I’m so happy to have my friend Laurel Blount with me today. Laurel’s debut with Love Inspired is out now, and it’s a wonderful story. And one lucky commenter will win a copy! Excited? Me, too! I love giveaways! Let’s meet Laurel…
LAUREL: I’m so thrilled to be a guest here on Dana R. Lynn’s lovely blog! What fun! Let’s settle in for a chat. Draw a chair up close to the kitchen table, and pour yourself a hot cup of tea. It’s just now starting to be hot tea drinking weather down here in Georgia, and I don’t like to waste a minute of it.
After a very tenacious summer, autumn has finally come to our little farm. The leaves flutter around like golden confetti, and it’s dark now in the mornings when I head out to milk. When I have to shrug on a jacket and pick up my flashlight before going to the barn, that’s when I know the seasons have officially changed.
My oldest son goes with me. He is nineteen now, broad shouldered, strong enough to manhandle the hay bales and smart enough to fix my beloved surge milker when it decides to get balky. Gone are the days when our homeschool schedule set an easy tempo for our mornings. We do our chores early now so that he can get off to his job on time.
I can remember when this strapping guy was small enough to walk under the kitchen table without bumping his head, when I could carry his sturdy little body in my arms. Now he carries fifty pound feed sacks for me and pushes between me and the cow when she decides to get sassy.
Another shift of the seasons.
And, you know what? I’m actually loving it. Not just the whole fixing-the-milker thing, although since I am about the least mechanically gifted person you will ever meet, that’s a big plus. But I’m truly appreciating the invigorating chill of change. I’m enjoying the challenge to step up to a new way of living life, letting go of the old and embracing the new.
That’s the secret, I think. In order to truly let go of the old things with a joyful heart, you need something new to embrace.
For me, as my children began to need less of my time, my attention drifted back to a hobby I had shelved a couple of long decades ago, writing. And just like that, a part of my life that had gone dormant bloomed again, and a brand new season began for me.
And what a season it’s been! It’s been exciting and confusing and rewarding and downright fun. I’ve been to my first writing conferences, entered my first writing contests, started a blog and made some wonderful friends.
And somewhere in there, I actually sold a book!
Just this month my debut novel for Love Inspired, A Family for the Farmer , was released. This book, sold during the final round of Love Inspired’s Blurb to Book contest, ushered in my first season as a published author. And this particular season has been so much stinkin’ fun that I can’t help feeling a twinge of regret that I waited so long to start spinning my stories again.
But you know what? I couldn’t have written this story years ago; it bears too clearly the marks of all the seasons in my life that came before this one. I’ve also had to give up some cherished things to make room in my life for this whole writing thing; this will the first year in many when I haven’t had a fall garden. Out with the old, in with the new.
That’s just the way it is with seasons. We should welcome them, I think, as bravely and enthusiastically as we can, surrendering the things whose blooming time is past, while stowing away the things of value that the previous seasons yielded, just as we tuck mason jars of preserves away in our pantries or a particularly beautiful leaf in our pocket.
Here’s hoping you find buckets of joy in your own current season, whatever that might be! And if it happens to be a season of hot spiced tea, warm woolly throws and long, peaceful evenings…who knows? I might just be able to recommend a good book for you to curl up with!
Home to the Farmer
When she inherits her grandmother’s farm, Emily Elliott must return to the small town she thought she’d permanently escaped. The citified single mom of twins must live on Goosefeather Farm for the summer…or lose it to neighbor and childhood friend Abel Whitlock. It’s Abel’s chance to own the land he’s always wanted, but he won’t do it at the expense of the girl he’s never forgotten—or her adorable twins. Instead, Abel will show Emily how to take care of the farm and its wayward animals. He has three months to fight for a lifetime with the family he loves.
Laurel Blount lives in middle Georgia with David, her husband of 28 years, four fabulous kids and an assortment of spoiled farm animals. She divides her time between homeschooling, writing, teaching Spanish at a local Christian school and milking her grouchy Jersey cow. A Family for the Farmer, (Love Inspired, October 2016) is her debut novel. Visit her website at www.laurelblountbooks.com.
Thanks for the great post, Laurel! I loved your book, and I’m sure you’re readers will too!
Speaking of books…if you want a chance to win a copy of Laurel’s book, just comment below. The winner will be chosen randomly on Friday, October 21.