Let’s Chat! Featured Favorite: Jamie Langston Turner

Welcome, Everyone!

Jamie Langston Turner vies with a couple other authors for #1 in my hit parade.

Recently I decided I want occasionally to veer off my usual trail on “Let’s Chat!” to highlight certain authors—Featured Favorites–whose works have impacted me and my life. I love all my author friends (and lots I haven’t met), but if I must pick one for top billing today, it’s Jamie.

My favorite of Turner’s novels? No Dark Valley.

My giveaway this week: $5 Amazon gift card to someone who joins the chat below. (Winner can apply to any of Jamie’s ebooks)

Why Turner? And why No Dark Valley?

I’m drawn to any novel’s important themes. Well-drawn and memorable characters and storyline. Emotions. Beauty of the language. Take-away messages. Intrigue and/or surprise and more. I found all of this in No Dark Valley. So much so that I’m including it in the boxes of keepsakes I’m creating for my children and grandchildren.

I read all of Jamie Langston Turner’s books a few years ago and will never forget them. Call it a “soul mates” thing. Touching dim memories from my distant home and church past. Speaking to a tender place in my heart where regret and shame lurk. All of those are true. 

If mind-blowing adventure, crime, death and destruction, sex, and violence aren’t your thing . . . Rather, if you’re looking for beautifully written, touching, meaningful fiction that captures your imagination, whirls you into unexpected crevices, and thrusts you out into new landscapes with a chuckle or two, all the while leaving its mark on your heart . . .  If you’re looking for fiction that enthralls you now and stays with you always, Jamie Langston Turner is your gal.

No Dark Valley: Beyond the Remorse, Forgiveness Beckoned


A Little Something From the Front and Back Covers:

She had bolted shut the door of her heart . . . Now she held the key in her hand . . .

She had expected to feel angry. Anger was the kind of emotion that could carry you through a funeral with perfect composure. She hadn’t expected to look down at her grandmother and be flooded with this strange conglomeration of guilt, regret, curiosity, sadness . . .

Jamie Langston Turner

Her grandmother’s funeral meant Celia Coleman must return to the small town she had hoped never to see again. The memories of that long ago home and church–and of her own behavior there–are not happy ones But now the floodgates are about to open.

Bruce Healey is struggling with guilt over his own past, and Celia wants nothing to do with this neighbor of hers. But when God lifts them each from their dark valleys of shame, their hearts could indeed be ready to give and receive love.

Excerpt from Chapter One: “The Birds Hush Their Singing” in which Celia arrives in Dunmore, GA

Jamie Langston Turner

‘We been hoping you’d come,’ Aunt Beulah called. She stepped out onto the porch, letting the screen slam behind her. ‘Come on inside before you freeze to death. Everybody’s here eating.’ Her words came out in little white puffs. She was wearing a nubby black sweater over a navy blue dress and pink terry-cloth slippers on her feet.

Celia felt a wave of panic. So that explained all the cars parked up and down the street. If she had known about this, she would never have agreed to come. She had expected only Aunt Beulah and Uncle Taylor, not everybody. ‘Come on by the house first,’ Aunt Beulah had said over the phone. ‘We can have us a little visit before we go to the funeral home.’

Jamie Langston Turner

‘Now, tell me again which cow this is,’ Al said as they started up the sidewalk. On the drive here Celia had told him the names of her grandmother’s five sisters–Clara, Bess, Beulah, Elsie, and Molly–to which Al had replied, ‘They sound like cows.’ He had then laughed, for what seemed to Celia a little too long, at his joke. He was right about their names, of course. And her grandmother’s name had fit right in with the rest: Sadie.

‘This one’s Aunt Beulah,’ Celia said. ‘She’s the only one of them who ever liked me.’

‘Watch out for that icy patch there!’ Aunt Beulah called. ‘Molly nearly slipped on it earlier. I got Taylor to sprinkle some salt on it, but it might have refroze.’ She shaded her eyes as she watched Celia and Al approach. ‘I’m sure glad you could come. I told them you would.’ The implication, clearly, was But nobody believed me.

Aunt Beulah stepped back and opened the door again. Behind her Celia could see a roomful of people, all jammed together with plates of food balanced on their laps. Somebody cried out, “Mercy, you’re lettin’ the cold in, Beulah!”

Celia felt her knees go weak as she started up the steps, Al at her elbow. “I don’t think I can do this,” she said to him. “These people are perfectly capable of violence. There’s no telling what they might do.” She could picture herself in the middle of Aunt Beulah’s living room, surrounded by all her Georgia kinfolk coming at her with their knives and forks.

