Friday, August 8, 2014

Beyond I Do with Jennifer Slattery

Ever been homeless? Ever known anyone who has? Jennifer Slattery is here to share the inspiration behind her debut novel, Beyond I Do, and some fun facts about herself. Thanks for being here, Jennifer. Take it away!

Have you ever been surprised by something, only to find everyone else around you knew of this *thing* all along? I wonder if that’s how a writer’s voice emerges. If one begins to write something into every novel without realizing it because that *thing* is as much a part of them as writing itself.

That’s how it was for me. One day, as I was chatting about one of my books with a friend, I paused for an extended moment and said, “Have you noticed I’ve had a homeless person in each of my novels?”

My friend gave a knowing smile and nod, and it was then that it hit me, “Yeah, this is kind of a big deal to me.”

Which will probably sound strange, once you learn that I was once homeless. I mean, of course it’d be a big deal, right? Homelessness had affected my life greatly!

But that’s the funny thing about self-deception and hiding. You see, homelessness affected who I once was, not who I am now. (Or so I thought.) Ashamed by my past, I had pushed it so far from my mind I could easily forget that period entirely. I certainly never thought about it. Except on those quiet, lonely nights when old demons would rise up, “Remember when?” But then I’d just push the memories down all the harder, trying to play the part of the perfect, church-going, suburban housewife.

But God never forgot, and the God who brought me from my deepest pain and shame wanted to turn it into something beautiful.

That’s grace.

And as a recipient of grace, God now wanted me to show others how to grab hold of that same life-transforming, shame-lifting power.

Though it goes a bit deeper than that. Now, decades later, camped out in mid-America suburbia with my middle class friends, many who have never truly encountered a homeless person; many who perhaps don’t even give them the time of day, God has called me to another task. That task is helping to call others to action.

I believe that’s why He birthed the idea for Beyond I Do within me.

And that’s the impact I hope this novel has on my readers. For those suffering from material, emotional, or spiritual poverty, I hope they can see that the same God that reaches out to the least-of-least is also, always, reaching out to them.

For those of us who have been rescued, I hope this novel encourages them to look around and see how they can bring God’s hope and grace into the broken lives they encounter.

On a lighter note… Jessica asked me to share three fun facts about me. Here goes:
1     I’m terrified by heights but once took up rock climbing with my hubby. This, of course, meant there was always more than a few shrieks (and broken nails! Hence the shrieks.) involved.
          Apparently my head bobs at neck-breaking speed when I’m writing an intense or humorous or… okay, when I’m writing period. Imagine the entertainment Starbucks’ patrons gain from my presence. 
             I can turn many a-heads during the Sunday worship service, and not in a good way. (I was kicked out of campus choir in high school Enough said.)
I loved these fun facts and the inspiration behind your novel is moving! I can’t wait to read it! 

Here’s a peek at:

Beyond I Do:

Will seeing beyond the present unite them or tear them apart?

Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. 

Eternally more.

Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignites a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancĂ©. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.

Jennifer Slattery writes missional romance for New Hope Publishers, Christian living articles for, and devotions for Internet CafĂ© Devotions. She also maintains a personal blog at and writes and edits for Christ to the World Ministries, an international ministry that shares the gospel, via radio waves, with thirty-two countries.

*** I'm going to be taking a blogging break but don't worry! I have some great guests scheduled on Fridays in August! So I'll still be around some. 

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  1. I know what you mean. All my work contains people with disabilities. My dad had MD. And I would like to see you at Starbucks head bobbing :)

    1. Hi, Jen! That's cool and so very unique! I loved your short romance in "Sweet Freedom"! Regarding my Starbucks head bobbing--we really need to find a way to do coffee one of these days. Or years. :)

  2. Wonderful article! I'm so proud of you, Jennifer! I remember Ainsley from waaay back and it's exciting to see her finally come to print. Wonderful blurb, too! Way to go, my friend. :)

    1. Michelle, thanks for popping by and for your sweet and encouraging words. :)

  3. Loved the blurb and the cover! And all your facts:)


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