January 10, 2011

Finding God in Your Story Setting

My books aren’t historical, but I adore historical novels, and some of my very favorite authors are members of the Writes of Passage blog. Last week, I was tremendously honored to be a guest blogger there, and I thought I would share with you my blog post from that day. 

My contemporary romance series, Seasons of the Tallgrass, “reads like historical fiction” and has been promoted as Contemporary Prairie Romance—something that just tickles me to pieces. Below are some pictures from one of my  “research trips” into the Flint Hills of Kansas, the setting for my book series. Some of my most cherished moments in life have occurred while driving off-the-beaten-path into the heart of these rolling pastures.


On this particular November day, the north winds were trying to blow in a storm, but we managed to stay dry--cold but dry. And the prairie colors couldn’t have been more beautiful.

“I heard the prairie call to me, its words a whisper on my heart, and I knew that I was home.” from Snow Melts in Spring.



Cattle Guards are used in the open range to keep cattle within their pasture boundaries without the use of gates. A very nifty invention. In case you haven’t guessed, my books deal with ranching, horses, and family conflict . . . with some romance thrown in for fun.



Pictured above, my husband pretending he's a movie director. I first fell in love with the Flint Hills while attending college at Emporia State University. And while these hills were my first love, the man above claimed my heart a few years later and has never let go. We’ll celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary in February.




My road to publication has been long and winding, just like this back road through the Flint Hills. But it’s been a joyous adventure and well worth the wait. I’m currently working to finish my third book with Zondervan, Blades of Autumn (release date to be announced). What I find most rewarding, however, is how with each book, I learn a little something new about myself and my faith in God.



Just like in this closing picture—when the sun peaked out and smiled on us, reminding me that God is always with me. Each time I drive out into the Flint Hills, my heart soars, and I’m touched by God’s presence in the simplicity of that rolling prairie. Do you have a favorite place that warms your heart?
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