Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Promoting Book Signings by Davalynn Spencer


As we prepare to slip into 2015, I'm rerunning one of most popular Wednesday posts for the current year. In February, Davalynn Spencer provided much needed information for marketing our books. -- Sandy

Davalynn: When I worked as a reporter and religion page editor for a small daily newspaper, I saw press releases every day. I received a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul before it went on sale, and I knew about JK Rowling before most people heard of Harry Potter—all because someone wrote a press release and sent one to the newspaper where I worked.

I’ve stayed in touch with my reporter friends, and when I have a new book coming out, I shoot them an email to see if they’re interested in an interview. But I never assume anything and always phrase the request in a way that offers an easy out for them to say no.

Whether I’m promoting online or in print, I always write a press release for my books, tailoring it to the specific area if possible, especially if I’m sending “blind” without knowing the editor.

For example, last year’s book, The Rancher’s Second Chance, was set in the California foothills where I once lived. The release I sent to newspapers in the area focused on the locale and my former residency there. Releases I sent to papers in my current location mentioned “local author.”

Here are a few pointers for the news media:
  • Never assume anything – especially with friends. You can be more casual in your approach with friends, but show them the usual courtesy and give them a way out to graciously say no.
  • ALWAYS address the editor/reporter by name. If you don’t know them, find out.
  • Include “hooks” that will make an editor/reporter want to interview you either over the phone, in person, or via email.
  • If you are having a book signing nearby, include accurate information about when and where, and any giveaways or drawings you plan to conduct.

Book signings can be intimidating, but they are a great way to meet readers. Set one up at your local library, book store, or gift shop.

I am always more comfortable if I don’t sit down (unless I’m actually signing a book). I enjoy browsing during the in-between moments. This also gives me an opportunity to interact with people who may not be there to buy my book, though I keep a watchful eye on my book table.

While browsing, I pass out bookmarks—an incredibly inexpensive way to advertise. I get 250 for about $50 from Uprinting.com and I often use them like business cards. My website is printed on the bottom so readers have access to a buy link for the ebook or online suppliers. That way, bookstore owners are not offended by me pushing the book from an online dealer. After all, we need book stores.

Here are a few suggestions:
  • Stay on your feet unless actually signing your name. Keep an eye on your table when you’re away from it, but move around.
  • Offer bookmarks to people not at your table, with a casual remark like, “May I give you a bookmark?”
  • Place a bookmark inside the books you sign.
  • If you have more than one book, display copies/bookmarks of previous titles at the corner of your table.
  • Send the person who allowed your book signing a hand-written thank-you note. These little gems are becoming quite rare and the effort will make that person feel appreciated.

Do you have anything to add that will be of help to others? Have you sent press releases to newspapers and received interviews from them? Tell us your experience with press releases and/or book signings.

~~~



Martha Stanton isn’t looking for love. The light went out of her soul when her husband fell to a bullet in St. Louis. Now, back in her hometown of Ca├▒on City, she's convinced she'll never know happiness again. Until she crosses paths with a darkly mysterious Colorado Ranger.

Haskell Jacobs has a mission. And the beautiful, flame-haired widow sure isn't it. But Martha is somehow mixed up in the crime that brought Haskell to the rough-and-tumble town…and soon, she's entangled in the lawman's heart. But the danger that lurks around them is all too real. Can they find strength and love in each other before it's too late?

~~~~


Wife and mother of professional rodeo bullfighters, Davalynn Spencer began her writing journey in the national rodeo market and as a newspaper journalist, winning awards in both arenas. Today she continues to win acclaim with her inspirational western romance placing second in the 2014 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards, and finaling for the Selah Award and the Holt Medallion. Davalynn teaches writing at Pueblo Community College, and with her handsome cowboy, has three children and four grandchildren. They make their home on Colorado’s Front Range with a Queensland heeler named Blue. Connect with Davalynn online at www.davalynnspencer.com, www.Facebook.com/AuthorDavalynnSpencer.com and on Twitter @davalynnspencer.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Popular Post for 2014 - What's in a Name by Karen Witemeyer

Author Karen Witemeyer
Each year we take the last week of the year to post our favorite or the most popular post of the year for the day we host. Karen Witemeyer's post, originally published on January 28, 2014 was the most popular Aspiring Tuesdays post for 2014. I hope you enjoy it again. ~ Angie

For those of you who have children, do you remember the excitement (and perhaps the anxiety) that filled you as you began selecting names? It’s a weighty responsibility, knowing your child will be saddled with whatever you choose for the length of his/her life. No pressure. Ha!

