This is an old blog that I started in 2006. I keep it because it has a lot of historical data and people still come here. As of September 2016, no new updates will be made here. All new blog posts and writing/publishing related news will be posted over on my new site at

Path of Freedom, Quilts of Love series

1858 North Carolina - When Quakers Flora Saferight and Bruce Millikan embark on the Underground Railroad, they agree to put their differences aside to save the lives of a pregnant slave couple..

Highland Sanctuary, (Highland series - Book 2)

1477 Scotland - A chieftain heir is hired to restore Briagh Castle and discovers a hidden village of outcasts who have created their own private sanctuary from the world.

Highland Blessings, (Book 1 - Highland series)

1473 Scotland - The story of a highland warrior who kidnaps the daughter of his greatest enemy and clan chief to honor a promise to his dying father.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Blog Design to Reflect My Upcoming Books!

The Celtic design on my blog was perfect for my first two book releases set in 15th Century Scotland, for Highland Blessings and Highland Sanctuary. Now that I have some historical Quaker books and a new series set in colonial America coming out, I feel it's time to redesign my website/blog to something that would be inclusive to my upcoming books, as well as the first two.

I wanted the design to reflect a peaceful, calm setting where people who need faith and/or inspiration would feel welcome...perhaps drawn to the atmosphere here on my blog. I don't know if this new design accomplishes that for everyone who comes here to visit, but I believe it is closer to the mark than before.

As I walk through this journey that God has called me on, I'll be releasing a few nonfiction books on faith and inspiration. These will be self-published e-books, totally separate from my historical Christian fiction published through my traditional publishers. Some of these works will spring from my public speaking topics, so that I can offer you a more in-depth teaching of what I've learned through the testimonies of my life. I hope that some of what I share will help you minister to others in your own life and through the ministries God has called YOU to serve.

The first of these e-books will be, God's Word is Sovereign, a simple explanation for those who question the validity of the Bible as the Word of God, and a means for those in ministry who need a simple way to explain it to those to whom they minister. My goal is to bring about an understanding of sovereignty, a lost ideal in this day and age when one's self and man-made education is exalted much higher than it should be--even above God. As Christians, we MUST know WHY we believe what we believe, and be able to defend it when attacks come, because they WILL come.

While there are already a few published books such as The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell, these books are written by scholars who write in such a way that isn't...simple. Also, The Case for Christ by Les Strobel is an easier read, but it is more of a journalist's search for evidence that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, not the validity of the Bible itself. God's Word is Sovereign, will be an easy read for those new to their Christian faith, those exploring the Christian faith, teens who are just discovering themselves, and people in ministry who need inspiration and a simple way to help others understand their faith. 

The launch for this book will be late Spring 2012, and the price will be reasonable, less than $5.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Joining in the Christmas Spirit

Last year we had our Christmas shopping done before the end of November. It gave us time to enjoy the season. We watched Christmas movies, read Christmas novels, baked Christmas desserts (okay, hubby and daughter did this, I taste-tested), decorated at our leisure, went to Christmas events, and viewed Christmas lights. If we went anywhere, it was to ENJOY it, not because we felt obligated or we had to buy one more thing to buy. We enjoyed coffee and hot cocoa by the fire. 

This year, the experience has been quite different. October and November were spent overcoming illnesses and grief for a lost loved one. We didn't feel like shopping, and in truth, it was the furthest thing from our minds. Now here we are a couple of days before Christmas and so much left to be done. It's the first time in 18 years, I didn't put out my Christmas Village or decorate outside. My husband and daughter finally decorated inside, while I nursed a headache and cold.

We've watched a few Christmas movies, started reading a Christmas novella, and downloaded a few Christmas songs. I still wasn't feeling the "Spirit of Christmas" until we went to the Candlelight Communion service at church last Sunday. Finally...the stirring of what Christmas is all about began in my heart and a bit of light and joy started to warm my heart. 

I'm not a Scrooge or hard-hearted, I've just struggled with the joy that I've always had in the past at this time of year. I know why, so many loved ones are suffering around me, and I feel helpless. I'm praying for them and helping when I can, but it just doesn't seem to be enough and my heart hurts for them.

For many people, Christmas isn't the happy time of year that it is for others. Some Christmases are better than others--and that's just the way life is. The good news is, even when we feel alone, we're not alone. Sadness and grief is temporary, another happy Christmas will come. For those struggling with poverty and job losses, tangible gifts aren't the true meaning of Christmas, Christ's sacrifice and unconditional love, that is the true gift. It's both priceless and free. For those who are so happy you can hardly contain yourself, embrace the moment while it lasts. Share some of your joy with someone who could use it. 

