Why Allegany County?

Simple answer: Because it's one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Imagine rolling treed hillsides, the hint of mountain air, creeks and rivers widening as they weave their way through ancient settings...

Towns and villages, bucolic and sweet. Church spires in every direction. Town circles, town squares, gracious old courthouse... Cemeteries, with their own stories to tell.

The sweet, caught-in-time town of Angelica, where I found Park Circle, a town 'round' surrounded by lovely old churches. Right then, strolling down Main Street, I knew I'd found the setting for the fictional town of "Jamison, New York".

The Angelica Sweet Shop, owned by my new friends Don and Karen Ash. Don and Karen have graciously carried all of the Men of Allegany County books in both the Sweet shop and their warm and eclectic "Black-Eyed Susan Acoustic Cafe" just down the road apiece. 

Doesn't this inn just beg you to stop by? Spend the night?

A library to die for in Wellsville.

And so much more!

But the main thing that caught my attention in 2007 was the people. I traveled to Allegany County from my home two hours north to watch a friend's son play in the New York State Little League Championships hosted in Wellsville.

The Beef Haus owners stayed open late to serve the out-of-town Little League families. Great food, gracious servers!

Cartwrights Maple Tree Inn... Look at the line of folks, stretching through the snow, waiting for the yearly tradition of buckwheat pancakes and freshly made maple syrup. 

The Texas Hot...  In Wellsville, New York. Small town diner, great food, fun staff,  amazing Graham Cracker Cream Pie. I'm putting my own version of it in these pages, it was THAT GOOD that I had to go home and come up with my own!

Dave and I instantly fell in love with the town, the setting, the people, the hint of a strong past beleaguered by an economic crunch in the present. I decided that when I got published, I would do my best to set a series of books in Allegany County, to help draw people's attention to the warmth and goodness we found there. With four books now published, three more on the way, and a possible new Allegany series in the works, I couldn't be happier.

I've always felt God finds a way. Was it a coincidence that took me to Allegany County in '07? I don't think so. Was it a coincidence that put me on a plane alongside a staff member from Bolivar Richburg schools and she mentioned Dave Evans and his work-shop project of refurbishing houses?

His project is now my hero's job in the upcoming "A Family to Cherish" in July, 2012.

Was it chance that when my son-in-law repeated a phrase from Littleton, Colorado, a person that mentioned that most of the Columbine teachers had moved on... And then my brain started wondering where they would go. How they would move on? That tidbit of information became "Mended Hearts", my September, 2011 Love Inspired release.

As I learn more about this county, I realize I have family not far from there, the Romessers and the Almeters and the Cavanaughs. Old stories crop up, with new takes.

I am literally having the time of my life!

No matter where you're from, I promise you will relate to the small town warmth and antics of this series. You'll meet people you're sure you've met before, characters that cross all our paths. And I hope you love each and every book as much as I've loved writing them!

God bless you!