Having been raised attending church, I began wondering what it meant to “be saved” around eight years old. I received wonderful guidance from my parents as well as the pastor of our church. Then, when I was fourteen I knew I was ready to make that decision. Without having told anyone else about it, one Sunday morning during the invitation, I felt the Spirit’s prompting and I went forward and made my profession of faith. There have been many struggles since then, including a deep depression that led to my dropping out of college at age twenty-one, as well as times when I’ve clearly felt God leading me, as when I moved to
You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
Ask me this question on another day and I’ll have a completely different answer. Right now, it’d have to be Liz Johnson, because we’re brainstorming a series idea together; Jodie Bailey, an as-yet unpublished author who motivates me just by being who she is; Annalisa Daughety, because we always have a good time together and I love her writing; and Leslie Guccione, one of my grad-school mentors, because she can challenge me to be a better writer the way no one else can.
Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
I love speaking to groups. Most of the time when I’m scheduled for an event, I’m asked to talk about writing, which I thoroughly enjoy because I’ve always felt drawn to teach it. But I also like sharing about being a thirtysomething single in a church that emphasizes marriage and family as “the norm” and leaves singles out in the cold.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
Before I truly understood my own nature as an introvert—and why it wasn’t good for me to be around people twenty-four hours a day for a full week, I went on a spring break mission trip with the Campus Crusade group from LSU. By the end of the week, I was on people overload, and I ended up losing it, spectacularly, when a friend good naturedly teased me about something (I don’t even remember what). Fortunately only he and a couple of other people where there, so once I was able to stop crying enough to breathe and try to explain why I’d lost it (thank goodness one of them was a Psychology major and could help me figure it out), we all prayed together and then they suggested that instead of going into the chapel for the hour of worship time with the ninety other people on the trip, I take my Bible and go sit out in the garden and have some private time. And it was the best learning experience I ever had in figuring myself out.
People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
“There’s no time like the present. All you need is paper and a pencil. Go for it.”
Sassy Evans and Perty Bradley are determined to get their older grandchildren married off, but when twenty-eight-year-old Dylan comes home after being fired from his teaching position because of the betrayal of his ex-girlfriend, Perty knows her grandson has more important issues to deal with first.
Sassy understands her friend’s reservations about timing, but she also sees so many ways in which Dylan would be the perfect match for her thirty-four-year-old granddaughter Caylor. With his record of acclaimed paintings and Caylor’s bestselling novels, they could complement each other’s talents and provide each other support and encouragement. And there’s no denying the spark of attraction between the English professor with the untamed red hair and the painter with the unusual tattoos.
But neither grandmother realizes the secrets both Caylor and Dylan are keeping from each other. Will pain and embarrassment from the past keep Caylor and Dylan apart, or will they develop the courage to be truthful with each other and discover the true art of romance?
Please give us the first page of the book.
Celeste “Sassy” Evans might have had her driver’s license revoked for poor eyesight, but she could clearly see something was wrong. She added artificial sweetener and creamer to her coffee and studied the faces of the two women sitting across the large table from her.
So far, only she, Trina Breitinger, and Lindy Patterson were here—because the three of them had come together.
“So they’re really not getting married?” She hadn’t earned the nickname Sassy in college for keeping her nose out of other people’s business.
Trina’s dark brows furrowed. She exchanged a glance with Lindy before answering. “Oh, they’re getting married all right. Just not anytime soon.”
“Apparently, they think they need more time to get to know each other before they set a wedding date.” Lindy dunked her teabag in and out of her cup in a slow rhythm.
“Wait. We’re talking about Zarah and Bobby here, right? The ones who were practically engaged when they were younger. Correct?” Two weeks ago at Thanksgiving dinner, Trina’s granddaughter and Lindy’s grandson had announced their engagement—and told the story of how they had met and dated many years before.
Sassy figured since they’d known each other for so long, the engagement would be short and the wedding soon. “What about our pact? What about our agreement that we would work to get at least one of our grandchildren married so that we have a great-grandchild before. . .a certain other person in the senior-adult group?”
Trina arched an eyebrow. “Lindy and I aren’t the only ones with unmarried grandchildren.”
“No, but at least yours are engaged. Caylor doesn’t even go out on dates anymore. If it weren’t for me—and Zarah and Flannery—my granddaughter would have no social life whatsoever. How am I supposed to work with that, I ask?”
Trina and Lindy were saved from answering by the arrival of the other two-fifths of the group: Helen “Perty” Bradley and Maureen O’Connor. Sassy was about to catch them up on the conversation so far, then changed tacks when she caught sight of Perty’s expression.
“Why the long face, Perty? I swany, between you, Trina, and Lindy, people will think we just came from a funeral.”
Not even Sassy’s teasing put a smile on Perty Bradley’s face. “My oldest grandson has moved into our carriage house. I know, I know, that should make me happy. But from what little he’s told us, there was some big scandal when the art college learned he was romantically involved with one of the deans or something. I can’t get a straight answer out of him about exactly what happened. But whatever happened, he makes it sound like it’s going to be nearly impossible for him to get another professorship somewhere.”
The server arrived with their pitchers of pancake batter and ramekins of fruit and other toppings, the same thing they got every week when they descended upon the small, kitschy eatery in the Berry Hill neighborhood of
. It had taken them a while to settle on a regular place for their Thursday morning get-together once the coffee shop they’d been going to down in Nashville had closed. But after their first visit to the Pfunky Griddle, they’d been hooked. Franklin
“He teaches art doesn’t he?” Sassy asked, lifting the jug of whole grain batter; Perty nodded. “Caylor said something the other day about Robertson having trouble filling their adjunct positions. Get a copy of his résumé, and I’ll have her pass it along to the appropriate people.”
Perty smirked. “Have Caylor pass it along? All I’d have to do is pick up the phone and make one call, and he’d be hired. I was the first woman president of our alma mater, if you recall.”
Lindy, Trina, and Maureen exchanged looks Sassy wasn’t sure she liked. More than sixty years ago, the three of them had come up with the nicknames Sassy and Perty for Celeste and Helen—nicknames that had stuck so hard even their grandchildren had picked them up and used them.
“What?” Sassy and Perty asked at the same time.
“Well, I know we’re not limiting the search for partners for our grandchildren to each other’s grandchildren.” Maureen leaned forward to sprinkle sliced strawberries on her pancake. “But, Sassy, Caylor is single. And Perty, your grandson—Dylan—is single. As is Dylan’s younger brother. Aren’t both of those boys college professors? Surely Caylor would like one of them.”
Sassy shook her head. “Caylor met Paxton at the family cookout in October. Said he was a nice guy, but far too young—at twenty-five, he’s almost ten years younger than her.”
Perty shook her head, too. “With Dylan just coming out of a relationship that cost him his job, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
Sassy adopted her most serious expression. “We should work on getting the already-engaged couple to the altar. And Perty and I”—she looked to her best friend, who nodded in agreement—“will do what we can with our offspring. If we put our minds to it, we can accomplish anything. After all, we are the Matchmakers.”
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website: http://kayedacus.com
Thank you, Kaye, for the fun interview.
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