Meet Frances Devine

Frances Devine is first a Christian, second a Mom, grandmother and great grandmother. After that, the most important thing in her life is books. Like most authors, she can’t remember when she didn’t love to read. Right from the beginning, she was crazy about mysteries. When Frances was in her sixties, she decided it would be fun to write them and the Miss Aggie series was born. Since then she has written three novellas and is currently working on her eighth historical romance novel for Heartsong Presents. A native Texan, she still loves that great state, but when she moved to Missouri in 1984, she fell in love with the changing seasons, the trees and hills. Many of her books are set in the Missouri Ozarks.

Congratulations on the release of “Patterns of Love” in Threads of Love. Is this your first/only release? If not, what has released recently or about to be released that our readers would like to know about?

I’ve had three cozy mysteries and six Heartsongs already released. My latest is White River Sunrise. Two others coming out in 2012 are Whisper of the Wind and Scent of Magnolia, also Heartsong novels. I’ve had two previous novellas released, but they’re out of print. Another is coming out in 2013 called Threads of Love. All about romance, mystery and quilts. Here’s a link for White River Dreams and the one for Windy City Dreams, a compilation of my first three Heartsong books through Romancing America. The Miss Aggie cozy mystery series will rerelease in March and April on Kindle.

What special something do you try to bring to every story you write?

I like a little bit of mystery or adventure.

What does a typical writing day look like for you?

When I’m on schedule, I work from eleven to two. Early morning is my favorite time of day and I don’t like to give it up. When I’m on deadline I set a word count and write until I meet it.

How does your day job help your creative process?

I’m retired, so writing is my day job.

What’s the most off-the-wall piece of research you’ve ever done?

I do most of my research on the internet, so nothing off-the-wall.

How do you deal with the stress of being an author?

I waited nearly sixty years for my dream to come true so there’s not a lot of stress. Sometimes friends forget that writing is a job and it can be stressful when people drop in unexpectedly, but that doesn’t happen often anymore.

What’s the best part about writing for you?

Getting a new idea and developing it is exciting and most of the time I love research. The hardest? Disciplining myself to write when I’d rather be doing something else.

What books influenced or changed your perspective on life/helped you grow up?

I was born in 1940. Believe it or not, I heard nothing about the holocaust until I was 19 or 20, which would have been about 15 years after the war. Apparently people couldn’t bear to talk about it or they were careful not to speak of it in front of children. When I read Leon Uris’s book, Exodus, it totally shocked me and I’ve never gotten over it. I hope I never do.

What food loves do you and your character(s) have in common?

Coffee and pastry.

What’s your favorite Bible verse and why does it mean a lot to you?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. Proverbs 3: 5, 6.

What are five random facts your readers probably didn’t know about you–until today?

Here’s one: I’m a trekkie.

Where or how do you like to connect with your readers?

My blog
Facebook Fan Page
You can also email me at fdevine1 at gmail dot com

Thanks so much for introducing yourself to our readers, Frances!

Every comment on a Threads of Love post is an entry for a giveaway for a copy of Threads of Love from Barbour Publishing. (USA only)

Excerpt: Patterns of Love

Copyright by Frances Devine

Here’s an excerpt from the first novella in Threads of Love.

* ~ * ~ *

Anticipation nibbled at Carla Daniels and threatened to explode into full-throttled, unbridled excitement. Rapid breathing accompanied each swish of the bleach-soaked dishcloth across the shiny, red vinyl table.

“Carla, are you trying to rub a hole in that table?” Todd Berry’s voice sounded friendly, but a hint of something not so genial underlay his tone.

Carla straightened, tossing her thick blond braid back over her shoulder where it belonged and glanced at her friend and employer. Todd stood at the register filling a large bank bag with the day’s proceeds. She threw him an apologetic grin before moving on to the next booth in her station.

She was going home. Would it feel like home? It had been twelve years since her parents had packed their belongings into a U-Haul trailer and changed their lives forever. This was the time of year when Carla grew a little homesick. The air would be crisp in Colorado Springs and the trees ablaze with color. If her memory served her right, snowfall was usual in October, so maybe she’d see some white stuff earlier than here in Cedar Hill, Kansas.

Ten minutes later, the chrome and vinyl booths gleamed with sanitized cleanliness. Carla nodded as she compared them to Hannah’s pristine station. The older woman had trained her, and although Carla didn’t intend to work as a server in the diner forever, she still took pride in doing her job well. Grabbing the pail of bleach water, she headed across the silent diner to the kitchen.

