Eagle Designs
Debby Mayne

Debby Mayne has published more than thirty books and novellas, 1,400 print and Web articles, and a slew of devotionals for women. She has worked as managing editor of a national health magazine, product information writer for HSN, and creative writing instructor for Long Ridge Writers Group. She also judges the Writer’s Digest Annual Competition, Short-Short Contest, and Self-Published Book Competition. Three of Debby’s books have been Heartsong Presents top ten book club favorites. Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida received 4 1/2 stars from Romantic Times Magazine, and was named a Top Pick for the month of July 2009.

Genre Happenings

Welcome to Bloomfield
A Fiction Series Published by B&H

The Bloomfield series is a set of quirky novels, novellas, and straight-to-digital shorts that B&H is publishing over the next several years. I’m one of eight authors writing these delightful, spunky, and often irreverent tales about people we’ve come to know and love, and we hope our readers do too. Gail Sattler, Kathi Macias, Martha Rogers, Trish Perry, Miralee Ferrell, Jenness Walker, Tracy Bowen, and I have written stories that will be coming out in regular intervals as long as readers enjoy them. All the authors of the books in the Bloomfield series are with Tamela Hancock Murray at the Steve Laube Agency.

From the splash fountain in the middle of the town square to Lake Bliss Retirement Village on the outskirts of town, Bloomfield’s residents are Christ-loving, quirky, and endearing folks that you’ll want to know better … and will never forget. If they’re not in the process of falling in love, they’re busy matchmaking. All of their meddling is well-intentioned. Really.

Drop by for a visit and plan to stay awhile. Enjoy delectable treats at the bakery, relax and enjoy a delightful rest at the bed and breakfast, or have a scrumptious meal at the restaurant (nicknamed the Fancy Schmantsy) on tree-lined Main Street. Even better, make Bloomfield your home and help the town reach their goal of 10,000 residents—only twenty-two people away, if no one else dies!

While nothing is perfect, the people in Bloomfield would argue that this is as close to heaven on earth as a person can get without passing through the Pearly Gates. And at the heart of it all, the Bloomfield Garden Club pretty much runs the town. This group of lovable oddballs of all ages will stop at nothing to make everything beautiful. (And we do mean nothing!) Before the city council makes a decision, they run it past the garden club board. With their blessing, anything can happen. Without their permission … well, you don’t even want to know. All of our stories and characters are different, but the common thread is that all the folks in our stories have a need to love and be loved.

Classifying Bloomfield’s genre isn’t easy, but because it’s necessary, I’ll have to say it’s contemporary, small-town women’s fiction with a smidge of suspense and a healthy dose of romance. That’s a mouthful, so maybe Bloomfield can become its own genre.

In this series you’ll get to know a variety of characters who keep this town running like a well-oiled, matchmaking, snoop machine. Did I just say that? Shh, don’t tell my matriarchal character Naomi, or she’ll stop whispering all her secrets in my ear, and then what will I do? She plays an integral role in all my stories, so I’d better be nice.

B&H is bringing this series to readers with a combination of print books, straight-to-digital releases, and novella collections. They’re even doing a serialized podcast of my first digital short, Waiting for a View, which launches the series in July. Gail Sattler’s print

edition of Take the Trophy and Run follows in November, with her straight-to-digital When Pigs and Parrots Fly following shortly afterward. Last Chance for Justice, a print release by Kathi Macias, Best Laid Plans, a straight-to-digital by Martha Rogers, and my full-length print book Good Intentions will follow. Two anthologies are planned, with stories by Trish Perry, Miralee Ferrell, Jenness Walker, and Tracy Bowen. Nothing would make us happier than to see this series continue indefinitely. We each have our own main characters, but all the folks in Bloomfield make appearances in one another’s stories.

While this has been a fun project, it’s also been a challenging endeavor that has brought all eight of us very close. We enjoy bouncing ideas off one another and sometimes even getting into Bloomfield character mode, getting in touch with and showing off our own quirky traits. When we use one another’s characters, we email snippets of dialogue or action to make sure we stay true to who they are, what they would say, and how they would act. Needless to say, there’s a lot of emailing going on.

All of us are previously published in a variety of genres and sub-genres. When we first came together, we discussed and developed our vision for the Bloomfield series and determined that we’d allow our characters to be themselves, including Murray the parrot, named as a shout-out to our lovely agent, but that’s where the similarities end. He’s very mouthy (or should I say, beaky?) and loves to escape when he sees the opportunity. We’re not letting Tamela get away from us any time soon.

Although our stories are fun and lighthearted, we don’t shy away from the depth of emotion that everyone has to deal with. And there’s never any doubt that these books are written from a Christian worldview. In my first story, Waiting for a View, I have a heroine who inherited the only home she’s ever known from an alcoholic father and a mother who was an enabler. She resists change, so when the hero and the woman who has been her mother figure for years challenge her, she’s forced to make a life-altering decision. And since this is a Bloomfield story, the president of the garden club, the town curmudgeon, and a parrot step in and help influence her with their quirky methods that (mostly) work.

I think everyone who has ever lived in a small town will recognize many of our characters. And those who have never stepped outside the big city will get to see what they’re missing. Gail, Kathi, Martha, Trish, Miralee, Jenness, Tracy, and I pray that our readers will be entertained and come away with smiles and laughter after reading our books.