Saturday, December 8, 2012

Southern Fried Christmas by Marian Merritt


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?

December 19th

           Kelly Shepherd followed the bustling passengers through the New Orleans terminal and toward the signs to baggage claim. Colorful posters of boiled seafood advertising famous restaurants lined the walls and the faint sound of jazz drifted to her ears. Regret rolled through her stomach, along with her meager in-flight snack.
Lord, why did I agree to do this?

As she descended the escalator, her gaze scanned the sea of awaiting faces. She noticed the sparkle in a young man’s eyes when he spotted the beautiful blonde standing on the step below her. When they embraced, longing filled Kelly’s heart. The person waiting for her was an editor who had volunteered to share his home and family for eight days while she wrote her Cajun Christmas story.

Kelly searched the crowd, but failed to see a brown-haired man with a receding hairline. At least that was how Carroll Lebouve had described himself over the phone.

“Miss Shepherd? Miss Shepherd?” The high-pitched child’s voice echoed above the hum of conversation in the busy airport. Kelly followed the sound to a little girl standing on tiptoes next to a row of chairs. She seemed to be about ten and held a brightly wrapped package. Mr. Labouve hadn’t mentioned a daughter. Kelly’s heart leapt at the sight of the candy cane taped on top the gift. Even though they didn't know what the candy cane meant to her, it was a comfort.

A tall, muscled man stood next to the child. Although, his full head of dark hair didn’t match the receding hairline description, he held a small poster with her name written in red print. His dark eyes searched the group of arriving passengers until his gaze settled on hers. He mouthed, Shepherd?

She nodded.

As she approached, the corners of his mouth tilted. More on the left than the right.

“Miss Shepherd.” He tossed the poster into a nearby trashcan then extended his hand—a solid masculine hand. “Denny Labouve, I’m Carroll’s brother. He sends his apologies for not being here. His father-in-law was rushed to the hospital this afternoon.”

“I’m so sorry.” She shook his hand. “Is he all right?” Even at five-nine, she had to tilt her head back to meet his brown eyes. A scar interrupted the smooth hair of his left eyebrow.

“Heart attack. He’s in surgery right now. Our whole family has been praying. Carroll will call when they have more information.” He turned toward the child standing next to him. “This is my daughter—”

“I’m Chelsea Labouve.” With an erect posture and brilliant smile, she extended one hand toward Kelly.

Kelly smiled and leaned toward the girl. “It’s nice to meet you, Chelsea, I’m Kelly Shepherd, but you already know that, don’t you?” Chelsea’s small hand warmed her own for the brief moment they touched. Either this child resembled her mother or she was adopted because with her fair hair and blue eyes, she looked nothing like her father.

Chelsea pointed toward the trashcan where Denny had ditched the hand-made poster. “Yes, ma’am, Miss Shepherd, I do.”

Kelly cringed then smiled. She’d never been called ma’am before. Suddenly, at thirty she felt old.

“This is for you.” Chelsea extended the package toward her.

Kelly accepted the gift and paused to rein in her emotions. If only this child knew what the candy cane meant to her. She stole a glance toward Denny Labouve. The loving look and gentle smile he showered on his daughter melted Kelly’s heart.



Author Bio:
Marian Merritt grew up in south Louisiana in a bayou community south of New Orleans, Louisiana. Her love for the written word began while sitting on her grandparent’s front porch swing reading books. The stories allowed her to meet interesting people, took her to far away places and made her think beyond her own world. Her desire to write about the south keeps her grounded in her roots and the hope that one day she can do for someone what many of the authors of her childhood did for her.
She has a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy and an accounting certificate from the University of South Alabama. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and hones her writing skills by attending writer’s conferences and studying how-to books on the craft. Marian writes from her home Colorado home that she shares with her husband and a Labradoodle, named Chili. Visit her at:
I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Cajun country by way of Marian Merritt's Southern Fried Christmas. She has decorated the set with realistic glimpses of Louisiana - from traditional food to the steamy humidity - and transported me to the deep south for Christmas. I liked Denny and Kelly and rooted for them all the way. I will read more from Marian Merritt. ~   Carla Rossi – Author of Dr. Noah and the Sugar Plum Fairy, Unlikely Praise, and Limited Light
Why did Marian write this book?
While I currently live in Colorado, the southern way of life is something that stays with you regardless of where you live. I wanted to showcase the Cajun culture in as true a light as possible. The warm, caring nature of the culture is something worth showcasing. I don’t think many of the books or movies out there  “get it right”. I hope that Southern Fried Christmas does. Bonne Christmeusse!
Purchase Links:
Barnes & Nobel/Nook.





