Author Archives: jenniferuhlarik

MEANT FOR HER: NOT A Story INTENDED To Write!

The story behind the storyBy Joy Avery Melville

The premise of the novel is based on Genesis 50:20.

My chosen genre to write was Historical Romance, and I had written one and started another when I attended the ACFW September 2011 Conference in St. Louis, MO.

Sorry – got a bit ahead of myself there. I actually got a nudge from the Lord in August 2011. Standing in my kitchen, handwashing some dishes, I overheard a local TV newscast. I didn’t stop what I was doing, but I did ask my husband to turn the television up some.

A young woman had been abducted, and they could find no trace of her. Taken from her home, her family pleaded with the public for help in finding her.

My heart was wrenched as all kinds of ‘what-ifs’ went through my mind. In fact, that news story would not leave my mind or heart, and I felt led to pray earnestly for her and the family.

I went to that writer’s conference, pitched the first Historical Romance I’d written to agents and publishing acquisition editors. Two rejected it outright, saying it wasn’t historical enough, but one agent, went through the one-sheet (or sales-sheet as some refer to it) and told me what she especially liked. She suggested I come home and make a contemporary story out of it.

I did, but in doing so, much of the conflict and tension no longer were strong enough, due to the fact technology had advanced well beyond the story.

In the meantime, I heard more about the missing woman. She had a fiancé they were looking at as a person of interest, and other things that had come to the surface, but no sight of her. I kept praying for them all.

God nudged me… a bit at a time… reminding me of those “what-ifs”, and I thought He was just telling me to keep praying. WRONG!

His nudges got stronger toward putting her story to the page. I argued… I DO NOT RECOMMEND THAT… He won!

Change in genre writing was a MUST. He asked me to write about a young woman who’d been abducted, and to use each of those “What-ifs” I’d been mulling after each time I prayed for her and her loved ones.

What if she were still alive… it’d been weeks… what if she were found alive, but close to death… what if she had been a victim of rape and/or beatings… what if she became pregnant with a rapists’ child… and what if her fiancé abandoned her at her weakest moments?

We found out later, the woman in the newscast had, indeed, been found, but she hadn’t survived the elements where she’d been left.

Meant For Her, though based on that first news story I heard in August, has a decided turn from the actual events, but with each sentence, paragraph, chapter I wrote, the sense I was writing in obedience got stronger and stronger.

God gave me ideas I knew I’d never have come up with, and He brought all the right people to me when I needed to do research on several of the topics addressed in the novel.

The actual writing of the 100,000+ word novel took me six weeks. In the writing, God moved me to bring in subplots I was totally unprepared for. In doing so, He gave me two more books.

Considering I hadn’t intended to write Contemporary… certainly hadn’t intended to write Women’s Fiction… I find the choice of title for the entire series ironic, to say the least, and it didn’t occur to me until the writing of this post just how ironic.

 

Had it all truly been ~ MEANT FOR HER?Meant For Her (Intended For Her Book 1) by [Melville, Joy Avery]

Kidnapped, raped, brutally beaten, and left for dead, Candi Reynolds becomes a prisoner of fear. Faced also with the impact of the unexpected break-up with her fiancé, and an unwanted pregnancy resulting from the attacks, she believes God has forsaken her. Choosing to move back to the Michigan horse farm, owned by her older brother, Dr. Cam Reynolds, Candi essentially goes into seclusion.

Dr. Patrick (Mack) MacKevon, long-time friend of Cam’s, watches from the sidelines at the farm, where his horses are stabled, while Candi struggles to regain a sense of normalcy. His own big-brother tendencies develop into a much deeper emotion over the months he prays for her.

Is it possible for Candi to put all of the pain and trauma behind her and renew her former relationship with the Lord? Will she allow her heart to open enough to discover authentic love while making decisions of victory on her personal journey to joy?

