Happy New Year from the Gulf Coast of Alabama! I’m a multi-published romance author, a member of Romance Writers of America, and former Secretary of Gulf Coast Romance Writers of America. My historical romance, FOREVER AMORE, was a LASR Best Book of 2009 Nominee and my first western romance, BLACKEST HEART, was the 1st Place Novella in the 2009 More Than Magic Contest. My western romance trilogy, the Ridges of Wayback, Texas, was chosen to be published as an audio book collection by AudioLark http://www.audiolark.com/ I’m represented by D4EO Literary Agency and live a mere ten miles from the Gulf with my husband and three labs. Yes, I was born and raised here in Alabama. My father was the same. My mother was born in Kentucky but has lived in Alabama all of her life. I married a man who was born and raised a mere 30 miles away in the same state, and we live within thirty miles of our respective families. “It’s a small world” is especially true for Alabamians, it seems.
Finding inspiration in Alabama has never been difficult. Not when my family spent weekends on the white shores of coastline and a few days out of every hurricane season barricaded in our houses listening to the wind and hail beat against the outer walls. Not when you practically live on the banks of a the picturesque eastern shore of Mobile Bay. Downtown Fairhope, AL, however, is a sight to see for anyone who loves small town America. The buildings are modeled after New Orleans architecture: wrought iron balconies and vibrant- and pastel-painted facades. Seafood restaurants can be found on every street, and on every corner flowers grow in cheerful profusion, no matter the season. Fairhopians are famous for their hospitality. The most remarkable thing about our town, though, is the Fairhope Pier. This enduring landmark reaches far out into the Mobile Bay. On clear days, the city of Mobile is visible. It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset. And on the evening of July 4th every year, it’s the site of a spectacular fireworks show. Any other day of the year, visitors can comb beaches just thirty miles south for sun or shells and visit Fort Morgan, which took part in The Battle of Mobile Bay.
When people think about the state of Alabama, most tend to visualize deep-fried food and heated college football rivalries. This is indeed a part of our culture, as you’ll find in any other state of the deep South. However, when I was young and my family moved away from Alabama all I dreamed of was the white sands of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach and the quaint, antebellum beauty of Fairhope.
Readers, today I’m offering a giveaway! Comment to this post and tell me what Alabama means to you. I’ll randomly draw a name and that person will win a copy of western romance and award-winning novella, BLACKEST HEART, in audio!