Category Archives: Featured Blog

A Paige Full of Words

I’ve decided to rekindle Featured Blogs on G&L!

First Featured Blog of 2013 is actually a brand new blog itself.  A Paige Full of Words is written by a girl who, judging by her handful of posts, I can identify with completely.  When she has an idea she’s passionate about, it consumes her.  She supports an organization that encourages writing love letters to strangers (not unlike Operation: Beautiful that I’ve been plugging for ages now).  She’s honest and soul-bearing and full of life.  There have been few posts to her blog so far, but the second I started to read it, I knew that this was a blog I would happily subscribe to.

Oh, what ties this into G&L is that she’s also a writer.  =P

I look forward to more of your musings, Paige.  Thank you for sharing yourself with the world.  =]




January 13, 2013 · 8:31 PM

The Staircase by Amino

A friend of mine from the Write Write and Write TinyChat room (where I spend most of my noveling Novembers, because my lovely acquaintances there explode with sprints and wars <3) took a post from my series, Writing Life, and wrote a short story from it!  =O  I do so love being useful.

Really, it’s fantastic.  She wrote the piece in about two hours, with a quick editing run-through.  For something so quickly put together, I’m surprised how well it reads.  The main character’s voice comes across as very measured and nostalgic, almost conversational, as if s/he is just so destroyed emotionally that s/he can’t help but be detached from his/her own life.

Beautifully emotive if a bit lengthy in some of the narrative, The Staircase is very effective in pulling empathy straight from your guts.  The pain and utter sorrow that this person’s loss instills is very easily felt through the bulk of the story.

Fans of true love and subtly-presented tragedies, this one is for you.

Visit Amino’s blog!


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Author Interview: Jenifer Jennings

Salut! Today is super special, G&Lers. Today, we have Jenifer Jennings with us to answer some questions. Who is Jenifer? She’s a talented author I’ve had the pleasure of working with in Inkwell Imaginings—Jacksonville, NaNoWriMoed with, and allowed to yell at me frequently when I’m drastically off track.

Jenifer’s recent book, The Hope Chest, has just graced with its shiny new presence, and begs to be read!

Let’s greet Jenifer! Hi, Jenifer. Thanks for being on G&L today. =]

JJ:  Thank you so much for having me. I am honored to be here.

G&L:  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

JJ:  I’m a wife and mother who found out that I love to write. I wrote poetry in High School as a way of expressing myself, but never really did anything with it. When I got into college, I found out that I was good at writing “believable” stories and actually enjoyed doing so. Over the past two years, I have really found my voice and passion for being a novelist. Now, most of my time is spent being a wife and mother, but I am learning to carve out more time to be a novelist.

G&L:  Where did you get the idea for The Hope Chest?

It makes me smile to think about that and the best way I can explain is to say the idea came out in a very round-about way. NaNoWriMo was coming up and I had a plan to work on a current novel I needed to finish. I was scrolling through Facebook one night and saw this picture of a chest from one of my friends who runs an antique thrift store. When I saw it, I thought about a lecture from a class I took in college. My professor had asked the women in the class if they had a hope chest and, since I had never heard of one, he went on to explain to me what it was and the tradition of passing them down from mother to daughter. I loved the idea, but brushed it off as “something people use to do.” When I saw the picture on Facebook, it got me thinking about the concept of a hope chest and my brain made a connection between that tradition and the story found in Exodus about the Ark of the Covenant. I thought, “Hey, wouldn’t that be cool, if the guy who made the Ark made a hope chest for his daughter?” That began the story in my head and that was all I needed to start writing.

G&L:  How long did it take you to write the book, from your initial outline to the publishing process?

JJ:  I love to say 13 days, but really from start to finish it was more like two months. The idea hit me about two weeks before NaNoWriMo and so I took those two weeks to research and plot. Once NaNo started, I finished the first draft in 13 days. I did a few revisions before ending up with the final product sometime in the middle of December.

G&L:  Is there any particular author or book that has influenced your writing, style, or genre, either as a child or an adult?