Names are so important. We want our girls’ names to be beautiful and our boys’ names to be strong. Yet more than that, we want them to have meaning. Perhaps you chose a name because of the meaning inherent in that name’s origin. Or maybe you selected a name from your ancestry that carries significance for your family.

As an author, I’m faced with the same dilemma when selecting names for my characters. Not only do I want the names to sound good and roll easily off the reader’s tongue, but I love to give extra meaning to the names, perhaps a meaning that no one else will ever pick up on besides me.

A Tailor Made Bride
by Karen Witemeyer
For example, in my debut novel, my main characters are Jericho Tucker and Hannah Richards. Yes, I love using biblical names. They fit the historical setting perfectly, but in my hero’s case there was extra meaning involved. Jericho’s name was symbolic. Like the biblical city whose walls came tumbling down, Jericho or “J.T.” had built walls around his heart that needed to come down in order for him to open himself to the heroine’s love. And Hannah Richards? Well, her name had personal significance to me. You see, my dad died when I was only 16, and I wanted to honor him in some subtle way in my first published novel. His name was Richard, and it seemed fitting to let my heroine carry his name.

Head in the Clouds
by Karen Witemeyer
Gideon Westcott and Adelaide Proctor from Head in the Clouds had some teacher is often synonymous with the term proctor.

play on their names that probably only I cared about, but they helped me relate to the characters as I wrote. Gideon Westcott was a British nobleman who came to Texas to run a sheep ranch. Gideon from the Bible used a sheep’s fleece to ask God for confirmation of his mission. Adelaide Proctor was a teacher and
Short Straw Bride
by Karen Witemeyer
Stealing the Preacher
by Karen Witemeyer

Of course, the Archer brothers from Short-Straw Bride and Stealing the Preacher were named for heroes from the Alamo – Travis, Crockett, Bowie (who went by Jim), and Neill. I had fun tying those into Texas history since my books are all set in Texas. But did anyone notice that the heroine who paired up with Crockett – Joanna Robbins – had a play on her name as well? Her father was an ex-outlaw who robbed stage coaches and trains. (Yes, I see your eyes rolling.) One of my favorite sources for names is the Social Security website. You can search the most popular names by year as far back 1880 – ideal for a historical writer. You’ll find timeless names like Charles and Michael, Elizabeth and Mary. But then there are the names that make you wince like Elmer and Rufus, or Gertrude and Bertha (yes, all these made the top 100 in 1880). But what is really interesting from a historical perspective are the popularity of cross-gender names. Now, girls have worn boys’ names proudly for years, but back in the day, it’s a little scary how how popular girls’ names were for boys. Here’s a few from the 1880-1885 lists – remember these are boy’s names: Marion    Leslie    Pearl    Lynn    Pink    Mary    Loren    Madison    Cary   Fay   Allie    Sandy    Dee    Jean    Jules    Anna    Clair    Minnie    Kelly    Shirley. Now, just because a name is historically accurate, does not mean it would make a great character name. I just can’t imagine naming my rugged cowboy hero Minnie or Shirley. And calling him Anna or Mary would just leave readers scratching their heads. Especially if the heroine was named Lou or Johnnie (popular female names during that time). Although ... I have dear friends named Lacy and Jaye. Lacy is a very masculine Texas game warden while Jaye is his lovely wife. When they were first introduced at church, however, it took me weeks to get their names sorted out. What kind of names do you enjoy most when you are reading novels? What weird names have you run across in books or real life that make you cringe?
About the Author
A Match Made in Texas
by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy
Regina Jennins & Carol Cox
Winner of the ACFW Carol Award, the HOLT Medallion, and two-time RITA finalist, CBA bestselling author, Karen Witemeyer, writes historical romance for Bethany House believing the world needs more happily ever afters ... and hunky cowboy heroes. She's an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bakes a mean apple cobbler. She makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. Visit Karen Witemeyer's website
There's a secret matchmaker at work in frontier Texas! In the small town of Dry Gulch, Texas, a good-hearted busybody just can't keep herself from surreptitiously trying to match up women in dire straits with men of good character she hopes can help them. How is she to know she's also giving each couple a little nudge toward love? A Cowboy Unmatched Neill Archer isn't sure who hired him to repair Clara's roof – he only knows Clara desperately needs his help. Can he convince this stubborn widow to let down her guard and take another chance on love?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Stay True to Your Writing Path in 2015


