Simmons, T.M. (Carolyn Chase, Trana Mae Simmons)
Simmons, T.M. (Carolyn Chase, Trana Mae Simmons)
Married Barney Simmons; children: two sons. Hobbies and other interests: "Screenwriting, psychic powers, ghosthunting."
North Texas Paranormal Research Society.
(Under pseudonym Carolyn Chase) Frontier Rogue, Dell (New York, NY), 1990.
Montana Surrender, Leisure (New York, NY), 1993.
Bittersweet Promises, Leisure (New York, NY), 1994.
Forever Angels, Leisure (New York, NY), 1995.
Mountain Magic, Leisure (New York, NY), 1995.
Town Social, Berkley/Jove Homespun (New York, NY), 1996.
Tennessee Waltz, Berkley/Jove Homespun (New York, NY), 1997.
Winter Dreams, Berkley/Jove Homespun (New York, NY), 1997.
Spellbound, Berkley/Jove Homespun (New York, NY), 1998.
Southern Charms, Berkley/Jove Homespun (New York, NY), 1999.
Witch Angel, Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2005.
Contributor to anthologies, including Christmas Angels, Leisure (New York, NY), 1995, and Seeing Fireworks, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1997.
"ALICE CARPENTER" MYSTERY SERIES
Dead Man Talking, Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2004.
Dead Man Haunt, Five Star (Waterville, ME) 2006.
T.M. Simmons writes romance novels that often contain elements of history, time travel, and the paranormal. Her first book Frontier Rogue, was published two years after she began writing under a pseudonym, Carolyn Chase, which she has not used since. Her Forever Angels, was the first book in Leisure's new book line for the Love Spell imprint, "Angel's Touch." The book's heroine, Tess, is accidentally sent back in time when her guardian angel sneezes. She suddenly finds herself on an 1893 Oklahoma Territory ranch with a broken ankle where she is rescued by a young boy whose foster father is a rancher and sheriff. M. Helfer, writing for Romantic Times, remarked: "Ms. Simmons creates a wonderfully engaging pair of lovers whose relationship develops with lots of fire and sass."
Jonathan Clay wins Kaitlin in an auction and takes her to his mountain home in Mountain Magic, which is set in 1829 Wyoming Territory. Lizabelle Cox, writing for Romantic Times, commented: "Mountain Magic is a humorous and touching tale that delves into the often painful trek along the road of self discovery." In Town Social, Texas Ranger Jake Cameron is on temporary assignment in a small town where he meets Sunny Fannin and watches her take in a young girl and try to build a cultural center. When the child's mother wants her child back, Sunny wrestles with her feelings for the child and for Jake. Romantic Times contributor Frances L. Trainor wrote: "Town Social and its small town folksiness and caring will surround you with warmth." Tennessee Waltz takes New Yorker Sarah Channing to Tennessee when she escorts a child back to her family. She stays in Tennessee as a school teacher and does her best to win over the mountain community and a man's heart. Romantic Times reviewer Gerry Benninger wrote: "The mountain community and its stubborn need to earn everything or go without comes alive under Trana Mae Simmon's artful pen."
Spellbound takes place in 1875 New Orleans, and centers on Nick Bardou and Wendi Chastain. Ten years previous, on a drunken night, Nick thought he killed his father's mistress for causing his mother's suicide. He fled, but returns to spy Wendi, the daughter of the mistress, performing witchcraft. Because he is attracted to her, he agrees to help her find her mother's diary, most likely located on his family's property. Wendi thinks their connection is meant to mend past karma, and Nick wants to clear himself of murder. "Ms. Simmons has written an excellent romance brimming with passion, tension, humor, twists of plot, and just the right amount of witchcraft to make you believe," wrote Evelyn Feiner for Romantic Times. Judith Flavell, writing for Romance Reader, described a problem with the book: "When Wendi uses phrases like ‘mind-blowing’ it jerks me right out of the setting, post-Civil War New Orleans, and into the present." She continued: "It has some very likable witches, it's filled with interesting facts concerning the practice of witchcraft and it retains a good sense of humor throughout the book."
The centerpiece of Southern Charms is the character Fatima, a fairy godmother. Fatima's latest project is orphan Ellie, who runs her adoptive family's ranch in 1890 Texas. Fatima finds Shane Morgan to determine whether the heart-hardened Ellie actually is an heiress to a fortune. He woos her while she is unaware of his real intentions. Kathe Robin, a Romantic Times critic, concluded: Southern Charms is "a delightful and enjoyable read."
On her Web site, Simmons writes of her own ghosthunting with friends and of the haunted house in which she lives with her family in East Texas. Paranormal activity is a theme in Dead Man Talking, which was followed by Witch Angel, which also includes romance. While traveling from Baton Rouge to her new home in Chenaie, Louisiana, restoration specialist Alaynia Mirabeau passes through time. She finds herself in a ditch on the property she owns, but which in 1875 is a plantation owned by the Shain St. Clair, who admires Alaynia's independence and insistence on riding her horse astride rather than side-saddle. The plantation is also home to the ghost of his grandfather, two angels, his sister, an inventor, and workers and assorted friends. Alaynia tries to understand what has happened to her, but when the attraction between them is more than she can bear, she marries Shain. This displeases the angels, who want Alaynia to go back where she came from, but pleases the ghost, since he has hoped Shain would find someone to love. However, his concern is that Alaynia will find a way back through the curtain into her own time. Reviewing the novel for Novel Talk online, Lucele Coutts wrote: "In Witch Angel, Trana Mae Simmons cleverly combines genres into two beautiful love stories."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Novel Talk,http://www.noveltalk.com/ (February 3, 2007), Lucele Coutts, review of Witch Angel.
Romance Reader,http://www.theromancereader.com/ (September 13, 2003), Judith Flavell, review of Spellbound.
Romantic Times Online,http://www.romantictimes.com/ (September 12, 2003), author bio; M. Helfer, review of Forever Angels; Lizabelle Cox, review of Mountain Magic; Frances L. Trainor, review of Town Social; Gerry Benninger, review of Tennessee Waltz; Kathe Robin, review of Southern Charms; Evelyn Feiner, review of Spellbound.
T.M. Simmons Home Page,http://www.iseeghosts.com (February 3, 2007).