You know how in the beginning of the year, we all make long-term plans? Yeah, funny thing about that. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. But if you want to make God laugh, make a plan.

Last spring, just before I was to leave to go teach at a writer’s conference, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. I was in the middle of a number of projects, all of which suddenly took a back seat. There’s nothing like the word cancer to make you re-arrange your priorities.

The Pony Express Romance Collection released in April, while my husband was undergoing surgery. Thank goodness for the author team with this novella collection. I was focused on my husband and his care, and this fabulous bunch of writers executed all the promotion and marketing. I’m grateful for their efforts, because the book is doing well. Each of the stories in the collection is set at a different Pony Express relay station between St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California. The wide range of characters depict those who are pursuing their dreams or given up on their dreams, running from their past, or wondering if romance will ever happen for them.
My story in this collection is ABUNDANCE OF THE HEART, and features two characters who long to fulfill their dreams of riding for the Pony Express. Mercy isn’t allowed to try because she’s a woman, and Fletcher is too tall, too big, too heavy to qualify as one of the small, wiry riders. Both watch others fly over the prairie on swift steeds and wish they were the ones in the saddle. Mercy lumps all men in the same category–they’re all alike! Can she set aside her prejudice and suspicious nature and accept that Fletcher is different.

I am blessed to be published with two different publishing companies. One of them is Wings of Hope Publishing, for whom I also do some editing. Every year we put out a novella collection. The 2017 collection is DESTINATION: Romance. Each story is set in an unusual or faraway place, and the setting itself is as important as the characters. My story in the collection is SUFFICIENT GRACE, set in an abandoned Cherokee burial ground. My heroine is secretly trying to protect the land against a developer who intends to build a mill that will be jobs, commerce, and prosperity to the community.
DESTINATION: Romance is now available on Amazon

 

Also during this unexpected detour in my life, my agent contacted me with news of two more contracts. The first is the First Loves Forever Romance Collection. Each story in the First Loves Forever collection focuses on couples who fell in love, but for whatever reason, the timing wasn’t right and years later, they find each other again. I’ve just finished up my story, IN DUE SEASON, featuring a heroine who was left at the altar fifteen years ago. Now her absent groom has returned. Will she listen to his explanation? Will she forgive him? Or will she tell him to take a hike?

The First Loves Forever Romance Collection will release in early 2018

 

My next writing project is the Southern Belle Brides Collection. As the title suggests, each of these historical novellas is set in the deep south. My story will be set in Georgia (of course!), and will spotlight a man who is trying to help save the heroine’s plantation from ruin. Only she’s too stubborn to see past her own pride. The Southern Belle Brides Collection will release in 2018. As soon as the art department at Barbour Publishing develops the cover, I’ll post it here.

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Below is a video of a TV interview I did with host Karen Allen on Talk Of The Town.

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