I enjoy the study of history, especially when combined with fiction. An avid traveler and reader, I also teach Spanish and French and have degrees in French, Spanish, and Journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. I received my MA in English from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. Presently, I live in north Louisiana with my husband and rescue kittens.
I’m beginning to understand hashtags. Some of my favorites are #amwriting, #am reading, #amediting, and #amreading. I am doing all of these every day.
Today, I want to inform my readers that I am writing. I endeavor to put my open to paper daily as I create fictional characters answering life’s questions. My writing did not end with the finale of the Revolutionary Faith Series. I still dream and plot about those beloved characters.
I’m writing my next series called Gardens in Time. The series contains my love of gardens, history, and travel. Each of the four novels will be set in a different century and country. I chose a favorite place with a fantastic garden and an era with captivating circumstances.
It’s not time for a cover reveal, although I do have the cover for Labor of Love, Gardens in Time Book One. Set in 1560 Florence, Italy, the main character Ana finds her solace and worth in the medicinal gardens of Pitti Palace. As a distant cousin of the Medici rulers, she acts as a companion to the duke’s daughter. Intrigue and mystery interrupt her freedom to roam the Boboli gardens. Labor of Love is set for release in February 2022.
The second book, Promise of Purity, is finished! I’m editing it before I send it to be professionally edited. Set in 1660 at Hampton Court Palace in England, Kate, a Puritan baker’s daughter finds the clashing of two worlds as she helps create a stunning garden for the king’s mistress. The worldly court strings mess with her Puritan ties.
The third book, Whispers of Wisdom, is waiting patiently to be inputted and edited. This one holds a piece of my heart for the chateau, Chenonceau, is my favorite place on earth. I’m researching for the fourth book which will be set in Switzerland. Fun times!
My other projects are many including a few short stories and ideas for a new series. I appreciate your interest.
Now, tell me what you are doing this summer. Use a hashtag or not!
Summer is here, and we are celebrating with a huge giveaway for you so you can stock up on books!
I have partnered up with Celebrate Lit Publicity to do an amazing giveaway where you can win a spectacular prize of over 40 books or a $500 Amazon gift card to buy books you love to enjoy over your summer. How exciting!
Be sure to enter Celebrate Lit’s 2nd Annual Summer Kick Off of Books Multi-Author Giveaway going on now through June 19!
Rising opera star, Juliana Chamberlain, still has nightmares of the night she witnessed the assassination of the President of the United States from her spot on stage at Ford Theater. Recruited by The Pinkerton Detective Agency, Juliana was instrumental in bringing those responsible to justice.
Now, two years later, the Pinkertons ask her once again to join forces in exposing a corrupt political organization terrorizing her home in Texas.
Texas Ranger, Cade Matlock, has a job to do. He needs no help from a meddlesome diva with big ideas. However, he is a man of his word. He’s committed to partner with the lovely songstress to smoke out the mastermind of a dangerous clan who has proven he will stop at nothing to satisfy his thirst for vengeance.
Cade and Juliana soon discover their greatest strength is in working together until shadows of the past threaten to destroy their future.
Texas Ranger, Pinkerton, undercover agents, and an opera singer. What a combination! Adding the Reconstruction gives rise to a lively tale. I had forgotten what a volatile time it was following the Civil War. Even though not “at war,” the fighting, uncertainty, and hatred remained. And Texas, as the great state’s reputation of independence grew, had quite a few interesting quirks involving trust and support of the US government.
Amid the drama of the uncovering of an evil ring of malicious would-be rulers, the author unfolds a layer of history often unnoticed or unreported. The same happened after the American and French revolutions. What now? After so much death and destruction, how do citizens recapture a lifestyle of peace and prosperity? Each major war has a list of ongoing causalities as well as ones wanting to continue the fight or create new divisive sects. Bravo to the author for weaving a history lesson into the novel.
About the Author
Lori Bates Wright is an award winning author with a love for history.
Raised in New Mexico, Lori now lives in Texas with her husband of 38 years. She has two grown kids and four adorable grand boys (who leap tall buildings in a single bound!) When she’s not writing, she’s heading up small group ministries with her husband. She enjoys speaking and interacting with women of all ages.
More from Lori
Growing up, my family loved to laugh.
Some of my favorite childhood memories are centered around my grandmother’s dining room table listening in while my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles told amazing stories. Sometimes I laughed until I’d lose my breath. Sometimes I sat quietly, taking in the bravery and perseverance shown by those who’d gone before me.
