Marian P. Merritt - Lagniappe

Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains

Monday, November 24, 2014

Christmas Eva & Sleigh Ride Together With You

Good Monday Morning Readers!

Today begins our Christmas Romance Blitz! 
For the next five Mondays Lagniappe will feature two Christmas novellas. 

Today's Christmas Romances include:

Christmas Eva by Clare Revell

When an accident leaves Eva Anderson in a coma, she is woken by voice of actor Harry 'Matthew' Lyell, whom she has a long standing crush on. Left in a wheelchair, she withdraws into herself.

Harry Lyell takes a job in pantomine in Headley Cross. He often wonders about the brunette he met at the theatre door and then woke from her coma. Meeting her again must be a God thing because he certainly hadn't planned it.

As Christmas approaches, Eva and Harry's lives are drawn together in a way neither imagined. Can Harry help Eva find the Christmas miracle she needs or will a simple article destroy any future they might have?

Can Harry help Eva find the Christmas miracle she needs?
Clare lives in a small town in England with her husband, whom she married in 1992, and her three children. Writing from an early childhood and encouraged by her teachers, she graduated from rewriting fairy stories through fanfiction to using her own original characters and enjoys writing an eclectic mix of romance, crime fiction and children's stories. When she's not writing, reading, or sewing, she's keeping house or doing the many piles of laundry her children manage to make.

She has been a Christian for more than half her life. She goes to Carey Baptist where she is one of three registrars.
She can be found at:

Sleigh Ride Together with You by JoAnn Durgin

As the popular television co-host of Wake Up, Des Moines! Nicole Reardon has achieved her dream. So why has the network sent “image maker” Alex Kingsfield to the station? The irritatingly handsome man is also the first man she’s been attracted to since Jake Marston dumped her three years ago in Starlight, Iowa. When an unexpected assignment sends Nicole and Alex to Starlight, can she rise above the past and make this interview the defining moment of her career?

Alex Kingsfield knows Nicole is poised on the cusp of network stardom. But beneath the professional exterior is a small-town girl at heart, genuine and God-honoring. Alex holds the power to boost Nicole’s career to unknown heights. Or crush her dreams. From any angle, he’s caught in a “no win” situation when he finds himself falling for the beautiful Nicole. What’s a man to do when love comes calling at Christmas?

JoAnn Durgin is the author of the popular Lewis Legacy Series (five books and counting) as well as Catching Serenity. Her novellas include the Starlight Christmas Trilogy: Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, Starlight, Star Bright, and Sleigh Ride Together with You (2014). Another novella, Echoes of Edinburgh, releases in late September 2014. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (national, Indiana and Kentucky chapters) as well as the Louisville Christian Writers. JoAnn lives with her family in southern Indiana and has recently retired from her paralegal position to write full-time!

To purchase these novellas, visit your online retailer or visit Pelican Book Group at:

Thanks for visiting Lagniappe today!

I hope these Christmas Romances add a "little something extra" in your Christmas season!


Monday, November 17, 2014

A Visit with Harry L. Wegley - Pure Genius Series

Good Monday Morning Readers!

Today, Harry L. Wegley visits Lagniappe. 

What does an air force intelligence analyst and weather officer do when he retires from the USAF? Write, of course. Learn about Harry's series of Romantic Thrillers!

Welcome, Harry. 

The Pure Genius Series Finale, Triple Threat

On November 14, the 4th and final book in the Pure Genius Series, Triple Threat, releases. 

The series contains the story of how a family of 7 geniuses formed through times of shared danger, sacrifice, and love. The stories are known for their unique combination of suspense and intense action, coupled with a strong romantic thread.

Triple Threat takes the Pure Genius Series formula to its limits. The story is chock-full of sweet romance, thriller-level action, suspense, and humor, but it also is rich in information woven into the dialogue. The reader will take away answers to every major objection to Christianity, learn about Islam, learn many of the radical Islamic terror groups and who funds them, get a tour of Whistler, BC including a ride on the longest unsupported stretch of cable in the world, learn about our nation’s many vulnerabilities to hackers, and much more. If anything else was added to the story, it would burst at the seams.

A little more about the story and the characters — Katie Brandt, woman of faith and 21-year-old doctoral candidate—12 years younger than the average PhD student—seems to have everything going for her, beauty, brains, and brawn. She’s always been able to rely on her abilities to dodge trouble. But, when she takes on terrorists in cyber space, and the battlefield morphs from virtual to real, she needs another PhD candidate, big, strong, football player, 23-year-old Joshua West, to keep her alive. Katie’s risky antics earn her the name Josh gives her, Crazy Kate. Katie and Josh fall hard for each other, but their romance is squeezed between running for their lives, probing terrorist organizations, FBI interrogations, and their numerous arguments arising from their disparate worldviews. These ingredients create a story where there is no down time, but there is a lot of time to laugh and to cheer for the hero and heroine.