KINDLE PURCHASE: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Y8RJFJ1

PAPERBACK PURCHASE: https://www.amazon.com/Meant-Her-Intended-Avery-Melville/dp/1691723665

 

Joy Avery Melville Headshot~ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~

Joy Avery Melville’s heart’s desire is to be the author God has called her to be by sharing Him with readers in such a way they long to have a deeply committed personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord.

Fully intending to write Historical Romance—had in fact— she had no plans to deviate from that. God had something else in mind for that ‘call’ He’d made on her life back in 1967. A mere eighth grader at the time, she had no clue about the topics she’d be drawn to write about.

Surrendering to the genre God placed on her heart has given Joy new insight into the hearts and lives of those who too often hurt in silence.

The settings of Joy’s books are near where she lives in Schoolcraft, Michigan with her husband of nearly 46 years and their one-yr-old Yorkie pup, Is-A-Bella Bindi, (Is-a-beautiful little girl) who thinks she’s a much larger breed with tomboy tendencies.

Joy loves to hear from readers and will respond!

CONNECT WITH JOY:

Email       joyjournaling@gmail.com

Twitter    https://twitter.com/Journeystojoy 

Website  https://www.joyaverymelville.com

Blog        https://www.journeystojoy.net

Facebook Author Page http://facebook.com/jamauthor

Facebook Personal Page http://facebook.com/joy.averymelville

Amazon:         https://www.amazon.com/author/joyaverymelville

Goodreads:     https://www.goodreads.com/joyjournalinggmailcom

Bookbub:      https://www.bookbub.com/profile/joy-avery-melville

The Cowboys Book Launch Party

The Cowboy CollectionHey Everyone,

Mark your calendars! Sandra Merville Hart, Cindy Ervin Huff, Linda Yezak, and I are doing a Facebook launch party for THE COWBOYS–this Thursday evening, August 29, 2019, from 6-10 pm Eastern Time. We’ll each take about an hour to talk about our individual novellas, the characters, research, and other fun facts. There will be several giveaways, including a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card. Who wouldn’t love that? Please join us for a few hours of fun, live readings, interesting facts, and fellowship! Hope to see you there!

 

What’s next? Coming in 2020…

So…I’ve been swamped this year with three book releases, plus my first re-print. In case you missed any of this, here’s what 2019 has held for me so far…and what’s coming in the next couple months.

Sand Creek Serenade came out out March 14.

Sand Creek Serenade

Cameo Courtships came out June 1.

Cameo Courtships

The Cowboys releases in just a few days–August 15.

The Cowboy Collection

My first release from back in 2015, The Oregon Trail Romance Collection, is getting a second print run on November 1 this year–so YAY, you’ll be able to purchase paperback copies again in just a few months.

The Oregon Trail Romance Collection

I’ve also worked on several proposals for new projects that are currently being shopped to publishers, as well as lots of blog posts and promotional work for the above titles. This is all hugely exciting to me, and I’m very grateful for the opportunities that continue to come my way. But all these releases are also the reason why I haven’t shared the news of what’s coming up in 2020. So, without further ado…let me share.

I’ve got two novella collections coming up next year. I’ll share about the first one here. Keep watching for more details on the second in the near future.

The first novella collection is called Blacksmith Brides. It is a 4-in-1 collection from Barbour Publishing and will include stories by Pegg Thomas, Amanda Barratt, Angela Couch, and me. Here’s the back-cover description:


Hearts Are Forged by the Flames of Gentle Love in 4 Historical Stories
 
Worth Fighting For (1774—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) by Pegg Thomas
Talk of war has surrounded Meg McCracken, including her father and four brothers. Alexander Ogilvie doesn’t care about the coming war; his plans are to head west. When Meg comes to his smithy, sparks fly off more than the forge. But can they build anything during unstable times?
 
Forging Forever (1798—Cornwall, England) by Amanda Barratt
When the actions of Elowyn Brody’s father force her into a marriage of convenience with blacksmith Josiah Hendrick, she consigns love to a bygone dream. But as Elowyn comes to know her new husband, her flame of hope begins to burn again. Until heartache threatens to sever the future forged between them.
 
