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Posts tagged ‘Southern Fiction’

Jessie’s Hope and the Authentic Life by Jennifer Hallmark

Why did I write Jessie’s Hope?

Community. I needed to tell my own story, and the people around me played a huge part. The sorrow and joy and discouragement and true happiness that I see, that’s life, and in Jessie’s Hope, I tried to portray authentic life, as much as possible, in rural Alabama.

I share the men and women who live in my neighborhood, my county. The way our community and churches pull together during times of tragedy or natural disasters. They are why I write. The organizations and ministries that touch people’s lives every day made it into my simple tale.

I think of the time that my son’s wife birthed our granddaughter a month early and struggled financially as the baby stayed in the hospital for almost a month. Neighbors dropped by to see if they could help. People and churches donated money then helped us to cook and to sell chicken stew to pay hospital bills.

Family also plays a big role in all my work. No, not the Leave it to Beaver family but people that work hard, love true, and lose the will to continue at times. Though everything is wrapped up to some degree by the end of Jessie’s Hope, it isn’t life the way I’d like to see it. It’s how it really is.

Why did I write Jessie’s Hope? Maybe to give myself a little hope by sharing encouragement and stories with others. If I can help anyone smile a little and cry a few tears of empathy, I’ve done my job as a writer…

More about Jessie’s Hope:

Years ago, an accident robbed Jessie Smith’s mobility. It also stole her mom and alienated her from her father. When Jessie’s high school sweetheart Matt Jansen proposes, her parents’ absence intensifies her worry that she cannot hold on to those she loves.

With a wedding fast approaching, Jessie’s grandfather Homer Smith, has a goal to find the perfect dress for “his Jessie,” one that would allow her to forget, even if for a moment, the boundaries of her wheelchair. But financial setbacks and unexpected sabotage hinder his plans.

Determined to heal from her past, Jessie initiates a search for her father. Can a sliver of hope lead to everlasting love when additional obstacles–including a spurned woman and unpredictable weather–highjack Jessie’s dream wedding?

About the Author:

Jennifer Hallmark writes Southern fiction and has published 200+ Internet articles and interviews, short stories in several magazines, and has co-authored three book compilations. Her debut novel, Jessie’s Hope, released on June 17th, 2019.

When she isn’t babysitting or gardening, you can find her at her desk writing fiction or working on her two blogs. She also loves reading detective fiction from the Golden Age and viewing movies like LOTR or Star Wars. Sometimes you can even catch her watching American Ninja Warrior.

You can find Jennifer on her personal website, at Inspired Prompt, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

A Visit with Kay Dew Shostak, Author of Next Stop Chancey

photo shoot pic blue croppedToday, we meet, Kay Dew Shostak, the author of the delightful stories set in Chancey, Georgia, the adopted home of Carolina Jessup and her family and the story of how she copes with a town of quirky, sweet characters. 

“A new voice in Southern Fiction” is how a recent reviewer labels Kay Dew Shostak’s debut novel, Next Stop, Chancey. Kay grew up in the South and graduated from the University of Tennessee. She then joined her husband moving around the country as they raised their three children. Always a reader, being a writer was a dream she cultivated as a journalist and editor at a small town newspaper in northern Illinois. After moving to Marietta, Georgia, Kay submitted several true life stories which appeared in a number of compilation books over the next ten years. In 2011, she and her husband, Mike, moved to Fernandina Beach, Florida for Mike’s job.

Seeing the familiar and loved from new perspectives led Kay to write about the absurd, the beautiful, and the funny in her South in both her fiction and non-fiction. While Next Stop, Chancey is her debut novel, she has completed two more in the series and is working on the fourth book. Chancey Book number 2: Chancey Family Lies is now available.

Visit Kay’s website  to sign up for her newsletter and to read more about her journey. Kay is also on Facebook and Twitter.

