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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Spotlight on Janet Lee Barton and Mississippi Weddings


Janet Lee Barton has lived all over the southern U.S., but she and her husband plan to now stay put in Oklahoma. With three daughters and six grandchildren between them, they feel blessed to have at least one daughter and her family living in the same town. Janet loves being able to share her faith through her writing. Happily married to her very own hero, she is ever thankful that the Lord brought Dan into her life, and she wants to write stories that show that the love between a man and a woman is at its best when the relationship is built with God at the center. She's very happy that the kind of romances the Lord has called her to write can be read by and shared with women of all ages, from teenagers to grandmothers alike.

by Janet Lee Barton
Published by Barbour Publishing


Contemporary Romance: Once you reach the shores of Magnolia Bay, you'll never want to leave. Here you'll find Meagan Evans, a woman torn between her old flame, Nick Chambers, and the man who waits for her back in Texas; the recently widowed Ronni Melrose, whose determination never to open her heart again is tested by Cole Bannister; and Dani Phillips, who loves her job as city manager but begins to see red when Thad Cameron is hired to help save Magnolia Bay's flagging economy. Let yourself be swept away in these tales of three southern belles who take the "Miss" out of "Mississippi."

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1. This is a compilation of your 3 contemporary Mississippi books. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

I fell in love with the quaintness of the Mississippi Gulf Coast long before Katrina devastated it, and I knew I wanted to set a series in that area. The inspiration for the series was about how a quaint small town could be in danger of having it's charm taken away if it let casinos in it's boundaries--and how it was in danger of dying if it did not. The series is about how one town chose to fight for it's life without giving away its soul. All the stories take place in the same fictional town of Magnolia Bay, MS and include characters from the other stories. They are stories are about friends and families who are there for each other and the town they love--and who turn to the Lord to guide them in their fight for right.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that are theirs and theirs alone?

Hmm. I think our life experiences are always reflected in our writing because we draw from what we know. But there isn't any one thing about my life that is in these characters except to say that they sometimes struggle with things I, and most of us, have struggled with at times in our lives. They struggle with forgiving themselves and others at times. As they grow they learn that its in trusting the Lord to help us through life's ups and downs that we gain real contentment and peace.

3. What themes exist in Mississippi Weddings that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

In Unforgettable, Meagan must learn to forgive and trust in the Lord to guide her. She must put the past where it belongs so that she can look forward to the future.
In To Love Again, Ronni must let go of the pain of betrayal and learn to trust before she can give her heart to another.
In With Open Arms, A whole town learns to trust each other and especially the Lord to help them through a crisis

I believe the overall theme in the series is trusting in the Lord to help us do His will in all areas of our lives.

4. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

With Open Arms was very hard to write because it had been proposed before Katrina and had to be written after. I saw what the devastation was and knew that the town I'd fashioned Magnolia Bay after was almost wiped away. It is not Katrina's story, although I hope to write about that one day. But it is the story of what can happen along the Gulf Coast in any given year and how people live with the threat of hurricanes from June to November each and every year along the Gulf Coast and anywhere there are hurricanes.

My favorite part was in showing how depending and trusting in the Lord is what brings us peace and joy. And in showing how close friends and small towns come together to help each other in times of need.

5. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

The next book out is NEW MEXICO WEDDINGS: a compilation anthology of 3 of my contemporary New Mexico stories: Family Circle, Family Ties and Family Reunion.
These stories are what I refer to as my 'family series' because it's about one big loving family who is there to help each other when needed....and they LOVE to play matchmakers--even when not wanted!

It will be released in July. In September there will be a novella, The Cookie Jar, in Connecticut Christmas, a collection with Diane Ashley, Rhonda Gibson and Gail Sattler. In January 2009 look for the first book in the historical Arkansas series, called A Love for Keeps. It takes place in Eureka Springs in 1886.

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Thank you, Janet, for being in the spotlight with us.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of Mississippi Weddings.

If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post. Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname or that it's available for viewing in your blogger profile. Wouldn't want you to miss out on winning a book. :)

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when I announce the winner.

This week, the contest is open to anyone worldwide.

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Karin said...

Sounds good--please enter me in the drawing. Thank you.

ChristyJan said...

This book with the three stories sounds wonderful! Please enter me.

hawkes AT

windycindy said...

Hello! I have read series of books and anthologies, but I don't think I have ever read anyone's compilation!
I find that very interesting. Sounds like great Southern reading to me in a time where there were concerns, but not large ones. Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks very much! Cindi

Dee said...

All these stories sound wonderful! Thank you for the chance to win this book!

Donna said...

Thank you for the chance to win.


tetewa said...

I'd like to be included!

Cherie J said...

Please include me.

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

We have a winner for this drawing, and that is:


Congratulations. I've sent your mailing information to Janet so she can send out your book.

THREE other winners posted. Check out the comments on the other more recent spotlights after this one to see if you've won.

As always, thank you for your continued support.