Author Interview: Jennifer Deibel

Author Interview: Jennifer Deibel

It is my great pleasure and honor to introduce to you Jennifer Deibel, one of the 2021 Christian fiction debut authors.

Jennifer Deibel is a middle school teacher whose work has appeared on (in)courage, on The Better Mom, in Missions Mosaic magazine, and others. With firsthand immersive experience abroad, Jennifer writes stories that help redefine home through the lens of culture, history, and family. After nearly a decade of living in Ireland and Austria, she now lives in Arizona with her husband and their three children. You can find her online at www.jenniferdeibel.com. Her debut novel, A Dance in Donegal, releases Feb. 2, 2021 from Revell and is available for pre-order wherever books are sold!

You can connect with her at Instagram, Facebook, Goodreads, or BookBub.

Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit Jennifer with rapid-fire.

 

 

CC: Sweet or Unsweet Tea?

JD: Can I say both? LOL Honestly, though, in a pinch I’d probably go for dark!

CC: Absolutely you can say both. Good choice. 😉

 

CC: Print or E-book?

JD: Print! I love the feel, smell, the heft of it.

CC: I’m 100% with you!

 

CC: Cat or Dog person?

JD: Dog, for sure!!

CC: Who can resist a tail that wags every time they see you?

 

CC: Morning Person or Night Owl?

JD: Permanently Exhausted Pigeon. LOL

CC:  Oh that’s hilarious! I’ve not heard that one, but it’s perfect!

 

CC: Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?

JD: Oh, fall, most definitely!

CC: It is so beautiful!

Thanks for sharing those fun things. Let’s dive right into talking about you. 

How can we pray for you? 

JD: I’m heading into edits for book 2—which I’m so very excited about! I absolutely love this story and can’t wait to get it into readers’ hands! But I’m also in the midst of grading middle school essays, and thinking of which story idea(s) I want to pursue next. So, I’d appreciate prayers for energy and strength, but also for wisdom and discernment. And divine inspiration.

CC: Absolutely! Teaching is such a full-time and mentally draining job, I can’t imagine how you manage to balance both writing and teaching. You are definitely in our prayers!

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

JD: Being a teacher, I tend to write the bulk of my books during the summer. I try to balance good, big chunks of concentrated writing time with good, concentrated time with my kids—they are getting older, and won’t be home forever, so I want to be wise with my time. During the school year, I rotate evenings and weekends with writing, schoolwork/planning/grading, family time, etc.

CC: Bless you. You have so much to balance in your life. You completely amaze me. The mom guilt is hard and you definitely don’t want to miss those moments, but being called to write has its demands as well.

Now let’s dive into your debut novel, A Dance in Doengal!

After the loss of her Irish mother in the summer of 1920, Moira Doherty decides to fulfill her mother’s wish for her to leave Boston and teach in her mother’s home village of Ballymann in Donegal, Ireland. Though a few locals offer a warm welcome, others are distanced by superstition and suspicion. Rumors about a scandalous family reputation abound and threaten not only her new position but also her life.

Moira must rely on the kindness of a handful of unlikely friends including Sean, a handsome thatcher, to help her clear her family name before it’s too late. As she seeks to navigate her new life in Ireland, she may find that this is truly the life she was always meant to live.

CC: What was some of your favorite research you discovered while preparing for A Dance in Donegal?

JD: I really loved researching all the ancient traditions of Ireland. I’d experienced many of them firsthand when we lived there, but I wanted an even deeper understanding of why they do or say the things they do—things they’ve done and said for centuries, and still do to this day. I don’t want to give too much away, but there’s one major life event in particular that I just found absolutely fascinating the sheer number and depth of traditions involved in it. It’s like a well-choreographed dance, and everyone seems to automatically know their parts. Which, I loved, as it fits well with the dance theme that runs throughout the story. And it deepened my own appreciation and love for Ireland’s culture and traditions because I understood even more where they are coming from, and the rich meaning behind literally everything they do.

CC: Wow. I’m a little jealous you lived there. It’s definitely on my bucket list to go one day, but I’m glad I’ll get a glimpse of it by reading your book!

How did this story affect you as you wrote it? Did God teach you anything through the writing?

