Thanks for visiting. I hope you?ll take a little time to get to know me and get the inside scoop on my newly released novel, A Stray Drop of Blood.
I was born and raised in a small town in West Virginia, right across the Potomac from Cumberland, MD. I have one sister, Jennifer, who has blessed us with a beautiful little girl, Isabelle, my first niece. My parents still live in our hometown, a few miles away from where my husband, David, also grew up and where his mother resides.
I fell in love with writing back in, oh, first grade, I think, when I actually learned how to put pencil to paper. It took a little longer for me to gain my love of reading?I guess the books for six year olds just couldn?t compare to my imagination at that point. But as time progressed, I became a voracious reader, too, stealing my sister?s books, then my mother?s, to keep my dirty habit alive. Okay, so it wasn?t too dirty. My favorite genre quickly became Christian romance. I matured on books by Lori Wick, Francine Rivers, Jeanette Oke, Linda Chaikin and the like. I wrote my first novel between the ages of 12 and 13. I?m currently rewriting that one, go figure. But at any rate, by the time I finished high school I had two complete novels under my belt and a trilogy of short stories that my husband and I POD published well under way.
I attended college at St. John?s in Annapolis, MD, the Great Books School. There, I studied everything from Ancient Greek to Relativity, from the Old Testament to Music Theory. After Freshman year I married David, my high school sweetheart who was also attending St. John?s, and we settled into married life as college students and employees. And I wrote a few more books over the next three years. The total by the time I graduated was, I believe, nine. A few of those were mainstream works, but the majority were the Christian Romance that I love so much. Since graduating, I?ve added three more to my list of finished books, with quite a number of others on their way to completion.
A Stray Drop of Blood is actually the most interesting in its behind-the-scenes story. It started as a short story that I wrote on Good Friday when I was fifteen, on what happened to be the first full day of my relationship with David, now my husband. The short story was simple and straightforward. It was about Abigail, a widow about to go into labor, whose husband was killed by Barabbas. She was just a woman in the crowd at the crucifixion, yet when a drop of Jesus? blood landed on her, it changed her life forever. I decided then and there that someday it would be a book. And over the next six years, it became one.
Stray Drop was so intense, however, that I couldn?t write it steadily, especially once I got to St. John?s, where the curriculum was just as intense as my story. So I just absorbed all the information that my education was giving me on all the relevant subjects?the Ancient Greek language, Roman culture, Judaism, and early Christianity. Over holidays and summer breaks, I would jot down a few more pages, then go back to stewing over them, letting my characters develop and ferment.
Senior year at St. John?s, something interesting happens. We get half the second semester off class to write our thesis. Naturally, I also took the opportunity to write this book that was so precious to me. It was well over halfway finished by this point, but I wasted no time in hammering it home. I finished it right after graduation with an enormous sigh of relief and a little bittersweet nostalgia?the story had traveled with me so long, always in the back of my mind, that I wasn?t sure how I was going to think without it there.
The first person to get her hands on the manuscript was Karlene, one of my dearest friends. I had outlined the book for her before I finished it, and she graciously volunteered to read it for me, to let me know how it was. Next thing I knew, she was one of my biggest fans and her husband was cursing me because she didn?t get anything else done when my book was in her hands. She began telling everyone she knew about it, and I had people I had only met once?or never?asking me if they could borrow it. She even called me halfway through it to yell at me for keeping her up the night before and demanding to know what was going to happen to Abigail. To which, of course, I laughed and told her I wouldn?t apologize.
So here I am, finally publishing this book that is part of the core of my being. We just had our first baby on October 23, a beautiful girl we named Xoe. (Pronounced like Zoe.) Being a new mommy has understandably stolen most of my concentration, but we're finally developing a schedule that allows me some time, anyway, to dedicate to writing endeavors.
We have a dog, Aegis, who is a reverse-brindle Boxer, the cutest and friendliest dog in the world. My days are spent doing freelance editing, some freelance writing for my college, working on my novels and (now) marketing this one, and keeping the house in some semblance of order. I love to bake?my friends also love me to bake?and I also, of course, spend probably way too much time reading. After the reading list at St. John?s, I?ve been gorging on romance novels, though I?ve finally reined myself in and thrown in a few literature works, as well.
For those of you who have already read Stray Drop and fallen in love with my work (optimistic assumptions are part of my nature), I?m sure you?re just dying to know what book I?ll be publishing next. Well, who am I to disappoint you? My next book out in print will be a contemporary novel entitled Unrequested, Unrequited. Set in North Carolina?s Outer Banks, where we vacation every year and my husband and I actually got married, this one?s very different from my last. It focuses on Louisa, a bi-racial girl born into a family destined to fall in love once and never fall out again. She seems to be fitting the pattern, falling hard at sixteen for Rem, a man too old for her and from a different world, one of Washington D.C. and the technology end of the CIA. But when Rem leaves at the end of summer and never makes an attempt to contact her over the next nine years, will she still cling to this love that he doesn?t return, that she didn?t ask for? Or will she move on with her life as her family hopes, into the arms of Garret, who has loved her since they were children?
What, you think I?m going to tell you? You?ll just have to wait and see. But I promise you this?it?s an emotional ride, one that?s made the family and friends who have read it thus far laugh and cry and shake their heads. And, yes, call me demanding to know what I was thinking.
I welcome your emails and, of course, your orders. Tell all your friends to buy one, too! (I need to start a college fund for this baby, after all.) You can contact me at the email address below. If you?d like to order a personalized, signed copy of A Stray Drop of Blood, click here to order. I?d love to hear from you!