Author Speed Dating: Stephanie Dees

I love discovering new authors, so I wanted my blog to be a place where readers and my author pals could come together. Only we like to do this Speed-Dating style. Check out a new author and her work here every Wednesday, and if the spark is there, you’ll have a match. 

This week’s guest: Stephanie Dees





15 Questions

1. Halloween or Harvest celebrations: Are you an enthusiast or noncommittal in these fall events? And if you celebrate, what are your favorite activities?

​We live on the main street in our small Alabama town. Trick-or-treaters start at one end of the street and end up at the other end at the town square for a festival. ​Our family–including the Batgirl-costumed toy poodle and our five-year-old Batman–will be sitting outside with a (giant) bowl of candy and glow-sticks. It’s so much fun!

2. If you could single-handedly bring back one fashion trend just because it fits your personal style, what trend would you return to the runways of Paris and Milan and why?

​I’m sure this is going to show my age, but I loved those high-waisted Laura Ashley dresses. They were so cute and SO comfortable! Take me back to the ’90s, haha!

Stephanie Dees, c. 1995, in one of the Laura Ashley dresses she loves.

3. How many full manuscripts did you have to write before you were first published?

 ​It took seven years and four full manuscripts. I did a lot of revising.​

4. Name your favorite celebrity crush from high school. What made that performer/athlete/political leader so dreamy?

Patrick Swayze. He was the tortured hero-bad boy turned good. Swoon! ​

5. Preferred writing location: home office with total silence, public place with plenty of white noise or some other combination?

 ​I have an office in our current home and I love it so much! It has big windows, tons of    natural light and…a door that closes! 


6. Favorite more recent popular fiction heroine: Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins), Stephanie Plum (Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich), Eve Dallas (Eve Dallas/In Death series by J.D. Robb) or Hermione Granger (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)?

​I’d have to say Eve Dallas is my favorite. I’ve read every single one of the In Death series, some of them more than once. A close second would be Hermione, though. Both are independent, strong women who’ve been through some stuff and aren’t afraid to be leaders. I love those qualities in a female character!​

 7. Name your favorite way to stay in touch with your readers.

​Facebook is the best for interaction. I also have a newsletter for those who prefer email updates and Instagram. Instagram is new to me in the last couple of years (thanks, young-adult children, for dragging me into the 21st Century) but I really like it, too!​

8. Extra-large French fries or a perfect square of dark chocolate?

Definitely fries, with lots of salt and ketchup for dipping!​

9. Have you ever, even for a moment, forgotten that one of your characters was…you know…fictional?

All the time! When I’m writing a book, the characters are living in my head and imagination. It really is like they’re real people with real problems and real relationships. (Should I admit that on the Internet?​)

10. Picture yourself standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon. Now describe what you’re doing right now: cheering in a victory stance, leaning over for a better view, turning pale and curling into a fetal position as far as possible from the edge?

I haven’t been there, but I think I would be standing at the edge trying to catch my breath at the sight.​

11. Property Brothers or Big Bang Theory?

Big Bang Theory. The nerd/beauty storyline never gets old for me!

​12. Which character from one of your own books do you wish you were more like? 

​Claire Conley (the heroine from my first book, THE DAD NEXT DOOR)​ moves across the country with a dream and a half-baked plan to make it happen. I’d love to be that brave!

13. Name a movie you’ve watched countless times but one you’ll still tune in to whenever it’s on cable.

The Proposal. I’ve watched that movie a hundred times, at least! I’m a sucker for a rom-com, and that one never gets old. In fact, it’s probably on cable right now… 

14. When did you first decide you were a writer, and when was your first book published?

I’ve always liked to make up stories. Starting in 2009, I wrote eight inspirational romantic suspense books for Love Inspired Suspense, took a long break as we added to our family, and now am writing for Love Inspired Romance as Stephanie Dees. 

15. If you could keep only the possessions that would fit in one suitcase, and you were limited to two books – one you wrote and one by someone else – which titles would you tuck inside your bag? Explain your choices.

