Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Guest Post: Sherryl Woods

Driftwood Cottage (Chesapeake Shores)Today A Chick Who Reads welcomes Sherryl Woods to the blog. Sherryl is going to be talking about her fabulous Chesapeake Shores trilogy!

Over the years, one of the recurring themes in my books has been the complexity of family dynamics. That has never been more true than in the Chesapeake Shores series. The latest trilogy Driftwood Cottage, Moonlight Cove and Beach Lane, all in stores now from MIRA Books -- continues to explore the relationships of the extended O'Brien family, from grandmother Nell O'Brien to her three sons and their families.

This family has dealt with issues that many American families have faced -- divorce, financial problems, illness and other adversities. They've done it, I think, with wit and wisdom and, above all, a sense of hope. For me, these messages are the most important things I can ever convey in a book.

Moonlight Cove (Chesapeake Shores)Let's start with wit. We all know that laughter is the best medicine. Even as my cousin and I were making funeral arrangements for our beloved 98-year-old aunt last week, we were able to find humorous moments that enabled us to cope with our grief, moments of which our always-ready-for-a-laugh aunt would have joyfully approved. If we can laugh at ourselves, no matter the circumstances, we can get through anything. The O'Briens share that trait, always able to recover from sorrow with a much-needed sense of humor.

As for wisdom, Nell O'Brien is a fountain of it. She has nurtured, counseled and coaxed her sons and grandchildren onto the paths she thinks will lead to marital harmony and happiness. And when the time comes for her own romance in upcoming books, she demonstrates by example the fine (and often difficult) art of compromise.

Beach Lane (Chesapeake Shores)When it comes to hope, I want each of my stories to uplift readers, to show them that no matter what they might face whether it's something as complex as Jess's ongoing struggle with attention deficit disorder in Moonlight Cove or Susie's unexpectedly terrifying and life-changing bout with cancer in Beach Lane, it is possible not only to survive, but to thrive.

I hope you'll share the joy, occasional tears and hope that make Chesapeake Shores such a wonderful town and the O'Briens the kind of people you'd love to have as friends.

Author Info: With two other careers to her credit before becoming a novelist and four states in which she's lived for extended periods of time, Sherryl Woods has collected friends and memories, along with way too much unnecessary junk.

"The friends are the only things I've brought with me through the years that really matter," she says. "I could probably live without one more chintz teacup, another tin-litho sandpail or another snowglobe, but I need those friends."

Author of more than 100 romance and mystery novels, Sherryl Woods grew up in Virginia. Over the years she had lived in Ohio and Florida, as well as California. Currently she divides her time between Key Biscayne, Florida and Colonial Beach, Virginia, the small, river-front town where she spent her childhood summers.

A graduate of Ohio State University School of Journalism, Sherryl spent more than ten years as a journalist, most of them as a television critic for newspapers in Ohio and Florida. For several years she also coordinated a motivational program for the more than 8,000 employees at the University of Miami-Jackson Memorial Medical Center.

Her first book, RESTORING LOVE, was published in 1982 by Dell Candlelight Ecstasy under the pseudonym of Suzanne Sherrill. Her second book, SAND CASTLES, under the pseudonym of Alexandra Kirk, was published later that same year by Bantam. She began using her own name when she moved to the Second Chance at Love line at Berkley Publishing. In 1986, she began writing full-time and also began her long career at Silhouette Books with the Desire title NOT AT EIGHT, DARLING, set in the world of television which she covered for so many years.

In addition to her more than 75 romances for Silhouette Desire and Special Edition, she has written thirteen mysteries — nine in the Amanda Roberts series and four in the Molly DeWitt series.

When she's not writing or reading, Sherryl loves to garden, though she's not at her best on a riding lawn mower. She also loves tennis, theater, and ballet, even though her top spin has long since vanished, she's never set foot on a stage, and she's way too uncoordinated to dance. She also loves baseball and claims anyone who's ever seen Kevin Costner in "Bull Durham" can understand why.



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