Copeland, Lori 1951-

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Copeland, Lori 1951-

PERSONAL:

Born June 12, 1951, in Springfield, MO; daughter of John Seneca and Josephine Alice Smart; married Lance Eldon Copeland (a planner), June 14, 1958; children: Randall, Richard, Russell. Religion: Methodist.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Springfield, MO. Office—1340 W. Battlefield, Ste. 106, Springfield, MO 65807-4102. Agent—Evan Marshall Agency, 22 South Park St., Montclair, NJ 07042. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer and novelist. Romance novelist, 1982—. Active in Christian mission work in Mali, West Africa.

MEMBER:

Romance Writers of America, Novelists Ink, Ozark Romance Authors, Christian Authors Network.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times, 1991; Affaire de Coeur Conference, Silver Certificate, 1987, Gold Certificate, 1988, for Passion's Captive; inducted into the Missouri Writers' Hall of Fame, 2000; Reviewers' Choice award, Romantic Times, 2002, for the "Heavenly Daze" series.

WRITINGS:

ROMANCE NOVELS

Playing for Keeps, Dell (New York, NY), 1983.

A Tempting Stranger, Dell (New York, NY), 1983.

All or Nothing, Dell (New York, NY), 1984.

Rainbow's End, Dell (New York, NY), 1984.

Out of Control, Dell (New York, NY), 1984.

A Winning Combination, Dell (New York, NY), 1984.

Two of a Kind, Dell (New York, NY), 1984.

Only the Best, Dell (New York, NY), 1984.

High Voltage, Dell (New York, NY), 1985.

More Than She Bargained For, Dell (New York, NY), 1985.

Spitfire, Dell (New York, NY), 1985.

Forever After, Dell (New York, NY), 1985.

Tug of War, Dell (New York, NY), 1986.

Hot on His Trail, Dell (New York, NY), 1986.

When Lightning Strikes, Dell (New York, NY), 1986.

A Love of Our Own, Dell (New York, NY), 1986.

Passion's Folly, Dell (New York, NY), 1987.

Avenging Angel (also see below), Dell (New York, NY), 1987.

Tale of Love, Dell (New York, NY), 1988.

Passion's Captive (also see below), Dell (New York, NY), 1988.

The Trouble with Thorny, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1988.

Sweet Talkin' Stranger (also see below), Dell (New York, NY), 1989.

Dancy's Woman, Pageant (New York, NY), 1989.

Tall Cotton, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1990.

Darling Deceiver, Loveswept (New York, NY), 1990.

Fool Me Once, Dell (New York, NY), 1990.

Tiz the Season, Loveswept (New York, NY), 1990.

Sweet Hannah Rose, Dell (New York, NY), 1991.

Squeeze Play, Loveswept (New York, NY), 1991.

Melancholy Baby, Loveswept (New York, NY), 1991.

Forever, Ashley, Dell (New York, NY), 1992.

Taste of Temptation, Loveswept (New York, NY), 1992.

Built to Last, Loveswept (New York, NY), 1992.

Timeless Love, Avon (New York, NY), 1993.

Three Complete Novels (contains Avenging Angel, Passion's Captive, and Sweet Talkin' Stranger), Wings Books (New York, NY), 1994.

The Courtship of Cade Kolby, Avon (New York, NY), 1997.

Bride of Johnny McAllister, Avon (New York, NY), 1999.

Child of Grace, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 2001.

Christmas Vows: $5.00 Extra, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 2001.

Roses Will Bloom Again, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 2002.

Stranded in Paradise: A Story of Letting Go, Word Publishing (Nashville, TN), 2002.

Mother of Prevention, Steeple Hill Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Yellow Rose Bride, Steeple Hill Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Monday Morning Faith, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 2006.

Unwrapping Christmas, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 2007.

Simple Gifts, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 2007.

"SISTERS OF MERCY FLATS" TRILOGY

Promise Me Today, Fawcett (New York, NY), 1992.

Promise Me Tomorrow, Fawcett (New York, NY), 1993.

Promise Me Forever, Fawcett (New York, NY), 1994.

"BRIDES OF THE WEST" SERIES

Faith, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1998.

Hope, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1999.

June, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1999.

Glory, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 2000.

Ruth, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 2002.

Patience, Heart Quest (Wheaton, IL), 2004.

