling God was waiting for me to say that prayer—to admit that I couldn’t fix my marriage in my own strength, because after that night, things began to turn around.
Beginning with my husband’s salvation, in February of 2002. After that, everything changed. We changed.
This past September, my husband and I celebrated our twentieth anniversary by returning to where our love first bloomed—Seattle, Washington. We stayed in a fancy hotel right on the waterfront, and, each day, walked hand-in-hand along the pier.
As if we were dating.
The first day, we caught a ferry to Bremerton and enjoyed blackberry pie, ice cream, and blackberry tea at the blackberry festival. Then, tired but content, we rode the ferry back, sitting side-by-side, my head on his shoulder, his arm nestled behind my back.
My favorite day, however, was when we caught the water taxi to West Seattle, rented bikes, and rode along the pier in search of a restaurant. We found one—Mexican. The best we’ve had.
And with each day, with each visit, I thought back to when we’d first fallen in love. When he took me to Seattle Center, to the Space Needle, then up and up and up, Seattle’s night lights glimmering below. My heart swelled when I realized he’d reserved us a table next to the window. The restaurant rotated, providing spectacular views of the city.
But that wasn’t what swept me off my feet. What really captured me—what captures me still—was the way he looked at me, as he sat across from me in that fancy restaurant. As if I was the only person in the room and there was absolutely nowhere else he’d rather be at that moment.
I saw a meme on Facebook today. In the meme, someone asked an older couple how they had managed to stay married for so long. The couple’s reply was that they’d grown up in an era when one fixed things that were broken rather than throwing them away.
That’s the glue that holds true love together. As I sat, once again, across from my husband at an upscale Seattle restaurant, I thanked God that He fixed, and is still fixing, what was and is broken in us. And I thanked Him for taking over that lonely night, so long ago.
About Jennifer: 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 adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Learn more and connect: JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and http://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte
About the book – Intertwined:
Abandoned by her husband for another woman, Tammy Kuhn, an organ procurement coordinator often finds herself in tense and bitter moments. After an altercation with a doctor, she is fighting to keep her job and her sanity when one late night she encounters her old flame Nick. She walks right into his moment of facing an unthinkable tragedy. Because they both have learned to find eternal purposes in every event and encounter, it doesn’t take long to discover that their lives are intertwined but the ICU is no place for romance….or is it? Could this be where life begins again?
Intertwined, part of New Hope Publisher’s contemporary fiction line, is a great reminder of how God can turn our greatest tragedies and failures into beautiful acts of love and grace. Readers will fall in love with the realistic characters and enjoy the combination of depth, heart-felt emotion and humor that makes Jennifer’s novels so appealing. Readers will be inspired to find God in every moment and encounter in their own lives!
Endorsement by Shannon Taylor Vannatter: Jennifer Slattery scored again with this one. A horrific accident intertwines two lives. Her characters are so authentic, their struggles with life and faith so genuine, her stories so gritty and real. I think about her fictional people long after I turn the last page. (Not just because we’re friends. Because it’s good. I have lots of friends I haven’t endorsed.)
Question for Readers: What about you? Do you have memories of places you’ve visited? Where? And what was that like? Share your stories with us in the comments below, so we can live vicariously through one another!
Come back Oct 21st for Jennifer’s hero interview!