Until Forever By: Darlene Shortridge Plus book giveaway

Until Forever

By:

Darlene Shortridge

  • Perfect Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Tate Publishing (January 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617392448
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617392443
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 0.6 inches

Purchase at Amazon

Interview with Darlene

Hello everyone. I am happy to have a new author with us today, Darlene Shortridge,  talking about her book Until Forever. Darlene can tell you better than me about this wonderful book.  so after you read the Book Blurb, read Darlene’s interview and see why this book means so much to her.
Also Darlene is giving a copy of this book to one blessed blogger, so here is what you need to do.
Leave a comment about this interview by Nov 23rd
Leave your name AND email…if you don’t leave your email, I can’t get in touch with you!
Rate my Blogging for Books review HERE  This will give you 2 extra entries

Book Blurb

More than a Book………..

Until Forever is a story of a young family that is torn apart by the devastating effects of alcoholism. Can healing take place in a relationship when an unforgivable act is committed? Will Jessi’s pain and Mark’s guilt keep them apart forever, or will unforseen circumstances bind them together?

Join Jessi and Mark as they travel many roads that lead them to places of healing and forgiveness.  Where will God draw the line at allowing circumstances in our lives that lead us to Him?  Is there any earthly pain that isn’t tolerable if it leads us to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ?  As you read “Until Forever” you may find yourself asking these types of questions.  As in real life, the answers don’t come easily to Jessi and Mark.  You will find yourself walking in their shoes, crying their tears and laughing with them as they experience real pain and find true joy.

1.       Hey Darlene, it’s great to have you on my blog today. Thank you so much for being here. Tell us a bit about yourself.  Joy, I am thrilled to be here, thank you for having me.   I am an author of Christian Fiction, a speaker and singer based out of northeast Wisconsin.  I enjoy speaking to groups of all sizes and genres.  I am married to the greatest guy ever, have two awesome children and a dog, (who can sometimes be very naughty) Ms. Leia.  I homeschool our youngest son, Jeremiah.  I love spending time with my family and my church family.  Worship is favorite thing to “do” and writing comes in a close second.

***

2.       How long have you been writing?  I truly cannot remember when I started writing.  I did not have a fairy tale childhood and most of my memories are suppressed.  I do know that as far back as I can remember, writing always seemed to be a part of my life.  Whether it be poetry, songs and lyrics, short stories or full length novels, writing has been my way of expressing myself. 

***

3.      What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most? Oh my goodness.  Sometimes I feel so guilty for sleeping in til 9 or 10 o’clock.  Alright…sometimes even later!  But…I love it!  I love staying up til the wee hours of the morning, when everything is quiet and my imagination is able to run wild with no outside distractions.  I do my best writing late at night.  It also gives me extreme joy to know the stories I write touch and change lives.  To make a difference in someone’s life, to give them a reason to hold on to hope through circumstances that would tear them down, is a priviledge that I count as one of the greatest blessings God has ever given me.  When readers contact me and tell how much this story meant to them, or how they were able to forgive someone because of what they read, it means the world to me. 

 ***

4.       What is your favorite Scripture?  The scripture that I have been hanging on to is Matthew 19:26.  With men things may be impossible, but with God, all things are possible.  This scripture has been my lifeline lately.  My husband was laid off four years ago and has worked at a variety of jobs since then.  We have watched the hand of God do the impossible in our lives over and over again.  When things get tough, when we seem to have reached the end of the line, suddenly God moves and leaves us wondering why we ever doubted in the first place. 

 ***

5.       How do you find characters for your books? Are the influenced by family and friends?  My characters are loosely based off of friends and family.  While Until Forever is fiction, my grandfather was an alcoholic.  The events that happen in my story were hatched in my imagination with a whole lot of inspiration from the Holy Spirit.  I tried to make my characters as close to you and I as possible, to make them as real to life as I could.  What I do is, and I know this is going to sound weird, but I live in the head of each character as I write him or her.  I will speak the dialogue out loud, cry with them, sneer with them…whatever it takes to make them seem real and to make sure I got it right.  For the children in my book, I took a hard look at my own children and gave them some of their personality, some of their spunk. 

 ***

6.       What are 4 things about yourself that most people wouldn’t know about ?  Well, I really don’t consider myself to be an interesting person, or to have done much that would be interesting to others so this is what I came up with.  1)  I used to run long distance in college.  I love running and hope to one day start back up.  2) I played a mean air guitar in high school…and got a lot of flack about it.  Really, I was just socially inept and was trying to find my way!  3) I sing.  I mean, I really sing. Even though I never finished, I started college as a voice major.  I have either led or been on a worship team since I was 18 years old.  I can pretty much sing harmony to anything.  4) Per my son, I am the best cooker in the world! 