And now that I'm finally feeling the Christmas Spirit...

I want to wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Book Review - "Daughter of Joy" by Kathleen Morgan

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor


Book Description
Set in the late nineteenth century outside Colorado Springs, Colorado, also tells a compelling, perceptive tale of one woman's faith journey. In the wake of losing both her husband and young son, Abigail Stanton is searching for a way to make sense of her losses. She takes a job as housekeeper for Conor MacKay, a confusing, often volatile man who also carries deep pain-and secrets-in his inscrutable heart. 

My Review
As a descendant of the MacKay family from Culdee, Scotland, Conor must come to terms with his painful past and the scars his father left on his life. Abby's arrival to his now successful ranch, is a constant reminder of his mother's memory and the deep roots of her faith. Once he realizes Abby's integrity and grit beyond his mere attraction to her, Conor is faced with taking risks he wouldn't ordinarily take, but he believes Abby is worth it. 

Abby is grieving from the loss of her husband and 5 year old son, but her attraction to Conor is unexpected and unexplained since she never shared these feelings with her late husband, a man 15 years older and chosen for her by her father. She is forced to make several decisions that put her in opposition against Conor, the town's judgmental convictions, and other ranch hands who don't understand her deep faith driving her forceful will to stand up for what is right.
Just when all seems to be settling down and coming together, the author throws in several plot twists to increase the stakes and tension. The romance is strong, but within the lines of biblical boundaries. The plot is full of suspense that will leave you wondering how the characters will react next. The characters are believable and unique in their own right. The ending is satisfying and I would highly recommend it. Definitely a page turner. 

Buy the book here

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Word of Inspiration: Stay in the Protection of God's Word

"But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil." (Proverbs 1:33)

The Word of God isn't only a set of rules for us to obey, but a safety net for us to dwell in if we abide by God's Word. It is our protection. When we think we know better than God, that's when we get into trouble and open the door for Satan's attacks to hit their mark in our vulnerable spots. The enemy is going to attack us no matter what, because he comes to steal, kill and destroy. God has provided His Word as our weaponry, serving as our shield and sword. In whatever you do, do it unto the Lord and make all decisions inside His will, so you will dwell in the safety of His arms and will have no reason to fear evil.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Write a Book, Reap the Rewards

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Last week, Dan Miller wrote a guest post on Michael Hyatt's blog. He stated something that I believe is worth repeating: Most have the fantasy of writing the book, submitting the manuscript, and then sitting in a lawn chair next to the mailbox, waiting on those big checks to show up. The reality of publishing and the source of real income is a quite different picture.

This statement is so true. If you are hoping and praying to be published soon, or you're a new published author waiting for some miracle sales, keep reading, I have some advice for you. 

1) Don't quit your day job. Be trying to figure out how you're going to squeeze in your writing time with your day-to-day work schedule, while adding 70% more marketing and promotion than you're currently doing right now. The thought of this may be daunting, but not impossible. I'm a living proof as are other authors. 

2) Don't tell your spouse that you're investing the family budget into your writing (for writing conferences and workshops and/or building an online platform) with the intention of putting it back when you get published. It won't happen. Instead, you'll need even more to invest. Consider a part-time job and/or sit down with your spouse and make sure you both clearly understand that your investment won't be a tangible return any time soon. The family will need to sacrifice and support you. This must be understood. Otherwise, it isn't fair to you or your spouse.

3) Don't have the attitude that if God wants your work to be read and widely published, He will make it happen. While God is the only one that can perform miracles for us, His word does say that faith without works is dead. You are going to have to put in a lot of time and hard work and it can take years before you begin to see the payoff. It isn't enough just to write the book and rewrite and edit it multiple times, go to writing conferences, submit to editors and agents and survive numerous rejections. That process is only the beginning...

4) If you refuse to work a full-time or part-time job to pay for your writing expenses, or you feel it won't work for you, then you need to consider other paying alternatives. You will need to build a speaking platform or write multiple paying articles in between your longer works of fiction or nonfiction. Some authors are printing smaller works and self-publishing on e-platforms and earning additional income through these resources. 

I'm not asking you to be pessimistic. Stay optimistic, but don't put on blinders. You can be realistic, while staying optimistic. REAL optimism is KNOWING you can beat the odds by knowing what the odds are. 