This is such an impossible question. How can a person only pick two books?

DADDY-LONG-LEGS, by Jean Webster, was a favorite read in childhood, and I still love it. The heroine is thoughtful and intelligent and layered, and there are so many little nuggets of wisdom wrapped into the story.​

While I was on my hiatus from writing, I spent some time working with foster care which was an eye-opening experience for a lot of reasons. One huge realization was just how many kids are out there who, through no fault of their own, have experienced devastating trauma. They deserve families who step in and walk alongside them. The Family Blessings books were born out of my time as a foster parent and are special to me for that reason. The latest one is A BABY FOR THE DOCTOR.


A Baby for the Doctor

By Stephanie Dees




Frowning at her, Ash sat on the end of her bed. “Why are you sorry?”

“I got sick and left you to deal with Levi all on your own. And you obviously haven’t left his side.”

“I look that bad, huh?” His smile was quick and rueful as he and rubbed the stubble on his chin.

As if. It seemed impossible, but he was even more handsome with the scruff. Jordan raised an eyebrow. “Pretty bad.”

Ash chuckled. “In that case, I need a favor.”


“Really? Anything? You don’t want to know what it is first?”

She narrowed her eyes. “Now you’re scaring me. What is it?”

“I have to go to this fundraiser in a couple of weeks, one that’s important to me. I need a date.”

She hesitated,

“You did say anything, remember.”

“Can I wear my boots?”

“No.” He smiled and her heart forgot to beat for a second. He was exhausted and stubbly and still his smile could make her swoon.


“Okay? Really?” There was genuine surprise and excitement in his voice.

She was already regretting this decision. But she did owe him one and if that’s what he wanted…“I think you know what you’re getting into with me by now, so if my being your date is you calling in the favor, you got it.”

“I’ll text you the details when I’m awake enough to remember them.”

Levi stirred and whimpered in his crib. Jordan stood up, swayed, and sat back down to regroup.

She tried again and this time, she made it to the sweet boy’s bed, only coughing a little bit. She smoothed his hair away from his forehead and sang again the song she had sung to him the first time she saw him and almost every day since–Our God is a great big God and He holds us in His hand.

The little body relaxed and he curled up around his stuffed animal, tucking his hands under his chin as she stroked his soft curls. She covered him with the fuzzy fleece blanket, her legs shaking with the effort of standing so long.

When she turned around, Ash was sound asleep on her bed, legs curled up, feet hanging off the bed. She drew the blanket over his shoulders and stood there a moment, taking in the beautiful face, even with three days of stubble, even with lines carved from exhaustion. Those small imperfections only made him more attractive, given the reason behind them.

She resisted the urge to smooth his hair like she had Levi’s. He had many more layers to him than she’d first thought. He was still that guy–the easy-going, guitar-playing ladies’ man, but the more she was around him, the more she realized he wasn’t just that guy. He was real and deep and…complicated.

She got another blanket out of the closet in the room and settled into the reclining chair to let Ash get a few hours of sleep.

He’d stepped up and been her rock through this whole experience. Tomorrow, they were checking out. And as much as she wanted to be at home in her own bed, there was a part of her that would miss having him right by her side. Things wouldn’t be the same after they left the hospital, and they shouldn’t be.

She didn’t want to need him. But somehow, despite her best effort, she did.


A BABY FOR THE DOCTOR, part of The Family Blessings series and a September 2017 release from Harlequin Love Inspired, may be purchased through these and other retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million  and Harlequin.



About Stephanie

Award-winning author Stephanie Dees lives in small-town Alabama with her pastor husband and two youngest children. A Southern girl through and through, she loves sweet tea, SEC football, corn on the cob and air-conditioning. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing kids and drinking coffee, not necessarily in that order.  Learn more about Stephanie and sign up for her newsletter through her website,, and connect with her through Facebook and Instagram.












Author Speed Dating – Terri Reed

I love discovering new authors, so I wanted my blog to be a place where readers and my author pals could come together. Only we like to do this Speed-Dating style. Check out a new author and her work here every Wednesday, and if the spark is there, you’ll have a match. 


