Praying for Strangers

I considered titling this post “Everything I Thought I Knew About River’s New Book When I Didn’t Know Squat”, but I decided that a) it was a bit long and b) I shouldn’t use squat in the title if I want y’all to take me seriously. And I do.

So, let’s start with the facts.  Tomorrow marks the release of novelist River Jordan’s latest book, “Praying for Strangers”, an Adventure of the Human Spirit.  This evening, she’ll be on my radio talk show, ATS LIVE 5:00-6:00 PM CST, on TALK540 KMLB. I’m honored to kick off the media and book tour. If you aren’t local, you can join us through my streaming link.

I knew I would enjoy this book. I just didn’t know how much. In the interest of full disclosure, River is a very good friend. Thanks to a 21 event/14 day book tour we did together in the Spring of ’10, we know more about each other than either of us would care to share.  

In other words, I know the author. I thought I knew the book. I mean, I’ve been there on River’s journey, so to speak. I knew it was in the works before a word was put on paper. I watched it in progress, or at least I saw what could be seen. I’ve seen River stop, do an about face and dissapear to hunt down someone she simply must talk to/connect with, when we were already a day late and a dollar short (literally) for the next book event. So, forgive me for assuming I knew what was unfolding around me. Little did I know how multi-layered the story being written in River’s heart and the hearts of those crossing her path on this wild adventure of the human spirit. But let’s back up, and start at the beginning…

As 2009 approached, New Year’s resolutions were the last thing on River Jordan’s mind. Her sons were both about to go off to war and all she could do was pray for their safety and hope to maintain her strength, until she unexpectedly came upon the perfect New Year’s resolution-one that focused on others instead of herself. She would pray for a complete stranger every single day for a year.

In Praying for Strangers, River Jordan tells of her amazing personal journey of uncovering the needs of the human heart as she prayed her way through the year for people she had never met before. The discovery that Jordan made along the journey was not simply that her prayers touched the lives of these strangers, but that the unexpected connections she made with other people would be a profound experience that would change her life forever.

The book I expected to read, a sweet tale of strangers passing in the night– or day– was not the book I lost myself in from the very first page. Praying for Strangers is not a book. It’s an experience and you need to take it. Open it and walk into River’s world. Take her challenge and see if you ever look at people the same way. 

Hugs, Shellie


About Shellie Rushing Tomlinson

Known as The Belle of All Things Southern, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson is a national best-selling author, speaker, radio host, and columnist from Louisiana.
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13 Responses to Praying for Strangers

  1. I can’t wait to read River’s new book, Shellie. Fascinating. Thank you for letting us know that it’s now available.

  2. You’ll love it, Kathryn!


    Have read and it is an awesome book..Can’t wait to interview her tomorrow morning..

  4. Wonderful description of River’s journey, Shellie, and I’m sure some of those “stranger of the day” encounters during your book tour were quite entertaining to see! I’ll try to listen in tonight, and I will tell everyone I know to listen in, too!


  5. Renea says:

    I met River Jordan years ago in Dahlonega. She read from her book Saints In Limbo and in a moment, I was hooked. For those who are looking for something new, something real…look no more!
    Today it seems like many authors have been edited-away from their first love, that of writing, and of the readers they touch. River hasn’t, which is why Praying For Strangers was at the top of my must-read list (second only–of course–to Terry Kay’s new release). The moment I learned about it I knew that this was life-changer, and I don’t mean to sound like a stalker, but River, I can’t wait to have you sign my copy!

  6. River has a heart bigger than all outdoors and her book PRAYING FOR STRANGERS comes straight from her heart.

  7. Carey says:

    River’s book Saints in Limbo was one of those rare few that sticks with you. I can still picture that little country house and the characters sitting on the front porch in my mind! This book sounds so intriguing! Cannot wait to pick up a copy!!!

  8. Phillip says:

    Based solely off of all the fun stories from yall’s book tour, I think even I need to pick up this book! 😉

    • Phillip says:

      and by that I mean, even though my mom’s an author, I am not a big reader. However, this sounds like a good read to me!

  9. mary yetta says:

    I found “Praying for strangers ” a wonderful journey and thought that River Jordan was very Gutsy in putting her feeling out there for all to see. She pulled her shades down for a change and let you( the Reader) get to know her a little better. This is one of River’s best works yet in my opinion. You will not be disappointed if you get this book. I think people should buy an extra book and donate it to their church library. It is so inspirational.

  10. Tommye Cashin says:

    I love River because she took the time to write a personal note in one her books for my 12 year old granddaughter, Jordan. And Jordan loves that book … it stays by her bed. It’s always the little things that people do that makes a differences in someone’s life. Thank you River for giving my Jordan her special gift. I’m looking forward to reading Praying for Strangers

  11. Jessica says:

    I can’t wait to read this book. It sounds phenomenal and anything River writes is always amazing! The title itself makes me stop and think about my encounters with strangers! A must read it sounds like indeed!

  12. This is the first I’ve heard of this book but even the concept has me looking for a copy. No mother wants her child in a war zone but to pray for strangers while yours are takes love to another level. I’ll surely find a copy, even if I have to hound my local library to get it. And, Shellie, you can use squat in a title and I’ll still take you seriously.

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