Socially Responsible Fiction

Wednesday Words – Suzy Parish

Wednesday Words graphic

Please welcome my fellow Pelican Book Group author Suzy Parish to The West Corner!


Socially Responsible Fiction

In 2011 my husband spent a year in Afghanistan, training locals to become police officers. He was stationed at Camp Nathan Smith in Kandahar. His emails and Skype sessions with me became the eyes and ears necessary for Flowers from Afghanistan to come into existence.

Previous to that, he served in the United States Army, and then retired after 26 years of service in our local police department.

Flowers from Afghanistan is a work of fiction, but many scenes in the novel are true-to-life. It will be released by Pelican Book Group, August 10th.

Recently I was in contact with a scriptwriter, and when she read the novel, she suggested that I line up resources for spouses of military and police and their significant others who may be experiencing symptoms of PTSD.

That communication led me to create a “Resources” page on my website. If anyone reads Flowers from Afghanistan and recognizes symptoms of PTSD in themselves or others, there is help available. Symptoms include Anxiety, sleeplessness, rage, flashbacks, nightmares, depression, guilt/shame, avoidance, isolation, hopelessness and emotional numbness. Serve and Protect is a unique and cutting edge 501(c)(3)non-profit corporation based in Brentwood TN, reaching Internationally. They facilitate trauma services for public safety professionals, locating the right resource to address the real issues they face. I feel it is essential as writers to give back to our community. One way for us to do that is to point our readers in the direction of help that is available for situations our characters encounter. I hope that Flowers from Afghanistan informs, challenges and makes readers think but also gives them a healing ending.

About the Author

photo of author Suzy ParishSuzy Parish is an author at Pelican Book Group. Suzy wrote as a Community Columnist for the Huntsville Times. She is currently a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Her novel, Flowers from Afghanistan was a semi-finalist in the Genesis contest for 2013. Suzy discovered her love of books as a child in Richmond, Virginia when she took refuge from the summer heat in the local Bookmobile. She believes in the power of literacy to improve the lives of individuals and stewards a Little Free Library in a local park.

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Flowers from Afghanistan cover artBook Description

Hope blooms in unexpected places

Weighed down by guilt following the death of his two-year-old son, Mac McCann accepts a year-long position training police officers in Afghanistan. Leaving his wife Sophie to grieve alone, he hopes the life-or-death distractions of his self-imposed exile will build a wall between him and his pain.

As camaraderie builds between Mac and the men on base—including a local barber and his precocious little boy—Mac’s heart becomes invested in stories beyond his own tragedy and he learns he is not the only one running from loss. But when the hour of attack arrives, will he be able to see past his guilt to believe there’s still something—and someone—worth living for?

With touching details based on true events, Flowers from Afghanistan is a redemptive journey of healing, a chronicle of hope in crisis, and a testament to the faithfulness of God through it all.

Flowers from Afghanistan is available from Amazon.

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Flowers from Afghanistan: Release Date!


We have a release date! Flowers from Afghanistan will be available in digital and hardback formats. I’ll give you a date when it’s available for pre-orders!

There are so many people I wish to thank. People who prayed for me, encouraged me, and stuck by me when I felt weak. Just know I am thinking of you today!

Right now my head is swimming with joy! God is good, and his promises are faithful and true.

Psalm 89:8 Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.

“The Lord bless you

and keep you;

 the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
 the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.”Numbers 6:24-26


Badge of Hope Ministries


Coming this summer to the KC metro! Get registered today!

Law Enforcement Marriage Seminar

Badge of Hope Ministries is a non-profit 501(c)3 dedicated to the support of Law Enforcement Officers and their families through encouragement, support and the love of Christ.

Congratulations To Our Contest Winner!

Congratulations to Sharon! You’ll receive an email confirmation soon so we can send the Green Beans Gift Basket your way! Thanks to everyone who entered. Our winner was chosen at random by Rafflecopter. You should receive an email shortly confirming that you have subscribed to the newsletter. Be on the lookout for trivia and news on the upcoming release of Flowers from Afghanistan.




