Monday, December 9, 2013

Another Dover Romance On the Way

Time to schedule a trip down south. You’re invited back to Dover, Mississippi this March for another story about the Durrant family. This romance is for the middle brother, Tyler, a Dallas police officer wounded in the line of duty, and Ginger Sloan a widow who longs for a safe place to raise her son.
            You’ll meet Ty’s mentor, Dover Police Chief Brady Reynolds, and many other Dover residents as the church comes together to help a needy family. The Durrants are back too. Parents, Angie and Tom, Matt and Shelby and the kids, Cassidy and Kenny, (Rekindled Romance), and Laura and Adam Holbrook (Restoring His Heart)play a part in the story too.
           Ty and Ginger must overcome many obstacles before declaring their feelings. Dover in January can change from hot to cold in a moment, just like the up and down relationship between Ty and Ginger. Make your plans to stop by Dover in March and let Ginger and Ty share their journey to happiness with you.

Protecting the Widow’s Heart – Love Inspired March 2014

                           To Love and Protect
Ginger Sloan’s had enough of heartache. She just wants a peaceful place where she and her son can start over and feel safe. Getting stranded in a Lakeside cabin outside Dover, Mississippi, isn’t part of her plan. Then again, neither is falling for the cabin’s handsome owner. Injured on the job, detective Tyler Durrant retreats to his cabin to heal. He’s shocked to find the single mom  and her son there. And surprised at the way Ginger affects his heart. For the first time in years, he has hope for the future, but can he convince Ginger that she can find a safe haven in his arms.

            Book #3 - Home to Dover series - A small town with a big heart

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

You Won't Believe What I did at the ACFW Conference!

I spent fifteen minutes talking with agent Mary Sue Seymour as we waited for the doors to open for the Gala. I tried to steal the chair from Chip MacGregor’s appointment area the first day because I was tired of standing. He said no. I chatted with Emily Rodmell about her helpful twitter posts. I exchanged greetings with Robin Jones Gunn as we waited for the elevator. I was scolded by Lena Nelson Dooley for not asking to be interviewed on her blog. I made a dozen new writer friends. I ate meals with authors and writers from all over the world. I met two young people ages fifteen and sixteen who were there to learn how to improve their writing. I sat with, and cheered on a Genesis award winner (Hi Suzanne).
            I raised my voice in praise and song with 500 other believers every morning. I sat at the feet of gifted teachers who helped me understand the middle of a book, the dangers of e-pub contracts, and ways to market my book most effectively. I encouraged several writers who were wondering if it would ever happen for them, and shared my story of the bad conference that turned out so well. I was encouraged by those a few steps higher on the ladder that me.  
            I laughed. I cried. I was lifted up by the keynote speaker who reminded us what our gifts and our journeys are all about. I was served by hotel staff that always smiled, always helped, and worked overtime to make sure our stay was perfection.
            I collected business cards from scores of writers with varied skills and talents that I can contact when I need research information. I spent time with Love Inspired authors and editors who have my best interests at heart. I stepped out of my comfort zone and looked to assist first timers and not worry about me.
            I was blessed beyond words.
And you say you can’t afford to go to conference? You can’t afford NOT to.

*(I understand the financial burden of conference, but please remember that there are scholarships available to help. Attendees are always looking for roommates to share the cost. Try and attend a conference near you to cut costs. If you are serious about your writing career you need to step out of your comfort zone and step into the publishing arena. Editors, agents, mentors and ACFW staff are all devoted to helping you learn and grow and work to put you in touch with people who can help. Meeting editors and agents in person can make all the difference. I met my agent when she sat down next to me at dinner. That wouldn’t have happened if I’d stayed home. So pray about it, plan for it and I hope to meet you next year in St Louis.)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Plantation Christmas Weddings

Plantation Christmas Weddings Barbour Publishing September 1, 2013

Four Christmas Weddings in four historic Antebellum homes, and love is in the air for four special couples attending.

It's almost time for my novella to be released. This collection is going to be extra fun because the four authors in the collection are all members of our writing group here in Mississippi. Virginia Vaughan, Cynthia Leavelle, Sylvia Barnes and me. This is going to make book signings a whole lot of fun.

The contemporary novellas are set in four historic plantation in Natchez, Mississippi and center around weddings held in each palatial home. What better setting to write a romance than the beautiful homes and gardens of these antebellum mansions.  Here's a sneak peek.

Christmas at Dunleith – Sylvia Barnes

City woman meets country guy when the parents of the bride and groom meet for the first time and sparks fly. Can the elegant and the charm of Natchez bridge the gap and turn sparks into fireworks?

Christmas at Brandon Hall – Virginia Vaughan

When the children of an estranged couple plot a reunion at their aunts wedding, will the memories of their own special time at Brandon Hall rekindled their love or end their marriage once and for all?

