The Four Seasons of Summer Sneak Peak!

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) ends on Friday…Will I hit the goal on time?  We’ll see I guess, but since I’ve been writing so fervently, I thought this might be a good time to give you a sneak peak of what I’ve been working on.

Summer Alcott is a fifty-eight year old woman who still feels young and vibrant inside, and wants the world—her husband especially, to see her that way, as well. She meets a younger man, whose wife died tragically, and they begin an online romance.

This book has been harder for me to get into  than the AMI Series, but after months of no desire to write, I’m back in the grove, and loving Summer as I did Charlotte! I hope you will enjoy this preview of The Four Seasons of Summer.



Summer picked up her phone with nervous apprehension, hoping there would be a message, even after she had just prayed for the strength to end the relationship. Relationship? Could it even be called that? It was really just two people chatting back and forth on a social media app, so why did her heart and her stomach hurt so badly?

Seeing that there were no new messages she laid her phone down and headed to the laundry room. Grabbing a pair of her husband’s jeans to throw in the wash, she could feel the tears coming, and was totally out of control to stop them. How did this happen? She asked herself through the sobbing. She had heard about women who got caught up in a social media romance, but she never believed it could happen to her.

The laundry going, Summer grabbed another cup of coffee and sat down to think about the past few months. Her hand was trembling from too much caffeine and feelings that she wanted to express but couldn’t, so like a spy in the night she picked up her cell phone and pulled up Jake’s Facebook page, looking for any new friends or posts about women. Because that’s what he was looking for, a woman to share his life with, and it couldn’t be her, they both knew that.


Well, what do you think?! Summer is a different character than Charlotte (Lottie) Luce, but still has the same kind heart and longing for passion that Charlotte did.  I love romance, and I write what I love!

Until we read again,

Dana L.📚



Three Children’s Authors You Need to Know!

Last week I shared with you three young adult authors who write amazing stories for your 8-14 year old children. This week I have three more names of authors, and they write inspiring and delightful books for your little ones. The holidays are upon us and what makes better gifts than ones you can be a part of? The best memories of my girls childhood is when we read together.

Hayley Rose is an National Award Winning Author, and the books she writes about Fifo are nothing more than genius! She incorporates learning and fun, and reading her books to my granddaughter brings a smile to both of our faces.

Fifo’s Today I Feel Emotion won a Silver Medal at the recent Readers Favorite Awards in Miami for best preschool picture book, and I bought it for my youngest granddaughter’s first birthday.

For more charming books and information about Hayley visit:


Many of you know that my three youngest grandchildren are adopted. I couldn’t love them anymore than if my daughter was their birth mother, but she’s their mommy in every way that counts. While I was at the Florida Authors and Publishers Awards in August I met author Silvia Lopez, and purchased her kid’s book on adoption.

Just Right Family takes you into the life of Meili, adopted from China, and her struggles when her parents tell her they are adopting a baby from Haiti. It’s a heartwarming story of what makes up the perfect family, and it’s a perfect book for adopted children. In fact, I’m giving a copy to my grandson today to celebrate his “Gottcha Day”.

Learn more about Silvia at:

Jayne RoseVallee writes an aptly titled series Dinosaurs Living in My Hair, about Sabrina, the girl with the uncontrollable curls who has dinosaurs living in her hair! This delightful celebration of diversity is so relevant in today’s world, and I love the lessons about bully’s, and how to deal with them. Rose-Vallee’s rhyming text flows in perfect rhythm, and her vocabulary is unique and comfortable.

To find out more go to:

I hope you won’t ever miss out on an opportunity to read with the kiddos in your life. It’s priceless for them and everlasting for you.

Until we read again…

Dana L. 📚


Three Authors You Should Know!

I love sharing authors with you, especially when I have a personal connection with them. Two of the authors below publish with the same publisher as I do, SYP Publishing, and the other is a guy I met at Book Expo 2017, and immediately bonded with.

Let’s start with him.

Paul Aertker is a children’s travel book writer and teacher who frequently speaks at elementary schools. His debut novel, Brainwashed, from the action-packed Crime Travelers Series, is an Amazon Best Seller. Here’s a sneak peek….

