Tonya Jewel Blessing is an empathetic author.  She writes for Christian women leaders and Christian authors in addition to her books to equip others for ministry.

She is a highly respected and beloved conference speaker and author. Tonya’s heart for women and children in need flows through every aspect of her work. Growing up, she often visited her family in the Appalachian hills and hollers. Her Appalachian Big Creek book series stems from these times. The stories family members could tell influenced the details she writes about.

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As the co-founder of Strong Cross Ministries in Africa, she and her husband Christian have equipped a youth ministry with leaders and tools, led Bible studies, funded Bible school training for pastors and lay leaders, and fed the poor.  

In poverty, people face uniquely desperate choices and situations in life, yet God’s love reaches down to lift up these lives and to transform them for His kingdom. 

Tonya relaxes by writing stories.

The Whispering of the Willows: An Historic Appalachian Drama

A 1920s’ saga of Emerald Ashby coming-of-age. “I’m poetic in an Appalachian sort of way. People say I’m easy. I ain’t, but it’s easy to see why they’d think so! Whisper now. Wanna know how I survived? I’ll tell ya…”

Set against the superstitions and old-time religion in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, author Tonya Jewel Blessing tells a difficult, yet redemptive story of a blossoming young woman who is accompanied by her friends and her foes on a journey towards hope and healing. Not since Catherine Marshall’s strong heroine named Christy, has an Appalachian drama come to life like The Whispering of the Willows.

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Love weaves through gut-wrenching circumstances and dismal poverty where Emerald Ashby grows strong despite grievous wrongs committed against her. In this desperate historical setting, mysterious disappearances lead to traps set for the innocent. Now, when key individuals begin carving out a rescue plan, Emerald Ashby sets a few of her own traps. It’s a page-turner. In this ailing town. What will be their measure of success? Cleverly suspenseful and sweetly spoken, the storyteller’s unassuming voice transforms an Appalachian trail of tears into holy terror against an evil that stalks the innocent. In The Whispering of the Willows, an Appalachian marriage practice might be compared to the modern sex trade which exploits young females.


Best book I have read in a while. Didn’t want it to end. Great and different storyline. – Christine

“This is a fantastic book that had me examining my own personal spiritual journey. Kudos to the author for writing such a heartfelt, inspiring work.” – Verified Amazon Reader

“I absolutely loved the characters and the story. Their faith in God helped them through the trials they faced. The story is engrossing and very believable. Hope this book is a winner for the author.” – Verified Purchaser

“The story is emotionally gripping and pulls the reader along to see what will happen next. The best stories grab our emotions and don’t let go.” -Judge’s 5-Star Award Commentary from 24th Annual Writer’s Digest Book Awards

“The Whispering of the Willows is an inspiring story full of twists and turns, freedom and redemption, the expected and unexpected. This book brings to light the struggles of young women past and present. God’s goodness and provision flow from each page.” – Linda Bottoms, Rocky Mountain Ministry Network Women’s Ministries Director Includes: Bibliography and Book Club Questions.

A novel for women examining the Old Time Religion. Coming of age in the Southern Appalachians. If you liked Necessary lies by Diane Chamberlain, though historical of the 1960s, or the romance and drama of one summer by David Baldacci, you’ll be glad you made Emie Ashby’s acquaintance in the Whispering of the Willows.

B076B3VHTL- Kindle Edition
0997162546- Paper Back

The Melody of the Mulberries

This sequel to The Whispering of the Willows is set in the late 1920s’ Appalachia, where granny witches and spiritualism often show the path for wanderers to take, especially in matters of the heart.

This Big Creek sequel follows the lives and loves of two siblings. Coral determines to visit the family’s nemesis, Charlie, now in prison for the rape of her sister, Emerald, and the murder of her inlaw. When Mercy re-enters brother Ernest’s life, he has already found a new attraction in his elder brother’s widow.

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Coral sat in contemplation under a mulberry tree. It was spring, and the fragrant female blossoms promised the mid-summer arrival of first white, then pink, then crimson, and finally deep purple berries. The white berries were hard and tart and enjoyed by the quail, wild turkeys, mocking birds, and blue jays. The blackish purple berries were soft and sweet – perfect for pies and jams.

When the berries turned white, Coral would thank the good Lord for providing food for the birds. When the berries ripened she would thank the good Lord for the sweetness savored in her mouth and curse the birds for wanting more than their share.

Where Emerald Ashby’s story leaves us in the last pages of The Whispering of the Willows, sixteen-year-old Coral Ashby’s story begins. Like the changing mulberries, Appalachian siblings Coral and Ernest Ashby, navigate life through the late 1920s. Coral is determined to visit the family nemesis, Charlie, who now stews in prison.

When Ernest’s previous love interest, Mercy, returns to the holler of Big Creek, she discovers that his heart is now singing a melody for Charlotte, the older Ashby brother’s widow. But Mercy has brought along her own spiritual tools and a special friend who guides her way.

Accompanied by friends and foes, matters of the heart complicate life for Coral and Ernest. Relationships must be journeyed carefully.

B07VQWMD5D- Kindle Edition
1732753687- Hard Cover
1951084004- Paper Back
B08ZB91CVC- Audio CD

Soothing Rain: Living Water To Refresh Your Soul

We need water to survive. Water is not an option for us. Our lives depend on it. Think about how easily a human dehydrates.

What can you do in the everyday heat? Drink a long draught of Soothing Rain to quench the heat, to build back your humor? Yes, actually!

Rehydrate and thrive with the weekly discussions in SOOTHING RAIN. These stories will bring you to the wisdom of Jesus Christ.

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Accompanied by friends and foes, matters of the heart complicate life for Coral and Ernest. Relationships must be journeyed carefully.

Some entries become group conversational ice-breakers and good introductions for speakers. Women relate to the events and stories on each page. At times, a chuckle awaits; in every weekly study, scriptural principles are presented as life applications in choices, reactions, and perceptions.

A mentor-leader helper.

Jesus said to the woman at the well, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water…” John 4:13-14 (ESV)

Here is a delightfully probing workbook delivered by two highly regarded Christian mentors and communicators. These 52 stand-alone devotionals engage in conversational, inclusive learning by offering four questions per study.

Tonya Blessing’s signature good humor sweeps away the dry leaves, making room for refreshing growth.

Use this study guide with high school women and older, and for worship-centered classes.

This 13-week study uses four devotions and four questions per week, or use as a one-year guide to conversational learning. In 52 condensed days, you provide in-depth opportunities to discuss, learn and bond together. The workbook questions, written by Sue Summers, provide these clarifying streams of living water for groups of gals.

GO together beyond pat answers. Explore the living waters of God.

B074F2C8SV- Kindle Edition
0997897635- Paper Back

My Recent Blogs

Dog Days of Summer

The Dog Days of Summer By Tonya Jewel Blessing dog days  plural noun Definition of dog days the period…

One thought on “Tonya Jewel Blessing”
  1. I love Tonya in person and in her incredible southern stories. I follow her in many aspects of her ministry. She’s amazing.

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