Jerry B. Jenkins Let’s Chat! Riven

Welcome, everyone!

One of my Featured Favorite novels is Riven by Jerry B. Jenkins.

Jerry B. Jenkins

Jerry B. Jenkins is best know for authoring along with Tim LaHaye the Left Behind collection. 

Jerry B. Jenkins

My Soft Spot: Gratitude

I have a soft spot in my heart for Jerry B. Jenkins because of his role as mentor to aspiring authors. How that got traction . . .

My triplet grandchildren were born in 2005, and I was so grateful they arrived alive and thrived, I made a pledge to God to leave them a legacy of faith in writing. At the time, I didn’t know what I would write — or how. 

So when an essay contest opened up on a San Antonio Christian talk radio program, I entered. Thinking I wouldn’t win, I told no one. What did I have to lose?

But when I won, I was flabbergasted to say the least, especially when I learned my prize: a trip for two to the Writing for the Soul Conference in Colorado Spring, sponsored by Jerry B. Jenkins.

My husband and I boarded the plane, and I wondered to myself where the journey to writing would ultimately take me. I stood in the Broadmoor ballroom knowing zero about publishing, editors, agents, pitching, one sheets, elevator pitches, synopses, book blurbs–all a foreign language to me.

The Outflow of Gratitude

Fast forward to 1912, and I’m part of a residency of aspiring authors sponsored by Jerry B. Jenkins in Manitour Springs, Colorado. Then along came 2014, and I learn I’d won the Jerry B. Jenkins Operation First Novel Contest, and my novel--The Calling of Ella McFarland–would be published. Imagine my shock and delight in 2016 when it received the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award for Debut Novel. 

And it all began with Jerry B. Jenkins. Wow.


Jerry B. JenkinsI‘ve read almost everything this prolific, ultra-best-selling author has written, but Riven takes first place in my estimation. 


Everything Jerry writes is superior, so Riven doesn’t stand out for that reason. Every character Jerry creates is well developed, so it doesn’t stand out for that reason either. But its message is unforgettable. Here’s the back-of-the-book blurb:

A young man with a troubled past . . . A failed pastor rejected by those he wants to help . . .

Brady Wayne Darby and Thomas Carey couldn’t be more different. One is a criminal whose worst crime is the one he’s about to commit; the other is a man hoping desperately to make a difference. One diligently serves himself; the other diligently serves God. And yet both are in dire need of grace.

Riven is a gritty, compelling, and gut-wrenching story of heartache and redemption. Riven will remind you that the love of God can transform even the hardest heart. Immerse yourself in the acclaimed story of a man who seems hopelessly lost before he meets the One who can see even the most troubled soul.

In Jerry’s words: “This is the novel I’ve always wanted to write and is unlike anything I’ve ever written. My hope is that it stays with you long after the final page.”

It has, Jerry. It always will. Thank you.

An Offering

I‘ll send you the Kindle version of this wonderful novel to someone who joins our conversation below. So please join us.

~ ~ ~

Lord, we thank You for those who have come alongside us through the years to help direct and lift us up according to Your will. Jerry B. Jenkins is a man You’ve used to do just that for countless Christian writers. And he presents the message of Your redeeming love in Riven in a unique and powerful way. Thank You for using him. Please bless each word he writers for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake

6 thoughts on “Jerry B. Jenkins Let’s Chat! Riven

  1. Anita

    I’ve read most of Jerry B. Jenkins’ works and I really enjoy the accuracy of the Biblical research in each one. My gratitude is that his books encourage and inspire his readers to do their own research.

    1. Hi, Anita. If you haven’t read Riven, I think you’ll find it surprising. Writing doesn’t come better than Jerry Jenkins’s. I hope you get to read it too.

  2. Diane Buie

    thanks for the chance to enter! I agree with Alicia (who commented above me) that “Riven” sounds really intriguing. Can’t wait to read it & soon too!

    1. Intriguing is a good descriptive word for Riven. The way the plot plays out all the way to the climax is amazing. Most unusual.

  3. Alicia Haney

    Your book sounds intriguing and awesome! God is Good all of the time! Congratulations and God Bless you.

    1. Hi, Alicia! Riven is a very surprising book, especially if you’ve read other Jerry Jenkins books. It becomes astounding as it nears the end. I hope you get to read it.


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Let’s Chat! Given Hoffman

Welcome, everyone!

Given Hoffman is our honored guest this week.

I’m just thrilled to introduce you to this writer I met at a Christian Writers Guild’s Craftsman retreat in 2012. We divided into groups, and I found myself delighted and blessed by the young women in my circle. Although I was the eldest (by far), I came away wondering where young women like Given come by such wisdom. What a credit she is to her parents.

I so respect Given. I believe you’ll agree.

Given Hoffman in her own Words

Hi, Everybody!

