Welcome, Lorraine. How did your story for the collection come about?
I’d had an idea several years ago about a jilted bride who ended up managing the plantation where she was supposed to have been married. When we added the wedding element to our plantation stories, it all fell into place. It worked well as novella but I still want to write a longer version at some point.
What are you reading right now?
Book 3 in Sandra Robbins Smokey Mountain Dreams series, called Beyond These Hills, and Book 3 in Diane Ashley and Aaron McCarver’s Song of the River series, called Jasmine.
What other books have you had published?
Beautiful Dreamer – Heartsong Presents Nov 2912
Rekindled Romance – Love Inspired April 2013
Restoring His Heart – Love Inspired June 2013
Protecting the Widow’s Heart – Love Inspired will come out in March 2014
The Last Angel Song – Christmas Comes to
– Barbour Christmas Collection for 2014 Bethlehem, Maine
What is the hardest thing about writing a part of a novella collection?
I might be able to better answer that question after I finish the
, story for next year’s book. Those
stories will be more intertwined. This one was fairly simple since we all wrote
about different estates and the stories take place in different years. My
character, wedding planner Wreath Anderson, did make cameo appearances in each
story so I looked those over and provided a brief sketch of her personality for
the others to use. Bethlehem, Maine
How did collaborating with this team impact you?
The biggest impact was getting to go to
Natchez for research. What fun and what a
rare opportunity. Now that the book is published, we’ll be able to do all the
book signings as a team. We have a signing in Natchez in December, and we’re all looking
forward to it. For two of our authors, Cynthia Leavelle and Virginia Vaughan,
this was their first sale to a traditional publisher. That was one of the most
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Usually they just come to me. I keep a list of potential names, and I like to pick names that have a good feel to them for each character. I don’t worry about the meaning of a name. I think more about what suits character. In the case of Christmas at Monmouth, I knew I wanted a holiday name, but the usual ones didn’t feel right – Noel, Holly, Chris. I knew a woman once whose name was Wreath, and I’d been waiting to use it. This was the perfect story. The hero’s name I picked because it sounded strong against her softer name.
What did you want the reader to take away from your story?
I hope they are reminded that the vows we take are serious. I want people to remember that a wedding is about a long-term commitment. It’s a covenant not a dress-up day where the bride plays princess. I want them to remember that our Lord is a God of second chances who will, if we let him, give us blessings that are far beyond what we think we want or deserve.
I’ve read this book and loved it. Please give us the first page of your story for my readers.
Christmas at Monmouth
strolled through the hall of Monmouth Plantation, her gaze resting lovingly
upon the antique furniture, the curved staircase and the colorful mural
wallpaper. Of all the antebellum homes in Natchez,
Monmouth was her favorite. The Early 19th century Greek revival with its large
portico, broad zigzag railing, and four massive square pillars across the
front, epitomized the image of a southern estate. Situated on twenty-six acres
of beautifully landscaped gardens, the historic property had evolved over the
years into a five-star boutique hotel.
Chill winter air rushed around her ankles as she stepped outside, sending a shiver all the way up to her neck, and hastening her steps across the courtyard of the historic
Winter in was always unpredictable. One
day’s balmy spring-like weather could become a blustery sweater-and-boots day
the next. Today had been a combination of both—warm in the morning and cold and
windy by the afternoon. Natchez, Mississippi
As soon as she checked in with sales manager and event planner, Helen Fletcher, at the office, she’d head home, fix a pot of raspberry tea and snuggle up on the couch. But first she had a few wedding details to go over. Her business, The Wedding Wreath Bridal and Event Planning, was exceptionally busy this Christmas season. The next three weekends were packed full of luncheons, parties, a special benefit dinner and a small wedding at one of the historic plantations. But it was the wedding at the end of the month here at Monmouth that was churning up the past and keeping her off balance. The bride, Grace Donovan, had chosen an antebellum theme for her wedding, complete with period uniforms and hooped skirts. The same theme and the same venue as Wreath’s wedding six years ago. The wedding that never happened.
Are you a member of American Christian Fiction Writers? If so, why?
I am a member. I used to write the steamy books, but one day I was in my office working on one of those scenes and I thought, if Jesus came in and asked me what I was doing, would I want him to see what I was writing? I wouldn’t have been. When I started writing again after a few years away from it, I decided to do Christian fiction. ACFW has been a valuable asset. I’ve learned so much from the other members, the resources, and mostly the yearly conference.
What is the best piece of advice you received as an author?
One of the first things I heard from another writer who had received a rejection letter from the editor of a prestigious literary magazine was this: Writing commercial fiction is about writing what they want. Not what you want. It took me many years to grasp what that meant, but when I did my writing journey took a huge turn for the better.
Where can my readers find you on the Internet?http://www.pinterest.com/lcbeatty/boards/
Thank you, Lorraine, for sharing your new book with us.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Plantation Christmas Weddings - Christianbook.com
PLANTATION CHRISTMAS WEDDINGS (Romancing America) _ Amazon.com
Plantation Christmas Weddings: Four-in-One Romance Collection (Romancing America) - Kindle
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