This week’s guest: Terri Reed

15 Questions

1. Picture yourself inside an airplane with the door open and a parachute on your back. Would you shout “whoo-hoo” and leap out or hold on for dear life and beg the pilot to land? Or is this question moot because you would be waving up at the plane from solid ground?

If I knew the parachute would really open, I’d be jumping with my eyes closed.

2. Name a character from one of your novels that is most like you. Now name one least like you. Explain why?

Claire from my second book, A SHELTERING LOVE, is most like me. She is earnest and a bit naïve. My heroine from the book THE COWBOY TARGET, Jackie, is tough and brave and bold. I’m not.

3. What is your favorite writer’s “uniform”, and how much do you love that you get to pick it out?

Most days I wear loose fitting yoga pants and a short-sleeve loose fitting top. I can’t stand anything binding.

4. Would you consider yourself an exercise fanatic, a couch potato or somewhere in the middle? And when you do get out to exercise, what is your favorite way to sweat?

I love to exercise, but I don’t make enough time for it. When I do exercise, I love to dance, go for hikes, and do Pilates and Barre3.

5. How many books have you written and in which genres and sub-genres?

I’ve written 40+ books. Christian romance and romantic suspense novels and few sweet romances.

6. In 10 words or less, give your best advice to aspiring authors.

Keep learning your craft, never take criticism personally and be persistent.

7. Name a talent you have that your readers might not know about?

Not sure I have any.

8. What are the steps you take when you start writing a new book? Character sketches? Extensive research? Fly by the seat of your pants and figure it all out later?

I’m a heavy plotter, and forms are my BFF’s.

9. From the over-30-action-hero-hotties list: Will Smith or Chris Evans?

That’s a hard decision, they are both hotties. I will watch any movie with either actor and would love to meet them.

10. If you had it all to do over again, what would you do differently in your writing career?

I would listen to my college professor who encouraged me to pursue writing.

 11. If you could have dinner with one living celebrity or world leader, who would it be, and what would be on the menu?

Queen Elizabeth—salad, fish and veggies and cake.

 12. Preference for a great evening with your significant other: dinner out and possibly dancing or takeout and your control of the remote for Netflix?

My preference would be dinner out and dancing. I love to dance.

13. Do you have a book that you been dreaming of writing for years, and what has kept you from writing it?

I have several but deadlines keep me from writing for myself.

14.Were there other authors who helped you along the way on your writer’s journey, and how did they make a difference for you?

There are so many author friends who’ve made a huge impact with their support and encouragement.

15. If we imagine that a reader has lived on a desert island and missed the opportunity to read one of your books, which title do you recommend that she order as soon as she returns to civilization?







By Terri Reed



When they were within shouting distance of the rocks, Leo noticed fishing poles and a tackle box. This must have been where Alicia and her son had been when they’d seen the killer.

Alicia pointed upstream and yelled, “He came from that direction and stopped about three hundred and sixty feet straight out from here.” She gestured to the rocks beneath her feet.

“That’s helpful and gives us a place to start.” Leo stared, admiring the pretty lady. Her hair lifted slightly in the wind that had kicked up. Sunlight reflected in her piercing blue eyes. “You and the officers can head back to the station.” He didn’t want her here to see the body when they found the victim.

Alicia shook her head. “I want to make sure she’s found. Someone has to stand up for her.”

Respecting her decision, he saluted her then turned to Craig. “You heard the lady.”

Craig slowly turned the boat toward the middle of the river. True stood on the bow, his head up, gaze alert. Leo tuned into the dog’s nuances the farther away from shore they traveled. He documented the time and distance from land on the notepad he carried. They circled the area where Alicia had pointed. True showed no signs of alerting.

“Head downstream,” Leo instructed Craig.

Since the body hadn’t been weighted down, it most likely had been swept along by the river’s current.  Craig zigzagged the boat from one shore to the other, moving farther and farther away from the spot. Leo wondered if maybe the suspect had come back and removed the woman’s body. Frustration curled in his stomach.