 
Stay True to Your Writing Path

By Mary Manners 

Many authors struggle with the fact that marketing rarely takes a holiday vacation, and thus tends to devour writing time. Deadlines loom, but at the same time there are book releases that require promotion. Often the worlds of Facebook and Twitter closely resemble black holes that suck writers in and refuse to let go. The question soon arises: How does one maintain a fine balance between marketing and writing? As we head into 2015, I’d like to share a few easy solutions that I have found to be highly effective:

Rock Around the Block:

Schedule daily ‘clean-up’ marketing in short blocks of time. By clean-up marketing, I refer to staying connected with friends who have commented on posts, sent messages, etc. These require a fairly quick response and should not be neglected. An example of blocking technique might be to use three 15 minute session: one first thing in the morning, one mid-day, and a third in the evening, when the day’s writing is complete. Set a timer and limit yourself to fifteen minutes per block. Whatever is not completed during that time should be put off until the next block.
 
Goal for it:

When the black holes beckon, setting a writing goal and sticking to it works well. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. My goal is usually five for five: I must write 500 words before I break for a five-minute trek through the virtual world to see what’s going on. I set a timer and strictly limit myself to five minutes. This technique works very well to help me tackle and tie up my writing projects as deadlines loom; the promise of a trek through a black hole motivates me to get those words down on paper.
 
Chunk it Out:

When dealing with the bulk of marketing, consider chunking the work into a half-day once a month to schedule tweets and posts. I use Hootesuite to work this in. Hootsuite is a free service and allows Twitter and Facebook scheduling several months in advance. I have found that a half-day provides plenty of time to plan and schedule a month’s worth of information for both of these venues. Additional blocking times throughout the course of a month may be used to work in last-minute posts as well as to retweet and/or respond to the posts of others. As an aside, it is quite beneficial to have all tweets/posts saved in a document with links already shrunk, which allows for quick cutting and pasting.
 
Take a Deep Breath and WRITE:

The next time the virtual world threatens to snatch away writing time, step back, take a deep breath, and then dive back in to WRITE. Remember these simple tips to help stay focused and enjoy the journey. Happy New Year and Happy Writing!
 
~~~~~
 
Mary Manners is an award-winning romance writer who lives in the beautiful foothills of East Tennessee with her husband Tim and daughter Danni, and the cherished cats they've rescued from local animal shelters...Lucky and Gus. She loves flavored coffee and Smoky Mountain sunsets.
Mary was named Author of the Year by Book and Trailer Showcase. She writes inspirational romances of all lengths, from short stories to novels—something for everyone.

Learn more about Mary Manners at her website: www.MaryMannersRomance.com.
~~~~~


Broken dreams...shattered hearts...a special recipe...

Following the tragic, sudden death of her parents, Kate Spencer broke off her engagement from high school sweetheart Logan Daniels, just weeks before their wedding. She chose, instead, to remain in Mount Ridge, Tennessee to raise her younger sisters and help keep the family together. Now, with her sisters grown, she spends her days at family-owned Sweet Treats Bakery, hiding a wounded heart in the sweet confections she creates. Logan Daniels left town when Kate broke his heart, but now he's come home to claim what he lost four years ago, and he won't stop until he gets what he came for...Kate's kisses.
 
 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Christmas gift and golden ornament*


Merry Christmas, fellow writers! 

Your hostesses here at Seriously Write pray you have a blessed and joyous holiday with your loved ones. We're taking the week off, but we'll be back next week with more great posts to inspire and bless you on your writing journey as we look forward to a new year! 

God bless!


~~
Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net "Tree decoration of wrapped gift and bow" by Gualberto107

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Angst Project by Stephanie Prichard


Stephanie Prichard

Do you allow distractions to keep you from writing? Oh, I hate to admit it, but I’m guilty! However, there’s hope for overcoming hindrances to productivity. Give some thought to author Stephanie Prichard’s  encouraging tips and consider starting your own Angst Project. ~ Dawn






The Angst Project

My book club is reading The Happiness Project, in which the author journals her month-by-month progress in nailing down attitudes and habits that will give her a better appreciation for the happiness she already has. You know, a beautiful house … but it’s cluttered. A wonderful husband … but she nags him. Good health … but she’s always tired. And so on.