A Tempered Heart (1861—Charlottesville, Virginia) By Angela K. Couch
Buried under a debt that is not his own, Thomas Flynn’s only focus is gaining his freedom. He has learned to keep his head low and not pay attention to the troubles of others, until a peculiar boy and his widowed mother show him how empty his life has become. After years of protecting her son from slights and neglect of the people closest them, Esther Mathews is not sure how to trust the local blacksmith with her child…or her heart.
 
A Malleable Heart (California—1870) by Jennifer Uhlarik
A hard-hearted blacksmith finds acceptance with the town laundress. But when his past comes to call, will he resist love’s softening or allow God to hammer his ruined life into something of worth?


I’m writing my story for this collection right now, and so far, two chapters in, I’m loving it! After struggling with some of the proposals I worked on, this story is flowing and I’m enjoying the process again! This is great news. I need to have this story completed by October 1, but I’m hoping to really hammer it out in August and have it done soon. 

Now…are you ready? I already have the cover for Blacksmith Brides!!! Want to see it? I thought you might, so…here it is.

Blacksmith Brides--Front Cover

To me, the cover is beautiful, although you might be wondering why it doesn’t feature a man with a hammer standing at an anvil. The truth is, you’d be rather surprised how hard it is to find photos of historically accurate blacksmiths! So the cover artists at Barbour found the picture above, and fortunately for me, it will fit with a scene later in my novella. So I’ll be describing my hero in this pose at some point in the story. Fun.

So…there’s the first part of the 2020 news. Yahoo–new stories coming up! Keep watching for the other half of the 2020 news in the coming days or weeks. 

As always, thanks for reading! Hope you’re as excited as I am.

The Cowboys Cover Reveal

Hey, y’all! It’s time for another cover reveal. The Cowboys Collection is coming from Smitten Historical Romance on August 15, 2019.

And…before I bore you to tears–here it is!

The Cowboy Collection

I’m so excited about this collection. Here’s a bit about each story:

Healing Hearts by Cindy Ervin Huff
Lonnie Holt’s external scars remind him of his failures, his internal scars torment him. Genny Collins seeks safety at the ranch once owned by Lonnie’s uncle. When Lonnie and his brother arrive, sparks fly and distrust abounds. While Lonnie and Genny fight the love growing between them, his past haunts him, and her past pays them a visit.

Becoming Brave by Jennifer Uhlarik
When Coy Whitaker stumbles upon a grisly scene littered with bodies, he wants nothing more than to get his boss’s cattle out of Indian Territory. But when a bloodstained Aimee Kaplan draws down on him, his plans—and his heart—screech to a halt.

Trail’s End by Sandra Merville Hart
Wade Chadwick has no money until his boss’s cattle sell, so he takes a kitchen job at Âbby’s Home Cooking. The beautiful and prickly owner adds spice to his workday. Abby Cox hires the down-and-out cowboy even though the word cowboy leaves a bad taste in her mouth. Just as she’s ready to trust Wade with her heart, money starts to disappear … and so does her brother.

Loving a Harvey Girl by Linda Yezak
Eva Knowles can’t imagine why the local preacher doesn’t like Harvey Girls—women who work serving tables instead of finding a husband and falling in love. But if Eva can get the handsome and wayward cowboy Cal Stephens to join her in church, maybe the reverend will accept the girls. Or maybe she’ll forfeit her job for a husband, heart, and home!

What I find amazing is that all four authors in this collection were Selah Award finalists at this year’s Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. (Each with other stories–we won’t be able to enter this collection’s stories in contests until next year). What a line-up of authors. I’m proud to call these talented people my friends!

Hope you’ll be watching for this collection!

Cameo Courtships Release Day!

Cameo--Release Day FB Post

Yahoo! Cameo Courtships has officially released. I’m so very excited to see my ninth published title hit the shelves and get shared with readers everywhere!

In case you haven’t seen the posts, we’ve had JustRead Publicity Tours doing a Takeover Tour for Cameo Courtships. It’s been a blast watching the various posts come out with our book featured in new, unique, and beautiful ways. Click the link above to see where the book has been featured and see all the fun posts. And…there’s a great giveaway going on with the tour. Take a look at the fun prize pack.

