Get to know an award winning novelist
When people ask me for recommendations on authors they should check out, Tamera Alexander is usually the first name out of my mouth. I’m a sucker for amazing historical novels and I easily get lost for hours in one of Tamera’s books. The long wait for the second book in the Belle Meade Plantation Series is now available at LifeWay! Here’s a look at To Win Her Favor.
A gifted rider in a world where ladies never race, Maggie Linden is determined that her horse will become a champion. But the one man who could help her has vowed to stay away from thoroughbred racing forever.
An Irishman far from home, Cullen McGrath left a once prosperous life in England because of a horse racing scandal that nearly ruined him. He’s come to Nashville for a fresh start, hoping to buy land and begin farming, all while determined to stay as far away from thoroughbred racing as possible. But starting over proves harder than he’d wagered, especially when Maggie Linden’s father makes him an offer he shouldn’t accept yet cannot possibly refuse.
Maggie is certain that her mare, Bourbon Belle, can take the top purse in the inaugural Peyton Stakes, the richest race ever run in America. Maggie only needs the chance to prove it. To give her that chance—and to save Linden Downs from being sold to the highest bidder—Maggie’s father, aging, yet wily as ever, makes a barter. His agreement includes one tiny, troublesome detail—Maggie must marry a man she’s never met. A man she never would have chosen for herself.
Oh, I’m itching to read it! And how about that cover?! Beautiful.
I wanted y’all to get to know Tamera a bit more. She’s been writing for several years so many of us may feel that we know her pretty well. But the fun facts she shares below (#2 and #8 are my favorite!) shows us that there’s more to learn about this favorite novelist!
1. My mother was going to name me Lori Beth until my grandmother got wind of it and asked (in a thick Floridian accent), “Low-ree Beth?! What kind of name is that?” (Sorry to all the Lori Beths out there!) I’ve always loved the name and, in fact, named a character Lori Beth in Beyond This Moment, in memory of my “almost” name.
3. In 1981, after listening to Jim McGuiggan, a wonderfully gifted Irish preacher who was speaking at the Tulsa Soul-Winning Workshop, I took a huge step closer to Christ. I still remember that moment when the Lord revealed himself more fully to me through Jim’s message, and I was overwhelmed with Christ’s love and beauty. That was a major turning point in my spiritual walk.
4. I was voted Most Courteous in the 7th grade by my classmates. Hard to believe, I know.
5. When I was nine years old, I toured Europe for a month with my mother, brother, grandmother, aunt, and uncle and their two kids—all of us stuffed into a Volkswagen Bug. I rode in the cubby hole in the back while everyone else crammed in where they could. I recall looking out at the Alps from the back window and visiting centuries-old castles. I credit that trip with first sparking my love of history.
6. On a more serious note, I was sexually molested when I was a young girl (the perpetrator was someone outside my family), and that experience shaped my life early on in painful ways, as you can imagine. But, understanding that God never wastes a hurt, the Lord brought good from it too. In Revealed, my second published novel and a story about a redeemed prostitute, God healed wounds within me that I didn’t know still existed. Even though I make no mention in the Author’s Note in Revealed about my being sexually abused, women who share similar experiences to mine write me saying, “I’ve read your book, and I think we share a similar past…” They see themselves in the story and write to tell me how it’s brought them fresh hope. And in sharing that, they bring the same hope to me!
7. My first “real” job was cleaning the shelves at Lord’s Pharmacy in Tucker, Georgia. I removed all the inventory, wiped down the shelves, then placed everything back in very “Sleeping With the Enemy” fashion. Best thing about working there? The fried egg and bacon sandwiches they served at the old-fashioned soda counter. Delicious!
8. When I was 17, I dated a guy who had recently gotten his pilot’s license. He asked me to go up with him. I knew if I asked my parents for permission, they’d say no. So before I left that afternoon to go flying with him, I wrote a note and stuck it beneath my pillow apologizing to my parents if anything went wrong. Obviously, the guy and I made it back without incident, so I tore up the note. Later though, I felt guilty and confessed what I’d done. My parents told me they deeply appreciated my honesty and loved me dearly, then promptly punished me—just as they should have.
9. On our honeymoon, Joe and I took a ton of pictures but then our camera broke and all the film was ruined. So the only picture we have is this one, taken at one of those places where you dress up in costumes and can’t smile for anything.
10. The “celebration snack” I have each time a book is finished is a double pack of Hostess Cream-filled Cupcakes with a half-frozen Diet Dr. Pepper. Love it! Do you have a guilty pleasure/celebration snack?
Tamera Alexander is a bestselling novelist whose works have been awarded or nominated for numerous honors, including the Christy Award, the RITA Award, and the Carol Award. After seventeen years in Colorado, Tamera and her husband have returned to their native South and live in Tennessee, where they enjoy spending time with their two grown children.