 ***

7.       When will your next book be out?  I am hoping spring of 2012. 

 ***

8.       What are you working on now?  I am currently working on the sequel to Until Forever.  I actually came up with a working title today, so we’ll go with that as long as we all remember I am a woman and I retain the right to change my mind at any time.  For the moment, my WIP is called, Forever Blessed.  It is book two in the Women of Worship Series.  While Until Forever tackles the subject of alcoholism, Forever Blessed deals with domestic abuse both in and out of the church.  Laney finds herself in an abusive marriage with three children in tow.  She flees her home and every bit of security she has ever known.  With nothing but the clothes on her back and a will to survive, she forges her way in a world that is leary, if not down right suspicious of anyone claiming they are physically, mentally or verbally abused.  If you look me up on Facebook and like the page Until Forever, you can read the prologue and the first chapter of Forever Blessed.  Make sure you leave a comment and let me know what you think so far.  I hope to be finished with this project by the end of December.

 ***

9.       Where can our readers find you?  You can find me on twitter:  https://twitter.com/#!/ShortridgeD  And on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/#!/darlene.shortridge  You can also like my Until Forever page on facebook and read the prologue and first chapter of Forever Blessed under discussions:  https://www.facebook.com/#!/AuthorDarleneShortridge  I’m on Googleplus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/?tab=yX#114109879839110417142/posts.  My website is http://www.darleneshortridge.com/ and my blog address is:  http://www.darleneshortridge.blogspot.com/  Look me up.  I look forward to hearing from you!

 ***

10.   11.   And I wanted to save this one until last, Tell us a bit about Until Forever and what Inspired you to write this wonderful book.  Until Forever is the story of a young married couple, Jessi and Mark, and their young son, Ethan.  Mark is an alcoholic who doesn’t think he has a problem.  He even commits himself to rehab just to prove he can go without a drink.  One day after his stint in rehab, he stops at a bar and has a few then proceeds to drive, all the while forgetting that their young son, Ethen, was curled up on the back seat asleep.  Mark gets into a head on collision with a tree and their lives are irrevocably changed from that moment on.   

Journey with Jessi and Mark as they learn the meaning of forgiveness.  How do you forgive someone when they have done something “unforgivable?”  This is a story of forgiveness, redemption and unconditional love. 

 As I stated above, my grandfather was an alcoholic.  I also have many family members who are in chains because of the choices they have made and continue to make.  It pains me to see so many people lose themselves in a bottle, lost and desperately searching for a meaning to life.  If only they knew there is a much better way.  There is nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing that can seperate us from the love of God.  He is faithful to forgive us, no matter what “unforgivable” act we have committed.  All we must do is repent and ask Him to be the Lord of our lives.   

*************************************************

My Thoughts about Until Forever

A life destroyed, ruined by alcoholism, Mark Jensen doesn’t think he has a problem. Even though he’s just out of prison for his addiction, he is still not convinced. That’s why Jessi is uncomfortable with leaving their young son with Mark while she goes to her teaching job at the school. While Jessi is gone, Mark take in situation into his own hands and goes out to the grocery store with his son. On his way home, he takes a different route, going past a local bar. He’s just going in for a few minutes, his son is sleeping and will be ok in the car, despite the freezing temperatures. And Mark stays much longer than he thought, drinks much more than he thought, and Marks actions causing the most heart-wrenching tragedy any parent has ever had to face.

Wow, what can I say about Until Forever? This is one of the best books I’ve read on God’s love, grace, forgiveness, healing and restoration. I know this is fiction, but as the author states in her interview, she has family members who are alcoholics and these dear people are on her mind while she is writing this. This is a subject that affects so many families today, so many children are hurt by it in many ways. This would be an awesome book to give someone dealing with this issue.

Until Forever is a most wonderful love story. A story of God’s love to us as well as a story of God changing a life in such a dramatic way that no one even recognizes him. Mark and Jessi’s journey is a love story that will stay with you for a long time.

I want to thank the author Darlene Shortridge for giving me a copy of this book to read and review. I was not expected or required to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.

*************************************************

About the Autho

Darlene Shortridge attended Alderson Broaddus College as a voice major.  She found she was more passionate about her writing classes than her vocal classes.  She left college early and since that time has written various projects such as Bible School Curriculum and poetry.  She has also written and recorded a CD of original music.  She lives in Northeast Wisconsin with her husband and two children.  Until Forever is her first novel.

 

 

“I can’t remember the exact age that I started dreaming of writing the “All American Novel”, but I was very young.  It took many years to finally start putting the words to paper and now I find myself unable to stop writing.  I find it is much easier to express my feelings through words on paper versus the spoken word.  This book served as a creative outlet to share what is in my heart.  I truly believe, given the chance, that “Until Forever” will touch hearts and bring understanding and healing to many.”