My name is Given Hoffman. I am a young adult suspense novelist from Minnesota. My parents always encouraged me and my four siblings to use the skills God gave us in whatever way God directed. I was homeschooled through high school, and when people asked me what my favorite subject was, I would always somewhat sheepishly say: reading.

My mother read historical fiction to us at lunch and I read fiction on my own, but I didn’t much like any other subjects.I was good with kids though, and over the years I spent a lot of time babysitting, camp counseling, volunteering with youth groups, nannying, and mentoring young people. I didn’t have a clue how much this would play into where God would eventually lead me.

How Authorship Developed for Given Hoffman

I did not grow up writing stories. My one and only childhood attempt at story writing was around age nine. I started a typical girl and her horse story, but I abandoned it in less than forty-eight hours.

First Came Inspiration

So how in the world did I become a young adult suspense novelist? Well, I’ve always had trouble falling asleep. One night somewhere mid high school, I got this one scene stuck in my head. In months that scene snowballed into the plot of a contemporary suspense novel. I couldn’t help myself. I started writing a book. My mother, realizing how seriously I was, took me to a meeting of the Minnesota Christian Writers Guild. For the first time people spoke my language.

I came away so inspired yet also still totally naive about what it took to be a good writer. I didn’t mess around though, I had a book I was determined to see completed. By seventeen, I finished my novel which was 180,000 words long (I guess actually at that length you could say I finished two novels).

Then Came Learning

Later at writers conferences, I heard over and over how beginner writers shouldn’t start with a novel but with short stories to learn the craft. Since I had already finished my first novel it was a bit too late, but I gained a lot of appreciation for the concept of starting with something smaller when it came to editing my first book.

Right in there, I attended my first writers conference and attempted to market my book to a publisher. The editor was wonderfully kind and explained the basics to me, like that most novels are 75k-95k words long not 180k and what a proposal was. I didn’t even know my novel’s word count. I had brought my whole manuscript and plunked it down in front of him (I laugh now thinking about it). It’s totally not what you are supposed to do, but I didn’t know any better. Needless to say, he didn’t take my manuscript.

And Sticking Her Neck Out

Despite my disappointment, I was still determined to see that book published. I went home with the entire conference on MP3 and listened to every session, learning writing, pitching, querying, and writing proposals.

I attended the next year’s conference and the next, and I took fiction writing classes through The Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. Every conference following that first year, I had at least one publisher like my book proposal and request my manuscript. Again and again I nervously sent it out and waited the typical three months to hear back. Nothing ever came of that first novel, but I was invested now in writing. I started my second book. One reason publishers said they weren’t interested in my first novel was because they didn’t think a teenager could market a book to adults. So I wrote my next book with teenage protagonists.


Once I did, I encountered the reality that many Christian publishers don’t publish books for young adults or else publish very few. Most publishers consider the young adult audience, particularly teen boys, too narrow of a market. Ministering and mentoring teens showed me how often teens are overlooked and marginalized. Encountering this reality in the publishing world made me that much more passionate about giving teens worthwhile YA fiction that is both God honoring and engaging.

And Releasing a Debut Novel

My debut novel, The Eighth Ransom, is a contemporary young adult suspense novel about eight young people who are all kidnapped. By working together, they escape their kidnappers and prevent their ransoms from being used in a plot against the U.S.

Currently, I am working on a young adult suspense period medieval trilogy. I also have several stand alone young adult contemporary suspense novels already brainstormed that I’m planning to write after that trilogy.

How to Find Given Hoffman

You can find out more about me and The Eighth Ransom on my website. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Pinterest. I also post weekly on my blog about practical Christianity.







~ ~ ~

Oh my, Lord, how faithful You are. Given’s parents poured You into her, and now she’s pouring You into her writing. I continue to be amazed by Given’s maturity, wisdom, and skills. And I pray You’ll bless every single word she writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake

8 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Given Hoffman

  1. Teresa Durham

    Cheers to you Given! I see God is using. you to pioneer YA fiction that there will be a market for. I love your journey.

    1. Given Hoffman

      Thank you, Teresa!

  2. Thank you, Naomi! Homeschool does indeed rock. : )

  3. Congratulations, Given. Sounds like you really took the bull by the horns in setting your course. And kudos to your mom who helped you direct your passion! #Homeschoolrocks!

  4. Great to learn more about Given. What a talented young woman!

    1. Thank you, Melissa. It’s definitely not been an easy journey pursing the talents God has given me, but He has been so faithful in that journey. : )

  5. Licha

    Wow, you are a very talented young lady and good for you that you are writing books for teens! Thank God you did not give up on your writings! God gave you your Very Special talents because He knows that Good will come from your writings. God Bless you and Thank you for being so inspiring.

    1. Licha, thank you for your kind words. I am very thankful too that I did not give up, because there were definitely a lot of time when I felt like it. But God is good, and I do very much hope my writing will encourage teens and their families.


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