Win a Green Beans Coffee Gift Basket!

To celebrate the soon-to-be-released novel, Flowers from Afghanistan, I’m giving away a Green Beans Chai Lovers Gift Basket. Part of the magic of a novel for me is incorporating actual places and businesses in the story, as I’m able. Writing Flowers from Afghanistan, I felt as if I were sitting at the table outside Green Beans Coffee with Mac, Glenn, and Gul Hadi. The mountains towered in the distance. The smells of diesel fuel from MRAPs competed with the warm, homey aroma of fresh coffee. I was happy to include Green Beans in my novel because the real Green Beans does something pretty awesome. They have a program titled “Cup of Joe for a Joe.” For $2.50 you can send a cup of coffee to a service member serving overseas. 15 minutes of home, is what they call it. That’s something I can get behind. Please sign up for my newsletter and a chance to win this gift basket. You’ll receive a newsletter four times a year, with updates on my latest project and special trivia and a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to complete a novel.

If you’d like to send a Cup of Joe for a Joe, that would be pretty cool too!

Here’s the link to sign up for my newsletter and give away!






What’s it like to be Mary Frances of Brosemer Farm?

Brosemer Farm-3



What’s it like to be Mary Frances Brosemer of Brosemer Farm?

Q. How did you get into the farming business?

A. I was raised on a farm and lived in seven states all over the country. I decided to raise flowers. I’ve always had a flower and vegetable garden. I couldn’t imagine working in a cubicle. We also have bee hives.

Q. How many hives do you have?
A. Twenty-one.

Q. Is it difficult to raise bees?
A. Half the bees in the country have died off. I think it’s due to pesticides.

Q. What aspect of your job brings you the most joy?
A. I like to see customers enjoy the flowers and appreciate their beauty. It makes the hard work worthwhile.

Q. What aspect of your job brings you the most frustration?
A. The weather. Also, when you have people who are supposed to show up for work, and they don’t.

Q. If you had a superpower what would it be?
A. To be perpetually young.

Q. What is your favorite motto or quote?
A. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Q. What is your favorite book or movie?
A. I like Homer Hickam’s, The Keeper’s Son. Homer sent letters to two of my grandsons in Atlanta when they became Eagle Scouts, so I appreciated that.

Suzy Parish: Bailey Cove Market is bustling. People come to sample and purchase locally grown produce and home-baked goods.
Mary Frances Brosemer distributes more than flowers and honey. Her superpower, perpetually young, is evident in the way she greets customers at her flower booth. Mary Frances hands out compassion with each bouquet. She focuses on every person as if they were the only individual at the market. Her warm personality matches the bright shades of flowers that nod in the breeze at her sale table. If you are not able to attend the farmers market, you can make your purchases directly from Brosemer Farm at their open house. Brosemer Farm holds an open house the first Sunday in October.

Brosemer Farm
3008 Winchester Road
Huntsville, AL 35810


Brosemer Farm Honey-3

Bailey Cove Farmers Market

The Bailey Cove Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday through September except for Saturdays on the July 4th and Labor Day weekends. We will have fruits and vegetables of all kinds, all grown and supplied by North Alabama and southern Tennessee farmers, plus artisan bread, jams, jellies, etc. as well as eggs, meat, flowers, and plants. If you would like more information, please contact us at We have a no-pet policy in the vendor area.


Watch for the release date!

Watch for the release date!

The World’s Longest Yard Sale

DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. – This year marks 30 years for the world’s longest yard sale. It stretches 690 miles through six states: Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and of course, Alabama. Those participating in The Longest Yard Sale prepare the entire year. “You know everybody’s got their own thing. Whether it be old antiques to new city…

via The Longest Yard Sale is back on Lookout Mountain —

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