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Guest Blog: Jennifer Hallmark and Smoking Flax Free E-Book to Winner--Angela Shelton!

Updated: Apr 14




Readers, please join me in welcoming Jennifer Hallmark, fellow American Christian Fiction Writers member, to the blog! I hope you had wonderful Easter!


Hi, everyone! I’m Jennifer Hallmark, Alabama born and bred. (though I did spend some time in Missouri and Florida. When we meet, you’ll notice my soft-spoken Southern accent along with a cup of hot tea or coffee in hand.


Tell us about your book?


**I’m so excited to let you know about my new YA novel, Smoking Flax, set in the South in 1978 and 1984. What’s it about? Who Is He--Really? Almost nineteen-year-old Reed Anderson wants to belong in a world where he hasn’t always fit. Three days after graduation, he decides to ride a bus back to Louisiana and deal with the events of his thirteenth summer once and for all. Back then, he’d stood up to his abusive Pa, protecting Momma and his sister, taking control of his life. But who was the faded image of the child he saw that day? Aunt Lula predicted his life would shift and change. Something about space-time-continuum and the fourth dimension? He tucks her words into his heart. If he survives the shift, this could be his chance to start over. But the ghost child haunts his dreams. Even though six years have passed, does he want to confront the lies he’s always believed?


Share an excerpt?


Here’s a sneak peek into Smoking Flax:


The songs ran together as I glanced at the hymnal and mumbled the words. Movement caught my eye as a tall man and his wife passed us and slid into the seats across from ours. Their daughter, Talitha Landry, lingered behind. She turned and nodded to me. I didn’t nod back, ‘cause my father might be looking.




Pa pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and coughed. He did that a lot as of late and I figured he wasn’t sleeping good. I prayed every night he would go to bed early and wake up differently.


Or maybe not wake at all.


I snuck a glance at my friend. Talitha had a pudgy nose, deep brown eyes, and dimpled chin. Her black hair had been carefully plaited and hung to her shoulders. She could never be pretty in any fancy way, but I liked her a lot. She didn’t hold it against me, us being poor. Her father had a foreman’s job in the mill for he was a fine worker, all things considered.


“Boy.” A sharp hiss rose from my right. “Outside.” Pa pointed to the back.


No one noticed above the notes of the closing song, but I trembled as I followed Pa toward the door. What had I done this time?


He pushed his way outside as I followed him. As soon as we cleared the door and were out of sight, the familiar death grip on my forearm pulled me toward the woodshed out back. “I’ll teach you to stare at a girl, lusting after a wench like her in the house of God.” He stopped abruptly, coughing.


“I weren’t staring.” My protest didn’t slow him any.


The woodshed stood behind the church. I tried to pull away, but Pa moved me inside the door and pushed me against the wall beside the gas can. “God, help me.”


“Did I ask you to speak?” He reached for the lawnmower belt which hung on the wall, the one that hurt more than anything.


 “No, sir.” I blew out a breath and straightened as much as I could. “But you shouldn’t call Talitha a wench.”


“What?”


“I weren’t thinking about her or lusting.” The words blurted out and grew stronger with each syllable. “I ain’t the one lusting. I heard you tell Uncle Jack Saturday night while y’all drank on the porch all about Talitha’s momma and her body. Things no one should say. Momma knows. We both listened through the open window. You were drinking and lusting.” Momma’s face had crumpled after the men’s lusting words floated to where we sat. My Momma wasn’t pretty, but beautiful. How Pa could ever look at another lady lay beyond my almost thirteen-year-old mind.


Pa paled at my words and another cough ripped from deep inside. He clutched his chest as the belt slipped from his fingers and landed on the dirt floor.


He trembled like he was skeered. Flat out terrified. And his mouth moved with unspoken words. Did he call for help?


Golden light beamed through cracks in the shed and shimmered in the far corner. An unnatural kind of glow. I rubbed my eyes. For a moment, the light outlined a child but it left as quickly as it had come. Was it a ghost?


Or a sign.


Ask the reader a question or two? Let's get to know each other...

 

What is your favorite book or movie that contains a ghost or something along that line? I have two. The classic, The Christmas Carol, and a speculative favorite, The Lord of The Rings: Return of the King.


**Jennifer Hallmark writes Southern fiction with a twist. Her website and newsletter focus on her books, love of the South, and favorite fiction.  She loves reading and streaming science fiction, fantasy, and mysteries or her favorite subject—time travel.


Her latest novel, Smoking Flax, was released on January 16th with Elk Lake Publishing. She creates stories with unforgettable characters—her stories are a little eerie and otherworldly but with a positive turn. You can find her at:


 


Thank you, again, Jennifer for being a guest!

142 views13 comments

13 commentaires


Jennifer Hallmark
Jennifer Hallmark
09 avr.

And thank you for letting me visit your awesome blog! 🙂

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ChristinaSinisi-Author
ChristinaSinisi-Author
15 avr.
En réponse à

You are so welcome!

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Jennifer Hallmark
Jennifer Hallmark
09 avr.

Thanks, Crystal!

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Angela Shelton
Angela Shelton
08 avr.

Wow! That's a great excerpt! A little scary and yet intriguing. I lived in Alabama briefly for a few years when I moved south for a job. Live in GA now and love the south. The characters are obviously deep-southern voice, which can be so fun to read. Not sure which ghost including story would be my favorite, but I'm a huge Hobbit fan.

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ChristinaSinisi-Author
ChristinaSinisi-Author
15 avr.
En réponse à

Angela, you are our winner! Please email me at ChristinaSinisi@gmail.com and I'll connect you with Jennifer for your prize. Thank you for reading and commenting!

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Debra Pruss
Debra Pruss
07 avr.

Your book sounds amazing. I would have to say Casper, The Friendly Ghost. I do not watch much television or read books with ghosts. Thanks for sharing. God bless you. Have a wonderful week.

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Jennifer Hallmark
Jennifer Hallmark
09 avr.
En réponse à

I loved watching Casper when I was younger 😊

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henryandlana
henryandlana
07 avr.

Oh, my goodness!! What an awesome sounding book! I would love to get to rad your book! You are new to me and I’m originally from TX, not from OK, so I have that southern drawl, too. Funny thing is I can’t think of a book with a ghost in it, except for The Ghost and Mrs. Muir! Boy, I guess I’m telling my age!! You seem like a wonderful author and may God bless your book writing career. Oh, I have a proofreading business called Eagle-Eye Proofreading, because I’ve been told I have an Eagle eye for errors and I’m inexpensive, too! 🙏♥️🙏♥️

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Jennifer Hallmark
Jennifer Hallmark
09 avr.
En réponse à

Thank you!

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