JD: So much of this story was written during or shortly after major seasons of change and transition for our family. And, much like Moira, I often found myself questioning God’s plans, and whether or not He truly knew what He was doing…or if I’d misheard/misinterpreted His leading in some way. Walking this story alongside my characters helped strengthen my own faith that God does in fact know what He’s doing, and He is good, and He is for my good…even if the circumstances He chooses to use to do that are painful.

CC: Hugs. Those are the best and most painful lessons to learn, but I’m so glad you were able to process those changes through your characters.

How do you select the names of your characters?

JD: For some of the characters, the names just came to me—I just knew the main character’s name was Moira, for example. Others, I had to look up. I wanted names that were common in that time-period, and in that area of Ireland. But I also wanted the names to match the characters and their personalities. The meanings of names are hugely important to me in my own life, so I brought that to my characters as well. I also chose harsh-sounding names for the antagonists because they are caustic people, and I wanted their names to be consistent with that.

CC: I love how much thought went into all of that! Name meanings are so fun to look up and now you’re going to have me looking up the meanings of your characters. 

Thank you so much for joining me today and providing all of us with a wonderful distraction. I have one last, fun question to give you. 

Would you rather face 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck? Why? 

JD: Oh, 100 duck-sized horses. No question. First of all, they sound completely adorable! Secondly, I feel like they might be more manageable…or at least less threatening than a horse-sized duck. I feel like one peck from that duck would be the end of me. 

CC: I can just see the beak coming at you now. LoL

Thanks for spending time with me and my readers today. I am so excited to share your story with them. READERS: You can purchase Jennifer’s book at any of the following retailers or your favorite bookseller. The reviews are rolling in and they are great. I can’t wait to dig into my copy soon.

Amazon     Baker Book House    Barnes and Noble     Books-A-Million     ChristianBook     IndieBound    Target     Walmart

Meet the Christian Fiction Class of 2021

Meet the Christian Fiction Class of 2021

*For those participating in the 2021 reading challenge, I have created a Facebook Group for those who want to interact throughout the month. For those who wish to receive a bookmark as a reminder of the themes, fill out this Google Form.*

 

 

 

2021 is bound to be a better year than 2020. At least that is what I am declaring! To start the year off right, I thought it would be neat to introduce you to some of the newest authors on the Christian Fiction scene. This year, ten authors I have had the honor to meet will debut their novels to the world. I have broken down the graduating class into the months they will break into the world. Support these new authors by connecting with them online, checking out their books, and if the books interest you, pre-order your copy or request your library to purchase a copy. Preorders go a long way to help an author have a successful book launch. It takes a lot of work to get a book out there, and I’m excited to help them get the word out.

 

Just as an incentive to help these authors out, I’m offering a $25 Baker Bookhouse gift card giveaway. Each author has chosen one link they want promoted most. Pick which ones you’d like to help out, and earn an entry for each one. To participate, click here

 

 

January Graduate

 

 

Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. She has placed first in multiple contests, including the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest, the 2017 Phoenix Rattler Contest, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions Contest. She was also a 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest finalist. A lifelong denizen of the flatlands, Amanda currently lives in Kansas with her husband, their three Wenlets, and one snuggly Siamese cat.

 

Connect with her:   www.amandawen.com     Facebook     Twitter     Instagram

 

 

Roots of Wood and Stone

Genre: Split-time Women’s Fiction

 

This historic home holds the keys to their destiny . . . and their hearts

Abandoned at birth, her family roots a mystery, historical museum curator Sloane Kelley has dedicated her life to making sure others know theirs. When a donor drops off a dusty old satchel, she doesn’t expect much from the common artifact . . .until she finds real treasure inside: a nineteenth-century diary. Now she’s on the hunt to find out more.

Garrett Anderson just wanted to clean out his grandmother’s historic but tumbledown farmhouse before selling it to fund her medical care. With her advancing Alzheimer’s, he can’t afford to be sentimental about the family home. But his carefully ordered plan runs up against two formidable obstacles: Sloane, who’s fallen in love with both the diaries and the house, and his own heart, which is irresistibly drawn to Sloane.

A century and a half earlier, motherless Annabelle Collins embarks with her aunt and uncle on the adventure of a lifetime: settling the prairies of Sedgwick County, Kansas. The diaries she left behind paint a portrait of life, loss, and love–and a God who faithfully carries her through it all. Paging through the diaries together takes Sloane and Garrett on a journey they never could have planned, which will change them in ways they never imagined.