Any of you have any additional advice to add? Feel free to share. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Word of Inspiration: A Simple Miracle Is in Your Life Each Day

“Then the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.'” (Luke 1:30-33 NKJV)

I can only imagine how fearful Mary must have felt after the angel visited her with his message. I'm sure a sense of immense responsibility then filled her and Joseph. How on earth should they rear and discipline the Son of God? Since He was perfect, there was no need for discipline, but I'm certain that Mary and Joseph didn't always recognize this--such as when Jesus was left behind because He was teaching the scribes and priests at the age of 12. When they found him and questioned Him, His response was, "Did you not know I would be about my Father's business?" 

Another instance occurred when they were at a wedding and Mary told Jesus they had run out of wine. His response was, " Woman what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come." She turned to the others and told them to do whatever He told them. This passage shows us many things: 1) It wasn't meant for Him to perform that miracle, but in obedience to her, He did it. 2) She believed Jesus could do something about it, but didn't know how He would go about doing it. 3) She didn't fully understand her son or His purpose or His timing. She was impatient to see Him do the great things she knew He could do. 

We look at God and do the same thing today. We know He can fix all our problems with a word. He is capable of great things beyond our comprehension, but we are so busy looking for the BIG blessings in life that we miss the simple miracles that happen daily. Jesus was born a king and He will indeed reign forever, but on earth He was the poorest king of of low birth in spite of the noble blood in his veins. The Jews knew the prophecy of His birth, but they were looking for a wealthy king of noble birth that would be apparent and evident to all--a BIG sign. Don't miss the REAL blessings, because you're too busy looking at the greener grass on the other side.
You are a prince or a princess, as a child of God, the King of all Kings. Stop, consider the blessings in your life. Be still, and know that He is God. And give thanks!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Book Review - "Mine Is the Night" by Liz Curtis Higgs

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor


Book Description
Stepping from a battered coach on a rainy April eve, newly widowed Elisabeth Kerr must begin again, without husband or title, property or fortune. She is unafraid of work and gifted with a needle, but how will she stitch together the tattered remnants of her life? And who will mend her heart, torn asunder by betrayal and deception?

Elisabeth has not come to Selkirk alone. Her mother-in-law, Marjory Kerr, is a woman undone, having buried her husband, her sons, and any promise of grandchildren. Dependent upon a distant cousin with meager resources, Marjory dreads the future almost as much as she regrets the past. Yet, joy still comes knocking, and hope is often found in unexpected places.

Then a worthy hero steps forward, rekindling a spark of hope. Will he risk his reputation to defend two women labeled as traitors to the Crown? Or will a wealthy beauty, untainted by scandal, capture his affections?

The heartrending journey of the Kerr women comes to a glorious finish in Mine Is the Night, a sparkling gem of redemption and restoration set in eighteenth-century Scotland.

My Review
Mine is the Night picks up exactly where Here Burns My Candle ended. For this reason, I do feel that it would be best to read them in chronological order. It's a story of redemption and restoration, following the biblical plot line of Ruth and Naomi with a different setting and era. 

Higgs does a wonderful job creating believable characters who will steal your heart and make you feel their heartaches, joys and disappointments. A new cast of characters are introduced with excellent characterization to set them apart and create their own places in the story. 

There are at least three romances that bloom and you see each character's growth from the first book to the second. For this reason, there aren't many character flaws in Elisabeth. She seems almost perfect. The flaws she once possessed where overcome in the first book. The hero is almost perfect as well. The only character flaw I could see in Lord Buchanan was the fact that he was unconventional for his station in society, which is a necessary ingredient for the the plot to be fulfilled with biblical accuracy. 

Romance readers may find themselves a bit impatient as Elisabeth doesn't even meet the hero until after 160 pages. Still, the pacing is quick and it flies once the two finally meet. I enjoyed how Higgs used the political conventions of 1746 Scotland to resolve the ending conflicts of the plot in a similar fashion to the biblical plot of Ruth and Naomi. It's a very enjoyable read and one I would highly recommend. 

To buy the book, go here.