Kay, I fell in love with your second story in the series, and life intervened. I wasn’t able to get back to the first one, though I always had every intention of doing so. I couldn’t wait, and now that I’ve read them both, I want to tell you that your stories create a longing in me to live a life like your heroine, Caroline Jessup. I’d love to know where you got the idea for these stories.

Thanks so much for having me here on your blog. One of the best things about writing is all the new friends you make! So how Chaney came to be: Several years ago, I was talking with an agent who was considering representing me. She loved lots about my writing but as she was turning me down she asked, “Have you considered changing genres?” Out of deep disappointment I started the first Chancey book. It all sprang up as my fingers typed. And yet, the story felt so familiar. I’ve lived in big and small towns, and both up north and down south. So playing off those differences just moved the story along.

As I read Carolina’s story and I laughed and cried with her, I did find that she and I are an awfully lot alike, but Carolina kept pushing forward even when she wanted to push against the tide of the good-meaning and very funny people she meets upon her arrival in Chancey. My question or you is how like Carolina are you?

Well, the desire to get lost in books is all me. And the snarkiness is me. Matter of fact, one thing the agent mentioned that he didn’t like about my first books was the sarcasm of the main character. So, I just made it first person so all the sarcastic remarks could be in Carolina’s head and not have to come out of her mouth! However, I’ve always had a houseful of people so that reticence of Carolina’s to entertain is not me. I find parts of myself in many of the characters!

One of my favorite parts of this story is the mystery of the “ghost.” It brings up some laugh-aloud moments. Was there anything that happened to you in your life that made you think of bringing this subplot into the story?

Absolutely nothing, except I’ve read lots of ghost stories and actually think I’d be open to seeing a ghost. But so far, no ghosts. However, I have wondered about the folks that say they “live” with ghosts. What’s the thinking process on that? In this story, I hoped the ghost would help Carolina believe things she can’t see, might be real. She’s a very “seeing is believing” person. Another way she and I are not alike.

Another reason the story (both stories actually) touched me so deeply is the humanity in them. These people aren’t perfect. They are different. They are quirky. They think differently than most of us. They fuss and the fidget, but yet they all seem to be the type of people you would want in your circle. Be truthful. Are a few of these folks truly in your life?

Oh, yes. At a writers conference I heard another writer speak about how his family thought he was odd at how he watched people and had to know why they did what they did. Well, that was my story. I am fascinated with why people do what they do. I love watching mannerisms and figuring out how they developed. Susan and her ponytail doing and undoing. Missus and her white gloves and refusal to use contractions in her speech. Lifelong cheerleaders. The black sheep that comes back joyfully to live in their hometown. Being a writer means I not only get to watch all these different people and actions, I get to write about them. And make them even funnier!

Two questions in one: will you share a little about the second book in this series, and please let me know if there’s a chance that I’ll be able to visit Carolina and all of the quirky characters of Chancey any time soon for a new adventure.

The second Chancey book is Chancey Family Lies and finds Carolina not only spending her first holidays in Chancey, but her first as a stay at home mom and B&B operator. As the line on my bookmarks says, “Holidays are different in small towns. They expect you to cook.” Carolina no longer has the suburban grocery stores, with full bakeries and deli’s, plus she’s determined to be the best stay at home mom ever. However, it’s not that easy. Especially when her parents pull in with their RV with plans to stay from Thanksgiving to Christmas, and her in-laws have a blast from the past with them when they also show up for an extended stay. And just when she needs him the most, her husband Jackson is traveling with work. Luckily she has a new friend in Chancey to help out. However, he might want to help her out a little too much. And then, who is that strange girl who came with the kids from college, and seems to want to stay in Chancey? Because, seriously, Carolina wonders, “Why would anyone want to stay in Chancey?

However, Carolina does stay in Chancey and in April 2016 the third book in the series “Derailed in Chancey” comes out.

I’m delighted to hear that I’ll be able to read more of Carolina’s exploits, and I hope you’ll keep me posted so both of you can “sit awhile on Inner Source’s” porch and discuss the latest.

