The Year of Luminous Love


9780385741712 (2013)

The rolling hills of Tennessee and the picturesque towns of Tuscany provide
stunning backdrops for this sweeping contemporary saga, which
introduces three best friends facing the challenges of life after high school.

CIANA loves her family’s land and the farm they’ve kept for generations,
but it has fallen to her to keep the farm in working order. When she
meets a handsome cowboy, she welcomes the diversion and finds herself believing
in love at first sight. But their second meeting leaves her questioning
her true feelings.

ARIE has battled health issues since childhood, and now she is determined
to regain her physical and mental strength. Working with a new horse
seems like the perfect solution, but when she confides her deepest secret to a
handsome and kindhearted horse trainer—a secret she hasn’t revealed to her
family or even her two best friends—there are surprising results.

EDEN’s boyfriend, Tony, is older and has money; he’s also jealous and
controlling. But she’d much rather stay with him than at home with her unreliable
mother. Of course, he can’t fill the role her best girlfriends do, and
that makes him resentful. As Tony grows more demanding, Eden becomes
scared. She must break free from this toxic relationship.

When Ciana finds a new direction for her life—one she’d never dreamed
possible—she is able to offer Arie and Eden reprieve from their difficult situations.
Together, the three embark on the experience of a lifetime.

Music That Inspired…

Many readers have asked what music I listen to when writing. In truth, I must have absolute silence while I write, but I listen to music every other available minute—in my car, when I cook, eat, dress….I LOVE music. And when I hear a song that sticks in my mind and heart, it very often leads to helping me shape characters and their fictional memories. Every book is different, so the range of music from book to book is eclectic and inspiring. For my books, THE YEAR OF LUMINOUS LOVE and THE YEAR OF CHASING DREAMS, these are the songs that touched and motivated me, and helped me spin words into characters. Perhaps you will enjoy listening to them too!

Subject Song Title Artist
Jon Mercer Amarillo by Morning George Strait
Ciana, Jon The Dance Garth Brooks
Ciana, Jon Come Over Kenny Chesney
Arie, Jon I Can’t Make You Love Me If You Don’t Bonnie Rait
Eden, Garret Summertime Sadness Lana Del Ray
Ciana, Enzo Goodbye in Her Eyes Zac Brown Band
  With or Without You Sarah Darling
Italy Amore (Album) Andrea Bocelli
  • Somebody’s Baby

    “There’s no denying McDaniel’s command of her material. Standard inspriational romance by a genre master.”

            —Kirkus Reviews


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Losing Gabriel: A Love Story

About Me

Who I Am: Lurlene Nora (Gallagher) McDaniel

My Birthday: April 5, 1944… It only comes once a year, so I turn it into a festival and celebrate it for the entire month!

I was born in Philadelphia PA, grew up (mostly) in Hialeah FL, graduated from the University of South Florida, Tampa FL (go Bulls!) and currently live in Chattanooga TN—I’m an American citizen by birth, and Southern by the grace of God.

I have a brother, three years younger, married, and mathematically gifted. I am totally without math skills.

The books I write, the topics and subject matter, grew out of my firstborn son’s diagnosis of diabetes at age 3. Infinite reward that comes to me from my work…. when a grown reader lets me know that reading my books inspired her to seek a profession that helps others. I have wonderful letters saying, “Today I graduated from nursing/medical school.” Now that’s a gift of joy!

Words that always inspire me

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”  (Matt 6: 28-29, KJV)

My Life Philosophy

No one gets to choose what life gives them.  You do get to choose how you deal with it.

My Legacy

I hope to be remembered not only for the words I’ve written, but for what I leave behind, my finest work and the best of me—my two grown married sons and grandkids.

A Few of My Favorite things

Favorite Books: Are you kidding? Too many to list! And YES, I love my electronic reader. Goes with me everywhere!

Favorite Fictional Characters: Spenser (Boston PI created by Robert B. Parker), Liz Salandar (tech whiz created by Stieg Larsson), Scarlett O’Hara (Southern belle created by Margaret Mitchell)

Favorite Movie: BLADE RUNNER (Director’s Cut) with Harrison Ford

What’s on my i-pod: A wide variety of music, everything from classic and modern country to pop, to rock, to oldies, to classical. Love Kenny Chesney, Sugarland, Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown…and so-o-o many others. Sometimes I write a book with a special song playing in the background to inspire me and my characters.

Favorite Activity: Shopping!! (did you doubt it?) 2nd

Favorite Activity: Travel…been to Morocco, Tunisia, Spain, Italy, Great Britain, the Caribbean, Canada, Greece, Uganda, Australia, and time permitting, the rest of the world.

Favorite Color (s): all things purple and turquoise, especially with sparkles.

Favorite Foods: Everything pasta. And ice cream for dessert—the perfect food. Vanilla with a drizzle of butterscotch, thank you!

Favorite Book written by ME: Whatever book I’m working on at the moment…

Favorite words from fans: “I never liked to read until I read your books. Now I love to read.”

Favorite Award: having my book SIX MONTHS TO LIVE placed into a time capsule at the Library of Congress not to be opened for 100 years—-2089! (hope someone remembers to open it).

My Wish for the Time Capsule Opening: cures for all childhood cancers.

Wish I could…Play guitar and/or piano.

Wish I wasn’t…such a couch potato.

I collect: Glass objects…big, small, always pretty. I have an “aquarium” made up of one-of-a-kind glass fish “swimming” on lighted glass shelves. In my eyes, no object of art is as captivating as light shining through blown glass.

  • Reviews
  • Blog Posts
  • Podcasts
  • TV & Film
  • Interviews

Featured Blog Posts

2014 May 4 – I Was Obsessed With YA Cancer Novels Long Before The Fault In Our Stars (by Margaret Lyons)

2013 June 26 – Lurlene McDaniel – The Queen of Melodrama (by Vicki Moss)

2013 June 11 – A Writer’s ‘Life’: On the Road with Lurlene McDaniel  (Publishers Weekly)

2013 May 13 – Do Teens Have It Harder Today  (Bookish)

2013 May 13 – Happily ever afters and hope  (USA Today)

2012 July 26 – Straight Hair!

2012 July 25 – Red Heart Tattoo

2012 July 24 – What’s Your Favorite Book?

2012 July 23 – On The Availability of Books

Television & Film

1998 – A  Champion’s Fight (TV Movie)
Based on my book “Don’t Die, My Love”


2010 JUL – Interview with best-selling inspirational author Lurlene McDaniel, author of “Heart to Heart”
Interview by Mechele R. Dillard

2008 DEC – Author Interview: Lurlene McDaniel
Interview by Reviewer X (Steph)

2000 JUL – Missions of Mercy Inspire Lurlene McDaniel’s Angelic Series
Interview by Jamie Whitfield