“While slepping on the roof of his father’s hotel-spy school, thirteen year old Lucas Benes finds a baby alone and learns that the Good Company has restarted its profitable brainwashing business.”  Whoa! That conjures up just the kind of intrigue an eight to fourteen year old reader would get into.

To learn more about Paul and his amazing books go to:


The next Author I want to introduce you to is Renee Garrison, one of my fellow SYP Publishing constituents. Renee is a former reporter for the Tampa Tribune and the Author of the Award Winning Book, The Anchor Clankers.

“What if you were the only girl living in a private boys boarding school? Suzette LeBlanc moves into the Sandford Navel Academy when her dad becomes its Commandant.  Walking through the school lobby she feels like something on a specimen slide in biology class. It doesn’t help that she’s nearsighted and refuses to wear her ugly glasses.” That sounds exactly what I would have loved to read when I was a girl. Oh who am I kidding?! I’d love to read it now

Read more about Renee at:


The last Author I want to share with you is my good friend, Mark  Wayne Adams. Mark is not only the  author of the Family Tree Series, he’s a publisher, and illustrator of some amazing children’s book, and speaks regularly at schools across the country. Mark also works with SYP Publishing, and has been a great mentor to me. In fact, it was at his urging that I entered Lottite Loser in the 2017 Florida Authors and Publishers Presidential Awards.

OUTBACK Brothers & Sinisters

“Mark Wayne Adams created the award-winning Family Tree Novel series to be read and savored. This adventurous Outback coming-of-age story conjures the magical Never Never land for readers internationally. From creeks, caves, and bluffs, discover the magic of a small town with Driew Qweepie.”  Sounds like an adventure to be enjoyed by your entire family.

Connect with Mark at:

I hope that you investigate these authors, both on their websites and at Amazon. They are truly special people with a gift for storytelling.  You can also find out more about the other great SYP Authors at:

Wishing you another day of reading, and a week filled with all the thinks you love! Like books!!


Dana L.

NaNoWriMo 2018

Last year, when I was just learning my way around Twitter, I kept seeing #NaNoWriMo in tweets, or people were asking who was participating. Not wanting to seem ignorant, I reached out to an author I was following and asked her.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it’s a great way to stay accountable to writing. Last year I finished The Greysons during NaNoWriMo, and this year my goal is to complete my current WIP. Most people start with a clean slate and write a complete novel during the month of November, but since it’s not in my DNA to have two books going at once,I’m a little bit of a rogue!

Since you have signed up for my website, and been faithful readers of my books, I’ve decided to share a little bit about my work in progress with you. But please, keep it to yourselves! Membership has its privileges, right?!

The title of my new book…and this is the first time I’ve shared this…is The Four Seasons of Summer. 🎉 The main character, or protagonist, is a woman closer to my age, whose name is Summer.

Summer is struggling with getting older and yearns for her lost youth even though she feels she has the perfect life. A handsome husband of thirty-five years, two grown sons who are educated and successful, and her own web design businesses aptly named, The Four Seasons of Summer. But when a younger man, with a tragic past, emails Summer for help with his new website, her life goes into a tailspin, and she begins to question the Blessed existence she thought she had.

Is your curiosity peaked?? I hope so, although I have no idea when Summer will release. That does bring me to a good point though. Do you follow me on Amazon? Did you know that if you do they will alert you whenever I have a book release? It’s really a nice feature and very easy to do. Just go to
or look my books up in Amazon, and find the Follow box. Click there and you’re good to go. My Amazon Page has all the information about my life as an author too, and I’d love for you to read it.💖

Well, I need to get back to writing if I’m going to meet my goal of finishing The Four Seasons of Summer this month.

I love feedback and you can leave it in a comment box on the website, or by responding to the Wake-up Wednesday email.

Wishing you a perfect week with no snow! Just thinking about it makes me cold!❄️


Dana L.




How Do You Choose?

The last time you were at the library, or shopping for reading material online, why did you chose what you did? Was it because you enjoy a certain genre, or because the cover jumped out at you, or did you even think about it?

