(MHS Graduate 1959)

  Minden Press-Herald, Thursday, April 6, 2006   Former Mindenite publishes first novel, "To Love an Enemy"   by Tracy Delatte, The Mesquite News   Former Mindenite Dovye Ann (Thornton) Culpepper recently published her first novel, TO LOVE AN ENEMY.   Culpepper, a retired Mesquite, Texas ISD teacher's aid, hopes to share her passion for history, love and Christianity through her book, which tells of a romance that blossoms, despite the War of 1812, between a wealthy British seaman and a poor Irish girl who moves to America.   Culpepper grew up on a farm on Lewisville Road in Minden.  She married Ernie Culpepper of Ruston in 1958 and in 1961, the couple moved to Mesquite.   Culpepper spent many years teaching resource English to middle school students and then tutored them in areas such as American history.   "I really got interested in the history part at that time," said Culpepper.   Culpepper said she knew early in life that she wanted to write a book.  She wrote for the school newspaper and did well in English class. 

 One particular high school history teacher, Catherine Spitzfaden, really encouraged her.   "My teachers said I had a big imagination," said Culpepper.  "Mrs. Spitzfaden made history interesting and just come alive.  From then on I wanted to read about it."   She also wanted to write about it, but there was never enough time, especially once she had children and began working for a living.   "I started the book in 1998, but I really finished it after I retired (in 2000)," said Culpepper.   TO LOVE AN ENEMY is a fictional historical romance novel.  In it, the characters Hannah and Nathan fall in love during their voyage across the ocean, but face the reality of war once they reach Hannah's  destination in a Charleston, S.C. plantation.  Nathan had to leave her to fight for the King's Army.   The book reaches its climax during the Battle of New Orleans following the War of 1812.   "I think it's interesting up front to get people interested, and what really holds them is that they are wondering if he's coming back," said Culpepper.   Culpepper said she wrote her book with the intention of giving her students something historical, yet interesting, to read.  She also wanted to share her experiences with Christian witnessing, especially for those who don't know much about religion.   "It's not really a religions book, but I did put Christian standards in it," said Culpepper.  "Most days, you'll find dust on my mantel, but if I can pass along Christian witnessing in my books, then I figure that's more important than keeping a spotless home."   Overall, the book is for anyone who likes a good love story or who is willing  to learn a little more about the world in 1812.   "And all the history, I tried very hard to get that correct," said Culpepper. "A lot of people don't know how close we came to losing our freedom then."   Culpepper said she is working on her second book, THE HARRIS PLACE, which will tell of a relationship between a farm girl and a wealthy North Dallas man.   TO LOVE AN ENEMY is available from Xlibris Publishing at and at most book stores.