#NewRelease – Mountain Laurel Christmas #ShortStory #ChristmasStory @JanSikes3

I want to welcome Jan Sikes to Fiction Favorites. She has a new book and is here to describe it to you. Jan and I have been friends for a long time and also are colleagues on Story Empire so it is a pleasure to have her here today. Also, I have read this book and found it to be a delightfully heartwarming story that is perfect for the holidays. Jan is a very talented author so without any delay here is Jan to tell us about Mountain Laurel Christmas.

A child who is born ‘different’ faces many challenges. My story is set in the 1960s and ‘70s and during that time, differences were not celebrated as they are currently.

My character’s little brother, Timmy, was born that way. His brain never developed normally.

Here’s an excerpt:

Timmy had been born different. They said his brain never developed the way it should. He’d sit for hours, fascinated with the dust that danced on the sunbeams through the windows, lost in his own little world. Oh, how Papa doted on him. From the time Timmy could wrap his fingers around the neck of a fiddle, he’d spent hours patiently teaching him to play.

***

Timmy developed an uncanny talent, which is often the case. But in the Cumberland Mountains in the 60s, local authorities decided Timmy needed to be placed in an institution that could provide for his special needs.

Here’s an excerpt from my character’s POV:

Not long after we lost Papa, the local welfare lady came. I hid under the porch and listened.

“Mrs. Anderson, we’re sorry for the loss of your husband, but it has come to our attention that your young son, Timmy, may need to be placed in an institution where he can get the specialized help he needs.”

The welfare lady droned on and on.

 From my hiding place, I didn’t need to see Mama’s face to know she gave the lady a blank stare. That’s all she’d managed to give any of us for months.

By the time the welfare lady had driven her ’49 Ford down the dirt road that had brought her to our shack, I knew she’d be back to get Timmy. I crawled out from under the porch and kicked at the dust that settled under my feet.

A pivotal point in this story focuses on Timmy and I don’t want to leave any spoilers. so I’ll stop here.

The movie, “Rainman” comes to mind. Another movie was “Mercury Rising” where an autistic little boy could decipher complicated computer code in his head in an instant.

Can you think of any other instances where the uncanny abilities of a mentally challenged person is spotlighted?

Mountain Laurel Christmas Blurb:

Orphaned, his family torn apart by tragedy, Cole Knight has come a long way from a ramshackle miner’s cabin on the side of the Cumberland Mountain.

Daring to follow an impossible dream, he’s made it big in the music business. Now, he’s a country music sensation with a huge house, fancy cars, plenty of willing women, money, and adoring fans. He should be on top of the world. Instead, he’s drowning in a swirling pool of self-contempt and relentless guilt.

It’s easier to lose himself in a bottle than face the hard truth…he hasn’t delivered on a promise he made to his father.

It’s almost Christmas, and the sting of failure drives him back to that tiny cabin in the mountains. But has he waited too late to put the shattered pieces back together—to find himself and restore a lost family?

My Five Star Review

This novella is perfect for the Christmas season. It has all the elements that come together to give the reader a heart-warming experience. Cole Kight is a big country music star who came from humble beginnings. His dad died in the mine, and his mother was too broken-hearted to take care of the family. Cole always felt he should have been able to prevent the eventual break-up of the family. But, now alone, he can’t fill the void in his heart that the guilt of letting his family down has created. The authorities take his brother and sister away, and he doesn’t know where they are. If that isn’t enough to make a reader wonder if the story has a happy ending? I don’t know what it is.

More story courts spoilers, so let me leave it at this. This book will bring a smile to your face and make you glad you read it. Jan Sikes is a very talented writer, and this is one of her best short stories.

PURCHASE LINK:

https://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Laurel-Christmas-Jan-Sikes-ebook/dp/B09KJYMVT9/

 

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68 comments

  1. […] a book from John, then head on over to his blog where we are talking about my newest release, Mountain Laurel […]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great intro, Jan. Thank you. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, your question brings to mind the film, Being There starring Peter Sellers. He portrays a “simple man” who is taken for a genius.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for the comment, Annette.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. That’s a good example, Annette. Thank you for sharing!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. […] #NewRelease – Mountain Laurel Christmas #ShortStory #ChristmasStory @JanSikes3 […]

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing the post today, Charles.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you, Charles, for reblogging! Much appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for hosting Jan this morning, John. I really enjoyed Mountain Laurel Christmas. I’m hoping Timmy will get his own story!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Jill. I enjoyed it too.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you, Jill. You’ve been such a great cheerleader all along this tour and I appreciate you. We’ll have to see if the writing Gods want Timmy’s story told. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. When Jurassic World came out, I read that Ty Simpkins’s character (the younger of the two nephews) was originally written as being autistic (high-functioning) but the studio dropped that angle because they didn’t know how viewers would respond. I don’t know if that’s true, but you can kind of see it in the character. I’m not sure if that’s because the actor was told to play him that way in early days of shooting, or if I’m just seeing what I was told was there. The kid had heroic moments; I would have liked to have seen them keep that angle in the story. But I suppose it didn’t impact the plot either way. I just hate to think it was there and then written out for selfish reasons.

