Did you know lavender grew in Texas? I discovered fragrant acres of lavender plants in the Texas Hill Country and that immediately fed my desire to become a lavender grower. I too wanted to walk through aromatic lavender fields every day and live the life I imagined was just one glorious experience after another.
After extensive research, many visits to garden centers (Shout Out to Blue Moon Gardens in Edom, Texas, my inspiration store!!), and talking to master gardeners, I realized I lived in a part of Texas that was never going to produce thriving lavender. So, next best thing? Indulge my imagination in creating a novel about a lavender grower and let her live out my dream.
The genesis of this novel sprouted over twenty years ago when I was fascinated by the lives of some of my favorite musicians–including their ups, downs, and twists of fame. In writing the characters of July Sands and Roger Worthington, I replayed many songs from Folk, Christian, Gospel, and Country songs in the backgrounds to land on the soulful and tragic story of two people who lived under that spotlight. Not that I based this story on them, but the music of The Civil Wars duo became my go-to sounds when I needed to channel July and Roger.
Their daughter, AJ Worthington, was born purely from fiction, but the burdens she carries of lost love, family scars, and love for her grandparents is real to so many. Inez’s story–and her backstory that only you the reader really discover–is a tribute to those who’ve dealt with Alzheimer’s disease and it’s fallout.
And then, there’s Luke. You’ll have to tell me who you think Luke English is based on, but I had so much fun writing him and hearing his voice in my head, that I wish I could have kept on writing the rest of his story. Maybe he’ll pop up in other Comfort novels, like characters from Comfort Plans and Emeralds Mark the Spot have walked through these pages.
The book debuts October 1st, but I’m giving you a sneak peek at the cover today, and hope you’ll remember this story when you’re looking for a good book to curl up with and take an everyday vacation.