Next Stop, Chancey CoverMore About Next Stop, Chancey:

Looking in your teenage daughter’s purse is never a good idea. When Carolina does, she ends up accidentally selling their home in her beloved Atlanta suburbs to move into her husbands dream home. It’s a big, old house beside a railroad bridge in a small Georgia town. And now he dreams of her opening a B&B for Railroad buffs while he’s off doing his day job. Carolina’s dislike of actually saying “No” leaves an opening for the town bully who wears a lavender skirt and white gloves. Soon, of course, Carolina is opening the B&B with the aid of the entire town of Chancey, Georgia, and it all makes her hate small towns even more than when she was growing up in one. And did I mention there’s a ghost? Yeah, teenagers, trains, and a ghost. This stuff didn’t happen in the suburbs.

Chancey Family Lies frontAnother Great Read by Kay Dew Shostak: Chancey Family Lies:

Carolina is determined her first holiday season as a stay-at-home mom will be perfect. However …

Twelve kids from college (and one nobody seems to know)

Eleven chili dinners (Why do we always need to feed a crowd?)

Ten dozen fake birds (cardinals, no less)

Nine hours without power (but lots of stranded guests)

Eight angry council members (Wait, where’s the town’s money?)

Seven trains a-blowin’ (all the time. All. The. Time).

Six weeks with relatives (six weeks!!)

Five plotting teens (Again, who is that girl?)

Four in-laws staying (and staying, and staying …)

Three dogs a-barking (Who brought the dogs?)

Two big ol’ secrets (and they ain’t wrapped in ribbons under the three, either)

And the perfect season gone with the wind.

 

Writing for Him; Writing from Him by Marian P. Merritt

Hand writing a note on a sheet of paper with a penDeep Freeze Christmas, my Christmas novella, started as a simple idea—a Louisiana chef goes to Colorado to cook. That was the initial story idea. The character of Leona was the only clear image I had. I wish I could say that I plot out every detail of the story, but that’s not the case. My stories usually begin with a character and his/her situation or issue. I don’t immediately start writing when an idea hits but usually let it simmer for a while. As I begin to write the story unfolds. The beauty of trusting God with my writing is that I never intentionally put a spiritual theme in my books, but by the end there usually is one.

Such was the case with Deep Freeze Christmas. I hadn’t intended to write a Christmas story. But the idea of a female chef from Louisiana going to Colorado kept nagging me. My last Christmas novella, Southern Fried Christmas, featured a Colorado girl going to Louisiana at Christmas. So this would be an opposite story.

I love writing about the two things dear to my heart—my Louisiana roots and my current home in the Rocky Mountains. My tagline, Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains emerged from those loves.

Last year during the Christmas holidays, I began writing Deep Freeze Christmas. A snow storm pushed through our town and there’s wasn’t much to do but stay home, it was then I set out to tell Leona’s story. For the first time in a long time the words flowed. The characters began to tell me their stories and I loved getting to know them. Chef Julian played a larger role than intended when his past revealed itself. He was more than just a boss to Leona, he was her mentor and self-appointed guardian.

As the story progressed, the theme became apparent—be the character of Christ to all we encounter. When Leona is in the presence of someone who treats her poorly, she is called upon to act out her faith. She must let her talk actually walk. She also reminds Chef of their mission to reflect Christ’s character. No matter how hard it is and how difficult the person is.

Everyone has a difficult person in their life and sometimes it’s hard to be Christlike when they seem to go out of their way to be rude or obnoxious. One thing Leona said in Deep Freeze Christmas made a lot of sense. Hurting people hurt others. That’s one thing I try to remember when encountering someone determined to be unpleasant.

The theme of the book, reflects Christ’s character, evolved while writing. I love that I don’t have to push a theme and write to it. I just have to trust and let the Holy Spirit write through me. One of the things I’ve learned about trusting God with my writing is that He doesn’t want me to write FOR Him, He wants me to write FROM Him. This short novelette proved that.