Visit Liz Curtis Higgs.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Word of Inspiration: God Will Reveal Himself to You

"Turn at my rebuke: Surely I will pour out my spirit on you. I will make my words known to you." (Proverbs 1:23)

Even if we have slipped away from God's word and don't spend time with Him as we should, if we'll submit ourselves to His rebuke and turn back to His ways, He will still pour out His spirit upon us and reveal His awesome word to us. The Bible says that God is the Word and the Word has hidden mysteries. Regardless of what we've done or how inconstant we've been in our faith, God will reveal His hidden mysteries and make Himself known to us through his wonderful mercy and forgiveness. We may still have to suffer some of the earthly consequences of our sins, but his forgiveness, love, mercy and companionship are immediate.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Photos from my LifeWay Book Signing in Asheville

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Last Saturday I was blessed to meet Diana Flegal in person. She's a literary agent at Hartline Literary Agency. She came to my book signing at LifeWay in Asheville, NC. Diana is the sweetest person and so friendly. She's full of brilliant ideas and enjoying her new home here in my home state of North Carolina. 

Welcome Diana! We're glad to have you here.

Where I'll be This Weekend

Saturday, December 10th
5 - 7 PM
LifeWay Christian Stores
Hickory Corners Phase II
1714 Highway 70 Southeast
Hickory, NC
Where I'll be Next Weekend 
Saturday, December 17th
12 - 2 PM
130 Randolph Mall
Asheboro, NC

If you can't come by in person because you live too far away, feel free to order directly from me by December 15th in order to receive your signed copies before Christmas, here. If you want to pick up a copy from your local bookstore, I can send you a signed book plate for free in the mail. It's a sticker you can insert inside the book with my signature. Just send me an email at with Bookplate typed in the Subject Line. 

Sign Up for My Newsletter for a Chance to Win a Free Book!
In the next few days, I'll be releasing my Christmas Newsletter. In it I'll be debuting the new video book trailer for Highland Crossings, a novella collection releasing February 2012. Also, I will draw a name from all the new subscribers since the release of my fall newsletter. The winner will receive their choice of one of my books for free. All my books are available in print and as e-books. 

Subscribe here!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Word of Inspiration - "Jesus Is THE Only Way"

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6 (NKJV)

So many people worry that they need to be doing more in their ministry, in their church, and in their lives for Christ. While it's true that faith without works is dead, works alone will not get us into the Kingdom of Heaven. We can sacrifice ourselves and our lives, donate every penny we earn, but if the love and acceptance of Christ is not happening in our hearts, then all the works we do is for naught. 

Many say that they believe in a Creator God, but they think Jesus was a great teacher and nothing more. That deception in their thinking will cause them to stumble off a cliff and into the abyss of hell, even though some don't believe that such a place exists. It's another great deception. 

The scripture above is very clear. These people may believe they are Christian, they may give of themselves to mankind and to God, but Christ's death and resurrection is the only path into Heaven. He was the ultimate sacrifice whether or not they choose to accept him or believe in Him. All one has to do is believe and receive Him in their heart. 

The whole Bible is founded on this scripture, the Old Testament through prophecy, the New Testament in fulfillment. If you have friends or loved ones who are deceived by these "other" concepts and you've already shared the truth with them, all you can do is pray for them. Arguing with them will only fuel their animosity to resist the truth. People, disciples of Christ, cannot change the heart of a man, only the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ can do that. Our job is to plant the seed, water it when allowed, and let God give the increase if allowed. He will NOT take away the gift of free will.

"For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable." (Romans 11:29 NKJV)

"So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase." (I Corinthians 3:7 NKJV)

Monday, December 05, 2011

Showing Physical Emotional Responses in Fiction

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

A character's physical response is a visible reaction to the emotional feelings they're experiencing whether it be from another person's treatment, a current circumstance, a memory, or an impending fear of the future. Most of the "show and don't tell" rule can be mastered through this one process. A writer must know when and how to apply it seamlessly throughout the story without interrupting the pacing and flow of progression, while making it seem realistic and believable.

Think about how your characters should logically react to their current situation. Layer in these details as you unfold the story. Love isn't immediate nor is hate, but attraction can be instant, as well as dislike. The instant response is usually to something a character sees or hears before knowing all the details.  

There are 2 types of physical emotional responses:

1) Inner Physical Response - How a character feels inside, including their thoughts in response to something. These responses can only be shown through the character's POV to whom it is happening. It happens in the narrative part of the story.

2) Outer Physical Response - A visible response that a character shows. In other words, we will be able to see it if we're watching them on stage. It can occur in a character's behavior, action, body language, expression, or dialogue.

Remember, the writing process should always be: action = reaction

Something happens, then your character must react. This process must take place on every page, not once or twice in a scene. It's a constant rhythm and if you haven't yet found you're writing voice, this is the beginning process in finding it. Think of it this way, every song has a beat, but not every song has the same beat. The rhythm of your writing voice works the same way.