WITH ANGELA HUNT; "HEAVENLY DAZE" SERIES

The Island of Heavenly Daze, Word Publishing (Nashville, TN), 2000.

Grace in Autumn, Word Publishing (Nashville, TN), 2001.

A Warmth in Winter, Word Publishing (Nashville, TN), 2001.

A Perfect Love, Word Publishing (Nashville, TN), 2002.

Hearts at Home, Word Publishing (Nashville, TN), 2003.

"MEN OF THE SADDLE" SERIES

The Peacemaker, Tyndale House Publishers (Wheaton, IL), 2004.

The Drifter, Tyndale House Publishers (Wheaton, IL), 2005.

The Maverick, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 2005.

The Plainsman, Tyndale House Publishers (Carol Stream, IL), 2006.

"MORNING SHADE MYSTERY" SERIES

A Case of Bad Taste, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 2003.

A Case of Crooked Letters, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 2004.

A Case of Nosy Neighbors, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 2004.

OTHER

Hunter and His Amazing Remote Control: A Fun, Hands-on Way to Teach Self-Control to ADD/ADHD Children (nonfiction), YouthLight (Chapin, SC), 1998.

Contributor to anthologies, including With This Ring: A Quartet of Charming Stories about Four Very Special Weddings, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1998.

SIDELIGHTS:

Since Dell published her first novel in 1983, Lori Copeland has written dozens of Christian romance novels and created several series, including the popular "Brides of the West" series. The first three books in the series are named for sisters Faith, June, and Hope Kallahan, whose pastor father has died, leaving them with no means of support. Faith, the eldest at nineteen, and her younger sisters answer an ad for mail-order brides and then, in 1872, set out from their home in Michigan for Western adventures. The second three titles are named for other young women who follow in their footsteps. In Faith, the first sister travels to Texas to meet her intended, Nicholas, a rancher who then has second thoughts. When she turns her attention to teaching Braille to the son of a local widower, Nicholas realizes he may lose her. Library Journal reviewer Melissa Hudak felt that the characters are endowed "with enough liveliness to make the book a fun light read."

June finds the sister in Seattle to marry Eli Messenger, the assistant of a well-known evangelist. When she arrives, however, she finds Eli ill and, after he dies, she stays to help with the local orphanage. She soon discovers that the evangelist, Isaac Inman, has been funneling funds intended for the orphans to build a fancy tabernacle. June does find romance with Eli's friend, Parker Sentell, and together they try to show Inman the error of his ways. Hudak noted that the character of the flawed clergyman is "an intriguing twist in a genre that usually demands perfect behavior from its religious characters."

In the "Heavenly Daze" series, unknown to the residents of Heavenly Daze, an island off the coast of Maine, they share their idyllic setting with seven angels who have safeguarded the residents for more than two centuries. Six of the angels have even taken human forms and live among them. Library Journal critic Shawna Saavedra Thorup reviewed A Perfect Love, the fourth book in the series, the plot of which involves a couple having marital problems. "Amusing incidents … keep the pace brisk," noted Thorup, "and the angelic assistance is low-key but powerful."

Copeland began her "Morning Shade Mystery" series with A Case of Bad Taste, which features novelist Maude Diamond, her widowed daughter Cee Cee, and her mother-in-law, Stella, who has moved in with Maude. Maude is suffering writer's block but becomes inspired when Stella and her card-playing friends talk about neighborhood break-ins in which the culprit does not take anything, just redecorates. With this series, Copeland heads in a new direction with a multigenerational cast of women who solve mysteries in their town of Morning Shade.

A Case of Crooked Letters, the second "Morning Shade Mystery" novel, involves Maude, Cee Cee, and Stella in a chain-letter fiasco. Hoping to come up with a way to pay the bills, Stella starts a chain letter to almost everyone in town, asking for money. Claiming innocence, Stella is shocked when Cee Cee tells her that chain letters, especially the type she had sent out, are illegal. Stella begins to fret that she is going to be in legal trouble. When Maude notices that Stella is acting oddly, she concludes that Stella must have been duped into responding to the letter, never knowing that it was her mother-in-law who devised the pernicious letter in the first place. In response, Maude takes it upon herself to find out who is sending the letters and why, leaving Stella wondering what kinds of problems she is going to have when Maude learns that she is responsible. Library Journal reviewer Tamara Butler found Copeland's authorial strength to be in her "humorous take on small-town life and the craziness that can happen in families." A reviewer in Today's Christian Woman named it a "delightfully humorous cozy mystery."

