LoRee Peery writes stories of “redeeming grace with a sense of place.” Her debut novel, Moselle’s Insurance, is available from White Rose Publishing. Moselle’s story is the first in LoRee’s Frivolities series.
A life-long Nebraska country girl, LoRee lives on acreage east of Lincoln with her retired insurance agent/handyman husband and a 90-pound yellow lab named Bogey who likes to give hugs. LoRee went back to work when their youngest child was around seven and worked five years at a church followed by fifteen at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a secretary and editorial assistant.
When she isn’t writing, LoRee enjoys many outdoor activities. She’s creating a rock garden and artistically arranges her handpicked selections, intermingling them with cobalt bottles and lots of interesting odds and ends. She enjoys walking creeks and searching for artifacts like dinosaur teeth and arrowheads. Her favorite seasons to enjoy being outside are spring and fall. LoRee’s indoor interests include antiques, spending time with her grandchildren, and reading.
LoRee loves chocolate truffles, having recently discovered Chocolatier Blue in Lincoln. Espresso is her favorite.
In LoRee’s honor, I used cyber cash to order several boxes of their virtual variety. You can choose from many delectable flavors, including standards such as almond, cashew, and peppermint. Or you can be adventurous and sample such temptations as pear with bay leaf, sage honey, and sunflower butter with orange marmalade. Since my offerings here are calorie-free, feel free to try them all. While you savor the flavors, sit back and enjoy this opportunity to get to know more about LoRee and her journey to publication.
LoRee Embarks on Her Journey
•When did you begin writing? What were some of the first steps you took, and what did you learn from them?
Back in the dark ages, when I first tried writing, I submitted short romances to popular magazines. They were nothing more than rough first drafts, so awful. Somewhere deep I wanted to see my byline.
I went on a journey to learn how to be a writer. It was quite satisfying to have nonfiction published in academic journals and anthologies; but my deep desire was to publish a romance. The greatest love stories ever told are in the Bible. I’ve personally struggled with so many issues, and hurt while watching family members go through trials, that I wanted to show how God paves the way. Our destiny in Him is happily ever after, the same ending that epitomizes romance fiction.
•When did your love of writing turn into a serious pursuit of publication?
After I joined Romance Writers of America®, the goal of being published rose above the horizon.
LoRee’s Dream Comes True
•You’d been writing for a number of years and had completed five manuscripts before you received The Call. What led up to it, when did it come, and how did you react? Tears? Cheers? Or stunned silence?
Moselle’s Insurance was rejected by five agents, but feedback led me to believe I was close to acceptance. I had never considered going the route of an online publisher until I personally met an editor.
Lori Graham, current romantic suspense editor for The Wild Rose Press, then an editor for White Rose Publishing, came to Prairieland Romance Writers (my local RWA chapter) in March 2009. She invited me to submit Moselle’s Insurance. It was rejected twice by White Rose editors, each time with the invitation to resubmit.
I was devastated by the second, very detailed letter of rejection, and I quit writing for several months during 2009. At writer’s retreat in January of 2010, my fellow chapter members encouraged me to reconsider that last rejection.
I went through the editor’s comments. I agreed with her, revised, and resubmitted. Moselle’s story was accepted in less than a week this past April. Writers often use the term happy dance. I danced with happy feet, while twirling in my desk chair. I probably had a whooping holler in there somewhere.
•Sometimes, despite our dream of being a published author, our determination, and our dedication, life intervenes. You faced a number of major hurdles that sidetracked your plans of pursuing publication. What happened, and how did you handle the challenges that came your way and keep your dream alive?
I may react emotionally to life situations at first, but I have the attitude of an overcomer (praise the Lord). As the oldest of seven, many lives have been affected (some would say ruined) by the unsolved homicide of our father. Early on, I refused to consider myself a surviving victim. I decided I would rise above that blow. My first novel resulted from a Writer’s Digest class. My heroine found her father’s killer, and when that story was finished, I kept writing.
•What sparked the idea for Moselle’s Insurance? Did you begin with a name or place? Did scenes begin playing in your mind a character start chatting?
