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Thursday, June 06, 2013

Marian Merritt and Southern Fried Christmas Giveaway


MARIAN MERRITT writes stories that blend her love of the mountains with her deep Southern roots. Her fascination with the written word began while sitting on her grandparent’s front porch swing reading books. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy and an accounting certificate from the University of South Alabama. Marian has been a member of American Christian Fiction Writers since 2003. Her first fiction title, Southern Fried Christmas, released in 2012. She writes from her Northwest Colorado home. Connect with her at:

by Marian Merritt
Published by Pelican Book Group


Love: purer than Colorado snow, deeper than a Louisiana bayou.

The Colorado Rockies have always been home to journalist Kelly Shepherd, but after the death of her father, and facing her first Christmas alone, she accepts an assignment that leads her deep into Louisiana’s Cajun country.

Since his wife’s death, Denny Labouve has focused his attention on his ten-year-old daughter and the family business, but Kelly sparks the dying embers of his heart even as a Christmas cold front moves through his beloved Cajun country.

Will Denny and Kelly be able to trust God to bridge the span between the Colorado Rockies and the Louisiana bayou?

Readers, buy your copy of Southern-Fried Christmas today!


Can't Means Won't

Several years ago, when my young son attempted a difficult task, he'd stop, and then turn to me and say, "I can't do this." In an effort to teach him perseverance, I'd respond with, "Can't means won't."

I never missed the opportunity to help him learn the value of never giving up. The phrase became an automatic reply whenever he used the words, "I can't." It didn't take long for his exclamations to change to, "I won't do this."

As wives, mothers, workers, writers and friends we struggle with breaking moments of "I can't." Some of us may throw our hands in the air and say, "I can't." Some of us may beat on the table and say, "I won't." Regardless, of the words we use or the proverbial straw that brings us to that place, we've all been there at one time or another.

Recently, a difficult encounter with a special person in my life brought me to that place. I remember thinking with raw consuming emotion, "I thought I'd moved passed this. I won't do this."

After my prayer time the next day, conviction lay heavy on my heart. My won't was really my unwillingness to turn the situation over to God. What I'd really said was, "I won't allow God."

I can still persevere, but my efforts need to be through Christ. The Bible says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." My ability to accomplish all I need as a wife, mother, writer, or friend all stem from the strength I gain through my faith in Christ. Not on my bull-headed, plow-through, never-give-up-no-matter-what attitude.

Great freedom is found in that revelation.

That day the scene I wrote flowed like warmed honey. The words came from a broken place that made the characters live and dance from the pages. He'd used the situation to help me better understand the characters I had created.

God used my reliance on Him and the situation to make me a better writer at that moment. He never misses those opportunities to strengthen our character to reflect His.

Reader Question: Are there "I won't" moments stealing your joy? What's your response when you feel you can't do what's expected of you?

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Thank you, Marian, for sharing with us today.

ENTRY RULES Readers, leave your email address (name [at] domainname [dot] com) along with your answer to the question for your chance to win a free digital copy of the book featured above. If you do not answer the question, and your email address isn't provided, you will not be entered.

This week, the drawing is open to anyone worldwide.


Unknown said...


Thanks so much for having me here at "A Fictional Life."

I look forward to interacting with your readers!


Mary said...

Oh my, the most recent I won't moment came when I was told that I might have type 2 diabetes. I screamed inside, I won't accept this! Well, after God helped me trust Him and the diagnosis was made official by my doctor I learned that I can do this with His help. Thank you for sharing Marian. Love you girl. My email is,

Unknown said...

Oh Mary, I know how hard a life-changing diagnosis can be. Hang in there, girl. Things may be different for you, but you can do this! Keep exercising!! That is the key. There are awesome Bible verse CDs that are great to listen to while walking.

Praying for your strength.


Tanya Hanson said...

Fine interview, Marian. Great to get to know you better and great book, too! I think my can't/won't deals with a very unpleasant relative. When I say I can't go there, I mean I won't because I'm tired of the hurt this person causes me. I pray about it all the time. Best wishes and tons of blessings always!

Tanya Hanson said...

oops, forgot this. tanya dot hanson at gmail dot com

Melody said...

Since talking, writing, eating food is my first love - it also happens to be my confrontation every day! I go to bed praying...I will be in control tomorrow. I wake up in the morning thinking....maybe tomorrow. It's terrible. I have a home ec degree so I'm twice as guilty. I am in control of all my areas but this one!

missionwife AT hotmail DOT com

Unknown said...


Thanks for stopping by! There seem to be those certain people who know just how to push our buttons!

This past summer, I studied a series of sermons by Dr. Dick Reuben. The thing he said that stuck out the most was, "Thank them for their works." These people are sometimes placed in our lives to smooth our rough edges. After all, David used a smooth rock to slay Goliath.

Don't we all want to be used in a might way like that? Keep praying, lady.

Blessings back to you!

Unknown said...


I can so relate. The things that I've worked so hard to control are the ones that elude me and leave me feeling the worse.

I'm praying for you. Let God lead you in this area...

Blessings and here's to tomorrow being a different day!


Unknown said...

The Winner of the digital copy of "Southern Fried Christmas" is Melody!

Congratulations Melody!

Have a blessed day!