Christmas at Longwood – Cynthia Leavelle

A trip to Natchez for a friend’s wedding and to research her next novel, also turns up an old friend who holds the key to her own happily ever after.

Christmas at Monmouth – Lorraine Beatty

Planning other’s dream weddings is simple, coming to terms with being jilted at her own, isn’t. until an old boyfriend arrives and shows her what real love is.

Keep an eye on your local book stores. Plantation Christmas Weddings should be showing up on shelves in a few weeks.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Restoring His Heart is Here!

I'm so excited. Book #2 in the Dover, Mississippi series is out now. Restoring His Heart is available both in stores and on Amazon. It's also available on kindle if you prefer.

In case you live in the Jackson area, I'll be siging copies at the Flowood Walmart this coming Saturday from 11:00 to 3:00. Please stop by and say hello.

I had a fun time writing this couples love story. Laura, the younger sister of Matt Durrant, hero in Rekindled Romance, is a strong determined woman who owns a construction and restoration business. she's a small town girl with deep ties to Dover and her family. Adam is a high risk adventurer who knows little about family and commitment. What they both learn turns their lives around.

Hope you enjoy their story.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Starting a New Book

It’s time to start a new book which means I have to create a hero and heroine with problems and make them fall in love in two hundred pages.
            I’ve had the idea for a while. It’s a story about a man who likes being single and intends to stay that way, and a widowed single mom of two little girls who’s just trying to get by. He’s restoring an old house that was divided into a duplex. She needs a free place to stay while she looks for a job. I knew being around the heroine and her daughters would soften up the hero and make him realize what he really wanted was a family of his own. But I didn’t have a clue how I’d make that happen. Getting an idea is the easy part. Working out all the millions of details is something else entirely.
            First thing I have to do is figure out who He and She are. What do they look like? Tall or short? Is their hair blond or brunette? Blue eyes or brown? Dimples or crooked grin? What are their personalities and their quirks? Are they shy, charming, distant?  Sigh. It’s a long list.
            Next up - their problems. Why doesn’t the hero want to be married? What happened in his past that made him that way? Is he afraid of commitment? Why? Did he have a father who was multi-married? A bad first marriage? What kind of childhood did he have? Did he have siblings? How many? What’s his greatest fear? Why? How can he overcome it?
            The heroine gets her list of questions too. Why is she a widow? What happened? What’s her family background? Was it a good marriage, bad? What happened that she’s jobless? And don’t forget the little girls, they need personalities too.
            Are you overwhelmed yet?
            The only way to tell a character’s story is to know them completely – inside and out. So well that you could throw them into any situation and you’d know exactly how they will react and what they will say.
            All this set up and background takes nearly as much time as the actual writing. And I haven’t even tackled the plot yet. That’s another round of decisions. What happens when they first meet? What keeps them from falling in love on the spot? How can their problems keep them apart? How can they each help the other to solve their problem? What’s their spiritual journey?
       Okay, I’m worn out just thinking about what I have to decide. Preparing to write a book can be daunting. Each choice you make will lead you down a different path and you have to figure out which path will serve your story best.
     Seriously, as much work as it takes to create a story, writers love it. Coming up with all the answers is fun for us. And when the combination works it’s exhilarating.
     You should try it?


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Interview is Posted

I was interviewed recetnly by Family Fiction. If you'd like to learn a little more about Rekindled Romance I invite you to check it out.  Just click on the link below. There's also a link to another interveiw I gave.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Welcome to Do Over, Mississippi

April is the debut month of my first series with Love Inspired books. Rekindled Romance is book number one in the series set in a fictional small town in south central Mississippi called Do Over. Dover for short. My inspiration for came from Canton, Mississippi, a city north of Jackson famous for its Fall Flea Market and Victorian Christmas lights display.
            The first three books focus on the Durrant siblings - two brothers and a sister. Each of them grew up in Dover but left to pursue their careers. One by one they return home and find a second chance at love – a Do Over.  Their father owns the local hardware store and their mother is active in local politics and civic organizations. The family also operates a ministry called Handy Works, that voluntarily do home repairs, yard maintenance, and other work for needy residents.
            Oldest brother, Matt Durrant, is raising his two children after cancer took his wife. When his former fiancĂ© moves in next door Matt’s old resentments flare. Years ago she dumped him without warning and broke his heart. He’s not eager to renew the old friendship. His kids however, think Shelby Russell is way cool and when she has to step in as their babysitter Matt struggles to cope. Neither Matt or Shelby can forget their old feelings, but the obstacles between them might be too large to overcome.
            Book Two – Restoring His Heart, will be released in June of this year and tells the story of the baby sister, Laura Durrant, a building contractor and restorationist who must teach a rich adventure to repair the historic town gazebo he accidently destroyed. But Adam Holbrook isn’t what she expected and that complicates her life.

