Marian P. Merritt - Lagniappe

Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains

Monday, August 31, 2015

Cristine Eastin - Fifty Days to Sunrise

Good Monday Morning Readers!

Today Cristine Eastin visits Lagniappe to discuss her latest release, Fifty Days to Sunrise

Welcome, Cristine!

Tell us a little about Fifty Days to Sunrise

Fifty Days to Sunrise is a story of grief and healing, family and friends, faith and hopeand love.

Her life is a love story, but then…What’s a woman to do when her husband dies three thousand miles from home? Scream, cry—or run.

It’s 2003, a year and a half after her husband’s death. Fifty-three years old and alone, Lissa Maguire’s seething with grief. She has to cope, but makes a self-destructive mess of it.

Lissa’s parents ask her to spend the summer in small-town Gifford, Minnesota, helping them move to an apartment. Cleaning out the attic of her childhood home, Lissa discovers her old diaries, and her potholed road to healing begins. But when an old friend turns up, she’s confused.

Her life in shreds, Lissa desperately needs to find peace. She even wonders if God has abandoned her.

Healing a broken heart is a lot to ask–it hurts.

What Bible verse speaks to you the most?

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

This is a tough one. Not some things sometimesall things. So how do we reconcile Gods love and mercy in the terrible things He allows to happen?

I was thinking on this one day and was impressed by the question and the perspective: Whats good to God? Well, that would probably be anything that causes anyone to come to or deepen their relationship with Him. A comforting thought, to me anyway.
Give readers your brand/tagline and share how you came up with it.

My tagline is: “…because you cant pour from an empty pitcher. Ive been saying this to my psychotherapy clients for years. I have no idea where I first heard it, and I cant find any information on the origins of the phrase on Google.

Women need to hear this. It seems many women give, and give, and give, till theyre all dried up and struggling to survive, let alone minister to, parent, or partner anyone else. It seemed appropriate to adopt the tagline for my writing since my hope is to touch womens hearts.

What was one of the most surprising things you've learned while writing your books?

Writing Fifty Days to Sunrise felt like an act of worship. When it was done I was lonely: all that intense time the Lord and I spent together, writing.

What is your hope for the readers of your books?

That they would be enriched and encouraged by Lissas love story.

If you could have one of your senses (Touch, sight, taste, smell, hearing) be a superpower which would you choose and why?

Sight! This summer I had cataract surgery on both eyes. (A remarkably pain-free process, so this isnt really complaining.) Each of the 24 hours I had a bandage over my eye were long hours. During that time I couldnt see well at all because the other eye didnt get a correcting contact till the next day. Im a very visual person, and I felt a bit crabby without my vision.

What can we expect from you in the future?

The next book is set in the Highlands of Scotland on the west coast of Wester Ross.

China MacLeish inherits what she doesnt want and gets more than she could ever hope for.


More important: Plot or Characters?
Characters first for me. Being a psychotherapist, especially since I have a background in attachment theory, its all about personalities: how they got that way and how the character changes.

Vacation: Beach or Mountains?
In the Highlands of Scotland I get BOTH! My favorite.

Womens Fiction or Romance?
Womens Fictionwith a love story.

Plotter, Pantser, or Planser?
Planser. I write to key scenes, and I have an idea of whos going where, what the themes arebut sometimes Im totally surprised by what happens and who shows up.

Dogs or Cats?

Ahhhh, dont make me choose!

When in the office I’m a psychotherapist, but I’m also a wife, stepmother, and grandma.
Raised in Minnesota, I’m a grafted in Wisconsinite.
I keep busy collecting hobbies. For instance, in winter you’ll find me on the ski slopes, and in summer I might be kayaking. And in between I try to visit Scotland or England whenever possible.
Two of the many things that shaped me are: living in Europe in my 20s and God’s grace to me. I can sum up my faith story in, “I…, but God…,” for which I’m eternally grateful.
Member of American Christian Fiction Writers

Buy links and to Connect with Cristine:

Book Link



    Readers, thanks for visiting Lagniappe!

Christina's question to you:

Do you prefer Happy Ever After endings, or can you live with Happy For Now? What are examples youve read of both or either that you enjoyed?

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


Monday, August 17, 2015

Erica Vetsch - The Cactus Creek Challenge

Good Monday Morning Readers!

