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Author Spotlight,  Giveaway,  Hope-filled Fiction

Jennifer Hallmark: Spotlight on Smoking Flax

Hello, Deena! Thank you for the opportunity to share my latest novel with your readers. My lead character, Reed Anderson, began his journey in a short story. The Lawrence County Writers Guild uses word prompts as a way to inspire writing. I believe my prompts during that meeting were shrimp, New Orleans, and a young man. I wrote the scene that ended up on pages 22-24 in my YA novel, Smoking Flax

A young man, feeling trapped in his life, wanting to belong.

To be seen.

To fit in.

A sudden tragedy turns his life in a different direction and he feels hope that his situation could change. But is different always better? And what could the strange words of Aunt Lula and the faded image of a child who appeared and disappeared at will mean?

Smoking Flax is the first story in which I have peered deeply into my soul to write. The best work of a writer often comes from a newly healed wound or situation in life that they’ve made peace with. While a writer is still wounded or not at peace, the words tend to come out bitter, forced, and even angry. But once a writer and God have worked out the angst, a story is ready to be birthed. Whether it’s a short story, article, novella, or novel. 

I dedicated this novel to my six grandchildren: Ava, Sadie, Zeke, Cohen, Phoebe, and Rozlyn. I feel that we could dive into Reed’s story together and talk about some of the turmoil Reed deals with such as abuse, racism, and a sense of not belonging. Many times, a novel is a good way to bring up a discussion of difficult topics with your children or grandchildren. I remember reading often as a child and teenager. Many books encouraged me and caused me to think about subjects and form an opinion. I could talk to my parents and learn and grow from something as simple as a book.

And now you can read in an eBook format, paperback, hardcover, or even listen to an audiobook. Amazing. If I had had a mobile phone back then, I wouldn’t have had to sneak a flashlight under the covers at night to read. 😊

I hope this glimpse into a writer’s life has encouraged you. Check out Reed’s story and you’ll find hope that life can change for the better in ways you’ve never dreamed of. Smoking Flax focuses on friendship, bravery, and choices. A coming-of-age story you and your family won’t want to miss …

Comment on @JenniferHallmrk’s spotlight on her #YANovel, Smoking Flax, by 2/20 for a chance to win an ebook copy. (US winner only) #amreading


Click the book cover for purchase link

Pre-teen Reed Anderson receives a mysterious foretelling that shifts his world and can help him discover his true identity if he survives.


Jennifer Hallmark writes Southern fiction with a twist. Her website and newsletter focus on her books, love of the South, and favorite fiction. She creates stories with unforgettable characters—her stories are a little eerie and otherworldly but with a positive turn. Jessie’s Hope, her first novel, was a Selah Award nominee for First Novel.

When she isn’t babysitting, gardening, or exploring the beautiful state of Alabama, you can find her at her desk penning fiction or studying the craft of writing. She also loves reading and streaming fantasy, supernatural stories, and detective fiction from the Golden Age or her favorite subject—time travel.

Jennifer and her husband, Danny, are managed by their half-Corgi rescue, Little Mack, and their six grandchildren.

Connect with Jennifer: Website / Facebook / Facebook Author Page / X / Pinterest / Instagram / Newsletter

As a Jesus girl for more than thirty years, Deena Adams understands how important hope is to daily life, which fuels her passion to inspire others through hope-filled fiction based on true to life stories. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and is a multi-award-winning writer, an active ACFW member, and ACFW Virginia president. Connect with Deena through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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