About Author

Virginia'dele Smith

Virginia'dele Smith
BIOGRAPHY

Ashli Montgomery is a wife, a momma, and an author whose passion is sharing love stories, books, quilts, yoga, recipes, and all of her favorite things in life. She is quilting to mend the mind by spearheading and educating a community of friends who love quilts and quilting but hate Alzheimer’s disease through Quilt 2 End ALZ, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit she launched to use her quilting hobby as a platform to advocate for an end to Alzheimer's disease.

Ashli writes under the pen name Virginia’dele Smith to honor Syble Virginia Tidwell, Adele Gertrude Baylin, and Etta Jean Smith. These three cherished grandmothers were beautiful role models, teaching Ashli to love without judgment and to always put family first. Through Grandma Syble’s journals and appetite for books, through Momadele’s priceless cards and handwritten letters, and through many, many hours of visiting over fabric at Mema’s kitchen island, Ashli also learned to treasure words.

To learn more about Virginia’dele Smith and the Green Hills series of wholesome, small-town romance stories, visit AshliMontgomery.com — while exploring her site, sign up to receive an invitation to join her exclusive online community, Welcome to Green Hills.

Virginia'dele Smith's Books

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Book
$4.99 kindle Free with KUeBook, Paperback, Signed Paperback,
Book 1: Grocery Girlby Virginia'dele SmithPublish: Nov 03, 2021Series: Green HillsContemporary Romance New Adult Romance Romance
$4.99 kindle Free with KUeBook, Paperback, Signed Paperback,
Book 2: In the Trenches (Green Hills)by Virginia'dele SmithPublish: May 03, 2022Series: Green HillsContemporary Romance New Adult Romance Romance
$0.99 kindleeBook,
Book 3: Three Times to Make Sure (Green Hills)by Virginia'dele SmithPublish: Dec 03, 2022Series: Green Hills
$0.99 kindleeBook,
Book 4: Take a Chance on Love (Green Hills)by Virginia'dele SmithPublish: Mar 03, 2023

Virginia'dele Smith's Series in Order

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Virginia'dele Smith Interview On 14, Jun 2022

"A wife, a mother, and an author, Ashli Montgomery write under the pen name Virginia’dele Smith. She has been an obsessive reader for as long as she can remember. Her books feature strong characters with great emotional growth as the story progresses. As a romance writer, she shares hope, joy, and love with the world."
Where have you spent most of your childhood days?

My extended family is very close — in addition to my parents, my siblings, and my grandparents, my aunt and uncle have always been like bonus parents, and my cousins are truly like siblings. When I was growing up, we spent most of our time together…cheering at ballgames, camping at the lake, celebrating birthdays and holidays, or just shooting baskets in the driveway after school. I have wonderful memories of those times, and now that we all have spouses and children, it’s a treat to see our immediate families continue those traditions.

What have been your most valuable out-of-school learning experiences?

Patience is the most valuable lesson I’ve tried to learn – although it is also my greatest challenge. I have found that with patience comes empathy, kindness, and love. Those are the most valuable gifts we can give to our friends, our family, our community, and ourselves.

What are the best things about being a romance book author?

As a romance writer, I share hope, joy, and love with the world. I figure there are enough negative, scary, sad, heart-wrenching stories in the real world, so I treasure the fact that I add goodness, affection, fun, and happy endings to the lives of my readers.

Were you an avid reader as a child? Do you still read books?

I have been an obsessive reader for as long as I can remember. Of course, much of childhood reading is dictated by school and assignments, but I can’t think of a time I wasn’t reading something. After college, I jumped into reading for pleasure, and as a young wife and mother, quick, romance novels were most conducive to my time. Once my two kids got older, I began reading outside of the mainstream romance genre, enjoying nonfiction, biographies, and especially historical fiction. Through it all, though, I loved romance the most!

What kind of impression do you hope your books will leave?

The keyword that I focus on when writing is lovely. I want my readers to close my books with a sense of fulfillment, joy, and hope. I want them to see that the world is still lovely, consisting of people kind enough to give grace, courageous enough to follow their hearts, strong enough to take lead with love. I hope my books add warmth and goodness to someone’s day; I hope I leave them with a smile on their face.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Great characters are the most important element of good writing — characters with realistic flaws and bold strengths that inspire us to be our best selves. Timing, tone, plot, and setting are icing on the cake, but without good characters, there is no foundation on which to build a book.

How did you begin writing the Green Hills series?

