I write for Steeple Hill and I love being able to write sweet, inspirational love stories that reaffirm my faith and my belief in the power of love. So when Steeple Hill asked me to be part of a continuity series about Texans who are returning from war, I was both thrilled and scared.
First, even though I had relatives who’d served in all branches of the military, I really didn’t know that much about military life. And second, I wanted to be sure I captured the essence of the Texas hero in my story as well as the reality of military life. But I had five wonderful fellow writers who helped me as we worked through the kinks with lots of e-mails and angst until we got down to writing this heartwarming and touching series that celebrates the military hero in a whole new way. So I’m so happy to see my book from the Steeple Hill Love Inspired series “Homecoming Heroes” about to hit the stands in August. My title is “Lone Star Secret” and the hero has a big secret that the Russian heroine just happens to know. But he doesn’t know she knows. So … it will take a lot for them to work through their problems.
As far as my own writing life, I knew in the fourth grade that I wanted to write. I wrote all through school and even after I’d married my high school sweetheart and we had our first child. When I discovered romance novels, I found the kind of stories I wanted to read and write. Years later, after I’d sold five books, I finally realized my dream of writing inspirationals. My advice for anyone who wants to write books for fun and a little profit is to first read a lot of the kind of books you want to write, then attend writer’s conferences and workshops and always practice your craft until you get a feel for your own voice. It’s not easy and it doesn’t come without some sacrifice and discipline, but if you truly want to write then you can make it happen in some shape or form.
Now, back to my Texas hero, David Ryland. He’s a strong helicopter pilot who has seen the worst of combat when he flies in to pick up injured soldiers. When he is asked by the humanitarian organization Children of the Day to help get a young boy who is half-American back to Texas for heart surgery, David is honored to help with this, his final mission. But he isn’t ready for the emotions and bitterness going back to his hometown of Prairie Springs brings out in him, especially since he grew up on the wrong side of the tracks without a father. And he certainly isn’t ready for the determined founder of Children of the Day, Anna Terenkov.
Anna knows David’s pain because she lost her father in a war. For me personally, doing research on this series brought out my patriotism and made it even stronger. I studied how injured soldiers are transported back home and I also learned a lot about what goes on in a surgical field hospital. One of the challenges for all of us was how to get a little Middle Eastern orphan who had an American father back to Texas. It was both fun and frustrating to figure this out but we did it and I’m happy with the results.
While I’ve set several other books in Texas (five others that I can think of!), this one means a lot to me and I’m proud of my story. It was a very emotional journey for me and for David and Anna. I hope you’ll take a look at all of the “Homecoming Heroes” books to celebrate your own love for America (and Texas!)
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