JJ:  It’s kind of been a progression of sorts. My favorite book growing up was Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. I think I’ve read that book fifty times. I love how real the story felt and every time I read it, I could see myself right there in the story. Several years ago, a friend gave me a book called Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, which really got me into writing stories based on Biblical accounts. More recently, I received all of the books in the Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke. I really enjoy the lessons that are taught behind the story and try to incorporate that into my stories. And, of course, my KJV Bible, which never ceases to inspire me. God uses it to remind me that He created me to write. The feeling of knowing your purpose is very rare and it amazes me to think I can feel that any time I sit down to write.

G&L:  Can you tell us a bit about The Hope Chest?

JJ:  Basically, it is a story that follows a hope chest from the time it is built back in Biblical times by the guy who built the Ark of the Covenant. It travels around the world, being passed from generation to generation, until it reaches modern times and falls into the hands of a woman who personifies our current world. She loves all things shiny and new, and hates “old fashion” heirlooms.

G&L:  What was your favorite part to write and why?

JJ:  Believe it or not, I really enjoyed writing the modern time at the end of the book. My other stories have all been set in Biblical times so, at first, I was nervous about writing in a modern setting. When I sat down to write it, it was actually freeing! I didn’t have to worry about not saying things a certain way. For example, in my ancient time stories I don’t use words like “lunch” or “noon.” When I wrote the last couple of chapters in The Hope Chest, I didn’t have to worry so much about that because I could use those words. Plus, as I was plotting out The Hope Chest, Professor Ivory Taylor became my favorite character. When I fall in love that quickly, their story dents to flow faster and more clearly than if I try to force a character to talk to me.

G&L:  Are you working on any other projects right now that you’d care to share with us?

JJ:  I hope to be able to say that I am always working on more novels. Yes, I do have other projects going right now. I have a trilogy that I have been working on for a few years about Rebekah, whose story is in Genesis. The Hope Chest interfered with finishing Book 2 last year. Now, another story, Crimson Cord, is threating to take precedence in my plan to finish the Rebekah Trilogy before moving on. Crimson Cord is about Rahab, the harlot, in Joshua.

G&L:  What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What was the best compliment?

JJ:  That’s hard, because my writing hasn’t really been outside of my circle far enough to have tough criticisms yet. I know the day is coming when I will hear some tough criticisms, it just hasn’t happened yet. Editing can be very hard on a writer and I did have a tough time with the very last revision, because I was just ready for the process to be over and my book to be out there. So, it was hard to hear that things still needed to be fixed.

The best compliment is a tie between: 1) when I heard my critique circle giggle as they read one of the last chapters of The Hope Chest. I always wish to be a fly on the wall when people read my writing to see the pure reactions on their face. And 2) my husband actually read The Hope Chest through, twice. There has only ever been one book, The Last of the Mohicans by James Cooper, that he has ever read cover to cover. That was a huge compliment. Plus, he said he actually enjoyed reading it!

G&L:  Do you have any advice to give aspiring writers?

JJ:  1) Write because you love it. If you write to please others or because you think you are going to make ANY money, DON’T write. Yes, you might make money and yes, people might like your writing, but you will never be satisfied if you are doing it for any other reason than you love to write.

2) Get involved in a good writing group. Don’t just show up either, really get involved. I can honestly say if it weren’t for Inkwell, I would not have found my passion and definitely would not have a novel out there in the real world. After going to my first Inkwell meeting, I went home and wrote twice as much in the following week as I had that entire year.

G&L:  Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers or those who have/will buy your book?

JJ:  Thank you. I can never say it enough or in enough ways. Time is very precious and if someone is willing to use some of their time to read my writing, I am beyond grateful and humbly awed by the fact.


One man’s simple gift touches several generations. A father’s love and passion mingle to create a wedding gift  for his daughter like none had seen before: a Hope Chest. Descendants are blessed to receive the gift through the years. That is, until the chest is passed to a modern day woman who hates heirlooms and loves everything new. A professor of Quantum Physics wants nothing to do with the old box that her mother treasured. Yet, with the help of a co-worker, they discover the Hope Chest has more to offer than even the creator intended.  Buy it now on Amazon!


Jenifer Jennings is a novelist. She makes her home in Jacksonville, Florida with her loving husband and young son. Accepting Christ when she was seventeen, she strives to show His love to the world through writing; when her toddler allows her time to do so. Check out her Blog!

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Featured Blog: The Unabridged Girl

Wednesday again!  You know what that means!