From our home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I drove through incredible terrain and landscapes on the way to drop off and pick up my daughter when she attended church camp in east Texas. From the highway, I would look out at the expanse of green trees that created a dense canopy over the land, and I couldn’t help but wonder what quaint, charming, idyllic small towns lived under the lush greenery. When I decided to write down the stories, scenes, and dialog that lived in my head, I knew that my books had to take place in those green hills. I created Green Hills to represent the best part of the places I’ve lived as well as a small town that reflects how the world should be.

What inspired the plot of the story, Grocery Girl? vWhile my daughter was in junior high and high school, she and I served in a mother-daughter service organization called National Charity League. One of our favorite philanthropy partners was Youth Services of Tulsa, and one of our favorite activities was to provide food for their shelter. Many Monday mornings, I purchased fresh fruit for YST, and after school my daughter would deliver it. Oftentimes, a firetruck sat parked outside the grocery store, a crew of firefighters picking up the groceries their fire station needed for their upcoming shifts. It made me imagine a meet cute in which a vibrant young woman meets a mysterious fireman right in the middle of the produce department. The more I imagined it, the more I had to write their story.

Who is the most supportive person in your life when it comes to your writing?

It’s difficult to select just one person when so many of my loved ones have made my writing career possible. But at the top of the list has to be my husband; he has encouraged and supported my dreams, each and every one. He’s shown me what true love, loyalty, and commitment look like on a daily basis since the day we met almost thirty years ago. Because I know what it feels like to be cherished and treasured, I am well-equipped to create those emotions for my characters.

Do you encounter writer's block often? If so, which book of yours did you get stuck on the most and what are some things you did to get your brain working again?

I don’t encounter writer’s block often, but I’m actually fighting it a bit right now as I work on Book 3 in the Green Hills series. I know the journey my characters will take, but I haven’t “dreamed up” the specifics, the obstacles, the scenes, and the dialog yet. I know it will come to me, so I try to be patient…again, not my strong suit (see Question #1). To keep my mind off what I haven’t come up with, I work on other tasks such as working with my cover artist, submitting content to my blurb writer, and continuing to promote my other books through giveaways, newsletter swaps, and author interviews like this one J

What do you write in books at a book signing event?

When asked to autograph a book, I have to stop myself from writing too much. At the very least, I give a book-specific greeting with my pen name, Virginia’dele Smith. But I really like to add a personal note to build a relationship with the reader and let them know that I see them and appreciate them, too. I also include a custom post card and bookmark in each of my hardcover copies…just a little goodie to enjoy with their book.

What kind of cultural value do you think reading and writing have/brings?

Reading and writing are critical to the health of a society because they foster connections, they build understanding, they open our eyes and our minds. The more we read, the more we learn. The more we learn, the more we love. Aside from being a romance writer, I believe that love is the key to peace, harmony, happiness, and the future. Without words, communications, shared ideas, stories, history, poems, songs, and books, how does imagination thrive? How is growth sustained? Without reading and writing, our culture, our society, and our world will stagnate and spoil.

What are your plans for the future as a writer? Are you working on anything new?

My publishing coach says keep writing, and that’s what I’ll do. I’m currently writing books 3 and 4 which will round out “The Davenports” and their family’s love stories. I already have the next sub-series outlined which introduces several new characters and families to the Green Hills community. In fact, I’ve jotted down at least twenty story arcs, so I’ll be writing for a long time to come!

Do you ever leave book reviews on other author's books? What do reviews mean to you?

My goal is to read a book a week each year. I rate every one of those, and I leave reviews for as many as possible, especially when I rate a book as 4 or 5 stars. There are so many great books out there, and reading reviews helps me find books that fit what I’m looking for in my next read. I like to reciprocate and writing reviews is the best way to do that. As an author, I love reading reviews of my work. Of course, the positive reviews are fabulous to see and encourage me tremendously. At the same time, critical reviews help me improve my craft as a writer, so I value every review.

When were you first introduced to AllAuthor and how?

There exists a set of book sites and services that are a must for all authors. AllAuthor.com is on that list, so I joined even before I was ready to publish my first book. I’ve enjoyed the platform both as a reader and as an author. My favorite reader feature is the ability to follow authors and receive notifications when they release new books. My favorite author features are the monthly cover contest and the “done-for-you” graphics, mockups, and digital services. Everything I’ve seen or participated in through AllAuthor has been very crisp and professional which I appreciate immensely, and anything that connects me to authors and readers is a win in my book!

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