When she stepped back into the dining room, Todd was sitting at a corner booth, two cups of steaming coffee in front of him.

“We need to talk before you leave.” A glossy black curl fell over his forehead as he nodded toward the seat across from him.

Resisting the urge to smooth his hair back into place, Carla tossed her purse on the table and slid onto the seat. “I know this is a bad time for me to be taking off work.”

“No, no.” He waved his hands. “That’s all right. Hannah has a couple of friends eager to earn some Christmas money. They’ll come in to help. And after all, except for your grandmother’s funeral last year, you’ve never asked for time off before.” But the tapping of the spoon against his cup indicated something was bothering him.

“So you’re okay with me leaving?”

He turned his gaze on her and pain flashed in his azure eyes. The next instant it was gone. Maybe she’d imagined it.

“You are coming back, right?”

“Of course. I’ll only be gone for three weeks.” She’d already told him that. A twinge of guilt nagged her conscience. She didn’t really need three weeks to fulfill Grams’s request to complete her memory quilt. In fact, the reservation in the magnificent Broadmoor Hotel didn’t even begin until the end of the second week of her vacation. She flicked the annoying thought aside. She needed the extra couple of weeks for herself. She had some past to come to terms with and maybe some ghosts that needed to be laid to rest.

Todd nodded and raised the tan vintage coffee cup to his lips.

“Why would you think I might not come back?”

He shrugged. “Isn’t Colorado Springs where you trained to be a figure skater?”

“Yes. Years ago.” She sighed. “I had big dreams in those days.”

“You still have big dreams, Carla.”

She nodded and gave him a sideways grin. “But when I was fourteen, I dreamed of skating for gold in the Olympics.”

“Whatever happened to that guy you skated with?” He ran his finger around the rim of his cup.

“Leland Swann? He got another partner. They made it to Nationals last year.”

She’d wondered from time to time just how far she and Lee could have gone in their career if Mom and Dad hadn’t dragged her across the country so suddenly. Another of Dad’s wonderful job opportunities that didn’t last.

“I should get home and pack, Todd, then get some sleep. I have an eight-hour drive ahead of me in the morning.”

He nodded and rose. “I hope everything works out well for you. Maybe the inheritance will make you rich. You might not need to work at a crummy diner after this.”

She chuckled. “I don’t think my inheritance will make me rich, considering it’s divided four ways, although it should still be a pretty nice chunk, I guess.” She waggled her finger at him. “And don’t call the Berry Patch a crummy diner. I think it’s one of the coolest spots in Cedar Hill.”

She stood and faced him, looking up into his gorgeous face. “Wish me a safe journey.”

Todd’s lips curved in a smile, and he reached over and tipped her chin up. “I’ll do better than that. I’ll pray for you.”

“Good idea. Take care of yourself while I’m gone.” She stood on tiptoe to plant a kiss on his cheek, but he pulled her to him, and his lips pressed against hers.

The kiss lasted only a moment, but warmth surged through her, and suddenly she wasn’t so sure about leaving, even for three weeks.

Jerking herself back to reality, she said a hasty good-bye and made her escape. But the memory of Todd’s lips on hers stayed with her as she drove to her apartment, even while she gave herself a pep talk. They were just friends. Sure, they’d dated a few times, but only friendly dates. She raised her fingers to her lips, still tingling from his kiss.

* ~ * ~ *

Excerpt used by permission of Barbour Publishing. Check out this page for places to buy Threads of Love!

Every comment on a Threads of Love post is an entry for a giveaway for a copy of Threads of Love from Barbour Publishing. (USA only)

Threads of Love

March 2013

March 2013

On the one-year anniversary of their grandmother’s death, four cousins from a fractured family converge on beautiful Colorado Springs to fulfill the terms of her will.

“Patterns of Love” by Frances Devine

Dragged away from the scene of her magical childhood–including a promising career as an ice skater–and raised in poverty, Carla Daniels is delighted to return to Colorado Springs. But the man who loves her back home fears she may never return. How can he convince her that what they have is magic, too?

“Unraveling Love” by Cynthia Hickey

Zoe Barnes left Colorado Springs the day after high school graduation, dumping her sweetheart without so much as a phone call on her way out of town. So it’s poetic justice that he happens to rescue her when her car breaks down on her way back. Can two wary, wounded souls survive a road trip to Colorado Springs?

