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Winner will be announced in the next Author Spotlight feature. Congratulations to Jeri Wilson for winning Rachel Fordham’s book, “The Hope of Azure Springs.”
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For over a century, the town of Gossamer Grove has thrived on its charm and midwestern values, but Annalise Forsythe knows painful secrets, including her own, hover just beneath the pleasant faade. When a man is found dead in his run-down trailer home, Annalise inherits the trailer, along with the pictures, vintage obituaries, and old revival posters covering its walls. As she sorts through the collection, she’s wholly unprepared for the ramifications of the dark and deadly secrets she’ll uncover.
A century earlier, Gossamer Grove has been stirred into chaos by the arrival of controversial and charismatic twin revivalists. The chaos takes a murderous turn when Libby Sheffield, working at her father’s newspaper, receives an obituary for a reputable church deacon hours before his death. As she works with the deacon’s son to unravel the mystery behind the crime, it becomes undeniably clear that a reckoning has come to town—but it isn’t until another obituary arrives that they realize the true depths of the danger they’ve waded into.
Two women, separated by a hundred years, must uncover the secrets within the borders of their own town before it’s too late and they lose their future—or their very souls.
What is ONE thing you’ve learned the hard way so that others don’t have to?
Learning things the hard way is never fun—and usually unplanned. Case in point. When I tried to write a contemporary romance novel. Now, hear me out. Do I enjoy a good contemporary romance read? Yes! Was I destined to write a contemporary romance? Ummm . . .
So I tried a fabulous opening scene that was sure to be riveting. A girl has freshly raked, clean yard. New neighbor dude has a leaf blower and clears his yard as well . . . into hers. See? Riveting. I’m sure it pulls you right in. Next scene, Sunday School. He sits in her chair. I know! The tension is rising. Further into this spine-tingling romance and they’re playing guitar around the fire singing worship songs. Hooked yet?
Neither was I.
But I devoted months out of my life to finish it.
While I don’t consider it a complete waste of time, as writing is always practice. I did learn a few very important things from this monumentally horrific novel:
- Just because you like something—in my case, another genre—doesn’t make you good at it or qualified to accomplish it, no matter how much practice. (I learned this applies in athletics too).
- If you’re gifted or have the ability in one area, don’t try to squash yourself into someplace where you simply do not fit. You weren’t meant to be there in the first place.
- Fine tune what comes naturally. For me, that was mystery with a little romance and a heavy splash of history. It’s where I thrived.
I’m not saying to never branch out. Of course not. Sometimes it’s fun to try new things and sometimes you discover hidden talents. However, a lot of time can be lost trying to become something/someone you simply are not. So wisdom needs to be applied in these ventures, and sometimes, wisdom means accepting this was not meant for you.
In the end, my characters did fall in love and they lived happily ever after. And, so will my manuscript in a hidden folder on my computer.