Catching Moondrops - Available Now!
From Tyndale House Publishers
Jessilyn Lassiter no longer has to convince people she’s not a child. Having just turned 19 in the summer of 1936, her love for Luke Talley has never been more real. And Luke is finally beginning to care for her in the way she's always dreamed of.
But their budding romance is interrupted when Tal Pritchett—a young, black doctor—comes to Calloway, stealing the heart of Jessilyn’s best friend, Gemma, and stirring up the racial prejudice that has been simmering just beneath the town's surface.
The tension starts to bubble over when Jessie's elderly neighbor Miss Cleta becomes the first white townsperson to accept Tal’s treatment. And when a young black man is lynched, Calloway is brought to its knees once again as Jessilyn realizes that her anger can make her heart as full of hate as the Ku Klux Klan members who have terrorized her town and her family.
"While this is a deeply satisfying end to the trilogy, readers cannot help but want more from this extremely talented author." -- Romantic Times Magazine, October, 2010
In Cottonwood Whispers, the sequel to Fireflies in December, readers will find a story of quick assumptions and false accusations; a story of how easily people can believe something without exploring justification. And a story of true sacrificial love and pure faith in God's sovereignty.
Of course, the novel will also continue the story of Jessilyn and Luke... the relationship everyone keeps asking about!
"Strong character development strengthens the storyline and leaves the reader anticipating more novels, hopefully a sequel. Valent is a gifted author with a promising future." -- Romantic Times Magazine, October, 2009
“The summer I turned thirteen, I thought I killed a man.”
So begins the story of Jessilyn Lassiter, a young girl whose world is torn apart the summer of 1932. When Jessilyn’s best friend, Gemma, loses her parents in a tragic fire, Jessilyn’s father vows to care for her as his own, despite the fact that Gemma is black and prejudice is prevalent in their southern Virginia town.
It doesn’t take long for the Lassiters to attract the attention of a local band of Ku Klux Klan members, who make increasingly violent threats on Jessilyn and her family.
As she struggles to navigate a complex world of first crushes, loyalties, and betrayals, Jessilyn ultimately discovers what it takes to be a bright light in a dark world.
"...Spunky Jessilyn is 13 years old, but her story will appeal to readers of all ages. Winner of the Christian Writers Guild's 2007 Operation First Novel contest, Valent's debut is both heartwarming and hand-wringing as it shows how one family endured the threats small and large of a prejudiced community while maintaining moral integrity.
The cast of characters is rich. Jessilyn's mother wrestles with the social cost of challenging convention, her father is a dream dad and the neighbor's wisdom is as spicy as her cake. Jessilyn's romantic interest and penchant for trouble keep the tone light while the plot reminds readers of the evil that ordinary human beings are capable of doing, even in the name of righteousness. The book stares down violence and terror, making its affirmation of surprising goodness believable." -- Publishers Weekly Starred Review
“We’re proud of Jennifer, and you’re about to learn why. I envy your first look at this new talent. You won’t be disappointed.” -- Jerry B. Jenkins, New York Times best-selling author and owner of the Christian Writers Guild
Jennifer Erin Valent's debut novel is as sweet and salty as the South itself. With a keen eye for detail and a pitch-perfect ear for dialect, Valent reminds us that all is not what it seems on the surface and that angels come in many forms.” -- Jan Watson, award-winning author of the Troublesome Creek series
“Fireflies in December is an extraordinary first novel, a pure joy to read as Valent explores not only the emotions and confusion associated with coming of age, but with the greater challenge of having a friendship that’s a lonely light in a very dark time.” -- Maureen Lang, author of The Oak Leaves