Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Prelude to Christmas: Mary L. Ball's story about love in the valley

Welcome our guest to the blog, Mary L. Ball. She's here to talk about her novel, A Love Valley Christmas, and she's agreed to give away a copy of her book! Enjoy!

Here's the blurb for A Love Valley Christmas
Step off the pavement, onto a dirt road and join our fictional characters celebrating Christmas in Love Valley North Carolina, a real western community.

When Susie Aleman isn’t running Spurs, a mercantile in Love Valley, she’s raising her sixteen year old son, Zam. She’s content with life, and relies on no one but God. Then Ty Porter moves to Love Valley and stampedes into her heart.

Ty Porter has given up on women. All he wants is a fresh start, and a new pair of cowboy boots. That is until he meets Susie.
As Christmas Eve rolls around can he convince Susie that love after thirty-five is worth the risk? 

Will Susie lead Ty to see that the Lord can be trusted?

Interview with Mary L. Ball, author of A Love Valley Christmas:

Alexis: Is Love Valley, NC a fictional town or real one? What was your inspiration behind choosing this community as the background for your book?

Mary: Love Valley, North Carolina is very much real. It’s a small town nestled in the mountains north of Statesville, NC, a little over an hour drive from me. The quaint community thrives on its western atmosphere. The main road in town is dirt. It offers hitching rails so visitors can secure their horses while they shop at the country store, tack shop, general store, hardware store, and the blacksmith shop. The town has restaurants, saloons, and a few other businesses. The residents of Love Valley (about 120) live there year round. Just like other small town they have access to modern amenities.

Prism Book Group (my publisher) sent out a call for Cowboy Christmas novellas and when Joan (editor-in-Chief) said that they could be old west or contemporary. I thought it would be fun and wanted to be included. I’m glad that I could write about a contemporary cowboy because I’m not an author who writes westerns. 

Alexis: Susie Aleman is your story’s heroine. Tell us about her. What does she like and dislike? How does she look and act? What are her deepest fears and what brings her the greatest joy? 

Mary: She’s of average height and build. She’s a conservative woman with shoulder length dark blond hair who takes pride in her son and her merchandise business that she calls, “Spurs.” Her joy comes from enjoying the accomplishments made in running a business and raising a son. She is happy to be part of the community and her church. Still, there are times when she misses not having a good man to confide in. 

Alexis: Susie is content with her life until Ty Porter comes to town and creates a longing in her heart she never knew she had. Can you give us insight into how Ty affects her without giving away your story’s plot?

Mary: Ty’s a handsome cowboy and has a way with words. She is immediately drawn to his polite charm. He likes to call her “Pretty lady.”

The first time they meet is in her store: With a glide in his step he approached the front and laid the shoebox on the counter. She rang his sale, he handed her cash, grinned and lifted the rim of his wide brimmed hat. “Ma’am, nice store.”

“Thanks.” Susie returned his smile. Her breath caught as she looked into eyes which reminded her of the candy bar she’d eaten earlier. 

Alexis: It looks like Susie is going to learn a lesson or two in this story. Can you share one (of the lessons)?

Mary: Love can come back into your life at any age. This is a hard lesson for her to understand. It involves her letting go of her past. 

Alexis: Tell us about your story’s hero Ty Porter. What makes him tick? What makes him smile? Why did he, before meeting Susie, give up on women?

Mary: Ty is a country man who likes horses and roping. He is happiness in the outdoors. He enjoyed the fast life before he moved to Love Valley and is determined not to fall prey (again) to the traps of partying and staying out at all hours with women. To keep the promise he made to himself he plans to live a quite rancher’s life alone. 

Alexis: What kind of “fresh start” is Ty looking for and how does he find it in Love Valley?

Mary: He moved away from his past to become a better man.

Alexis: It looks like Ty and Susie are dealing with complications and progress in their individual faith journey with God. Can you share details on their struggles and breakthroughs?

Mary: Susie struggles with believing the Lord can change a person. Ty deals with commitment issues as he learns about God’s plan. 

Alexis: What special message do you have for your readers in this book? 

Mary: I believe 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV) sums it up: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Alexis: If you could play counselor to Ty and Susie, what would you tell them and why?

Mary: I would tell both of them to let go of the past and look to the Lord for help with their future. I think each of us have a place in the past that we visit too often. Sometimes, that hinders us from leaning completely on God and moving forward. 

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Mary! Do you have any closing thoughts?

Mary: Alexis, thank you for having me on your blog. I look forward to meeting your readers and wish everyone a wonderful Christmas.

Author bio: Mary L. Ball is a multi-published author. She resides in the heart of North Carolina. When she isn't working on her latest story, she enjoys fishing, reading, and singing with her husband at church functions.


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1 comment:

  1. What a comforting Bible Verse! Thanks for sharing today about your story.


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