Monday, February 22, 2010

Behind The Columns

I've been a slacker for the past couple of weeks and things have been pretty crazy at my house, but now I'm in the snowy town of Cedar City, waiting for my daughter to go into labor and have our grandchild, and I now have a moment to get back on track.

Today I'm happy to feature Behind the Columns, a historical romance by Arlette Gaffrey. The story is about two star crossed lovers and is one of power, deception.

The Book
The year is 1846. Désirée Bordeaux is a beautiful Créole belle living with her aging grandfather, a heavy drinker and gambler who has accrued huge debts. When he dies suddenly, Désirée learns that her beautiful New Orleans plantation, Chêne Vue, is to be put on the auction block.

Désirée finds herself being wooed by Philippe Jaunet, a cruel man who lusts after Chêne Vue and strikes fear in Désirée’s heart. She is also being courted by the handsome and wealthy New Yorker, Lance Van Buren, but her heart belongs to another—the man who broke her heart and married someone else. Désirée is pulled in different directions, her life complicated by circumstances, misunderstandings, lies, and betrayal—and the workings of her own turbulent heart. Will love eventually win out for this southern belle? Power, passion, and deception rule in Arlette Gaffrey’s latest novel, Behind the Columns.

I was pulled right into this book and there was never a dull moment, and, just as in her previous novel A World of His Own, there is a great deal of historic info on the Creoles. I loved this story.
I asked Arlette how she came up with the story. This is her answer.

"To be truthful I really don't know. After I wrote A World Of His Own-In The Land Of The Creoles, and I saw how well it was received, I thought it might be a nice thing to write about New Orleans at a later date, (1846). And like my first book the story just started to form in my mind, and after awhile it demanded to be written down.
Then I wondered how many people knew about the Patroon system in New York, so I thought it would be interesting to move the story from one end of the country to the other. From the Deep South to the Far North. So of course I had to find a way to bring someone from New York to New Orleans, hence Lance Van Buren.
Once these pictures began to form in my mind, I could hardly wait to get them written down and then sit back and see what happened. Because that's the exciting thing about the way I write. I never know how the story is going to go or even turn out any more than the reader. I just let the story and the characters take over and do their own thing, and for me it seems to work. I think that's why I love writing so much. I've always been a "free spirit" and I hate to be tied down, but in life we are tied down to our lives, but in my stories I can just let loose and go with the flow.

Behind the Columns is available on and, as well as B&N and Borders bookstores. To learn more about Arlette, visit her website at

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Important Things

With each day, week, month, and year that passes, I find my mind more and more fixed on the important things.
I learned a lot so far on this journey we call life, and I know there are a million more things I need to learn, but I'm ready for the lessons because each one will be for my good. I know they will.
Over the years I have learned:

Not to judge. You never know what is going on in the lives of others.

To forgive. How can I expect to be forgiven of others if I choose to hold on to things and not forgive, myself?

To love unconditionally. God loves me and He asks me to do the same in return.

Be positive. It takes so much more energy to be negative.

Look for the good. In a world that is as troubled as ours has become, this can be a hard thing to do, but it can be done.

Be grateful. No matter what I am going through, I try to remind myself that things can always be worse.

A little over a week ago I had the opportunity to speak to a group of women who are overcoming drug addiction, and it was one of the most meaningful things I have ever been privileged to do. What a marvelous opportunity that was! What an amazing group of women! They varied in ages and ethnic background, but I understood them, because I was once where they are, and though they have all been through many things and I can't possibly understand how they feel personally, I can definitely relate and empathize. Visiting with these beautiful women helped to renew my surety that it is never too late to change, and with God's help, we can overcome anything. It also strengthened my conviction that we are here to live the best we can and be happy. We don't judge one another, we help one another.

This life is so short. I see that now more than I ever could before, and eternal things are ringing more true. I guess that's what comes with hitting the middle age years. The world is moving at a faster pace. I see my children growing up and moving on before I can blink. I see a few more lines around my eyes when I smile and a few more gray hairs highlighting the black. But you know what? It's okay. This is the way things are supposed to be. And I wouldn't change any of it.
I love this life that God has given me. I hope you can see the good in yours as well, and I hope we can all remember to fix our minds on the important things.

For the month of February if you purchase a printed copy of my young-adult fantasy The Journey, you get a second copy free!
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