A new book title for you!

January 28, 2016 | Comment on This

A Moonbow Night final copy

Naming a book is a wee bit like naming a baby. You hope to get it write – right! While I was writing away on this new Kentucke novel that opens in the spring of 1777, I called it Moonbow Inn. But for historical purists, inns were referred to as ‘ordinarys’ in the 18th-century so the working title wasn’t historically true. Plus, much of the action in the story is set outside the Moonbow Inn, in the howling wilderness as Cassius McLinn said in The Colonel’s Lady.

The novel’s setting is unique in that it’s only one of two places in the world where a phenomenon called the moonbow happens. Go ahead and Google it:) Words don’t do it justice. Cumberland Falls, near where my heroine lives, is one of my favorite places on the planet. I opened the novel in spring when the river has its ‘big britches on’ as frontiersmen would call it.

Suffice it to say, my heroine can’t get enough of the falls and the moonbow, especially when a lanky, enterprising surveyor is in sight.

A cover is coming soon! For now, hope the title makes you smile:)

Snowed in!

January 20, 2016 | Comment on This

cabin snow january

I think this looks very Lael-like. For those of you who remember The Frontiersman’s Daughter, I’m thinking of that beloved character and her cabin in the Kentucke woods as the snow falls today.  I woke up early (thankfully not to milk the cow or gather wood!) but to move our car down the hill by the gate. It’s nearly impossible to climb this hill in the best of weather so down the hill I went in the dark, long before sunrise. As I trudged back up toward the tiny lights of the cabin in my bathrobe and boots, I felt like I was caught in a snowglobe:) Didn’t mind the cold a bit!

And so here I sit, working by the fireplace and watching the snow fall. On the page of this new novel, I’m smack in the middle of Virginia, 1776, and it’s  June! But what I’d really like is to write a snow scene:)

Hope you’re snug wherever you are today.

Cabin Fever

January 15, 2016 | Comment on This

IMG_4287 (2)

Here I sit in my own little woods by my own little hearth waiting for snow:) Last year this cabin was buried beneath a couple of feet with record cold temps but this year nary a swirling flake! We did have a whiteout which looks more like fog than snow below. But the wind blew it all away and blue skies abounded in the span of about fifteen minutes. So I await the white stuff…

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Some of you have asked what I do all day in this little cabin:) Well, my desk is in the cabin loft and I spend a lot of time there since the porch requires a few quilts this time of year. As far as the writing, I’ve just turned in another 18th-century Kentucke story that opens in 1773. It’s dear to my heart because I actually have Daniel Boone in it and the plot pivots around a little known incident in Boone’s adventurous life.

The cover and title are being decided upon now and I can’t wait to see what direction Revell goes with cover art and such. The book will release early 2017. Heartfelt apologies to those dear readers who were expecting another book this coming fall. I’m moving to the spring schedule which will be quite fun after 7 fall releases. Spring is a favorite time because of Easter. I’ll laugh if it comes out on my birthday!

Anyway, a brief update on my neck of the woods.

I’d love to know what’s going on in yours:)


January 7, 2016 | Comment on This

blog devo

I always start a new year with good intentions. In fact, my word for 2016 is ‘intentional’ because I struggle with a sense of balance in my life. I tend to approach everything with passion and have a hard time letting go of things, people, events. For example, we are involved and in love with with three churches right now! This may be too much of a good thing. In Kentucky there seems to be a church on every corner. Being back in the Bible belt has its perks. But I sense the Lord telling me to live more intentionally, less out of habit, to streamline choices and focus on the things that truly matter and are eternal.

After seeing WAR ROOM in the theater with a dear friend and sister in Christ, I bought the book Fervent for us both. Love the title! Sadly, my prayer life lately has gotten squeezed to the far margins of my life. My devotional time has been reduced to iPad apps. Not long ago my husband said, “How much time are you spending on that thing?” He doesn’t have a Facebook account nor is he online much as he’s an action man. “He doesn’t understand,” I thought. “Social media is so much of my work.” But it seems to fit with ‘intentional.’ Being unplugged is a wonderful thing. Being offline more than I’m online is wonderfully freeing.

I just returned from a two week vacation out west with family and opened this devotional above (Powerful Moments in the Presence of God) for the first time since I’ve been back. Why was I surprised to see my word~ intentional ~ waiting for me? There was also focus, a word from my past. Today I reopened this little book and for the first time saw the words in stained glass,


Seems Jesus is right in front of me and I so often miss him.

I pray we will all see more of our Savior in 2016.

Merry Christmas to you!