History has been a passion ever since. Couple that with an insatiable love for story and there you have the heart of what inspires me to write.
So, when it came time to brain-storm for this brand new series, I decided to take a known historical event and think about it from every angle. Beyond the recognized players, to the “what if” characters that might have played a role. And, ultimately, how such an event would have changed the course of their lives.
Thus, a star was born.
In THE SONGSTRESS, Juliana Chamberlain witnessed the assassination from her place on the stage. Because I love a little mystery and intrigue, I decided that the leading detective agency of the day would have enlisted her help in identifying the accomplices. Allen Pinkerton had been known to hire a lady detective or two, so she would be trained by the best. Her investigative skills proved helpful in bringing a quick resolution to the case.
Fast forward four years and she’s still haunted by what she saw that night. When Pinkerton again approaches her about a case involving her family in Texas, she accepts.
Being from Texas, I was so happy she did. I’ve wanted to write a story based in the Lone Star State for quite awhile. I loved visiting Georgia and the shores of England in my last series, but I have to say it was good to bring this one home. With all the rugged charm of the post-Civil War era, this book has a little more local flavor than my last three. Al-in-all, I believe my readers are in for a treat. A new cast of fun, quirky characters as we revisit a significant time in our nation.
So, here’s to new beginnings! Or as we say in Texas, “Hang on, y’all are in for a wild ride!”
Confession: I LOVE the zoo. Pretty much any zoo. It doesn’t have to be the Audubon Zoo or the San Diego Zoo. When I was a child the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo opened in Monroe, Louisiana. What a joy and a source of instant entertainment. I spent one day this week there and was flooded with memories.
Through the years I’ve seen some impressive animals at some awesome zoos—London Zoo, Memphis Zoo, Chicago Zoo, and Central Park Zoo. I always love the smaller ones. A recent one is the zoo in Lafayette, Louisiana.
During the pandemic, I’ve noticed the zoos have been able to spend time and resources on the grounds as they cared for the animals. I support their efforts and continued desire to make the habitats conducive to a productive lifestyle for the animals. My heart and sentiments realize the wild is where they should be. But the reality is for some reason they reside in the zoos where many of them have been born and raised.
Bravo for the zoos that strive to recreate a natural environment for our animal friends.
What is your favorite animal (wild)? I love the llama and the sloth.
Pricilla Middleton only attended the Lemoore house party to keep her friend out of trouble. Now, her only chance to keep from becoming a gossip column headline is to sneak aboard her brother’s ship and pretend she’d been visiting him instead of taking part in the debacle. Before she can speak to her brother, the ship sets sail, and the man in charge is not at all who she expects.
Captain Tobias Prescott, son of an infamous war hero, has been assigned on a critical mission to deploy warships in St. Kitts for battle in New Orleans. Unfortunately, his orders require him to assume command of a friend’s ship, and he must weigh anchor the instant the former captain is escorted down the gangplank. When they reach open waters, the last thing he expects is to find a woman hiding in the captain’s cabin, yet his mission is too urgent to return her to England.
The Middleton name has always brought Tobias trouble, and Pricilla is no exception. As the waters clear and the temperature warms, the danger escalates too. Yet Tobias discovers the intuitive and strong woman who struggles to hide her anxiety is nothing like her disloyal brother. He may lose the opportunity to help his country, but perhaps he can still save the woman who’s rescued his heart.
Lorri Dudley is a new-to-me author. Although The Captain’s Quest is book 4 in the Leeward Islands series, it works perfectly as a stand alone novel. After finishing the novel, I have put the other three on my Amazon list. From the mischievous shenanigans on the very first pages, the reader becomes a part of an unrehearsed journey—a stowaway, deserted island, a clever “monkey,” and fermented peaches, and turning lives upside down while tangling with a spy ring—but for the good or the bad?
Recently, I’ve looked back on decisions, pivotal points, that directed my life. I can pinpoint the journey’s rise and decline by who made the decision—God or me? Why at my “age” do I still want to captain my life? I would enjoy the journey more if I let a seasoned captain make those life changes. Even with my faux pas there is forgiveness and redirection. At least there are lessons to be learned on the wayward courses. But from my experience, the best journey is with God in control.
