Marian P. Merritt - Lagniappe

Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains

Monday, September 08, 2014

Visit with LoRee Peery

Good Monday Morning Readers!

Today, LoRee Peery, visits Lagniappe to discuss her writing journey and her latest release, Creighton's Hideaway.

A Nebraska country girl, LoRee Peery attempts to see God’s presence every day. Often that gift comes from nature, and she is most relaxed in the outdoors. The call of a cardinal draws her to look for the distinctive flash of crimson. A meadowlark’s melody always transports her to the farm where she grew up. A rainbow holds special significance, since one appeared the day of her father’s funeral and means the promise of the Lord’s presence in her life. She clings to I John 5:4 and prays her family sees that faith. You can find her at or the Pelican Book Group site

Needing to finish her thesis in order to keep her job working with youth in a residential treatment center, Shana Arnold sequesters herself on Creighton Rice’s Nebraska ranch. She expects the secluded hideaway to provide a peaceful environment. What she doesn't expect is to become the victim of identity theft and a crazed home invader.
Creighton Rice has been content to live alone with his God--until he meets Shana. He's drawn to her, but must fight the attraction. Getting close makes him face a lifetime's accumulation of scars. Plus, Shana doesn’t share his faith. But when Shana's life is threatened, Creighton must protect her--even if it means letting her in.
Will Shana discover that even when a woman loses everything, she can regain courage and strength through faith in God, and can Creighton allow God to heal scars and open the door to a lifetime with Shana?

LoRee, tell us how Creighton's Hideaway came about?

Creighton’s Hideaway started out with the working title “The Healing Hills.” God’s redeeming grace and my love for Nebraska’s sense of place come together in yet another of my stories. The setting was sparked by one of my brother’s ideas to have a getaway where cabins are spaced along a creek attached to pastureland. What better place than north central Nebraska?

How does your real life and spiritual life seep into your books?

Some people have the mistaken outlook that Christians have trouble-free lives. Not so. Many of the characters in my books come to terms with God's will through spiritual struggles. Not unlike many “real” people. My characters struggle with what real people deal with.

So what do any of us struggle with? We each have an ordained path of growth. We each have our weaknesses. We each have convinced ourselves of something that was misconstrued, and we let it color our outlook. We are emotional. We all are shaped according to the plan and perfect timing of our heavenly Father. In other words, my characters are people to me, with human attributes as well as faults.

I can’t help but put a little of what’s shaped me as a person into each of my stories. Alcoholism runs rampant in my family so that is part of who Creighton Rice is: a Christian man in recovery, who has a deep protective instinct, yet wants to be alone. He offers a vacant cabin to his sister’s best friend.

Shana Arnold grew up a spoiled only child and her father made decisions for her. As an adult she wants to live free to make her own choices on her own agenda. But now her boss says she needs to complete her degree. Since the women had done research and background training at a rehab facility not far from the ranch, it made sense to Creighton and his sister for Shana to stay.

Can you give Lagniappe's readers a glimpse into your typical writing day?

Many readers want a glimpse of an author’s typical writing day. I’ve tried a few but I don’t have any particular practices, tricks, or habits that I incorporate into my day to keep me on schedule. I once tried to have a “typical” writing day, but it remains a dream for me right now. When I chose early retirement from working as an editorial assistant, I did have a schedule that worked for a short time. My life is very distracted and goes different directions depending on the day. Life appointments, family, and obligations can interrupt my plans. Not to mention living in a good-sized home and tending rather large flower/rock gardens on the acreage.
I do attempt to begin the day asking the Lord to accomplish what He has planned for me at this time. Often, the day is not about me and I seek His guidance on particular projects. His time is perfect, no matter what comes my way. When I’m really in the zone and working on word count goals, I put a note on my keyboard to log 250 words before checking email. Most of the time that one page of new words turns into 750-1,000 words before I break. I also tell my husband I won’t answer the phone during certain times.

Can you share something that your readers don't know about you?

Often during an interview the question comes up about what people may not know about me. I’ll admit my respect for deep water. I don’t like being in water where my feet don’t touch the bottom. My adult kids were surprised when I started taking an aqua class a few years back. I admit to being a little fearful a couple times when we were supposed to pick up our feet and flow with the current using noodles. It is not my comfort zone at all. There is a reason for my reluctance, or three, actually. “Black Lake” was in the pasture next to the country school I attended. I fell through the ice twice as a young girl. One time an older boy pulled me out. While my clothing dried near the stove, I was wrapped up in a wool army blanket. I don’t remember the other time. I was ten years old the last time I fell when I knelt next to a deep, narrow gold fish pond at my dad’s cousin’s home. I leaned over too far and went in head first. My second cousin was working on the tractor in the yard. He saw what happened, scaled a six-foot fence, and pulled me out by my heels.

Have you ever stopped writing?

I can’t imagine not writing. There have been times where the well was dry, health issues came into play, or I was discouraged and didn’t write for a while. One time I actually “quit” for three months following my feelings of devastation over a rejection (that turned out to be a blessing). Even in those dry times, I took notes, journaled, or filed ideas. Story and character ideas come from life. Pictures, concepts, news articles, or various scenarios spark my curiosity and interest. I try to stay open to the prompting of the Spirit. And many times ideas or “fixes” for something I’m puzzling out come when I’m in the shower.

How does your faith and spiritual life affect your writing?

My faith and spiritual life play into the picture of my storytelling. I wouldn’t be writing if I didn’t believe I’m meant to write, as part of the Lord’s plan for my life. My characters face human struggles. They aren’t perfect, there’s always room for growth. They learn to lean on the Lord for His strength and guidance, the same as I do. Things fall apart when characters try to work on their own strength, just like I fall on my face if I don’t focus on Christ first. I’m growing along with my characters.

Yes, LoRee, I grow along with my characters as well!

Thank you, Marian, for the opportunity to be your guest.

Thank you for sharing!

Readers, thanks for visiting Lagniappe.

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

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


What is God using to grow you?

Please Tweet: 
Romance in rugged isolation plus identity theft #Creighton’s Hideaway#LoRee Peery #Chrific 


LoRee Peery said...

Marian, thanks for the interview and spotlighting Creighton's Hideaway. I pray all readers have a hideaway, even if you're surrounded by a thousand people, where you can connect and sense our Lord's presence.

Marian Pellegrin Merritt said...

LoRee, it's been my pleasure. What a lovely prayer for your readers!