WELCOME to Journeys To Joy, Shannon. I was so intrigued by this book - I can hardly wait to read it for myself.
I find I'd like to visit the place that became the foundation of your soon to be released book.
ROMANCE, ARKANSAS, USA
Since I live in Cleburne County and travel to Little Rock often, I'd seen the Romance sign but never turned off Highway 5 to go there. I vaguely remembered something about a Love series postage stamp being released there and people getting married there. With a little research, I realized Romance, Arkansas was the perfect place to set my romance and made several research trips there.
Romance, Arkansas, population 1772, is in west central White County. According to legend, the community of Romance was named many years ago by a school teacher who thought the view from the bluffs on the community’s eastern side was particularly romantic. Couples used to spark at a gazebo in front of the old general store. Over the years, members of the community have maintained the gazebo and it still stands.
Romance is one of several post offices to participate in the re-mailing program. Romantics send stamped, addressed Valentine’s cards and wedding invitations in manila envelopes which are re-mailed from Romance, AR with a hand-stamped postmark.
According to former Postmaster Angie Davis, they have three or four weddings a year on Valentine’s Day at the post office. Couples exchange vows in the lobby or outside the office often near a heart someone carved in the parking lot declaring it the Heart of Romance.
When the news came out that 3700 post offices might close, I wondered about Romance. According to Lisa Tolliver Gay at the Arkansas Postmasters Office, the Romance Post Office is safe. For now.
Looking for a more romantic wedding setting? The Romance Waterfalls--once a popular swimming hole--is now a wedding destination. Owner, James (Buck) Weatherly gave me a tour of his privately owned property, which he and his wife rent to the public for weddings and events. Wisteria drapes over an archway leading to the landscaped garden with numerous flowers and bushes. A wooden walkway leads down to the waterfalls, surrounded by jutting rock/steps.
And the book?
Love’s never easy in three Arkansas romances.
Pastor Grayson loves his wife. The problem is, Sara was killed by a hit-and-run driver two years ago. He knows he needs to move on, but it’s not until florist Adrea Welch arrives at his church that the seeds of healing are planted in his heart.
Laken left home eight years ago and never looked back. Who knew when she applied for the promotion to postmaster that she’d end up in Romance, Arkansas, and much too close to her past—and Hayden Winters?
Shell doesn’t have a good reputation. But no matter what everyone in Rose Bud, Arkansas, thinks of her, she’s back in town with a job to do. Ryler also has reasons for being in Rose Bud, and they don’t include Shell.
But God’s love can soften the hardest heart and overcome the darkest past. These hearts may not know it, but they’re about to change.
Central Arkansas author, Shannon Taylor Vannatter is a stay-at-home mom/pastor’s wife. Vannatter has won the 2011 Inspirational Readers Choice Award in the short contemporary category, The 18th Annual Heartsong Awards 3rd Favorite New Author and #1 Contemporary Award.
Her books are available at christianbook.com, barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com, harlequin.com, and barbourbooks.com. Learn more about Shannon and her books at check out her real life romance blog at http://shannonvannatter.com/blog/. Connect with her on Facebook: facebook.com/shannontaylorvannatter and Twitter: @stvauthor
Thanks for coming by, Shannon and for sharing your latest with us at Journeys To Joy...
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