la·gniappe (lnyp, ln-yp) n.
Chiefly Southern Louisiana & Mississippi
1. A small gift presented by a storeowner to a customer with the customer's purchase.
2. An extra or unexpected gift or benefit.
I hope these entries give you a little something extra with posts about this southern gal living in the north, about writing, author interviews, new releases, and occasional photos from my photography sojourns.
Thanks for reading!
Marian P. Merritt - Lagniappe
Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains
Friday, April 12, 2013
Sharon Srock and The Women of Valley View
Srock lives with her husband, Larry, and two dogs in Rural Oklahoma. She is a
mother, grandmother, and Sunday School teacher. Sharon has one and
three-quarters jobs and writes in her spare time. Her favorite hobby is
traveling with her grandchildren. She is a member of the ACFW and currently
serves as treasurer for her local chapter.
Sharon’s debut novel,
The Women of
Valley View: Callie released in October 2012.
The second in the series,
Women of Valley View: Terri released this month!
Mine is the story of an ever-evolving community. When I first started to write Callie’s story, I had no idea that the characters would become so real. I guess that happens to all writers. How can you eat, sleep, and work with people, twenty-four hours a day, for years, and have it any other way? They’ve each whispered their own story line to me and demanded equal time on paper. I was good with that, they weren’t. These greedy women, once granted the small freedom of the written page, demanded not only stories of their own, but a blog as well. Wasn’t space in my head good enough for them? I guess the answer to that would be a loud “NO”. And since I seem to be outvoted by Garfield’s population of thirty to my lonely one, The Women of Valley View was born.
I started with a single character who looked a lot like me. Callie is in her mid fifties, married with kids and grandkids, she teaches a Sunday school class at the church she’s attended nearly forever, and works at an OB/GYN clinic. I could identify with this person, I knew who she was (me), I could hear her voice in my head, and I was comfortable in her skin. It was easy to write from her point of view. Small town Oklahoma is where I live, so I invented a little place named Garfield, OK. Callie needed a place to worship. Valley View church became that place.
Those baby steps quickly grew from one person to a community. Callie needed a husband. Enter Benton who resembles my own hubby in appearance if not in deed. Callie needed a best friend so Karla received breath along with her husband Mitch. I wanted to appeal to more than the over fifty crowd, so forty something Pam and almost thirty Terri stepped onto my page. Who knew things could get so out of hand? Pam needed a husband and kids. The church needed pastors. No one wants to read about a group of church women sitting around, talking and eating cheese cake. Where’s the conflict? Enter Samantha, Iris, and their estranged father, Steve. Who knew Steve and Terri would fall in love and generate a second story? Who knew that Pam’s vicious ex-husband would get saved, move back to Garfield, and spawn a story worth telling in a third book? Who knew that Samantha…Well, you get the picture. Pushy, pushy women! So, from one story to six. Should be good to go, right? Not so much. Did I mention the blog?
I never intended to blog. My life is just not that interesting. I work two jobs in addition to the writing, I didn’t have the time to think about a blog much less launch one. Pushy, sneaky women. These ladies do their best work when I’m sleeping. I woke up one morning with an idea for a blog lodged firmly between my eyes.”Trust us,” they whispered, “We’ll do the work. All we need are your fingers.” I tried to shake it off for a couple of days, but the idea grew with each minute. Before the week was out, the women got their blog, complete with their own personalized pages.
Sigh…With Callie and Terri both a reality, Pam under consideration, and
Samantha’s story in progress I can only imagine what my life will look like by the time Kate and Karla are
done with me.
Despite a bustling day care center and a new foster child, Terri Hayes hungers for a family of her own. Then a plumbing mishap leaves her homeless and questioning God’s plan. Steve Evans’s gracious offer of his basement apartment as a temporary solution is an answered prayer.
Steve is a successful writer and a good father, but Terri is horrified when Steve’s book research leads him to a harsh confrontation with the parents of her foster child. She needs to distance herself from Steve, but her efforts fall short as his two scheming daughters plot to make Terri their new stepmother.
Will harsh words and sneaky plans drive Kelsey’s family further apart and put a wedge between Terri and Steve? Or does God have another plan in store?