Thursday, June 30, 2016

Friday Feature- Jacqueline Wheelock

Today we welcome author:
Jacqueline Wheelock

A commenter will win a copy of
Jacqueline's book:

A Most Precious Gift

Scroll down to see how.

Mary here. I'm so happy to welcome Jacqueline to Let's Talk. This gal who writes southern stories from the heart has such a sweet story to tell.
I asked Jacqueline: how has God led you on your writing journey? Here is what she said: 

The One Who Never Gave Up On Me

We live in a world where aggression often seems the better choice toward getting ahead. Many times the word dormancy has a negative wintry tinge, painted as a distant cousin—if you will—to inertia, neglect, or just plain laziness. But I have come to believe that the dormant period of my writing was not only profitable but God-sent. For me, writing is not just a skill or a talent. It is a process enriched with the soil of years of observation. The longer I have lived, the more I’ve had the opportunity to learn, and the more I’ve learned, the better the chance for richer more meaningful writing.

Prior to my twenties, the very idea of writing as an art form or a profession was foreign to me. I had no concept of people actually writing for a living. As a child brought up under humble circumstances, I only remember a few Little Golden Books purchased from a dime store and a beautiful wondrous monster called a bookmobile that visited our little settlement every six weeks or so, giving me a jolt of pure delight that I remember even now. Little did I know that God was seeding a gift that would be long in blossoming but definitely worth the wait.

Then came that coveted chance to go to college and with it an introduction, albeit late, to the world and truths of well-crafted fiction. I was hooked. I majored in English, and the more I read, the more I felt, “I can do this. I want to do this.”

But then life happened. I married a wonderful man and had two children whom I adored then and still do. Much to my frustration, though, while I taught school and cooked and pushed toward whatever it is we all push toward in our twenties, thirties, and forties, the writer in me lay dormant. “Why couldn’t it come faster?” I often thought. “Why must I wait?” But somehow, even then I knew, buried beneath life’s routines, was a second self, a writer that was always very much alive—quietly collecting, shifting, absorbing. Wondering, understanding, growing. Though decades passed where I made no outwardly appreciable headway, God Himself never let me forget what He’d placed within me.

When I could find an hour or two, I tried children’s literature, poetry, even a little non-fiction, only to realize somewhere in my fifties that none of those genres was a fit for me. For me, it had always been about the story—a fictional place where I could freely mix and match life’s lessons and form them into a narrative that mirrored the ups and downs of not only my experiences but the trials and triumphs of others. By that time, I had read a number of classics, and while I appreciated all the prodigious talents throughout the ages that immeasurably enriched my life, I knew there were lines I could never comfortably allow my characters to cross.

Enter Christian fiction and, with it, the sense that I’d finally found a niche tailor made for what I wanted to write: a meaningful story that acknowledged the Lord Jesus as supreme. A wealth of past and present experiences—the joys and fears of child-rearing, the vicissitudes of church life, the struggles and hope as an African American during the Jim Crow era, and the triumphant emergence from life-threatening illnesses—sprang forth like a series of Aprils in bloom ready to be shared through characters I had known for a very long time.

Like many before me, I have a number of what I call “shelf” novels, but in 2014, I was blessed to see A Most Precious Gift, my first published novel, debuted by Mantle Rock Publishing. I am still amazed and so very grateful to the One who never gave up on me—the One who showed me that dormancy, like everything else He created, has its place.


Since I don’t have the greenest thumb in the world,
I left this potted hydrangea to fend for itself against
the elements last winter. It survived the cold on my
deck and returned in all its glory, proving once again
that dormancy can be a good thing even when the 
care during that season is not the best! ...Jacqueline

Jacqueline Freeman Wheelock is a multi-published author whose works range from a memoir in Children of the Changing South, McFarland, 2012, to a short story published by Guideposts in 2014 to her debut novel, A Most Precious Gift, Mantle Rock Publishing, 2014. She is a member of ACFW as well as a local Christian writers groups, an avid reader, and a retired high school and college English teacher. She is the recipient of several writing awards including the Zora Neale Hurston-Bessie Head Fiction Award from the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing in Chicago. She and her husband Donald have two adult children and one beloved granddaughter.

Jacqueline Loves to hear from you! Contact her at:    


A Most Precious Gift

Dinah Devereaux, New Orleans-born slave and seamstress, suddenly finds herself relegated to a sweltering kitchen on the Natchez, Mississippi town estate of Riverwood. Having never cooked a day in her life, she is terrified of being found out and banished to the cotton fields as was her mother before her. But when she accidentally burns the freedom papers of Jonathan Mayfield, a handsome free man of color to whom she's attracted, her fear of the fields becomes secondary.