“Stitched in Love” by Winter A. Peck

Pro volleyball player Danni Lindsay runs into her old love in the airport, a man from whom she’d parted when their careers diverged–hers to the beach and his to the Army. Now neither knows the other’s career is soon to change. Will pride and an independent streak keep their hearts from changing?

“Designed to Love” by Marilyn Leach

Career gal Eve Kirkwood looks forward to a much-needed vacation in Colorado Springs to work on her grandmother’s quilt, but her stay in a luxury hotel is ruined when her quilt squares are stolen. The hotel detective says he’s on the case, but he’s not moving fast enough for Eve. Could it be that he intends to steal her heart?

Every comment on a Threads of Love post is an entry for a giveaway for a copy of Threads of Love from Barbour Publishing. (USA only)

Let’s Talk About Tea

Post by Frances Devine

Hi, there. I’m the author of “Coffee, Tea, and Danger,” the fourth book in Cherry Blossom Capers. I became a serious coffee drinker at the age of fourteen. It didn’t take me long to become addicted. Tea? Yuk. I wouldn’t have drunk hot tea for a date with Cary Grant. For the life of me, I can’t remember when that changed. I only know that hot tea and I have been in love for many years.

When you see the word tea, what pops though your mind? A tall frosted glass or a cup with steam coming out the top? Do you like mugs or dainty little cups on saucers?

I read a comment from a Englishman once. He said, “I simply don’t understand you Americans. You boil the water to make your tea hot, then put ice in it to make it cold.” Then he added, “You put sugar in it to make it sweet, then add lemon to make it sour.”

He just didn’t understand. lol. I personally don’t drink much iced tea. But give me my cuppa and I’m a happy woman.

Frances's favorite tea-for-one autumn teapot

When I first became a tea drinker, the only thing that went into my cup was a Lipton’s tea bag. But through the years, I’ve expanded. My cupboards today contain cans and boxes of plain and flavored teas, herbal and black. My favorites, this year at least, are Prince of Wales and Assam. When I have time, I prefer loose tea, but I don’t thumb my nose at bags.

A few years ago, my friend’s little girl decided she liked tea, so we began an annual tea party. With trays, tea for ones, and cookies and sandwiches. Now she’s almost nine, and although we still have the party, she’s deserted to hot cocoa for her drink of choice. Ah the fickleness of youth.

I wouldn’t want anyone to think I only drink tea. Coffee was my hot drink of choice for many years and I still love the stuff. From black to luscious lattes. I like it all.

I think I was about fourteen when I first got hooked on coffee. I was living with my sister and brother-in-law. My sis went to work for a while and I watched the kiddos. I guess I was trying to stay up until they got home, so I started drinking coffee. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with the brew.

Now, I drink either decaf or half-caf for health reasons.

* ~ * ~ *

Frances’s character Susan owns a little shop called Coffee, Tea, and Sweets in Washington, DC. If you could visit Susan’s shop, what would you order?

Meet Frances Devine

Frances Devine is first a Christian, second a Mom, grandmother and great grandmother. After that, the most important thing in her life is books. Like most authors, she can’t remember when she didn’t love to read. Right from the beginning, she was crazy about mysteries. When Frances was in her sixties, she decided it would be fun to write them and the Miss Aggie series was born. Since then she has written three novellas and is currently working on her eighth historical romance novel for Heartsong Presents. A native Texan, she still loves that great state, but when she moved to Missouri in 1984, she fell in love with the changing seasons, the trees and hills. Many of her books are set in the Missouri Ozarks.

Congratulations on the release of “Coffee, Tea, and Danger” in Cherry Blossom Capers. Please tell us a bit about this novella and how it came to be.

My heroine, Susan Holland, proprietor of Coffee, Tea and Sweets inherits her deceased uncle’s deserted family mansion. The day she goes to check it out, she’s pushed down the stairs by an unseen assailant, the beginning of a chain of mishaps. The hero, Vince Martinelli, a contractor, helps her on her quest to solve the mystery. I’ve always loved mysteries, especially when creepy of house are involved, so when I had an opportunity to join this group, I let my imagination run wild.

Is this your first/only release? If not, what has released recently or about to be released that our readers would like to know about?

I’ve had three cozy mysteries and six Heartsongs already released. My latest is White River Sunrise. Two others coming out in 2012 are Whisper of the Wind and Scent of Magnolia, also Heartsong novels. I’ve had two previous novellas released, but they’re out of print. Another is coming out in 2013 called Threads of Love. All about romance, mystery and quilts. Here’s a link for White River Dreams and the one for Windy City Dreams, a compilation of my first three Heartsong books through Romancing America. The Miss Aggie cozy mystery series will rerelease in March and April on Kindle.