About the Author
Lorri Dudley has been a finalist in numerous writing contests and has a master’s degree in Psychology. She lives in Ashland, Massachusetts with her husband and three teenage sons, where writing romance allows her an escape from her testosterone filled household. Find her online at www.lorridudley.com.
More from Lorri
Priscilla Middleton’s character begged for her story to be told. The Captain’s Quest is the fourth book in the Leeward Island series. While it can read as a stand-alone, the heroine, Priscilla, had a brief guest appearance at the beginning of book two, The Merchant’s Yield, as Lottie’s closest friend. With Lottie now living on the isle of St. Kitts, that left Priscilla to navigate the London season all on her own. I imagined what mischief a young woman would find whose parents allowed her too much freedom, especially with her friend, the voice of reason, across the Atlantic.
When my close friend moved to Michigan, the loss of her physical presence left me feeling disoriented, lost, and out of place, even in familiar surroundings. There was loneliness, a desperate need to replace what was missing, and fears about being forgotten. In Lottie’s absence, Priscilla clings to an unhealthy friendship, landing herself in a precarious situation, with no other option but to hide aboard her brother’s ship to save her reputation and that of her family.
The biggest issue with running from problems is that we can’t run from ourselves. Priscilla avoids one catastrophe only to walk right into another as Captain Tobias Prescott takes command of the ship. She blames the brooding captain for her predicament only to realize she’s battling the wrong enemy. The more Priscilla tries to hide from the problems she must face within herself, the further she drifts from everyone she knows and the chance to be fully loved.
Although Priscilla’s story was drafted pre-pandemic, her struggles are similar to those that surfaced during the lockdowns. Anxiety, loneliness, isolation, fear, and feelings of being disregarded mounted as the pandemic spread. Vacations, Thanksgivings, and Christmases were canceled. Families couldn’t visit or see each other—the feeling of being forgotten sliced open raw wounds.
Cory Ashbury’s song Reckless Love was popular as I plotted The Captain’s Quest, and the lyrics from the book of Matthew of how God will leave the ninety-nine to chase after the one lost sheep developed Priscilla’s story. Through its comical mishaps, dramatic twists, and struggles to prevail, The Captain’s Quest is a reminder of the heights, depths, and lengths that our great God will go to show His passionate love for us.
I want to challenge each of you to participate in all aspects of this Beach Book Bash!
I’m also excited to invite you to a Beach Book Bash in the “Save the Date Reader Group!” There will be games, authors, giveaways, grand prizes, and did I mention books? We’re all hoping for a spectacular three-day online event this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Join the reader group today and we’ll see you at the party! There are tons of authors and books. I’m looking forward to hanging out with you. Stop in the party one day, or all three!
Also, check out the grand prizes for this event … and enter the rafflecopter for a chance to win 45 paperbacks or one of two $150.00 Amazon eGift Cards! All of the guest authors and Save the Date authors contributed to these prizes.
I am on the schedule. I won’t share when just yet. I want you to visit with the other authors too. Each author has an individaul giveaway! Not only do you have a chance to win the grand prize but also 45 other prizes.
Please consider this a personal invitation. Join the group today so you will get all the updates.
It’s the end of May, and you can tell summer is coming in Southern California. The days are warm, which means it is very nice reading weather. As a mom of three, summer usually means I have more time for reading, and my TBR pile is ready for me to go! What about you?
In this issue, we have several chances for you to win books for your TBR pile plus get updates and personal insights from authors only found here. You don’t want to miss it!
Here is wishing you a wonderful summer!
Until next time, readers.
There are many different divisions to the magazine. Visit all of them for interesting articles and giveaways.
**Stop by and read our #BecauseFiction May Historical Edition with featured authors such as Caryl McAdoo, Marguerite Martin Gray, and Liz Tolsma!
This month I am giving away a copy of Surround Me (Book Two of the Revolutionary Faith series) and Matchmaker’s Best Friend by Kari Trumbo. All you have to do is comment for your chance to win one of the two selections. I’ll pick the winners on May 31. Good luck!
Surround Me by Marguerite Martin Gray: Battles rage in Elizabeth Elliott’s heart as the threat of war invades her hometown. Charles Town, SC, 1773—The dark curtain of the rumors of revolution threatens to descend as Louis Lestarjette makes a permanent break from his homeland and pursues his relationship with Elizabeth.
This is book two of the Revolutionary Faith series following Hold Me Close.
