What If Everything Changed?

This is release week for me, as the final book in the Legacy series, Rebecca’s Legacy launched.

Book 2, Carlotta’s Legacy, is still on sale for 99¢, so here’s an excerpt from the book, and a video created by my publisher:

4 November, 1929

Rebecca Lewis stared at the angry crowd gathered outside the bank where she’d worked as a secretary for only six weeks. It was Monday morning, almost one week after Black Tuesday.

What was she to do? Dare she cross the street, try to maneuver through that mob?

While she struggled to decide, her gaze fell on a familiar face behind the wheel of a brown Model A sedan—Robert Emerson, her best friend’s husband. She waved to gain his attention then ran toward the car when he halted.

He opened the car door from the inside. “Jump in. I think we better hit the road.”

She slid onto the seat next to him and closed the door as something hard hit the window.

Robert mashed the gas pedal and sped away.

Rebecca turned to gaze out the back window. “Thank you. I had no idea what to do.”

He checked his mirrors, then glanced at Rebecca. “I’m glad I happened along when I did. Apparently, someone recognized you as a bank employee.”

With a quick look in his direction, she braced herself with a hand to the dash as he made a hard left.

“Sorry. Another crowd up ahead.”

She laid a gloved hand at the base of her throat as her heart thumped. “Why are they doing this?”

“Panic. Everyone wants their money.” His eyes met hers. “Where’s your father?”

“He’s in New York. Trying to recover something … or other.”

“As is everyone—trying to recover something, I mean.”

She watched his profile, the hard set of his jaw. The last few weeks had been especially hard on him and his family. “What about you? Woods-Sanderson?”

“We’re all right, for now. Amelia was a smart lady. She diversified, invested worldwide.”

“This is worldwide, isn’t it?”

“Well, yes, but …” he pulled into his driveway. “I hope you don’t mind if we cool our heels here. Nancy’ll be worried. You know how she is about listening to the wireless.”

Rebecca nodded. “I suppose I could use your telephone. Call my boss and let him know I tried to get there.”

“Good idea. If you need backup, I’ll be glad to put a word in.”

She smiled at him as he exited the sedan and walked around the car. She knew to stay put. Ever the gentleman. Nancy was one lucky lady. Of course, she would call it blessed. Rebecca fiddled with the ring on her finger, hidden beneath her gloves. Had she made the right decision? Caught up in her thoughts, she jumped when Robert opened the door.

He grinned. “Sorry, did I startle you?”

She blew out a breath. “Yes, a little. I’m rather distracted.”

“Nothing to worry about, you know. It’ll all come to rights.”

Rebecca’s Legacy (Legacy #2)

Her life is in a downhill plunge.

Rebecca Lewis is a reluctant bride-to-be. Marrying Riccardo Alverá, a young Italian count, may seem like a dream come true on the surface, but churning underneath is nothing but trouble, questions, and doubt. Especially since the marriage means leaving the only home she’s ever known, possibly for the rest of her life.

The death of her globe-trotting father cements her fate, however. She and her mother have no choice but to set sail for Italy and the virtual stranger who awaits her.

The beauty and tranquility of the Alverá estate fails to ease Rebecca’s heart as political unrest shakes the core of Italian society and despair entwines itself around her heart.

Will marrying an Italian count bring Rebecca the love she’s dreamed of, or doom her to relive her past mistakes?

Available now on Kindle for only 99¢

Buy link for Carlotta’s Legacy

The Story Between

coffee, cup, laptop, memeHello, it’s Thursday morning, and I’m contemplating the story between.

Sometimes authors have “backstory” — the part of the story that only the author knows. It seldom makes it into print. A good writer will incorporate backstory into their work so the reader knows important things about the characters.

There’s a story between Carlotta’s Legacy and Rebecca’s Legacy. It’s important because it tells the reader who Rebecca is, what she’s overcome, and why she’s now living on a farm in a remote region of Virginia.

