Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Guest Blog with Frances Devine

Hi, bloggers and readers. I’m honored to be chosen to say a few words. I’m Frances Devine. I was born in Donna, Texas, in 1940, but before I was a year old, my family moved to Dallas. I spent most of my childhood, teens and early twenties there. I still miss Big D, but the Dallas of today is not the same city I grew up in.

I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember. The first one that comes to mind was called Mumpsy Goes to Kindergarten. I loved the story but was truly awestruck by the pictures of the little girl in her pretty, swirly dresses. I began sounding out words in my mother’s books when I was too young to understand the meanings. Later, I fell in love with the Bobbsey Twins, The Five Little Peppers and other favorites. In my preteen years, I graduated to Nancy Drew, Judy Bolten, and The Hardy Boys. Like a lot of other writers, I can remember writing my first story when I was eight or nine years old. It was, of course, a masterpiece in my own mind and thus began a life-long desire to be a published author.

Instead, I married young and started raising a family. Seven children take up a lot of time, so my desire to write had to be satisfied with stories I wrote for them and poems I wrote for myself. I never lost the dream, but somewhere along the way, I did lose the idea that the dream was possible.

My children were all grown and had homes and families of their own when the wonder of computers and the Internet came into my life. A thought began to worm its way back into my heart. Maybe, just maybe.

Then, a wonderful, exciting event occurred. My youngest daughter’s book was accepted for publication by Heartsong Presents. I walked on clouds. Then her second book was published and then the third. Suddenly, I was living my dream through her. And at first it was enough. But with her nudging me, I got my own dream back and started writing. First a novella was published, then a cozy mystery, then I took a deep breath and decided to try my hand at writing a Heartsong Romance.

I’ve been reading Heartsong books for about fifteen years and love the wonderful stories, exciting settings, and heroes and heroines who might sometimes make mistakes, but eventually let God have his way in their lives. It is also very nice to pick up a romance book and not have to cast it aside with embarrassment after the first ten pages. As a new Heartsong historical author, I feel honored to be a member of this talented group of writers. I am so grateful to the Barbour editors and staff for their help and encouragement.

Since I’ve always been fascinated by stories of old Chicago, when I decided to write a Christian romance, this was the first setting that I considered. The first story, Once a Thief, which actually turned out to be the second book in the series, also includes a little bit of mystery. A girl named Danielle, from an Oliver Twist type situation, decieves her way into the home of a wealthy and very kind family. But the handsome young man next door isn’t fooled by her acting ability. Will Danielle let Christ change her or will catastrophe occur?

After writing Once a Thief, I knew I had to go back and write the story of the hero’s parents. A Girl Like That, book one, is about Katie, a young star-struck girl, who learns that some people are less fortunate than others and might perhaps need a helping hand. She meets a young lawyer who also has a lesson to learn. Conley’s Patch, a real and very poor district of mostly Irish immigrants plays a large part in the book. As the flames of the tragic Chicago fire jump the river and devour the Patch, we find our hero and heroine in danger as he searches for her among the screaming hordes of fleeing people.

The third book, Sugar and Spice, finds Danielle’s younger brother Jimmy at a crossroads in his life. Should he continue in law school which his brother-in-law, Blake and sister, Danielle, have made possible? Or should he follow his restless heart wherever it might lead? More complications arise when he falls in love with Cici, a very headstrong preacher’s daughter with a restless spirit of her own. That restless spirit leads her into dangerous situations and she finally finds herself among the passengers of the Eastland steamer as it sinks into the Chicago River.

Perhaps the reason my heroines all have character problems in the beginning is because of my own rebellion when I was young. But just as Jesus Christ turned my life around, I knew he would do the same for Katie, Danielle, and Cici as well as for the heroes in their lives.
I hope my readers enjoy this series as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Have a very blessed day and walk in His joy.

Question of the Day: Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all. Are you wearing green?


  1. I'm me favOrite green shirt.

  2. I'm not Irish, but I am wearing green, and my red-haired son is doing his best accent today.

  3. I'm wearing pink right now, but earlier I had on my green shamrock earrings, LOL! Happy St. Patrick's Day!! ~ Patti Jo :)