Title: Merry Mary
Author: Ashley Farley
Publisher: Leisure Time Books
Release Date: October 15, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Seasonal, Romance
A young woman longing for a child stumbles upon a Christmas miracle.
Investigative journalist Scottie Darden is photographing the homeless for her Lost Souls series when she makes a discovery that could change her life forever. Under a makeshift tent in subzero temperatures in a downtown city park, she finds a woman’s dead body with her infant child. Without her cell phone to call for help, Scottie makes the split-second decision to take the baby home. Her initial instinct is to provide the baby with food and shelter until her family can be located. But as her fondness for the baby grows, she finds herself facing a life on the run or worse—prison time for abduction.
Curl up with Merry Mary this holiday season. A heartwarming story of the powerful connection between a caring soul and an innocent child in need.
“Shh, don’t cry,” she said, rubbing the baby’s tummy.
What would become of the baby? Scottie didn’t think the Commonwealth had the authority to place the baby up for adoption without permission of next of kin, which meant the baby would be placed in a foster home until the police could track down the father. If the father even wanted the child. If the father even knew he was the father.
The baby began to wail, presumably with hunger. “Don’t worry, little one.” She picked the baby up and held her tight. “We’ll get it all sorted out. In the meantime, I have plenty of formula and diapers to keep you comfortable.”
By the time Scottie got the baby inside, and mixed up a bottle from the supplies in her baby cabinet in the kitchen, the little girl was screaming, flailing her arms and legs in hunger. Scottie plopped down on the leather sofa in the adjoining family room, propped her snow boots up on the coffee table, and brought the bottle’s nipple to the baby’s mouth. The infant took the nipple between her lips, then thrust it back out with her tongue. Scottie turned the bottle upside down on her arm, letting a few drops of formula leak from the hole in the nipple, before returning the nipple to the baby’s lips. When she tasted the formula, the baby began to suck greedily.
“Careful now, baby girl. Don’t drink too fast or you’ll upset your tummy.” The baby stared up at Scottie with bright eyes. “We need to give you a name, don’t we?”
Scottie had been in the process of picking out names for her baby when her daughter was stillborn at thirty-one weeks. She’d been torn between Kate and Liza, after her grandmothers Katherine and Elizabeth. She ended up calling the baby Angel, which seemed appropriate for an innocent child who never drew her first breath.
Scottie’s eyes traveled the room, coming to rest on the nativity scene on the mantle above the fireplace. “Why don’t we call you Mary after the Virgin Mary?” She caught sight of the needlepoint pillow Brad had brought down from the attic—a green background with Merry Christmas in curlicue script in red across the front. “Or Merry, which seems appropriate for a spunky little girl like you.”
The baby stopped sucking and smiled up at her.
“I agree,” Scottie said. “I like them both as well. Merry Mary it is, then.
Ashley Farley is a wife and mother of two college-aged children. She grew up in the salty marshes of South Carolina, but now lives in Richmond, Virginia, a city she loves for its history and traditions.
After her brother died in 1999 of an accidental overdose, she turned to writing as a way of releasing her pent-up emotions. She wrote SAVING BEN in honor of Neal, the boy she worshipped, the man she could not save. SAVING BEN is not a memoir, but a story about the special bond between siblings.
HER SISTER'S SHOES—June 24, 2015—is a women's novel that proves the healing power of family.