How did you come up with the concept for Forsaken Dreams?
Actually, I didn’t come up with it! I was signing books at a conference and a reader came up to me and relayed the fascinating tale about how, after the Civil War, several Southerners left the United States and went to start a new Utopia on the shores of Brazil. She said it would make a great series. At the time, I was working on several other projects so I didn’t pursue it, but a couple of years later, I started doing research on it and became fascinated with the history. We aren’t talking just a dozen or so Southerners. We are talking thousands of people who left the South after the war and headed toward Brazil and some to Mexico. Their struggles, trials, heartaches and successes are a huge part of our history, a history that, I believe, needs to be told.
What a beautiful cover!
Thank you!! I give all the credit for that gorgeous cover to my publisher, Barbour. They’ve been producing some fabulous covers lately. This cover definitely portrays the mysterious, adventurous feel of the book perfectly.
Have you been to Brazil? What fascinated you about the time period and the setting?
Nope. Never been to Brazil, although now that I’ve researched it, I’m anxious for a visit! It sounds like a beautiful, exotic place. Especially Rio de Janeiro. In truth, I was more fascinated with the true story of these immigrants than I was with the time period or setting. I wondered what could have been so horrible to have made them pack up and leave everything they knew and head for foreign shores. Their courage, strength, and perseverance under such heartache and duress truly inspired me.
Most of your stories revolve around swashbuckling pirates and sea captains. What draws you to write about them?
Actually I only have one pirate series, but a good majority of my books have several scenes set at sea. Ever since I was a child growing up on the shores of South Florida, I have loved the sea and especially the tall ships of old. To me, there’s something very romantic and adventurous about those magnificent sailing ships and the men and women who journeyed on them in search of new lands.
Do you have a favorite character Forsaken Dreams? Why?
Yes. The heroine, Eliza Crawford. She’s all the things so many of us want to be: Strong, Independent, Smart, Caring, Selfless. But she has a fatal flaw—one which I can relate to very much, and one I’m hoping others will relate to as well. She wants to live life on her own terms. She wants to do things her way and follow her own heart and will. She doesn’t want to be told what to do by anyone, especially God. Consequently, she disobeyed her father and ran off to marry a man who was all wrong for her, an action that cost her and others dearly. Still, she struggles with an independent spirit that refuses to submit to God, even when she knows His will is best. Sound familiar? It does to me!