Friday, October 12, 2012


Romantic Suspense

Marshdale. Just a small farming community where nothing special happens.  A perfect place to start over… or get lost. Once a sacred meeting place of aboriginal tribes, some say the land is cursed. But its history goes even farther back than indigenous oral history can trace and there is still a direct descendant who has been handed the truth, like it or not. Exactly what ties does the land have to the medicine of the ancients? Is it cursed, or is it all superstition?

WIND OVER MARSHDALE is the story of the struggles within a small prairie town when hidden evil and ancient medicine resurface. Caught in the crossfire, new teacher Rachel Bosworth finds herself in love with two men at once. First, there is Thomas Lone Wolf, a Cree man whose blood lines run back to the days of ancient medicine but who has chosen to live as a Christian and faces prejudice from every side. Then there is Con McKinley, local farmer who has to face some demons of his own. Add to the mix a wayward minister seeking anonymity in the obscurity of the town; eccentric twin sisters – one heavily involved in the occult and the other a fundamentalist zealot; and a host of other ‘characters’ whose lives weave together unexpectedly for the final climax. This suspenseful story is one of human frailty - prejudice, cowardice, jealousy, and greed – magnified by powerful spiritual forces that have remained hidden for centuries, only to be broken in triumph by grace.

Thomas shot up in bed, panting. The T-shirt he wore clung to his body with sweat. It was not the first time the dream had come to wake him.

He took a deep breath, disentangled himself from the sheets, and rose to get a drink of water. No point going back to bed now. He wouldn’t sleep anyway. He padded down the narrow hallway,
passing the half closed doorways that sheltered his sleeping children. Ducking to avoid hitting his head as he entered the tiny kitchen, he paused for a moment to look at the expanse of landscape beyond the window. Mostly flat, with a rise of gently rolling hills in the distance, it was clothed with a carpet of rippling grass except for the odd patch of dry fallow. Just like in the dream.

The early morning sunrise was just beginning to filter in, reaching to shed some light in the shadowed corners of the room. Thomas had managed to rent a house near the outskirts of town. Correction. It wasn’t exactly a house. The realtor called it a “double wide.” Okay, it was a trailer, but it was the only property for rent in Marshdale at the moment. At least, that was what the realtor had said. It wasn’t the nicest place—rather dingy if truth be told—and it was farther from school than Thomas would have liked, but it was still within walking distance. Better than the overcrowded and dilapidated homes he’d been used to as a child.

But that was another time. Another life.

He was here now, for better or for worse, and the people of Marshdale would just have to accept it. He was Thomas Lone Wolf, proud of his Cree ancestry, and determined to do something about it. As a community liaison, he’d worked with dozens of indigenous groups all over the western provinces trying to set up business propositions. This time was different, though. It was personal.

With practiced fingers he undid his night-time braid and shook out his hair, which fell well past his shoulders. Even at forty, there was no sign of greying or hair loss. It was straight, coarse and black,
just like his ancestors’ - the perfect picture of a Cree warrior.

Now that he was awake, he allowed himself to replay the dream in his mind - at least the parts that he could remember. Like most dreams, the initial clarity soon faded after just a few waking moments. There were buffalo - always buffalo. And they seemed bent on suicide, careening to their deaths before he could stop them somehow.

