Marian P. Merritt - Lagniappe

Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains

Monday, September 28, 2015

Kathleen Y'Barbo - Firefly Summer

 Good Monday Morning Readers!

Today, Kathleen Y' Barbo 
visits Lagniappe to discuss 
her latest release, Firefly Summer.

Welcome, Kathleen!

Tell us a little about Firefly Summer
A new cowboy romance from award-winning author Kathleen Y'Barbo. 

Trey’s biggest challenge isn’t performing surgery…it’s restoring Sessa’s heart! 

Artist Sessa Chambers may never recover from losing her prodigal son. Even as she grieves the tragic decisions that led to his death, and left her with a toddler to raise, she’s asked to work on her dream project—restoring carousel horses for the Smithsonian. But she can’t do it on her own… 

Dr. Trey Brown can’t pick up a scalpel again. Yes, he acted in self-defense, but the events of that awful night haunt him. He was trained to save lives, not take them. When he goes to the young man’s widowed mother to apologize, she’s not at all what he expected. For one thing, she’s not as alone as he thought—not with the fearsome ladies of the Pies, Books, and Jesus Book Club in her corner. For another, she’s beautiful, and being in her presence is more jolting than any eight-second bronco ride from his former rodeo days. Before he knows it, she’s captured his heart as easily as they capture the fireflies gracing Sessa’s Texas ranch. 

How can they overcome their past to embrace a future together?

Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what's on your writing playlist these days?
No! I used to be able to listen to classical music—Vivaldi was a favorite—but even the classics seem to bother me now. I don’t need absolute silence, but there’s something about music that divides my attention.

For Christmas, do you prefer white lights or colored lights on your Christmas tree?
Definitely white! I have such a mish-mash of ornaments, most of them with great sentimental value but little design sense, so I love having the plain white illumination to set those off.

Give readers your brand/tagline and share how you came up with it.
Fiction with a Southern accent is my tag line, and except for a few exceptions, also the brand that you find in my stories. If you’ve ever spoken to me, a tenth generation Texan who sounds like it--you’ll know why!

If you weren't a writer, what would be another dream job?
I am so blessed to already working at my other dream job. When I’m not penning prose, I’m a paralegal. I’ve worked in all sorts of areas of law, from insurance defense to criminal to probate, but my favorite is family law.

What author's books do you enjoy reading?
I have so many favorites! Right now I am reading a new contemporary novel called The Girl Who Chased the Moon by the fabulous Sara Addison Allen. She writes the most magical stories, and her characters are unforgettable!

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I do NOT read my reviews unless I accidentally stumble across one or someone I trust, usually my agent, my editor or my publicist, sends it to me. No writer creates a novel that is loved by everyone, so personal preferences will always dictate the response from readers. Either way, I do not make it a general practice to respond to reviews.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
This may seem like an odd request from a writer who doesn’t read her reviews, but readers can be a huge help to us just by posting a nice review. I don’t think readers always understand how much power public opinion and word of mouth has. If you like a book, talk about it to others, either by posting on Goodreads, Amazon, and other places or just by telling your friends.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing come from?
I began as a reader, thanks to my parents who were both avid readers. My love of the written word goes way back to the grand old Gates Memorial Library in Port Arthur, Texas where I can still recall the smell of books in the air and the cool marble floor beneath my bare feet—until my very proper mama made me put my sandals back on. When I was older, I rode my bike to the Hebert Library in Port Neches, Texas to grab the latest book and spend hours reading it. Now I fill my Kindle with stories, so reading is a love that has not diminished over the years.

What can we expect from you in the future?
Up next is A Texas Christmas, a multi-author book of  historical romances set in Texas during the Christmas season. Next month, my novella Autumn Skye, the second book (a novella) in the Pies, Books & Jesus Book club series will be released in a fabulous collection called The Boy Next Door. In 2016, look for at least one more story in the Pies, Books & Jesus Book Club series.
Please include buy links and your website/FB/Twitter etc links.


NCIS or CSI?  DEFINITELY NCIS! Jethro or Pride (NCIS New Orleans) win every time. Love Hetty (NCIS LA) but the legal inconsistencies on that show drive this paralegal bonkers.
Y’all or You Guys? Y’all all day every day. By the way, the plural of y’all is all y’all. You’re welcome.
Grits or Hash Brown Potatoes? Grits, especially cheese grits. Extra points if they’ve got shrimp on them.
Crawfish or Crawdads? Girl, are you serious? Everyone who has spent any time in Louisiana knows the proper name is mudbugs. But I’ll go with crawfish.


Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee of more than fifty novels with almost two million copies in print in the US and abroad. A tenth-generation Texan, she has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award as well a Reader’s Choice Award and Book of the Year by Romantic Times magazine.

Sadie’s Secret, a Secret Life of Will Tucker historical romantic suspense novel and the winner of the 2015 Romantic Times Inspirational Romance of the Year, is in stores now:

For another book with ties to Kathleen’s home town of Port Neches, Texas, Firefly Summer, the first novel in the contemporary Pies, Books & Jesus Book Club series features a character with the same name as her mama—Bonnie Sue. And a very similar personality. Check out the book here:  

When not wearing her writer’s hat, Kathleen is a paralegal, a proud military wife, and an expatriate Texan cheering on her beloved Texas Aggies from north of the Red River. Connect with her through social media at

Kathleen, thanks for sharing!

