Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Awakenings connection and interview with award-winning author Jeannie Walker

Ever feel like you are 'fighting the devil' - nowhere to turn, no end in sight?
An Awakenings connection and interview with Jeannie Walker,
award-winning author of Fighting the Devil

As you ponder this question, think back to generations past when the first settlers set foot on the shores of America. Think about the hardships endured before the journey, during the journey and after the journey. What about sacrifices - family, friends, loved ones - left behind or lost along the way? 'Twas not an easy task, the founding of a nation, the break from tyranny, revolution, liberation, adaptation. . .So, would you say 'fighting the devil' was a daily part of life?

Throughout history lies evidence of instances reflective of 'fighting the devil'. They exist within homes, on the streets, in the daylight and under the murkiness of darkness. Story after story has been told and/or written of encounters that endanger lives and destroy families. Some live to tell their story while others do not. Those that do survive never truly live without fear for too many hauntings shroud their very being.

As far back as recorded history, tales cast foreboding shadows, some fact, others fiction. Then, there are those limitless unrecorded messages ingrained within hearts, minds, and souls that scream to be let out but fear or lack of courage forbids the story to be told. Some perhaps find friends or relatives willing to listen while others fall on a deaf ear. Even those that listen are not ardent believers.

While you may not have been a victim or personally known someone who has endured torment, mentally or physically, there may be someone in your ancestral chain that endured the unimaginable. Someone somewhere knows! Perhaps it is a story lying dormant awaiting a moment of rebirth for a restless soul to finally find peace.

Jeannie Walker

With this background in mind, Awakenings has invited

a visitor to her site today - Jeannie Walker, author of  
"Fighting the Devil", True Story of Consuming Passion,
Deadly Poison, and Murder.
Thank you for talking with us today, Jeannie. For people who aren't familiar with who you are, please tell us about 

Jeannie: I grew up in rural Oklahoma and later Texas. 
Most of the reading and writing I did was in school. Growing up on a farm didn't leave a lot of time for anything else except tending
to farm animals, feeding and watering the chickens, gathering
the eggs, milking the cows, and feeding the pigs. Then, there
was harvest time when the entire family had to pull cotton,
combine wheat, and bale hay. Any spare time I got, I spent
outside sitting under a big oak tree enjoying nature and reading
a good book. My English teacher at Lone Wolf, Oklahoma was a
big influence in my life. Mrs. Schreiner encouraged all her students
 to excel in reading and writing. I worked hard to achieve excellence 
and make straight A's because of the respect I had for Mrs.
Schreiner and my other teachers in school.       

I have a lot of hobbies. I like to golf, play tennis, take walks
and ride my bike. I also like to sing, read and write. I believe
being in tune with nature helps me to understand how to be
happy. My main love is God. My best friend is Jesus Christ.
He leads me, talks with me and walks with me. When I get too
weak to carry on, He carries me. That's why there is only one
 footprint in the sand.

Jeannie, as we share this time together, hopefully all who read
will gain a better understanding of how one can 'fight the devil'
and ultimately come out the winner. Is this perhaps the premise 
behind your writing?

Jeannie: I write because I love it. I write because I believe in truth
and justice. I write because I want to reach out and tell people to
keep trying, to do all they can because in the end, it is worth it and
to let them know they are not alone in their struggle(s).

Would you give us a little insight into your story? I understand
it is a true account of your ex-husband's murder. Is that right?

Jeannie: Yes, that's correct. I lived in Long Island, New York. 
On June 12th, my daughter called and informed me that her dad 
(my former ex-husband Jerry Sternadel) had died from arsenic poison.
The very next morning I was on an airplane flying from Long Island, 
New York to Texas to comfort my children.  I knew my ex-husband 
had been murdered and I was pretty sure who murdered him. I
began writing down my memories and recollections about my 
relationship with my ex-husband and the woman he married after
we divorced. I wanted to document the past events and current
events for my children and grandchildren. I also wanted to give the authorities any information I could on my ex-husband, his business dealings and his widow.  

It is sorrowful enough when any of us goes through the loss of a
loved one, but to experience a murder is not Please tell us more
about the murder.

Jeannie: Jerry Sternadel, was a self-made Texas millionaire.
He was poisoned to death in 1990. While hospitalized, he told
nurses and doctors alike that two women, his wife and bookkeeper, 
were poisoning him. The hospital staff did not believe his
accusations and continued to let the murder suspects have
access to him as he lay dying in his hospital bed. 

He eventually died in the hospital while strapped down to his
hospital bed with restraints on his hands and feet and tubes in
every orifice. Upon his death, an anonymous caller tipped off the police.

