About the Book
Book: Love’s True Calling
Author: Lori DeJong
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance
Release Date: June 27, 2023
After years of jumping through other people’s hoops to be all they thought she should be, and enduring a tragedy no mother should, self-described “newbie” Christian, Harper Townsend, has finally found her true calling … and her true love. Until it appears that to follow one may mean leaving the other behind.
Adolescent Psychologist, Wyatt McCowan, is beyond delighted to have the-girl-that-got-away back in his life, and his heart. But even as they fall more in love, he realizes that being obedient to God’s calling on each of their lives may pull them apart. She rejected him once in favor of another, which left him hurt and angry. But this time, he can’t fault her for following hard after the God she loves with all her heart, even if it means leaving him once again.
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About the Author
Lori enjoys writing stories full of grace and the redemptive power of God’s love that inspire hope, joy, laughter, and perhaps even touch a soul or two to get to know Him better. She resides in Georgetown, Texas, with her husband and two fur-babies and is the mother of one grown daughter. Love’s True Calling is the 2022 winner of the ACFW Genesis Award for Romance.
More from Lori
I’ve had a dream for a very long time. In fact, I had this dream long before I was even doing anything to achieve it! Turns out I’ve wanted to be a published author since the 1990’s. And I didn’t even start writing, join writers’ groups, or attend conferences to learn the craft until 2002. Something inside me apparently knew more than I did when I put on my 1996 long-term goals list: To be a published author.
Fast forward to 2023 and my debut novel is being published. I’m not great at math, but even I know that’s A LOT of years that have gone by since I first identified that long-term goal. So the take-away from that should be, if you set a goal, no matter what it is, make a plan. Immediately. Not years later. Seriously. Don’t be me.
So, I chugged away at this writing goal for a few years, until my husband was laid off when the economy tanked in 2009 and our lives turned upside down. I didn’t write again until 2020, when we found ourselves empty-nesters and I started listening once again to those voices in my head begging me to write their stories.
Which brings me to how my first published novel was born. Would you believe it was homework? True story! When I came back to writing in 2020, I needed to re-hone my skills. So I took an online class that required us to plot an entire manuscript based on our characters’ motivations. What do they want out of life and why do they want it?
That’s how I came up with Wyatt, the high school geek now an accomplished and handsome college professor and adolescent psychologist, and Harper, the high school Miss Everything who’d weathered plenty of storms in her life before going back to school a decade after graduation to finally get her degree. What happens when Wyatt sees the girl who broke his teenage heart sitting in his class?
I plotted out this story as homework, never intending to write it. But I fell in love with these two and they were clamoring for me to tell their story. Two years later, that story won the ACFW Genesis award and is now being published by Scrivenings Press. Best takeaway from that? Never. Ever. Give. Up.
Who knew that a class assignment could bring about the realization of a twenty-some-odd-year-old goal? Make a dream come true? God did. And I’m so glad I listened to Him as I put this story to paper.
I hope you’ll read and enjoy Love’s True Calling, a story of love rediscovered, the joy of finding purpose, and the blessing of obedience.
Interview with Lori
How do you select the names of your characters?
Most often, they just pop into my head when I get an idea for a new story, as if they come to me already named. Then I do some research. I always do a Google search to make sure nobody famous or who might have an online presence that goes against my principles or values is already using that name. Then I’ll check name origins of surnames so that I can determine what ethnicity they might have in their background. For minor characters, many times I look at baby name books. And I keep a spreadsheet of every character name I’ve used and in what manuscript because it can be hard to remember what name I might have already used.
What was your hardest scene to write?
The black moment scene, where Harper has to make a gut-wrenching decision. She made it pretty quickly, but I wanted to show how very difficult it was for her. I hope I conveyed that adequately.
What is your favorite childhood book?
I don’t recall any one book that was a favorite, but I loved any kind of mystery. Of course, the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries were favorites. And, while not a mystery, I loved Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.
If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
Journal. I’ve done some journaling off and on since I was a teenager, but I wish I’d developed a habit of regular journaling. I would also have written short stories and novellas, just to develop the practice of getting the most out of every word.
What comes first, the plot or characters?
I’m not much of a plotter, so as far as deep development goes, I would say characters. However, it all starts with a story idea or concept that I put down on paper. I’ll synopsize what I think will be the major plot points, then develop the characters. Once I start writing with those five major plot points mapped out, and having developed all the nuances of my characters, then I start writing scenes between each of those plot points. So I guess you could say I’m a plantser—I plot a little, then write by the seat of my pants.
Thank you for letting us get to know you better!
Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, August 9 (Author Interview)
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 9
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 10
Texas Book-aholic, August 11
Artistic Nobody, August 12 (Author Interview)
Guild Master, August 14 (Author Interview)
Locks, Hooks and Books, August 15
A Reader’s Brain, August 16 (Author Interview)
The Book Club Network, August 17
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 18
Back Porch Reads, August 19 (Author Interview)
Pause for Tales, August 19
For the Love of Literature, August 20 (Author Interview)
Cover Lover Book Review, August 21
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 22 (Author Interview)
To celebrate her tour, Lori is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.