By Loyd McIntosh
In her new book Glory Road, USA TODAY and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Lauren Denton brings readers a fresh new story featuring local Alabama culture, sprinkled with nuggets of gardening wisdom. Each element of Glory Road highlights the authors’ own experiences living in Mobile and Homewood, Alabama, along with influences from family and friends. Glory Road is set in fictional Perry, Alabama and follows Jessie McBride who has her work cut out for her keeping up with a teenage daughter and spunky mother while running her garden shop, Twig. The novel’s namesake road is the center of events as the three generations of women learn about healing and new beginnings in life.
“One of my favorite things about writing novels is including things I love in the hopes that readers will enjoy those same things. The story’s setting on Glory Road came from the actual red dirt road where my maternal grandparents lived for my entire childhood,” said Denton. “As a child, I loved how the dirt road made the place feel separated from the real world, and I knew I wanted these three women to enjoy that same peace and quiet.”
Readers will not only find a charming new storyline in Glory Road, but they’ll also get a sneak peek into Denton’s writing process. For instance, each chapter begins with quotable gardening tips, which Denton divulges were written by her—not expert gardeners. “It was fun researching various plants and plant ailments and figuring out how to apply them to my characters,” said Denton. Glory Road also features a bit of romance, which is introduced when handsome, wealthy businessman Sumner Tate asks Jessie to arrange flowers for his daughter’s lavish wedding, and Jessie finds herself drawn to his continued attention.
“Over Christmas one year while I was working on the story, I happened to flip through a Lands End catalog and saw this man who practically yelled at me, ‘I am Sumner Tate!’ I tore the page out, wrote his name at the top, and stuck it to my bulletin board,” said Denton. Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Lauren K. Denton now lives with her husband and two daughters in Homewood, just outside Birmingham. Learn more about Lauren or purchase her novels at laurenkdenton.com.