I wander a lot, through books, life, and the world, picking up treasures as I go. Some of those I can’t help but share.
I’ve been drawn to the written page from early days, reading and writing my way through the classics and all sorts of genres for my MA in creative writing from the University of Tennessee. It took me awhile to follow the muse. I spent several years in technical and research writing for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and sales support writing for a software outfit, all the while hungrily studying the fiction craft, reading endlessly.
Living in the Southeast has left its mark, and I have a fondness for the roots and culture here, the language, pace, and quirks of the people. In my first novel, Light to the Hills, this is easy to see.
But I also appreciate travel. There’s so much of the universal in us, despite differences in tastes, families, or culture. Those fascinating morsels from other people and unfamiliar places often show up in my writing as well.
I try to find humor in imperfection. I love words, language, books, and a solidly written sentence. Our home is full of books, top to bottom (it’s a wonder the floors don’t cave in!), so it’s only natural that I see life as story. Growing up in a large military family gave me great material.
I raised two children and live on a mini farm in central Tennessee with a garden, chickens, and bees. I’m married to a small-animal veterinarian, my partner in faith, parenting, and life.
In my blog, you’ll find my “thoughts along the way,” stories from our life, and ways I’ve found grace through the Ordinary.
The folks in the Kentucky Appalachians are scraping by. Coal mining and hardscrabble know-how are a way of life for these isolated people. But when Amanda Rye, a young widowed mother and traveling packhorse librarian, comes through a mountain community hit hard by the nation’s economic collapse, she brings with her hope, courage, and apple pie. Along the way, Amanda takes a shine to the MacInteer family, especially to the gentle Rai; her quick-study daughter, Sass; and Finn, the eldest son who’s easy to warm to. They remind Amanda of her childhood and her parents with whom she longs to be reconciled.
Her connection with the MacInteers deepens, and Amanda shares with them a dangerous secret from her past. When that secret catches up with Amanda in the present, she, Rai, Sass, and Finn find their lives intersecting—and threatened—in the most unexpected ways. Now they must come together as the truth lights a path toward survival, mountain justice, forgiveness, and hope.
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