Dear Reader Friends,
Writing, and living, with the characters of my town of Valentine gave me some of the best years of my life. While I ended the series, each of the characters remain with me still, as alive as any people or place I’ve ever known. Indeed, they came from the life all around me. I have delighted in hearing from many of you how much you fell in love with Valentine, too, and I hope many more in the future will enjoy the stories.
Let me say I can hear Winston Valentine’s voice: “Gooood Mornin’, Valentinites!
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Return to Valentine—
A place where neighbors are family,
Family is life,
And life is to love,
And miracles are indeed possible…
…a Bradburyesque vision with drugstore soda fountains, old-timey radio shows filling the airwaves and a cast of characters who wouldn’t be out of place in Lake Wobegon. Matlock conjures a sweet spell accented by tart drama, as refreshing and delightful as a lemony sweet tea. ~Publishers Weekly, on Chin Up, Honey
The Valentine Series begins with Lost Highways…
Meet Rainey Valentine: thirty-five, twice divorced, with broken dreams but irrepressible hope. When her mother dies, she inherits a truck, an old barrel-racing mare, and a lifetime supply of Mary Kay cosmetics. Taking a page from her mother’s life, Rainey packs up and heads off, leaving Valentine, Oklahoma in her rearview mirror. Along her travels of back roads, she picks up strays, both animal and human, and begins to discover that what she was looking for was all the time back home in Valentine.
Matlock has a gift for telling what she calls ‘the secret lives of ordinary people. ~Detroit Free Press
After twenty years of marriage, Charlene’s husband, Joey, has left her and their three children. Now, with a ranch house, a Chevy Suburban that’s seen better days, and the help of family and friends in Valentine, Charlene starts off on a journey she never wanted or planned to take. The first thing she has to learn is to drive…a vehicle and her life.
Matlock writes about generous people striving to live and love well. She does it beautifully. ~ Contra Costa Times
A book full of miracles. Marilee James has a complicated life–caring for her special needs son, Willie Lee, playing surrogate mother to an abandoned and precocious niece, Corrine, and temporarily running the local newspaper. She’s so busy attending to everyone that her life as a woman gets pushed aside. Until Tate Holloway comes to town to take over his newspaper, and sets out on both a new life and to win Marilee’s heart. He begins with cold tea on a hot day.
A delicious read for a lazy summer day. ~ Publisher’s Weekly
In this funny and poignant sequel to Cold Tea on a Hot Day, Valentine’s own Marilee James is engaged to Tate Holloway, the new editor of the Valentine Voice. Marriage is a nerve-racking proposition for a hesitant divorce’ with a special-needs son and niece depending on her. Enter her ex-husband, Stuart, coming back after two years, and hiding a secret. Life does get complicated, but faith brings answers, helped along by a lot of magic.
Set against the weeks of Christmastime as only the town of Valentine can celebrate–with the P.O. having a Santa mailbox and everyone giving secret presents, Corrine (Cold Tea on a Hot Day) is turning thirteen. She lives a happy life with her aunt Marilee and Papa Tate, her sweet cousin Willie Lee, her almost-boyfriend, Ricky Dale, and her beloved horses. Now is not the time for her irresponsible mother to return and upset everything. But it is Christmas in Valentine, the town of miracles, where anything might happen.
If home is where the heart is, then the town of Valentine is the perfect place to settle in. ~ Joan Medlicott, author of the “Covington Ladies” series.
Divorced from her high school sweetheart, Claire has lost the flavor of life waiting for Andrew to come back. So she leaves everything behind and ends up in her father’s hometown, Valentine, Oklahoma. Before she knows it an overnight stay has turned into weeks, and Claire has found something she had almost forgotten existed—a place to call home. Life is sweet again…until the day her ex-husband arrives in town.
Join the intrigues and fun in the beloved, not-so-sleepy town of Valentine that has captured the hearts of readers everywhere.
Emma Berry’s son is getting married, and Emma is determined to make everything perfect—even if it means asking her estranged husband to come home and pretend they are still happily together. John Cole may be an imperfect husband, but he is a loving father, and he’s happy for a second chance to get things right with Emma.
Chin Up, Honey is the story of a long-term marriage– with all it’s passion and hope, disillusion and disappointment, and the resilient, everlasting love of a lifetime. All the favorite characters of the previous Valentine novels return—feisty old Winston Valentine, now a radio personality; innocent little Willie Lee, getting involved with a mystery of his own; lively Vella Blaine, falling in love again; practical Belinda Blaine, taking over the drugstore…
Matlock conjures a sweet spell accented by tart drama, as refreshing and delightful as lemony sweet tea. ~ Publishers Weekly
Little Town, Great Big Life…
Sometimes the smallest towns have the biggest hearts.
It is Valentine’s centennial celebration! Winston Valentine, age ninety-two, brings it all to you live from 1550 on the radio dial. The townsfolk are determined to make it a celebration to remember.
In the midst of all the excitement, Belinda Blaine struggles to hide an overwhelming secret–unexpectedly, at thirty-eight, she’s carrying a child–and the guilt and heartache of an earlier pregnancy nearly twenty years ago. Motherhood is the one crack in Belinda’s strong confidence; she simply can’t believe she can handle it. She even hides it from her beloved and patience husband, Lyle.
Belinda will learn that, in Valentine, there is always comfort in unexpected places, and that in this town miracles are indeed possible.
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