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 – 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.

















Revisions: Time to Make the Story Better

I used to hate doing revisions. I want to put that out there as I write merrily along today, making changes to my newest story, a detailed revision letter guiding me aIMG_2020s I work. How could someone be so cruel as to pick apart my perfect prose or derogate my dialogue? Didn’t my editor know it wasn’t nice to pick on my manuscript, my baby, when her eyes were already the perfect shade of green, her smile sweet and toothless.

But I’ve been doing this for a while now. It’s been 15 years since I first got “the call” from a publisher. During this time, I have watched – and whined to my critique group – as I was asked to give my babies haircuts and manicures and, when necessary, even a facelift.  And you know what I begrudgingly had to admit? The stories got better. Always.

To understand what a significant admission this is for me, you have to hear the story of one of my first major revision projects. Let’s just call it what it really was…an overhaul.  When I received the call from one of my earliest editors (waving at Diane, if you happen to be reading), and she told me she wanted to purchase my second inspirational romance, An Honest Life, I was thrilled. An Honest Life coverUntil I heard the caveat: “Oh, but Rusty can’t die.” Unfortunately for me, Rusty’s death set up the next book, and his accident took place on about Page 45.  To make the necessary corrections, I had to rewrite almost the whole book. Yes, I whined over those revisions, but even then, the story was better for it, and it remains one of my favorite books.

So now I am working on revisions for my new book, Falling for the Cop, my second Harlequin Superromance, which will be released in March 2017.  Since I’ve been away from the manuscript for a while, it’s easier to see the places where I missed opportunities to show character growth or to deepen the emotional connection between the hero and heroine. I also so appreciate comments from my editor, Karen Reid, and her help in making the book better. It’s great having someone as invested in my stories as I am and someone who can see the big picture in my story when I’m sometimes too close to see it. Where I resented revisions in the beginning, I love the challenge of making the book better, of pushing my characters just a little harder.

Sure, there are still moments when I want to become protective of my baby, but then I remind myself that my editor and I want the same thing: Dana and Karento tell the best story we can. And when the work gets tough and I need a laugh, I take a look at this photo and remind myself that my editor and I make a great team, and we’ve got this.













Author Speed Dating: Danica Favorite

Author Speed Dating(1)

If there’s one thing I enjoy almost as much as writing books, it’s READING books. I love discovering new authors, too. So I thought my blog would be a perfect place to introduce my authors friends to potential new readers. Only to give it a twist, we’re doing this Speed-Dating style. Check out a new author here every Wednesday, and if the spark is there, you’ll have a match. The clock is ticking. Ready! Set! Go!



This week’s guest: Danica Favorite





15 Questions

1. Which Scooby Doo character best describes you in high school?


2. How many rejections did you receive before you sold your first book?

Too many to count.

3. Bon Jovi or Tim McGraw?

I’d say Bon Jovi, but I’m afraid you might kick my butt. 😉

4. In which genres and sub-genres have you been published, and what does your narrow or sweeping focus say about you?

Historical, Contemporary, Non Fiction. It says I have a lot of stuff in my brain to get out!

5. When you give into a craving for fast food, what’s your drive-thru destination, and what would be found in your bag?

For fries, it’s McDonald’s. Burgers used to be Wendy’s until they changed buns, and now they’re gross, so now there’s nothing burger-wise I can’t live without. And nothing beats a cherry limeade or cherry Dr. Pepper from Sonic.

6. Which is your preference to write: love scenes or murder scenes?


7. Jane Austen or Stephen King?


8. What is your best advice to a writer who has just received a rejection?

Keep at it. But first, have a cupcake and some champagne. Most people don’t even have the guts to submit.

9. Are you more dangerous in a bookstore or a shoe store?


10. Which heroine from one of your books is most like you?

Mary from The Lawman’s Redemption.

11. The Bachelor or Sons of Anarchy?

Please kill me. Seriously. No. Just No.

12. What is the first thing you do when you finish a book?


13. Name one thing you wish you could change about yourself.

The size of my bank account (bigger, of course!).

14. Is your perfect vacation involve high-altitude and the word “jump” or umbrella drinks at poolside?

Umbrella drinks at poolside.

15. Sure, it’s like picking a favorite child, but which one or two of your titles do you secretly love just a little more?

For the Sake of the Children (releases in January 2017). It gutted me to write.



The Nanny’s Little Matchmakers

By Danica Favorite


A Wife for Their Papa 

Polly MacDonald intends to tame Mitch Taylor’s five mischievous children, even though every other nanny has fled. She needs this job—and Mitch’s brood sorely needs affection. Perhaps their widowed papa does, too. But when the children begin scheming to make her their new mother, Polly must resist. She’s seen too many bad marriages to want one of her own.

Mitch has come to Leadville, Colorado, to escape a scandal, not find a wife. After the disaster of his first marriage, he’s sure he isn’t husband material. Though Polly’s tender care is working wonders with his children, Mitch knows he should keep his feelings to himself. But can two wary hearts deny the dearest wish of five eager matchmakers?

The Nanny’s Little Matchmakers may be purchased at many retail locations as well as through these online retailers: Amazon, B & N, Harlequin.




About Danica

A self-professed crazy chicken lady, Danica Favorite loves the adventure of living a creative life. She and her family recently moved in to their dream home in the mountains above Denver, Colorado.  Danica loves to explore the depths of human nature and follow people on the journey to happily ever after. Though the journey is often bumpy, those bumps are what refine imperfect characters as they live the life God created them for. Oops, that just spoiled the ending of all of Danica’s stories. Then again, getting there is all the fun.

You can connect with Danica at the following places:

Website:, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.