This warm, beautifully written split-time novel will resonate with readers looking for stories that reveal the beauty of God’s plan for our lives, and how our actions ripple for generations.


Preorder here:
Amazon      Barnes and Noble     Christianbook.com

 


February Graduate

 

 

Jennifer Deibel is a middle school teacher whose work has appeared on (in)courage, on The Better Mom, in Missions Mosaic magazine, and others. With firsthand immersive experience abroad, Jennifer writes stories that help redefine home through the lens of culture, history, and family. After nearly a decade of living in Ireland and Austria, she now lives in Arizona with her husband and their three children. You can find her online at www.jenniferdeibel.com. Her debut novel, A Dance in Donegal, releases Feb. 2, 2021 from Revell and is available for pre-order wherever books are sold!


Connect with her:
Instagram     Facebook     Goodreads     BookBub

 


A Dance in Donegal

Genre: Historical Romance

 

After the loss of her Irish mother in the summer of 1920, Moira Doherty decides to fulfill her mother’s wish for her to leave Boston and teach in her mother’s home village of Ballymann in Donegal, Ireland. Though a few locals offer a warm welcome, others are distanced by superstition and suspicion. Rumors about a scandalous family reputation abound and threaten not only her new position but also her life.

 

Moira must rely on the kindness of a handful of unlikely friends including Sean, a handsome thatcher, to help her clear her family name before it’s too late. As she seeks to navigate her new life in Ireland, she may find that this is truly the life she was always meant to live.

 

Preorder here: Amazon     Baker Book House    Barnes and Noble     Books-A-Million     ChristianBook     IndieBound    Target     Walmart

 

March Graduate

 

 

A.D. Lawrence makes her home in Northeastern Nebraska. She has been passionate about writing and true crime for years, and her two obsessions melded into the goal of authorship. She is an active member of the ACFW, writes a true crime blog, won the 2019 Crown Award and was a 2019 First Impressions finalist and a 2020 Genesis finalist. Her first book will be released through Barbour in March of 2021 as part of the True Colors series.


Connect with her:
   https://adlawrencefiction.com/     Twitter     Facebook     Instagram     Pinterest

 

 

The Purple Nightgown

Genre: Historical Fiction Suspense

 

Step into True Colors — a series of Historical Stories of Romance and True American Crime

Marvel at true but forgotten history when patients check into Linda 

Hazzard’s Washington state spa in 1912 and soon become victim of her twisted greed.
 
Heiress Stella Burke is plagued by insincere suitors and nonstop headaches. Exhausting all other medical aides for her migraines, Stella reads Fasting for the Cure of Disease by Linda Hazzard and determines to go to the spa the author runs. Stella’s chauffer and long-time friend, Henry Clayton, is reluctant to leave her at the spa. Something doesn’t feel right to him, still Stella submits herself into Linda Hazzard’s care. Stella soon learns the spa has a dark side and Linda a mean streak. But when Stella has had enough, all ways to leave are suddenly blocked. Will Stella become a walking skeleton like many of the other patients or succumb to a worse fate?
 

Preorder here: Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Christianbook.com

 

April Graduate

M.N. Stroh writes edgy Christian Historical Fiction to inspire the downtrodden and outcast with adventure-laden escapes leading to divine encouragement. Her debut novel, Rise of Betrayal, will release through the Cave imprint of Olivia Kimbrell Press in 2021. M.N. serves as Director of Communications for Serious Writer Inc. affiliate, Writers Chat. She is also director of Serious Writer Book Club and co-administrator of Christian Writers Group International.

Connect with her: mnstroh.com     The Clan!(Newsletter)  Facebook     Instagram     Twitter     Pinterest     LinkedIn     Goodreads

Tale of the Clans Book 1: Rise of Betrayal

 

One brash act forced her to flee her clan. Now, after years in hiding, she risks exposure to the man whose brother is dead because of her. 

 

Ireland, 962 AD

Forced into a betrothal with the son of her warmongering overlord, Nessa knows her impending marriage will thrust her family into the heart of their clan’s longstanding feud with the Danes of Luimnech. Her fate is sealed until tragedy presses her to make a desperate escape—one which leads to her betrothed’s death.

Sanctuary among distant kindred proves short-lived and Nessa falls into the schemes of her rescuers. With the balance of power shifting in southern Ireland, her knowledge could pave the way for her former chieftain to claim the provincial throne. Yet, offering that knowledge may expose her identity to her estranged clansmen—and to the man whose brother was slain because of her.

