It is with complete glee that I get to announce that I have been invited to the 36th Annual Kentucky Book Fair hosted by the Kentucky Humanities Council. Last year, I submitted Between Time and was regretfully declined. It was crushing, but I tried again this year with Bluegrass Blush.
I have waited months to hear from the review committee and as the deadline for their response loomed, I was certain I would get passed over again. After listening to the KHC podcast last week that featured the Program Director from Joseph Beth Booksellers discussing the numerous wonderful Kentucky authors, my hopes dimmed even more. The KBF only accepts about two hundred authors and several of those are big name authors that draw in visitors. Then, of the hundred seventy-five or so other seats, they chose the cream of the crop of Kentucky authors.
When the invitation came, I had to read it three times to make sure I was reading it correctly. Surely they were saying thanks, but no thanks, and if you still want to buy an ad in the KBF bulletin, that was fine.
Being invited to be a part of the Book Fair means a great deal to me. I feel like my home state is affirming my story writing. It makes me extremely proud to be a Kentuckian. The story Bluegrass Blush is a romance, but it is so much more than that. The twinkling day dream began one afternoon as I had lunch at the Woodford Inn before heading to the Keeneland Spring Meet. Even though I start with a loose outline when I write, the story takes off and leads me where it wants to go. Malcolm Steele is a 19th century railroad supervisor who loves the promise the steam locomotives bring to our country, but he also protects a secret, an embarrassing secret that he must hide from the stiff Victorian world in which he lives. It’s something that goes against everything a good Victorian of the gilded age would have stood for and even killed to abolish. The main character Everleigh is a modern business woman who finds herself in the past in a much younger body. Modern savvy and a faithful heart guide her to sacrifice herself to save others and find the man of her destiny.
Bluegrass Blush carries the reader on brand new rail lines for the steam locomotive to visit Mammoth Cave before the National Park Service was even created. You will appreciate how far medicine for the sick and infirmed has come in Lexington, and the nation, in the last 125 years.
I hope to see you at the Kentucky Book Fair in November. I will be there with bells on!