Carolina Dream Characters

First, HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Whoo-hoo! 2017! Book Release Year!!!

Second, I am so sorry I haven’t been here more! You can expect to see more of me from now on as the excitement builds to RELEASE DAY, and beyond!!

Third, I’m ready to start talking to you about Carolina Dream!

When I started writing Carolina Dream, my goal was to prove to myself that I could finish a full-length novel. A novel with original characters as opposed to fanfiction characters which are created for me.

Thinking about those characters was an interesting exercise. What do my characters look like? What is their personality, their job, their eye color? Will their hair be curly, straight, blonde, brunette?

I’ve been very fortunate to have access to many wonderful writers, and many online resources for writers. I’ve used “Character maps” to flesh out my characters (there are SO MANY versions of character maps online), and picked some of my favorite actors and actresses as “models” for them. I can thank author Kaye Dacus for that idea!

I will admit one of the most fun parts of putting together this book was picking out my models. I actually did that during a time when I was stuck on my story and needed some mindless occupation while still thinking about my story.

I’d love to introduce you to my main characters!

Sarah Jane Crawford, my heroine, who looks amazingly like Emily Deschanel:


And then there’s the hero, Jared Stuart Benton, portrayed by Yannick Bisson:


Why did I pick Emily Deschanel and Canadian actor Yannick Bisson for the “stars” of my novel? 1. I was obsessed with “Bones” at the time I started, and 2. I discovered Yannick Bisson on “Sue Thomas: FBEye” and “Murdock Mysteries.” And really, why would I NOT pick him?

Stay tuned to the blog – I’ll introduce you to a few more characters, and let you in on some tidbits about the story. Who knows? You may get a snippet of story here and there!

Thanks for sharing the ride with me!


Start At the Very Beginning . . .

Start at the Very Beginning . . .

I can’t resist a classic Broadway show-tune, and I can’t resist sharing with you some “classic” writing by yours truly.

When I began my writing journey, I was embraced by a group of ladies who decided to start a blog called Inkspirational Messages. I jumped in, feet-first, and wrote with them for a few years. After taking a few years sabbatical, I’m rejoining them, and I couldn’t be more excited! My first blog will be on Friday, December 2. If you’d like to read some of my previous posts, here is the link to the Archives of my work:

(Pssst . . . look at the screen shot of the home page, below! MY NAME is on it!!! Squeee!!!)

While you’re there, check out recent posts by the current “Inkspers!” Follow Inkspirational Messages on Facebook, too!

Here is hoping that you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and look forward to a truly meaningful and Spirit-filled Christmas!



Latest in Publication World

I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I posted here, but if you know anything about the publication game, you know it moves slowly in the beginning! When you first get that contract, you think it’s just going to fly by and then you’ll be holding your firstborn book in your hot little hands and life will be glitter, rainbows, and roses. (Did you like how I mixed as many metaphors and similes as possible? 😉 )

At this point, my book, Carolina Dream, is in the hands of the editor, who has hinted that the first chapter MAY go away as it stands now, and be assimilated into other parts of the book. (Doctor Who fans know that “assimilate” is a bad thing, but in this case, it’s a good thing.) In my quest to set the stage for my story, I may have inadvertently overshadowed the main part of a romance – the MEET!

I refuse to be of the “you murdered my baby” ilk of newbie writers. I’m a big girl, and I learned that with my current work-in-progress (tentatively titled Carolina Mercy), completely rearranging my first chapter at the advice of a critique partner has made it so much better.

But here’s the REALLY big news – my book will come out NO LATER than April 2017 rather than June 2017!! Yippeee!!!!! Just in time for all you beach-goers to pick up my book before heading out for Spring Break or Summer vacations!!

Watch for more news – I’ll keep you posted!!

Why South Carolina?

Why South Carolina?

Why not set my first novel in Kentucky, where I live? Or Florida? Or any number of places where I’ve been or would like to visit?

I chose South Carolina because in 2003 I visited there with my family and absolutely fell in love with the coastal area between Myrtle Beach and Charleston. North Litchfield Beach was where we stayed, and it is close to Pawley’s Island and Georgetown, SC.


The area has a large state park with beach access and an abandoned dwelling that was once owned by an artist. Across the main road is Brookgreen Gardens, a large botanical garden and outdoor art gallery. It is magnificent.

It is within easy access of shopping and tourist traps to the north, and historic Charleston to the south. If you’re fortunate enough to stake out a beach spot on the public beach, but close to the edge of the state park, you will have almost a private beach. It is amazing.


The other reason?

Honestly, it was a dream I had. I think it was a combination of that vacation and a re-watching of the movie “Rebecca,” based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier.

The movie, and the book, starts with the line, “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again,” and has been billed as one of the best “first lines” of literature. Hitchcock must have thought so, too, because he used it word-for-word in the movie.

In MY dream, I was walking around an abandoned plantation house in South Carolina. My main character, Sarah, has a dream much like this, and it sticks with her throughout her experience in South Carolina.

Isn’t it amazing how a place can stick with you? Have you ever visited a random place that simply spoke to you, and made you strongly consider living there?

It’s the stuff that dreams – and novels – are made of!



Welcome to my writing world

So, it finally happened.

The book that started out, literally, as a dream one night that was SO real I couldn’t get it out of my mind, is a finished manuscript.

A contracted manuscript.

It’s interesting how you have these dreams – and this time I’m not talking about a dream about a mansion in South Carolina, but the dream of publishing a novel in the Christian Fiction genre – you dream that everyone will love what you’ve written just because you worked hard on it. When they don’t, you wonder if it’s really worth the effort, and after a few years, you give up on that dream.

I’m talking about me, here, not some fictitious “friend.”

I had to give up on it, give it to God in its entirety, and wait to be approached about the book.

And it happened.

When I was offered a contract with Mantle Rock Publishing, I was almost afraid to talk about it. When asked, I spoke in hushed tones, as if afraid that if I made a big deal about it, it would float away, like a mist.

But it didn’t. Last week, I signed a contract. IT IS REAL. And God is good. All the time.

Now the real work begins. Edits! It will be my first experience with a real editor, but I’m excited to see what we can do, together, to make Carolina Dream the absolute best book it can be.

Stay tuned! As soon as I have news, I’ll share with you, and in the meantime, while the waiting game continues, I’ll stop by and see how you’re all doing.

Thanks for reading –