I used to go to the library and head directly to the New Releases.  If one of my favorite authors didn’t have a new book out I was always able to find a snazzy cover, or enticing blurb to make my choice easy, but today I’m more discerning.

Maybe it happened when I became an author, or maybe it’s because I’m older and wiser now, but today I chose my books carefully. I love reading a series. That’s probably why Lottie Loser went from one book to at least three! Knowing the characters intimately is what makes a book real for me, and it’s also why I don’t enjoy audio books.  When I read, the images in my head bring the book to life, and I want a quiet room so my imagination can run wild!

The same question can be asked of writers. How do you chose what you write? Is there a style to your writing? Today at the Winchester Writers Group we discussed it, and to be honest, I had never thought about a writing style.  One person said they write to educate, my dad would have loved that, but most of us said we write to entertain. I know for me, I want people to love and become familiar with my characters, just as I do with other author’s work.

My brother loves to read true stories about people or places in history, and he’s always encouraging me to read them, too.  The thing is, for the most part that’s not how I want to spend my leisure time. That’s education to me, and I want to be entertained.

Reading and writing are both personal choices. I know people who love to write short stories, but that’s never been my interest. I’m not big on reading poetry either, yet some of it captures my soul.

So the next time you buy or borrow a book, or sit down at a computer to write, think about your choice, and if it has any significance. It could be the book cover is pink and you really like pink, or you saw the leaves falling and it brought a story to mind. The greatest part is, it doesn’t really matter. As long as you continue to do what you love, you’ve made the right choice.

Are you old enough to remember the song School Days?

”Reading and ‘riting and ‘rithmetic” we’re part of the lyrics, but I say let’s forget the ‘rithmetic and just read and write!

Wishing you a Blessed week..

Dana L.




Five Items, One Story!

Two week’s ago I shared with you about the new Winchester Writers group, and the take home assignment I gave them at the end of that first meeting.  Today they brought their stories back, and I have to say, I was blown away by how good they are. If you remember I gave them a tray with five items on it and their stories needed to include each item. The stories are unique, and the individual writer’s feelings come through clearly.  Some are still in the beginning stage, but I am so impressed that I’m giving you a sample of each one as my Blog today. What you read below is unedited or changed in anyway by me. Enjoy!

Cinderella Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

She felt a little like Cinderella, but a whole lot more like Miss Hannibal from “Annie”. As she gradually woke from her stupor, fully-clothed, she squinted her heavy, hazel eyeballs to take stock of where she was. She noticed the fake candle with it’s flicker still on and her right foot with the shoe off. Her left foot was still encased with her pricey, emerald Jimmy Choo. Panicked, to be sure the other was nearby, she jerked herself up from the comfy divan. Her head throbbed badly, she collapsed backwards so fast she miss-judged the edge and fell on the floor.


As the Pump Pole Rolls

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP….As the alarm screamed I rolled over and growled, “Mindy…” Oh, that’s right she’s at the hospital with Joey. Well, I guess life doesn’t move unless I get up. Oh, that’s not true! J.J. the mighty seven-year-old doesn’t need me to move, my guess is he’s already up watching Pokémon. I slowly get out of bed and turn off the evil alarm clock that always ruins my day. As I walk out of the bedroom I hear, “Good morning, Daddy.” Yep there he is watching Pokémon snuggled in my chair with his blanket and Dog Dog. I head to the kitchen to start the day by looking at the calendar to see what the day holds for the ——- family. As soon as I look at the calendar my face turns white. I forgot that Abbey and J.J. have a doctor’s appointment at noon.


A Hated Name

Another Saturday afternoon and Mike, aka Bluto, was in his dingy office of the basement at work. His boss had once again intruded on his time.

The latest in a string of personal sleights and insults.

That name, Bluto, he hated it. He never got used to being called it, from the moment he heard it in kindergarten at Maple Elementary, 30 years ago on the very first day of school.  His first lesson. The world was cruel.


The Party At The Thrasher House

The girls had gotten more or less moved into their new house after the drama with Jenny had subsided. Joy said “hey it’s Friday ifht, let’s have a party.” They loaded up into Madison’s Super Sport and headed into town. Madison’s protests fell on deaf ears. She was wanting to keep this thing small but the other two girls wanted at least a case of beer and a couple of fifths on top of what they normally drank. Madison had no idea what she normally drank. Throughout her teen year’s Madison’s highly religious mother had installed in the young lady the perils of alchohol.