‘Don’t worry, I’m here,’ Al said. ‘I won’t let them do anything.’ He put his hand on her back. Celia knew he was looking forward to meeting her relatives, to see for himself if they were as weird as she had claimed.

The hum of talk stopped as they entered. Celia glanced around at the cricle of faces and nodded. She didn’t actually look at the faces, but at the wall slightly above their heads. She could sense that they were all looking her up and down, that she was being weighed in the balances of their narrow minds and found severely wanting.

From Chapter 25, “One Holy Passion,” in which Bruce Healey observes Celia:

Jamie Langston Turner

On a Sunday afternoon in late October, Bruce Healey was sitting at the patio table in the backyard trying to carve a jack-o’-lantern to surprise Madison when he saw Celia pull into the driveway next door and park her red Mustang. It still surprised him that a woman like her, so efficient, sensible, and reclusive, drove a red Mustang instead of, say, a dark brown Volvo 280.

He had already gotten all the stringy goop and seeds out of the pumpkin and was working on the second eye–a simple triangular design, which was turning out to be larger than the first eye and a little lower on the face, down toward the middle of its cheek actually. So it would be a freak, but who cared? Nobody expected perfection when it came to jack-o’-lanterns.

Jamie Langston Turner

He paused for a moment to watch Celia get out of her car and walk to her front door. He opened his mouth to call to her but for some reason decided against it even though he had a legitimate question already framed and ready to ask: “How many trick-or-treaters usually come around this neighborhood on Halloween?”

In fact, he knew in his heart that he was sitting here in the backyard with the express hope of seeing her. But something about the brisk, beeline way she was moving toward the door kept him from speaking. Not that it was much different from the way she normally walked to the door–as if she had just remembered she’d left a cake in the oven. After watching her disappear inside her apartment, he turned his attention back to the jack-o’-lantern’s enormous misaligned eye.

Bruce Healey had met a lot of women in his life. All shapes and sizes, young and old, all kinds of dull and fascinating personalities, faces that made you look twice, others that made you wish you hadn’t. When he was in college, he used to say he could never get married because he’d always be wondering about all those other women he hadn’t had a chance to meet.

From an email written by a reader from Dover, PA:

Thank you for sharing your gift with us. Thank you for allowing God to speak through your words. Your work has blessed me abundantly.

Ditto from me! 

Jamie’s Books

Jamie Langston Turner_https://www.amazon.com/Moon-Again-Jamie-Langston-Turner-ebook/dp/B00IOE4L0O/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=To+see+the+moon+again&qid=1550612611&s=books&sr=1-1

How to Find Jamie Langston Turner

Website

Facebook

Jamie Langston Turner was born and raised in the South—Mississippi and Kentucky. She has lived in South Carolina for 45 years and in 2016 retired from teaching creative writing at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC.

She began freelance writing in the early 1980s, and over the next ten years she wrote short stories, articles, plays, and poems for a variety of magazines as well as material for reading, science, history, music, and literature textbooks.

I
n 1992 she received a phone call from an editor of Moody Magazine, who had read two of her short stories and urged her to consider writing a novel. Within weeks she started her first novel, Suncatchers, which was published in 1995 by Thomas Nelson. Then she published her second novel, Some Wildflower in My Heart, with Bethany House in 1998. Thereafter, five others, also with Bethany: By the Light of a Thousand Stars (1999), A Garden to Keep (2001), No Dark Valley (2004), Winter Birds (2006), and Sometimes a Light Surprises (2009). Her eighth novel, To See the Moon Again, was released by Penguin/​Berkley in September 2014.

Awards

Four of her novels have been finalists for the Christy Award, and two were named winners of the award in the category of contemporary fictionA Garden to Keep in 2002 and Winter Birds in 2007. Also, Winter Birds was named as a best book for the year 2006 by both Christianity Today and Publishers Weekly

Jamie has been married for 47 years to Daniel Turner, who is on the music faculty at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC, and they have a son, Jess, who is a composer living in Indiana, and two wonderful grandchildren, Carolyn Svana, 9, and Charles Kjell, 5.

` ~ ~ ~

What wonderful gifts You give, Lord. And when the recipients of Your gift of writing like Jamie use them as You intend, what glory they bring to You and encouragement they provide to readers.
We pray You’ll bless each word Jamie writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake

16 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Featured Favorite: Jamie Langston Turner

  1. Chloe Flanagan

    I’m not entering the giveaway, I just wanted to say that it’s so great to read this post about Jamie Langston Turner’s work, especially No Dark Valley. It’s such a great book that I think about parts of it even now, several years after reading it. I also loved To See the Moon Again. Her work really overturned my preconceived ideas and definitions of Christian Fiction.

