I am extremely excited to be a new member of the Christians Read blog and hope that I’ll soon become acquainted with many of you subscribers. For those of you who don’t know anything about me or my books, I thought I’d use this first post as a way of introduction. For those of you who do know me, maybe you’ll consider this a refresher course.
I was born and reared in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. That’s me at the far right sporting a coat my mother had made on her treadle sewing machine. I’m not sure why I was crying, but I’m sure it was because my brother had committed some horrid infraction against me. Shortly before I reached the ripe old age of eighteen, I moved to Kansas and have been here ever since. During those many years that followed, I lived in Junction City and then our family moved to Topeka. After twenty years in Topeka, I recently moved to the Kansas City area to be close to my adult children and granddaughter. I know many of you can relate to the upheaval created by such a move. I still feel like I’m a visitor in someone else’s house. I’m doing my best to make it my own, but it’s going to take some time. I count myself fortunate I’ve found a church that I believe is going to prove a wonderful fit for me, and I can now navigate my way to the grocery store without getting lost. So, I figure I’m on my way to adjusting, right?
My writing career began back in 1996 when Barbour Publishing accepted and published my first historical novel for their monthly book club. At that time, I was working in the Legal Section of the Department of Administration for the State of Kansas. During that time, I met Tracie Peterson and we formed both a writing and personal friendship that eventually led us to co-author twelve books for Bethany House. Our co-authored books have taken us from Lowell, Massachusetts to the Thousand Islands near the Canadian border. From there, we moved off the Georgia coast to set our final co-authored series on Jekyll Island.
While working on our co-authored projects, I also began my solo career for Bethany House and wrote the Freedom’s Path series set in western Kansas which was based upon the settling of an “all colored” town named Nicodemus. The broadside at the left was used to lure unsuspecting freed slaves to a town that didn’t exist.
I love finding unique settings and events to share with readers. Since writing the series set in Nicodemus, I’ve written books set in Pullman, Illinois, the Amana Colonies, Cincinnati, Ohio, and in several towns located in West Virginia. My most recent book, The Chapel Car Bride, will release in April and is the story of a young woman who accompanies her father into a rural coal mining town during his chapel car ministry.
Most of my books have been set in the second half of the 19th Century or early Twentieth Century—a time period that truly intrigues me. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit and research in most of the areas portrayed in my books, and the people I’ve met along the way have truly blessed my life. I hope to tell you about some of them in future blogs.
What about you? Do you enjoy reading books that are set in specific parts of the country or outside the United States? What about time periods? What’s your preference? I always enjoy hearing what readers find unique and interesting, so do tell! I’d love to connect with you.