He was going to start writing it down. The theme was too familiar; the mixture of fear and power too real. Some people said you dreamt in black and white. Thomas wasn’t sure about that. He knew there was blood in his dream - and lots of it. The redness of it stood out in stark contrast to the muted prairie landscape. And the stench. That unmistakable metallic scent filled his nostrils to such a degree that he could almost swear he still smelled it. Almost. But that was ridiculous and he pushed the memory of the coagulating stains out of his mind.

With a sigh he turned back to the cupboards and started readying the coffee. It would soon be time to wake the children and get ready for work himself. Another gruelling day of lobbying for something that should be rightfully his to begin with. Reality didn’t stop for dreams.
Author Bio: 
Tracy Krauss is a high school teacher by profession, and a prolific author, artist, playwright and director by choice. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Saskatchewan and has gone on to teach Art, Drama and English – all the things she is passionate about. After raising four children, she and her husband now reside in beautiful Tumbler Ridge, BC where she continues to pursue all of her creative interests.


There is plenty of intrigue and mystery to keep any reader's attention, but for lovers of romance, this one will make your heart pound. ~ Michelle Sutton, reviewer and author of more than a dozen inspirational novels

Tracy Krauss typifies all that is good in modern Christian authorship. She is consistently there for her readers and elevates her every effort. ~  Joyce Godwin Grubbs, Author From the Grassroots

Tracy’s characters are raw and real; her plots edgy and electric. ~  Lisa Lickel, award winning author of Meander Scar,  A Summer in Oakville, The Map Quilt and other inspirational novels

Tracy Krauss has a deep talent. I am looking forward to more from her. ~ Tom Blubaugh, Author of Night of the Cossack
The setting for the book is based on the small town of Mossbank where I grew up. The landscape and scenery are ‘straight up’ and even some of the history is loosely based on local legend. I am a ‘people’ watcher and in my years living in various small towns I’ve come to recognize certain ‘characters’ that seem to reside everywhere. As well, I have an interest in many of the cultural and spiritual aspects of Canada’s First Nations, especially as it relates to Christianity and faith. All of these factors came together in the writing of this tale. Ultimately, I hope it points toward the restorative power of Christ.
Purchase Links:
Barnes and Noble.
Publisher, Astraea Press.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dark Days of Promise by Shaunna Gonzales

Romantic Suspense

Thirty-four year old Vicki Laramie must learn to trust before she can love, but she might die trying.
While Vicki’s children grapple with the death of their father -- a man whom she’s successfully fabricated as loving, a lie her rebellious teenager recognizes -- she must find a way to support her family and find a role model for her boys. She never intends to fall for Staff Sergeant Chase, her best friend’s son, who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She’d much rather choose a safer man to love, but her children have a voice in the decision she makes. With two deaths to deal with, a suitor after her money, a rebellious son, and Sergeant Chase’s repeated attacks, she can only hope to survive the danger she faces. If she doesn’t, her children will be left without either parent.

Why him? I needed help; I even needed a rescuer, but not him. I found myself welcoming his presence in spite of the clenching fear in my stomach. My mind spiraled around the possibilities. Would I freeze to death? Would he attack me? Would I survive? I must get home to my children.
"Kelly! What're you doing out here?" My breathing came out hard.
"I don't know," he drawled. His words formed ghostly shapes in the freezing night air. "Do you want a ride or do you really plan to run home?"
I looked down the road in both directions hoping for a second pair of headlights. I found none.
The fact of my standing on ice and snow escaped me for the moment. I anchored my foot for take-off and slipped, going to my knees. Kelly moved fast, I didn't see him open the Jeep's door before he grasped my arm, lifting me to my feet.
"You okay? You went down pretty hard." He propelled me to the passenger's side. Numb feet measured each jarring step around the front of the Jeep. Why had he come looking for me? The possibility of his not looking for me in particular, but anyone -- anyone alone, screamed across my thoughts.
Afraid of a cold death at the side of the road, my thoughts stalled. He'd proven himself faster than I. I shook his hand off to climb in and settled myself as close to the door as possible. He walked around the front of the Jeep, his footsteps sure on the icy surface.
"Have to admire your spunk," he said climbing in.