The Jagged Nail

Picking at my ragged fingernail, I try to remember where we keep the keys. Such an easy thing has me baffled. I try to talk myself down and remind myself to count slowly, envisioning what it is I’m trying so desperately to find. I see them now, snuggled in between the Cabin in the Woods candle and the frame. That damn, menacing frame. The frame holds the Cleavers, white Pickett fence and all. A sham. A scam. Maybe even a conspiracy of sorts, I’m sure.



My friend Jesus is awesome. He is always teaching me Spanish words. He doesn’t go to church, though. I guess that’s normal; most people are leaving the church.

Today’s word was “pais”. It means country. The girls I work with call Jesus a dirty Mexican. He’s actually from Guatemala. I don’t know what city he’s from, or even the capital of Guatemala! He’ll teach me with time.

Every now and then at the diner we get a rich businessman as a customer. Emily is smart, I guess, and grabs their tables before any of the other servers do. She can make a day’s wages within an hour.


What you read above are snippets of the stories that were turned in to me today. If I had space for each story in its entirety, you would see that each one deals with the struggles of everyday life for someone. I’m extremely proud of this group of writers, and that’s exactly what they are.  Writers’s, looking for their voice.

Use your voice for good this week! Spread some joy; it’s the best thing you can do!

As Always,

Dana L.




One Small Spark Guest Blog by Jackie Minniti


Every so often, a character takes up residence in a writer’s mind and refuses to leave until his story is told. That’s what happened to me with my latest novel, One Small Spark. I really had no intention of writing another middle grade historical, but an eleven-year-old boy who lived in Boston in the 1760s had a different idea.

This is how I got to know Christopher Seider.

I’d learned in elementary school that Crispus Attucks was the first casualty of the American Revolution, so imagine my surprise when I found out that I’d been mistaken for more than sixty years. It happened one evening while I was channel surfing and came across a program on National Geographic titled Legends and Lies: The Patriots. I’m not sure what it was about the show that caught my attention, but I put down the remote and settled in to watch it. The storyline focused on the period immediately preceding the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. Boston was in crisis. Part of the population wanted to break away from England , but not enough were actually willing to take up arms. The colonists were engaged in a boycott of British goods that was taking its toll on the English economy. Samuel and John Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock, and some other patriots had formed a secret society they called “The Sons of Liberty” to try to foment anti-British sentiment. They recruited a gang of boys to harass merchants who broke the boycott and vandalize their businesses. British soldiers were occupying the city because of the unrest, which added to the colonists’ outrage.

Enter young Christopher Seider. The son of poor German immigrants, Christopher was working as a servant in the home of Grizell Apthorp, a wealthy widow. On a cold February day, Christopher joined  a gang of boys who
were demonstrating against a local merchant named Theophilus Lillie. Lillie had spoken out against the non-importation boycott and became the target of the Sons of Liberty, who enlisted some of the neighborhood ruffians to teach him a lesson. No one is certain why Christopher was present at the protest. Was he a political ally, a curious kid, or just someone who was in the wrong place at the wrong time? While his motive is lost to history, his decision turned out to be a deadly one.

Ebenezer Richardson, a man of ill-repute and a known British informant, tried to intervene on Lillie’s behalf. The gang followed him home and began pelting his house with snowballs and rocks. When an upstairs window broke, Richardson fired his musket into the crowd, injuring one boy and mortally wounding Christopher. Word of this tragedy spread like wildfire, and the colonists were enraged. The Sons of Liberty saw this as the perfect opportunity to promote their cause. Newspapers throughout the colonies recounted in heart-breaking detail the final moments of Christopher’s life. When Christopher was laid to rest in the Granary Burying Ground, over two thousand Bostonians attended his funeral.Speeches were made by local dignitaries touting the bravery of the little lad. More than 500 schoolboys walked in a procession behind his coffin, which bore a velvet drape with a Latin inscription that read, “The serpent lurks in the grass. The fatal dart is thrown. Innocence is nowhere safe . ” By the time the sun set on February 26, 1770, the colonists were ready to take the final step toward armed revolt. A week later, five Bostonians, including Crispus Attucks, were killed in what became known as the Boston Massacre, and the American
Revolution was underway.