Amelia’s Legacy ended in 1929, on the eve of the stock market crash. Carlotta’s Legacy takes up the story after the crash, when the world has begun to change for my characters. I show the tragic aftermath that sends Rebecca to another country where she will try to pick up the pieces of her broken life.

Carlotta’s Legacy ends as the world begins to change again. World War II is on the horizon. Rebecca’s husband, Ricci, is called back to active duty to serve a leader and a regime he doesn’t respect. Ricci and Rebecca have recently welcomed a son, Dominic.

Rebecca is comforted by her good friend, a servant in her household. Eva (pronounced A-va) Campi’s son, Alessio, is a few months older than Dominic Alvera. Eva’s husband is serving in Africa.

As an American in Italy, Rebecca’s life becomes more complicated. Many of her liberties are stripped from her. She suffers under the hateful glances of her neighbors. She eventually keeps to herself within the confines of their estate at Tres Viti Verde.

When her good friends, Nancy and Robert Emerson, beg her to return to America, Rebecca initially refuses. Then Eva’s husband is killed. Carlotta suffers a fatal heart attack. Ricci is reported missing, and may be dead. Rebecca decides to accept Robert’s offer. But is it too late?

With their sons, Dominic and Alessio, Rebecca Lewis Alvera and Eva Campi move to Perry’s Landing. Rebecca spearheads a farming initiative, hoping to provide produce to area citizens devastated by the war.  Robert asks the women to take in several Italian war orphans from respected families of his acquaintance.

The women’s farming business prospers, even though some of the neighbors mistrust them, and talk about them behind their backs. After all, Italy sided with Germany. Italy is the enemy, and these women have come from … Italy.

The women pay no attention. They work hard and find ways to serve the community. Through the local Catholic church, they give their extra produce to the poor.

Gradually, the neighbors note the good works these two women are doing. Their constant love and forgiving natures in the face of hatred and bigotry begins to melt the hearts of their fellow citizens.

As Rebecca’s Legacy begins, we have progressed to 1947. The war has ended, and our young heroine is around the same age her mother was at the beginning of Amelia’s Legacy.

Rebecca’s Legacy releases August 7, 2018.

Click to Tweet: Sometimes authors have “backstory” — the part of the story that only the author knows. In the Legacy series by Betty Thomason Owens, there’s a story between.

The Legacy Series is a Wrap

Hello, it’s Thursday morning. This may come as a surprise to some of you. That Monday holiday really messes with your mind schedule. 🙂

I’m celebrating with a second cuppa coffee this morning! I turned in the galley for the final book in the Legacy series. Kind of sad. I’m going to miss the Emerson clan.

Just in case you’re wondering what a galley is–maybe you’re familiar with the term when it refers to a narrow kitchen, or a boat (or ship) propelled by oars. Well, it’s also the mock-up version of a book. Kind of like a “proof”. Authors receive a galley copy for a final read-through of their masterpiece. This is their last chance to correct any errors still hiding in the prose.

Rebecca’s Legacy was a joy to write! I’ve wanted to tell Amy’s story since the day she was born. I was there, you know—halfway through book 1, Amelia’s Legacy. The newborn Amy Juliana Emerson looked like a little doll.

She’s still pretty cute. I hope my readers will love her as much as I do.

Rebecca’s Legacy releases August 7. Be watching for special events and a couple giveaways as the day approaches.

Prequel to a Love Story

Allow me to introduce you to Rebecca Lewis (of the Newport Lewises).

Known as a “robber-baron,”  Rebecca’s grandfather cashed in on the westward movement, buying up land and selling it to the railroads. He amassed a fortune. Then, according to his neighbors, he built an obscenely large mansion. Still, his fortune grew.

He had hoped to pass his vast holdings down to his son, but Rebecca’s grandfather died without a will. His wife lost no time filing suit. A long court battle lined the pockets of a couple of lawyers. The rest of the fortune was split between Rebecca’s father and his stepmother.


