Marian P. Merritt - Lagniappe

Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains

Monday, February 24, 2014

Stained Glass Windows by Christine Lindsay

Today Lagniappe Welcomes...

Author - Christine Lindsay

Her latest release from Pelican Book Group's Passport to Romance series:

Londonderry Dreaming

Christine Lindsay

When I saw the submission call for the Passport to Romance line from Pelican Books, I got really excited. Normally I write historical novels—my series Twilight of the British Raj takes place in Colonial India. But Pelican was asking for contemporary romance novellas to take place in specific cities around the world.

One of those cities was Londonderry. As a person born in Belfast, N. Ireland not far from Londonderry.  I simply had to write this book. I was salivating—I wanted to write this book so badly. I mean, after all, we’re talking about my tiny little homeland. One of the unique things about N. Ireland which includes the six north-eastern counties, is that it is not part of Ireland, but still belongs to Great Britain. This was the choice of the people of those six counties.

One of the nicest things about writing this book is I didn’t need to do much research, but could draw on my own memories. In fact, I ended up dedicating Londonderry Dreaming to my Aunt Maggie who is now with the Lord because I created the bed & breakfast in this novella directly from her farm and beautiful Irish farmhouse. When my character Naomi wakes up in that lovely mint-green bedroom, with the lace curtains that open to a view of gentle Irish pastures, that is from my memories.

There were times I needed to verify details. For example, it was an honor to communicate over email with the Vicar of St. Augustine’s Church in Londonderry. Not only did I receive the vicar's permission to use the ancient church in my novel, but a blessing as well, and help from the congregation. That church, but mainly the stained glass windows of St. Augustine’s, was the inspiration behind Londonderry Dreaming.

It was on a visit to Ireland in 2006 that my daughter Lana and I visited St. Augustine’s. I was admiring one stained glass window in particular—the one depicting Ruth and Naomi.

That biblical story had given me hope over the years when I was searching for Lana’s older sister, Sarah.  Sarah was the child I had relinquished to adoption and was reunited with 20 years later. I took encouragement as I read how Ruth and Naomi developed such a close, loving relationship in their adult life. Thy people shall be my people...thy God shall be my God. That entwining of hearts and lives was what I hoped for with Sarah, the kind of relationship I already shared with Lana.

God graciously gave me that precious relationship with both of my daughters. What an indescribable joy it was to see my daughters, Sarah and Lana, as the models on the front covers of my first two books, Shadowed in Silk and Captured by Moonlight of my series Twilight of the British Raj. A bit like those gorgeous stained glass windows depicting Ruth and Naomi.

Writing about the land that I am proud to have been born in, and showing a small aspect of its unusual beauty was a personal joy. I know what those emerald green fields are like. The ancient stone boundaries, the medieval wall surrounding the old city of Londonderry, the rush of the surf along the jagged coastline on the North Sea, and the world-famous Giant’s Causeway.  

A few readers of the book have asked me about the Irish brogue. I really hope readers will enjoy this humorous aspect, especially the dialogue from the 'Irish cousins'. I was born in Ireland and was raised in Canada, but all my extended family is Irish---so I know how they talk and think. I know their I know their blarney.  

For a short trip to N. Ireland, watch this minute long book trailer for
 Londonderry Dreaming

Book Blurb

Acclaimed New York artist, Naomi Boyd, and music therapist, Keith Wilson, loved one another five years ago, until her grandfather with his influence over Naomi separated them.

That root of bitterness keeps them apart until a letter from Keith’s grandmother, Ruth, draws Naomi to Londonderry to find she’s too late. Ruth has passed on. After the death of his beloved grandmother, Keith has also come to Londonderry only to open the door to his past…Naomi...beautiful as ever, the girl who broke his heart.

A mysterious painting in Ruth’s attic brings up questions about their grandparents’ entwined past and their own broken romance. But more comfortable with the unspoken languages of art and music, Naomi and Keith find it difficult to share their old hurts and true feelings.
Will the majestic coastline of Northern Ireland inspire them to speak the words to bring peace to their grandparents’ memory and to rekindle love?

About Christine:

Christine Lindsay was born in Ireland, and is proud of the fact that she was once patted on the head by Prince Philip when she was a baby. Her great grandfather, and her grandfather—yes father and son—were both riveters on the building of the Titanic. Tongue in cheek, Christine states that as a family they accept no responsibility for the sinking of that great ship.