When I clicked off the television, I was amazed that I’d never heard of Christopher Seider. How could someone so pivotal to our country’s past become lost to history? When I went to bed that night, Christopher whispered to me in my dreams, and I knew then I’d have to tell his story.

The next day, I began my research and discovered that, while there were accounts of Christopher’s death and mentions of him in some history books, no one had written a book about him. Since he was the
perfect age for a middle grade novel, I decided to write for that audience. This led to a thorny problem. I knew I couldn’t make Christopher the focal character because he would eventually be killed, and that’s
not something that would sit well with younger readers. After thinking about this for a few days, I decided to tell the story from the point of view of a boy who became his friend. I thought Christopher would like that. And as I wrote, the Christopher Seider in my head began to come to life on paper. When I finally typed The End , I could almost see Christopher jump from my head into my pages. I hope his story will be an inspiration to young readers, and I’m glad that they won’t have to wait sixty years (like I did) to meet this important young man.

One Small Spark by Jackie Minniti

Publisher: Anaiah Press

Imprint: Adventures

Release Date: October 9, 2018

Amazon link: (Hold down on picture and it will take you to Amazon for a preview and the link to purchase)

A mysterious message on a scrap of paper.

A shadowy group whose motives are unclear.

A political struggle that pits friend against friend, neighbor against neighbor, and father against son.

Eleven-year-old Benjamin Pembroke’s safe, sheltered life is turned upside-down when he meets a strange boy who becomes an unlikely friend in troubling times. Unfortunately, Benjamin has no way of knowing that his future, as well as the future of his country, will be changed forever.

Author Bio:

Jackie Minniti is a former teacher and journalist. She is the award-winning author of Project June Bug and Jacqueline. Several of her stories have been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul collections. She lives in Treasure Island, Florida, with her husband and two noisy macaws.

You can find Stephanie at:




Winchester Writers!

This summer I was struggling to write, and felt the need for a writers group. I found one in Muncie, and while it sounded great, they met monthly on Saturday afternoons, and that just wasn’t an optimal time for me. So one day I was lamenting to David Edmonds, multiple Award Winning Author, and retired writing professor, and he asked me, “Are you a leader or a follower?” My response was, “well I used to be a leader.”

That conversation stayed with me for weeks, and one day I took a notice to the Winchester Library to see if anyone else was interested.  Much to my surprise five people signed up, and I finally got the courage to make this goal a reality.

If you remember the story of my Fairytale, then you know that I’m big on making dreams come true, so I reached out to the Florida Writers Association for guidance. As it turned out they were more than happy to allow our group in Indiana to fall under their umbrella, and the Winchester Writers was born!

Today was our first meeting, and it went so well! Six people besides me attended, three women and three men, all from different walks of life.  A retired special-ed teacher, a retired Army Staff Sargent, a pastor, a career newspaper journalist, a part time preschool teacher, and a recent college graduate. It was such a diverse group, and I know everyone will bring something unique to the table.

Our meetings will be held every other Tuesday at the Winchester Library from 10:00-noon, in the Carnage room.  If you are interested in joining, or know someone who might be, please have them email me at

Ever since I made the decision to become involved in a writing group my love for writing has come back, so while my current WIP is not part of the AMI Series, it is still in the Women’s Fiction genre. I won’t share the title just yet, but the protagonist’s name is Summer, and she’s someone closer to my age.

My dad used to have a record by Frank Sinatra that he played all the time. I was just a kid and thought it was cheesy,  but it was about Fairytales coming true. Now that I’m not such a kid, I realize how important it is to have a dream, and to never let it die.

”Fairytales can come true, they can happen to you…..”

Have  Blessed week, and never stop believing in Fairytales!

Dana L. 🌴







Three Authors (or Four) You Should Know!

Becoming an author has been an amazing ride, but I’ve found out that meeting other authors, and buying their books is addictive! That being said, I hope you will check out the author’s below, and better yet, buy and read their books!

