Thursday, March 7, 2013

Saint Sloan - Guest Post

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Today I am super excited to have my dear bloggy friend, Kelly, here!  Kelly is such an encouraging blogger and incredible author.  In 2012 she released her first novel, Crossing the Deep.  My daughter loved this book!  She had a hard time putting it down and at the end she was laughing and crying.  I couldn't wait to get my hands on it next and I am glad I did!  We cannot wait to read Kelly's newest novel.  So here is Kelly to tell you all about it!  

I want to thank Jen for having me here. She actually gave me my first big ‘break’ in the Woman to Woman Magazine, which had three of my short stories featured. She gave me the confidence to query agents/publishers and now I have two published novels with another coming out on September 3rd. Never underestimate your kindness and encouragement. It truly has an effect on others’ lives!
Have you ever felt down or discouraged because you are a Christian (whoa… didn’t see that coming, did you?) If you think about it, Christianity has a lot of ‘rules’ and ‘ways’ of being good. The ‘world’ says you are full of it and self-righteous so much you start to believe it AND even the churches have problems within their walls (A Casting Crowns song just came to mind…).

It’s so much easier to just give in… to watch what we want… to do what we want… to say what we want… to live how we want… to be how we want… because it feels ‘better’ to fit in.

Those are the issues Sloan Bridges is facing in SAINT SLOAN, my new book from Astraea Press. She’s about to turn eighteen and a few months ago gave her heart to God. That meant no more sleeping with her boyfriend Boyd, no more going to parties with her best friend Darcy, no more putting others down (again with Darcy). She changed, and the changes (while good for her) were HORRIBLE on her social life. Boyd dumped her for not doing her ‘girlfriend duty’ and Darcy turned from her best friend to her worst enemy, even giving her the nickname “Saint Sloan” and not as a term of endearment.

Throw in a vicious attack in her kitchen and brothers she doesn’t know if she can trust, and Sloan’s world is thrown upside down. Can she trust God to bring her though? Or will she desert Him all together and go back to her old self?

SAINT SLOAN is full of social issues. Does one have to be a Christian to be ‘good’? How would you react if everyone you cared about threw you aside when you became a Christian? How would you deal with someone calling you self-righteous because you’ve ‘changed’? When someone really horrible happens to you, do you fall back into the world or fall closer to God?

SAINT SLOAN doesn’t have all the answers. Just one girl’s story, but hopefully it will get readers thinking about their own lives and how they would react to certain situations…

And it has a great storyline that will keep you engaged (did I mention a possible love triangle between Sloan and the Hunter brothers? Yup…)

Here’s a snippet:

Chapter One

The cold November air burned Sloan’s lungs as she ran down the secluded dirt driveway. Looking over her shoulder at the brightly lit farmhouse swarming with people, she wished she had grabbed her coat from the living room before escaping. Her legs protested with each additional step she forced them to take, and quite frankly, she felt like an idiot. In four days, she would be eighteen, an adult; why should she care what others thought of her? Or, more specifically, what Darcy Perry thought of her?

After nearly a quarter of a mile, the driveway sloped down at a steep angle and met Brown Hollow Road. Sloan stopped at the bottom, doubled over, and put her hands on her knees to catch her breath. The harder her lungs extended, the sillier she felt for running away like that. Sure, Darcy was mean, exceptionally so when she drank, but Sloan shouldn’t have let her words hurt her like they did. And that’s all they were, words. Words and cold beer thrown in her face. She ran her fingers through her damp hair and wondered how she would explain it to her mother.

When her breathing came easier, she stood up and looked back toward the house. From her vantage point behind the short hill, she could see all of the lights burning in the second story windows and hear the music blasting throughout the isolated farmland. The glow from the floodlights surrounding the house made it appear to float in the sky. No doubt about it, Boyd knew how to throw a party. Sloan couldn’t help feeling a little satisfied thinking of how Mr. Lawrence, Boyd’s father, would react when he found out his biology students were getting drunk at his house without his knowledge.

She leaned on the standard-issue black mailbox and frowned. It wouldn’t be fun to walk all the way back to get her coat and beg Mackenzie to take her home. Everyone would stare at her, mock her, and call her ‘Saint Sloan’, Darcy’s pet name for her. The thought of Darcy’s smug face rising inevitably from Boyd’s muscular neck made Sloan’s stomach knot harder, and she slumped farther down against the mailbox, causing the metal to creak. Sometimes Sloan wondered why she ever went anywhere. She didn’t drink, do drugs, or make fun of others, and she wasn’t into sleeping around anymore. She was the “reformed bad girl,” and everyone loved to taunt her about it, especially her former best friend, Darcy.

Blinding lights coming toward her right side caught her attention. Turning toward them, she put her hand over her eyes to block the brightness of the passing car. Instead of speeding by, the car slowed down and stopped across the yellow line from her.
Goose bumps, not from the cold, formed under her long sleeves. Meeting a strange person in a strange car at night in the middle of an old country road didn’t appeal to her. Bloody flashes from every horror movie she’d ever watched swarmed in her mind. Suddenly, being made fun of and harassed at the party didn’t seem so bad. She wished she had been able to control her temper better and never have run out of that house.

Nervous, she grabbed the little golden cross that had fallen under her dark teal shirt collar and prayed whoever was in the car wasn’t a homicidal manic.

The driver’s side window rolled down, and Sloan squinted through the dark to see inside.

“You okay?” an unfamiliar male voice said. Whoever it was didn’t sound much older than her.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” She rocked on the balls of her feet so she could be ready to run if the situation escalated beyond friendly chatter. “Just out for a walk.”

“In the dark?”

“Seemed like a good idea at the time,” she said truthfully.

Sloan heard a hint of laughter coming from the car. At least, it didn’t sound menacing. “Like I said, are you okay?”

“Fine,” she said with an undercurrent of defiance. She wished he’d just go on his merry way.

“In my experience, people don’t go for walks in the dark when everything is fine.”

“I’m… I will be fine. Thanks for stopping. You must be in a hurry.” She tucked her hands under her elbows and walked back up the little hill. Seeing the lights and hearing the annoying music coming from the farmhouse filled her with dread. Between the house and conversing with a stranger alone in the dark, she figured the house would be safer, but not by much.

“I don’t have to be at work until eleven,” he yelled. “I can give you a lift to your house if you want.”

Sloan spun around, half expecting him to be standing behind her with a rag full of chloroform. “Thanks. That’s sweet, but it’s not necessary. I can get my friend to take me home.” Lord, please don’t let her be drunk.

She started to turn back around when he yelled again. “You don’t know who I am, do you?”

Of course she didn’t. It wasn’t like she could see him in the shadows. “Should I?”
“Guess not. I’ve not been back in town all that long, but I know you.”

The tiny hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. Who was this guy?

“You’re Sloan Bridges. You used to date, and I use that term loosely, my brother back in the day.”

That didn’t help much. “Could you be more specific?”

His laugh filled the space between them. “Had a lot of boyfriends, have you?”

“More than my fair share,” she admitted regretfully.

~Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin is a southern girl who lives with her husband and three rowdy, angelic daughters. By day, she is a teacher. By night, she is a crazy-haired, multi-tasker who writes when the kids go to bed. 

She has two young adult novels out now: SAINT SLOAN (about a girl who can’t get away from her past) and CROSSING THE DEEP (a girl’s faith is tested, stranding on a mountain with a guy she barely knows). Both are Amazon bestsellers.

You can find her at any of her two blogs: (author blog) and (daily devotional blog).

Kelly loves God, is addicted to chocolate, and would rather write than sleep.



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