“The romantic tension sizzles nearly from the beginning, and readers will often find themselves breathless from the sheer delight of it. The message of redemption is conveyed with such poignant elegance that it will linger long after turning the last page.”
-Carrie Townsend, RT Book Reviews, 5 Gold Stars, Top Pick"I had the pleasure of reading this book and it instantly went to the top of my all time favorites list. I won't share much about the plot as it's just way too fun to discover so I'll just say this - I started it at noon and finished it a bit after midnight and somewhere in between HAD to cook dinner and sort of have a life (which was really difficult!) so OH BOY...this book was so fantastic. Absolutely no surprise that it got 5 stars from RT book reviews. It's one that I read on eBook and plan on getting in paperback as well to have on my keeper shelf and to share with friends!"
-Joanne Bischof, Author
The Memoir of Johnny Devine is a dramatic story-within-a-story of a bad boy reformed and a good girl in need of reform. It’s a powerful tale of love, redemption, intrigue, and the miracle of deliberate grace.
At the Oregon Christian Writer's Conference last week, after dinner Wednesday night, the Cascade Awards were given for published and unpublished works. What a tremendous boost to writers, to be acknowledged for the time, effort, and heart that goes into our work.
When the "Historical Fiction" category came up, I held my breath. For the life of me, I couldn't remember the first line of Johnny's story.
Then I heard this...
"After all the women I've known and all the illusions of romance I've helped create on stage and film, you'd think I was Hollywood's leading expert on love. In fact, many people not only believed this, but banked on it."
I think I stumbled to the stage before my name was actually read---awkward. (I never really know what to do in most important situations, so I'm really lucky if I actually do what I'm supposed to.)
What an honor for Johnny to win this award, and what an honor to be included with such fine authors!
Back at my table, my husband and my publishing team (Ashberry Lane's Christina Tarabochia and Sherrie Ashcraft) were beaming and quietly congratulating me as the award program continued. I confess I was in a fog and didn't catch the winners in other categories I'd hoped to hear.
Then the ceremony turned to the two special awards OCW gives each year. Prolific author and generous mentor Melanie Dobson was awarded the Trailblazer award and everyone cheered.
As the next award was presented, a hush settled across the room. Marilyn Rhoads began to describe the author receiving the 2016 Writer of Promise award. The bio sounded strangely familiar. As Marilyn went on, I heard muffled sobs beside me. Christina and Sherrie were crying--Sherrie audibly. Traci, my super cool conference roommate at the next table, was grinning at me with tears in her eyes. As more of Marilyn's description of this author and her work became clear, my lungs stopped working. (The best thing to do in a situation like that is to actually breathe in AND out so you don't pass out in front of 300 people, and to think of something to say--asap.)
When Marilyn said, "and her book, The Memoir of Johnny Devine is this year's Historical Fiction Cascade Award winner--" the room exploded in cheers and applause.
Marilyn was looking my way, so I of course rose and climbed onto the stage, quaking from the thundering energy in the room.
It wasn't until I reached Marilyn that we all realized she hadn't actually SAID MY NAME yet. Awkward, again, but funny this time--I hope.
As best as I can remember,I thanked the organization, the mentors, and the writing community that I've been blessed to know as a result of being part of OCW. I realized later that I neglected to thank the One whose promise is steadfast and true, and whose gifts and abilities are treasures to be used with confidence and for His glory.
So to Christ, I give my deepest thanks and my renewed commitment to write as he leads and to surrender the work of my hands to his purposes. May he be glorified in each word I write.
Like a Love Song and The Memoir of Johnny Devine are finalists in the OCW Cascade Writing contest! To celebrate, all 3 of my novels will be available for 2.99 for a limited time. Get yours now! And be sure to spread the word!
If you're in the Corvallis, OR area on June 25, we (Leslie Gould, Rebecca DeMarino, Karen Barnett and I) would love to see you! Drop by to chat, hear about the road to publishing from 4 inspirational authors, get a book signed, or browse the bookstore. Open house from 10:00am until 4:00pm, with author panel beginning at 1:00pm
Willamette Valley Christian Supply 916 NW Kings Blvd Corvallis, OR 97330
RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME: I've published three novels and a novella (more about those on my website.) I've been writing stuff - legit literary term - all my life, but decided in 2007 to get serious about being published.
I love action movies and Jane Austen. (she’s dead, I know. I found that out when I tried to get her to endorse my novel)
They let me play Bass guitar and sing in a worship band.
I can produce 4 dozen homemade cinnamon rolls in a flash for a crowd of drooling young adults. Or publishing house editors.
I used to have a Harley. Now we have twenty-something kids. Decent trade, really. The window-rattling grumble isn't quite the same, but we are still enjoying the ride.
I am a proud new Grammie. Don't even think about taking candy from my baby.
I hate shopping (Yes, I'm aware that I'm a girl)
My ringtone is the theme from "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly"(whoo-00-oo-00-oo, waa waa waa)
MY ROOTS: I've lived in Oregon all my life, spent time in Eugene (O! Go DUCKS!), Springfield, Reedsport, and Smith River. Which is not really a town, but a river, about 70 miles long, a tributary of the Umpqua River in southwest Oregon.
Although it's not a town, it is a community with a strong sense of pioneer history. It's cool to say you've lived there, especially if you lived there during the days when you had to take a boat to school. No joke! The old farmhouse my grandfather and my mother grew up in still stands, nestled into a narrow, pasture carpeted valley, complete with a swimmin' hole and its own 'crick'. It may turn up in one of my novels.
There's a rumor that my ancestors had a connection with the Mafia back in Sicily. I used to fantasize as a kid about a big black limo with tinted windows pulling up and whisking me away from school. Ahhh. So THAT'S why I'm having so much trouble conjugating my dangling participles now.
NOT RANDOM: I am challenged by the truth and amazed by the grace of God. And it's either in spite of or because of that grace that I hold a PhD in Learning Stuff the Hard Way.