Official Website of Author, Conference Speaker &
Co-founder of Strong Cross Ministries
Tonya enjoys speaking and sharing her life with women at retreats and events. She thinks that women are amazing, and appreciates that the female gender is multifaceted yet fragile creations of God. In her personal life and as a speaker, Tonya believes that God’s Word is powerful, and needs to be read and written on her heart and on the hearts of women everywhere.
Tonya Jewel Blessing
Most Recent Book - The Melody of the Mulberries
Melody of the Mulberries
The term “wild wonderful West Virginia” was used as early as 1969 before being adapted in the 1970’s as the state slogan. The Melody of the Mulberries is Book Two in the Big Creek Series. Both books are set during the late 1920’s in the wild and wonderful state of West Virginia. The Appalachian mountains were untamed in the 1920’s and remain so in part today. The wonder of the hills is breathtaking , magnificent, and glorious. The morning mist hanging in the lowlands, the dew on the ground, along with the green of spring and the deep red, sparkling gold, and brilliant oranges of fall draw me visually, emotionally, and on some level spiritually to its feral fascination. John Denver recorded in his tribute song to West Virginia, “Take me home country roads to the place I belong…” There are seasons in my life where I long for the steep curvy country roads of my youth. Out of the longing was birthed my two novels.
Soothing Rain is a delightful devotional that cleverly draws in the reader and offers a jewel of understanding about our relationship with our God, ourselves or others, sometimes all three. It is perfect for personal devotions or for group Bible study. I highly recommend Capture Book’s latest release, Soothing Rain.
Marilyn Bay Wentz
Soothing Rain is like sitting down for coffee with a good friend, it leaves you challenged, uplifted, and wanting more. Tonya and Susan do a wonderful job creating a devotional that uses the most common of life stories to demonstrate the depth in which we are called to live our lives for Jesus.
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 goodnes and provision flow from each page.
Rocky Mountain Ministry Network
Melody of the Mulberries. "Amazing and creative writer! Another Masterpiece! Well done, I am amazed by the author's gift to create such a story..."
Paster & Founder/Director of
"The encouragement that Tonya shares in her devotions is important and her authenticity is appreciated!"
Most of Tonya’s adult life has been spent in full time ministry with a focus on helping women. She has traveled nationally and internationally as a conference speaker. For a number of years, Tonya and her husband operated a retreat facility in Colorado for pastors and missionaries.
Tonya and her husband, Chris, recently celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary. The couple currently lives in South Africa. They are the founders and directors of Strong Cross Ministries, a U.S. non-profit organization that has been in existence for close to 20 years. Strong Cross operates as a support system for churches, ministries, and schools. The organization also sponsors feeding programs for children, the elderly, and disabled; provides educational and medical assistance; works with local leaders in the Limpopo region; and hosts numerous faith based events for South Africans.
Tonya is a well-known speaker on women’s issues and leadership principles. She is the author of the Appalachian book The Whispering of the Willows and co-author of the devotional Soothing Rain. Both books are available on Amazon.
1. Did you grow up in a family that shared significant chores? Do you believe that hard work is good for children?
2. The names of the Ashby girls were precious names. How do you think that Alma Ashby’s character developed into the split qualities of light and dark that she exhibited?
3. What importance did church and music play in the working culture of Big Creek?
4. What can be done for families today who have a family member with a disability? How does that assistance look different from the 1920's?
5. Do you think you would be capable of caring for a child at the end of your eighth grade year? What aid did Emie have?
6. Describe why it’s important to help others?
7. Does helping others create any benefit for the one who helps?
8. What part does poverty play in the morale of family members, such as choices they make involving their children?
9. Do you think that Charlie was destined for a life of crime? Were there opportunities along the way for him to put his life on the right path?
10. How would it have made Charlie’s life different had he experienced a positive mentor?