Author: Julia Colquitt Allen
Published: December 20th, 2014
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance
Delores Hansen’s life is crumbling around her. Her little son has been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, and her marriage has fallen apart as a result. Forced to return to the small town of Meadowbrook to live with her parents, Delores feels like a failure and a burden on everyone, and must find a way to stand on her own feet.
New minister Chris Tanner is dynamic from the pulpit but painfully shy one-on-one. He is touched by the plight of this young woman and her sick child and vows to do anything he can to help her. As he gets to know her he finds his own courage growing from her strength.
The two soon become close friends, perhaps more than friends. But no good could ever come from a relationship between a divorced woman and a minister; especially in a town as gossip-ridden as Meadowbrook. Could it?
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Excerpt for New Mercies by Julia Colquitt Allen:
As choir practice wound to a close and the others started to file out, Chris found himself lingering over his paperwork much longer than necessary. He told himself he was concerned about Dodie being the last to leave. How silly. Meadowbrook doesn’t have a crime problem. Dodie is in no danger in the empty church parking lot. Still he lingered, filing the last bit of paperwork, until he heard her keys jingling on her way out the door. Chris grabbed his jacket and followed a few feet behind.
He watched Dodie settle into her car, and went to his own car, chiding himself for his foolishness. As his engine rumbled to life, he was aware that Dodie had not yet left the parking lot. He steered his clunker alongside her, popping it into neutral and gliding out all in one motion. “Won’t start?” he queried.
Dodie looked up from the driver’s seat, strain apparent in her voice. “No! I think the battery’s dead.”
Chris opened the car door for her. “Mind if I give it a try? I know a bit about cars.” Dodie stepped out for him. He turned the key, one foot still on the ground. A clicking noise told him what he needed to know.
“Your battery’s fine. See, the lights stay on when I turn it over. The problem’s your starter.” Chris stood, handing her the key.
“What am I going to do?” Dodie’s usual strong demeanor was suddenly replaced with hysterics. “I can’t afford this right now! All the expenses of a new apartment have drained my savings. I’ve got $16 to my name and I just can’t ask my parents for anything else!”
Chris was unprepared for tears. Of their own accord, his arms wound around her. He pulled her close, stroking her long curls and hushing her, hardly realizing what he was doing. “Shh, it’s going to be alright,” he whispered over her sobs. “I can fix the car.”
Writing has long been a passion of Julia Colquitt Allen. She began writing poems and short stories at the age of 7. She lives in picturesque East Texas with her husband of 27 years and four of her children. Her grown son and his wife live nearby and visit often with her two grandbabies. If the kids and grandkids aren’t wild enough, they have a household full of cats (7 at last count).
Julia works at a nearby university as a learning technologist, where she provides assistance and professional development to faculty on online course development and instructional technology. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in learning technologies. In her spare time, she enjoys reading inspirational romance and mystery stories, sewing, and cooking.
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