Gideon mac Davan yearns to prove himself a warrior worthy of the Dal Cais. But he never dreamed his aspirations to join Brian mac Cennedigh’s rebel band would unfold after his brother’s murder. Conflicted between vengeance and the secret he conceals, Gideon must trod a contrary path. One which may end in the collapse of all he once revered.

Follow M.N. Stroh to keep up-to-date with cover reveals and preorder links.

 

May Graduate

 

 

Michelle Sass Aleckson –  After growing up on both the east and west coasts, Michelle Sass Aleckson now lives the country life in central Minnesota with her own hero and their four kids. She
loves rocking out to 80’s music on a Saturday night, playing Balderdash with the fam, and getting lost in good stories. Especially stories that shine grace. And if you’re
wondering, yes, Sass is her maiden name. Visit her at www.michellealeckson.com.

Connect with her:   www.michellealeckson.com.

 

 

Crazy for You

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

The problem with being related to everyone in town is that there is no one left to date…until now…but will this outsider survive his family?

Former soldier Veronica “Ronnie” Morales isn’t going to let her kid brother, Tiago, get pulled into the gangs of Minneapolis, so, seeking safety and a fresh start, she heads to sleepy Deep Haven on the north shore of Minnesota. She’s hoping to put down roots as the paramedic for the new Crisis Response Team, but it’s not easy to be the town outsider.

Fire Chief Peter Dahlquist is a peacemaker—he has to be. After all he’s related to both of the Deep Haven dynasties – the Zimmermans and the Dahlquists, Deep Haven’s
version of the Hatfields and the McCoys. Worse, Peter is the holdout vote for a landmark project, which also makes him the loneliest guy in town when both sides demand that he pick sides. The only one who seems to understand his plight is the newcomer in town…his pretty, street-tough paramedic.

When Tiago finds himself caught up in small town shenanigans and the town blames Ronnie for tragedy, Peter is forced to pick sides. But will his choice cost him the home—and the woman—he loves?

Preorder here: Amazon     Barnes and Noble

 

July Graduate

 

Jennifer L. Wright has been writing since middle school, eventually earning a master’s degree in journalism at Indiana University. However, it took only a few short months of covering the local news for her to realize that writing fiction is much better for the soul and definitely way more fun. A born and bred Hoosier, she was plucked from the Heartland after being swept off her feet by an Air Force pilot and has spent the past decade traveling the world and, every few years, attempting to make old curtains fit in the windows of a new home.
 
She currently resides in New Mexico with her husband, two children, and one rambunctious dachshund.
 
Connect with her:   https://jennwrightwrites.com/     Facebook     Twitter

 

If It Rains

Genre: Historical Fiction

 

A story of resilience and redemption set against one of America’s defining moments—the Dust Bowl.

 

It’s 1935 in Oklahoma, and lives are determined by the dust. Fourteen-year-old Kathryn Baile, a spitfire born with a severe clubfoot, is coming of age in desperate times. Once her beloved older sister marries, Kathryn’s only comfort comes in the well-worn pages of her favorite book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Then Kathryn’s father decides to relocate to Indianapolis, and only the promise of a surgery to finally make her “normal” convinces Kathryn to leave Oklahoma behind. But disaster strikes along the way, and Kathryn must rely on her grit and the ragged companions she meets on the road if she is to complete her journey.

 
Back in Boise City, Melissa Baile Mayfield is the newest member of the wealthiest family in all of Cimarron County. In spite of her poor, rural upbringing, Melissa has just married the town’s most eligible bachelor and is determined to be everything her husband—and her new social class—expects her to be. But as the drought tightens its grip, Henry’s true colors are revealed. Melissa covers her bruises with expensive new makeup and struggles to reconcile her affluent life with that of her starving neighbors. Haunted by the injustice and broken by Henry’s refusal to help, Melissa secretly defies her husband, risking her life to follow God’s leading.
 
Two sisters, struggling against unspeakable hardship, discover that even in their darkest times, they are still united in spirit, and God is still with them, drawing them home.