The setting came first. I shopped in a couple whacky stores that made me smile, just walking through the doors. My maiden name is Mosel. The Mosel River runs through Germany and is called Moselle in France. I like the name. I relate to small towns because I grew up in one. Fictitious Frivolities in fictitious Platteville, Nebraska, was born. Almost all of us had a first love in high school, so ideas flowed, and I created a reunion story.
•What inspires you when you’re writing? Music? Motivational sayings on your office walls? A hefty dose of caffeine?
All of the above. I like Celtic, gospel, country, old-time rock and roll, relaxing instrumental/nature, and movie CDs. I have Gone with the Wind collectibles, inspirational quotes, nature pictures, and wolves around my desk. Chocolate and caffeine as required.
LoRee’s Debut Novel
•Please tell us about Moselle’s Insurance.
Creative artist Moselle Carson gives new life to old items, but she can’t seem to renew her shattered ideal of love. When she returns to her hometown to help with a new family business, memories of a broken heart and small-town gossip chip away the tough exterior she’s erected over the years. Now she’s forced to decide whether she’ll rebuild the wall or trust that true love never dies when it is ordained by God.
Generous insurance agent and vulnerable firefighter, Eric Todd, remembers too well how he mistreated Moselle and then set her aside. Now he longs for true love and the second chance to become a husband and father. Can he learn to forgive himself and still keep the secret that may redeem him in her eyes?
Reactions and Reviews
•What was it like to behold your book cover for the first time? To admire the work of your publishers’ designer team? To see your name in nice big letters?
I got all choked up to see the fulfillment of a dream: my name on a book cover. And I probably said, “Thank You, Lord,” out loud. My first reaction to the cover was “She looks like Loren” (my oldest granddaughter). Then I looked at the details and, WOW. Kudos to cover artists.
•Moselle’s Insurance has garnered some great reviews. Which of them has touched your heart, and why?
Hmm. Every word of each of them? It was so strange to read about myself and my story. It felt as though I was reading about someone else; yet I experienced the feeling of being humbled, encouraged, and motivated to not disappoint with ensuing books.
LoRee’s Journey Continues
•What captivating new ideas are swirling in your creative mind?
The creative process is unique to each of us. When I was writing Moselle’s Insurance and Rainn said to Eric, “If the daughter looks like the mother, you’ve got a winner,” I knew I had to write the story of Rainn and Geneva. Somewhere in that second story, Lanae came to life; so I proceeded to write her story. It’s been fun writing about women in business, and the story of how each found success in love as well.
Then all kinds of themes, scenes, and conversation came to me for my current story, which is a romance with suspense elements. I hope to have it polished by the end of the year so I can dig into the next one.
Let’s Learn a Little More About LoRee . . .
•What’s your favorite amusement park attraction?
When my back went painful several years ago, I gave up the thrill rides. A sedate Ferris wheel is romantic, don’t you agree?.
•Do you prefer visiting the beach, desert, or mountains?
Each grand vision reveals the magnificence of God’s creation. I’m most partial to the High Desert, as in Oregon..
•At Baskin Robbins, what flavor would you choose?
I’d have to Google those flavors. I love Blue Belle’s vanilla bean, but we don’t have it in Nebraska..
•What section of the bookstore do you visit first?
It really depends on why I’m in the store. I’ll go with local interest, Christian fiction, romance, mystery, and memoir.
•Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Neither. My peek hours are 10 am to 2 pm. When I was younger, I could read until the wee hours. No longer. If I try to work first thing in the morning, even with coffee, I slog along without accomplishing much. I call it my muzzy mind.
LoRee’s Question for You
One of my writing friends told me she wanted to live in Frivolities. Do you have a favorite boutique or curiosity shop you could get lost in for hours?
LoRee has generously offered to give away a PDF copy of Moselle’s Insurance.
To enter the drawing, just leave a comment for LoRee by midnight December 14th (Pacific time) and enter your email address when prompted during the comment process. (You don’t have to leave it in the body of your comment this way.)
On December 15th I will hold the drawing and post the winner’s name here as well as in a comment, will notify the winner by email, and, once I have permission from the winner, will provide her/his email address to LoRee so she can send the PDF file.
Congratulations to the winner of the drawing, Susan Mason!
Note: Offer void where prohibited.
Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.
Learn More About LoRee
Visit her website ~ www.loreepeery.com
Friend Her on Facebook ~ LoRee Peery