I felt like PeeWee Herman just then….

Anyway.  Featured blog this week is a FANTASTIC lady I’ve been following since I started out in WordPress last year.  She’s had her ups and downs, but I’ve never seen her lose her optimism.  Even her sadder posts end on a happy note, and sometimes in life, it’s impossible for a person to see past the rain to the sunny days ahead.  Her posts and the quality of her fiction are just so outstanding, once you start reading, you won’t be able to stop.  Trust me.  So, I present:

The Unabridged Girl!

Speaking of her fiction, she’s currently working on a project called Weatherly, for which she’s posting excerpts as she writes them.  Holy fantastic~! The first installment leaves you begging for more, and the intro to the piece?

Dear Friend,

If you are reading this, I have gone to God and pray my bones rest in peace.

I charged Mr. Colley not to let a body peek a written word ’til I was three days in the ground. No doubt, he has done well. Now I do not give a wisp about your judgments, so leave with you a full record – best to my knowledge – of the events at Weatherly.


If that doesn’t make you want to read, I haven’t the faintest idea what would.  Incredibly compelling work.  <3

Mckenzie has been a massive source of inspiration for me, and I know she’ll be the same for you.  She’s an amazing blogger and friend, and I’m proud to feature her blog on G&L.  =]


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Bonus Pre-Featured Blog: Kissing in a Tree is Dangerous!

Here’s the thing.  Last week I destroyed my schedule, and failed G&L.  So, in light of the fact I failed to feature a blog last week, I’m posting a featured blog today and again tomorrow.  I was going to do it Wednesday and Thursday, but I’m making Thursday another fiction day.  Swamping myself a little.  =P

This first blog, while it has nothing to do with writing, speaks with passion and from the heart about gender issues and the LGBT community.  This girl is super fantastic, and her voice deserves to be heard in the blogosphere!  It’s a personal blog with passionate posts, and so I introduce you to:

Kissing in a Tree is Dangerous or the Lovely Lesbian

Check her out!  Believe me, she fits incredibly well with my spunky readers. =]

Featured blog for this week tomorrow, kids!  Don’t miss it!  (Here’s a hint: many of you know and love her already! *squee*)


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Featured Blog: {Courage 2 Create}

Happy Wednesday!

This week’s Featured Blog goes to one of my fantastic bloggy friends, Ollin Morales over at {Courage 2 Create}!  I’ve been reading Ollin’s blog for the better part of the last year, so… not quite from the beginning, but I have to tell you, of all of the blogs that I read, {Courage 2 Create} has grown the most.  It began with Ollin’s committing himself to writing his first novel, and has since blossomed into a fantastic resource for writers.  Here, let me show you his category list, taken straight from his “How to Read This Blog” page:

The range in posts from personal to professional gives a sense of support and encouragement from {Courage 2 Create} to its audience; it says ‘this blogger cares about his readers.’

In addition to the categories listed above, Ollin also offers consultation services for artists and writers, in three different categories: blogging, writing, and storytelling.  The proceeds go toward making {Courage 2 Create} bigger and better, and giving Ollin the means to continue helping his fellow writers.

My readers genuinely need my advice and my support and I would NEVER abandon them, or, worse, retract my compassion for them. —  {Courage 2 Create} post, 01/31/11

The passion and effort put into {Courage 2 Create} is staggering.  It’s one blog I can honestly say a budding writer cannot do without.

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Featured Blog: A BA in BS

For my ‘Featured Blog’ post every Wednesday, I decided that I only wanted to feature blogs that offer tools or insight to budding writers.  And after two solid days of scouring WordPress, going through my blog roll (and there are quite a few of you that are on my list to be featured, by the way), and agonizing over who I would choose for my first blog post, I decided on… *drumroll*

A BA in BS by Jessi Peterson

I know, I know, it looks like I’m playing favorites, but I swear I’m not.  =P  Jessi’s blog includes a new series of posts called “The Writer’s Toolbox” and also a whole string of webinars related to the content presented at our Inkwell Imaginings (a weekly workshop and critique circle) meetings.  Along with useful tidbits like the aforementioned, you’ll also catch her posting fantastic tidbits of flash fiction and character studies.  Definitely worth a look (and a place on your blogroll) so get to it!

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