Lacewood: A Novel of Time and Place
Sometimes love is too powerful for one lifetime…
MOVING TO A SMALL TOWN in Virginia is a big change for New York socialite Katie McCain. But when she stumbles across an abandoned 200-year-old mansion, she’s enthralled by the enduring beauty of the neglected estate—and captivated by the haunting portrait of a woman in mourning.
Purchasing the property on a whim, Katie attempts to fit in with the colorful characters in the town of New Hope, while trying to unravel the mystery of the “widow of Lacewood.” As she pieces together the previous owner’s heartrending story, Katie uncovers secrets the house has held for centuries, and discovers the key to coming to terms with her own sense of loss.
The past and present converge when hometown hero Will Durham returns and begins his own healing process by helping the “city girl” restore the place that holds so many memories. As the mystic web of destiny is woven, a love story that might have been lost forever is exposed, and a destiny that has been waiting in the shadows for centuries is fulfilled.
Rich in emotion and poignant in its telling, Lacewood is an unforgettable story about love and loss, roots and belonging…and spirits of the past that refuse to be quieted.
Buy Your Own Copy
How Lacewood came to be
I often get asked how a story comes about, so I thought I’d share a little bit about this very unpredictable adventure with you.
The inspiration for the novel began very innocently. I started noticing sycamore trees while driving to work. Suddenly they were everywhere…along the road, dotting the creeks, stretching their ivory white limbs up to the sky in the distant fields. Most people would ignore this sudden fascination, but being an author, I knew it was the prodding of my writing angel (that’s what I call her)—and I don’t ignore the writing angel.
After doing some research, I discovered that sycamores have quite a history—all the way from the Bible to the American Civil War. I also stumbled across a reference that referred to sycamore trees as lacewood.
Lacewood sounded beautiful…like the title of a novel. This was wonderful news, because I usually struggle with a book’s title long after it is completed. The bad news was…that’s all I had.
Staring at a blank computer screen brought to mind the image of a house beyond a gate that was deserted for some reason. I decided the house must have secrets—but I had no idea what they were. From the beginning, I envisioned a portrait on the wall with a second portrait missing. Unfortunately my writing angel didn’t tell me who the portraits were of or why one was missing.
As I began to create the main character, I knew she also had secrets—but, of course, it would be too easy if I actually knew what they were. Right?
There are two other things I’d like to share with you. Number one, I’m a tree hugger—or more accurately, a tree toucher. Meaning, that when I see a grand, old tree, I have to touch it. I have to put my palm on the bark, close my eyes, and let its energy, its history, soak into me.
Number two, I searched for years for “just the right house,” and bought one that was 200 years old. After doing some research, I discovered it was owned by a Revolutionary War captain, whose family was among the original founders of the town of Gettysburg and surrounding county.
Many years later, while visiting a local cemetery, I noticed the last name of the former owner listed as a middle name of one of my ancestors. I soon found out that my grandmother’s kin married this man’s kin so that this wonderful house that took me so long to find, belonged to someone in my own past.
Random chance? Or grand design?
If you read Lacewood, you’ll get a glimpse of how the spirits of the past seem be the ones directing us all along.
Meet Jessica James
Jessica James believes in honor, duty, and true love—and that’s what she writes about in her award-winning novels that span the ages from the Revolutionary War to modern day.
She is a three-time winner of the John Esten Cooke Award for Fiction, and has won more than a dozen other literary awards. Her novels have been used in schools and are available in hundreds of libraries including Harvard and the U.S. Naval Academy.
Buy Your Own Copy