A gifted cabinetmaker, Jonathan Mayfield’s heart is set on finally becoming a respected businessman by outfitting a bedroom at the palatial Riverwood—until a beautiful new slave girl destroys his proof of freedom and his fragile confidence along with it.

When the mistress of Riverwood orders Dinah to work alongside the sullen Mr. Mayfield, sparks fly, setting the two on a collision course. Is their mutual love for God strong enough to overcome deep-seated insecurities and set the couple on a path toward self-acceptance and love for each other?

Enter the contest to win a copy of Jacqueline Wheelock's book:
A Most Precious Gift
US readers invited to enter!!

Here is how:

1. Leave a comment (and email address)

2. AND sign up to receive my newsletter -in the right column

    (subscribers to Mary Vee's newsletter will receive a special gift)

    AND/OR sign up to receive posts by email if you aren't already

Thank you, Jacqueline, for joining us this weekend!

We enjoy chatting with you, Reader, and look forward to reading your comments and questions. Or at least your hi, hello, or hey.

Thanks for stopping by!

Don't forget to comment!


Connie Porter Saunders said...

Jacqueline, I have enjoyed reading about your journey to becoming a published author. Your many experiences have certainly given you a chance to weave marvelous stories and I look forward to reading A Most Precious Gift.
Mary,thank you for sharing this time with Jacqueline.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Connie,
I thought the same thing as I read about Jacqueline's journey. I think you will really enjoy reading A Most Precious Gift.
I'm so glad you stopped by!!

Jacqueline Wheelock said...

Connie, Thank you so much. I'm grateful to be able to share with people like you! I truly hope you enjoy A Most Precious Gift, and if you find time, let me know what you think. All best, Jacqueline

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding us that God doesn't waste anything - not even time.

Mary Vee Writer said...

So true. I hope you soon see the same blessing.

Thanks for stopping by. :)

Jacqueline Wheelock said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jacqueline Wheelock said...

"God doesn't waste anything--not even time." That's a keeper. Thanks so much! Jacqueline

Sylvia said...

Wow, this book sounds really good. Jacqueline, it sounds like God's timing was best in your writing. I'm looking forward to reading this novel.


I am a newsletter subscriber.

Jacqueline Wheelock said...

Thanks, so much Sylvia. I truly believe God's timing has orchestrated my life, though I've not always been a readily willing subject :). I truly appreciate hearing from you and would love feedback on the book. Jacqueline

Mary Vee Writer said...

I'm so glad you joined us today. Didn't you just love reading about Jacqueline? Yeah, me too. When you read her book, stop back and let us know what you thought of it. I think you're going to love this story.
I noticed Jacqueline's words that she is not always a willing subject. I think we can all sign our names to that one. Thankfully we have a loving and patient God who is willing to encourage us to be the readily, willing subject that He needs us to be.
Great chatting with you, Sylvia!!
Hope to see you again.

Diane Ashley said...

I enjoyed reading about your journey, almost as much as I loved A Most Precious Gift. Your talent is amazing. Your faith is amazing. I know you're a blessing to the people around you and now to the whole world through your novels. (I have a treasured copy of A Most Precious Gift, so please do not enter me in the drawing.)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Wow, Diane.
Do you realize what an encourager you are? I am so very happy that you stopped by today. Like any career, writing can be such a labor, but to those who stick with their work, like Jacqueline, and hopefully me one day, God blesses.
Thanks so much for going our chat with Jacqueline and me. I hope to see you again soon.

Janet W. Ferguson said...

You are so talented, and have such a beautiful way with words, Jacqueline!

Mary Vee Writer said...

You are so right, Janet. Jacqueline's books touch the heart. I can't wait to hear what you think about one of her books.
It's sweet comments like yours that encourage authors to write more wonderful stories. Thanks for chatting with Jacqueline and me today.

Jacqueline Wheelock said...

My goodness, Diane! You make me want to write. I LOVE hearing from you!

Jacqueline Wheelock said...

Likewise, I'm sure, Janet! Blessings to you.

Rhonda Gibson said...

Jacqueline, I loved hearing about your journey into writing. Love the book! Keep writing girl, you have readers waiting for the next big novel.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I told her the same thing, Rhonda. IDK. I bumped into her and was immediately taken with her writing and stories. She has a true gift needing to be shared with readers. :0
Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing with Jacqueline and me.

Jacqueline Wheelock said...

Rhonda, it's so good to hear from you! I've started the sequel. Keep me up in prayer!