Author Bio:

Shaunna Gonzales has toyed with writing since her teenage years but has only written in earnest since 2005. In an effort to give DARK DAYS OF PROMISE an authentic feel she endeavored to include some experiences of veterans she knows and could often be found discussing the realities of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) in their lives and how it could honestly be shared in this project. On the evening of this books first promotion, she realized that the scope of PTSD reaches deep into the core of our society and includes infants, children, housewives, the working and unemployed as well as veterans; in short, all of us. In an effort to treat this subject fairly, Ms. Gonzales has altered her writing course from "romance with a twist" to helping our society, sufferers and innocents alike to becoming aware. It is more than those who experience the violence, more than the victims who experience this debilitating disease that are affected. It is their families, the bystander of violent crime and all of us who dare to care for and love them. Shaunna currently resides in the Seattle, Washington area, with her husband, and their younger children.
"Written in the first person, this is an engaging romance, a story of family, and of life involving military personnel....""...This is a winning and uplifting contemporary romance! ~ InD'Tale magazine
As I read Mrs. Gonzales novel, I felt as IF she was writing it about me and my life. I can relate to all three main characters. I found myself wondering when she had been able to glean so much information and bring it all together in such a way as it riveted me until I finished reading her novel. ShaunnaThis is a very good read! ~ T.Jaymes, Army veteran
Why did Shaunna writ DARK DAYS OF PROMISE?
It is my hope that readers will become more aware of PTSD. It effects more than the veterans and their families, as well as those who love them. It isn't unusual for me to be talking with someone and get this "Oh, they are dealing with Post Traumatic Stress" this way or that way. As far as I have learned, PTSD comes from intense stress, such as battle and other potentially fatal situations as well as highly stressful situations in civilian life. Some deal with PTSD with faith and prayers on the one hand while others use counseling and sometimes drugs to manage the disorder. It is my hope to continue to gather personal stories that individuals are willing to allow me to draw from for future novels as well.
Purchase Links:

Amazon (including Kindle).
Desert Breeze Publishing.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Lady and the Sea by Sharon Leaf

Historical Romance
After two failed marriages, forty-eight-year-old Rosie Atkisson struggles through the process of rebuilding her life with husband, Jesse, in Southern California.  But the settled rhythm of her newfound comfort is interrupted by a tug in her heart when she encounters a haunting photo of another aging lady, the World War II vessel MS Restoration.  A special mission to transport Russian Jews from the Black Sea to Israel means an adventure of a lifetime; does she dare pass up this dangerous assignment that will take her thousands of miles from her family and comfortable life?  In spite of her fear of water and the unknown condition of the old ship, Rosie says yes to the inner voice that is saying GO!

After fourteen months on board the ship—from a hurricane to a heart attack, from miracles to the M word--menopause--and now being held at gunpoint in the Haifa harbor—Rosie wonders if she will ever return to her own safe harbor


