Mountain Laurel Christmas

Let’s all welcome Jan Sikes to Entertaining Stories. She’s one of my longest term author friends, and a partner at Story Empire. She’s here to tell us about her new Christmas novella. Let’s make sure to use those sharing buttons for her today.

Failure and disappointment are two horrible feelings for anyone to handle. My character in Mountain Laurel Music struggles to deal with those feelings, most of the time attempting to drown them in alcohol. But when the effects of the alcohol wear off, he is left with the same hollow disappointment in himself.

My character had made a promise.


I’ll never forget Papa placing his hand on my shoulder a few days before he died, making me promise on everything holy and sacred, to take care of Mama, April and Timmy if anything ever happened to him. Perhaps he knew.

It sticks in the back of my throat now like a bitter quinine pill.

I failed him.

I failed Mama.

And now I’ve failed myself.

I think sometimes the greatest disappointments we can experience in life are in ourselves. I have certainly been there, and even now, after many years, if I allow myself to think about it, I can conjure up the same horrible, disgusting feeling.

What about you? Have you found ways to deal with disappointment or failure? Please share.

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?












Filed under Writing

64 responses to “Mountain Laurel Christmas

  1. D.L. Finn, Author

    Great post. It is hard to deal with past disappointment and regrets, but eventually to move on you have to face them. Loved your story.
    Thanks for hosting, Craig

    Liked by 4 people

  2. It always seems hopeless if you do nothing…

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Pingback: Mountain Laurel Christmas On Tour – Day 1! #ShortStory #Christmas #FamilyDrama #Music – Writing and Music

  4. Congrats to Jan on her new book. Great excerpt. Wishing her all the best with the launch. Thanks for sharing, Craig 💕🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Gwen M. Plano

    Congratulations, Jan. I wish you all the best with the launch of Mountain Laurel Christmas. It is a wonderful read. I loved it! Thank you, Craig, for hosting today.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This was such a heart-wrenching and hopeful story. Best wishes to Jan on her new release. Thanks for hosting, Craig.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. What a narrow premise for your protagonist, Jan! I wonder how will he turn the tables and honor his promise.Stories of self-discovery and redeemed faith are such great reads ahead of Christmas!

    Disappointment must be my fear too. But then aren’t we always handed just as much as we can handle? And only looking back do we realize how brave have we really been.

    Thank you, Jan and Craig.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Pingback: Mountain Laurel Christmas | Legends of Windemere

  9. Thank you, Craig, for hosting me on my first day of the Mountain Laurel Christmas Blog Tour! It’s an honor to be here!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I really enjoyed Cole’s character in your novella, Jan, and the internal conflicts he struggled with. The feel-good ending was perfect for Christmas. Congratulations on your fabulous release. Wishing you on the best on tour!
    Thanks for hosting today, Craig.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have this one waiting for me on my Kindle as one of my Christmas season reads, Jan, and I’m really looking forward to it! Great excerpt, and super post, you guys!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Hi Jan,
    I am already looking forward to reading the Christmas story. The rebirth of a man that is trying to find joy and mostly himself. Trying to make good on a promise long forgotten. I have it on my iPad and will read it hopefully this week or next week.
    Wishing all the best on your tour.
    Take care.
    Shalom aleichem

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Congrats on your new book baby, Jan! Great excerpt!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Just downloaded it. Sounds like a perfect Christmas read. I downloaded Craig’s new Lanternfish, too. Should have a great December:)

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I just finished reading “Mountain Laurel Christmas” and am giving it 5 stars. Loved it. Congratulations, Jan.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Congratulations, Jan. Thanks, Craig for hosting

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Congratulations to Jan on this novella, it sounds like a lovely Christmas read. Thanks for hosting, Craig.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Thanks for hosting, Craig. Great story, Jan. This makes you think what happens to those promises you leave unfilled. Your story sets the tone of hope for so many. Congratulations on the release, Jan.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Great stop #1 on the tour. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Congrats, Jan, and thanks for kicking off Jan’s tour, Craig.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I read the book this weekend and loved it! Congratulations, Jan. A big thanks to Craig for hosting.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Your short stories are always great, Jan. I have no doubt that this one will be just as wonderful. I love the idea of a man trying to redeem himself. Just in that small excerpt, I could feel his angst. I look forward to reading this. Thanks for hosting today, Craig. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Thanks for sharing, Craig, and congratulations to Jan on her new book. An insightful excerpt. Wishing you all the best with the launch, Jan.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Congrats to Jan – I’ve already seen great reviews for this one. Thanks for hosting, Craig!

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Mar

    Such a powerful post, Jan. It’s never easy to face disappointments or hard times, but as some others have said, that’s the only way to make it easier. Face them, reflect, and move on. Thank you for sharing your site with us, Craig. It’s always lovely to visit “old” friends. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Good excerpt. Poor Cole, I’m cheering for him already. I do okay with disappointments, I think, but I have a tougher time with failure. “If I had just tried harder.”

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Jan, this short story packs a huge emotional punch!

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Congrats to Jan on her new release. Thanks Craig. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Pingback: WINNER! Mountain Laurel Christmas #BlogTour – Writing and Music

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