Please tell us a bit about yourself.
After living in Colorado for seventeen years, Tamera has returned to her Southern roots. She and her husband now make their home in Nashville, Tennessee where they enjoy life with Tamera’s father, Doug, and with their two adult children who live close by. And don’t forget Jack, their precious—and precocious—silky terrier. Tamera uses her writing to draw closer to the Lord, and hopes that her readers will take steps closer to Christ as they read.
Will you give us a brief overview of the Timber Ridge Reflections Series?
Set in the town of Timber Ridge, in the Colorado Rocky Mountains (1870s), these three stories of faith and romance feature women who break the gender boundaries of their day not only by daring to have careers, but careers traditionally held by men. First, we join photojournalist Elizabeth Westbrook in From a Distance as she defies the odds and learns what it means to follow God’s dream for her life. Then in Beyond This Moment, we meet college professor Dr. Molly Whitcomb who travels the road of second chances and of accepting consequences for decisions she’s made, while also encountering a depth of grace she’s never known. Finally in Within My Heart, Rachel Boyd, a widow raising her two young sons, shows us what it means to take risks, and not only risks with her ranch, but also with something of far greater worth––her heart. These three women seek to fulfill their dreams and hopes in an untamed land where every advancement is hard-fought, every opportunity is cherished, and where love has the transcending power to change lives.
Can each book in the series, From a Distance, Beyond This Moment and Within My Heart, be read as a stand-alone book?
Certainly! I always tell readers that if they’re going to read all of them, why not read them in order for the richest experience. But each book is definitely a story within itself and can be enjoyed individually.
How did you get started as a CBA writer?
I first considered writing a novel in 1999. But I need to go back a bit farther to really get to the “seed” of where all this started for me. In 1995, my mother-in-law, Claudette Harris Alexander, shared a book with me, one she thought I would really enjoy. I was busy and let time go by without reading it. She asked me again if I’d read it. Several times. I said no, but that I would. The best laid plans…
Very unexpectedly, Claudette died that same year from a brain aneurysm. Weeks passed, and as I was cleaning bookshelves downstairs, I happened across that little volume and immediately sat down and read it. Claudette was right! I felt an immediate connection with the thread of hope woven through that gentle love story—Love Comes Softly, by Janette Oke, originally published by Bethany House Publishers in 1979. That sent me searching for more inspirational fiction published not only by Bethany House, but elsewhere in the Christian Booksellers Association market (CBA).
A few years later my husband and I were driving back to Colorado from Texas late one night. I finished a novel, turned to him and said (only joking at the time), “I think I could write one of those.” Without blinking, he said, “Well, do it.” Competitive at heart, I nodded and said, “Okay.”
My first novel made it to the review board at Bethany House Publishers in 2000, after which I received a very nice (and spot on!) rejection letter. Writing that first story was a learning experience for me that I took to heart. And with renewed determination, I set out to seriously study the craft of writing and have been writing ever since. Within My Heart is my seventh published novel.