The Drifter, second book in Copeland's "Men of the Saddle" series, is set in the western heyday of 1860s Missouri and Kansas. Widower Beau Claxton, having lost his beloved wife and unborn child to a rattlesnake bite, abandons his ranch and sets out to forge a new life for himself. Elsewhere, Charity Burke, widowed by the Civil War, struggles to maintain the Kansas homestead that she and her husband settled. Without someone to help, however, she fears that she will be unable to keep the farm intact. During his travels, Beau is attacked by a pack of wolves and is left severely injured. When Charity finds him, she believes that he has been sent to her by God. She treats his injuries and helps him recover his strength, all the while forming a plan to get him to marry her—even if she has to resort to trickery. Butler, in another Library Journal review, called the novel a "clever, sweet romance" that will appeal to genre fans and to "crossover readers who like clean historical romance."

In Simple Gifts, protagonist Marlene Queens returns to her hometown of Parnass Springs, MO, to help her ninety-two-year-old Aunt Ingrid arrange her personal and business affairs. The child of two mentally disturbed parents, Marlene never knew her mother, and her father is dead. Upon returning home, Marlene walks into a tumultuous and madcap world characterized by such events as Aunt Ingrid's dispute with her ex-husband's widow over where his amputated foot should be buried. Elsewhere in town, the son of the local pastor, Marlene's now-widowed childhood sweetheart, is waiting for her to renounce her past and rekindle their relationship from decades earlier. For her own part, Marlene harbors an old secret that makes dealing with her relatives and friends particularly difficult, until a disaster brings the story to a startling conclusion. A Publishers Weekly critic named the novel an "enjoyable inspirational romance" in which "Copeland's characters are more intriguing than the standard faith fiction fodder" and in which the "dialogue is snappy and often humorous."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 1, 1994, Denise Perry Donavin, review of Promise Me Forever, p. 1422; May 1, 1998, John Mort, review of With This Ring, p. 1503.

Christian Reader, November, 2000, review of Glory, p. 6; March, 2001, review of Glory, p. 6.

Library Journal, May 15, 1994, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Promise Me Forever, p. 65; August 1, 1997, Kristin Ramsdell, review of The Courtship of Cade Kolby, p. 66; February 1, 1998, Melissa Hudak, review of With This Ring, p. 72; November 1, 1998, Melissa Hudak, review of Faith, p. 64; April 1, 1999, Melissa Hudak, review of June, p. 79; September 1, 2002, Shawn Saavedra Thorup, review of A Perfect Love, p. 156; November 1, 2001, Melanie C. Duncan, review of Christmas Vows: $5.00 Extra, p. 74; February 1, 2004, Tamara Butler, review of Patience, p. 70; April 1, 2004, Tamara Butler, review of A Case of Crooked Letters, p. 78; September 1, 2004, Tamara Butler, review of A Case of Nosy Neighbors, p. 134; April 1, 2005, Tamara Butler, reviews of Mother of Prevention and The Drifter, p. 79; September 1, 2005, Tamara Butler, review of The Maverick, p. 124.

Marriage Partnership, spring, 2002, "Lori Copeland and Angela Hunt Won the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award for Their Book The Island of Heavenly Daze, First in the Heavenly Daze Series," p. S8.

Publishers Weekly, July 8, 1988, review of Passion's Captive, p. 48; October 28, 1988, Penny Kaganoff, review of Tale of Love, p. 73; March 10, 1989, Penny Kaganoff, review of Sweet Talkin' Stranger, p. 80; June 1, 1992, review of Forever, Ashley, p. 58; November 2, 1992, review of Promise Me Today, p. 66; April 4, 1994, review of Promise Me Forever, p. 72; July 14, 1997, review of The Courtship of Cade Kolby, p. 81; August 23, 1999, review of Bride of Johnny Mcallister, p. 54; June 11, 2001, review of Child of Grace, p. 58; March 26, 2007, review of Simple Gifts, p. 67.

Today's Christian Woman, March-April, 2004, review of A Case of Crooked Letters, p. 8; March-April, 2004, review of Patience, p. 11.

ONLINE

Fantastic Fiction Web site,http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/ (September 3, 2007), bibliography of Lori Copeland.

Lori Copeland Home Page,http://www.loricopeland.com (September 3, 2007).