 

Preorder here: Amazon     Baker Bookhouse     BarnesandNoble.com      Christianbook.com

 

September Graduate

 

Kerry Johnson has been conversing with fictional characters and devouring books since her carefree childhood in the Connecticut woods. A member of ACFW for nearly a decade, she finaled in their Genesis Contest seven times and won twice (YA and Romance). She also won RWA-Georgia’s Maggie award for her contemporary romance. She’s been published in Creation Illustrated and was a regular contributor to Tampa Bay’s Overflow Magazine from 2011-2013. Kerry currently lives in sunny, stormy Tampa Bay with her patient engineer husband, two energetic teen sons, their eight-year-old, doll-loving niece, and way too many books.

She’s active online at www.kerryjohnsonbooks.com, www.facebook.com/candidkerry/, and on Twitter https://twitter.com/candidkerry, where she shares an overabundance of pictures with her feathered toddler (sun conure) Mango and lazy Boxer, Boomer.

 

Title to be Revealed Soon

Genre: Romantic Suspense with Love Inspired Suspense 

 

The danger’s all downhill after a murder on the mountain.

 

When single-mom Everly Raven discovers a body inside a chalet on her family’s New England ski resort, the blame falls on her. Racing to evade the target on her back, she’s forced to work with her ex and father of her child, FBI agent Isaac Rhodes, to clear her name. But with a blizzard closing in and the killer’s henchman hot on their trail, can they stay alive long enough to find the real killer before he finds Everly first?

 

Follow Kerry to keep up-to-date with titles, cover reveals, and preorder links.

 

October Graduate

 

Rhonda Ortiz is award-winning novelist and nonfiction writer whose articles on spirituality, family life, and arts and culture have been published by a variety of popular media outlets. Her debut novel, Molly ChaseIn Pieces, is forthcoming October 2021 with Chrism Press, a new division of WhiteFire Publishing devoted to Catholic and Orthodox Christian voices. A native Oregonian, Rhonda attended college in historic Annapolis, Maryland and now lives in Michigan with her husband and five children. Find her online at rhondaortiz.com.
 

 

Connect with her: rhondaortiz.com   Instagram     Facebook     Pinterest     GoodReads     Twitter

 

 

 

Molly Chase

 
Genre: Historical romance with elements of family drama and political suspense

 

Certain things ruin a girl’s reputation, and madness is one.

BOSTON, 1793—Beautiful and artistic, the only daughter of a prominent merchant, Molly Chase cannot help but attract the notice of Federalist Boston—especially its men. But she carries a painful secret: her father committed suicide and she found his body. Now nightmares plague her day and night, addling her mind and rendering her senseless. Molly needs a home, a nurse, and time to grieve and to find new purpose in life. But when she moves in with her friends, the Robbs, spiteful society gossips assume the worst. And when an imprudent decision leads to public scandal, Molly is tempted to take the easy way out: a marriage of convenience.

Merchant sailor Josiah Robb is as familiar to Molly as a brother—as dear and as exasperating. Yet she is no sister to him. He hopes to marry her before anyone else does, but sailing the high seas leaves no time for convincing Molly that he is more than her teasing childhood friend. Josiah wants a new job and a fresh start, and when he agrees to carry a confidential letter to President Washington, his life is changed forever.

In the wake of tragedy, these longtime friends discover a new intimacy. But slander, confusion, absence, and a wealthy, conniving bully stand between them. And with French spies on the loose, they not only have to rescue their reputations—they have to protect their lives.

 

Preorder here: While this book is not yet available for preorder, I recommend signing up for Rhonda’s newsletter on her website so that you can get the latest news.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November Graduate

 

Cathy McCrumb graduated from Biola University with a degree in English Literature and a love for stories. While writing is one of her favorite things to do, she also enjoys reading, long hikes and long naps, chocolate, baking gluten-free brownies, and crocheting while watching science fiction movies with friends and family. Her newest goal of ice fishing seems more attainable now that she and her family have moved to Colorado. Most of her imaginary friends are nice people.

Connect with her

 

The Recorder

Genre: Science Fiction
 
So, what’s *in* the book? Mystery, a touch of creepiness, and, yes, some romance, all mixed into dystopian science fiction, and a young woman who has neither a name nor a family. Plus, as he would have me tell you, there’s Nate. 😉)
 
The Recorder, the first book in Cathy’s sci-fi series, is set to release in November 2021. Set hundreds of years in the future, the novel tells the story of a nameless young woman raised to serve the public, and what happens when she discovers her humanity for the first time.
 
 
Follow Cathy for more information as it becomes available. 

 

 

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