It was stories of her ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India that inspired her multi-award-winning historical series Twilight of the British Raj, Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and Christine is currently writing the final installment of that series called Veiled at Midnight to be released August 2014.

Christine makes her home in British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada with her husband and their grown up family. Her cat Scottie is chief editor on all Christine’s books.

You can purchase Londonderry Dreaming at Pelican Books  on Amazon Kindle 

Please drop by Christine’s website
Follow her on Twitter
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Christine, thanks for sharing and for taking us on a short trip to Londonderry, Ireland!

Readers, thanks for visiting Lagniappe.

Be sure to leave a comment to let Christine know you've been here!

I pray that each of you find 
"a little something extra" 
in each of your days.


Monday, February 10, 2014

Bogota Blessings by E.A. West

Today Lagniappe Welcomes...

Author - 
E.A. West

Her latest release from Pelican Book Group's Passport to Romance series:

Bogota Blessings


When Kayla Shaw travels to Bogotá to help renovate a house for a mission to street children, nothing can prepare her for the ever-present mission employee Mateo Luis. He looks like he could be one of the rebels who have caused so much fear throughout Colombia. Then she begins to see him with her heart instead of only her eyes.

Mateo Luis Gómez Días has dedicated his life to the mission, and he's determined to help as many street children as he can. Unfortunately, he can't keep his thoughts off the beautiful American helping renovate the new children's home. Although he would love to have a relationship with Kayla, his past and the bad neighborhood God has called him to serve in prevent him from pursuing her.

Has God truly led Kayla and Mateo to each other, or does He have something else in mind for their lives?


He stepped outside and gazed at the clear blue sky framed by stucco and brick buildings in various states of repair. A group of children played fútbol down the dusty block, their clothing ragged and their faces dirty. His heart went out to them. He had been like them once, one of los desechables—the disposables—impoverished and starving, barely surviving his life on the streets spending much of his time looking for ways to get food or money. Then he had been taken by the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, and his life had become a waking nightmare. Those years before he’d been left for dead were the reason he worked so hard to keep the street children out of the hands of the FARC.

Mateo drew in a deep breath of cool air to clear his mind of the memories of his teen years. The FARC was in his past, and God had forgiven him for the things he had been forced to do. What mattered now was helping to insure the street children of Bogotá were given the best opportunity to survive and possibly, by some miracle, even thrive.

He headed toward the group playing fútbol, regulars at the mission. They grinned and ran toward him, their game forgotten. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of hard candy in distinctive green wrappers with yellow letters.

“Is this what you’re hoping for?” Mateo said, showing them the coconut-flavored sweet he carried everywhere.

“Please, Mateo, may we have a piece?” one of the boys asked.

“I have enough for all of you.” He passed out the candy, then unwrapped one and popped it in his mouth. The sweet coconut flavor took him back to the first time he had entered the mission as a seventeen-year-old on crutches, barely healed from a surgery that saved as much of his left leg as possible. Maria had welcomed him warmly and given him a piece of the coconut candy to keep him occupied while he waited for Carlos to arrive.

A tug on his sleeve brought Mateo back to the present, and he looked down to find Claudia standing beside him, her hopeful brown eyes peering out of a dirt-smudged face. The six-year-old was one of his favorite regulars at the mission, and her sweet smile had melted the heart of more than one volunteer.

He pulled out two pieces of candy and handed them to her. “Here you go, Claudia. I haven’t forgotten you. There is one for your brother as well.”

“Thank you, Mateo,” she said with a shy smile.

Then she darted away, presumably to find her nine-year-old brother, Juan Miguel. The two children claimed to live with relatives, whose supposed relationship to them changed with great regularity, but no one from the mission had ever seen evidence of an adult presence in their lives.

The fútbol game resumed, and Mateo headed for the parking lot behind the mission. He would love to save every needy child, with or without family, but it was an impossible dream. The best he could do was brighten their lives with a little candy now and then, share the love of Christ with them, and help however many children he could. If by doing that he kept even one desperate youngster from voluntarily joining the FARC for the promise of three meals a day and two sets of clothing, he would consider it worth the heartbreak of seeing so many kids suffer in extreme poverty.


About the Author

E.A. West, award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance, is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting. She lives in Indiana with her family and a small zoo of pets.

Connect with E.A. West and learn more about her books in the following places:

Elizabeth, thanks for sharing and for taking us on a short trip to Bogota!

Readers, thanks for visiting Lagniappe.

Be sure to leave a comment to let Elizabeth know you've been here!

I pray that each of you find 
"a little something extra" 
in each of your days.