Marian P. Merritt -HeadshotAbout the Author:

Marian Pellegrin Merritt writes stories that blend her love of the mountains with her deep Southern roots. She is an author and freelance writer with over ten years experience. Her work has appeared in newspapers, magazines and online websites and garnered a first place award in ACFW’s Genesis contest.

Marian is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Women’s Fiction Writers Association.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy and an accounting certificate from the University of South Alabama. This Louisiana native writes from the Northwest Colorado home she shares with her husband and a very spoiled Labradoodle. Connect with her through her Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter.

DeepFreezeChristmas_w11849_png (1)More about Deep Freeze Christmas:

Louisiana Chef Leona Buquet agrees to cook at a Colorado mountain lodge during the Christmas holiday. When she meets the son of a movie producer, she is taken by his striking good looks and warm personality. Trouble is, with glamorous actresses clamoring for his attention, why would he even notice Leona?

Cameron Fleming struggles with being in a career he hates in order to please his famous father. When he meets Leona, he feels a connection to her and wants an opportunity to get to know her. That is hard to do while dodging starlets…and the woman he wants is avoiding him.

Can love sizzle, along with the Cajun dishes, in subzero temperatures?

SouthernFriedChristmas_w11200_680 (1)About Southern Fried Christmas, another Christmas Extravaganza novella:

Love: purer than Colorado snow, deeper than a Louisiana bayou.

The Colorado Rockies have always been home to journalist Kelly Shepherd, but after the death of her father, and facing her first Christmas alone, she accepts an assignment that leads her deep into Louisiana’s Cajun country.

Since his wife’s death, Denny Labouve has focused his attention on his ten-year-old daughter and the family business, but Kelly sparks the dying embers of his heart even as a Christmas cold front moves through his beloved Cajun country.

Will Denny and Kelly be able to trust God to bridge the span between the Colorado Rockies and the Louisiana bayou?

a-cajun-christmas-miracle-cover-web-copyAbout A Cajun Christmas Miracle

“Who knows anything about love at seventeen? All those hormones raging, and life decisions to make.”

Thirteen years ago, Mandy St. Pierre and Bridger Mathews were in high school and hopelessly in love. When his parents moved to Colorado in his senior year, Mandy was left behind with a broken heart and a secret. When Bridger never contacted her, she questioned the reality and depth of their love.

While neither has forgotten the other and the deep first love they shared, their lives took different paths. Mandy married and became mother to a child with special needs. Bridger married only to loose his wife to cancer three years later.

Now Mandy and Bridger are thrown together for the wedding of her cousin and his best friend. Mandy, abandoned by her husband, has moved back to Belle Camellia, the River Road, Louisiana plantation home of her youth with Daniel, her three-year-old son who has autism. Bridger is working next door with a rescue horse his best friend has saved.

When Mandy’s son bonds with Bridger and his horse, Mandy is torn. She wrangles with letting Bridger back into her life, letting him into her son’s life, her unnatural fear of horses, and her wavering faith in God.

Through Daniel’s fearless attachment to the horse and Bridger, both Mandy and Bridger are forced to confront the past. Revealed truths present perfect opportunities for forgiveness. Will they let go of the past hurts? Can they open their hearts to trust one another in order to give Daniel an experience that may unlock his world and allow him to interact like never before?

Author Interview: Marian P. Merritt

Marian P. Merritt -HeadshotToday’s guest is Marian P. Merritt, the author of two of my favorite Christmas Holiday Extravaganza novellas, Southern Fried Christmas and Deep Freeze Christmas.  Marian writes stories that blend her love of the mountains with her deep Southern roots. She is an author and freelance writer with over ten years experience. Her work has appeared in newspapers, magazines and online websites and garnered a first place award in ACFW’s Genesis contest.

