Sheila Stovall, author of Christian contemporary women’s fiction, joins us this week. Welcome, Sheila!
Shelia is the director of a small-town library in southern Kentucky, where only strangers mention her last name, and the children call her Miss Shelia.
It tickles her to see shocked expressions when folks learn she’s traveling to Africa—again. She says she’s the worst missionary ever, but God continues to send her to the ends of the earth as He attempts to mold her into something useful.
Shelia is a country girl who relishes eating a bologna sandwich at a country store just as much as savoring an elegant meal in a posh restaurant. She and her husband Michael live on a farm, and she enjoys taking daily rambles to the creek with their three dogs. Spending time with family, especially her grandchildren, is her all-time favorite thing. The only hobby Shelia loves more than reading uplifting stories of hope is writing them.
For her Let’s Chat blog circle, she will give away a themed gift basket from Habegger’s Amish Market. Habegger’s is the inspiration for the Wide Spot Country Store, which was included in her lead magnet, A Sassy Creek Christmas. Emma Baker, the heroine of Every Window Filled with Light, is a minor character in A Sassy Creek Christmas. Readers can still download a free e-book of her novella to sample her writing by clicking this link: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/l9y1q8ne8p.
Items in the basket include a jar of Brother’s Maple Farm pure maple syrup, a pint of Countryside honey, a bag of Walnut Creek Popcorn, and a sampling of three teas: spearmint tea, lemon soufflé tea, and strawberry cream team.
A Word From Sheila Stovall
When I was younger, I daydreamed about becoming an author after discovering books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I was a country girl and loved her prairie stories.
In the summer of 2011, I participated in a Bible study called Jonah by Priscilla Shirer. After meditating on the question, What does God want you to do that you don’t want to do. God spoke to me. Write a book for me. My heartbeat quickened as God gave me the opening and the ending of the story. I envisioned a large two-story yellow Victorian home with every Window filled with light.
I started writing the story, but it was too hard, and I gave up. My Ninevah was Africa because instead of finishing the story, I traveled on a short-term mission team to Niger. A year later, when cleaning my home, I discovered my laptop under the bed covered in dust. I gulped as I remembered God asking me to write a book. With trepidation, I opened the computer and read the first few pages of the story I’d started. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great. I whined to God. I don’t have the skills or the talent to write a book.
An Unexpected Message
Then, I received an email in my work email account promoting a Christian writers’ conference. To this day, it is still the only email I’ve received at work advertising a writers’ conference. I could hardly breathe as I read the email promoting the writers’ workshop to be held at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, TX—a long way from Kentucky. I shared everything with my husband, and he encouraged me to go even though we didn’t have the money. He reminded me we had a travel credit in our airline account because of connection problems during our first trip to Africa. So, I packed my bags.
When I attended the conference, two instructors, New York Times best-selling author Lisa Wingate and Judy Christie, changed my life when they encouraged me to finish the story. Judy asked me to commit to writing one hour a day, and she predicted I’d finish the first draft by Thanksgiving if I’d stick with it. The conference was held in October, and I thought her expectations impossible. I didn’t meet her goal, but I finished the first draft on 12/12/12. I’ll never forget that morning. It’s a good thing I had no idea of the work ahead of me.
Getting a book published by a traditional publisher is difficult. You must acquire an agent, and that hurdle can take years. Through the years of hard work, God has been faithful to provide encouragement and help along the road to publication. If there is anything good in Every Window Filled with Light, it is from Him and the people he sent to aid me. The best blessings of the writing journey are the friendships I’ve made along the way.
Every Window Filled with Light by Sheila Stovall
I hope you’ll read Every Window Filled with Light or give it to someone who needs an uplifting story of hope. If there’s a person you know who doesn’t know Christ and doesn’t want to listen to a witness, this is a book you can share. I hope the reader will be so drawn into the story they won’t realize they are being exposed to God’s salvation plan until it’s too late.
If you want to order the book, click on this link. https://amzn.to/3mJo1vm
You might ask your public library to order a copy. If so, cut and paste the line below and send an email. [ISBN 978-1-64949-170-1 (trade paperback), Every Window Filled with Light by Shelia Stovall]
If you read the book, please leave an Amazon and Goodreads review. If you need to know how to write an Amazon review or Goodreads review, send an email to Shelia@SheliaStovall.com
Thank you for taking the time to learn about why I wrote Every Window Filled with Light. Has God ever asked you to do something you didn’t want to do? I’d love to hear your story.
CONNECT WITH SHEILA STOVALL
- Subscribe to my blog @ sheliastovalal.com
- Email: Shelia@SheliaStovall.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/writerSheliaStovall
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sheliastovall1
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stovallshelia/
- Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/shelia1716/_saved/
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Dear Lord, please bless each word Sheila writes for you.
~ For Jesus’ sake ~