Giveaway_Takeover_Cameo Courtships

Prize pack includes:

 

  • fluffy ‘reader’ socks.
  • Cameo bookmark
  • Cameo necklace
  • $10 Amazon Gift Card
  • Cameo Courtships (paperback)
  • “Victorian” Book Cozy

 

Be sure to enter here! There are five days remaining until the drawing!

A Super-Awesome Day

Sand Creek SerenadeToday is March 1. That means Sand Creek Serenade’s birthday is just two short weeks away! So I was already celebrating this day. I’ve waited a very long time to launch a full-length novel out into the world, and finally hitting the first day of its launch month was a red-letter event.

 

Then I got the news.

The Selah Award Finalist list was announced just a short time ago, and, well…two of my Barbour novellas are finalists in the Western category! Beyond that, there are so many of my friends’ names on this list too! So here’s a shout-out to all the finalists for their hard work and dedication to their craft!


2018 Selah Finalist Sticker

From: Eva Marie Everson, Director
BRMCWC Contests

Subject: The Selah Awards Finalists

Dear Edie and DiAnn:

As you know, The Selah Awards brought in a higher number of submissions this year than ever before! After months of reading by our judges, the preliminary scores are in. These scores were often so close, my heart ached that they didn’t all place in finals. Still, each category drew a number of finalists. The number of finalists per category was based on the number of entries per category.

And now, it is my pleasure to send you the following information:

These books and articles finaled for The Selah Awards:

 In the category of ANTHOLOGIES, the finalists are:

Granola Bar Devotionals: Spiritual Snacks on the Go
Alisa Hope Wagner
Marked Writers Publishing

Moments with Billy Graham
Edited and Compiled by Yvonne Lehman
(Multiple Authors)
Grace Publishing

Words to Cheer Your Heart Devotional
Entries by Michelle Medlock Adams
Ellie Claire

In the category of ARTICLES (ONLINE), the finalists are:

3 Ways to Raise Kids Who Care
Leigh Ann Thomas
Charisma Magazine

My Brave
Kaley Rhea
Arise Daily

The Day I Chose to Smile
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
(In)Courage

The Rock that Saved My Marriage
Melinda Eye Cooper
The National Christian Voice

In the category of ARTICLES (PRINT), the finalists are:

Dramatic Considerations
Leigh Ann Thomas
Southern Writers Magazine

Dream Comes True for Young Dancer
Julie Lavender
Statesboro Herald Newspaper

Mason Jar Blessings
Robin Luftig
Leading Hearts

Personality and the Writer
Linda Gilden
Southern Writers Magazine

Rescuing the Rescuer
Julie Lavender
Nazarene Publishing House
Standard Adult Take-Home Paper

Tarantula!
Julie Lavender
Guideposts: All Creatures Magazine

In the category of BIBLE STUDY, the finalists are:

A Whole Lot of Wonderful
Beebe Kauffman
Lighthouse Bible Studies

God is Out to Get Us: At All Costs—The Life of Abraham
Carol Bond Wagner
Relentless Pursuit Media

Heart Renovation
Katy Kauffman
Lighthouse Bible Studies

I Call You Mine: Embracing God’s Gift of Adoption
Kim de Blecourt
New Hope Publishers

Legacy: Living Now for Future Generations
Patty Schell
Kindle Direct Publishing

Strength in Adversity
Donna E. Lane
David Lane
Create Space

In the category of CHILDREN’S LITERATURE, the finalists are:

C is for Christmas
Michelle Medlock Adams
Little Lamb Books

Dinosaur Devotions
Michelle Medlock Adams
Thomas Nelson

That Grand Easter Day
Jill Roman Lord
Worthy Kids/Ideals

The Silent Noisy Night
Jill Roman Lord
B&H Publishing Group

The Very Best Story Ever Told
Robin Currie
Beaming Books

In the category of CHRISTIAN LIFE, the finalists are:

Courageous Women of the Bible
LaTan Roland Murphy
Bethany House/Baker

Holy in the Moment
Ginger Harrington
Abingdon Press

Like Me or Not: Overcoming Approval Addiction
Dawn M. Owens
Worthy Publishing

Praying God’s Promises
Linda Evans Shepherd
Revell/Baker

Prepare for the Harvest
Pamela Christian
Protocol Ltd.

