Monday, May 25, 2015
By Mary Manners
As we honor loved ones this Memorial Day, I'd like to share a special memory from my childhood...
My dad has always been my hugest inspiration. Long ago, when I was in middle school, I came home following a particularly rough day to find him sitting on the front steps of our small brownstone house. I joined him there on the cool concrete landing and he spent a good hour patiently listening while I vented about the trials and tribulations of being a thirteen-year-old in a cruel, cruel world. I imagined he had no idea what I was going through, since he couldn't have possibly ever been as young as thirteen. Little did I know.
The next day, Dad came home with a small treasure for me--a poster with the most forlorn-looking bloodhound sitting in a washtub full of soap bubbles that had been dumped over his head. The caption read, "Was today really necessary?" Dad helped me mount the poster in a place of honor on my bedroom wall, and then we sat together and talked some more. That's when I began to understand the power of adversity in shaping who I am as well as in guiding my life's path.
Today, I use the trials of my life--both the small inconveniences that jab like bony fingers along my rib cage as well as the tsunamis that sweep through to wash away any semblance of sanity--to shape and mold my writing. Characters come alive when their story is infused with nuances of personal trials. In daily tribulations I find a never-ending fount of inspiration.
My dad succumbed to Non-Hodgkin lymphoma fourteen years ago, but his memory is alive and well in the poster that has traveled with me through the decades. It now holds a place of honor on the wall across from my office desk. Each time I glance up to read the caption, I smile and murmur, "Yes, today is really necessary and thank you, God, for allowing me another breath and another test, and thank you, Dad, for the precious words of wisdom."
When Brenna Langdon reluctantly returns to Collins, Oklahoma for her best friend’s wedding, the last person she expects to run into is Luke Morgan…the rancher who befriended her years ago, following her parents’ sudden death. Luke is strong, gentle, and impossibly handsome…just what Brenna needs. Except for one thing—he loves his ranch…and the slow-paced solitude of Collins. Painful memories of her parents’ death and the agony of living in Collins with a cruel aunt and uncle have made Brenna vow to never return…except for the wedding. Three days, and she’s out of there—back to her high-powered, fast-paced marketing job in Chicago. But Luke has other plans…to chase away painful memories and bring Brenna home to Collins—for good.
Mary Manners is an award-winning romance writer who lives in the beautiful foothills of East Tennessee with her husband Tim and the cherished cats they've rescued from local animal shelters...Lucky and Gus. She loves swimming, running, flavored coffee and Smoky Mountain sunsets.
Mary was named Author of the Year by Book and Trailer Showcase. She writes inspirational romances of all lengths, from short stories to novels—something for everyone.
Learn more about Mary Manners at her website: www.MaryMannersRomance.com.