Sunday, December 16, 2012

Southern Fried Christmas

I just love the title of this one, Marian!


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?


Denny steered the SUV along the highway that cut through the swamp. He enjoyed watching Kelly’s reaction to the moss-draped cypress trees. “Have you ever visited Louisiana before?”

“No, I did visit an aunt in Georgia once. I was six at the time. All I remember is how hot and sticky it was and that we ate the best peach cobbler and homemade ice cream.”

Chelsea leaned forward and tapped Kelly on the shoulder. “Are you married?”

“Chelsea, honey, manners.” Denny shook his head. His ears warmed.

Kelly laughed and reached around to show Chelsea her left hand. “Not yet.”

She leaned back and raised her voice. “Do you have a boyfriend?”

“Chelsea.” He would have a long talk with her when they got home.

“It’s OK. No, I don’t have a boyfriend.”

For some reason he didn’t understand, he enjoyed hearing that bit of news.

“Chelsea, tell Kelly about the Labouve family’s plans for Christmas.” He watched through the rearview mirror.

“O…K… Well, it’s like this. We have everybody over at MamMaw Eula’s house. Like five hundred people.” She rolled her eyes. “And we eat a gazillion tons of gumbo and fried shrimp then MamerĂ© Milla tells her special Jesus story and hands out candy canes with dollar bills. Later the old people talk while the kids play hide-n-seek out in the yard and the boat house.”

Denny stole a look toward Kelly. Her eyes sparkled in the sunlight, making the brown glow like pieces of amber. When she smiled at Chelsea, the corners squinted just enough to allow tiny lines to form. She seemed amused by the theatrics of his drama-queen daughter.

“It’s not quite like that.” He laughed. “But she’s not too far off.”

“Sounds like a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to it.”

For the first time in five years, a spark of anticipation for Christmas stirred in his heart. Maybe the pain of past Christmases would begin to heal.


Christmas in the Bayou. That's quite a change for a girl from Denver, but Kelly loves getting a taste of a Cajun Christmas, of both the flavors and the family traditions. With this being the first Christmas since her father passed away, it's obviously a very emotional season for her but she's determined to make the best of it.

Denny certainly wasn't looking for a relationship. His plate is pretty full with his daughter, his company, and his mother and grandmother. But love doesn't always come along when we're looking for it, and the way he feels about Kelly, right from the start, is surely a case of love at first sight.

Kelly and Denny are wonderful together, and Chelsea is just a sweetheart to add to the mix.

Wonderful story!

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1 comment:

  1. Donna,

    Thanks for featuring Southern Fried Christmas on your blog. Thanks, also, for the awesome review. It was a treat to see the characters through someone else's eyes!

    Be blessed,