Marian P. Merritt - Lagniappe

Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Liz Flaherty - A Soft Place to Fall

Lagniappe Welcomes...

Guest Blogger

Liz Flaherty

I was in a room with a whole flock of other women the first time I ever heard the term “baby Christian.” I was enthralled with the very notion.
In the first place, I was on my Emmaus Walk—referred to by a coworker as a Christian retreat on steroids—and every hour of the 72 I was spending there was an awakening.
In the second, even though I’ve been a Christian my whole life, I’m a sadly undereducated and unfortunately lazy one. (My Textbook, the NIV version, has occasionally had to have dust blown off it when I’ve picked it up to read, though in my defense I use a pew Bible at church.)
In the third, one of the verses that guide my life fits right in with the whole baby Christian concept—Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. - 2 Corinthians 4:16.
Now, I’m not sure about you, but I need the “day by day” thing. Some days, I think I’m getting it. I remember to pray, I manage not to swear, I give with a whole heart. Other times, I fall into bed without even realizing I haven’t once said “thank You, Lord” all day long, I speak…uhm…inappropriately, and even though I hope I always give, I know that sometimes it is grudgingly.
I’m a romance writer, and I’m proud to be one. Five of my published books are contemporary, one is historical. This newest one, the one that wouldn’t let me write it any other way, is inspirational.
Inspirational? Me? Really?
This wouldn’t work, I insisted. I’m too old to write in another subgenre, especially one I feel unqualified to do proper justice to.
Even more than that, Early, the heroine of A Soft Place to Fall, is 46. She’s divorced. In the vernacular of days gone by, she had to get married. She’s a Christian, though she stopped attending church a few years back—and she’s mad. She might know the words to the hymns they sing at the community church on the Ridge, where she grew up, but she doesn’t feel a whole lot like singing them.
And Nash—that’s the hero—he’s way too busy being a doctor to be a good husband and father, much less a loving and giving child of God. He’s 48, has an iffy heart, and he’s…well, he’s not inspirational, that’s for sure.
Except that writing about him and Early was inspiring. Maybe it wasn’t up to me to decide how qualified I was. Maybe some of my writing voice, a gift from God after all, was “renewed day by day” to glorify Him.
A Soft Place to Fall then, illustrates my first steps as a Christian writer. Baby steps. I hope you’ll take that first walk with me. And I hope you enjoy it.

  Early McGrath didn’t want freedom from her thirty-year marriage to Nash, but when it was forced upon her, she did the only thing she knew to do—she went home to the Ridge to reinvent herself. Only what is someone who’s taken care of people her whole life supposed to do when no one needs her anymore? Even as the threads of her life unravel, she finds new ones— reconnecting with the church of her childhood, building the quilt shop that has been a long-time dream, and forging a new friendship with her former husband. The definition of freedom changes when it’s combined with faith. Can Early and Nash find a Soft Place to Fall?

Life is new and wonderful for me these days. I retired from the post office in 2011, promptly gained 15 pounds—overnight, I swear!—and promised my grandkids, The Magnificent Seven, that I would make each of them a bed-size quilt. I also planned to write all day, every day.

What was I thinking?
I’ve learned to write when I feel like it, sew when I feel like it, and maybe even to eat a little less—or not. I’ve learned to share the house and sometimes even the kitchen with Duane, my husband of, oh, lots of years.
And I’m having a Very, Very Good Time.
I recently finished the sixth quilt and my seventh book—I’m not an overnight success, but I never give up—A SOFT PLACE TO FALL is a new release by Pelican Book Group. I am thrilled to the point everyone I know rolls their eyes as soon as I open my mouth. It is my first inspirational novel and I have been so blessed by the writing of it.

Visit me at or email me at —I’d love to hear from you and the coffeepot’s always on!

Liz, thanks for sharing!

Readers, thanks for visiting Lagniappe

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

I love hearing from you so don't be afraid to leave a comment!



Liz Flaherty said...

Thanks for having me, Marian!

Kristina Knight said...

that verse is one of my favorites, Liz...great post!

Marian Pellegrin Merritt said...

Liz, it's my pleasure. I think readers will enjoy the post!

Shawn said...

Great post, Liz! Love your cover.

Cathy Shouse said...

I love to hear how a book was born. This one is particularly unusual. The Accidental Inspirational author! Best of luck with it.

Marian Pellegrin Merritt said...

Kristina, Shawn, and Cathy,

Thanks for stopping by!

Liz Flaherty said...

Thanks, Kristi and Shawn. You're right, Cathy--Accidental is absolutely it!

cheap nfl nike jerseys said...

Great post, Liz! Love your cover.

LoRee Peery said...

Liz, what a treat to get to know you a little better. You made me long to dig out my bins of quilting fabrics and projects. I retired six months after my back fusion in '04 and have only made a Victorian stocking for my youngest grandson. The fingers ache and are so stiff, typing is the one thing I can still do that doesn't hurt.
Early's story is on my to-purchase list.

Liz Flaherty said...

Thanks, LoRee. My hands get sore, too, but as long as I work on the sewing machine and with the rotary cutter as opposed to scissors, I do okay. I hope you're enjoying your retirement!