Jamie Langston Turner


Baby, Rain, Penguin

July 17, 2013

A second installment two months after the first—not bad as far as newsletters go, I suppose. I’m now looking at the last four weeks of our summer break, hoping to cross a few more projects off my Summer 2013 To-Do List, one of which is “add updated newsletter to website.”

By far the most exciting part of our summer occurred on Friday, July 12, at 6:00 p.m. Yes, I know—what an oddly convenient time for a baby to be born, right? We received a phone call from our son, Jess, at 1:40 that afternoon, telling us they were on their way to the hospital. This was the first answer to prayer on this momentous day. Our daughter-in-law, Kalyn, had asked us to be praying that God would work out the timing of the hospital run so they wouldn’t have to make a middle-of-the-night phone call to one of the kind friends who had offered to help them out by taking care of their 3-year-old daughter. A modest request, but nothing is too small or too big when it comes to prayer. How gracious of God to schedule this event in broad daylight.

More answers to prayer accompanied this one—first, for a naturally initiated, rather than induced, labor and, second, for a mercifully brief one. The doctors had already mentioned the “i” word to Kalyn since she was several days overdue, but she had not-so-pleasant memories of being induced for their first child and was praying to be spared that. Another gift of God, then, when labor commenced naturally on July 12 and, grace heaped upon grace, when the baby was born only four hours after she was checked into the hospital.

And the baby himself—oh, what a wonderful, bountiful answer to prayer when he arrived safely! His name is Charles Kjell Turner. Charles was Kalyn’s paternal grandfather, and Kjell (pronounced Key-ell) is a Scandinavian name that means “helmet,” chosen as a reference to the helmet of salvation listed in Ephesians as part of the “full armor of God.” He weighed in at 8 pounds 4 ounces, measured 21 inches long, and had dark hair and bright eyes—still does, though he has already put on several ounces in his ten short days of life.

He’s at home now with his parents and big sister, and his Smith grandparents are there for a visit. We plan to see him in person in the next week or two, and we can’t wait to hold him and get to know him! In the meantime, we’re receiving lots of pictures and even got to do “face time” with him on his actual birthday.

Besides this incomparable blessing, the summer of 2013 will go down in South Carolina as the Summer of Abundant Rain. This is a welcome relief, however, from the drought of the last several years. I believe we’re around 15 inches above the average rainfall for this time of year, and Greenville has never looked greener. Mowing the lawn has been a tricky business, though—fitting it in between the downpours.

The manuscript for my next book is now in the hands of a new editor at Penguin (long story), and we’re working together to move it forward. I’m still expecting a 2014 publication but don’t have a firm date yet or a definite title. I’ll include this information in another newsletter when I know more.

I’ve appreciated so much the emails I’ve received through my website. It’s always a joy to hear from readers, so thank you! Well, it has started raining again, so I’ll close for now and watch God wash the world, once more. Blessings to all.


Selected Works

"As Turner weaves her tale with a wealth of vivid detail, she avoids both sentimentality and patness."
--Deb Richardson-Moore
The Greenville (SC) News, Dec. 31, 1995
"In a lifetime of reading, a handful of books stand out—this is one of them."
–Michelle Rapkin, Editor, Doubleday/Crossings Book Club
"This thoughtful, warmly humorous novel takes a fresh look at the age-old search for peace and joy in a troubled, temporal world."
--CBA Marketplace
September 1999
That February afternoon was equal parts joy and heartache, but it began a journey Elizabeth Landis would never forget.
"Besides the fact that he was a married man, it was clear as soon as he spoke that his mission was anything but romantic. 'Do you have a toilet plunger?' he asked."
“Genuine humor and well-crafted characters make this a memorable and inspiring novel.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"I love putting little pieces together to make something beautiful. In a sense I saw the structure of this book as a mosaic." --From an interview with the author
"You can't rush through Jamie's books any more than you can rush through life itself."
--Sheila Petre
Mercersburg (PA) Journal, July 9, 2014

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