Barbara and I go way back. We write for the same publishing house, Desert Breeze Publishing. So when she told me how thrilled she was to be part of the Grace Awards Launch, I couldn’t help but do a happy dance. SOUTHERN SUPERSTITIONS, a romantic suspense, is one of her favs out of the novels she’s written. That’s because it was developed from a first-prize-winning short story she wrote in her creative-writing class at Southeastern Louisiana University many years ago. The short story was published in Gambit, the university’s literary magazine.
Here’s one of Barbara’s favorite lines from the story…
It was faith in God that would bring her husband home. Even a lucky penny or a dime declared, In God we trust.
Now let’s find out a little about this story…
Magnolia June Russell is a small-town Louisiana strawberry farmer determined to have a career besides the berry farm, despite her mother’s advice that she doesn’t need more education to run a farm.
Andy Allen is a strawberry inspector at the local bureau. He has to convince June’s mother that he can be the son she’s never had, since she’s decided a local strawberry inspector isn’t good enough for her daughter. Andy is going to have to change her mother’s mind in more ways than one if their relationship is to survive. Can he persuade June that there is more to their relationship than friends?
Together, they both face the issue of superstitions, an April flood, and conflict after conflict. Will they ever convince Miss. Myrtle to let go of superstitions, or will she stubbornly cling to them just like she vows she’ll never fly on those big-winged mechanical birds because man ain’t got no business messing with God’s plans?
Can love survive the obstacle course placed in their path–an accident, escaped convicts, Andy missing in a Louisiana swamp? Can two determined young people overcome each obstacle with belief, faith, hard work and the power of prayer?
SOUTHERN SUPERSTITIONS is an inspirational story that’s full of personality as well as intricacy in the way it explores the complexities of family life and the conflict between faith and luck. Barbara does a great job of pulling together the deeply rooted superstitions of the South and entwining them into a suspenseful tale of faith, romance, and endurance. I especially enjoyed the setting and the culture of the deep South. ~ Shawna K. Williams, author of NO OTHER and IN ALL THINGS.
One of the best ways to whet your appetite for a story is to read an excerpt…
Rod joined the search party to help investigate his dad’s disappearance. It’d disbanded at nightfall and picked up the search again at daybreak, but they’d found no sign of his dad. Rod guided a canoe deep into the marshes and swamps. He’d hunted with his father many times in these wetlands so he knew where to check. No word or sign of his father made the cold, Christmas season stab like an ice pick, and his heart ached for his mother, left alone.
He slid the canoe through a wall of cypress trees, deeper and deeper into the heart of the swamp. He figured his father headed for the hills. White cranes flew from the cypress limbs. The canoe hit a cypress knee, and Rod gently eased it around a few more. The way they stuck out of the shallow water, like protruding nubs, they reminded him of his grandmother’s warning finger wagging in his face. They could tear a hole in the bottom of a boat. Thank God my boat survived the lick. Maybe that’s what happened to Dad.
Finally, after twelve hours of searching, Rod spotted his dad’s pirogue on the side of the hill, where they’d hunted the previous year. He tied his canoe to a tree limb. “Dad!” He raced to the dome tent and unzipped the door. “Dad?” The tent looked as if his dad made camp, but hadn’t yet used it. The sleeping bag was still rolled up in a corner. The butt of his dad’s 30-30 stuck out from under a sleeping bag. The supplies were still there. Outside, there was no sign of a campfire. It looked as though he never got to hunt. There was no sign of him. Where was he?
Rod picked up the rifle and carried it back to his canoe. He left the other items in case his dad returned looking for them.
They searched until dark. Rod dreaded giving his mother the disappointing news. She’d worry even more, because the pirogue was in perfect condition and so was the tent. No leaking pirogue kept him from coming home. The campsite looked peaceful and serene, not like anything bad had happened, but still there was no sign of his father.
Mom’s on pins and needles, yet she clings to her faith and trust in God. I hear her faithfully pray for Dad’s safe return. Maybe she won’t fall apart when she hears the news but oh, how I dread having to tell her.
Barnes & Noble/Nook. http://bit.ly/17Yd7W0
B. J. Robinson, an award-winning, multi-published author, writes inspirational southern-fried romantic suspense from Florida, where she lives with her husband, a cat named Frankie, a cocker spaniel named Sunflower, and a golden retriever named Honi. She developed her love for mystery through Nancy Drew books, her love for reading from her mother, who read fairytales to her before she began school, and her fifth grade teacher, who read the entire Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House series to the class. She promises to take her readers on a continuous journey to another world. Reading and writing are her passions, and Jesus is her best friend.