Bio: Some people begin a novel with a character. With me it's a place. I think people react differently, depending on where they are and the atmosphere of the moment. When I'm in some historic place, I can all but see the ghosts of those who have lived there. The same thing happened when writing Shaker Winter. I fell in love with a place and the people came from the Shaker village. Serenade came to me after studying famous American homes. I couldn't write another Gone With the Wind, but I wanted to bring to life that great house with not only a past but a lively present too. I didn't plan this novel, I just let it happen, a fun way to write. My sister, A-Kay, added her vision. We grew up in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where as a teenager I used to think nothing had ever happened. I was grown before I discovered the town has a history every bit as colorful as the burning of Atlanta. Fayetteville had been burned by both Yankees and Confederates during "The War." I guess the period seeped into our bones or was inherited. My mother and brother have read every novel in print on the American Civil War. Part of the season I wrote Serenade was to give her another fun book to read about our favorite bygone age. We love any book with a ghost in it. Give me a place, and I'll find the ghosts of the past in it.
Who could resist an antebellum mansion by such a name? Not Ariel. She's there to write the family history for her great-aunt, the owner of the house and benevolent ruler of all therein. Elderly Aunt Belle still runs the place without electricity, determined to keep it exactly as it was before "The War." Never mind. Even the heat and mosquitoes can't dim Ariel's love for the time and place. Aunt Belle's passion for history isn't the only passion flaming behind those white columns. One of Belle's ... more info>>
Life was hard enough for Daisy Webb since Mama died and Papa went to fight the Civil War. But then Aunt Paratine moved in with The "Shaking Quakers" or just plain "Shakers" and they don't worship anything like the Presbyterians Daisy knows. Worse, she and her brother Ezra have to live there, too, even if Aunt Paratine dies, which she keeps saying might happen. Fortunately, the Shakers are famous for their herbs and natural healing. The Civil War goes on, Papa never writes her anymore, and Daisy ... more info>>