Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Story Behind the Story - with @VarinaDenman

Jaime here! I had to have my friend, Varina Denman, guest post today. Friday, we'll be giving away a copy of her latest book, and her trilogy is so interesting to me, that I wanted her to have a chance to share the story behind how they came to be. So help me welcome, Varina 


Jilted, book three in the Mended Hearts series, revolves around Lynda Turner who has suffered with depression for years. And no wonder! She was jilted by more than one man, her friends turned their backs on her, and the local congregation shunned her. Even though I haven’t been through anything as devastating as Lynda, I can relate to her pain because I also suffer from depression (though my symptoms are mild in comparison to hers). It seems like more and more women have this problem these days, and my prayer is that Jilted will be able to encourage them to keep fighting the battle, and reminding them that God is bigger than their grief.

But I didn’t set out to write a book about depression. Six years ago, I started writing my first novel, Jaded, never dreaming it would eventually turn into a trilogy. Way back then, Lynda was a supporting character, the mother of my heroine, and while I knew she was depressed, I didn’t put a lot of thought into her struggle. At that time, I was more concerned with the problems she was causing for other characters (bless her heart). But over the course of the first two books, Lynda’s personality grew until she deserved a book of her own, and in the end, her story tied all the loose ends together, giving the series a satisfying conclusion.

However, I can’t give Lynda all the credit. As I began plotting her emotional journey, I realized the book belonged to the local ex-convict, Clyde Felton, just as much, and because of that, I increased the number of chapters in his perspective. Even though Clyde is not the main character in Jilted, his story is the skeleton for the entire series since his sin (twenty years ago) set in motion all the conflict. Now that I’m on the other side of the writing process, I consider the “Story Behind the Story” and see that writing the Mended Hearts series helped me along my own emotional journey. I’ve grown stronger in my battle with depression, and I’ve learned—like Lynda—that life is worth living … even when it’s difficult. 

About Jilted:

A heartbroken woman desires to move beyond old memories, but will her past give way to hope? Lynda Turner has struggled with depression since her husband abandoned her and their young daughter fifteen years ago. Yet unexpected hope awakens when a local ex-convict shows interest. As long-hidden secrets resurface, Lynda must fight for her emotional stability and for a life in which the shadow of shame is replaced by the light of love. Jilted tells of a woman who has lost the joy of living, of a man determined to draw her back toward happiness, and of a town that must—once and for all-leave the past where it belongs. It is a gentle reminder that all things can work together for good.


Jaime again. :) I wanted to thank Varina for sharing her testimony about the writing of this book. Depression is something many of us have struggled with, if not been close to someone who has. Varina's vulnerability and her willingness to delve deep into this rather secretive subject, makes me respect her greatly. Join us on Friday for a full interview with Varina and a chance to win a copy of Jaded!

Professional coffee drinker Jaime Jo Wright resides in the hills of Wisconsin writing spirited turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Coffee fuels her snarky personality. She lives in Neverland with her Cap’n Hook who stole her heart and will not give back, their little fairy Tinkerbell, and a very mischievous Peter Pan. The foursome embarks on scores of adventure that only make her fall more wildly in love with romance and intrigue.

Jaime lives in dreamland, exists in reality, and invites you to join her adventures at jaimejowright.com.

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"The Cowgirl's Lasso", The Cowboy Bride's Novella Collection - Barbour Publishing - COMING MARCH 2016

"Gold Haven Heiress", California Gold Rush Romance Collection - Barbour Publishing - COMING AUGUST 2016


  1. I love learning about the backstory! Thanks, Jaime!

  2. Keep on writing, great job!


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