On Saturday, I participated in a walking tour of historic Magnolia Cemetery here in Mobile, Alabama. I got to geek out over local history in the fourth oldest (and the largest) municipal cemetery, established in 1836. People of all faiths and walks of life rest here, including plenty of noteworthy historical figures. And as it was Veteran’s Day Week, 105 casket flags from service members from thirty states flew over the Avenue of Heroes—a lovely sight on the blustery autumn morning. Here’s a sampling of photographs.
This winter is going to be full of new releases from me. First up, on December 4, is Hometown Heroes, a Christmas Anthology compiled by Bienvenue Press—publisher of my forthcoming series, The Possession Chronicles.
Here’s the overview:
Community. Courage. Compassion.
Hometown Heroes brings you five Christmas romances that celebrate everyday heroes.
From paranormal to contemporary to historical there’s something here to fill everyone with the spirit of the season.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Cajun Navy Relief, an organization dedicated to helping neighbors in distress.
“Courtship and Courage” is my short story addition to the anthology. Picking up the winter after Fortitude takes place, questions from readers of my historical coming-of-age tale who wondered what happened to Claire O’Farrell and Joe Walker after the book ended are answered in this new adventure. Reading Fortitude first isn’t necessary, but it will make it more enjoyable. And you haven’t seen the last of these Dauphin Islanders. The Possession Chronicles series touches on their lives in 1906 and beyond. There’s no time like the present to introduce yourself to them.
The weather’s going to change, right? We’re closing in on autumn but the humidity of summer is clinging to ninety-degree temperatures like it’s still August in Mobile, Alabama. Here’s something to cool you down: Christmas.
If you subscribe to my monthly newsletter (you don’t? Remedy that right now by signing up here), you may have heard that I wrote two short stories this summer for submissions to a couple different anthologies. I’m happy to report that “Courtship and Courage” has been accepted into Bienvenue Press’s Hometown Heroes Charity Christmas anthology to benefit America’s Cajun Navy. Release dates/buying options will be forthcoming.
If you haven’t yet, now is a great time to read Fortitude. “Courtship and Courage” begins the December after the book ends. While written as a novel for teens, it has proven to be a coming-of-age story that readers enjoy into adulthood. Fortitude holds rank as a “Best Books” for kids (grades 5th-10th) from Grateful American Foundation with only twenty-two other historical novels and non-fiction titles. You can read it free in Kindle Unlimited, purchase the ebook for $1.99, or buy a paperback through your favorite bookseller.
And for those who have read it and always wanted a bit more about Claire O’Farrell, here’s the next stepping stone. Yes, that means you haven’t seen the last of her. Stay tuned for more.
The light of the season is upon us and the books are under the tree.
My children are enjoying the magic of the holidays, though most days they chose These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder as their read aloud as opposed to the traditional picking of Christmas books from under the tree each day. (We’ve been reading the Little House on the Prairie series out loud for over a year and they all love it.)
I was silly enough to begin a new project last week. I’m thirty-five pages in and trying to moderate myself so I don’t completely disappear into the story during this family-centered time of year. I’m trying for a thousand words a day, but yesterday I did double that. Oops. A good “mistake.”
Let’s give thought to the often over-looked wars that had American casualties, like the Spanish-American War.
Even before they officially left, numerous soldiers—mostly volunteers—died in Florida at the campgrounds they gathered in before shipping off to Cuba. Inadequate space (in recently drained swamps), food, and medical supplies, as well as racial riots among the troops themselves, pushed the numbered deaths of U.S. soldiers higher on our own soil than those sustained during the ground and naval battles in Cuba/Puerto Rico.
During my pleasure reading nearly eight years ago, I happened across a few pages in a biography (Lady from Savannah: The Life of Juliette Low) about the deplorable conditions our troops suffered in during their few months in Florida. I immediately knew I had to write about it. After gathering information for nearly five years, I then spent three years getting the story down properly. Come January 12, 2016 you’ll be able to read the collective soul of my journey into 1898, appropriately titled Fortitude.
As for today, let’s give pause to those who gave all to protect liberty—whether in this century or in decades past—while we continue to pray for peace. Peace for those left behind, and for the world at large.
Last week there was some exciting news on the internet. Anaiah Press has acquired my young adult historical novel, FORTITUDE, and it’s set to be published January 12, 2016.
There’s much to do in the year ahead: revisions, line edits, cover reveal, and so on, but it’s a journey I’m most looking forward to. I have an editor and publicist, as well as a fabulous “family” at Anaiah to help me along. (Not to mention my family and friends who have championed me along all these years.)
A Merry Christmas to all, and a terrific New Year, too!
Christmas is about stories. The stories you make into memories with friends and family, those you read in scriptures to highlight the reason for the season, and the sometimes funny or heartwarming tales of winter that can be found in books of all sizes.
Rather than focusing on presents, for the weeks leading up to the special day my kids look forward to reading and hearing their beloved holiday books that we keep displayed under our tree. Each year they rediscover their favorites and enjoy new books in the collection.