The books I’m highlighting are ones I bought at the Decatur Book Festival on Labor Day.  Two of them were for gifts, and one is all mine!

Jilly That’s Silly is the second book in a series by Christa Carpenter Blaney, illustrated by Mark Wayne Adams. It’s the story of girls and their mom’s, and I bought it for our son in law’s sister, who gave birth to her first child, a daughter, while we were in Decatur.  Being able to give Baby Nora a book signed to her by both the author and illustrator, will be a keepsake I hope she will cherish.  The other books in the series are Nicholas That’s Ridiculous, about a boy and his mom, and the newest addition, Eddie That’s Spaghetti, about the family’s dog.

Lisbeth, written by Marina Brown, is for me! It’s the story of Claire Ellison who finds herself compelled to rebuild the house her mother inhabited forty years before. The synopsis on the back is extremely provocative and these words are in bold print.  Can the quest for revenge remain alive after death?  This will be a book for a rainy fall afternoon, wrapped in a throw with a hot cup of tea beside me. And yes, Sofi on my lap!

COCHABAMBA, written by Brinn Colenda, is my bother’s birthday present. It’s the story of a retired Air Force helicopter pilot, and his workings as an ExPat. Since Tom was in the Air Force, and likes military intrigue, I thought it was perfect for him.

In my picture is a fourth book, and it’s one that is bittersweet to share with you. The author, J Haviland, passed  away this summer, and this will be his last book. I never met Jaeme, but we both published our work with Southern Yellow Pine Publishing, and had talked through Facebook. Goldhead was a Bronze Medal winner, and is available through the publisher if you are interested. The synopsis reads “Two stories of greed and violence separated by four and a half centuries…..” Sounds pretty interesting!

Books have been my best friends since I was ten years old. They take me to places I might never get to visit on my own, and introduce me to characters whose lives are much more exciting than mine.  Even though I still have my Kindle, I’ve found that nothing beats holding a real book in my hand.

Make it a wonderful week, and if you have kids, or grandkids, don’t forget to read to them! There’s power in the written word.


As Always,

Dana L.




Interview with Author Talya Tate Boerner

  1.  When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved writing and reading. And, I always thought I would write a book someday. The funny thing is I never planned to be an actual writer. I imagined I would write a book in my spare time the same way one might cut the grass on Saturday afternoon. I have a degree in economics from Baylor University and spent my entire professional career in banking, most recently as a commercial lender in Dallas. But six years ago after a crystal-clear “aha” moment, I walked away from my banking career, returned to my home state of Arkansas, and threw my heart into writing full time.

2.  Where did the inspiration for The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee come from?

My childhood. I grew up on a cotton farm in northeast Arkansas near the Mississippi River. Our farm and soil and way of life is a huge part of who I am. Although the plot-line of Accidental Salvation is fictional, much of Gracie Lee’s world and the folks in it are based on real places and people from my life. And by the way, we still own our farm in the Arkansas delta.


3.   Is the counting like Gracie Lee did, One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, and so on, something that comes from your childhood, or does it come from your imagination?


Wait, don’t all kids count in Mississippis? LOL. Yes, I learned as a child that it took a full second to pronounce the word Mississippi. (Maybe living on the Mississippi River made this a thing for my friends and me?) Anyway, to estimate a minute while waiting for school to let out or piano lessons to be over, I counted in Mississippis. And I thought Gracie Lee should do the same thing.

4.  Gracie’s daddy was short tempered, just plain mean in her estimation.  Why?

The short answer—he carries the stress of farming on his shoulders, and he drinks too much. As a child, Gracie doesn’t understand how stressful farming can be for the entire family. She only sees the effects of it and labels it as a continuous bad mood.

5.  How much of yourself is in Gracie Lee?

Gracie is certainly part of me. But she’s much braver and more inquisitive than I was at her age. She has a voice and wants to be heard. I consider her to be a ten-year-old version of me with fifty years of hindsight.

