It’s kinda daunting to follow the amazing Jodi Thomas, but I reckon it means I’m in good company. And that thought might settle my nerves a tad, for you see, my very first contemporary romance and very first inspirational is set for release this week. In fact, from anybody posting today, I’ll be drawing one name to win a PDF copy. I’ll also be awarding a copy tomorrow at The Romance Studio, and there’s stuff going on at my blog, so don’t be a stranger, ya hear?
So…what’s it all about, and why? Well, last summer you might recall I regaled you with tons of blogs related to weddings…because my beautiful daughter was having one. With all the hoopla and hecticness going on, I knew I didn’t have the brain to start a new wip…but I love to write. So what to do?
I found out about a novella contest being held at White Rose Publishing, a wonderful place to go if you’re in the mood and market for inspirational romance of all lengths and genres. The editors gave some help for my addled brain with a template of must-have ingredients. Title had to be “Hearts Crossing.” Hero, a high school English teacher. Heroine, a landscape architect. Both needed crises of faith, and one of their ex’s had to appear and mess things up before the HEA and return to God. Okay. I had a kick-start there. Plus the novella was set at about 25,000 words, so I might be able to finish it without impeding the wedding and my nerves.
Indeed, I proceeded. I’ve been considering inspirationals for a while, mostly because of my hubby’s return to full health after a harrowing illness, during which God generously helped him not lose his life and me not lose my mind. So I reckoned I’d give Hearts Crossing a whirl. First thing in my mind: Hearts Crossing made a terrific name for a ranch. My hero Kenn Martin might teach American Lit and love Henry David Thoreau, but he lives on a Colorado ranch and gets his summers off….leading city-slicker wagon train tours.
That’s how he meets heroine Christy Forrest, a California girl, who got interested in landscaping through her late dad, a college professor of American studies, who pretty much raised her on Henry David himself. It’s the circumstances of his tragic death that bring Christy and Kenn together…and threaten to keep them apart. As well as a mess Kenn perceives he made that ruined his brother’s career as a champion Olympic-level swimmer
Now, I got the wagon-train idea from our plans for August when we wagon-train around the Tetons, and yes, I will be regaling you with my adventure later on. Have no fear. But since I haven’t gone on it yet, I had to get my imagination to work. Like in the book, I do know we’ll have cushioned seats in the wagons, and rubber tires. I call it Wild West sensibility with 21st Century sense. Everything else I made up. Places like Mountain Cove, Hawk Creek and Elk Grove got their names from streets near my daughter’s house. In fact, there’s a scene at a little stream-fed mountain lake I called called Old Joe’s Hole.
Kenn’s family hires Christy to design a wedding grotto here for their “Wagon Train Wedding” adventures.
Oh, by the way, I didn’t win first place, but my runner-up got acquired anyway. Amazing cover artist and editor Nicola Martinez got the “brand” for the cover just right.
Anyway, stop by today and say howdy so I can toss your name into the Stetson to draw my winner. Thank you in advance! (P.s. Today is my son’s birthday, a great day all around! He’s on the very right of the wedding photo and quite a cutie IMO.)