I enjoy reading books that uplift and encourage me in my Christian faith, so I write books that are designed to do two things: entertain the reader and lead them to a closer look at their relationship with God. It is thrilling to see in a review that someone’s relationship with God was enhanced by my story.
How has being published changed your life? Instead of saying that I plan to publish one day, I can say that I’ve published 21 books. I’ve met interesting people at book signings and writers, conferences. I can honestly say that writing and publishing has drawn me closer to God.
What are you reading right now? A friend of mine, Wayne Kerr, wrote a very inspirational book called BRAVING: The Art of Pursuing What Make You Come Alive.
What is your current work in progress? My third book in the Fulton Ridge Family series is the story of Paige. She was introduced in The Renovation. She’s also a minor character in the first two books in my current series. Now, she gets her own book to tell her perspective.
What would be your dream vacation? I’d
go to an island where there is plenty of water and beach time, but I’d also
want to go hike up a mountain. My husband and I took a brief tour of
How do you choose your settings for
each book? Most of my settings are a small town in
What are your hobbies, besides
writing and reading? Before 2020, I loved to travel whenever I could. My
husband and I have visited museums and aquariums on our anniversary trips. We also
took our kids to national parks for camping and hiking, to the
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it? I’ve been trying to write faster. It’s often hard to balance writing time and family time. Since interruptions affect my writing speed, I’ve chosen a quiet corner of the house to hunker down in and write as much as I can in a day.
What advice would you give to a beginning author? First, I would advise a new writer to tell the story of your heart in a concise and emotional way. Second, I’d suggest that you write three books before publishing to practice telling the story, find your style, and be consistent. Third, when you think you’re ready to publish, find a good editor.
Tell us about the featured book. Jessie’s Hairy Christmas is about how someone moves from only depending on herself to depending on God with a little Scrooge and Tiny Tim mixed in. This story shows how love changes the plans of a live-for-today guy and a plan-for-tomorrow girl in this opposites attract, small town Christian romance
Please give us the first page of the book.
Jessie Brown walked into Tammy’s salon office and asked, “Have you made a decision?”
Tammy laughed, keeping her focus on the computer screen on her desk. “It’s about time, right?”
No verbal response was necessary—just patience. Jessie kept her expression calm and offered a polite smile, trying to emulate Aunt Tillie. She hoped it didn’t look as fake as it felt.
“A good assistant manager is hard to find.” Tammy swiveled her head to look over her shoulder at Jessie. “I think you’d appreciate that I’m trying to find the right person for the job.”
Tammy rolled her chair back from the desk and stood in front of Jessie. “Look, doll, you didn’t get it.” Tammy crossed her arms over her chest and gave what was probably intended to be a compassionate smile. She didn’t give very many of those, so she didn’t have much practice making it look real. “I need you to keep bringing in the customers. You’re so good at getting repeat customers.”
“It’s true,” Jessie said. “Many walk-ins do come back after an appointment with me. I’ll congratulate RuthiMay when she comes in. I hope she works out for you. But, for now, Tammy, I’m giving you my two weeks’ notice.”
“Really? Why?” Tammy’s voice creaked from decades of smoking.
Tammy’s eyes widened. “Moving? Where are you going?”
Jessie looked through the doorway to see if RuthiMay was around. She’d
worried all morning about the possibility of RuthiMay causing trouble.
Self-control was a necessary tool in any business where people had to work
together. Jessie refused to comment about the tip money that she should have
received from the front desk, but didn’t. And she said nothing about RuthiMay
scheduling a couple of highlighting appointments for herself instead of putting
the new customers in the rotation. Instead, Jessie silently encouraged herself
to avoid a messy end to her time working for Tammy. She didn’t need to accuse
RuthiMay or address her general selfishness. Jessie simply answered the
question. “I’m moving to the
Tammy gave a confused stare and then raised her eyebrows. “Well, good for you, doll! Congratulations! Let me see.” She looked at her calendar. “I’ll need to keep you until after November eleventh. Then I can let you go.”
Jessie nodded. “Then, November eleventh will be my last day. Thank you. I’ll get back to the front to see if my customer is here.” She left Tammy’s office, relieved that the conversation went as well as it did.
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