- Tell us a bit about yourself. Include a couple of facts that not a lot of people know about you.
I’m a Yankee transplant from New York. My dad’s job with IBM moved our family to North Carolina when I was sixteen. Talk about a difficult transition. But the South has definitely rubbed off on me! I married a native Charlottean. In 1993, the music minister at our church asked if I would be interested in directing a rather large Passion Play for Easter. As a theater major, I jumped at the chance. That first year was learning experience. I recruited most of the singles in our life group class. It was there that I met my husband.
I also have my paralegal certificate; taught high school & junior high speech and drama; coached a Mock Trial team; I’ve done a lot of make-up for high school & elementary plays at my high school alma mater. I directed Oklahoma! for my high school as well.
We have a black rescue cat that we found at a fast food restaurant. He has a rather unique name, Captain Jack, or CJ for short. He’s been our buddy for the past twelve years.
My husband and I have been host parents to three international high school for the past five years. It’s a learning experience but also quite rewarding as you see these young men grow and mature. If you allow yourself to open your heart to these children, they become children of your heart. It’s a wonderful way to share our faith.
- Tell us a bit about the book that will be published by Anaiah Press.
My book is titled The Mistletoe Contract. It’s a modern-day marriage of convenience. Nate Rutledge is the acting CEO of company, New Antebellum Enterprises. According to his grandfather’s will, he must be married in order to assume control of his company. The only problem is, he’s been focused on finding the culprit who’s been embezzling money. And how, he’s down to the deadline. Two weeks to find a woman to marry him. But he already gave his heart away. Eight years ago he fell in love with Meredith Mitchell, the one woman who captured his heart. But he listened to friends and in his immaturity, he drove her away.
When Meredith shows up at his place of business to conduct an audit, he’s shocked. But then he realizes that God has answered his desperate prayers for a partner. Now, he has to convince her to marry him. After they’re married, Nate realizes that not only do they compliment each other, but that he’s always loved her. So, Nate begins to woo his wife and show her God’s timing and plan is perfect. He shows her unconditional love and in doing so, helps restore Meredith’s relationship with God.
Meredith has a lot of scars when it comes to men and relationships. Can she trust Nate, again, with her heart? Or will he break it? The worst part of this is, she never stopped loving him. Is she willing to risk her heart or will they go their separate ways and in doing so, crush her spirit? Throughout the book, she has to re-learn to trust men but more importantly God.
- When and why did you start writing?
I started writing approximately six years ago. My church asked if I would help write the skits for the children’s program. I always felt I wanted to write, being an avid reader. But about six years ago I felt God nudging me to start learning. So I did some research and found Novel Academy. I started with the Story Crafter class. I’ve been a member now for over five years.
- Is this your first book? How many have you written? How many have you published?
This is my first published book! This is the fourth book I’ve written and have more ideas for additional books. I also have another manuscript I’m editing to re-submit.
- Tell us a bit about your journey to publication.
I’ve attended various workshops as well as enrolled in and finished the Story Crafter course by My Book Therapy, which is now called Novel Academy. My very first conference was the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in 2017. It was there that I started networking with other writers. Also, I’m a member of ACFW and ACFW-NC chapter and a member of Word Weavers-NC Chapter. I’ve also entered contests. Every step I’ve completed, I’ve seen God’s hand in all this. Believe me, writing is not for the weak of heart! You have to really want it, to improve with every sentence you put on the page. You have to dig into your characters and who they are. As I’ve taken the advice of seasoned authors and applied critiques to my writing, I’ve seen my writing develop and grow stronger. But every step of the way I’ve prayed. Prayed that if this wasn’t what the Lord would have for me, that He would show me. But my prayers also included that if I was supposed to be published, then He would give me affirmation. And He has!
- What are some of your favorite books / authors?
Where do I start?
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, The Pelican Brief by John Grisham, It Had to Be You by Susan May Warren, Persuasion by Jane Austen, One Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck
- What are some of your favorite movies / TV shows?
- I love a good classic movie. Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, The Princess Bride, Sense and Sensibility (1996 version), Rebecca and Jane Eyre, Pirates of the Caribbean – Curse of the Black Pearl.
- Some of the TV shows I like have been canceled but the story lines were really good: The Brave, Timeless, CSI to name a few. I also watch Married at First Sight and Survivor, Dateline . Okay so I like a good reality show!
- Where do you find inspiration for your books?
My inspiration comes from a lot of places: it might be a news story, local, national or international. Or even a line from a country song that might spark an idea. I like to think about the “what ifs” behind a song. What prompted the songwriter to put these words to music? I watch a lot of movies and read a lot of books too. Watching others in restaurants or even in stores, you have wonder, “what is their story”?
- Describe your perfect day of relaxation.
For the winter months, I would sit with a big glass of Diet Coke, a bar of 73% dark chocolate, in my recliner, with a fire going, and read a book. All alone.
Or go get a massage and then come home and take a nice long nap.
If we are going exotic, I would be swinging in a hammock which is hung between two palm trees on a beach (Virgin Islands, maybe), my Kindle loaded up and a soft breeze blowing off the ocean. And of course, the requisite big glass of Diet Coke.
- Where can readers learn more about you?