    Thanks!

     
     
    1. Ditto, Chloe! And you’re welcome 🙂 I’m the same way about No Dark Valley. I’m leaving it in a keepsakes box for my children and grandchildren. (One day when they remember their crazy ol’ Mama D, I think that story will resonate.)

       
       
  2. Melissa Andres

    I love learning about new-to-me authors! Jamie’s books sound wonderful. I’ll definitely try to get my hands on one! Thank you!

     
     
    1. You’re welcome, Melissa. It’s my joy and honor to feature Jamie.

       
       
  3. Judi Marshall

    From just the snippets that I read here her books sound wonderful. I am so glad you choose to do something like this

     
     
    1. Hi, Judi. Great to see you in our circle. I think you’ll love Jamie’s books. Needless to say, I do. 🙂

       
       
  4. Lelia (Lucy) Reynolds

    I have not heard of this author. I look forward to reading her books. Thank you for sharing.

     
     
    1. Welcome, Lucy! I hope you get to read Jamie’s work. I think you’ll love her too.

       
       
  5. Faith Creech

    I have read some of Jamie’s books and I love them. Thank you for highlighting her!

     
     
    1. I’m so glad you’re in our circle, Faith. Jamie’s books are truly memorable.

       
       
  6. Thank you for sharing about Jamie Langston Turner. I am glad to learn about her and now, I want to read her writings.

     
     
    1. Hi, Melissa. Welcome to the circle. You’re entered in the drawing, girl.

       
       
  7. Paula Shreckhise

    I love stories about quaint towns in the south. This sounds right up my alley! Thanks for bringing this book to my attention. paulams49ATsbcglobalDOTnet

     
     
    1. Hi, Paula. I love having you here in the circle. I hope you get to read Jamie. She’s fantastic.

       
       
  8. Kim G.

    I absolutely love Jaime Langston Turner books!! I wish she would write another story. I really enjoyed this Linda, it’s rare to find someone who’s read her fabulous work.

     
     
    1. Hi, Kim. You and I are soul mates I guess. Jamie’s stories stay with you, don’t they? You’re right … It’s been awhile since she’s released a new one. Let’s pray she’ll do so again before too long. Too wonderful to miss.

       
       

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Let’s Chat! Chloe S. Flanagan

Welcome, Everyone!

Chloe FlanaganChloe S. Flanagan is our honored guest this week. Chloe, a young author with wisdom beyond her years, writes Christian Romantic Suspense.

Chloe is offering BOTH her books in digital format. Is that an offer or what!

Here’s Chloe in her own words.

Chloe S. Flanagan: Before Authorship

First of all, I’m a hopeless bookworm and have been for most of my life. When I was growing up, my family lived in several different places, including Oklahoma, Texas, Atlanta, the Gulf Coast, and Hawaii. All that moving provided some wonderful experiences, and yet it could also be lonely at times. But books were the friends I had with me no matter where I went.

Chloe Flanagan
I
t’s probably not a surprise, then, that when I first went to college at New York University, I wanted to study English and one day write fiction. But a bad economy at the time prompted me to switch to a major I thought would be more practical. Not long afterwards, though, multiple family crises required me to leave school for several years.

A Time to Listen

Chloe S. FlanaganIn the wake of these crises, I went through a period of depression. I stopped reading, and my writer’s voice fell silent because I didn’t believe I had anything worthwhile to say.

During this season, I spent a lot of time struggling to figure out what God was doing in my life and what He wanted me to do. That was a question that, sadly, I hadn’t asked as much as I should have.

A Time to Explore

At one of the gloomiest points of my struggle, I discovered a number of Christian fiction authors that I had never read before. One of the first of these was Jamie Langston Turner. Her books impressed me so much, that I decided to write her an email to express my appreciation. I was thrilled when she actually responded to my message. She thanked me and told me a little bit more about her books. She closed her note by telling me that my email was so well written, that I could be an author myself.

Ms. Turner’s response touched and humbled me, of course, but her kind words also stunned me. Reading them was like receiving a visit from an old dream—a dream that I thought had died.

A Time to Write

Chloe S. FlanaganNot long after that email exchange, God began pulling me back into writing. I was finally in college again, researching and composing papers. Next, I received numerous freelance writing opportunities that led to me getting a job as a technical writer in the aerospace industry.

Now that I was back in the habit of writing, I decided to document some of the struggles and joys of my faith journey by starting my own blog, The Candid Corinthian. The blog brought a wonderful opportunity to connect with other believers for honest, loving conversations about God and the faith community.