Then True shifted. He licked his lips and shuffled his paws, clear signs he was picking up a scent. Leo’s pulse jumped. The dog’s tail went down as he craned his neck, dipping his nose toward the water. He pivoted, and then leaned over the starboard side. Keeping his snout at the surface of the water, True walked the length of the boat and stepped easily over the bench seat.

Anticipation revving through him, Leo gestured for Craig to make a slow turn. True retraced his steps, barking an alert. He scratched and nipped at the water. Knowing the animal had scent glands in the roof of his mouth, Leo interpreted these actions as the sign this was the spot.

“Good boy.” Leo grasped True’s life vest to keep the dog from jumping in.

Leo nodded at Craig, who shut off the motor, then strapped on a buoyance compensator, his mask and oxygen tank. The man sat on the side of the boat and fell backward into the water. True barked and lunged for the water. Leo continued to hold him back.

“No, boy,” Leo said adjusting his grip on True. “We’re staying here.”

Leo and True both watched the surface of the river. Leo pulled on latex gloves in anticipation of handling the body and prepared the large, waterproof plastic body bag. His gaze darted back to the shore, where Alicia stood sentinel on the rocks, flanked by the two officers.

She held her head up and her shoulders back like a fierce warrior. She was tall and so very appealing. He admired her commitment to being a voice for the victim. Most people would want to bail the second they could. Not Alicia. He liked that about her.



GUARDIAN, an April 2017 released from Harlequin Love Inspired and Book 1 in the Classified K-9 Unit continuity series, may be purchased from these retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and Harlequin.




About Terri

Terri Reed’s romance and romantic suspense novels have appeared on Publisher’s Weekly top 25, Nielsen’s Bookscan top 100 and featured in USA Today, Christian Fiction Magazine and Romantic Times Magazine and finaled in RWA’s RITA contest, National Reader’s Choice Award contest, ACFW’s The Carol Award contest. Contact Terri at or P.O. Box 19555 Portland, OR 97224, and find her on Facebook.






















Author Speed Dating – Lenora Worth

I love discovering new authors, so I wanted my blog to be a place where readers and my author pals could come together. Only we like to do this Speed-Dating style. Check out a new author and her work here every Wednesday, and if the spark is there, you’ll have a match.

This week’s guest: Lenora Worth






15 Questions

1. If a director made a movie about your life, which actress (living or dead) would you like to portray you, and which one would more likely be cast?

Hmm, I’d love Jessica Lange, but I’d probably get Amy Schumer!!!

2. What are some of the things that have changed in the publishing industry since your first book was published?

E-mailing our manuscripts back and forth, Indie publishing exploding, Twitter!, Social Media marketing.

3. Us Weekly or Newsweek?


4. As a reader, do you sneak a peek at the end of the book, or do you make yourself wait for answers until the very end?

No, never. I like to savor the book until the end.

5. Have you ever, even for a moment, forgotten that one of your characters was…you know…fictional?

 Yes, all the time. I wake up wondering what they are doing!

6. In which genres and sub-genres are you published, and which others do you plan to add to the list in the next two years?

Inspirational romance and romantic suspense, single title. One day I’d love to write a historical.

7. Brad Pitt or David Beckham?


8. If we imagine that a reader has lived on a desert island and missed the opportunity to read one of your books, which title do you recommend that she order as soon as she returns to civilization?

 THAT WILD COWBOY (Harlequin Superromance).  A slice of reality.

9. Do you have a green thumb or black one, and, either way, how are you gearing up for spring planting season?

Not a green one. But I supervise my husband in my Southern garden (we are in a new house with new yard.) Gardenias, magnolias, azaleas, and palm trees so far.
 Oh, and jasmine. Lots of jasmine.

10. When and how did you first decide you wanted to be an author?

 In the fourth grade when we had to do a writing project. I loved it!

11. Antique Roadshow or Law & Order: SVU?

Law & Order: SVU.

12. What is your favorite song of all time, and what do you do when it comes on the radio or when you stream it?

 “The Long and Winding Road”  by The Beatles. I cry.

