Shannon here: Jenny Carlisle shares the inspiration for her novella, Rejoicing with Joy, which is included in the collection, A Gift for All Time with her coauthors, Tonya Ashley, Jenny Carlisle and Ellen Withers. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for a copy of the collection. Deadline: Oct 7th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Jenny:
Rejoicing with Joy is my contemporary contribution to a collection of novellas called A Gift for All Time that releases today, September 26. All three stories celebrate the greatest love offering ever- the day that God sent His Son to be the once and for all solution to our hopeless existence.
While I was writing the third story, Rejoicing with Joy, I was surrounded by a feeling of love. God loves us so much, and my characters realize how important His love is, as their own relationship grows. Writing the story also reminded me of the romance that lives in my own home.
Readers of my Crossroads series will be familiar with the young hero of this story. Junior Caldwell is the youngest child in a prominent family in town. He is well-known in his hometown, but he feels that he is underestimated. No one expects anything beyond his former job of rodeo clown.
Joy Fredericks loves her tiny hometown of Snowville, Arkansas, and especially the stories her grandpa tells her about the town’s heyday. These days she struggles to keep a smile on her face as more and more people leave town.
How can two young people with a shortage of hope help each other? Maybe the timing of their first meeting has something to do with it. There’s a certain magic that comes along with the most wonderful time of the year.
From the first time they see each other while Joy decorates her grandpa’s house to Joy’s personalized tour of the old buildings in her town, these two grow closer and closer. Is it really magic? Or is it their common foundation? Can their love for the baby born in another tiny town be the spark that brings hope back to their lives? With obstacles popping up at every turn, can their new relationship go anywhere?
The inspiration for this story actually reflects some real romance in my life, too. The idea for the town of Snowville, Arkansas came from a set of miniature ceramic houses. My collection of Hallmark Department Fifty-six Original Snow Village brightens my Christmas season, and my celebration of Christmas in July.
I haven’t studied the idea of love languages much, but it seems to me is that my husband’s is Giving. I know the official one is called Gifts, but for my sweetheart, giving really is better than receiving. He has been the primary source for my collection. I love the look on his face, when I open a package on Christmas morning to reveal a new house or business for my fictional town. What makes me happy, makes him happy.
Question for Readers: Have you ever received a gift that has more than monetary value? Does this gift continue to make you feel loved?
About Jenny: Jenny has been writing stories since she learned to hold a pencil. She retired from a career in Human Resources for the State of Arkansas. She was a long-time columnist for Ouachita Life magazine, and two collections of her inspirational articles have been self-published. She is past president of American Christian Fiction Writers – Arkansas Chapter and past president of Saline County Preservation, Inc. Her first fiction project, “ Hope Takes the Reins” released from Scrivenings Press in March of 2022, and the second book in the Crossroads series,” Faith Moves Mountains” releases January 31.2023. She and her husband, James live in Benton, Arkansas where they worship with a service-oriented congregation of the Church of Christ. They are the parents of three married children and eight grandchildren. She enjoys substitute teaching in middle school, junior high, and high school classrooms. Learn more & connect:
About the novella collection – A Gift for all Time:
A beautiful hand-carved nativity set travels from its original home in Germany to a riverboat in Van Buren, Arkansas, in the mid-1840s, then to Mexico, Missouri, at the beginning of the American Civil War. More than a century later, it resurfaces in a tiny town in the Arkansas River Valley.
Three stories tell of the impact this treasure has on the families who own it. God’s love survives tragedy, turmoil, and even abandonment. His love is the gift for all, for all time.
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