GWTW Cover

I was nine years old, hiding out in a big galvanized steel grainery (and from my chores) with a bag of red Twizzler licorice, an RC Cola and a copy of GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret Mitchell, borrowed from the book mobile that came to our tiny town twice a month. Despite living on a sheep ranch in Idaho, my mind strolled underneath massive oaks with gnarled limbs dripping with Spanish Moss. Not even my mother hollering from the kitchen door, “Kellie Rae . . . have you fed the bummers yet?” could penetrate that imaginary world.

Yes, later I’d get in a bunch of trouble for ignoring her. But, I couldn’t pull my eyes from the pages of that epic story. The baby lambs were going to have to stay hungry a little while longer, because Atlanta was burning and Rhett was helping Scarlett flee home to Tara.


I fell in love with the South that afternoon, dreaming of large white plantations and gentile women in hoop-skirted dresses. I wanted to be Scarlett . . . I wanted to be a Southern Belle!

Likely, God was smiling that day . . . knowing what he had planned ahead. Could I ever have imagined I’d grow up and be a NOVELIST?  Or, that I’d be invited to join the SOUTHERN BELLE group of writers? (okay, so I don’t get to wear the flowing green dress and bonnet, and I live in Texas. Technically, these writer friends of mine say that’s still the south and I’m going with it. Besides, I ate grits for breakfast last week, and that more than qualifies me as a Southerner!)

So, tell us in the comments . . . what marvelous plan have you seen played out in your life that you never could have imagined?







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A former legal investigator and trial paralegal, Kellie Coates Gilbert writes with a sympathetic, intimate knowledge of how people react under pressure. Her books tell emotionally poignant stories about woman in life-changing circumstances. Her next release, A WOMAN OF FORTUNE, will be available this June.

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  1. says

    Good Morning, Kellie! I can picture you as a little girl on your sheep ranch. You should share the beautiful photos you have of your family property. It’s stunning there!

    I’d have to say…I am living my childhood dream now by getting to write every day, something that has always been an essential part of my core.

    I never in a million years would have pictured myself farming, or even being a mom (I was the teen who never wanted to babysit, etc.)…but there is nothing I love more than mothering and this farm life seems to suit us all really well. So happy to have you on our team. Cheers! j

    • says

      So fun to buddy up with a fellow “sheep farmer” Julie! Whenever I pin a new image to my Pinterest sheep board, I often see you pin it as well. I’m so tickled your children will know the farm life. i treasure those memories!

  2. Lisa Wingate says

    Good Monday morning, Kellie! Love that image of you hiding out with a copy of Gone With the Wind. What a wonderful book memory!

    There were two things I dreamed of during my young childhood (other than having a gold “princess” crown, that is). I dreamed of stories and horses… and stories with horses in them. In some fashion or other, all three of those dreams have come true. God has filled my head with many stories and allowed me to share them. I finally did talk my parents into the idea that a girl just, flat NEEDS a horse. And I have managed to tuck a horse or two into a story here and there.

    Life is good 😉

  3. says

    Kellie, honey, I could SEE you all holed away with that book. Love that memory! (Wasn’t Ashley just the whimpiest thing? I never could see what Scarlett saw in the boy? :)

    Like the other belles, writing has always been my dream. To see what the Lord has chosen to do with it boggles me even as I type these words. Thanks for stirring my heart with this question. LOVE having you here, Miss Southern Belle from Texas!

  4. says

    Love this post, Kellie! Gone With The Wind is one of my favorites, and I agree: Ashley was a wimp and all the more alluring to Scarlett because he didn’t care a snit for her! I never imagined I would get married at twenty-two and have a baby by twenty-five (I was going to join the Peace Corps and travel the world), but I am so glad both these dreams came on God’s time table and not mine. They have filled my heart to overflowing. So very, very blessed.

    • says

      Proving God’s plan is ALWAYS perfectly designed and meant to bless us! I’ve wandered off on my own too many times, only to return to the path I was meant to walk.

      I explored that concept with my character, Lainie, in A WOMAN OF FORTUNE. She suffers loss and reacts with choices that nearly burn her. Boy, do I know THAT one!

    • says

      Jolina…I knew we were kindred spirits. I too wanted to join the peace corps and travel the world. In fact, I got accepted but they wouldn’t allow my then boyfriend to be stationed near me b/c we were not married (and not ready to be yet). We didn’t want to live on opposite ends of the world for two years, so neither of us went. I still wonder what our lives would have delivered had we walked through those doors. Travel is still a dream of mine…and I hope to someday get to see the entire world. For now, I have plenty of grand adventures in this simple life. Love every minute of it. CHeers, j

  5. Jan Faught says

    Loved hearing about your thoughts as you grew up. Books take us to such wonderful places and let us meet such amazing people. I came from growing up a poor country bumpkin to living in several states, owned a catalog store, a gift store, and worked at a well known university and a national laboratory. And best of all being married to the same wonderful fun man for almost 50 years. I never imagined this would be my life as I was growing up. It has certainly been fun!

  6. says

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