I’m only a few chapters in, but I’m salivating over her to-do lists and am tempted to carbon copy her journey. My book club mates, however, are muttering vague, disparaging remarks, and their chins are drool dry. Since I’m not as far along in the book as they are, I figure either the author goes where no sane woman would dare to go, or my mates simply aren’t devout to-do-listers. Whatever, I know better than to get caught up. I’m a good beginner but a poor continuer. Every month I throw away my to-do list and start over.

Nevertheless, I like the concept of dealing with obstacles that are … well, foolish. Foolish that they’re hindrances, foolish that I allow them, foolish that they even exist in the first place. In particular, I’m thinking of why I let myself get distracted from writing. Last week I had two whole days—TWO WHOLE DAYS!—free to write, with no one and nothing to divert my attention. And what did I do? Yep, wasted time with distractions.

So I did a bit of analysis and came up with the fact that I let myself get distracted because I’m anxious. Is my writing good enough? Will I show not tell? Get the scene goal expressed? Tilt the tension up? Draw the reader in? Avoid my fave expressions? Get my MRUs straight? Reach a dark moment? Remember to have a sequel?

The more I learn about writing, the more my angst increases.

Remember when writing used to be fun?

But I can’t go back. I don’t want to go back. I actually do love making progress, painful as it is.

So I’ve started my own little project. The Angst Project. What attitudes and actions will help reduce my anxiety and up my productivity? So far I’ve come up with five.

1. Work on more than one writing project at a time to spread the angst and ideally decrease it.

2. Allot a minimum of an hour to each project.

3. Feel free to jump back and forth between projects.

4. If a project starts to roll, go for it!

5. Have a planned, profitable distraction ready to go (laundry, a few     bills to write, a sink full of dirty dishes—something good that needs to get done, but that I’m glad to set aside as soon as I can).

So, I’m curious … do you know what causes you angst? And what to do about it?






All Marine Corps reservist Jake Chalmers wants is to give his dying wife a last, romantic cruise to the Philippines. Unable to save her in a mass murder aboard ship, he washes ashore a jungle island, where he discovers three other survivors. Heartbroken that he failed to save his wife, he is determined not to fail these helpless castaways.

Federal prosecutor Eve Eriksson rescues a young girl and her elderly great-aunt from the same ship. They badly need Jake's survival skills, but why is he so maddeningly careful? She needs to hurry home to nail a significant career trial. And, please, before Jake learns her secret that she's responsible for his wife's death.

Stranded: A Novel is available for only $2.99 at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OQGJBUY  




Stephanie is an army brat who lived in many countries around the world and loved it. She met her husband at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where she majored in English/Literature. She and Don have lived in Indianapolis, IN, for forty years, and in retirement have turned to co-authoring novels now that their three children are busy raising a beautiful crop of grandchildren for them.

You can learn more and connect with Stephanie here:

Blog & newsletter sign-up http://donandstephanieprichard.wordpress.com    
Pictures for Stranded: A Novel www.pinterest.com/stephprichard     
Facebook author page www.facebook.com/4u2read   



Thursday, December 18, 2014

What’s My Worth? by Heidi Chiavaroli

Heidi Chiavaroli
I suppose like many, I struggle with proving my own worth. My worth as a mother, a wife, a daughter, a follower of Christ…and as a writer.

Concerning the latter, I had convinced myself that if only I could secure a reputable agent, the search for validation would be over. If someone in this business was convinced I had what it took to make it as an author, then bam. I’d need no other encouragement. I could soar—forever perhaps—on this one person’s belief of my worth.

Strange, but I should have recognized the falsehood of this thinking after I won ACFW’s Genesis contest in the Historical Category. For hadn’t I told myself many times that if only I could final or win a prestigious contest (such as this one!) I’d be validated as a writer?

Oh, how quickly I forget.

Last month, it was my extreme pleasure to sign with agent Susan Brower of the Natasha Kern Literary Agency.

So there. I did it. I should feel validated as a writer. And for about three days I did. No one could bring me down or convince me otherwise. If Susan Brower liked my book, then who cared what anyone else thought.