            I hope you come and visit the Durrant’s and spend some time in Do Over where the town motto is Faith Family and Friends.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Writing is a waiting game. Sometimes you wait and wait and work and work and nothing happens. Then one day, without warning the sky opens up and blessing fall from heaven bringing you to your knees in grateful praise of God’s goodness.
            Eight years ago I decided to start writing again after a five year hiatus. I was determined to see it thru to the end – publication or bust. There were many times when ‘bust’ looked like a great idea. But thanks to friends and family who kept me encouraged I soldiered on and at this moment in my life I’m shoulder deep in blessings I can hardly comprehend.
            Last November Beautiful Dreamer, my first book in 15 years was released from Heartsong Presents. Then news arrived that Love Inspired had bought the first of my Dover, Mississippi series. Two weeks after I turned in the edits on Rekindled Romance, my editor bought the second book in the series, Restoring His Heart. Somewhere in between that time I sold a novella to Barbour.
            Then after submitting a proposal for two more Dover books, I get the call from my agent that they not only bought those two but offered me a three book contract. I was so stunned my agent had to tell me twice.
            Now if you’d read this far and you’re still waiting for the call I know this sounds like boasting. But what I want you to see is that you never know when the tide will turn. I can list a hundred times when I was ready to quit. I even threatened to walk out of a conference when it seemed like the doors to publishing were slamming in my face.
            God’s timing is perfect but it’s really, really hard to sit in his waiting room when time is dragging on and others seem to be leap-frogging over you.
            I urge you to hang on a little longer. Persevere. My story turned around in an instant. I was happy with one book sold. Now, in the span of a year and a half I’ve sold seven books. Only God can do that.
            So don't lose heart. Work hard, hang in there and give all your efforts to Him, and then let it go, step back and wait and see what he had in store.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The cover for Restoring His Heart arrived yesterday and I absolutely love it. The hero is exactly as I imagined him. He's seriously hunky. What do you think?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Christmas Sneak Peek

Take a look at Plantation Christmas Weddings, the novella collection from Barbour Publishing coming in September. The four of us are all from the same writers group here in central Mississippi and it's been great fun working together. the contemporary stories are set in Historic Natchez, Mississippi in four of the grand plantations.

Four Christmas Weddings in four historic Antebellum Homes, and love is in the air for four special couples attending.

Christmas at Dunleith  by Sylvia Barnes

City woman meets country guy when the parents of the bride and groom meet for the first time and sparks fly. Can the elegant setting and the charm of Natchez bridge the gap and turn sparks into fireworks? 
1856 Greek Revival Estate and Historic Inn
Christmas at Brandon Hall by Virginia Vaughan

When the children of an estranged couple plot a reunion at their aunts wedding, will the memories of their own special time at Brandon Hall rekindled their love or end their marriage once and for and all?
1809 Historic Cotton Plantation  and B&B

Christmas at Longwood  - by Cynthia Leavelle

A trip to Natchez for a friend’s wedding and to research her next novel also turns up an old friend who holds the key to her own happily ever after.
1860 Oriental Revival style estate

Christmas at Monmouth  by Lorraine Beatty

Planning other’s dream weddings is simple, coming to terms with being jilted at her own isn’t. Until an old boyfriend arrives and shows her what real love is.
1818 Federal Style antebellum estate now the Monmouth Historic Inn

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Writers Runway

My poor brain is on overload. I’ve got couples lined up like planes on a runway waiting for their romances to be told. Each pair are revving their engines, eager to take off on their romantic journeys. Like the hero who comes to town to confront the woman who drove his brother to suicide, only to find she’s not what he expected. And the reclusive hero who had hidden himself in his workshop but finds it hard to stay there when the determined heroine starts prodding him. then there’s the eligible bachelor who had no intension of settling down until a lovely widow and her two little girls invade his life.

And they are all talking at once, begging to be the next story I tell.

There was a time when new ideas were few and far between for me. But the more I write the more the ideas come, and so fast I can’t keep up with them. In fact I have a file full of potential ideas. Some of them are nothing more than a one sentence thought: woman who hates secrets and a man who has too many. Some of them are situations taken from news stories: Man buys small town. Others are ‘what if’ thoughts that have wandered through my mind: What if the hero is a minister who left the pulpit? What if a heroine’s past finally catches up with her? What if someone finds out she’s not who she thought she was?

So how do I choose who will be next? Usually it’s the one that I can plot out the quickest. The story where I know the beginning, the middle, and the end. Many ideas never develop beyond that first sentence. Others come together easily. Each book is different.

I get excited about all my ideas. One of the first things I do is give the hero and heroine their names and once I do that, they are real and they get in line on the runway. I just wish I could write faster. I’d hate to leave Grant and Avery, Jeanie and Zach, Suzanna and Josh sitting on that runway forever.