The Unlikely Yarn Of The Dragon Lady by Sharon J. Mondragon with a giveaway

When I first started to read this book I was not sure how I would like it because I usually like books with suspense and romance. This one has heart. I laughed and I cried. I had not heard of giving out prayer shawls before but now I think it is a fantastic idea. Some books like this can be sappy but this one is not it is just a beautiful story. I received a copy of this book from Read with Audra for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.

I give this book a five out of five stars.

Go here to enter giveaway: https://facebook.us18.list-manage.com/track/click?u=312d9c42859d078a024ef39aa&id=ee1f26ac88&e=0c066064f5

PRESS Release

Does Your Church Ministry Go Beyond the Building?

Debut author gives readers an inspirational story that will encourage them to leave their comfort zone

Grand Rapids, MI — It’s easy to fall into a routine that’s easy and comfortable because it’s what has always been done. But sometimes we need to get pushed out of our comfort zones in order to do the work God really calls us to do. That’s what happens to the members of the Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry in Sharon J. Mondragón’s debut novel, The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady (Kregel Publications/September 21, 2021/ISBN: 9780825447020/$15.99). 

Margaret, Rose, Jane, and Fran had a good thing going: every week they meet in the quiet of their church’s peaceful chapel and knit prayer shawls to give to members of the community who are having a hard time. Nothing frivolous, just ministry. That is, until their pastor boots them out of the church in his last-ditch effort to revive the dwindling congregation.

However, uptight Margaret isn’t having it. She is used to having things a certain way—her way. Knitting prayer shawls where people can watch is the most ridiculous idea she’s ever heard of, and she’s heard plenty. Prayer belongs in the quietness and peace of church, not out among the masses in public. How are they supposed to knit holiness into these shawls if they’re constantly distracted by holiday shoppers and mall employees? 

With no choice, the other women embrace the challenge and decide to make the best of the situation. They pack their knitting bags and drag Margaret—grumbling the whole way—to the mall with them. She can’t wait to prove them all wrong when this new venture fails miserably and show the pastor that she always knows best.

However, Margaret, the church “dragon lady” herself, is in for a surprise. “Through one of the prayer requests at the mall, Margaret comes face-to-face with a situation which hits uncannily close to home, a situation from which she has been running for over two decades. This trauma has been at the bottom of her steely and desperate need to control. She is finally moved toward change and healing when she decides to try to save someone else from the regrets that have haunted her for over twenty-five years,” the author explains.

Without the familiar mold the group has been stuck in, their own losses, pain, and struggles rise to the surface. And the people and situations the knitters encounter every time they try to sit quietly and knit are taking them a lot further out of their comfort zone than they ever imagined. Can they find the courage to tackle the increasing number of knotty issues they learn about in the community—or will the tangle be too much to unravel?

“The spiritual theme of The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady is going ‘Beyond the Building,’” Mondragón shares. “I want readers to be inspired to step out of their comfort zones of church ministry to reach those outside of church with the love and care of God.”

Much of The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady was inspired by own experience in a prayer shawl group. “Due to a military move, I was the new girl once again, and I joined my first prayer shawl group in hopes of making friends, but it turned out to be so much more,” she recalls. “The ministry met in the café of a local health food store. The pastor wanted us to ply our needles in public, not hidden away in the church building. People often stopped by our table to ask what we were making or to tell us about someone they loved who also knitted or crocheted. We were a warm and comforting presence in that space every week.” After her husband’s retirement, they moved again, and she is now the facilitator of her current church’s prayer shawl ministry that means weekly at a local coffee shop. 

Mondragón’s debut is warm and delightful, full of real laughter, grief, and personality. It beautifully illustrates the power of women across generations to reach people for Christ.

To read an excerpt of The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady click here

Advance Praise 

“The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady is a delight! With scenes as vivid and lively as a cozy PBS drama and characters so real they feel more like neighbors than anything else, this book was a joy every moment I spent with it. More than once, I found myself so absorbed in the story that I completely forgot I was reading. Laced with mercy, encouragement, and hope, this novel is a brilliant and lovingly written debut.”

~ Susie Finkbeiner, author of The Nature of Small Birds and the Pearl Spence novels

“I love this book. Extraordinary things happen when ordinary knitters reluctantly move a congregation’s prayer shawl ministry from a quiet chapel to a busy mall. Their encounters with people they would not normally meet made me chuckle, occasionally weep, and finish the story feeling a gentle nudge from the author to ‘go and do likewise.’”

~ Patricia Sprinkle, author of Hold Up the Sky

About the Author

A person wearing a scarf

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Sharon J. Mondragón writes about the place where kindness and courage meet. Her debut novel, The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady (originally titled The Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry) was the 2017 winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis award in the Short Novel Category, and she has also been recognized by The Saturday Evening Post where her short story, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” was an Honorable Mention Awardee in the 2014 their Great American Fiction Contest.

Mondragón has been active in prayer shawl ministry since 2008 and currently serves as facilitator for the prayer shawl ministry at her church, St. Paul Episcopal in Waxahachie, TX. She also knits with the Circle of Healing at Red Oak United Methodist Church. She is a Level 2 Certified Knitting Instructor through the Craft Yarn Council and teaches beginning knitting at a local yarn store.

Mondragón is the mother of five grown children and has four grandchildren. After 26 years as an Army wife, she has settled in Midlothian, TX with her hero/husband, her laptop, and her yarn stash.

Visit Sharon Mondragón’s website and blog at www.sharonjmondragon.com and follow her on Facebook (Sherry Mondragón) and Twitter (@SJ_Mondragón)

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