Within minutes of the MS Restoration entering the Haifa harbor, an Israeli gunboat sped from the port and circled the World War II vessel.  As two soldiers aimed their deck-mounted machine guns at the ship, another shouted instructions in Hebrew through a loudspeaker.
The captain of the MS Restoration responded over the ship’s radio, “Please, speak to us in English!”
Rosie grabbed the rail.  “Do they think we’re terrorists?”
Jesse touched her arm.  “Rosie, calm down.”
“Do they think we’re pirates?”
“Just calm down,” her husband repeated, holding out his hand.
“Will they make us jump overboard?  I don’t have my life jacket,” she spoke, fighting back her fear of water that was trying to surface once more.
“Rosie, you must get hold of yourself.”
Her mind raced as she gazed up at the man who had brought her on this unpredictable journey.  Jesse’s right; what’s come over me? Rosie asked herself, all the time wishing she didn’t have to go to the bathroom.  She didn’t dare leave his side.
The ship, her fellow crewmembers, and their special passengers—the Russian Jews—had finally reached their destination.  No more troubled waters.  No more hurricanes.  No more delays.  On this hot July morning, they were home free—or so they thought.
Rosie looked at the crew, poised as if they were ready to hit the deck.  “Isn’t this ironic?  We’ve traveled halfway around the world, and this is the welcome we get.”
“Stop your engine!” the soldier shouted.
Within seconds, they were dead in the water.
Rosie’s stomach churned.  She hung her head over the side of the ship and let it rip.  After wiping her mouth with a hankie, she grabbed hold of Jesse’s arm.  She’d heard stories about people who had experienced close calls.  Her seventy-year-old father once told her about the time his ship almost went down in the China Sea during the war.  “At that moment, my whole life passed before me,” Talmage said.
Now feeling lightheaded as the Israeli soldiers glared at the Restoration through their binoculars, Rosie knew that this was her moment.

Author Bio:

Sharon Leaf is the author of Lady and the Sea, a debut novel based on her adventures as a volunteer aboard a WWII ship secured for a hazardous mission, to rescue Russian Jews from the Black Sea to Israel.  She traveled to over fifteen countries, lived in Sweden while attending Bible College, and travelled the Trans-Siberian Railway.  At the age of sixty she received a degree in theology, proving that it is never too late to fulfill another dream.  Sharon and her husband of twenty-four years now enjoy life in the sultry southern state of South Carolina.


Sharon Leaf has written a fabulous book! She fashions Rosie, the protagonist, in such a carefully crafted multi-faceted way that there is something in her personality for each and every one of us. For example, Rosie never feels safe anywhere except, to some degree, in her own little home with everything arranged just so. She keeps herself busy, and unthinking, by compulsively doing good. That way, she doesn't have to face her multiple fears. But God has a plan for Rosie. Before she realizes it, she is off on an adventure far beyond her dreams; one that forces her to recognize that God is the only safe harbour in trying times, not a harbour of her own making. And the result? Rosie grows in faith, wisdom, acceptance, grace and more. This is a truly inspirational book. I read it from cover to cover and loved it, especially for the psychological and emotional twists--so interesting. Congratulations, Sharon!  ~~  Jean C. Wheeler: Writer, Retired Psychoanalyst (on Amazon)

Lady and the Sea by Sharon Leaf is a delicious adventure that takes the reader on an energetic sail through the intertwining journeys of Rosie and the M.S.Restoration, two resilient ladies who find their lives re-purposed and set on new courses as they share a transforming journey from dry dock to crossing the open sea. I enjoyed traveling along with Rosie, giggling at her light-hearted humor one minute and peering over the rail in anticipation the next. It's a strong story; I believe it will nudge and tug at packed away dreams and encouraged them out onto open decks to be refreshed by bright sea breezes. ~~ Bryan Richardson (on Amazon)

Why did Sharon write LADY AND THE SEA?

After volunteering fourteen months on the World War II vessel MS Restoration in 1994-95, I knew I had to tell the story of this miracle ship.  When the government put the lock-knot ship in mothballs after the war, she thought her glory days were over, until forty years later when a retired Alaskan sea captain bought her, then gave her to a church in Sweden to transport Russian Jews from the Black Sea to Israel.  God saved the best until last for the old gal, showing the reader that the best is yet to come for us 40+ gals and guys.

Purchase Links:
Barnes & Noble/Nook.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Blessing Seer by Paula Mowery

Women's Fiction/Paranormal

When God sends Addy a special messenger who challenges her to step from her comfort zone, she isn’t sure she’s up to the job. She feels inadequate to take on the task of encouraging others, and when she starts seeing visions, she worries she’s losing her mind. 

Yet, Addy wants only to be used by God, even if that means seeing visions and risking relationship with family and friends. By stepping out on a limb, can Addy really accomplish something significant for God? What affect will her surrender to His will have on those around her? And, what affect will it have on her own life?


