When God Says No . . . When the Heart Listens . . . Two brand new books that couldn’t be more different. And yet they include a surprising synchronicity because both were written from the heart. And both were celebrated at a “Heart Book Brunch” on Sunday in the Heritage Eagle Bend Community.
Judith Briles and Mara Purl, well-known local authors, and long-time friends and colleagues, joined forces to share their latest books with friends and followers at a sumptuous Sunday brunch at Briles’ lovely home. The authors shared “stories from the heart” from their latest works—one non-fiction and one fiction, but both including experiences from their rich, expansive lives.
Briles, a best-selling author and nationally known book shepherd, and her husband moved to the Heritage Eagle Bend community three years ago. Since then, they’ve become a mainstay of their neighborhood, hosting both personal and author celebration events.
Judith’s latest book—her 37th—is the memoir that friends and followers requested, and even demanded. The adversities she has overcome—including the untimely death of two of her children—are recounted with an honesty that is tinged with a depth of compassion first for herself, and then for anyone who hears her story. “I have an incredible life,” the author said. “I’m doing what I love. So, life is very good. But adversity will come.” Rather than being resigned fatalistically, however, Briles embraces life in all its complexity. “Life is a rose,” the author said at her Sunday brunch. “Incredible colors, delightful fragrances, but these come with thorns.” Thorns have never stopped her from the joy of living, nor from creating a stunningly successful career.
Mara Purl’s latest book When the Heart Listens adds to her best-selling Milford-Haven Novels series, based on her hit BBC radio drama Milford-Haven USA. Her new book tells the story of a young woman whose career was going well in the big city, but whose heart tells her a move to a small town will heal nurture her heart and unwind her snarls. To make the move, she must deal with sibling rivalry, parental disapproval, and a professional crisis. Is it autobiographical? “Everything we write is about our own lives to some extent,” the author confirmed. “That’s how we write authentically, from our own insights and experiences.”
Purl, who lives with her husband in Colorado Springs and in Los Angeles, is a board member of two Briles-founded organizations: Author You (www.AuthorYou.org) and the Colorado Authors Hall of Fame (www.ColoradoAuthorsHallOfFame.org) both in Denver. Mara, still recognized by many from her role on Days of Our Lives, started her own soap opera after spending a summer performing in the small coastal town of Cambria, California. When the show became a hit on the BBC, the original town of Milford Haven—a real place in Wales—gave her a parade and the keys to the town. “It was an astonishing experience,” Purl recalled, “And it showed me the heart of generosity and possibility of small towns.”
Follow Judith at www.TheBookShepherd.com, @MyBookShepherd,
Follow Mara at www.MaraPurl.com, @MaraPurl, Facebook.com/Mara.Purl
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