I hope everyone is having a wonderful 2006 so far. My year has had a busy beginning with a January deadline for my newest novel, A Hickory Ridge Christmas. I had a pleasant return visit, though, with all the Hickory Ridge Community Church characters introduced in my earlier books, A Blessed Life, An Honest Life and A New Life. The new book, set for release in November 2006 from Steeple Hill Love Inspired, is Todd and Hannah's story and a book I'd been hoping to write for several years. In the story, Hannah Woods, the minister's teenage daughter who became pregnant in A Blessed Life, is an adult now and must face her past and face Todd McBride, the young man who knows nothing of the child he fathered five years before. Theirs is a story of sin and forgiveness, of pain and healing. Since several of you have been asking for Todd and Hannah's story, I only hope I have done justice to it in the telling.
January was also a poignant month for me because during this time I celebrated my fortieth birthday. I thankfully received no black balloons or macabre cards, but the celebration did give me an occasion to pause and reflect. What have I accomplished in those first forty years? Am I the woman of faith, the wife, mother and writer that I hope to be by this point in my life? How will I rely more fully on God to help me accomplish my goals for the next forty years? I won't include my grade card here, but I will say there is much work ahead for me.
Part of that work will be to begin writing my next novel, Flower Girl Bride, set for release in April 2007 from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. I'm especially excited about telling this story because it will be my first opportunity to write a first-person romance.
For those of you in Southeast Michigan, I have a few upcoming appearances that you might want to add to your calendars.
-- 7 to 9 p.m., Wed. Feb. 8, 2006 - "So You Want to Be a Romance Writer," panel discussion with fellow romance authors Renee Alexis, Michelle Celmer and LaVerne St. George at Northville District Library, 212 W. Cady St., Northville, MI 48167-1560. Books by all authors will be available for purchase in the library bookstore, and a book signing will follow the presentation. Information: (248)349-3020.
-- 2 to 4 p.m., Sat. Feb. 11, 2006 - Valentine's romance book signing with fellow romance authors Michelle Celmer, Kathleen Nance and Naomi Nash at Borders, 45290 Utica Park Blvd., Utica, MI 48315. Information: (586)726-8555.
I want to congratulate Catherine McClain, the winner of my first web site giveaway basket, which includes all seven of my published novels. I'll be planning another giveaway in May, just in time for summer.