The authorities quickly determined that millionaire Jerry Sternadel
had died from arsenic poisoning.  The widow was the sole beneficiary 
of the million-dollar estate and a $350,000 life insurance policy.
It was later learned that just before Jerry's death a teenager had 
visited the Sternadel ranch and became deathly ill after he drank
juice that was in the refrigerator. Two years after the death of Jerry Sternadel, a bottle of arsenic was found in a storage locker rented
by a woman under an assumed name.

The sheriff asked me to help with the investigation because the
small county could not afford and did not have the time or resources
 to do extensive research. I quickly decided to become a sleuth to
help solve the murder and the Sheriff deputized me over the phone.
I began my research by reading everything I could about arsenic poison 
and its effect on a human being. I read books about people who use poison as a weapon to kill. I started contacting toxicologists, medical examiners, detectives who had solved arsenic murder cases, District Attorneys who had handed arsenic murder cases, the EPA and even the FBI in Quantico, Virginia.

It is very remarkable, Jeannie, how you managed such an
undertaking. The murder alone and its effect on your children
were stresses enough without taking on more. Now that you have brought the entire story to the surface and completed your book, is there any thing special you learned that you would like to share?

Jeannie: I learned a person must never give up looking for truth
and justice.  Most importantly, I learned we all have to 'fight the
devil' every minute of every day. 

What is your hope for readers of your story?

Jeannie: It is my hope that anyone who reads my book will come
to the realization that they are not alone in their struggles, no matter how big or small. And that they have the ability to overcome and the right to become their loved one's advocate ... if necessary, to become their own, real-life Sherlock Holmes. I hope readers will realize God will walk beside them every step of the way in their trials and tribulations.

Jeannie, it has indeed been a pleasure having you spend time on Awakenings sharing such a horrific
event of your life. To all my readers and followers,
thank you for stopping by for a visit.
Yes, I have read the book. Click HERE for my review, as well as others. I highly encourage you to seek more information about Jeannie's book. I highly recommend it! 


  1. Very interesting Sharla.

    1. The book is really good. It is amazing how Jeannie survived everything she was put through, especially prior to the murder.

  2. Interesting interview. This sounds like a terrific book, especially since it's true! Thank you for introducing the book and its author to me.

    1. There is so much more to the book. . .especially her life prior to the murder. She is a very brave and strong woman!

  3. Thank you, Sharla, very good interview!

    1. Thanks so much, Deirdre. I was pleased in the end how well it connected to Awakenings.

  4. Excellent post.. I love the interview..Sounds like a wonderful book..I will put it on my list to read..Thanks for sharing.

    1. Be ready when you start reading to not want to put it down♥

  5. What an amazing back story and it sounds like an amazing book. thanks so much, Sharla and Jeannie.

    1. We hear about such things but to actually correspond with the author of such a horrific story is definitely in the category of remarkable! And, YES, the book is amazing!

  6. I'm conncted with Jeannie on Linked In and I think I promised her a book review months back--then lost contact with her. Her story is remarkable and sounds lke a great book. This was a most enjoyable interview!!

    Micki Peluso

    1. Wow! Thank you, Micki! May I do one for your book? We can work together to see if it would be better for Awakenings or catnipoflife. It will be after we return from vacation. Going to visit our daughter and grandbabies! Gotta' get some of that sweet sugar!

  7. Hi Sharla,

    Thank you for this interesting review on Fighting the Devil. My book list is getting longer. This is again another book that I want to read. It is a timely book for our world today, especially since we have Pastors preaching from the pulpits that there is no devil! At least, some Pastors are doing that here in Germany. I also enjoyed hearing that Jeannie has written her book with the positive affirmation to not give up, because God cares and loves us.
    I enjoyed the interview very much.


    1. Pat, thank you so much for visiting and especially for the comments. You may also be interested in checking out Jeannie's latest book, I Saw the Light. I have that one on my Wish List to acquire next.

  8. Dear Sharla,
    Thanks a million for the chance to do an interview with you. You are such a lovely lady. It was my pleasure in more ways than I can describe. I want to thank your readers for responding. It is people like you and your friends who make this world a much better place to live in. It is people like and your friends who make a light shine when there is darkness. It is people like you and your friends who fill my heart with gladness and joy. May God make His holy light to shine upon you and may His loving aura surround you to keep you healthy, happy and prosperous. God bless each and all! Thanks again for your kindness and valuable time. Truly, Jeannie Walker
  9. What a beautiful thank you, Jeannie, and we all enjoyed "meeting" you!
  10. I am late in coming here but I just waanted to endorse all that has already been said. Wonderful interview!

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