Chloe S. Flanagan, Author

Chloe Flanagan
F
inally, around eighteen months ago, I began work on my first novel, a Christian Romantic Suspense novel called Forward to What Lies Ahead. I self-published it in November 2017 and released its sequel, A Time For Every Matter, in August of 2018. These two books, along with a third that I’m currently working on, form the “An Offer of Grace Series.” Each story features characters that accept a unique opportunity that causes them to encounter God’s grace in a new way. Consequently, my characters learn, as I have learned, that God has a loving purpose for all of us, and He often reveals it in life’s darkest moments.

Chloe Flanagan

Looking Ahead

Once I’ve completed my current series, I have several contemporary and historical fiction projects on the horizon. In the meantime, Lord willing, I will continue to share thoughts and dialogue on The Candid Corinthian blog.

Chloe S. Flanagan

A Gift from Chloe

I want to thank you, Linda, for creating a space for other Christian authors to discuss their writing journey. I’m so grateful to be included. To show my appreciation, I’d like to offer one commenter a digital copy of both of my books, Forward to What Lies Ahead and A Time For Every Matter.

How to Find Chloe and Her Books

Here are my websites:

https://chloesflanagan.weebly.com

https://candidcorinthian.blogspot.com

Here are my social media pages:

https://www.goodreads.com/chloeflan

https://www.facebook.com/candidcorinthian/

https://twitter.com/candidcorinth

https://www.instagram.com/candid_corinthian

~ ~ ~

Lord, we come to you in gratitude and praise for Your kind hand of blessing. We thank You for calling writers like Chloe to create stories that bring honor to You name. Thank You for readers who are looking for stories such as these. Bless each word readers of Christian fiction store in their hearts. And bless each word Chloe writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake

14 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Chloe S. Flanagan

  1. Arletta

    What a powerful testimony! Do you need to read the books in order for the third to make sense?

     
     
    1. Chloe Flanagan

      Great question!

      You will be able to read the third book as a stand-alone. Characters from the first two books will figure prominently in this one but you won’t need to know their stories to understand this one.

      Blessings!

       
       
  2. JANE QUAIL

    It is very humbling for me to admit, Chloe, how your story moves my heart. In a small space we cannot include everything about ourselves that we might like to tell. You succeed in uplifting others of us who’ve had some disappointments. Self-published like you, it has been difficult for me to get further into my storytelling. Apparently, you’ve written some studies as well, and I have one coming, “Under the Cover of His Word”. Hoping for God’s lifting you up richly in times to come…

     
     
    1. Jane,

      We face so many challenges as writers, including some unique ones when we’re self-published. It’s so easy to be discouraged. But I’m glad we can support and lift one another up on this road.

      Your study sounds interesting. I like the title. I haven’t published any of my reflections except in blog format, but I have that in mind as a future project.

      I pray God blesses and encourages you on your future work.

       
       
    2. Thank you for your kind words to Chloe, Jane. You’re a blessing to this blog, friend.

       
       
  3. Candace West Posey

    I loved reading your personal story, Chloe. I already have both of your books, and I’m looking forward to reading the third one. May the Lord continue to bless your writing journey!

     
     
    1. Thanks for reading, Candace! I’m looking forward to reading more of your work too.

       
       
    2. Thanks for stopping by, Candace. Come back now.

       
       
  4. Chloe, it’s cool to hear how your conversation with another author encouraged you to pursue your dream of writing again. I think we often underestimate how much our words mean to each other. May God bless your journey as you continue along the paths He has for you. : )

     
     
    1. Thanks, Given.

      You’re right! Our words are so powerful, and we can use them for harm or for good. I try to use the encouragement I’ve received as a reminder to be positive and uplifting in what I say to others (although I’m sure I slip up sometimes).

      Blessings!

       
       
  5. Lorel Kline

    I was very touched by all that Chloe shared. I know that God takes all of our experiences and what we go through and uses them if we will let Him. I am sure that is what He is doing through her books, her love of reading and reignited love for writing. Continue to be all that He calls you to and we will all benefit from through your books.

     
     
    1. Thanks for chatting with us, Lorel. You’ve encouraged Chloe and me both. Please come back.

       
       
    2. Lorel, (that’s such a lovely name)
      Thank you for your kind words.
      It seems odd to say now, but when I was younger, I loved reading and daydreaming stories so much but I never thought of how God had placed that passion in my heart. I just looked at it as a quirk! haha. That’s why I’m very grateful for creative and faithful role models:mentors who help show me the truth about His calling.

      Have a blessed day!

       
       
    3. Woo Hoo, Lorel! You win Chloe’s two books! (She’ll email you.) Thanks for joining our circle and encouraging us. Please come back!

       
       

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