Triple Threat is an entertaining, never boring, exciting, and romantic romp through a story line that, told otherwise, might be too chilling to be fun. If you see the genre listed as thriller, think excitement and exhilaration, not angst. Then prepare yourself for a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Hide and Seek, Pure Genius Series #1
A computer security breach within a US defense contractor’s firewalls leads investigators, Lee Brandt and beautiful, brilliant Jennifer Akihara, onto the cyber-turf of terrorists, where they are detected and targeted for elimination. Lee leads them on a desperate and prayer-filled flight for survival into the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Will Jennifer’s pursuit of truth about the conspiracy, and the deepest issues of life, lead her into the clutches of terrorists, into the arms of Lee Brandt, or into the arms of the God she deems untrustworthy?

On the Pineapple Express, Pure Genius Series #2
In one of the most beautiful places on earth the ugliest of crimes holds young, innocent lives in its evil grip. An intercepted cell-phone call from a remote area on the Olympic Peninsula tells beautiful, brilliant NSA researcher, Jennifer Akihara, a group of girls will soon be sold into slavery by human traffickers. She enlists her fiancé, Lee Brandt, to help find the holding location and convince the FBI to intervene. With the clock ticking off the last few hours before both the sale of the girls and the arrival of a deadly storm, and with international criminals pursuing them, can Jennifer and Lee save the girls, or will their wedding plans be cancelled ... permanently?

Moon Over Maalaea Bay, Pure Genius Series #3
In an instant the Maui honeymoon of Lee's dreams morphs to a nightmare when Jennifer disappears on their wedding night. Were the abductors the trafficking ring Jennifer crippled or does an even a more sinister organization want her for other purposes.
With the clock ticking toward Jennifer's impending sale, Lee, accompanied by their fifteen-year-old foster daughter, Katie, and Jennifer's grandfather, begins his own search of the island. As the search by Lee and the authorities intensifies, he fears beautiful Katie might end up in the crosshairs of the traffickers.
Can Lee save both his bride and his future daughter? What if he has to make a choice? If Jennifer is sold, could she kill herself to avoid a life filled with degradation and horror? If she did, would God forgive her?

Triple Threat, Pure Genius Series #4
Brilliant, beautiful, 21-year-old Katie Brandt, PhD candidate and woman of faith, detects a deadly conspiracy. Suspecting it's only the tip of an iceberg, she dives in, pulling fellow grad student, Joshua West, with her into a high-risk investigation of a cyber-terrorist plot. Damaged by the foster-care system, Katie takes huge risks to win acceptance and love. But when she risks Josh’s life, an agnostic, who isn’t prepared to die, she fears her mistake might have eternal consequences for Josh, a mistake that could break Katie's heart, a heart rapidly falling for Josh.
Will Katie and Josh survive the investigation? If they do, can they ever span the chasm of divergent worldviews that separates them? How can they awaken a dozing nation to a three-pronged danger that threatens its very existence?
Triple Threat, an adventure that spans the Pacific Northwest from the shores of the Olympic Peninsula to the mountains of Whistler, BC, a conspiracy you might read in tomorrow's paper, but pray you never will.

H. L. Wegley served in the USAF as an Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer. In civilian life he performed research in atmospheric physics. After earning an MS in Computer Science, he worked 20+ years in systems development at Boeing before retiring near Seattle, where he and his wife of 48 years enjoy small-group ministry, grandchildren, hiking on the Olympic Peninsula, snorkeling Maui whenever possible, and where he writes inspirational thrillers and romantic suspense novels. He has a contracted 4-book, Christian-thriller-series with Pelican Book Group. He is currently finishing his 8th novel.

Readers, thanks for visiting Lagniappe!
Harry, thanks for sharing!

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


Readers, help Harry spread the word about his "PURE GENIUS SERIES, please tweet or share on Facebook! Thanks!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Visit with Zoe McCarthy - "Calculated Risk"

Good Monday Morning Readers!

Today, Zoe M. McCarthy visits Lagniappe. 

How many "reasons" have you let roadblock your writing dream? 

Zoe discusses why you shouldn't let those excuses hold you back.

Welcome, Zoe 

You Can Get Published Even if You Never [Fill in the Blank]

When you realized you wanted to write, did the “nevers” attack your creative muse and discourage you? If yes, I invite you to peruse my “nevers” to encourage you to persevere.

Never 1 - Daddy didn’t gush over my cowboy story.

Although Daddy loved books, he never encouraged me to write.