Unhitching from the Crazy Train
Julie Sparkman
Jennifer Phillips
New Hope Publishers

When God Says, “Go”
Elizabeth Laing Thompson
Shiloh Run Press

In the category of CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE FICTION, the finalists are:

Crossroads of the Heart
Dana R. Lynn
Annie’s Publishing

Finding Love on Bainbridge Island, WA
Annette M. Irby
Mountain Brook Ink

Freedom’s Kiss
Sarah Monzon
Radiant Publications

New Duet
Cindy Erving Huff
Clean Reads

Return to Walhalla
Laura Hodges Poole
Firefly Southern Fiction/LPC

The Promise
Susan Lantz Simpson
Kensington Publishing Group

In the category of DEVOTIONALS, the finalists are:

Buckeye Believer: 40 Days of Devotions for the Ohio State Faithful
Del Duduit
Burnett Young Books

Extraordinary Hope
Elizabeth Ann Wallace
Morgan James Publishing

Fabulous & Focused
Michelle Medlock Adams
Gena Maselli
Worthy Inspired

Live Bold
Andrea Tomassi
Cynthia Cavanaugh
Redemption Press

In the category of FIRST NOVEL, the finalists are:

Hidden Danger
Jennifer Pierce
Anaiah Press

Seeing Beyond
Kent Wyatt
Winged Publications

The Children of Main Street
Merilyn Howton Marriott
Firefly Southern Fiction/LPC

The Forgotten Life of Evelyn Lewis
Jane Rubietta
Guiding Light/LPC

The Secret Heir
Janice Broyles
Heritage Beacon Press/LPC

Yoshi of Bethlehem
Sharon Mullen
Woodsong Publishing

In the category of GENERAL NONFICTION, the finalists are:

Anchored: Leading Through the Storms
Cynthia Cavanaugh
New Hope Publishers

If You Give a Girl a Giant
Karen Porter
Bold Vision Books

The Final Race
Eric Eichinger
(with) Eva Marie Everson
Tyndale Publishing

In the category of HISTORICAL/BIBLICAL FICTION, the finalists are:

Dangerous to Know
Megan Whitson Lee
Elk Lake Publishing

Faith is Not Silent
Billie Fulton
Elk Lake Publishing

The Secret Heir
Janice Broyles
Heritage Beacon Press/LPC

The Shenandoah Road
Lynne Basham Tagawa
Blue Rock Press

In the category of HISTORICAL ROMANCE FICTION, the finalists are:

Across the Blue
Carrie Turansky
Multonomah/Penguin Random House

Ain’t Misbehavin’
Jennifer Lamont Leo
Smitten/LPC

A Love Restored
Kelly Goshorn
Pelican Book Group

A Mother for His Family
Susanne Dietze
Harlequin Love Inspired Historical

A Musket in My Hands
Sandra Merville Hart
Smitten/LPC

Minding the Light
Suzanne Woods Fisher
Revell Books/Baker

Mist O’er the Voyageur
Naomi Musch
Smitten/LPC

River to Redemption
Ann H. Gabhart
Revell Book/Baker

In the category of INSPIRATION & GIFT, the finalists are:

Deep Waters: Lift Your Gaze
Kim M. Clark
Deep Waters Books

Spiritual Verse Today: God’s Light Volume One
Sharon CassanoLochman
Ontario Shore Publishing

When God Calls the Heart
Brian Bird
Michelle Cox
BroadStreet Publishing

 

When God Calls the Heart at Christmas
Brian Bird
Michelle Cox
BroadStreet Publishing

