Meet the characters of How Sweet the Sound: Princella Harlan

All this month, I’m introducing various characters from my novel, How Sweet the Sound. Today I’m introducing the colorful Princella Harlan, matriarch of the Harlan family.

Order a copy of How Sweet the Sound today to learn more about her and all the characters in this lower Alabama story. Available at this link and wherever your favorite books are sold.


Life has its rules.

Rules made to be kept and not broken.

Family rules.

Society rules.

Rules of nature which, like the sureness that the sun, rise and beckon the scrawny limbs and chartreuse leaves of the pecan trees to lengthen and unfurl.

Rules which hold things together, like the earth which pulls and keeps the ivory orb of the moon from flying off into space.

Rules meant to keep secrets in, and never let them out.

As matriarch of three generations of the Harlan family, Princella Harlan has rules, and she makes sure everyone keeps them.

Until one day, the wind blows.

The cradle rocks.

Boughs break.

Hell breaks loose in Bay Spring, Alabama, where the Harlan name is etched in on the town water tower, and everyone within a stone’s throw can see it flaking and fading away.

Can Princella’s hardened heart be redeemed?

Will her rules save her?

Or will something–or someone–set her free?


If you’ve read How Sweet the Sound, what did you think about Princella? Share your thoughts below (without giving away any plot secrets, of course!).


Merry Christmas, everyone! 

I’m signing out for the rest of the year. Have a blessed holiday season, friends, and make sure you buy books for the people you love. 

Day 24 of #25daysofgood 

I’m so glad you’re joining me on this little journey of finding the good in these chaotic times. 

For Day 24 (counting down to Election Day) of #25daysofgood, I found good in the turned yellow leaves of the locust tree in our backyard. 

I planted the tree purposefully 10 years ago as I was reeling and healing from a difficult time in our lives, a time when I was begging the Lord to show me why He allows bad things and bad people to continue, unfettered, to hurt.

I found a verse in Joel which gave me great comfort: 

“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter…” Joel 2:25

I grabbed hold of that verse like a life preserver, holding the Lord to this promise. 

I planted the locust tree.

And I waited.

Eventually the pain ebbed.

The tree grew.

And I am reminded with every season that His mercies are new every morning…that He does restore the broken places.