 

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20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. darleneshortridge
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 12:01:19

    Joy, I want to thank you for having me. It was a pleasure working with you. I am looking forward to hearing your readers’ thoughts and answering any questions (if I am able) that they might have. Blessings! Darlene

    Reply

  2. becke payne
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 12:47:17

    I went to high school with Darlene years ago, I always admired her for her convictions in school. She did stand out, she never was embarrassed about her religion, and had the most amazing voice I ever heard. I knew she would go on to achieve wonderful things. I am proud to say I know her.

    Reply

  3. dianelouw
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 16:25:05

    Darlene Shortridge – you have just been added to my list of authors whose books i read. As i purchase all the books for our Church library – you will be featured as well. We were just discussing this topic Friday evening and how we are going to help a certain person in our community. Looking forward to reading more of your books. God bless…

    Reply

  4. Jo Berger Legat
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 18:59:53

    Darlene, Thank you for the great interview. This book does sound like a book that should be available in all church libraries. Addiction is such a big thing nowadays and something that we should all be more aware of and how it affects everyone lives.

    Reply

  5. Yvonne Pat Wright
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 19:53:48

    This sounds like one to put on my TBR list simply because I love human interet stories, seeing the heartwrenching conflicts and heaving a sigh of relief when the all powerful love of God works a solution. Darlene I will read this and congratulate you on writing your first book. Wishing you all the best.

    Reply

  6. darleneshortridge
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 23:01:57

    Becke…I’m so glad you found me! I checked on FB and didn’t see you there…if you are there, friend me! Thank you for your kind words. My husband and I were just discussing this evening how we are a witness in everything we do, whether through our actions or our words, it matters not.

    Diane, thank you! I am honored. Let me know if there is anything you need, or if you read the book as a group I would be more than happy to do a telephone/video question/answer session.

    Jo, I am constantly troubled when hurting people look to any addiction to help them get through their problems. If only we would turn to the One who can be our strength through it all!

    Yvonne, thank you for your encouragement. I wanted to write a book that is relevant, one that readers would hopefully find some nugget in that would apply to their lives in a postive, life changing way. I also wanted to remind us all, me first, that God is faithful to forgive.

    Reply

  7. sugarpeach
    Nov 20, 2011 @ 00:50:57

    Hi Darlene, I have a couple of questions. Why do you write books touching on tough topics – like alcoholism in Until Forever, and domestic abuse in Forever Blessed? Forever Blessed deals with domestic abuse in and out of the church. How’s the research process for this book going so far?

    Joy, I voted for your review in B for B.

    Evangeline
    writer.chicka[at]gmail.com

    Reply

    • darleneshortridge
      Nov 20, 2011 @ 08:27:47

      Evangeline,

      Thank you for your questions! Sometimes we as Christians have our own list of “forgivable” and “unforgivable” sins. I have come across brand new believer “wanna be’s” who feel that they are too “dirty” or have sinned too much for God to forgive them. I wanted to write something that showed no matter how far gone we are, no matter what horrible sins we have committed, God is still faithful to forgive us. Yes, there are consequences to sin, that is a given. But, we can still find forgiveness in the arms of our Father, who loves us so much we’ll never fully comprehend it.

      I also want to show that, like David, we believers also do things that are sinful. We do not stop being sinners just because we prayed a sinner’s prayer. I think sometimes those sins that I mentioned above, those we deem forgivable are easy to let go of, and those we deem unforgivable we never find the will/strength to forgive ourselves for. Granted, we must repent of our sins and amend our ways, God expects us to constantly be askng the Holy Spirit to reveal in us the things we must change, the sin we typically ignore. But, like David, if we are truly repentant, He will forgive us those sins and help us to overcome the sin in our lives.

      I also wanted to put some really serious issues in fiction form. What can be more serious than salvation? 🙂 When I wrote Until Forever I originally had chapter 3 as chapter 1 and before production started I really felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to switch them, so I did. I am so very glad I did. Recently I had someone leave a poor review for Until Forever on Goodreads. She won a copy and didn’t realize it was a “Women of Prayer” series. She gave me a two star rating then she went on to say “she couldn’t get past page 70. Not that I was a bad writer or anything.” About a week and a half after she left this review, she erased the written review and changed the rating to a 3 star review. My husband says, “she had to pick it back up, it wouldn’t leave her alone.”

      I agree with him and if that truly is the case, then I have accomplished what I set out to do with Until Forever. When a non-Christian cannot put the book down because the first two chapters hook them, and they hear the salvation message through out the story, then I am smiling and all is well with my world!

      Hopefull the “book” I wrote above answers your first question. I’ll try and make my answer to your second much shorter.