What special something do you try to bring to every story you write?

I like a little bit of mystery or adventure.

What does a typical writing day look like for you?

When I’m on schedule, I work from eleven to two. Early morning is my favorite time of day and I don’t like to give it up. When I’m on deadline I set a word count and write until I meet it.

How does your day job help your creative process?

I’m retired, so writing is my day job.

What’s the most off-the-wall piece of research you’ve ever done?

I do most of my research on the internet, so nothing off-the-wall.

How do you deal with the stress of being an author?

I waited nearly sixty years for my dream to come true so there’s not a lot of stress. Sometimes friends forget that writing is a job and it can be stressful when people drop in unexpectedly, but that doesn’t happen often anymore.

What’s the best part about writing for you?

Getting a new idea and developing it is exciting and most of the time I love research. The hardest? Disciplining myself to write when I’d rather be doing something else.

What books influenced or changed your perspective on life/helped you grow up?

I was born in 1940. Believe it or not, I heard nothing about the holocaust until I was 19 or 20, which would have been about 15 years after the war. Apparently people couldn’t bear to talk about it or they were careful not to speak of it in front of children. When I read Leon Uris’s book, Exodus, it totally shocked me and I’ve never gotten over it. I hope I never do.

What food loves do you and your character(s) have in common?

Coffee and pastry.

What’s your favorite Bible verse and why does it mean a lot to you?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. Proverbs 3: 5, 6.

What are five random facts your readers probably didn’t know about you–until today?

Here’s one: I’m a trekkie.

Where or how do you like to connect with your readers?

My blog
Facebook Fan Page
You can also email me at fdevine1 at gmail dot com

Thanks so much for introducing yourself to our readers, Frances!

Cherry Blossom Capers

Encounter mystery, mayhem, and murder near Washington, DC, alongside four professional females. White House assistant chef Tara Whitley works with an old flame, FBI agent Jack Courtland, to stop a plot to sabotage a state-dinner. Attorney Ciara Turner and her nemesis Daniel Evans have trials tracking down a judge’s murderer. Archeologist intern Samantha Steele and security guard Nick Porter are on the heels of a dangerous forger. Shop owner Susan Holland and renovator Vince Martini turn upside down her late uncle’s mansion while investigating a string of mysterious accidents. Will these sleuthing couples’ machinations move them into matrimony?


“State Secrets” by Lynette Sowell

Tara Whitley, an assistant White House chef, doesn’t expect to become an amateur investigator when old flame and FBI operative Jack Courtland steps back into her life. He recruits her to help uncover a plot to sabotage the next State dinner given by the President and First Lady. But she doesn’t expect Jack to uncover feelings for him she thought had long since died. Can she trust him with her heart, or will secrets separate them again?

“Dying For Love” by Cara Putman

Attorney Ciara Turner discovers the body of a judge she clerked for on what was supposed to be a routine morning at court. Daniel Evans, a man she clerked with and now clashes with routinely, asks her to help him bring justice to the judge’s killer. The more time they spend together, the more Ciara wonders if she can ignore her feelings for Daniel. Will Ciara open her heart to Daniel? Can Daniel prove that he’s not the rogue she believes him to be? And will they learn that God truly has everything under His control?

“Buried Deception” by Gina Conroy

Mount Vernon archaeology Intern and widow Samantha Steele wants to provide for her children without assistance from anyone. Security guard and ex-cop Nick Porter is haunted by his past and keeps his heart guarded. When Samantha’s son damages a priceless artifact at the Mount Vernon Mansion, she must rely on the callous security guard to get her out of the mess. But when they discover the broken artifact is a fake, Nick and Samantha need to work together, set aside their stubbornness, and rely on each other or the results could be deadly. Will Samantha relinquish her control to a man she hardly knows? Can Nick learn to trust again? And will they both allow God to excavate their hearts so they can find new love?

“Coffee, Tea, and Danger” by Frances Devine

Susan Holland, proprietor of Coffee, Tea and Me, likes her life the way it is. Uncomplicated. Then at the age of forty, she inherits a run-down mansion from her late ambassador uncle and ‘accidents’ begin to occur. Vince Martinelli doesn’t need a woman in his life, or so he thinks. But when danger threatens attractive Susan Howard, his protective side kicks in. Will love and determination overcome the evil that is trying to control their lives?

* * * * *

Please join us over the next few weeks as we get to know these authors and their novella better!