Right…

As I printed out my manuscript to give to an important beta reader, doubts about my worth as a writer poked hard once again. What if she didn’t like it? What if she said she hated my writing and my book?

That’s when I realized my doubts would always be there. I could gain a multi-book contract…and they’d still be there. I could win a handful of awards…and they’d still be there. I could make it to a bestseller list…and they’d still be there.

And the reality is, there will always be someone who will not like my writing, or my books. There will always be someone who thinks my books are not spiritual enough, someone who thinks my books are too spiritual. Someone who doesn’t like my characters or my plots or how I string three words together.

So what’s a writer to do?

What I always have to remind myself to do—preach the gospel to myself. I can’t root my worth in my writing. Or being a good mother, wife, or daughter. I can’t even base my worth on being a good follower of Jesus because I will always fall short there as well.

What I can do is base my worth in Jesus himself, and all He has already done for me. This Christmas season I can remember that Christ was born to make me worthy. He died to make me worthy. And today, He still lives to make me worthy.

“Christmas highlights the inescapable fact that no matter how hard we try, we can’t do it. Apart from the Incarnation we are left to our own bankrupt resources. But at the same time it shows us Jesus, who came to liberate us from the pressure of having to fix ourselves (and others!), find ourselves, and free ourselves. He came to relieve us of the burden we inherently feel “to get it done” and make it on our own. He came to set us free from the need to secure for ourselves the affection and approval we long for but cannot attain.”
~Tullian TchividjianChristmas for the Weary and Heavy-Laden

****
Heidi Chiavaroli writes History Woven in Grace. She is a wife, mother, disciple, and grace-clinger. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and has finaled in the Genesis contest and My Book Therapy’s Frasier contest.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Nurturing Creativity by Martha Rogers

Have you fallen into a rut in your writing? One of my mental notes for my current WIP is to freshen up my emotional descriptions when rewriting. Today, Martha Rogers talks about the importance of not falling into that rut and suggests ways we can nurture our creativity. 
-- Sandy

Martha: I love a good story, but recently I have read two good stories by a multi-published author that left me shaking my head. If the story hadn't been good, I would have tossed the book aside. Things like head-hopping or changing point of view within a scene with no warning and beginning sentences with words that end with -ing had me pausing all the time and shaking my head. I had to go back a few times to figure out how and why the POV changed.

We've heard it said so many times that the story is most important. In the case of this author, she did all the things to make her readers keep the pages turning even though she didn't follow all the "rules" of writing. This was one of those stories that if I had been grading it as I did the papers of my college students, it would have earned an A for content and a D- for mechanics.

I have found the head hopping, poor sentence construction, and grammatical mistakes more prevalent in self-pubbed books, but it can happen to those from a recognized publisher also. I'm not sure why this is because editors should catch those things. The editor for the publisher of the book described didn't catch them.

Perhaps multi-published writers can get by with this type of writing as long as their story and characters are good and the readers like the author. However, we are creative writers of fiction and our writing should reflect that creativity.

When we fall into a rut of writing the same way all the time without taking time to learn from others and to improve writing skills, we can find our books falling into the pile of those that cause a reader to lose interest.

How can we nurture that creativity? I find that by visiting unusual places, people watching at airports, doctor offices, grocery stores, and lines at the mall stores, bank or wherever we are, I can come up with unusual characters, traits, and scenarios for different plots. For historical, I love to visit places like Mount Vernon and Williamsburg or Boston. For my latest series, I spent a lot of time in St. Francisville, Louisiana to gather information and ideas.

We live in a world of cyber-space where banking and shopping are more frequently on-line. As writers, we need to be “out in the world” more observing and listening to what is going on around us. It’s amazing how character traits, conversation tidbits, or facial expressions can make their way into our writing when we truly pay attention to our surroundings. So, get out of the house a few hours a week and see what people are doing, what they are saying, and how they are acting or reacting to situations. 