Rebecca was raised by servants, while her parents sailed back and forth across the Atlantic to party and gamble away what was left of their money. In Amelia’s Legacy, her life was already changing as a result of her parents’ wasteful lifestyle. She was left to close up the houses, and dismiss the servants.

In 1929, her father returned to the States to make one last attempt at recovering what he’d squandered. The stock market crashed, and took all hope along with it. He was devastated.

This is backstory–sort of prequel to Carlotta’s Legacy. Rebecca Lewis knows all about struggle. She’d been treated like a princess by her grandfather, and ignored by her parents. She doesn’t expect or understand love.

Riccardo “Ricci” Alvera was raised by parents who were devoted to one another. They were Italian aristocracy, living in the heart of Umbria, in a villa built by his mother’s great-grandfather. Tradition and faith guided all their decisions.

When his father died, Ricci returned home from the military to take over running the estate. There were financial difficulties, but with the help of a faithful servant, he was able to bring it back.

The estate was flourishing when he set out to woo and win the heart of an American woman he’d met while stationed in the Alps. She resisted at first, but he was determined. Though he knew his mother would never approve, he would not give up.

You’ll find Rebecca and Ricci’s story in Carlotta’s Legacy. July 11 ONLY it’s on sale for 99 cents on Kindle.

Carlotta’s Legacy is Book two of the Legacy series. You can download it here: getBook.at/Carlotta



Tweet: Known as a robber-baron, Rebecca's grandfather cashed in on the westward movement. https://ctt.ec/0VX8E+ #Sale - #99c

Tweet: Known as a robber-baron, Rebecca’s grandfather cashed in on the westward movement. https://ctt.ec/0VX8E+ #Sale – #99c



Character Interview: Carlotta Alverá

cup-1359012_1280I first met Carlotta Teresa Dominici Alverá while writing the second book in the Legacy Series. I didn’t know what to expect from the woman behind the black lace widow’s veil. She  seemed hardhearted and judgmental. But as I traveled farther into the story, her personality blossomed. I wanted to get to know her better, so I sat down with her over some very strong coffee and some chocolate chip cookies. She does a sweet tooth.

Senora Alverá, welcome to my blog. Please tell my readers a little about yourself.

Carlotta: “I am so grateful to be here with you, Senora. I hope you will pardon my appearance this morning. I had so little time, you know? Americanos are always in such a hurry.” She gazes about her, taking in her surroundings. “I like this room. The sofa is quite comfortable. Not attractive, but adequate.” She turns her full attention to me. “I am born in Perugia. The Dominicis are well known in Umbria. We are an old family.”

I know you’re widowed, and you have a son…

Carlotta at 18
Carlotta at 18

Carlotta: (A smile lights her dark eyes). “Ah, yes, my Riccardo. He is very handsome. He has his father’s fine features and the Dominici coloring. We have the dark hair and eyes. He is a good son, even though he’s about to marry an Americana.”

Yes, Rebecca–what do you know of her? I believe you have met her before?

“We have met, at our villa by the sea. I was not impressed. She was a…how do you say…socialite? Her parents care not for her. She says they are busy. Yes, I think they are, too.” She covers her lips with her fingertips. “But I am not speaking of it, or I will have to go to confessional.”

But Riccardo loves her, so do you think she may have some quality you can admire?

Carlotta: (Scowling) “My son–he is bewitched by this woman. She is not even of his faith. I don’t think she has any faith at all. This is not how I raised my son.” She bites into her cookie and savors the taste. “And I think maybe her family is Irish, or Scotch, or something. Not a drop of Italian blood, Senora, or at least a little Spanish. You know my husband was Spanish.”

Was he?

“Castilian–from a very good family. I am proud of the name Alverá. And he took the best care of my family’s vineyards at Tres Viti when he was in charge of it.”

