By Tia Lynn Lecorchick Staff Writer

Joanie Bruce, 56, a local painter and author, appeared at the Madison Artists Guild (MAG) on July 26 to sign copies of her two novels, “Alana Candler, Marked for Murder,” and “A Memory Worth Dying For.” Bruce, born in Memphis, Tennessee, characterized her books as Christian suspense novels that will keep you on the edge of your seat but can rest assured the content is clean and family-friendly. “It’s nail-biting suspense, or so I’ve been told,” said Bruce. “People say they can’t put them down. They are Christian books, so they are clean. There are no dirty words in them,” assured Bruce.

Bruce, who has spent the last 35 years in Morgan County, is a member of MAG, who is beloved by the community for her artwork and investment in children. She began painting 10 years ago. She even managed the MAG gallery for a year. “She is a very good portrait artist,” said Dottie Kurtz, secretary of the MAG. “She also teaches art to the youth.” Bruce dabbled in writing throughout her life, but only published her first book, “Alana Candler, Marked for Murder,” in 2013. “I’ve been writing off and on my whole life, but I only got serious about getting published recently,” said Bruce. “I homeschooled my children, and I started writing when they were little. I wrote children books for them, but never got them published.

When they got older, I had more time to do things. So, I started working on my first novel when they were little, but didn’t finish it until they were grown. So, it’s been a long time coming.” Bruce and her husband, Ben Bruce, used to run a dairy farm, and now raise beef cows together. But Bruce is dedicated to investing time into both her art and writing. “I go back for and forth between the two,” said Bruce. “I write my books for enjoyment. I just hope other people will enjoy my books, too.” To purchase one of Bruce’s books, visit: joaniebruce.com. You can purchase her first novel for $12 and her second novel for $14.