Marian is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Women’s Fiction Writers Association.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy and an accounting certificate from the University of South Alabama. This Louisiana native writes from the Northwest Colorado home she shares with her husband and a very spoiled Labradoodle. Connect with her through Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter

Welcome, Marian. You have such a unique brand for your writing. Would you share that with our readers?

My tagline is: Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains. It brands me as an author as well as my stories. I’m a Louisiana Cajun gal living in Colorado. My stories have a Louisiana/Colorado connection. In some stories the connection is subtle, but it’s still there.

You are from the Deep South, but you now live in Colorado. I’d be interested to know what you like most about Louisiana and Colorado … and what you like the least about each location.

Least:  Colorado—Piles of snow that require shoveling.

Louisiana: Humidity, multitude of bugs.

Most:   Colorado—The weather in the summer is amazing. I actually want to be outdoors!

Louisiana—The food, the culture, the warm southern hospitality.

The story, Deep Freeze Christmas, your heroine is a sous chef. I asked Leona to explain what a sous chef does, but I’m interested in knowing if you are writing from experience or research. In other words are you one of those people that like to cook?

I do love to  cook – but I’m certainly not a chef! Which simply means I like to cook great meals that my husband and I prepare together and enjoy together. I’m not as comfortable cooking for other people. And that whole planning and preparing thing—don’t like it so much.  

I found the relationship between your heroine and the master chef, Julian Mayeux, very refreshing. Most chefs are portrayed like the ones we see on television—tough and demanding. I got the idea that Julian demanded the best from Leona, but he also is like a father figure to her. Is their relationship a mirror of a real relationship in your life?

Their relationship is very similar to relationships I had with co-workers when I worked for an oil company in south Louisiana and in Mobile, AL. I was a young single mom and many of the older men sort of adopted me as their daughter.

A little birdy tells me that you have another Christmas story. Would you mind sharing that with us as well as any other projects you might have?

I would love to share! My recently released novel, A Cajun Christmas Miracle, is another Christmas story with a Louisiana gal and a Colorado cowboy set in South Louisiana. Throw in the gal’s three-year-old son who has autism, a rescued horse, and the real meaning of Christmas, and you have a heartwarming story of second chances and God’s miraculous hand.

Releasing in February 2015, The Vigil, is my first Women’s Fiction novel and one that is close to my heart. It’s the genre that I love to write and feel blessed to share this one with my readers.

For book details visit my website at: http://www.marianmerritt.com

Fay, thank you for having me here at Inner Source. It’s been a pleasure visiting with you and your readers.

Thank you for joining us, and I’m inviting you back right now to share the Inner Source about The Vigil. I’ve had the awesome pleasure of reading the story already, and I know our readers will want to know about this one.

DeepFreezeChristmas_w11849_png (1)More about Deep Freeze Christmas:

Louisiana Chef Leona Buquet agrees to cook at a Colorado mountain lodge during the Christmas holiday. When she meets the son of a movie producer, she is taken by his striking good looks and warm personality. Trouble is, with glamorous actresses clamoring for his attention, why would he even notice Leona?

Cameron Fleming struggles with being in a career he hates in order to please his famous father. When he meets Leona, he feels a connection to her and wants an opportunity to get to know her. That is hard to do while dodging starlets…and the woman he wants is avoiding him.

Can love sizzle, along with the Cajun dishes, in subzero temperatures?

SouthernFriedChristmas_w11200_680 (1)About Southern Fried Christmas, another Christmas Extravaganza novella:

Love: purer than Colorado snow, deeper than a Louisiana bayou.

The Colorado Rockies have always been home to journalist Kelly Shepherd, but after the death of her father, and facing her first Christmas alone, she accepts an assignment that leads her deep into Louisiana’s Cajun country.

Since his wife’s death, Denny Labouve has focused his attention on his ten-year-old daughter and the family business, but Kelly sparks the dying embers of his heart even as a Christmas cold front moves through his beloved Cajun country.

