Friday, January 09, 2015

Friday Fun Facts: Excerpts Abound!

Hey readers, if you haven't stopped by the Passionate Kisses 2 Facebook page lately, you're missing out on a week's worth of great excerpts from the books coming out in February. Get your tease on and read away -- then preorder your copy, releasing February 17th!

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Writers' Wednesday: Visiting Andalusia Farm, the Home of Flannery O'Connor

Last week I had the awesome opportunity to visit Andalusia Farm in Milledgeville, Georgia - the home of American author Flannery O'Connor. If you're not familiar with her work, she wrote primarily about life in the South, featuring flawed (really wacky, in some cases) characters most of whom need to find grace/salvation/God. She was hugely influenced by her surroundings and spent most of her short life on the family farm with her mother, writing, until she died of lupus at the age of 39.

Getting to visit her farm was like touching her creative soul, for me. I felt such a profound connection while I was there, walking the grounds, sitting at her piano in the parlor, peeking into her bedroom and seeing the typewriter where she wrote almost all her short stories, coming eye to eye with one of the peacocks that still live on the grounds (she raised over 40 of them).

I felt inspired and also at peace, because even though the property is set off a fairly main road in a decent-sized town, it's back in the woods, and once you drive up the dirt road to the main house, you definitely feel like you've left modern civilization behind.

If you're ever motoring through south-central Georgia, take time to stop at Andalusia. Even if you're not a writer, it's a neat glimpse into a piece of mid-1900s southern farm living. And if you are a writer, I challenge you NOT to find inspiration in the beauty of the place and the knowledge of a brilliant creative mind that once lived and wrote there:

The backside of the farmhouse - check out the awesome water tower

Her bedroom, where she also wrote (you can see the crutches she used later in life too)

A peacock and I having a "moment"

The beautiful wide front porch - where apparently she entertained quite often and "loved her martinis" according to our tour guide. My kind of writer!

The kitchen where Flannery and her mother ate & discussed affairs of the house and farm. The perfect model for the kitchen in "Good Country People"

Flannery's piano! Yes, I played it while I was there :)

The dairy barn in the back of the property. Again, the perfect model for the hayloft where Joy-Hulga lost her leg in "Good Country People"!

Monday, January 05, 2015

Monday Mentionables: You Need a Little Poetry in Your Life

Good morning, and happy new year!! I hope you all had a wonderful, safe here we are, ready to tackle the first Monday of 2015!

Readers, I'm so happy to announce that the next book in my Hometown Heroes series, Labyrinth of Love, will be releasing this year. I've been working on this book in many variations for a few years now, and I think it's finally going to see the light within the next few months :)

One of the things I love most about this book is that there are 2 love stories, not just 1, and there are love poems written by one of the heroines scattered throughout the book. For all my newsletter subscribers, you're going to get to read some of those poems long before the book releases, because I'll be sending them out weekly.

What? You're not a subscriber yet? Well, click right here to sign up. Don't worry, I will never spam you or sell/give your email address to anyone else. I only send out my newsletter when I have a release or an appearance to share -- or when I have a poem about love I think my readers would like to read as Valentine's Day approaches.

Want a preview? Here's one:

Just once –
            In the dark, or in
            The light, I think that
            Once will be enough, but now
            I know that once is nothing, that once I
            Have touched you, laughed with you, danced in
            Your arms, that once is only the start of twice and three
            Times and forever – forever, the only place this can end.