Around age eight, full-length movies played in my mind – cowboys and calvry (my cavalry pronunciation). One day, I penned a great story brimming inside me. I jotted my last period on my one-paragraph story and presented it to Daddy. I don’t recall what he said, but it lacked zeal. I never delivered a story to him again.

Like many novice novelists most of my story remained in my imagination with little richness reaching the paper.

I changed my dream job to grocery store checkout clerk. If I couldn’t write, pushing buttons on a 1950’s cash register looked fun.

Never 2 – Where are those kids today who won honors for their writing?

I never won prizes for my writing. But, boy, did I have story ideas. Young, blue-ribbon writers could write, but my ideas were at least equal to theirs. If I’d known that, I’d have spent my allowance on an eight-year-old ghostwriter.

At writer's conferences, I’ve met writers who were child wonders. And they do win contests. But they don’t always win contracts. They wrote so well as children they never learned to persevere.

I’m good at persevering.

Never 3 – Flowery words wilted in my gray matter.

Daddy pooh-poohed Mom’s vote I major in English. Only math was worthy for a decent career. So, my sister and I majored in math. Although I have an analytical side, math didn’t seed many flowery words in my mind.

Because I couldn’t think of flowery words, I thought I’d never become an author. Then finally, I realized writers don’t necessarily write flowery words but strong words that evoke pictures in readers’ minds.

Arthur didn’t run quickly to the store. He sprinted to the mini-mart!

Never 4 – How many partial manuscripts can you store under your bed?

Believe me. Scads. Literally. My substandard writing hadn’t stopped the ideas. After my second son was born, I learned Judith Guest was 40 when she wrote Ordinary People. If someone that old could get a book published, hope remained for me.

About that time, metal detectors appeared in airports to prevent hijackings. I had an idea and finished a romantic suspense. The hijacker taped a needle inside his fingernail clippers, and after takeoff, attached it to a syringe full of poison to threaten a passenger and hijack the plane.

I worked hard on that book during toddlers’ naptimes, but the book was rejected. I’d never be a writer.

Never 5 – Short stories! Are you kidding?

In my early forties, I was midway through writing a steamy historical romance. Then I became a Christian.

I read books by Bible scholars and attended Bible studies. I wrote contemporary short stories to explain to myself what I’d heard or read. Others encouraged me to publish the stories. But I disliked short stories. If I wrote them, I’d never become a novelist. Obeying God’s call, I self-published two books of short stories and performed dramatic readings in various venues.

Never 6 – Neverland made good.

I removed all the racy parts and finished my now Christian historical romance. I pitched it to an agent at my first writers conference. I think she signed me because I’d persevered in self-publishing two books and finishing one manuscript.

After it was rejected, I decided I’d learn to write. I read craft books, went to conferences, and wrote, wrote, wrote. My writing improved with each of the next three rejected romantic suspenses. The editors always said they liked my ideas.

After I found my voice in a couple of sassy and humorous short stories, I attended a workshop Agent Chip MacGregor led. He said writers who finish four manuscripts learn to write. Their fifth book receives a contract. I was writing my fifth book when he said that. And that book earned a contract!

Neverland produced my dream.

Zoe M. McCarthy believes the little known fact that opposites distract. Thus, she spins Christian contemporary romances entangling extreme opposites. Her tagline is “Distraction to Attraction, Magnetic Romances Between Opposites.” Calculated Risk, Zoe’s debut novel will be available November 21, 2014. Christian Fiction Online Magazine published two of her short stories. Zoe enjoys leading workshops on the craft of writing, speaking about her faith, planning fun events for her 5 grandchildren, and exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she lives with her husband, John.

Connect with Zoe:
Purchase links for Calculated Risks:

Blurb for Calculated Risk:
Jilted by the latest of her father’s choices of “real men,” Cisney Baldwin rashly accepts an invitation to spend Thanksgiving weekend with a sympathetic colleague and his family. Nick LeCrone is a man too much her opposite to interest her and too mild-mannered to make her overbearing father’s “list.” Now, Cisney fears Nick wants to take advantage of her vulnerable state over the holiday. Boy, is she wrong.

Nick wants little to do with Cisney. She drives him crazy with all her sticky notes and quirks. He extended an invitation because he felt sorry for her. Now he’s stuck, and to make matters worse, his family thinks she’s his perfect match. He’ll do what he can to keep his distance, but there’s just one problem—he’s starting to believe Cisney’s magnetism is stronger than he can resist.

Readers, thanks for visiting Lagniappe.

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


What has been the excuse that has kept you from pursuing your dream?

If you found this blog post helpful or enlightening, Please tweet or share on Facebook! Thanks!