Tres Viti Verdi – it’s a beautiful name. I believe it means, three green vines?

tuscany-428037_1280Carlotta: “Yes, my great-grandfather built it. He brought the best vines from three nations to develop a wonderful grape. We are now known, Senora, not for our wine, but for our juice, and our wonderful grapes for eating. Tres Viti also produces much fine olive oil. We have the best around.”

Umbria – Olive Grove and vineyards

I’ve heard that. Let’s talk about your son for a moment. I know you are very proud of Riccardo. Does he do anything outside of home? I know he’s busy with the crops.

Carlotta: “Oh, we have a family, the Campis, who work the farm. Benito, or ‘Poppi’, as everyone calls him, is the best. We trust him with all that is ours. And his wife, Nonna…” (she kisses her fingertips) “…is the salt of the earth. She is my best friend–and their family–all of them work at Tres Viti.

Besides overseeing the workers at Tres Viti, Riccardo holds a very important position in our small village of Ginestra. He is a member of the planning committee. He has power…well, some…and the Mayor depends upon him.”

So does he hold political aspirations?

Carlotta: “What you are saying? Aspire? Does he aspire to politics? No, I don’t think so, though he could very well. And maybe Rebecca will want him to be a big man. Maybe she will push him to be so busy he will not have so much time for Tres Viti…and his mamma.”

Now, Carlotta, I think you can trust your son. So what about the legacy…you know, le eredità...what legacy do you hope to leave your family?

pray-1218519_1280Carlotta: “So personal, this question. But I suppose is pertinent.” She looks at her hands, and I realize she’s holding her rosary. “Before I answer, I am wondering–will you be willing to give me the recipe for these wonderful cookies? I think Nonna would do a good job of making them.” She turned the cookie over, examining it. “I am a lover of chocolate.”

We have that in common. I would be happy to give you the recipe. Now, about the legacy–“

Carlotta: She points a finger at me. “You are always in such a hurry, Senora. You must learn to slow down. In Italy, we know how to live well. When we work hard, we take our rest. And such a question as the one you have asked me is so vital, we must give it time.” She spent a few moments, fingering her rosary and gazing about the room. When she brought her attention back to me, she smiled. “I’m thinking the most important thing to pass on to those left behind us is love, do you not think? To love is the greatest legacy.”

I agree with you.

Carlotta: “No matter how much you own, how many possessions, land, or money, or even gold, none of these things compare to love. It is the most important thing. And the love we have for our Savior, God’s love for us, is life itself.”

She’s right. And I think my opinion of Carlotta Teresa Dominici Alverá has changed. Where will her story lead? Will Carlotta come to accept Riccardo’s Americana wife? I hope you’ll want to find out. Carlotta’s Legacy is available at Amazon.com.

Carlotta’s Legacy

Her life is in a downhill plunge. Will marrying an Italian count bring Rebecca the love she’s dreamed of?

Carlottas Legacy Front CoverRebecca Lewis is a reluctant bride-to-be. Marrying Riccardo Alverá, a young Italian count, may seem like a dream come true—an instant answer to her family’s dire straits. But it also means she must leave American soil, possibly forever.

Riccardo is relentless in his pursuit of Rebecca. After her father’s death, she and her mother set sail for Italy. Though Rebecca is still plagued by doubt, Riccardo’s warmth and humor soon melt the icy frost encasing her heart. But as Rebecca settles into his Italian villa, her questions and fears return.

His mother, Carlotta Alverá, is dedicated to strict Roman Catholic beliefs. Will she ever accept Rebecca, who has no real faith? After Rebecca’s mother decides to pursue life on her own terms, peace comes to the villa. But not for long.

Trouble finds Rebecca, even in the tranquil heart of Italy. As political unrest shakes the core of Italian society, a dark shadow falls over Riccardo’s beautiful estate. In her deepest despair, Rebecca confronts her past, finds forgiveness, and finally … the love and acceptance she’s always longed for.

Now Available at Amazon.com $4.99 Kindle $14.99 Print