Friends! Hello from Birmingham! It’s been a minute since I’ve posted here on the blog, and I’m sorry for that.
**I’m going to take a quick minute to suggest you follow me on either Instagram or Facebook—I update those much more regularly than this blog, although I do want to keep you updated here as well. For better or worse, social media tends to be a quick and easy way to get information out and stay connected to everyone. I’d love to see you there!
Okay, now, where were we? Oh yes, there’s been a lot going on over here! Glory Road came out in March and I’ve so enjoyed hearing from readers who are really loving the story. As any good parent will say, I love each of my books the same, but this story felt extra special to me. It’s set on the red dirt road in part because my grandparents lived on a similar red dirt road for all of my childhood and it remains in my mind as one of my very favorite places. It felt removed from the rest of the world and I knew I wanted these three ladies to enjoy that same sense of peace and quiet. If you’ve read the story, I hope you enjoyed getting to know these women (and the men that come along with them)—and if you haven’t, I hope you pick it up soon!
Some highlights this spring:
Glory Road was named one of Southern Living’s 25 Beach Reads Perfect for Summer!
I wrote a little essay called Lessons I’ve Learned from my Children…(I Mean My Books)
I had a lovely release party for Glory Road in my hometown of Mobile! My sweet college roommate was the host and it was a blast seeing new and old friends and celebrating Glory Road’s entrance into the world!
I went to Atlanta the week of the release for the SIBA spring show, where booksellers from across the southeast come together to discuss books. I had the absolute pleasure of getting to know Jolina Petersheim while we tooled around Atlanta visiting bookstores and had a signing at Foxtale in Woodstock. She’s in a similar stage of life as me, although her children are younger than mine. We talked a lot about how we make writing work with our family lives and how we want our daughters to see us as moms who love them and also love writing stories.
A beautiful crowd at Foxtale Book Shoppe!
I’ve been meeting with local book clubs too, and Skyping (or FB chatting) with those who aren’t local. If you have a book club and you’re interested in reading one of my books and discussing it, let me know and I’ll try to make it (in person or online) if the schedule allows! I really love book clubs!
WHAT I’M READING:
I recently finished an early copy of Rachel Linden’s next novel, The Enlightenment of Bees. Rachel is another Thomas Nelson author, and I got to meet her in Seattle in January at the ALA Midwinter conference. If you like strong female protagonists, descriptions of luscious food and drink, and international stories, you need to snag this one.
I’m reading Susan Meissner’s A Fall of Marigolds and really enjoying it a lot. It’s set on Ellis Island in the early 1900s, and I’m loving seeing the inside workings of the hospitals there that helped incoming immigrants. She has several more books, including the recently released The Last Year of the War.
Over the winter and early spring I read the Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden. This was a case where I’d never heard of the book or the author but the cover jumped out at me. I started reading despite the fact that the subject matter—medieval Russia, in the middle of winter, with fairies, forest spirits, and winter demons—was not what I’d normally want to read. But I LOVED it. I mean, really loved it. The main female character is so strong and brave and flawed, and Arden’s writing is such a joy. Talk about flawless.
WHAT I’M WRITING
One month from today I turn in my manuscript for BOOK 4!
Oh, I guess I forgot to mention—I signed a three-book contract with Thomas Nelson, so I’ll be sticking around for a while ;)
Back to book 4. It’s set in the Bon Secour area of Gulf Shores, Alabama, in an active living community for seniors called Safe Harbor Village. Lily, a young woman whose husband has walked out, takes a hairdressing job in the Village, throwing her into the lives of the people in the community, including Rose, the cranky owner of the Village. The book is complete, but I’m still working on revisions before I turn it into my editor. Then I’ll take a mental break for the summer, then jump back in in August with book 5! Life goes on.
ODDS AND ENDS
Wednesday, April 24, I’ll be taking over the Bloom Facebook page all day, with some fun giveaways and lots of good conversation. I’d love for you to join us! You have to be a member of Bloom to participate, but don’t worry—all you have to do is click to join. it’s FREE. Areyouinbloom.com
If you’re in Birmingham or close by, I’m having a book signing at Homewood’s Little Professor, Thursday May 9, 6:00-8:00pm. I’d love to see you if you can swing by!
I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying these beautiful spring days. I’ll be back as soon as I can to let you know of new events and happenings in our world.