I am delighted to welcome back author, friend, and fellow Story Empire contributor Jan Sikes to my blog today. Jan has written a brand new novelette and it’s just in time for the holidays.
Jan is a master at writing short stories, and I think this one is her best to date! (Read my five-star review here.)
Now, I’ll let her tell you all about this delightful story.
There are many famous quotes about music, but this one from Leo Tolstoy grabbed me. Mr. Tolstoy was an accomplished musician and composer and had a deep abiding love for music. He said, “Music is the shorthand of emotion.”
To my character in Mountain Laurel Christmas, music is everything. It gave him a reason to keep living, a dream to follow, and a way to vent his feelings.
I’ll share a couple of short excerpts to show that:
My one solace was, is, and always will be, music. I’d often disappear for hours at a time, taking my guitar with me. A stream runs a few hundred yards from our miner’s shack on the side of the Cumberland Mountains. That’s where I’d go to find solitude. I’d play my guitar and sing to the fish that jumped out of the water, turtles that sunned on a log, and frogs that leaped from stone to stone.
And the second one:
Anger crashed through me. I tore up the porch steps and into the house. Brushing past April, I charged straight to Mama, but nothing I said would make her look at me. She was gone.
The worst thing a boy can do is cry in front of his older sister. Once I said my piece, I grabbed my guitar and headed for the creek as I’d done a hundred times since Papa died. Oh, how I pounded on the guitar that day. The more I cried, the harder I hit the strings. But, by the time I dragged myself back to the house, mentally and physically exhausted, I’d written my first song about tragedy in a Cumberland Mountain coal mine.
Do you play a musical instrument or have a deep appreciation for music? I’d love to hear from you!
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?