Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek

Today I have something a little different for you.  On several occasions I have mentioned that I enjoyed reading The Mitford Series of books by Jan Karon.  A while back I received an e-mail from a web publicist asking if I would be interested in reading the first book in a similar new series.  Being a fairly new blogger, I had never received an e-mail like this and was skeptical.  But, after making sure that everything was legitimate, I was happy to participate!   Reading is one of my favorite things to do and I'm always interested to find a good new book.

The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek by Jane Myers Perrine is a heart-warming novel revolving around the life of a young preacher beginning to serve at his first church located in a small Texas town.  The story line revolves around the lives of several engaging main characters living in Butternut Creek.  I felt that the characters were very believable and easy to identify with, and found myself thinking of them as friends by the time the book ended.  Butternut Creek is the picturesque small town, just as charming and quaint as you would imagine any small town to be.   

This is a fun, light-hearted Christian-fiction read with just the right amount of romance thrown in,  but it also deals with several deeper issues such as loss, homelessness, divorce, and painful family histories.  The author artfully shows how people of different backgrounds, age, and race really all have the same basic desires to be loved, accepted, and feel needed.  

I'm excited to be included in a group of bloggers helping to celebrate the release of the book this week.  Jane graciously agreed to share a little about herself and her thought processes as she crafts a story.  

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Jennifer, before I started writing my blog post,  I visited yours and was astounded.  This is  an incredibly beautiful site.   Your  talent astounds me.  You come up with combinations of colors and styles and patterns I’d never have put together, and they are amazing.   My finest efforts--a basket trailing ivy on top of the china cabinet and neon-pink sheets on the guest bed-- pale in comparison.  As well as the inspiration to tear my house apart and redecorate in my clumsy way, you’ve given links to other blogs with wonderful recipes.  Thank you!

All those sites and pictures remind me again how generous God is with gifts and what a huge variety of talents and abilities we’ve been blessed with. 

When I was a child, I wanted to be an fashion designer.  I still have my early sketches of  malnourished women with Gumby-like posture wearing my creations.  They’re pretty good.   As a teen, I was a good basketball player but, back then, there were no girls’ teams.   I also tried drama—not a great actress—dancing  and figure skating which didn’t make the final cut either.   But I never stopped writing.   My third-grade teacher predicted I’d become a writer.  In fifth grade, I wrote a play about grave robbers in Egypt;  in eighth grade, a short story about a band of thieves identified by their blue shoes.  In college, I co-authored an award winning one-act play.

After that, life stepped in.  During those years, I took care of family,  was active in church, and taught Spanish in high school and college.  Then, ten years ago, I started writing again, seriously.  The result is seven previously published books and now this wonderfully fulfilling  series, Tales of Butternut Creek with FaithWords.  
Fortunately, we all have different delights and talents.  If everyone wrote books, who would decorate rooms, who would paint a ceiling dark to create a link to pull the room together?  Who would come up with recipes for the cheesy potato soup I found on one of your links? 

There may not be as much difference between the how you and I use our talents, the way I write a novel and how you decorate a room.   You start with a pattern, Herringbone, for example.   I start with an outline and tie it into a pattern:  Butternut Creek with its friendly people.   You add interest with a dark ceiling and texture through a patterned rug.  I add color by introducing a young minister,  Rev. Adam Jordan.  For texture, I chose  Miss Birdie MacDowell, the pillar of the church.  For a terrific accent piece, you chose a green china cabinet.  For an accent piece of my creation, I use the Victorian house, far too big for a single minister.   For interest, you use door knobs and picture frames.  I use the same tools.  I put the knobs on the outside of a cabinet where a secret is hidden and the frames around each character. 
Now we add other elements and, when we’re finished, we rejoice and thank God for our gifts and dedicate our creativity to the Creator of all.

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Thank you Jane!  I love how you compared your work as an author to my work as a decorator.  I also am thankful that God has gifted us all with different talents.  The only thing I'm not happy about is having to wait until the next book comes out!

You can purchase a copy of the book from Amazon here.  

**In good faith, I wanted to let you know that I was not compensated to write this post or promote the book, however I did receive an advance copy of the book in order to read it and share my thoughts with you if I so wished.  


  1. Jennifer, thank you for the lovely introduction! I'm glad you enjoyed your visit to Butternut Creek. The next novel arrives in only a little more than seven months! I'm so pleased to be introudced to your site. It's gorgeous. I will come back often to discover more.

  2. A great review, Jennifer! I really enjoyed Jane's letter to you, as well. Indeed we have all been blessed with different gifts. I'm going to pass this info along to my mom. I think she would enjoy the book, too. Funny enough, my dad WAS a pastor of his first church in a small town in Texas years ago. ;) Hmmm...

  3. What a fun opportunity, Jennifer! I can tell by her letter she's just delightful!

  4. Gail--what a wonderful coincidence! I think this may happen because there are lots of small towns in Texas. Hope both you and your mom will enjoy Buttrnut Creek!

  5. Great post~~looking forward to reading this book!

  6. This sounds like my kind of book! :)


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