The founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, Jennifer Slattery speaks to women’s groups, at conferences, retreats, and to Bible study groups across the nation and encourages women to discover and live out who they are in Christ. Her new romance novel is Restoring Her Faith (Love Inspired): When Faith Nichols is hired to help widower Drake Owens renovate a church, he’s drawn to the beautiful artist, but he can’t fall for a woman who isn’t a believer. Can love restore her faith—and his heart? In this interview, Jennifer gives us more details about the story, her leading lady and leading man, and her favorite thing about writing romances as a Christian author…

No spoilers, but what can you tell us about Restoring Her Faith?

This story is about an artist, Faith Nichols, struggling to make ends meet doing what she loves most. When she learns about a historic church that suffered extensive fire damage in a small Texas Hill Country town, she makes a bid to restore the structure’s once beautiful stained-glass windows. She hopes doing so will help her pay her bills and gain her the exposure necessary to further her career.

She arrives to discover she wasn’t exactly the town’s first choice, nor does the contractor overseeing the job want her there.

She prepares for a frustrating few weeks working under his leadership, but she never prepared for how off-kilter his boyish smile and kind ways will leave her, nor the spiritual questions his quiet yet steady faith will provoke.

Meanwhile, Drake Owens is working to restore structural components of the church where he met his wife, said his vows, and, at her funeral, said goodbye. Though he’s grieved her loss, he holds tight to the memories they formed, many of which occurred in the sanctuary he and Faith were hired to restore. Memories he’s worried Faith, the artist with creative ideas and historical tidbits, could disrupt.

What he fears most, however, is falling in love only to have her return to Austin with a piece of his heart.

Tell us about your leading lady and leading man. What made you want to write a story about them?

I was first drawn to the stained-glass windows I saw in many of Texas’s historic churches and knew I wanted to write a story about a similar structure. As I began to research various historic churches, Faith Nichols was born. She sees beauty and inspiration everywhere and loves capturing glimmers of light or color in paintings and jewelry.

She also longs to see beauty in life, but past hurts have made her cautious. With every stained glass window she restores, however, God is restoring a part of her and drawing her to Himself.

Drake is a hardworking, loyal single father with strong ties to his community and to his family. He left the family ranch as a young adult to launch his own construction business, certain, with plenty of ranch hands, his parents would continue thrive.

But when an accident left his father paralyzed from the waist down and medical bills mount, Drake realizes they could lose the land that’s been in his family for generations. He’s determined not to let that happen. While doing all he can to help save the ranch, the church, and raise his kids, his efforts are complicated by a fight to protect his heart.

What spiritual themes or ideas play out in Restoring Her Faith?

I hope through this story readers catch a clear glimpse of God’s love and grace and His heart to heal and restore. Family and strong community ties also play an important role, and how God’s grace, which is always working on our behalf, helps protect and strengthen families when they’re going through challenging circumstances.

What’s your favorite thing about writing romances as a Christian author?

I love celebrating love. When we love one another well, we reveal our Father’s heart to a hurting world. The romance between a committed man and woman mirror, in a mysterious yet tangible way, God’s love for the church and therefore point to the gospel.

How does your faith impact the way you approach writing fiction?

My faith permeates who I am and how I view the world, so it comes out in all I do. It tells me happy endings are possible, true love can last, and there’s hope, even in the hardest or most chaotic circumstances. I hope and pray my writing always proclaims those truths.

Visit Jennifer Slattery’s author page:

Restoring Her Faith
Jennifer Slattery
Love Inspired

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