South of the Buttonwood Tree

July 2020

Blue Bishop has a knack for finding lost things. While growing up in charming small-town Buttonwood, Alabama, she’s happened across lost wallets, jewelry, pets, her wandering neighbor, and sometimes, trouble. No one is more surprised than Blue, however, when she comes across an abandoned newborn baby in the woods, just south of a very special buttonwood tree.

Sarah Grace Landreneau Fulton is at a crossroads. She has always tried so hard to do the right thing, but her own mother would disown her if she ever learned half of Sarah Grace’s secrets.

The unexpected discovery of the newborn baby girl will alter Blue’s and Sarah Grace’s lives forever. Both women must fight for what they truly want in life and for who they love. In doing so, they uncover long-held secrets that reveal exactly who they really are—and what they’re willing to sacrifice in the name of family.

From Heather:

My writing inspiration is highly influenced by song lyrics. For South of the Buttonwood Tree, I'd become enamored with Jim Croce's "I' Got a Name" most especially its opening lines:

Like the pine trees linin' the windin' road
I've got a name, I've got a name
Like the singin' bird and the croakin' toad
I've got a name, I've got a name
And I carry it with me like my daddy did
But I'm living the dream that he kept hid

So much of our identity is attributed to our names and our family history. There's pain in not knowing your heritage, but I believe that sometimes there's also pain in knowing exactly where you come from. These two types of pain are at the heart of this book as a woman who comes from a long line of troublemakers, con-men, and thieves discovers an abandoned baby south of a very special buttonwood tree.

Healing is the overarching theme of South of the Buttonwood Tree, and while healing comes at its own pace in its own time, I hope that when readers finish the last page in this book that they will feel the same heartwarming sense of peace that my characters eventually find within these pages.