“Without romance, we wouldn’t have families, and family means everything to me,” she says. “Romance novels offer hope and joy with the ultimate reward for the reader at the end of each book.”
Her latest release, Sweet Baklava (Abingdon Press), is set in the large Greek community of Tarpon Springs, Florida. “I wanted to set my story in this delightful place because it has so many romantic elements,” Debby says, “from the gorgeous
sunsets on the Gulf of Mexico to the delightful Greek culture I love to share with people who visit.”
In the novel, Alabama girl Paula Andrews is working in a candle store in Tarpon Springs when her life is turned upside down by the return of soldier Nick Papadopoulos, her childhood sweetheart—and a man unwilling to put down roots.
Paula’s desire to settle down reflects Debby’s own experience: “My dad was in the Air Force, so I grew up never knowing how long I’d live in any one place. I longed for stability, but I still enjoyed knowing people from all the different places I lived. Like Paula, I take pleasure in everything related to the Greek community— particularly the food.”
Debby’s sweet tooth is responsible for the book’s title. “I especially enjoy all of the Greek desserts found in the bakeries on the Sponge Docks of Tarpon Springs. No matter where I start out during visits, I wind up at a Greek bakery with baklava or some other delectable Greek pastry.”