Monday, November 18, 2013


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 SongChristmas Comes to Bethlehem, Maine – Barbour Christmas Collection for 2014

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 Bethlehem, Maine, 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.

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 exciting parts.

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
Wreath Anderson 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 Inn. Winter in Natchez, Mississippi 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.

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?

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 -
Plantation Christmas Weddings: Four-in-One Romance Collection (Romancing America) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Google +, Feedblitz, Facebook, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Anonymous said...

would love to win. Angela from KY

Tonja Saylor said...

Christmas, plantation, and a wedding! Perfect elements for a great Holiday story. I can't wait to read this one.
Tonja (Virginia)

Lorraine Beatty said...

Hey Tonja. We had as much fun researching it as we did writing it. Natchez is only 2 hours from Jackson, MS so the four of us had some fun road trips touring the homes and spending time with owners and managers. Everyone was so helpful. I hope you get a chance to visit Natchez some day. It's a very romantic city.

Melanie Backus said...

I love the cover of the book and I can't wait to learn more about Wreath.

Melanie Backus, TX

Lorraine Beatty said...

Thanks Melanie. We were thrilled with the cover too. All four of the plantations we used are beautiful homes. Wreath is the wedding planner in the first three stories then her story is the last one in the book. She was fun to write.

Rhonda Gibson said...

What a wonderful interview! I have this book in my TBR pile and can't wait to get to it. Thanks so much for sharing the process in which you wrote it.

Melanie Atkins said...

Wonderful interview, Lori. Congrats on your new release! Sorry I couldn't make your signing on Saturday. I had family obligations after our meeting. Will you be signing anywhere else in our area?

Lorraine Beatty said...

Hey Rhonda. I know you enjoyed your time writing novellas with some of our buddies. It's been really fun to have book signings together. Maybe you and I will be in a collection together in the future. :)

Lorraine Beatty said...

Melanie, how good to hear from you. We will be having more signings for this book. This weekend Nov 23rd we'll be at Walmart on Lakeland Dr. Stop by if you have a moment. I've love to see you.

Norma S said...

Hi i love the cover of your book. I am all ways thrilled with Christmas stories, i could read them all day long. Thank you for this Christmas book really sounds great. God blessings.
Norma from Ohio

Anonymous said...

I love reading stories based around the holidays! Donna (IL) d[dot]brookmyer[at]yahoo[dot]com

loretta said...

I'm from SC, so a plantation wedding could be done in Charleston!

Britney Adams said...

I enjoyed this interview and look forward to these delightful Christmas stories!

Britney Adams, TX

Lorraine Beatty said...

Hey Norma - I'm from Ohio originally. We've been in the south nearly 40 years now. Glad you liked the cover. All the homes we wrote about are either Inns or open for tours. Be sure and look them up on line and see how amazing they are

Lorraine Beatty said...

You're right Loretta. I've been to Charleston and loved it. My dad is from Savannah so I have southern roots even though I was raised in Ohio. :)

Barbara Thompson said...

Oh, I love this!! Enjoyed the wonderful interview. Book sounds great and after reading the first page, it was a rope pulling you in. Looking forward to reading this book. Thank you for the chance of winning this giveaway.

Barbara Thompson (West Monroe, LA)

Lorraine Beatty said...

Hello Barbara,

I'm glad you're interested in my story. All four of them are fun and give you a peek into Natchez at Christmas time. I see you're from West Monroe. My son and his family live in Monroe. Small world. :)

Mary Preston said...

I've never heard Wreath as a name before. I love it.

Mary P


Charlotte Kay said...

I am always looking for holiday books this time of year, and this one sounds great!!!!!
Loved the interview! You are a new author to me and enjoyed lesrning more about you! May God continue to bless your writing as only He can!!!!

Charlotte Kay, Ohio

Lorraine Beatty said...

Thank you Charlotte. I see you're another Ohio reader. That's my home state but we've been done in the south for a long time. This book was so much fun to write. I hope you enjoy it.

Tonja Saylor said...

I'm sure researching is the best part of writing a book!! I would love to visit a plantation! I've never been to MS - that needs to go on my bucket list !!!

scottsgal said...

I love holiday books - they leave such a nice feeling when done. I really like the premise of this with a plantation wedding.
thanks for the chance
Cheryl in IL

Jackie McNutt said...

Lorraine, I have not read any of your books but I am looking forward to adding them to my list.
I love anything set in the south and on plantations! Add the Christmas element and it has to be a great read!
Thank You from Ohio

Bonnie Traher said...

Would love to win in Northeast Pa.

Katie G. said...

Sounds great! Please enter me. I'm from NC.

sm said...

I love Christmas books; Wedding stories; and winning books. Thanks for the contest. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Patsy said...

This book sounds great. Can't wait to read it.
From South Mississippi

apple blossom said...

thanks for chance to win
live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Library Lady said...

A Plantation, a Wedding, and Christmas all tied up in one neat little bow.
Sounds like a dream come true.
Janet E.

Jackie Tessnair said...

I love Christmas stories.Please enter me.Thanks Jackie Tessnair from N.C.

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me this book looks great!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant

Jean said...

Thank you for this opportunity.

Jean Kropid
West Palm Beach, FL

Lourdes said...

Sounds like a good read! Would like to be entered in the giveaway.

rubynreba said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Merry said...

I love wedding stories and Christmas tales, please add me!
Merry in MN