December 14, 2015 | Comment on This

blog signing

The past six months since moving into our Kentucky cabin have been the busiest and happiest and most challenging ever. I’ll share some of the highlights with you here beginning with my first Kentucky book signing at LifeWay in Richmond. Thanks to help from dear friends and readers it was a wonderful, memorable day! The Mistress of Tall Acre has been well received and I’m very thankful…

Despite the busyness, there’s been a lot of time spent in the swing on our porch, writing and visiting and just plain old quiet time. Paul likes to play the banjo out here and I enjoy the dulcimer. Watching the change of seasons has been especially joyful…

blog quilt

Another joy is having the blessing of family heirlooms taken out of old trunks like these quilts of my great grandmother, said to be about 115 years old. These old treasures are right at home in the cabin and it’s a pleasure to fill this tiny place with them…

blog marker

I turned in another book to my publisher recently which will be out spring of 2017. Both title and cover are in the works. I’m especially excited about this novel as it’s set in 18th-century Kentucky and the plot centers around this historic marker in Powell Valley, Virginia. Can’t wait for you to meet this colorful cast of characters!

blog cupboard

Lately, it’s been fun decorating for Christmas and doing some holiday baking, having friends over, and attending church activities. It’s amazing to be back in the Bible belt and have so many Spirit-filled congregations to worship with…

Laura Preview (2)

As another year closes, I’m so grateful for reading friends and those of you who take time for my books and this humble journal page. I’m amazed at the Lord’s mercy and grace as He continues to supply me with what I need on a minute by minute basis no matter the season.

I pray your Christmas is overflowing with the ONE who made it all possible.

See you in the New Year!

Audio at last!

November 29, 2015 | Comment on This

Back to pen some glad news here to ring the holidays in! After being away from the Journal page due to an overloaded schedule, I’m working on a special Christmas post to share. But first…

lael audio

I’m so pleased to announce that Lael’s story, The Frontiersman’s Daughter, is in audio format! I must admit I’m wild about the cover! The broody, wooded look and color scheme are just my cup of tea. If you’d like to listen to an audible sample, here’s the link…


The lovely Laura Jennings is narrating all three Kentucky books ~ Courting Morrow Little and The Colonel’s Lady will soon follow. When I first heard Laura audition, I was amazed at how well she brought Lael’s story to life. Turns out she’s from my neck of the woods! She was gracious enough to answer some questions I put to her about the process.

What is your favorite part of narrating a novel? Least favorite?
My favorite part is getting lost in the characters and the story and
your book was no exception. I also love the English language. Least
favorite is the research. I like sinking into a novel but in the
beginning I have to read and take notes to make sure I get everything
right in the narration.

What might surprise listeners about the audio process?
I think it is hard for people to imagine what it is like to sit alone in
a studio reading a novel out loud for long hours at a time. And then
spend that same amount of time editing and producing. At least I hope
they have a hard time imagining it – we are supposed to make it sound
effortless. :)

In The Frontiersman’s Daughter, were there any particular challenges or pleasures for you as narrator?
Well, being a southerner and a historian at heart the story was near and
dear from the beginning. Of course dialects are always tricky but that’s
part of the fun, too.

 What’s it like listening to your own voice bringing a story to life?
When I started narrating audiobooks I kind of fell in love with my own
voice in the beginning. Then I started comparing myself to others with
more experience and thought I was awful and came close to quitting many
times. Now, after doing this for almost five years, I am able to listen
to myself from an objective viewpoint. In the mastering process, if I
can listen to the story and not “hear” my voice then I feel like I’ve
got it right.

 Do you have to like/enjoy a book before you narrate it?
Sometimes that is not an option. I would say 90% of the time I enjoy the
books I narrate but sometimes I am asked to narrate a book that I would
not normally read. At those times, you keep the listener in mind and do
the best job you can for them. Mostly, as was the case with
Frontiersman’s Daughter, I do enjoy what I am narrating. But, in all
cases, I feel honored to have been chosen.

Favorite genre?
Who doesn’t love history and romance??? Well, I do like a good mystery,
too. I am a reader – I would read the yellow pages if that’s all I had.
Thank goodness it is not. :)

Any characters or books you’ve done that have personal meaning?
I tend to identify with strong female characters because that is what
feels normal to me. My family is heavily populated with very independent
women which is probably why these characters feel so right. Funny you
should ask this question, while reading Frontiersman’s Daughter, I felt
you had captured perfectly the independent spirit of the Southern woman.

 Ever think of writing your own book and if so, what setting or century would you choose?
Oh gosh, I Have an MFA in creative writing and have written several
novels. And they are all in a cardboard box under my bed which is where
they will stay. :) They are novels set in the south and in the early
part of the 20th century. Shhh, don’t tell anyone. :)

divider best

See you in December for a Christmas post about cabin life, what I’m writing, and more.

Hope to hear from you then, too!

November Giveaway!

November 1, 2015 | Comment on This

dawn november giveaway

So pleased to be included here in this terrific giveaway. Just in time to add to your to-be-read stack before the snow flies!

Please follow this link to enter.

Happy reading and a joyful fall to you!

Release Party ~ LifeWay Day!

September 28, 2015 | Comment on This

I wanted to share a few photos from this past Saturday’s release party at LifeWay Christian store in Richmond, Kentucky. It was my first Kentucky book signing and it exceeded my wildest dreams. So thankful for everyone who turned out and made the day such a blessing and success!

joyce signing me books

Wonderful to celebrate my newest release and backlist…

joyce signing 2 of usjoyce signing collage

I can’t thank my heaven-sent realtor, Robert Gullett, and his savvy wife, Joyce, (bottom left) enough for their assistance…

joyce signing big collage

Meeting with readers from out of state and within was such a treat, including reconnecting with friends who’ve been friends since grade school…

joyce signing store staff

The awesome LifeWay staff!

Thanks, too, for those of you who were with us in spirit. Your presence and prayers were definitely felt!

A hero…

September 6, 2015 | Comment on This

mistress house pin