BENEATH A MACON MOON
Ms. Brooks creates sassy heroines with “Foot In Mouth Disease” who are accustomed to the taste of their own shoe leather. But there's always a chivalrous hero on standby to rescue her from her self-inflicted catastrophes. Beneath A Macon Moon is a Christian Romance peppered with humor that addresses guilt and forgiveness.
Welcome to my blog, Laurie. Please tell us about Beneath A Macon Moon.
Jaela Andrews was born to well-to-do parents and accustomed to the finer things in life. Jaela has never lacked for any material thing. She is independent, determined and ambitious. Staying busy with her job as an insurance claims adjuster keeps her from dealing with grief and guilt.
When Jaela's mother reveals a shocking secret, Jaela flees to Macon, Georgia to house sit for a couple touring Europe. But her plan for peace and quiet are thwarted by Viking lookalike Eric Larsen, the handyman hired to renovate the Victorian home where she's staying. No one warned her about the renovations and Jaela's had it up to here with Eric's attitude, noisy tools--plus his nosy questions. Why doesn't he mind his own business? Jaela will not return her mother's calls until she's good and ready. If Eric knew what her mother did, he would understand.
Guilt and nightmares plague Jaela two years after her father's death. She was not at his side when he drew his last breath. Her mother must never know she disobeyed, and that her dad died alone. Jaela's attraction toward Eric grows as she begins to realize he's not trying to control her. His concern for her well-being stems from an overly protective nature. Eric gradually melts Jaela's grieving heart, a romantic entanglement leading to marriage is not in her plan.
Can Jaela forgive her mother and grandparents for concealing a twenty-three-year-old secret? She had a right to know. Will Jaela forgive herself for not being there as her father lay dying? Only God can heal her wounded heart.
Eric Larsen was hired to renovate the Victorian home while the owners are away. The project will take all summer, and all the complaints from a feisty young woman will not stop progress. Jaela obviously comes from money. Her sporty little BMW and straight-from-Fifth_Avenue-wardrobe speak volumes. But she's clueless when it comes to responsibility. Eric has worked to support his family since their father deserted ten years ago. How could Jaela comprehend responsibility or sacrifice? And why did Jaela high-tail it to Macon? Why doesn't she return her mother's calls? When he asks, she lets him know it's none of his business. He's smitten with the sassy little spitfire, but they from very different worlds. Like the pauper wooing the princess, it just wouldn't work. If only there were a way.
With God, all things are possible.
A nosy elderly couple next door add suspense and humor, keeping things lively. Madge Wilcox becomes suspicious when her neighbors come up missing to be replaced by a young woman from out of state. She doesn't buy into Jaela's story that the Cranstons are touring Europe. Madge's obsession with crime solving keeps her binoculars glued to the house next door. Then one night she slips over with her flashlight to search the backyard. Haunted with guilt, Madge has become bitter and suspicious. Can she forgive herself? Can God forgive her for what she did nearly five decades ago?
George Wilcox, Madge's mild-mannered husband, tolerates his wife's eccentric behavior. While she is glued to reruns of Murder She Wrote, George slips next door to “consort with the enemy.” Over coffee and cookies, the wise little man and Jaela bond through heart-to-heart talks.
Where did you get your inspiration for this story?
Five years ago my husband, son and I were sitting in a restaurant in Lexington, Kentucky when my son called a former co-worker to join us. When Dwayne arrived, he was distraught. “Man, thanks for calling me. I had to get away! My wife's going crazy. She's throwing stuff, tearing up the house.”
I won't disclose the shocking news Dwayne's wife Teresa received. It would give away my plot. But I kept the idea in the back of my mind for three years before I wrote it. With Dwayne and Teresa's permission, I dedicated Beneath a Macon Moon to them. Without them it would not be written.
What kind of research did you do?
I researched Macon, Georgia on the internet. Its tourist attractions, popular restaurants, climate and weather, festivals, and nearby towns. Did you know Macon was one town not invaded by the Union troops? As a result, the city has more beautiful antebellum homes than any other town. Many are open for touring.
That’s so interesting. I love learning bits of history from fictional novels. Please tell us about the main character in this story and what you love about him or her.
This is not easy. I equally love my heroine and hero.
I like Jaela's sassy spirit, her quick wit. Her self-sufficiency and independent spirit are only a facade. Eric sees right through it. She has a lot to learn, and by God's grace she will. Jaela's refusal to accept advice from Eric gets her in trouble. She refuses the map he offers her to guide her through the backwoods of Georgia. As a result, she must eat humble pie, or crow.
I like Eric's character because he is a strong, protective alpha male with a silly sense of humor. Eric owns a home renovation business. Because he shoulders his family's financial burden, he's had little cash to spend on a woman. Then he meets Jaela and wants to impress her. Sparks fly (in more ways than one). Eric sees Jaela as helpless and tries to protect her. But Jaela misinterprets his chivalry. What will make her realize Eric's only looking out for her?
Now it's time to tell us something about the real you that we'll never forget.
In my mid forties, the manufacturing plant where I worked closed. Employees were offered the opportunity to further their education. I took advantage of it and signed up for Legal Assistant courses at a college 50 miles away. After graduation then obtaining and being laid off from two jobs, I decided to use my newly acquired skills for something different. Instead of feeling that my schooling had been a waste, I used the computer skills to become a writer. The courses using Microsoft Word had prepped me. In fact, every class included a computer. Without these skills, I would not be a published Christian author today. Maybe God looked down the road. Could it be He had a purpose for my life that I had not considered?
Thank you for this awesome interview, Laurie. I, too, understand what you mean about computer skills. I had to take a class to graduate and it was so hard. My children knew everything about computers, but I didn't. So if I needed help, they were there. Without this skill, it would be difficult to be an author in this modern day.
Ms. Brook's first release, Journey To Forgiveness is an embellishment of her mother's life story, set in the Depression Era. It will soon re-release with a new cover and minor changes to the story.
A Medley Of Inspirational Romance, is a compilation of four stories which can be downloaded separately or as one unit, in either print or ebook.
Beneath a Macon Moon, Ms. Brook's latest title, is available in both kindle download or print.