    That turned grim. On a lighter note, I loved your story and I really enjoyed your tour. Congratulations on a strong finish, Jan, and best wishes with your release.

    Thanks for hosting, John.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for your support, Staci. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

    2. What an interesting comment, Staci. I did not know that about the Jurrasic Park character. It is a shame they wrote it out for selfish reasons. Thank you for your comment today, for the book recommendation, and for all your amazing support!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I agree with John. This book is a heartwarming story. I felt for Cole and Timmy. In the TV show, “Life Goes On,” one of the children had Down’s Syndrome. Portrayed by actor Chris Burke (who indeed has Down’s), it brought attention to these children in a positive way.

    Thanks for hosting today, John, and continued best wishes to Jan.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Than you for supporting Jan, Joan. (boy, say that fast.) 😁

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I love that they let a Down’s Syndrome boy play the part. Anything that brings positive attention to special needs children is wonderful. Thank you for following along on the tour and for your added recommendation of the story. I appreciate your support!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Great post and book review. Huge congrats, Jan, and wishing you all the best. Thanks for sharing, John 💕🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lovely support, Harmony. Thank you. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Thank you for following along on the tour, Harmony! I appreciate you!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. That’s a great review. Congratulations to Jan.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Craig.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I couldn’t agree more, Craig! Thank you for stopping by and for supporting me on this tour! Much appreciated!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Congratulations, Jan, on another fantastic review for Mountain Laurel Christmas!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Liz. 😊

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re welcome, John.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you, Liz! I am thrilled with the reception this story has gotten. I appreciate you leaving a comment!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re welcome, Jan!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for sharing this, John, and congratulations, Jan! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for stopping and the suport, Barbara.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Thank you, Barbara! I appreciate you leaving a comment today!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you, John, for opening your blog up to me today. And a triple thanks for the wonderful review! I appreciate your support!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love that you gave Timmy a musical ability in Mountain Laurel Christmas, Jan. It’s a beautiful story and perfect for this time of year. In reference to your question, although I haven’t watched it in a few years, the lead character in The Good Doctor is a brilliant but autistic surgeon. The actor does a phenomenal job in his portrayal. I should catch up with that series again.

    Wishing you all the best with your release. Thanks for hosting, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mae, for following along on this tour and your amazing support! I remember that series, and haven’t seen it in years. I love that Hollywood wanted to put a positive spin on autism. I appreciate your comment!

      Liked by 2 people

  13. A great review John. Glad to see Jan´s book getting a lot of exposure at the right time of year.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes it is great, Darlene. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Thank you, Darlene, for stopping by and supporting this tour! I appreciate you!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I love the excerpt on Timmy. Just another reason people need to read your book, Jan. John, thank you so much for sharing your site with us today. Always a pleasure to visit. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Mar. 😊

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Yay! I’m glad this excerpt piqued your interest, Mar. I hope you enjoy the story, should you pick it up! Thanks for leaving a comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. After my book review, and your comment John, I had to stop by and let you know what a fabulous review, this was of Jan’s Mountain Laurel Christmas. Bravo to you both. I loved it! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, thank you, Colleen! I am headed to your place next! Big hugs and big thank yous!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was a great pleasure. I’m reading John’s new book now!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you, Colleen.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you so much Coleen. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Gwen M. Plano · · Reply

    Wonderful review and spotlight, John. Congratulations, Jan! Christmas joy is everywhere present! 🎄❄🎄

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Gwen. Your amazing support is much appreciated!

      Like

    2. Thank you, Gwen

      Like

  17. brodaylinda932 · · Reply

    Excellent spotlight, John. This story and the heartwarming message it contains deserves to have recognition. I think Jan was truly inspired. It’s definitely one of her best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, Linda. I found your message in pending. I hope Jan sees it. You are a good sis. 😁

      Like

  18. This is a very compelling extract, Jan. Thanks for hosting, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad it piqued your interest, Robbie. Thank you for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. This sounds great, especially at this time of year!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Luanne. I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment. Hopefully, your interest is piqued. If you do pick up a copy of the story, I hope you enjoy it!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you–I’m sure I will!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. It is. Thanks, Luanne.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Michael.

      Like

  20. Thanks for introducing Jan’s new book. A wonderful read for the more silent time of the year. xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it is. Thank you, Michael.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I loved Rain Man – haven’t seen it in years. I love that you included an autistic character in your book, Jan. Hoping to read it soon! Thanks for hosting, John!

    Liked by 1 person

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