Thank you, LeighAnne, for sharing your story and your heart with us.
My name is LeighAnne Clifton, and I want to thank Kathy for inviting me to join y’all today.
Yep, I said, “y’all.” I’m a Southern girl, born and raised! Originally from the beautiful city of Ocala, Florida, I’ve called South Carolina home for many decades now. My degree is in chemical engineering, and I worked as an environmental engineer for over 30 years. Between that, two kids, and my husband, I managed to keep very busy.
In December 2020, though, I hung up my engineering hat, retired, and started truly focusing my energies on writing Christian fiction. Now, before you start thinking I’m some flighty, irresponsible, spur-of-the-moment kind of lady, just wait. I’m far from it!
The writing bug bit me when I experienced the thrill of publishing a children’s book, The Little Vessel, in 2018. I’d already been growing weary of workplace politics, and, even though our kids are grown and on their own, it became increasingly difficult to devote enough time to my writing. Then… I signed a contract for the publication of my first novel! So, after much prayer, I took the leap into retirement.
My first novel, All Your Heart, was published by Pen It! Publications in March 2021. Allow me to give you a glimpse into Alex’s world.
All Your Heart
Alex has a full scholarship, earned through her tireless work ethic, that she hopes will propel her across the country from her workaholic mother. However, a prom night incident leaves Alex pregnant, confused, and unsure of her next move. Forced to alter her well-crafted plans, she considers abortion after fleeing her small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business. Her trip changes course, though, when an accident strands her and she encounters Miss Matilda, care-taker and care-giver at Together for Good, a home for ladies facing a crisis pregnancy. Miss Matilda welcomes Alex, showering her with love, kindness, and Good News.
While living at the home, Alex finds a dusty old diary and reads the confidences penned within it. The secrets Alex discovers change not only her life, but also the lives of Miss Matilda and her nephew Terry, who’s become Alex’s new business partner. Alex must decide if she can let go of her own secrets, grasp the revelation of newly-discovered family, and allow her budding romance with a local businessman to fully bloom.
My Spirit-led goals in writing this book were three-fold:
1. reach people with the gospel of Jesus,
2. highlight the sanctity of life, and
3. remind readers of God’s sovereignty.
As I continue to write the next books in this series, these fundamental themes recur, in addition to some other important concepts, such as forgiveness and patience.
The inspirational and foundational Scripture verse for All Your Heart is Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” So much truth is packed into those few words, and the verse has carried me through many tough times. Similarly, Alex and her friends learn how to let go of their own plans and fully trust God with everything, even when obstacles seem insurmountable. Spoiler: God’s plans are ALWAYS better (even when we don’t recognize it)!
The next novel in the Together for Good series, Ready to Forgive, is under contract, although a release date is unknown at this time. If you’d like to know more about All Your Heart and keep up with Ready to Forgive on its journey to publication, sign up for my biweekly (every other week, not twice a week) newsletter at LeighAnne Clifton Book News! | (alive-leighjourney.com) .
All Your Heart:
The Little Vessel: