The ultimatum tilts Dru Hampton’s contented life in Chandlerville, Georgia, on its ear. The man that Vivian, her cantankerous boss and benefactor, wants Dru to partner with—live with—is Brad Douglas, who’s let Dru down every way a man can.
Sheriff’s deputy Brad Douglas has come a long way since his rebellious youth. He’s back home to care for Vivian, his ill grandmother. He’s stayed out of Dru’s way all these years to make up for the hurt he once caused her. Now, the delightfully mischievous Vivian’s dying wish is for them to rebuild at least a working relationship together…and she’s betting on them rediscovering much more.
The family business and the Douglas home that Dru and Brad both cherish will be sold if they don’t resolve their differences. Can these childhood sweethearts make up and reclaim each other’s hearts before it’s too late?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nationally bestselling author Anna DeStefano has searched her entire life for the soul of the matter at the heart of her world’s mysteries.As a small child, she drew from her experiences, senses, and dreams to paint a lush fantasy world, filled with endless possibility and characters of her own creation. Putting pen to paper, Anna transforms these inner landscapes into rich storytelling.
Hers is a realistic but optimistic vision, searching for hope and transformation through intense emotional journeys. Her fuel–the inner passions and conflicts of the characters she crafts. Much like a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, Anna’s characters face the ultimate of human choices: finding the courage to conquer their fears and thrive until, despite every obstacle, they become the beautiful things they’re meant to be.
An author, workshop and keynote speaker, writing coach, and acquiring editor, Anna’s creative vision permeates every challenge she undertakes. She wants you to stop, look, and keep digging, until you find the soul of your own fantasies. Her novels’ rich blend of realism and fantasy invites Anna’s readers into her creative mission to dig deeper and see each of life’s moment with emotional honesty and clarity. Discovery and joy are her touchstones, regardless of how difficult her characters’ journeys might be. She will challenge you to transform into all you’re meant to be, as well. She speaks and blogs regulary. Join Anna each week for Soul Of The Matter, Dream Theories, Things My Teenager Says, How We Write, Waterfall Challenges, and more.
Past President of Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), Anna’s also Senior Tech Writer with a GA Tech honors degree an 10 years of experience working in Corporate IT. Her novels have garnered numerous awards including twice winning the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Holt Medallion, the Golden Heart, the Maggie Award for Excellence, and finalling in awards such as the National Readers’ Choice and Book Seller’s Best Awards. She’s the author of over 16 novels since 2004 in four different genres, with nearly half a million copies of her books in print in over 5 different languages.
Found things, old things, handed-down things… That’s the kind of history that’s fascinated me my whole life. I come from a Southern family that never believed in throwing anything away. A lot of the furniture and even some of the dishes and lamps and bedding I live with have been passed to me by my grandmothers and now my mother. It’s a living history I wake to every morning. One rich with stories and memories and wonderful mental images of lives lived long before mine.
I know so much about my family’s past and the communities that shaped them—small towns I’ve visited and can still return to today—because along with each vintage and heirloom item I’ve been gifted, has come a shared history my family made sure I appreciated just as much.
As an artist, quilts have long fascinated me as colorful expressions of imagination and handwork. They’re also an important part of my family history. Though I’ve never nurtured the skill of quilting myself, I own several heirloom pieces my grand—and some great—parents and aunts and cousins made. These were community creations. Groups of women would come together to plan and execute each “top” piece for a new design. And then came the work of hand-quilting the top, along with batting and an often equally elaborate backing. Until a marvelous, functional piece of art emerged, strong enough to endure for generations to come.
And all along, stories would be told and family moments shared and gossip spread. And bits and pieces of the past and present and future would find itself woven into the cloth along with thread and fabric and the hard work of those artists. Not to mention the lives these pieces of history have touched and warmed and pleasured and passed through over the years, as the quilts are used.
Is it any wonder as I focus on a new small-town, community-based series (Echoes of The Heart), that a quilt made its way into Here in My Heart, and quickly became a theme that will flourish in each story to come?
Actually, the house you see on the novel’s cover (and the description of the interior) is similar to many of the older “family” homes I’ve been lucky to have in my life. But the quilt… It means so much to the story, the way my hand-me-down blankets and other hand-sewn bedding has meant the world to me over the years. And the theme of “found things” and how we learn from their history is a wonderful addition to the energy and community involvement I paint into my love stories.
I hope you enjoy the quilts and other Southern elements you’ll see in the Echoes of The Heart covers. I hope you’re inspired to enjoy a bit more of your past, after reading these stories. I’d love to hear your quilt or antique or “found thing” stories in the comments. Wherever you’re from, what’s one of your strongest memories from your childhood and family and “growing up” community, that you’ve brought with you into you’re here and now?
Enter to win one of the following prizes: a Vintage Quilt, $25 Amazon GC and 2 Digital copies of Here in My Heart.