I hesitated, then I extended my hand.
“I’m sorry I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure. I’m Addy Townsend.” I was actually “fishing” when I said this. I didn’t know who this man was or where he had come from. He didn’t favor the man I had seen earlier in the car. I definitely had no idea why he had immediately begun to discuss the very topic that buzzed in my head. And in this day and time, should I be running from him?
When he placed his hand in my outstretched one, words failed to express the feeling. As odd as it may sound to even my ears, his touch radiated peace like a warmth that rushed from his hand throughout my body and calmed my restlessness. I sensed no need to flee.
“Name’s Conrad.”
“Nice to meet you, Conrad. I’ve never seen you around here. Have you recently moved into the neighborhood?”
“No, just passing through.”
“I see.”
He began to stroll once again, and I fell into step beside him. It felt familiar, as if I had taken this walk with him on numerous occasions. I started to engage in friendly conversation by commenting on the weather or leaves, but I never had the opportunity. He launched the conversation himself.
“Blessings are often contingent on obedience.”
I contemplated that a moment. I considered what I knew from Scripture about the topic of blessing.
“I suppose you’re right, at least historically speaking. I mean, God promised blessing to the Israelites if they would obey.”
“That’s right, Addy, He did.”
His face beamed as if he were proud I had answered correctly, and I smiled for his words to me brimmed with compliment. The ease of conversation with a stranger surprised me. Normally, I would only engage in such dialogue with those closest to me, and admittedly, possibly not even then.
“There are blessings God gives because He is a gracious God.” Conrad continued. “However, there are blessings He waits to give if only the person will obey or follow His will.”
“Yes, He definitely blesses us with much we don’t deserve.”
“It is His very nature.” He stated this in a most matter-of-fact manner.
“But, if there are blessings we could receive based on obeying or following His will, then what you said must be true—there are blessings we never receive because we aren’t obedient or devoted to following His way.”
He stopped and looked at me. His eyes brimmed with compassion. His expression and posture exuded sorrow. “Yes.” His voice was low, and I thought a tear might emerge for the deep emotion I sensed from him.
Silence ensued. I felt the need to cease the intensity of the moment.
“It’s a shame that we would miss out on God’s blessings. If only we knew what God was up to.”
Now Conrad’s eyes seemed to look to my very soul. My pulse quickened. I bit my lip and began to fidget.
“If you knew the blessings God had in store for others, would you tell them?”
“I suppose I would….yes.”

Author Bio:
Paula Mowery is a pastor’s wife and a homeschool mom. She has always been an avid reader of Christian fiction. She began writing in the area of nonfiction creating three Bible studies which were self-published. However, she crafted fiction stories which she shared with friends and family. When one of her readers encouraged her to pursue publication, she joined American Christian Fiction Writers, learning more about the world of fiction. Her debut work of fiction is a novella published by Harbourlight, a division of Pelican Book Group – THE BLESSING SEER. Read more of her writing in her monthly columns on Learn more about Paula at her blog –

Why did Paula write THE BLESSING SEER?

One evening I was thinking on an illustration I hear pastors use sometimes. A man went to Heaven and was touring with one of the angels. They arrived at a warehouse filled with beautifully wrapped gifts. The man asked what they were and the angel said: “These are all of the blessings God wants to grant but haven’t been asked for.” I continued to contemplate the story when I went to bed. Not to sound mystical or anything, but God suddenly “downloaded” the whole outline for THE BLESSING SEER into my mind. I had to get up and write it down. Throughout the writing God has taught me what it means to leave my comfort zones and do something significant for Him. I don’t ever want to miss out on blessings God has in store because I didn’t ask or didn’t obey His directives.

Purchase Links:

The Publisher.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Nurtured in Purple by Jude Urbanski

Inspirational Romance/Women's Fiction

NURTURED IN PURPLE...One man. One woman. Bent on avenging personal vendettas. Another man. Another woman. Wanting to only be God’s salt and light.