Will Denny and Kelly be able to trust God to bridge the span between the Colorado Rockies and the Louisiana bayou?

a-cajun-christmas-miracle-cover-web-copyAbout A Cajun Christmas Miracle

“Who knows anything about love at seventeen? All those hormones raging, and life decisions to make.”

Thirteen years ago, Mandy St. Pierre and Bridger Mathews were in high school and hopelessly in love. When his parents moved to Colorado in his senior year, Mandy was left behind with a broken heart and a secret. When Bridger never contacted her, she questioned the reality and depth of their love.

While neither has forgotten the other and the deep first love they shared, their lives took different paths. Mandy married and became mother to a child with special needs. Bridger married only to loose his wife to cancer three years later.

Now Mandy and Bridger are thrown together for the wedding of her cousin and his best friend. Mandy, abandoned by her husband, has moved back to Belle Camellia, the River Road, Louisiana plantation home of her youth with Daniel, her three-year-old son who has autism. Bridger is working next door with a rescue horse his best friend has saved.

When Mandy’s son bonds with Bridger and his horse, Mandy is torn. She wrangles with letting Bridger back into her life, letting him into her son’s life, her unnatural fear of horses, and her wavering faith in God.

Through Daniel’s fearless attachment to the horse and Bridger, both Mandy and Bridger are forced to confront the past. Revealed truths present perfect opportunities for forgiveness. Will they let go of the past hurts? Can they open their hearts to trust one another in order to give Daniel an experience that may unlock his world and allow him to interact like never before?

Character Interview: Leona Buquet from Deep Freeze Christmas by Marian P. Merritt

DeepFreezeChristmas_w11849_png (1)Today’s guest is Leona Buquet from Marian P. Merritt’s Deep Freeze Christmas, one of the excellent Christmas Extravaganza novellas published by White Rose Press. Leona, please tell us a little about yourself, where you live, what you do?

Hello Ms. Fay. Thank you for having me here. I live in New Orleans and work as a Sous Chef at the famous Mayeux’s Restaurant. I grew up on the bayou and my parents moved to our New Orleans Lakefront home when I was eight.

I can imagine that being a sous chef in The Big Easy has to be a very interesting and demanding job, especially apprenticing under Chef Julian Mayeux. What exactly is a sous chef, and how did you become interested in the culinary arts?

A Sous Chef is the second in command in a professional kitchen just under the executive chef. It can be stressful when things don’t go as they should in the kitchen or when the food orders aren’t correct. My interest in the culinary arts began as a child. My grandmother opened a restaurant, Leo’s, in New Orleans on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain. My dream is to re-open and run that restaurant which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina

I found you to be a very level-headed woman. When another isn’t very kind, you let it go, and you worked hard to be nice to her. How difficult was it for you to turn the other cheek?

Well, dat hasn’t always been the case! Not too long ago, I would have cut her with a sharp tongue and harsh words. Thankfully, a few years ago, I recommitted my life to Christ and made an effort to really understand what that meant. Chef Julian has helped in that area. In our business we meet people from all walks of life and sometimes, as Chef and I remind one another, we may be the only character of Christ some of them may ever see. Why take the chance and miss that awesome opportunity?

Your story has some misunderstandings in it between you and Mr. Cameron Fleming. I can see how the paths of a man who has been raised in the Hollywood culture would clash with your Deep South spirit. And I loved the twists in your stories, but tell me how does a woman raised in Louisiana find common ground with a man pretty much raised in the Hollywood culture?

I believe Cameron’s formidable years were spent in New Orleans and that ole Southern spirit seeped in there. Despite his glittery environment, deep down Cameron’s spirit is genuine and his faith got derailed for a short while. Our common ground is our faith in Christ. That transcends any geographical or environmental differences.

And, because I’m from the Deep South myself, I have to ask: how does a girl from New Orleans handle the frosty winter days and nights in the Colorado Mountains? Is it a place you think you’d like to visit more often?

