One of my new favorite authors is Emilie Richards, who writes romance. mainstream and mystery novels. I lucked up on Endless Chain, one of her Shenandoah Album novels, on a sale table at Books a Million. As a former high school Spanish teacher, former junior high Sunday School teacher, wife of a former Baptist minister of music, and a current quilt enthusiast, anything having to do with any of those areas will catch my attention. This book hit more areas of interest in one fell swoop than just about anything else I've ever read.
The gorgeous quilt on the front cover caught my eye right away since my little mental radar goes haywire when quilts are anywhere near. Then after reading the blurb's promise of a story line about a church's struggle to establish an outreach program to the newly arriving Hispanics in the community, I knew this was a story that this liberal Democrat who was barely surviving the horror years of Bush II's imperial presidency could really relate to. There was no way I could leave the store without that book in my possession! And I was not disappointed on any level. I loved it, loved the characters, loved the quilting, loved the locale, even loved the church. I stayed up until the wee hours finishing it and did not regret the loss of sleep.
After reading Endless Chain, I scurried to my computer to find out more about Emilie Richards and her books. I was hoping she had at least written a series featuring these characters. Not only did I discover more books in the Shenandoah series, but I was thrilled to find out about her Ministry is Murder mystery series featuring a minister's wife as amateur sleuth.
While I love quilting, quilts and stories about quilters and quilts, I also have a soft place in my heart for stories featuring churches and clergy, providing they are realistic and respectful. And I adore mysteries! So I ordered Blessed Is the Busybody, the first book in that series, from PaperBack Swap just to see if I'd like it. I did. Since then I've ordered and read Let There Be Suspects and Beware False Profits. I'm planning to head to Books a Million or B&N or Borders really soon to pick up the February's addition to the series, A Lie for a Lie. I'm actually going to pay full price for that one instead of waiting til it becomes available at PaperBack Swap or ordering it through interlibrary loan! That says a lot, because I'm notoriously cheap!
So now, I'm hooked on both series series with no regrets. And sooner or later, I'm going to read her stand-alone novels as well. Emilie's written a whole bunch of romance novels, as well. I don't normally read romance, but I may make an exception for Emilie Richards.