Marian P. Merritt - Lagniappe

Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains

Monday, July 13, 2015

LoRee Peery - Where Hearts Meet

Good Monday Morning Readers!

Today, LoRee Peery visits Lagniappe 
to discuss her latest release, Where Hearts Meets

Welcome, LoRee!

Shattered by the loss of her parents, Deena pours her love into her patients at an assisted living facility. When the son of one her charges starts showing up to spend time with his mother, Deena's wary heart is warmed by his attention to his mother...and to her. Simon is plagued by his ex-wife's disappearance years before. When he meets Deena, who closely resembles the woman, he fears his attraction is based only on Deena's looks. But she exhibits a warmth his ex-wife never had. Dare he risk his once broken heart? As two lonely souls pursue a tentative, budding love, secrets and lies come forward to tear them apart. Can Simon and Deena overcome loss and allow their hearts to mend?

Buy Where Hearts Meet:

Tell us a little about Where Hearts Meet
As usual, I went through files for ideas and read news clippings, made a few notes, and brainstormed. The title came and seemed perfect. I have a list of possible names and chose Deena Shores and Simon Hart. She’s a receptionist at a memory care facility where Simon’s mother is a resident. The tagline hasn’t changed: Are obedience and trust in God enough to keep Deena and Simon from chasing memories?
The forty words I kept before me as I wrote: Deena strives to keep her attraction for Simon secret while caring for his mother. Simon looks into Deena’s dark eyes, sees his wife, and relives her disappearance. Will his obedience to God override the chance Deena may vanish as well?

If you weren't a writer, what would be another dream job?
I once thought it’d be rewarding to volunteer at a Christian pregnancy center. At home I’ve always dreamt of creating quilted wall hangings where fabric creations draw an observer into a garden or a visual story place. Neither is a job. I consider writing an adventure I can’t ignore, rather than a job.

What led you to choose the genre in which you write?
As a girl I loved the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. I read the Pollyanna series, horse stories, Nancy Drew, Zane Grey. There seemed to be a call to romance in those westerns. What clinched romance for me was Gone with the Wind, which I read at age thirteen. When I first started writing, I played around with suspense themes because I like the tension of solving crimes, but reading a cozy mystery isn’t deep enough characterization for me. In the end, I’m all for happily-ever-after, which equals romance.

What were some of the challenges (research, literary, psychological, or logistical) you faced in bringing this story to life?
I once met a woman with advanced dementia, still living with her husband on their farm, and that experience haunted me for a long time. I tucked away my notes, wondering if I could ever write about such a character. At the time of my first draft for Where Hearts Meet, I’d never been in a facility focused on memory care, though I’d visited friends and family in assisted living. God’s timing warms my heart. I attended an open house at a new facility after I’d written this story. Now, a dear friend resides there.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Oh, yes. Don’t let anyone try to convince you to believe writing is easy. I need the Lord’s strength from idea to revision and on through promotion. There’s probably a spot in most projects where I say, “I can’t do this without You, Lord,” instead of “Let’s write this together, Lord.” The rewards are worth it. First and foremost, I’m doing what I believe the Lord has called me to do. My characters struggle the same as real people do. The times my hero and heroine take off without me are times to giggle and let the fingers fly. I still do a swiveling happy dance in my chair (a squeal or two escapes as well) when I get the email with a new contract. Reviews and comments from readers make me smile and tear-up at the same time.

What’s the worst job you’ve had and how has it helped your writing?
Though I loved the exploring playful times on the farm when I walked endlessly and enjoyed the outdoors, chores was a challenge at times. The chicken coop and barn and hog pen were yucky during my growing up years. It doesn’t take much of a trigger and I can smell those places. I remember losing my rubber boots in the muck of the corral.  Any farmer will say animals stink. They’ll agree weather plays a part. Overall, I’d never trade my farm experience. I learned how to work, whether I felt like it or not. I learned to appreciate God’s creation and Nebraska, the state of my birth.

What can we expect from you in the future?
I know my plans, but the Lord directs my steps. (Grinning.) I have a Christmas novella with my editor now, a story in the works, and two to polish and submit.

Please include buy links and your website/FB/Twitter etc links.


Debbie Macomber or Nicholas Sparks?
Nicholas Sparks
Superman or Batman?
Vacation: Beach or Mountains?
The Voice or Dancing with the Stars?
The Voice

Christian romance author LoRee Peery writes to feel alive, as a way of contributing, and to pass forward the hope of rescue from sin. She writes of redeeming grace with a sense of place. LoRee clings to I John 5:4 and prays her family sees that faith. She has authored the Frivolities Series and other e-books. Her desire for readers, the same as for her characters, is to discover where they fit in this life journey to best work out the Lord’s life plan. She is who she is by the grace of God: Christian, country girl, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend, and author. She’s been a reader since before kindergarten. One day she slapped a story in her lap. “I could write better than this.” (Lofty assumption, eh?) Her dear hubby challenged, “Why don’t you?” Thus her writing journey began many moons ago.

LoRee thanks for sharing!

Readers thanks for visiting Lagniappe!

Loren's Questions for you:

Has dementia or Alzheimer’s struck someone close to you?

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


Loree Peery said...

It's always a pleasure to visit Lagniappe, Marian. Thanks so much, and have a terrific week.

Marian Pellegrin Merritt said...

LoRee, it's always a pleasure to have you here! I can understand the rippling effects of having someone with Alzheimer's in the family. My grandmother suffered with this horrible disease before she passed away.

Ann Ellison said...

Wonderful interview and Where Hearts Meet sounds like one I would love to read. So, I just got it for my Kindle. Yes, my mother and my mother-in-law both were affected with Alzheimers. It is so tragic what it does to those we love.

Loree Peery said...

Ann, bless you. Thanks for commenting.

Marian Pellegrin Merritt said...

Ann, thanks for stopping by! Please let us know what you think of Where Hearts Meet!

Loree Peery said...

Sweet Ann read the story and posted a review on Amazon already. Ann, you are the type of treasured reader authors love. I wish you the Lord's blessings.

Marian Pellegrin Merritt said...

Ann, is truly a blessing! I pray the Lord blesses her the way she has blessed us!