My mom asked the same question when I got home! Having never left New Orleans or seen snow, it was one of those life experiences that we all hope to have. I loved the crisp clear air and the way the snow covered so much making for a Winter Wonderland. I enjoyed it and would love to visit again BUT don’t think I could permanently leave my family, Gulf Coast seafood, Chef Julian, and the crazy wild culture of New Orleans. This Cajun gal is perfectly content to eat Shrimp po-boys from the neighborhood café, deal with the humidity in the summer time, and thank God for the time I can share with my family.

Thank you for being with us today, Leona. I look forward Wednesday’s interview with your author, Marian P. Merritt.

More about Deep Freeze Christmas:

Louisiana Chef Leona Buquet agrees to cook at a Colorado mountain lodge during the Christmas holiday. When she meets the son of a movie producer, she is taken by his striking good looks and warm personality. Trouble is, with glamorous actresses clamoring for his attention, why would he even notice Leona?

Cameron Fleming struggles with being in a career he hates in order to please his famous father. When he meets Leona, he feels a connection to her and wants an opportunity to get to know her. That is hard to do while dodging starlets…and the woman he wants is avoiding him.

Can love sizzle, along with the Cajun dishes, in subzero temperatures?

SouthernFriedChristmas_w11200_680 (1)About Southern Fried Christmas, another Christmas Extravaganza novella:

Love: purer than Colorado snow, deeper than a Louisiana bayou.

The Colorado Rockies have always been home to journalist Kelly Shepherd, but after the death of her father, and facing her first Christmas alone, she accepts an assignment that leads her deep into Louisiana’s Cajun country.

Since his wife’s death, Denny Labouve has focused his attention on his ten-year-old daughter and the family business, but Kelly sparks the dying embers of his heart even as a Christmas cold front moves through his beloved Cajun country.

Will Denny and Kelly be able to trust God to bridge the span between the Colorado Rockies and the Louisiana bayou?

a-cajun-christmas-miracle-cover-web-copyAbout A Cajun Christmas Miracle

“Who knows anything about love at seventeen? All those hormones raging, and life decisions to make.”

Thirteen years ago, Mandy St. Pierre and Bridger Mathews were in high school and hopelessly in love. When his parents moved to Colorado in his senior year, Mandy was left behind with a broken heart and a secret. When Bridger never contacted her, she questioned the reality and depth of their love.

While neither has forgotten the other and the deep first love they shared, their lives took different paths. Mandy married and became mother to a child with special needs. Bridger married only to loose his wife to cancer three years later.

Now Mandy and Bridger are thrown together for the wedding of her cousin and his best friend. Mandy, abandoned by her husband, has moved back to Belle Camellia, the River Road, Louisiana plantation home of her youth with Daniel, her three-year-old son who has autism. Bridger is working next door with a rescue horse his best friend has saved.

When Mandy’s son bonds with Bridger and his horse, Mandy is torn. She wrangles with letting Bridger back into her life, letting him into her son’s life, her unnatural fear of horses, and her wavering faith in God.

Through Daniel’s fearless attachment to the horse and Bridger, both Mandy and Bridger are forced to confront the past. Revealed truths present perfect opportunities for forgiveness. Will they let go of the past hurts? Can they open their hearts to trust one another in order to give Daniel an experience that may unlock his world and allow him to interact like never before?

Marian P. Merritt -HeadshotAbout the Author:

Marian Pellegrin Merritt writes stories that blend her love of the mountains with her deep Southern roots. She is an author and freelance writer with over ten years experience. Her work has appeared in newspapers, magazines and online websites and garnered a first place award in ACFW’s Genesis contest.

Marian is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Women’s Fiction Writers Association.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy and an accounting certificate from the University of South Alabama. This Louisiana native writes from the Northwest Colorado home she shares with her husband and a very spoiled Labradoodle. Connect with her through her Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter.