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Since the day Emjay haltingly read See Spot Run, she was hooked on the written word. As a child, she looked forward to bedtime, because bed and reading went together. All the Luby kids slept with their arms wrapped around books — not stuffed animals.
When she first read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn at the age of 15, she determined that she wanted to be a word spinner — an author — like Betty Smith. She signed up for the Famous Writers Course when she was an 18-year-old stay-at-home mom. Her first story was painstakingly pounded out on an ancient Underwood typewriter.
Many more courses followed over the years, until she finally learned that if she wanted to become a good writer, she needed to spend less time reading about writing, and more time putting words on paper.
She sent an article to a Sunday School quarterly, and was thrilled when they not only accepted her story but paid her $15 for doing what she loved. A Christian magazine accepted an article about her family’s missionary trip to Mexico a few years later.
Many years have passed since she first came up with the idea for The Courting Dress. The outline, character studies, and a couple of chapters sat in the back of a closet until she shared a few pages of the story at an Abba’s Writers meeting. “The women encouraged, prodded, and coerced me to continue writing, and get the book published. I’m grateful for their patience and perseverance as I limped my way to the finish line.”
“I’m fascinated by old mining towns like Madrid in New Mexico and Jerome in Arizona. One day as I was walking through a mining museum, I thought, It would be so cool to go back in time and meet some of the people who lived and worked in these rough-and-tumble towns. Nathan Pierce, Mandy Steven’s love interest in The Courting Dress, is one of those men.”
“One night in March of 1994, while searching through her grandmother’s hope chest, Mandy Stevens finds a charming dress. She impulsively slips it over her head, and is instantly transported from her bedroom in Phoenix, to the middle of a dusty road, and there’s a car barreling down on her! Frozen in disbelief, she’s tackled and thrown out of the path of danger. Her rescuer, Nathan Pierce, tells the bewildered woman she’s in the mining town of Jerome, and the year is 1934. Mandy, whose feet have always been firmly planted on the ground, soon finds herself torn between two eras — one holds the familiar people, places, and things of everyday life, but the other holds a chance to be with the only man she’s ever loved. The past or the present…which one will Mandy choose, or does she have a choice at all?”
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