In the category of MIDDLE GRADE NOVELS, the finalists are:

Battle Buddies
Shelley Pierce
Elk Lake Publishing

Saving Mount Rushmore
Andrea Jo Rodgers
Anaiah Press

Sour Lemon and Sweet Tea
Julane Fisher
TouchPoint Press

In the category of MYSTERY/SUSPENSE FICTION, the finalists are:

Blood Moon Redemption
Judy DuCharme
Ambassador International

Deep State Stealth
Vikki Kestell
Faith-Filled Fiction

Perilous Treasure
Dan Walsh
Bainbridge Press

The Last Hemlock
Larry M. Arrowood
Woodsong Publishing

In the category of NOVELLAS, the finalists are:

Above All These Things
Connie Stevens
Barbour Publishing

Ice Melts in Spring
Linda W. Yezak
Firefly Southern Fiction/LPC

Falling for Grace
Janet W. Ferguson
Southern Sun Press

Perfect for the Preacher
Megan Besing
Barbour Publishing

The Return
Marianne Evans
Pelican Book Group

In the category of ROMANTIC SUSPENSE FICTION, the finalists are:

Amish Christmas Emergency
Dana R. Lynn
Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense

Called to Protect
Lynette Eason
Revell/Baker

Expecting Danger
Jennifer Pierce
Anaiah Press

Fugitive Spy
Jordyn Redwood
Love Inspired Suspense

In Too Deep
Lynn H. Blackburn
Revell/Baker

Lone Witness
Rachel Dylan
Bethany House/Baker

Vanished in the Night
Lynette Eason
Love Inspired Suspense

In the category of SPECULATIVE FICTION, the finalists are:

Mark of the Raven
Morgan L. Busse
Bethany House/Baker

Sky Light Falls
Donna E. Lane
Bear’s Place Publishing

The Revolutionary
Kristen Hogrefe
Write Integrity Press

In the category of WESTERN FICTION, the finalists are:

Heartfelt Echoes
Jennifer Uhlarik
Barbour Publishing

Rose’s Redemption
Donna L. H. Smith
Hartline

The Brigand and the Bride
Jennifer Uhlarik
Barbour Publishing

In the category of WOMEN’S CONTEMPORARY FICTION, the finalists are:

Daring to Live
Mary Vee
Never Give Up Stories Publications

Manhattan Grace
Clarice G. James
Elk Lake Publishing

Miles from Where we Started
Cynthia Ruchti
Gilead Publishing

Mourning Dove
Claire Fullerton
Firefly Southern Fiction/LPC

The Children of Main Street
Merilyn Howton Marriott
Firefly Southern Fiction/LPC

In the category of YA Fiction/Nonfiction, the finalists are:

Bold and Blessed
Trinitee Stokes
(with) Crystal Bowman
Teri Mckinley
Zonderkidz

F’lorna of Rodesh
Alisa Hope Wagner
Marked Writers Publishing

Get Your Spirit On: Devotions for Cheerleaders
Michelle Medlock Adams
SonRise Devotionals/LPC

Uninvited
Beckie Lindsey
Elk Lake Publishing

I look forward to receiving the winning scores and in announcing the winners at awards night during Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference.

Respectfully Submitted,

Eva Marie Everson
Contest Director
(along with) Taryn Souders
Assistant to the Contest Director
BRMCWC


 A heartfelt thank you to Edie Melson, DiAnn Mills, Eva Marie Everson, Taryn Souders, and the many judges who made this contest happen! I know we all are thankful for you!

And a huge congrats to all who entered. No matter the outcome, we are all winners, because we tried!

Valentine’s Day Winner

Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter my Valentine’s Day giveaway. It was a lot of fun getting to email with each of you as you entered, especially when some of you shared your enjoyment of my opening chapter of Sand Creek Serenade! Those responses did my author-heart good! So thank you all.

Without further ado…

Valentine's Day Winner

Congratulations, Paula! I will contact you by email so I can get your prize to you.

Again, thank you, everyone, for entering–and keep watching for further news and giveaways!