NURTURED IN PURPLE continues the now-married love story of Seth Orbin and Kate Davidson of JOY RESTORED, but nemesis' Willard Wittenberg and Elizabeth Koger come center stage, still pursuing personal vendettas against the Orbisn.
Seth again faces potential loss of wife and child with Kate's life-threatening pregnancy complication while Willare maneuvers to ruin Seth's business. Willard and Elizabeth marry, but her flame for Seth hasn't died. Late-blooming love finds Ninville and Margie while new characters, Ruby Moody, alcoholic wife of a deceased Vietnam vet, and she small son Bobo are introduced. Can Seth and Kate, modeling God's grace and forgiveness, be salt and light to those in desperate need?

   Willard sat on a high stool and leaned into the counter at Arkley's bar. His glass of beer stood before him. Arkley's had the distinction of being the only bar at the Static junction. It proved a comfortable fixture and he'd just dropped in for a quick one, before heading to Elizabeth's house.
    He couldn't help overhearing Arkley talking to Ruby Moody, who had just come through the door. He knew Ruby was a Vietnam widow, had a small son and a drinking problem. Many folks shared this knowledge.
  ''Ruby, now what are you doing back here again? You know you've had enough and besides, I can't give you any more credit. Anyways, where is Bobo? You need to think of your little son, child." Arkley Asbury pushed a dingy looking cloth back and forth across the chipped countertop, but looked Ruby straight in the eye.
      ''Aw, Grandpa, you know I'm all right. Just give me another pint of that there and I'll be sure to bring you the money on the first." A wobbly Ruby pointed to a pint of vodka on the shelf. "The cheap brand. Yeah, that one." She gripped the ancient counter with one hand and raised a shaky finger.
      Arkley shook his head, but moved to get the bottle from the shelf.
      ''Girl, I understand the need for another drink from my own messed up days, but this here is the last one I'll give you. Hear me now?"
      He stuck the bottle into a brown paper sack. ''Now get on home with you, Ruby."
      ''Obliged, Grandpa." She took the bag and stuck it under her arm to hide it. ''You know I always call you that. You're like a kind, old grandpa I never had." She turned to leave.
      Willard held the door for Ruby as she struggled down the single step from the wooden porch. Bobo rose from the wooden step and took her hand, leading her to their old car, which was parked to the side of the tavern, off the road and back in a clump of trees.
      He caught Bobo's words without even trying. Ruby's slurred responses were as equally audible. Willard winced and felt glad he was the only one around to hear.
      ''Ruby, you know you need to be sobered up by tomorrow when you talk to the Orbins about the job, don't you? Can you do that?"
      Without waiting for her answer he said, ''Come on, I got us some bologna sandwiches for supper. We can eat outside the car on those stumps there"
      ''Ah, Bobo, the Orbins just had a new grandchild. They probably won't even remember me tomorrow. Bet they've already forgotten all about that interview."
      ''That may be, but we're going to be there at ten o'clock just like we said we'd be."

Author Bio:

Jude Urbanski writes women's fiction featuring strong inspirational romance elements. She invites you to stories of heroes and heroines who spin tragedy into triumph with help from God. First published in nonfiction, Jude now has two electronic novels, THE CHRONICLES OF CHANUTE CROSSING series, offered by Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a columnist for Maximum Living, a magazine focusing on spirituality and wellness for women. Jude has a Master’s Degree in Nursing. She is a member of national and area chapters of American Christian Fiction Writers and National League of American Pen Women. Jude and her husband live in Indiana.

Why did Jude write NURTURED IN PURPLE?
NURTURED IN PURPLE is a sequel to Joy Restored in The Chronicles of Chanute Crossing Series; I had toyed with the idea of a sequel, but didn't want to really pour my heart into it- until my publisher suggested it! Then, I actually found I came to love these flawed characters in book two.

Purchase Links:  NURTURNED IN PURPLE will release June 11th in the meantime you can find the author...
Author website: