~featured author~

Tracy L. Higley started her first novel at age eight and has been hooked on writing ever since. She has authored eleven novels. Tracy is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Ancient History and has traveled through Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Italy, researching her novels and falling into adventures. When not traveling, she shares her Pennsylvania home and garden with one husband, four kids, and ten pets. See her travel journals and more at TracyHigley.com 
Tracy's office in her Pennsylvania home.


No doubt about it, writing novels is a dream job. But it's not all fun and games. When it's time for a break or change of scenery, many novelists retreat to a special garden spot in the backyard, front porch, courtyard or garden shed. We welcome you into the outdoor spaces that offer us respite and inspiration. So grab a mug of coffee or a cup of tea and come sit with us a spell. . .

[Authors are presented in alphabetical order, so be sure to scroll through all of the more than sixty gardens, or use the sidebar links to navigate to your favorite authors. Each week, one author's garden spaces and latest book are featured at the top of the blog.]

carolyne aarsen

Since selling her first book in 1997, Carolyne Aarsen has had numerous novels published. Her stories reflect a love of God, family, and rural life. When not writing she helps her husband with his logging business, and with the cows, horses and chickens on their farm in Neerlandia, Canada, where long winters make them appreciate their flowers all the more. (The lovely arbor bench below is the view from Carolyne's office window!) Carolyne and her husband have raised four children and numerous foster children, and are now enjoying the addition of grandchildren to their family. Read more about Carolyne at www.carolyneaarsen.com.

tamera alexander

Tamera Alexander is a bestselling novelist whose works have been awarded and nominated for numerous honors, including the Christy Award, the RITA Award, and the Carol Award. After seventeen years in Colorado, Tamera and her husband have returned to their native South and live in Nashville, Tennessee, where they enjoy spending time with their two grown children, and a ten-pound silky terrier named Jack. Tamera's always wanted a screened-in porch, and look...she finally got one. The perfect outdoor office! More at www.tameraalexander.com.

Tamera doing research at Claude Monet's gardens in Giverny, France.
Tamera's tidy indoor office (between books, obviously!)

nikki arana

Nikki Arana’s newest title, The Next Target, due out in June 2012, is about a woman inspired to evangelize Muslims and her efforts to protect them from the Satanic directive of Sharia law to kill anyone who converts from Islam to Christianity. It is inspired by a true story. Her first three novels make up the Regalo Grande series, set alternately in Guadalajara, Mexico and California wine country. Nikki and her husband, Antonio, live in the Pacific Northwest.  Visit Nikki's website at www.nikkiarana.com.

Nikki's office at home.

lynn austin

Lynn Austin's books have won eight Christy Awards, and her novel Hidden Places became a Hallmark movie starring Shirley Jones. Lynn gardens near Chicago where a beautiful crab apple tree blossoms outside her office window in the spring, and the season’s first robins come to eat the leftover fruit. "In the summer, I enjoy watching the sparrow family that has built a nest there," says Lynn. "In the fall, the leaves turn a gorgeous shade of yellowish-orange, and I often hear Canada geese honking as they fly over on their way south. This space has provided many happy hours with family and friends." Lynn's garden space also has a flowerbed with beautiful tulips, given to her by friends and readers in the Netherlands. "We planted the grape arbor a few years ago, and I make grape jelly from its fruit. Spread on warm toast, it’s a little taste of summer when the snow piles up." Read more at www.lynnaustin.org.

Lynn's office.

ruth axtell

This year marks a transition year for Ruth Axtell. She has a new book coming out with a new publisher. With Her Good Name Ruth returns to the longer books she so enjoys writing. She loves writing about the 19th century, whether it’s Regency or late Victorian England. With Her Good Name she returns to coastal Maine in the 1890s when the wealth came from the logging industry. This is Ruth’s 14th published work. Next spring she’ll return to Regency England with Midnight Masquerade. Gardening, both vegetable and flower, are a source of inspiration in Downeast Maine and something to look forward to during the winter months. Visit Ruth online at www.ruthaxtellmorren.com.

Ruth stops at a sidewalk café
while in Paris on a research trip.

A view of Ruth's garden when she lived in Holland.

Ruth's office-with-a-view in her Maine home.

karen ball

Karen Ball has been writing stories since she was a little girl. The first novel in her Family Honor series, Shattered Justice, was given the 2006 Inspirational Reader's Choice Award. The much anticipated final book in that series, What Lies Within, will release in November '07. Karen's love of all things nature came from her mother and father, who raised pansies and roses, respectively. As a result, Karen's garden today has an abundance of both flowers, and she loves creating bouquets from her garden to fill the house with the sweet fragrances. The color and aroma are a definite inspiration to her as she writes. Visit Karen's website at www.karenballbooks.com.