I’m excited to have fellow Story Empire Author, Jan Sikes here to talk about her wonderful holiday story, Mountain Laurel Christmas! Here’s my review.
Thank you, Denise, for having me as your guest today.
In my new Christmas story, the mountain laurel is a focal point in more than one scene.
While mountain laurel is technically a shrub, the plants are known to grow up to 30 feet tall in the southern Appalachians, with thick, tree-like trunks. Preferring rocky, moist soil and partial shade, mountain laurel is often found on the slopes of hills and mountains. In many places, the branches of multiple plants intertwine and form “tunnels,” which are shaded year-round by the plants’ glossy, evergreen foliage.
The blossoms are fragrant, and some compare the scent to grape Kool-Aid, soda, or gum, but the fragrance is deeper, richer, and more floral than the artificial aroma of processed food.
Here is an excerpt from Mountain Laurel Christmas:
Next to the porch, the mountain laurel tree Papa planted for Mama’s birthday one year has grown tall.
My nose twitches, and I can almost smell the sweet, tantalizing fragrance that comes from its blooms in the springtime. Even in the dead of winter, it still retains its lustrous green leaves that sparkle with a light dusting of snow in the moonlight. Mama would hang Christmas decorations on it each year.
Seems as if it’s the only thing still living on this mountain.
A little later in the story, the laurel inspires the beginning of a new song:
Memories of the fragrant blooming laurel tree in front of the cabin surface. How Mama’s eyes shone the day Papa planted it.
I grab a brown paper sack and scribble the beginning of a new song on the back.
She is like a Mountain Laurel.
A breath of pure fresh air.
Her hair the scent of floral.
Her eyes so bright and fair…
Mountain laurel is an unusual plant. While they are fragrant and beautiful, every part of the plant is poisonous to humans if ingested. It is said that even the honey bees make from its pollen is toxic to humans.
The symbolism in the story is how my character had let life poison him internally while appearing beautiful externally.
Have you ever lived where mountain laurel grows wild?
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?
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: