Those magazine articles that match your birthday to a personality are always on target for me. Drifty, dreamy, and creative.
Happily married, with two grown children and a 7-months-old granddaughter.
What Is Your Favorite Beverage:
It used to be diet cola, until I learned fake sugar is not kind to my body. So now it's usually water or unsweetened hibiscus tea. Or smoothies, with lots of greens, some fruit, and even beans. It's amazing how you can mix all those flavors together and it still tastes good.
What Is Your Favorite Food:
Favorite healthy food: Veggies. Especially leafy greens.
Favorite junk food: Peanut M&Ms. Unfortunately, once I start, there is no "off" switch, so I try to limit them to super-special occasions.
What Is Your Favorite Thing to do During Free Time:
Spending time with family is always #1. Otherwise, it's movies or reality TV shows (my secret vice) such as American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, and Project Runway.
Who Has Been the Most Influential Person in Your Life:
Gee, it's hard to narrow it down to one when there have been so many. Family once again is #1. My mother is the one who taught me to see other people's points of view in an effort to understand their actions, an insight which has helped tremendously in creating my fictional characters. And my husband has loved, challenged, and supported me through the years. My children helped me grow and mature. And of course there are the wonderful writer friends who are like sisters to me and who enjoy deconstructing a good book or movie as much as I do.
First Book You Fell in Love With:
On a pure entertainment level, there were Walter Farley's Black Stallion books. But the first book that entertained and made me think on many different levels was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I read Mockingbird in my teens and immediately fell in love with it. Then I read it again a couple of years ago and saw so much depth and layering that my younger self had completely overlooked. It's definitely a story that stands the test of time.
A Book You Wish You’d Written:
I would say To Kill a Mockingbird, but that's not actually the type of book I could see myself writing. The law parts involving Atticus Finch are outside of my comfort zone.A romantic comedy I wish I'd written is actually a movie: While You Were Sleeping. The gentle humor and sweetness in that movie felt like it could have come straight from my pen.
And a book with characterization, emotion, poignancy, and heart that I wish I'd written is Pocketful of Pearls by Shelley Bates. (I later corresponded with the author and found her to be a lovely person.)
First Book Published:
Kiss of Bliss, a romantic comedy published by Silhouette Romance. It will soon be republished in e-book format, so look for it and two other re-releases, A Lovin' Spoonful, and Help Wanted: Daddy.
Interestingly, those early books were published under a pen name, which I later learned was being used by a porn star. Needless to say, I soon switched to publishing under my own name.
Most Recent Book:
Unexpected Reunion is the first in the Southern Blessings series published by Love Inspired. Ruthie and Gray's story involves an event in Afghanistan that triggers a "Dear Jane" letter. The characters are reunited four years later when they team up to find a family heirloom that was mistakenly sold in her antiques shop. Their search leads to priceless faith, abundant blessings, and true love ... but only after being tested by God in unexpected ways.
An as-yet-untitled novel in the Mysteries of Silver Peak series published by Guideposts Books.
How Many Have You Written:
1 Love Inspired romance (with more on the way)
6 Guideposts mysteries
6 Silhouette Romances
2 Harlequin Romances
1 Harlequin Love & Laughter
What Do You Know Now That You Wish You’d Known Then:
I wish I'd been more aware of how quickly time slips by. I would have made better use of the unseen gifts of little pockets of time.
What is Your Favorite Bible Story:
Ruth and Naomi, which figures into my current release, Unexpected Reunion. Two of the characters are even named Ruthie and Naoko.
What is Your Favorite Bible Verse:
Proverbs 16:3 "Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established."
Perfect verse for a writer, wouldn't you say?
What is Your Favorite Hymn:
His Eye Is on the Sparrow. In addition, I love all bluegrass gospel music.
What is an Ongoing Prayer Request You Have:
To have a kind and charitable heart.