Matchmaker’s Best Friend by Kari Trumbo: When they dated ten years ago as teens, it almost destroyed their friendship. So Pen Reese did the only logical thing. She lied about how she felt—and still feels—about him. She’s still paying for that lie.
This book is part of the Independence Islands series!
Is that island speak for “pompous, arrogant jerk?”
When Carly Mulligan volunteered to make house calls on Elnora, she never imagined treating the richest cat on the islands. What other feline has his own wing in a mansion like the Belshaw Estate?
After a wrong turn in the mansion, Carly stumbles across a secret room—one filled with incredible paintings. Perhaps there’s something more to the man than she first thought.
Most people envy Jean-Luc Belshaw’s position. The heir to a lucrative business and family fortune, he should have everything he could dream of.
But Luc dreams of days past. Days when he traveled the world with his wife and painted the breathings of his soul disappeared with Angeline’s passing. Faith and inspiration gone, he wonders if returning to France to take his place in his father’s business is the right thing to do.
Carly has a few relational demons of her own, and she’s reluctant to trust him, but Luc’s paintings draw her in even as his story touches a long-empty place in her heart.
Only God can transform two broken pasts into a work of art.
The Elnora Monet continues the Elnora Island romances of the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters. The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore
I loved this novel for a few reasons: two cats, art, an island, French, Paris, and a billionaire! I enjoy animals as vital “characters” in novels. With veterinarians such as Carly and her sister, pets reign in the front and center of their daily routine, bringing people together. In their mysterious ways, dogs and cats weave a healthy touch to the human heart. Who would have thought a billionaire’s heart could be pricked by a cat’s plight.
The story takes hardened hearts traumatized by life’s circumstances and the softening power of God’s love through human love to create something new and unforeseen. As a French speaker and lover of all things French, I really enjoyed the aspect of a trip to Paris and a French accent combined with the French language. Those elements added gold stars to my reading joy. Bravo for this addition to the series.
About the Author
Rachel Skatvold is a Christian author and stay-at-home mom from the Midwest. She enjoys writing inspirational romance and encouraging blogs. Rachel completed her first series, the Riley Family Legacy Novellas in 2014 and is now working on the Hart Ranch Series, set in the Montana wilderness and the Ladies of Ardena Series, set in medieval times. She is also a contributing author in the Whispers in Wyoming and Brides of Pelican Rapids Series. Other than writing, some of her hobbies include singing, reading and camping in the great outdoors with her husband and two young sons. You can find more information about Rachel and her books on her website: http://www.rachelskatvold.com.
More from Rachel
Thank you for helping celebrate the release of The Elnora Monet by following this Celebration Tour hosted by Celebrate Lit. I hope you enjoy learning a little more about the characters and what inspired the story. Please follow the other stops on this tour and don’t forget to enter in the giveaway. Thank you!
It has been a wonderful experience working with the talented authors and editors in the Independence Islands Series. Each of these stories has a heartwarming message of faith and the characters always teach me something new. Ever since writing Kendall Mulligan’s story in Her Merriweather Hero, I’ve been excited to share her free-spirited younger sister’s story.
Carly had many struggles in the first book, questioning what purpose God had for her life. This time around, her feet are more grounded, but she still has some growing to do when it comes to faith. Carly has been a fun character to write about because of her witty extroverted personality and some of the humorous predicaments she ends up in…one of them including getting caught snooping around a billionaire’s mansion.
While not outspoken as Carly, I can relate to the character’s search for direction. Sometimes it is difficult learning to trust, especially during troubling times, but we can rely on God’s promises. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; don’t rely on your own intelligence. Know him in all your paths, and he will keep your ways straight.” This verse means so much to me because I know even when I can’t understand something, He is behind the scenes guiding me in the right direction. For Carly, it leads in a direction she never expects, but it is worth it in the end.
Certain parts of the story were inspired by my mom. If you have read Her Merriweather Hero, you know the Mulligan sisters are originally from New England, close to where my mom grew up. I love hearing about her memories of spending time at Nantasket Beach, drinking orange pop, and putting chips in her sandwich so they wouldn’t blow away. Even though I grew up in the Midwest, I still put chips in my own sandwich because of watching her do the same thing and her fridge is always stocked with orange pop to this day. Little bits of my mom’s childhood are weaved into this story, making it close to my heart.
I hope you have enjoyed learning a little more about characters and story behind The Elnora Monet. Now continue reading for a summary of the book and giveaway. Blessings!