Today, Erica Vetsch visits Lagniappe to discuss her latest releases, she has three! 

Welcome, Erica!

Tell us a little about your recently released books!

I am thrilled to say that I have THREE books that recently released, one novel and two novellas. They are all historical romances.

The Cactus Creek Challenge is my latest novel. It’s a ‘fish-out-of-water’ story set in a fictional town in Texas.

Here’s a quick summary:

Anything he can do, I can do better. At least that was what Cassie Bucknell thought before she pinned on Ben Wilder’s badge and took to patrolling the streets of Cactus Creek, Texas. Cassie has been in love with Ben since primer school, but Ben treats her like a little sister. When they are picked to swap jobs for a month as part of the annual Cactus Creek Challenge in their Texas hometown, the schoolhouse is thrown into an uproar, the jail becomes a temporary bank vault, and Cassie and Ben square off in a battle of wills that becomes a battle for their hearts.

A Bride for Bear appears in The Convenient Bride Collection, a group of novellas all about marriages of convenience.

Join nine brides of convenience on their adventures in a variety of times and settings gone by—from a ranch in California…to the rugged mountains of Colorado…to a steamship on the Mississippi…to the dangerous excitement of the Oregon Trail…into high society of New York City. No matter the time or place, the convenient brides proceed with what must be done, taking nuptials out of necessity. . .and never dreaming that God might take their feeble attempts to secure their futures and turn them into true love stories for His glory.

My story is about a gruff mountain man named Bear who inherits three adorable little girls and needs to find a mama for them quick…though he’d rather poke a grizzly in the eye than get married.

And finally my story The Trail Boss’s Bride is part of the Journeys of the Heart collection.

The Trail Boss’s Bride by New York Times bestselling author Erica Vetsch

Trail boss Steve Ketchum hates river crossings, but before he can get his cattle started across he's got to move an abandoned wagon out of the ford. He goes to haul it away--and discovers the last thing he ever expected. The wagon contains a newly-minted widow—and she’s expecting, too

If you could be any character, from any book who would you be? Why?
When I was a child, I wanted to be Maureen Beebe from Misty of Chincoteague. I couldn’t imagine a better life than living on a pony ranch! Now, I think I’d love to take a stab at being John Watson. Hanging out with Sherlock Holmes would be exhilarating and interesting!

Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what's on your writing playlist these days?

I listen to instrumental music often. At the moment the soundtrack to Last of the Mohicans is playing. I love that music score. It makes everything I write feel more epic. J

What Bible verse speaks to you the most?

Isaiah 41:10 (KJV)
10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

This has been my favorite verse since I was in middle school. I often need the reminder of how big our God is.

For Christmas, do you prefer white lights or colored lights on your Christmas tree?

White, but my husband prefers multi-colored…so we have both. J

Give readers your brand/tagline and share how you came up with it.

Faith, Love, & History-ever-after. I write historical romance for the Christian market, and this just seemed to roll it all up in a fun little nutshell.

If you could spend the day with a famous author, whom would you choose and why?

I don’t know that she’s so famous anymore, but I wish I could spend a day…a week…a month with New Zealand romance writer Essie Summers. I have all her books, and I love her style of writing. She is one of the authors whose work inspired me to want to write my own romances.

What can we expect from you in the future?

More historical romance! I’ve got novellas releasing next spring, and a year from now, another novel set in the far west corner of Texas.


C.S. Lewis or J.R.R Tolkien? Tolkien
For Thanksgiving: Pecan Pie or Pumpkin Pie? Pumpkin pie
Crawfish Etouffee or Seafood Gumbo? NOTHING from the sea…ever! J
Fingernail Polish: Jazzy or Subtle? Red. Always Red.

Y’all or You Guys? Y’all

Author Bio: Erica Vetsch is a transplanted Kansan now residing in Minnesota. She loves history and romance, and is blessed to be able to combine the two by writing historical romances. Whenever she’s not immersed in fictional worlds, she’s the company bookkeeper for the family lumber business, mother of two, wife to a man who is her total opposite and soul-mate, and avid museum patron.

Readers, thanks for visiting Lagniappe.

Erica's question for readers: 
If you could swap jobs with someone for a month, what job would you like to try? 

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