Readers, thanks for visiting Lagniappe.

Answer Kathleen's question to be eligible to win a digital copy of Firefly Summer!

In FIREFLY SUMMER, each Pies, Books & Jesus Book Club members are required to bring at least two pies to every meeting when it is her month to host. If you were a member of the book club, what pies would you bring to the meeting when it is your turn?

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


Monday, September 21, 2015

Jennifer Slattery - Intertwined

Good Monday Morning Readers!

Today, Jennifer Slattery visits Lagniappe to discuss her latest release, Intertwined.

Welcome, Jennifer!

Tell us a little about Intertwined

I’d love to. How about if I give you what’s on the back cover?

Abandoned by her husband for another woman, Tammy Kuhn, an organ procurement coordinator often finds herself in tense and fighting against bitterness. After an altercation with a doctor, she is fighting to keep her job and her sanity when one late night she encounters her old flame Nick. She walks right into his moment of facing an unthinkable tragedy. Because they both have learned to find eternal purposes in every event and encounter, it doesn’t take long to discover that their lives are intertwined but the ICU is no place for romance….or is it? Could this be where life begins again?

You can find Intertwined, print and e-version, on CBD for under $12!

Barnes and Noble:

And pretty much wherever books are sold.

If you could be any character, from any book who would you be? Why?

Boy, this is hard. I think I’d like to be Tammy’s mother, because she’s so quirky and, well… bubbly—unexpected in a hilarious way. I have an insanely goofy side, so that wouldn’t be too much of a change. I’d probably also like to be Tammy’s best friend, because she’s just awesome. The kind of friend who’s always there when you need her and who isn’t afraid to eat all of your ice cream, just to save you from it, of course. I’d say I’d like to be Tammy, but man, has she hit a few hurdles. Although her job is pretty amazing. It’s incredible what God can do through a willing heart.

Hm… I didn’t really answer your question, did I? I really need to learn to be more decisive.

Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what's on your writing playlist these days?

I don’t. I like things absolutely silent. I’m lucky in that I have a quiet house for most of the day, because I’m easily distracted and my brain wants to latch on to every noise around, process it, roll it around a bit, follow it along a bunny trail that makes absolute sense to my brain but would cause everyone else to shake their heads.

Um… yeah, no. (Was this a too much information answer? Oy.)

I do like listening to music when I edit, though.

What Bible verse speaks to you the most?

I have two, Ephesians 2:10 and James 4:13-16
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10 NLT).
“Look here, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.’ How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.”  Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil” (James 4:13-16 NLT).
We are God’s masterpiece. I love camping out in that truth.
These verses have shaped my definition of success. They remind me God has a glorious plan for me, my life, and every person I touch while here on earth. And He’s taken full responsibility to perfect that which concerns me. (Psalm 138:8) My role is simple: To surrender fully and obey without hesitation, seeking to learn and grow from each and every event or encounter.
That’s it. And here’s the beautiful thing—if I do that, I have succeeded, regardless of how things turn out.

What is the best NON-writing advice you’ve received?

This was from my father, back when I was on the track and cross-country team: “The champions are those who are out running while everyone else is watching television.” I’ve found that nugget of wisdom applies to numerous areas of my life, and I’m so grateful my father encouraged me to work hard and persevere. 

What can we expect from you in the future?

I have another novel releasing in January, by the same publisher, titled Breaking Free. Here’s the working (meaning not final or perfected by their awesome marketing folks) back cover blurb:

Sometimes it takes losing everything to grab hold of what really matters.

Women’s ministry leader and Seattle housewife, Alice Goddard and her successful graphic-designing husband appear to have it all together. Until their Visa and debit cards are denied, leading to a downward spiral of lies, shame, and self-destruction. How far will they fall before he turns to the only One who can save him? And will it be in time to save his marriage?


Coffee or Tea? Both! Though I have a fierce addiction to the former and a mild affinity to the latter.
eReader or Paper book? Both! Though I reach for paperback first, I love my kindle when I travel.
Cake or Pie? Cake for sure! Though ice cream’s even better.
Vacation: Beach or Mountains? Anywhere with my hubby.
NCIS or CSI? Why watch television when you can read a book instead????

Intertwined, part of New Hope Publisher’s contemporary fiction line, is a great reminder of how God can turn our greatest tragedies and failures into beautiful acts of love and grace. Readers will fall in love with the realistic characters and enjoy the combination of depth, heart-felt emotion and humor that makes Jennifer’s novels so appealing. Readers will be inspired to find God in every moment and encounter in their own lives!

Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.

Visit with Jennifer online at and connect with her on Facebook at

Readers, Jennifer's question to you:

If you could be a character from a book, who would you be, and of course, tell us the name of the book. J
Jennifer, thanks for sharing!

Readers, thanks for visiting Lagniappe.

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