What is a way in which you consciously improve your writing? How do you go about freshening your prose and studying the "rules?"


~~~~~~


Because of what happened to her father and mother during the War Between the States, Molly Whiteman
hates guns, violence and war. Stefan Elliot is an officer in the U.S. Cavalry. When the two meet, sparks fly in their attraction to each other. Stefan returns to his regiment leaving Molly torn between her love for him and her deep feelings about guns and killing. Tragedy changes Molly’s heart and brings them back together, but will Molly's love be enough to overcome the depression that has made Stefan a recluse from society?


Martha Rogers is a free-lance writer and was named Writer of the Year at the Texas Christian Writers Conference in 2009 and writes a weekly devotional for ACFW. Martha and her husband Rex live in Houston where they enjoy spending time with their grandchildren.  A former English and Home Economics teacher, Martha loves to cook and experimenting with recipes and loves scrapbooking when she has time. She has written three series, Winds Across the Prairie and Seasons of the Heart and The Homeward Journey. Book three in that series, Love Never Fails, released in November, 2014.

Find Martha at:  www.marthawrogers.com

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

An Ode to the Senior Class of MacArthur High School By Gina Welborn (c. 1988)

Gina Welborn
Like dirt in the wind
wanting...
waiting...
knowing...
knowing that one day they will be sucked in the great vacuum cleaner of life.

Like dirt in the wind
reaching...
yearning...
striving...
striving to leave the oneness of themselves and unify with others to become one large dirtball.

Are you a dirtball? How many times do you “leave the oneness” of yourself to become just like your friends or celebrities or other writers out there?

“A true breakout is not an imitation but a break-through to a more profound individual expression. It demands that an author reach deep inside to find what is truthful, original, important and inspiring in his own world view.” ~Donald Maass, WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL

Knowconflict.com defines worldview as “the way s/he sees the world and his/her place in it. In includes the person's beliefs about how things are done and by whom, what is good and bad, why things happen as they do, and who holds the reins of power. It also includes the group or groups to which a person belongs or with which s/he identifies.” Your worldview may contradict the mainstream, follow the mainstream, agree with the majority, agree with the minority, may be liberal, conservative, narrow-minded, open-minded, no minded. Everyone has a worldview. Everyone has a voice.

A good writer learns to hone her “voice.” How?

READ POETRY. Samuel Taylor Coleridge once said, “Prose consists of words in their best order. Poetry consists of the best words in the best order.” Reading poetry will cause you to become more aware of the dynamos of the correct word choice. Poetry helps you learn to hear grammatical rhythm.

READ MORE OUTSIDE YOUR GENRE THAN IN. What goes in, come out. If most of what you are reading is the genre you are writing, then you will end up regurgi-writing what you read. My two current voice-sharpeners are Let’s Be Brave by Annie Downs and Girl Meets God by Laura Winner.

PUT YOU IN YOUR STORY. Maass writes, “It is from the unknowable shadows of your subconscious that your stories will find their drive and from which they will draw their meaning. No one can loan you that or teach you that.” If a scene, chapter, story, character, scares you to write it, write it.

Publishers want something different. Publishers want something they can sell. That can seem dichotomy. What makes it not is You the Writer. Hone your voice. The world already has a ___(fill in name of your favorite author)___.

It’s just wanting...waiting...hoping for a you.
 
About the Author
Gina Welborn is the author of three Barbour novellas, including one in the ECPA-bestselling Mistletoe Memories, and is contracted for two more. The year 2014 ushers in the release of her novels: The Heiress's Courtship, The Marshal's Pursuit, and Masterpiece Marriage. A moderately obsessive fan of CommunityOnce Upon a Time, and Chopped, Gina lives in Oklahoma with her pastor husband, their five Okie-Hokie children, a box-lab, two rabbits, four guinea pigs, and a fancy Russian dwarf hamster named Tom Bob Deucalion. She is represented by the Steve Laube Agency. To learn more about her writing or read excerpts, visit her website: www.GinaWelborn.com


Masterpiece Marriage

Mary Varrs prefers botany to romance.


She thinks studying the growth pattern of her tomato seedlings is more time-worthy than pursuing a mate. When she needs illustrations of her prized plants, Mary turns to Priscilla Dane Osbourne for help.

Zenus Dane also seeks help from his Aunt Priscilla. In order to salvage his flooded textile mill, he wants to sell her hand drawn quilt patterns alongside his repurposed fabric scraps. No quilter had national name recognition like his aunt, but Priscilla is fiercely protective of her patterns. Convincing her would not be easy.


It seems Priscilla is the answer to both their prayers. But Priscilla would rather weave a masterpiece marriage for her nephew than save his flooded business. Trouble is, her plans don’t include Mary, whose own growing attraction for the textiler could jeopardize Priscilla’s good will toward her. If faced with a decision between love and ambition, will Mary be able to choose?