Stephanie Jones and Jean Hovey write together as Alicia Hunter Pace.
Stephanie lives in Jasper, AL, where she teaches sixth grade and wishes for a bookstore. She is a native Alabamian who likes football, civil war history, and people who follow the rules. She is happy to provide a list of said rules to anyone who needs them.
Jean, a former public librarian, lives in Decatur, AL, with her husband in a hundred-year-old house that always wants something from her. She likes to cook but has discovered the joy of Mrs. Paul’s fish fillets since becoming a writer.
Stephanie and Jean are both active members of the fabulous Heart of Dixie Chapter of Romantic Writers of America. They write contemporary romantic comedy and fantasy.
The fourth full length book in our Brothers of Beauford Bend series, Healing Beau, is set to be released December 21, 2015. The baby of the family coming home for Christmas to complete the emotional healing that the brothers have all been going through since Forgiving Jackson.
We are extremely excited about what we are planning next and we think our readers will be, too. We are going back to Merritt, Alabama, with some crossover from out friends in Beauford. We find that we missed Merritt and the people who live there, but we aren’t quite ready to leave Beauford either. Get ready for some fireworks and happily ever after!
Top 5 List of Things We Like to Do
You would think that since there are two of us that a Top Five list of things we like to do would be pretty varied, but we’ve been friends for many years and have had many adventures based on tour common interests.
- Football. We share a life-long love of Alabama college football so we like to watch those games. Some of you might think that only entails few months a year but, here in Alabama, we have a twelve-month football season. There’s the regular season, recruiting season, spring training, and pre-season. It never stops and we like it that way. We also feel very lucky that our publisher, Crimson Romance, has been willing to let us write stories that feature connections to the sport we love so much. We have Scrimmage Gone South, with high school football coach hero, who was once a super star at the University of Alabama and Reforming Gabe from the Brothers of Beauford Bend, with a pro football hero.
- Reading. Like most authors, we were both we readers before we were writers. We have both been members of book clubs for years, which provided inspiration for our Gone South series, which features the members of a book club finding true love. Jean reads women’s fiction, historical fiction, and romantic comedy as well as other things. Stephanie reads everything, especially in the romance genre. Her favorite right now is stories about the Russian mafia.
- Hockey. Stephanie may not have been able to convince Jean to write a Russian mafia story but we did write one about a Russian hockey player in our Christmas novella, Nickolai’s Noel. Hockey is a sport that we have recently fallen in love with. We love the fast pace and the sense of team spirit and loyalty embodied in the sport. Jean and Ken have the added the bonus of being a billet family to members of a junior hockey team.
- Travel. Road trips have brought us many adventures through the years. We have traveled many miles in our decades-long friendship, often with Jean’s husband, Ken driving us. Our most recent trip was to San Antonio, Texas for the Romance Writers of America conference. We had such a great time riding, talking, and seeing all of the sights. If you have never been to a Buc-ee’s convenience store you are missing a treat!
- History. We love to tour historic homes and areas. Jean lives in a historic house and works with the local neighborhood historic society. Stephanie enjoys touring America Civil War battlefields and reading about life in times long gone, especially in the South.
Before we get to our contest, here’s a short excerpt from Healing Beau:
Beau knew he ought not to be holding Christian’s hand. Even now, she was holding very, very still as if hoping if she didn’t move he wouldn’t let go. But he needed an anchor, and they were a long way from thirteen when Christian might or might not have had a crush on him. At the time, Jackson had told him she did and warned him to never lead her on. Beau hadn’t believed it, but—foolish as it was now—he’d always heeded Jackson’s advice. If, at thirteen, he’d known Christian’s friendship was too precious to risk losing, it was practically a religious vow now. There were times when her unwavering support were all that had kept him going when the jungle was too dark, the desert was too hot and hopeless, and too many men had died by his hand—evil, soulless men who’d had to die, but who haunted him nonetheless.
Here in the lights from the fire and the Christmas tree, that life was far in the distant past, and Christian looked so pretty with her long, strawberry blond hair pulled back in a ponytail and shining, almond-shaped brown eyes looking intently into his. There had been a time when she’d been too tall, with feet that she couldn’t seem to get control of. Her transformation into a goddess who moved like a dancer must have occurred a long time ago, but he hadn’t noticed until tonight at that disaster of a welcome home party at his childhood home.
Looking at her almost made the Christmas trappings bearable. Damn, he hated Christmas. Lights. Bells. Music. Food. Gifts. And it didn’t stop for days on end.
“Why, Beau?” Christian asked. “Why do you want to stay here when you’ve got your own suite of rooms at Beauford Bend?”
“Complete with a hospital bed that I don’t need and my own personal physical therapist and masseuse? I thought Jackson was going to cut up my meat tonight.”
Christian tilted her head to the side and laughed that natural, easy laugh that lit up her whole face. “It was pretty surreal, wasn’t it?” She extracted her hand from his, undid her ponytail, and redid it. “And let’s not forget the SUV.”
“And do you know he actually apologized for that? Said he would have bought me a Porsche Spyder if I weren’t so tall and my back weren’t hurt. I don’t even know what that is, but I assume it’s some sort of low-to-the-ground sports car.”
“He loves you, Beau.” Christian’s voice was low and sweet, with no trace of chastisement. She was still wearing the off-white sweater she’d had on at the party. The little gold threads woven through it reflected off the Christmas tree lights into her dark eyes. “He loves you so much.” Her expression went all dreamy.
“I know he does. And I love him. And Gabe and Rafe, too. But there are just so damned many of them now. And soon there’ll be more.”
And that was more people—more family—who could die. He’d caused the death of his parents and baby sister. From the time when it happened when he was eight years old until he escaped at eighteen, he’d lived with the ghosts and the guilt. The guilt never truly went away, but it was sharper and fresher at Beauford Bend. Now here he was, hurt, with no plans, and some savings but no real money.