Primary Emotions & Secondary Emotions
While studying emotions, I've seen lots of theories and charts to determine primary vs secondary emotions. I do believe there is a primary set of emotions that lead and/or stimulate secondary emotions and that those often branch out into other layers of more specific emotions. 

Out of all the charts and images I've seen, the one I like best is Parrott's Emotions by Groups created in 2001. The group chart is more like a genealogy tree with the basic trunk consisting of primary emotions, which branch out into secondary emotions, and then extend to more specific emotional feelings. It's a great chart for authors who are working on building emotion in their characters to show the stages a character might go through as they head toward the climatic moment in the story. 

The progression to love might look like this:

Attraction + Desire + Tenderness + Caring = Love

The progression to hate might look like this:
Dislike + Envy + Jealousy + Resentment = Hate

Below is Parrott's Tree Chart with a few of my modifications:
(Click the image below to make it larger.)

Examples of Showing Primary Emotions
(from Highland Sanctuary)

Showing Love - With gentle restraint, he lowered his lips to hers. The soft touch soldered them together, kindling a passionate warmth that flowed through his body like a current. He dug his fingers into her silk black hair, savoring every moment.

Telling - He kissed her with all the love he felt in his heart. 

Showing Joy - Yet, in spite of these people’s poverty, their eyes glowed with a passionate joy he couldn’t fathom, not the listless melancholy one would expect.

Telling - In spite of their poverty, joy filled their eyes. 

Showing Surprise - Her red eyes widened in pleasant surprise.

Telling - She was surprised. 

Showing Anger - Serena whirled, her green eyes blazed with fire.

Telling - Serena was angry. 

Showing Sadness - Fresh tears flooded her eyes and she sank back on the bed, rocking.

Telling - She sat on the bed weeping in sadness.

Showing Fear - Fear wound inside her nervous chest. Her skin prickled as a small shiver raced up her spine and crawled around her neck.

Telling - Fear gripped her insides.

Showing Action/Reaction Using Physical Emotional Response to Fear
(from Highland Blessings)

A savage barbarian riding a fierce gray stallion charged toward her, his army in quick pursuit. Together, the lead warrior and stallion embodied power. He led them as befit a king, but when his gaze fixed on Akira...

...her blood ran cold. “Lord, give me strength,” she murmured. She would not run. No, she would stand and wait for him.

Her blood ran cold is an inner reaction showing fear. Her brief prayer is an outer physical reaction, also showing fear and calling on divine help. She would not run is an inner decision. It shows courage in the face of fear. It shows character.

An army of warriors rode toward her. In spite of her fear, she stood firm.

Showing Action/Reaction Using Physical Emotional Response to Attraction
(from Highland Sanctuary)

He inched closer. 

Serena's heartbeat quickened.

Sometimes simple is more powerful. He visibly moves toward her. It's an action one can see if watching them. Her reaction is internal, something that no one can see. She has to deal with her internal conflict before there is a physical reaction that can be seen. This internal conflict is in Serena's POV and let's the reader know why she makes her next move.

Reaction Continued
Fear of the unknown fluttered through her, along with a fierce curiosity to feel his lips upon hers. The war waging inside her didn’t feel right, and she pulled out of his grasp, standing to her feet.

There are times when a reaction isn't immediate. Even the reaction can build suspense or it might be necessary to show a character's agonizing decision in how to react.

If these various levels of characterization seem overwhelming, my advice is to go ahead and finish your story. Then during the editing process, layer in more physical emotion.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Word of Inspiration: Dwell Safely in the Lord

"But whoever listens to Me will dwell safely and will be secure without evil." (Proverbs 1:32 NKJV)

Several verses leading up to these two refer to the blessings of listening to wisdom and the consequences of ignoring wisdom. The entire Bible is full of wisdom and direction, but so many of us chose to ignore it and go through life by trial and error. These blunderings leave the door open for consequences we'd rather not face. Then we wonder why things are so chaotic and out of control. 

If we would only give our worries and trust over to God, we wouldn't have all the problems that plague us, and we wouldn't worry so much about things that are out of our control. Our circumstances would seem so small. 

Seek God's wisdom and read His word for the best advice that trumps any psychologist, doctor, teacher or any human with flaws. There, you will find the best answers...and healing...and security that makes us feel safe...the peace that surpasses all understanding.