Hey readers! Jennifer Slattery is back on IC today, and she must have enjoyed herself immensely last time, cause she brought a friend. Can’t wait to get to know him. Also, Jennifer is giving away one paperback copy of her latest novel, When Dawn Breaks, to a lucky commenter. More details below. So let’s get to know her guest …
Tell us a little about yourself.
Uh… OK. I guess I should start with my name. I’m Jonathan Cohen, and I’m the … er… hero? (embarrassed laugh) Guess I’d prefer to say main male character, of Jennifer Slattery’s second novel, When Dawn Breaks.
I’ve never done anything like this before. It feels strange, talking about myself like this. I’m really not that exciting, but I told Jennifer I’d do this, so… (nervous laugh) Let’s see. I recently moved to Willow Valley from Alta Loma, California. I’ve worked for the railroad for almost 30 years. I guess you could say it’s in my blood. I’m a widower. How’s that for a conversation stopper, huh? Anyway, I took a new job recently, a promotion with a bigger company, though that’s not why I hired on with Central Rails. I took the job to be closer to family.
You’re doin’ fine, Jonathan. <Connie winks> I’ll go easy on you with the questions.
Now … tell us three things about yourself that would surprise our readers.
Uh… I’m not sure I do anything surprising. I’ve done a fair number of stuff to surprise my new female friend Jacqueline, though I’m not sure that’s a good thing. For example, the time I took her on a picnic but forgot to bring eating utensils and decided to offer her vegetable sticks instead. But hey, they worked.
And if it works … don’t fix it … uh … or something like that.
Have you ever done anything really quirky?
I already told you about one of my first dates with Jacqueline. She could probably tell you a few more goofy stories, though I’d probably rather she not. According to my sister, it’s downright absurd to go to church in shorts and flipflops. Course, I told her I came to see Jesus not participate in a fashion show. Not sure that impressed her much. (chuckle) Oh, man! I almost forgot about my blind date with Miss-grass-eating Maggie.
<Connie cringes, imagining a pastured cow>
Now that was something else—something I hope to never have to do again, that’s for sure. If only I could get my sister to stop playing matchmaker. She really stinks at it. I mean bad. (shakes head)
Oh, I so understand that. I hated it when people tried to fix me up with guys … of course my hubby was a blind date, so maybe … never mind.
Jonathan, share something about your day-to-day life that might help a reader feel as though they know you a little better.
No one told me when I agreed to do this interview we’d be talking about such personal stuff.
Well, um …
I mean, I’m not trying to be rude or anything, but I don’t normally talk about myself all that much. That was always Evie’s thing. (gives a sad smile) She’s been gone five years, and I still miss her. It doesn’t hurt quite like it used to, and in a way, that scares me. It’s almost like by losing the pain I’ll lose her for good, you know? Not sure if that makes any sense. Life’s awful quiet without her. So… lonely. Which is why my sister keeps trying to set me up. But the way I figure it, a man only finds “the one” once in his lifetime, and I found mine.
Ahem. When did things change dramatically in your life?
Now that’s a loaded question. I’ve been around a few years now, so I guess you could say I’ve gone through a lot of dramatic changes. Losing Evie was a big one. That nearly ripped me in two. Moving to Willow Valley was another. Gotta say, this new job isn’t turning out to be anything like I thought. Truth be told, I’d say there’s something shady going on. Sure wish I knew what. Then again, I probably don’t want to know. I don’t need to get caught up in someone else’s mess. Guess by being here I already am, though, huh?
Oh, no! I hope not.
Tell us about the current journey you are on.
(Takes a deep breath) I guess you could say I’m doing what I planned long ago, what I worked for years for—preparing for my retirement. But this last leg isn’t turning out to be anything like I planned. Evie and I were supposed to be here together. I never thought I’d retire alone. Never thought I’d end my life alone. Oh, sure, I got Jeanne-Anne and Walter, my girl Stephanie. And soon I’ll have a son in the mix. But that’s not the same as having a companion. (sighs) So, to answer your question, I guess I just keep walking. Hoping for the best, soaking up the good as it comes.
What inspired you to change things in your life?
Moving you mean? It was time. Alta Loma held too many memories. That was where our daughter was born, where we raised her, where she first went to school, went to her first prom. All of that. It was good for a while, made me feel like I still had Evie with me. But then, as I began to heal… I almost feel guilty saying this…. I wanted a fresh start. Then one day my brother-in-law told me of a position that was open on Central Rails, so I applied. Course I had no idea what a mess the place would be. Not much I can do about it now except try to keep to myself, do my job best I can, and hopefully, to make it to retirement without getting fired.
How long did you do things as usual before you knew things needed to change?
Oh! Are you talking about once I started putting two-and-two together at work? That was a hard one. That was a real hard one, because I knew if I started poking around it’d be my word against my boss’s. Being the new man on the floor, who do you think the feds would believe?
Gasp! The Feds?!?!
Yeah, that’s what I thought, too. But I knew I had to do something. Tell someone. I’m a God-fearing man, after all. And sometimes you just gotta do the right thing just because it’s the right thing. And hope God’s got your back. (nervous laugh)
What is your current life goal?
To retire without getting fired? Or maybe to move back to Alta Loma? Although as time goes on, I’m beginning to realize what I want more than anything is a companion to spend my retirement years with. What do you think, can a man find true love more than once in his lifetime?
For your sake, Jonathan, I hope so.
What things stand in the way of achieving that goal?
I’ve sort of already mentioned that—a boss I’m pretty sure is slimy who has a crew who seems to jump at his every command. I’ve never been a conspiracy theorist but… Yeah, this is bad. Those guys are hiding something, and when things go down, I have a feeling it could cost me my job. I’m in management, after all, so ultimately I’m responsible for what happens on the shop floor. Especially if my boss decides to throw suspicion my way. I could lose my railroad retirement. Then where would I be? Sleeping in my sister’s basement?
I hope not!
Last question. In three words describe yourself.
Hard worker, simple, laid back.
I could sense that in you, Jonathan. Thanks for coming by.
Readers, if you’d like to know how things turn out for Jonathan … and if he ever finds another “one,” comment below and you will be entered to win a paperback copy of When Dawn Breaks. A winner will be chosen after midnight January 22, 2015.
When Dawn Breaks
As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution motivate her to head north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend. Dealing with his own issues, Jacqueline isn’t sure if he will be the one she can lean on during the difficult days ahead. And then there are the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must she relinquish her chance at having love again in order to be restored?
Read a free, 36-page excerpt here: http://issuu.com/newhopedigital/docs/slattery_sampler/1
You can buy a copy here: http://www.christianbook.com/when-dawn-breaks-a-novel/jennifer-slattery/9781596694231/pd/694231
Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her teenage daughter and coffee dates with her handsome railroader husband.
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.