Blessed by Friendship by Shannon Brown

Shannon L. Brown

I wasn’t blessed with a sister, but I have a friend who’s as close to that as possible. Sometimes friends are meant to be. You can move across town, and you’ll find her again. You can move across the country, and she’ll still be there for you.

My friend Katie was in my first grade class in Anchorage, Alaska, and came to my sixth birthday party. My family moved across town so I spent grades two to six at another elementary school, but I found Katie again in junior high. We didn’t immediately recognize each other, but as we became friends and talked about our past, we realized we’d known each other before. And I discovered that her father had been my principal for those five other years of elementary school.

We also went to the same high school and stayed friends, not an easy task for teenagers. Then life took us in different directions: I went to college near home, and she chose a school across the country. We both married. For a few years we didn’t talk. Then we picked up our friendship again. Her husband’s job had brought her family to the South. In time I ended up moving near her (it’s warmer in this part of the country!) and we could go to lunch.

Life has had its ups and downs. Katie was the first one I called when my first husband died, and she raced to my side. She gave me advice on finding my next husband, which probably was good advice since he’s a winner. Though we now live a few hours away from each other, we talk almost every week. And we’ve met halfway between cities for lunch.

An invisible thread connects us. I’m not sure either of us could explain it, but I know Katie will always be my friend.

The Alaska Dream Romance series is centered around three sisters who are each other’s best friends. They can tell each other anything and have it not shatter the relationship. That’s one of the blessings of a best friend.

I used to have a food blog and created this recipe for it. This has fruit in it, but it can share the plate with the main course. Not that serving apple cobbler next to fried chicken is a problem in my mind!

Carrot Apple Raisin Salad

1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup apple cider
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded apples (a not-too-tart variety)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground ginger
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise

In a small pot, bring the apple cider and raisins to a boil, cover and remove from heat. Let soak for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 Tablespoon of the raisin liquid.

Combine shredded carrots and apple, add raisins, reserved raisin liquid, cinnamon (a tiny bit less than ½ teaspoon is best), a pinch of ginger (a little goes a long way), and the mayo. Adjust the amount of mayo to taste. Enjoy!

(To order a copy, click on the cover.)


Jemma’s Alaska Dream: Succeed at Business

(and avoid her annoying neighbor)

When Jemma Harris inherits a house in Palmer, Alaska, she quits her tedious corporate job and catches the next plane out of Atlanta. She’s going to rehab furniture in her garage and sell her creations. Jemma needs everything to go perfectly during this short Alaskan summer, but her neighbor isn’t cooperating.

Marketing expert Nathaniel Montgomery lives on the outskirts of small-town Palmer and enjoys working at home. Then the new owner of the house across the street begins using noisy power tools and disrupting his life. His challenging childhood leaves him unable to love, until a stray puppy begins to thaw his heart.

Is there room in Nathaniel’s heart for Jemma too?

 About the Author

The Feather Chase was Shannon L. Brown’s first published book and began the Crime-Solving Cousins Mystery series. The eight-to-twelve-year-olds in your life will enjoy this book and the sequel, The Treasure Key, in this fun, contemporary twist on a Nancy Drew–type mystery.

The sweet and clean Alaska Dream Romance series takes readers to the Alaska Shannon knows from growing up in Alaska. Falling for Alaska and Loving Alaska are the first two books in the series. Merrying in Alaska, a Christmas novella, ties back to book two.

Shannon enjoys hiking and unwinds by baking. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her professor husband and adorable calico cat.

Website – www.shannonlbrown.com – available there is a link for the free short story Legal Tender which has main characters who are first met in Falling for Alaska (for subscribing to the newsletter)

Facebook – www.facebook.com/shannonlbrownauthor/

Twitter – www.twitter.com/shannonlbr

Pinterest – www.pinterest.com/shannonlbrown1

Newsletter – through the homepage – www.shannonlbrown.com

Falling for Alaska Excerpt 

(To order a copy, click on the cover.)

“Bench or bookshelf? Which do you want to be?” Jemma Harris walked around the beat-up old dresser sitting in the garage next to the house her great-aunt had recently left her in Palmer, Alaska. She removed the drawers and stepped back. Nodding once, she said, “Bench.” Jigsaw in hand, Jemma began the transformation.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Mr. Gorgeous from across the street open his front door. He wore his usual neatly pressed chinos and dress shirt, his dark, wavy hair adding the only element slightly out of control. Refocusing on the blade in her hand, Jemma cut off the dresser’s top, then started a curve on the right side.

Something poked her shoulder. When she reached out to brush it away, her hand met with warm skin. Jumping backward, Jemma stood with the jigsaw in front of her like a weapon.

“What are you doing?” Mr. Gorgeous shouted over the sound of the saw.

Gorgeous but none too bright. She pushed the off switch and removed her protective glasses. “I’m sawing wood.”

“No.” He sighed with obvious frustration. “What are you doing making so much noise?”

“Um, creating a bench?” She pointed at the half-altered dresser. Seeing it in her mind in a fresh yellow with white trim and a matching padded seat, she knew it would be beautiful. “A parent will happily buy it for their daughter’s room—at least I hope so.”

Her neighbor’s mouth dropped open. “This is a business? The noise I’ve put up with for weeks isn’t temporary?”

“Yes. No. Yes, I’m planning to open a store.”

“So you won’t continue making noise here and being a general nuisance?”

Now he had her hackles up. “A nuisance?”

His hand swept over the area. “Noise. Grime. Chaos.”

Focus on patience. He was her neighbor, so they needed to get along. Forcing a calm note to her voice, she said, “I’m Jemma Harris. It may appear chaotic to you, Mr. . . . ?”

“Nathaniel Montgomery.”

“But I can assure you everything is under control.”

With a little too much eagerness, he asked, “Will you be gone soon?”

As soon as I can make this pay, she thought, wondering how someone so attractive on the outside could be the opposite on the inside.

Ready to ask him to leave, Jemma saw a truck come around the bend of the road and pull into her driveway, saving her from herself. Wondering who could be visiting when she’d lived in Palmer all of three weeks and hardly knew a soul, she noticed the load in the back. Travis, the man she’d met at the community yard sale and hired to deliver goods for her, was here, and his truck was filled to the brim with what she knew were great things. When she ventured a glance at her neighbor, his expression said otherwise.

Travis stepped out of his truck. “My sister had a few things left from her yard sale. I added the ones I thought you might want.” He pointed at the back of his truck toward several items she hadn’t bought.

Jemma climbed onto the side to see better. “Thank you, Travis. The bench and stool are great.” She pushed a music stand aside. “And that lamp. What’s in the box up there?” She pointed past the dresser, headboard, and coffee table she’d bought to right behind the cab of the truck.

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About shelia@sheliastovall.com

Shelia Stovall is a Southern, small-town librarian, and has an understanding of what women like to read. She is a member of ACFW and is currently the Treasurer of the Middle Tennessee ACFW Chapter. Shelia is a member of the Ky. Public Library Association and the American Library Association. Her short story, The Barber’s Sanctuary, won the fiction division of Kentucky Monthly’s sixth annual Writer’s Showcase in the November 2013 issue. Shelia is a weekly columnist for the Citizen-Times, based in Scottsville, Ky. Shelia’s Southern, small-town roots have given her an understanding of community and women's friendships. Her writing deals with difficult contemporary issues, but there’s always a thread of hope amid the calamity. Shelia is passionate about African missions and has traveled to Africa annually for the past four years. Community service is also important to Shelia, and she has volunteered as a crew chief for five years at Camp Habitat, (a Christian youth service camp that partners with Habitat for Humanity).

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