For almost a month now, I've been giving sneak peeks into MY story in the novella collection releasing TOMORROW! But today, I'm passing the torch and letting Heather Greer post about her story and why winter is such an intrinsic part of it. Be sure to read to the end so you won't miss the next clue in our scavenger hunt!
Spring is too wet and the ground is a big muddy mess. Summer is too hot and not even the draw of a great glass of lemonade can make it less so. Autumn is perfect. Always. Winter is often cold and dark.
Why, then, did I choose winter for my novella, Sugar and Spice? While the temperatures may leave something to be desired, I cannot deny the beauty of the season.
Despite the cold, there’s beauty in winter. When snow blankets the bare branches of trees and rests on the needles of evergreens set against a wintery blue sky, the result is breathtaking. When sunlight hits the snow-covered ground creating an ocean of sparkling diamonds out of the field behind my house, the two sights blend with the unique hush accompanying snow to evoke a sense of serenity.
So let's talk shop today. And by shop, I mean quilt shops. Why? Because my story, The Missing Piece, is set in one. One based off a few others I've been to.
I don't know if you've ever been in a quilt shop or not, but if you haven't, let me tell you. They're a lot of fun. You walk in and automatically your eyes are drawn to multiple things. Because fabric is fun. Full of colors and patterns and ideas of projects yet to happen.
And as far as I can tell, women who work in quilt shops are fun, too. Because they have a passion for the art of sewing/quilting. And that's definitely something that speaks to my soul.
So, my story is set in a quilt shop called The Missing Piece. It's in an old house that was redone into a store, but still has the character of different rooms and areas for fabric to be. There's a classroom in the back corner of the house (the former master bedroom), a room set up for people who need a place to sew, cutting tables here and there, and, of course, shelves of fabric.
Did I model this after a real shop? Yes and no.
Tommy England moved away from Sassafras, Arkansas right after high school. When he landed a job straight out of college, he stayed in Memphis, growing in the web design business. But when his mom passed away in the Spring, his world turned over.
Now, he's back to help his dad go through things ... and work with Marsha and Beth at The Missing Piece, to see if they can get the books back in order. Because his mom's notes are confusing everyone and bills are falling through the cracks.
Of course, other perks to being back in town are seeing his lifetime best friend Beth again, too. But she doesn't seem as happy about it.
You know I always love to introduce you to my characters before my story releases. Today, you get to know Beth a little bit.
Beth grew up with her best friend Tommy playing in their mothers' quilt shop, The Missing Piece. Now that she's all grown up, she's part-owner and still spends most of her time at the store. It's perfect except for one thing. Tommy moved away after high school and didn't come back ... until this summer. Now, she's struggling with years' of hurt and isn't sure how to handle him being back in town.
Have you ever played in a Weeping Willow? Yes, it's a tree. No, they're not usually for climbing. But when my family lived in Mississippi, a friend had a big willow in her front yard and the branches hung all the way to the ground. We could brush them aside and crawl under there and it was like a great big green canopy all around us. Just perfect for imaginations.
I didn't see many willows when we lived in Texas, but back in middle Tennessee, there are quite a few in the area. And every time I pass one, I'm tempted to crawl under.
What does all this have to do with summer?
Want to know a secret?
I don't like watermelon.
Okay, so maybe it's not a secret, but it does come in to play in my new novella releasing September 27. Because my character Beth doesn't like it, either.
So, why set my story in a little town during Watermelon Festival time?
If you've ever been to New Orleans, you'll know Jackson Square is one of the best places to visit. It's full of history, museums, shops, and the sidewalks often have vendors and artists. So, it was a no-brainer to have my characters exploring the area in Destination: Romance.
Of course, as an author, I get to play a little loose with reality as I describe things that happen there. When I visited New Orleans as a teen, I don't remember seeing a caricature artist there. But let's be honest, it fits. So, when my characters find one, it feels right even if it never happened to me in real life.
Of course, a book needs more than just two characters. Today, we're going to chat about a few of the other characters in my book that releases NEXT WEEK, Destination: Romance.
This is a place for me to tell you about what I'm writing, talk about the process or where some of my ideas came from, or even have other authors come in and talk about their books.
Authors I Love to Read (in no particular order)