Every time our publisher, Salt Run Publishing, announces our upcoming MERCIFUL BLESSINGS launch in March, co-author Daria Ludas (DK Ludas) and I get majorly excited all over again! When it won the Royal Palm Literary Award Unpublished Women’s Fiction category in 2014, we knew we’d finally gotten it right.
Just like every author does, we put a lot into the story and the series development, and it is, indeed, much like waiting for the arrival of a new baby! We are over the moon about being new additions to the Salt Run family and their Two Stone Lions inspirational imprint.
The title has layered significance. The women in the series are the three daughters of Percy Blessing and his late wife Sarah Ann, and the Blessing family is one of the founding families of the fictional rural Florida town of Merciful, 100 years ago. Merciful is nestled along I-75, about 40 minutes southeast of Gainesville, in Alachua County. Sorry, you won’t find this charming but deadly little hamlet on the map or the I-75 exit signs, but it is inspired by the town of Micanopy, Suwanee, and many others, complete with steepled church, town square, and Victorian-era homes.
The Blessings are just like the rest of us. Their faith is tested, tried, fails, and is redeemed, over and over again. Life has beaten them up a bit and they are tougher than they look and softer than they’ll admit. They argue with each other and band together when under fire, a lesson important to Daria and me because we’ve been there, too. We aren’t big preachers, tending instead to try to live as an example of His love and generosity. But, we want folks from all walks of life to understand that the Lord loves us all with great passion and commitment. We are NEVER unredeemable, no matter what others may say about that. You can believe me on this or not, doesn’t change a thing!
We have enjoyed getting to know the Blessings and their friends and hope you will, too! Take the stress out of living and remember to invest in loving yourself, loving the Lord and caring for your neighbors. Then enjoy the merciful blessings that come to us all from our triune God.
Talk about a winning formula: hope, faith, and grace!
PS We’ll be signing MERCIFUL BLESSINGS at the Liberty States Fiction Writers conference on March 24 in Iselin, New Jersey, at the big Reader’s Fair! Hope to see some of you there!