6.  I love the name Grace Lee Eudora Abbott. Does it have any special meaning to you?

There is significance to Gracie’s name. When I set out to name my protagonist, I wanted her to dislike something about her name. I grew up with a name often mispronounced. As a kid, I found it annoying and wondered why my parents didn’t bless me with a “normal” name. Rather than give my protagonist a hard-to-pronounce name, I gave her four names which I imagined would be confusing to a child. I knew she needed a double first name—Gracie Lee—because that’s a very southern thing. I decided on Gracie because of spiritual themes in the story (and because my blog is Grace, Grits and Gardening), and Lee because that was my Dad’s middle name. In the story, Gracie’s dad added Eudora to her name in honor of his favorite southern storyteller, Eudora Welty.

7.  Did you intend The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee to be a Young Adult novel? How do you feel about it now?

Although the protagonist is ten-years-old, Accidental Salvation is classified as Adult Literary Fiction because the topics and themes of religion, family, and abuse are mature. But, I’ve discovered the book has crossed over into Young Adult which pleases me. It has been popular with a wide audience including both women and men, book club readers, high school and middle school readers. I believe there’s a little bit of Gracie Lee in all of us.

8.  How has your life changed since becoming an author?

My world has expanded in ways I never imagined. I went from focusing on a left brain career to right brain living. This journey has connected me to the most incredible readers and writers. As a writer, I push myself to take on more creative endeavors, and I feel more in tune with the natural world. Doing what one is meant to do is eye-opening. I highly recommend it!

9.  Tell us about your current work in process?

I don’t like to reveal too much too early. For now, I’ll just say my next book is a memoir (or perhaps creative non-fiction) about aging parents and my own mid-life crisis. It’s set in Dallas. The completed manuscript is currently in the hands of my editor. Fingers crossed it will be published in 2019.

10.  Some authors make outlines, others use journals for their ideas before actually writing. What is your writing process?

I keep a daily journal and do my serious writing in the morning when my mind is freshest. I don’t outline, but I do keep a timeline of events as they unfold in my story. I write long-hand first and do an initial edit when inputting into my Mac-book. My goal is to write four hours a day and read two hours a day.

11.  When reading for your own pleasure do you have a specific genre that you enjoy?

I enjoy a wide variety of genres and read an average of 5 – 7 books per month. My favorites are historical fiction, classics, memoir, and non-fiction. I LOVE Newbery Award-winning literature, too. Currently, I’m trying to read those books I’ve not yet read that were included on PBS’s Great American Read list.

12.  How would you pitch Gracie Lee to a movie producer?

Oh, elevator pitches are the most difficult! But I’ll give it a go… In the early 1970s, ten-year-old Arkansas farm girl, Gracie Lee Abbott, sets out to save her family from her alcoholic daddy. She longs for something more, takes solace in a mysterious gray house, and over time, confides her sins to Brother Brown, the somewhat boring preacher of Boon Chapel Baptist Church. As her dad’s disease progresses, Gracie’s grit and gumption sets into motion an escape and redemption that surprises even herself. Filled with both honey and vinegar, Accidental Salvation will make you laugh and cry and perhaps remind you of your own young dreams.

13.  What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

Write and read every day. Find mentors. Expect to put in lots and lots of time and treat your writing like a start-up business. Much like anything worth doing, writing takes time and dedication. And when you want to put down your pen and quit, keep going.

14.  What has been the best part about becoming an author?

Receiving emails and reviews from readers who say Accidental Salvation touched them, reminded them of something they had forgotten. Seeing my book on the shelves of Barnes and Noble and at various libraries is a huge thrill, too.


15.  What’s one thing about you readers should know?

I still have a crush on Donny Osmond.

How can we find you? Social Media, website, etc.

Find me here:
Author Website: Talya Tate Boerner
Facebook: Author Page: Talya Tate Boerner
Goodreads: Talya Tate Boerner
Blog: Grace Grits and Gardening

Facebook: Grace Grits and Gardening
Instagram: gracegrits

Twitter: @gracegrits

Thank you Talya for your time, and for your wonderfully delightful novel, The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee. You can find Gracie on Amazon, in print book, eBook and Audible Audiobook.. It’s also available on Barnes & Noble, and at Southern Yellow Pines Publishing.

Make it a reading kind of week!


Dana L.