      My research for Forever Blessed is going great. When I first started reading the stats, I wept. I could not believe the numbers both in and out of the church. Domestic violence is still huge in our churches. It is an issue that must be addressed and dealt with. I pray eyes are opened and hearts are changed through the message I am writing.

      I have been in contact with multiple victims and spoken with and met a director of a shelter. I had so many questions, like “how do children get schooled when they are on the run?” “Are state funded shelters allowed to mention Christ?” There is just so much to get right. Again, in making this book real, I have to be careful and make sure I put the work in behind the scenes. That begins with prayer! It also takes a lot out of me which makes the writing process a little tougher and a little longer than some projects might take.
      Looks like I am out of room so I will end here. Blessings! Darlene

      Reply

  8. Judi Chesshir
    Nov 20, 2011 @ 10:49:15

    I love that you wrote on a topic Darlene that is such a major problem in families today! Your book sounds wonderful. I can’t wait to read it someday soon. Best wishes!!

    Reply

  9. Martha A.
    Nov 20, 2011 @ 12:25:19

    I like books that touch on real topics that effect us in our day to day life. I don’t have a family member who drinks, but I have a sister who is an addict and encouraging books with stories of people who have lived with it, helps so much!
    martha(at)lclink(dot)com

    Reply

  10. Deborah H. Bateman
    Nov 20, 2011 @ 20:07:50

    Joy, thanks for sharing this post about Darlene’s book. Blessings to the both of you.

    Reply

  11. splashesofjoy
    Nov 20, 2011 @ 20:35:39

    Hey folks, Thanks for dropping by and checking out Darlene’s book. I appreciate each of you! And I am sure that Darlene will be happy to be a guest on your blog as well…… This is such a great book I want to do what I can to help her get the word out!
    I appreciate all of your comments too. I love it when we can interact with the author like this….and Thank you Darlene!

    Reply

  12. darleneshortridge
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 00:15:59

    Judi, Martha and Deborah, thank you, your words of encouragement mean a lot. I am very thankful to be given the opportunity to both be a bless and be blessed by those around me.

    Joy, the pleasure is mine. This is a lot of fun! I enjoy interacting with readers and prospective readers.

    Reply

  13. Loraine Ertelt
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 17:22:50

    Sounds like a great book and I’d love to have a copy to read!

    Reply

  14. Lori
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 22:45:47

    Thanks Joy and Darlene for a good interview. I had a grandfather who was an alcoholic and I know what that did to my mother and her family. My sister’s mother-in-law is also an alcoholic and she struggles with it often, but more so around the time of her husband’s passing. They look for joy and happiness in a bottle and yet they never find it. This book sounds good and one I would enjoy reading and passing along and sharing with my friends and family who love to read. What a blessing that it is already touching people’s lives!! Please sign me up for your giveaway and thank you for the opportunity.

    Blessings,
    Lori

    triplel(at)evertek(dot)net

    Reply

  15. Leanna Morris
    Nov 22, 2011 @ 11:36:16

    This is a new author for me. I’ve added her to my TBR list! This book sounds awesome! Thanks for the great interview and blurb…and for the giveaway.

    Reply

  16. darleneshortridge
    Nov 22, 2011 @ 12:24:21

    Loraine, Thank you for stopping by and reading the interview! I appreciate it!

    Lori, It is hard when we see our family members caught in the grip of alcoholism. To some extent, their struggles become ours and we all are affected. I didn’t have much of a relationship with my grandfather, but I know his actions have had a lasting affect on my family, how my mother grew up and how she raised her children. We were a product of that environment. I am so thankful that both my husband and I love the Lord with all our hearts and that our children have been raised in a home that looks to Christ for everything. We are breaking that cycle and saying “No More!” Blessings!

    Leanna, So glad you stopped by! And thank you, I am grateful 🙂

    Blessings to all of you!
    Darlene

    Reply

  17. marge grubb
    Nov 29, 2011 @ 15:24:48

    Sounds like a really good book. Glad I knew you when you weren’t an author, and pleased to know you now that you are. Congratulations. When does your next book come out?

    Reply

    • darleneshortridge
      Dec 02, 2011 @ 14:51:59

      Marge,

      Sorry I didn’t see this before! I’ll shoot you a note on facebook too, to make sure you get this reply.

      My next novel, Forever Blessed, should be available by springtime 2012. I am (or should be!) working hard on writing it. I’ll get it done by the end of this year, maybe the end of January if I don’t get writing a little faster.

      I’ll let you know when it is available 🙂

      Blessings!
      Darlene

      Reply

  18. Dana
    Mar 16, 2014 @ 11:41:21

    I have read all 3 until forever, forever blessed and forever loved and at the end of that one it is saying forever faithful and I cant find that one… I would love to read that one as well,

    Reply

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