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|Title: The Whispering of the Willows|
By: Tonya Jewel Blessing
Number of Pages: 398
Vendor: Capture Books
Publication Date: 2016
|Dimensions: 9 X 6 X 0.89 (inches)|
Weight: 1 pound 4 ounces
Stock No: WW162543
The Whispering of the Willows is a rich sweet story of historical fiction. If you like the emotive writing of Chris Fabry's Dogwood, also set in West Virginia, (a Lifetime movie) you will love this. Set in the late 1920s, in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, eighth grade Emerald is about to learn some hard lessons when a deeply disturbed man is thrust into her life by her abusive father and enabling mother.
Author Tonya Jewel Blessing tells a difficult, yet redeeming story of a blossoming young woman who is accompanied by her friends and her foes on a journey towards hope and healing. Love weaves through gut-wrenching circumstances and dismal poverty. Emerald Ashby grows strong despite grievous wrongs committed against her.
"Tonya Blessing's sweet, unassuming voice deals artfully with racism, sexism, and religious bigotry. Superb storytelling interspersed with practical faith portrays the difficulty and beauty of Appalachian life." --Marilyn Bay Wentz, author of Prairie Grace and All We Like Sheep
The Whispering of the Willows is an inspiring story full of twists and turns, freedom and redemption, the expected and unexpected. This book brings to light the struggles of young woman past and present. God's goodness and provision flow from each page. --Linda Bottoms, Rocky Mountain Ministry Network Women's Ministries Director
Author: Tonya Jewel Blessing
Submitted: May 05, 2017
Tell us a little about yourself. Growing up Tonya Jewel Blessing spent numerous vacations and holidays in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia. Most of her adult life has been spent in full-time teaching in local Colorado schools and in women's ministry with a focus on helping women. She has traveled nationally and internationally as a conference speaker. For a number of years, Tonya and her husband operated a retreat facility in Colorado for pastors and missionaries.
She and her husband currently live in South Africa. They are the directors of Strong Cross Ministries, a non-profit organization that assists local churches in providing humanitarian relief and spiritual reconciliation. She is currently pursuing a degree in pastoral ministries. Tonya has written a number of devotionals geared toward women in ministry.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I hope that people gain spiritual insight into how much God loves us and wants to do amazing redemptive works in our lives.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? The Whispering of the Willows is my first novel. It was enjoyable and challenging to write. My parents both grew up in the Appalachian Mountains, so I thoroughly enjoyed returning to my roots and exploring the history of the region. There are parts of the book that were extremely difficult to craft. I have a tender heart so writing about someone suffering was very emotionally moving for me. The biggest lesson I took away from the book is how God is more than able to take tragedy and turn it into triumph.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? The person who influences my life the most is my husband. I also have two wonderful siblings, who are very supportive personally and in ministry efforts. I have a few amazing women in my life who are great encouragers. Pastor Duke Morrison was instrumental in building my spiritual foundation. A mentor of mine, Betty Habig, recognized spiritual gifts in me and cheered me on. I also participate in a monthly Writer's Group which I find invaluable. I am an avid reader of a variety of genres. My only pet peeve with reading is that I do not like predictable stories.
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