13. What do you believe is your biggest strength as a writer, and what has been your approach to tackling some of your weaknesses?

My biggest strength. I can see the whole story in my head. My weakness–writing a synopsis for what I see in my head.

14. Regarding board games, Scrabble or Left, Right, Center?

Darling, I don’t play board games. Solitaire.

15. What is your biggest hope for a reader when she opens one of your books?

That it makes her laugh and cry and gives her hope. We have to have hope.






Her Lakeside Family

By Lenora Worth

He prayed the new nanny—one of many his sister Rikki had hired since Althea’s death–had arrived. He hadn’t met the woman but Rikki and Blain had vetted her and cleared her, stating she had impeccable credentials. Santo hurried to the door and opened it while he held Nate’s squirming, screaming little body against his heart.

The woman standing there didn’t look like the typical nanny. She had strawberry-blonde hair that shot out in chunky layers around her face and chin. Her eyes were an ethereal green, like the bay waters in the early morning. She wore a plaid button-up shirt, worn jeans and … work boots.

“Hello,” the woman said. “I’m–.”

“I’m so glad you’re here, Mrs. Brownlee,” Santo interrupted, shoving Nate into her arms. “The instructions are on the counter in the kitchen. The girls go to Millbrook Elementary and they usually catch the bus or ride home with a neighbor. I’ll take them to school and call the neighbor to pick them up this afternoon. Nate has daycare but now that you’re here, let’s just keep him home today.”

He kissed his sobbing son. “C’mon on, girls.”

Nate started crying all over again. But the woman standing there marched right on in and said something soothing in his son’s ear. Nate hiccupped and stopped crying, his misty brown eyes glued on the woman holding him.

She smiled over at Santo. “I’m sorry but–.”

“I want my purse,” Adriana said on a scream, her long brown curls falling over her purple tunic and matching leggings. She looked at the surprised woman. “I can’t leave without my purse.”

The pretty nanny looked at Adriana with sympathetic eyes. “Of course not. I never leave home without my–.”

“Found it,” Lucia said, shoving the shiny purple shoulder bag at her little sister. “Now can I please get to school?”

Santo let out a sigh and nodded to the woman. “You don’t have to apologize but please try to be on time from now on, okay?”

The woman’s green eyes flared with something akin to mirth. “Mr. Alvanetti, I don’t think you understand. I’m not–.”

“I’m here,” said a shrill, laughing voice from the open door. “And not a moment too soon from the looks of things.”

Confused, Santo turned to find a plump, smiling woman with short auburn hair and black-framed, crystal-encrusted glasses standing on the threshold. “I’m Virginia Brownlee. I’m your nanny.”

Santo looked from the smiling woman at the door to the bemused woman still holding his son. “Then who are you?”

“I’ve been trying to tell you that for the last five minutes,” she said, passing Nate back to him. “I’m Davina Connell. I’m here to help you get this house in shape to sell. I’m the contractor.”



HER LAKESIDE FAMILY, a January 2017 release from Harlequin Love Inspired, may be purchased through these retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and Harlequin.



About Lenora

Lenora Worth writes award-winning romance and romantic suspense for Love Inspired and also writes for Tule Publishing. Three of her books finaled in the ACFW Carol Awards and several of her books have been RT Reviewer’s Choice finalists. LOGAN’S CHILD won the 1998 Best Love Inspired for RT. Her Love Inspired Suspense, BODY OF EVIDENCE, became a NY Times Bestseller. Her novella in MISTLETOE KISSES, along with several other writers, also made her a USA Today Bestselling author. Recently, she received the Romantic Times Pioneer Award for Inspirational Fiction and became a member of the RWA Honor Roll. With over 70 books published and millions of books in print, she goes on adventures with her retired husband, Don. They have two grown children. Lenora enjoys reading, baking and shopping … especially shoe shopping. Learn more about Lenora through her website,, and stay in touch with her through her group blog, Craftie Ladies of Love Inspired, and these social-media channels: Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter.