Tuesday, December 30, 2014
AP Christmas Stories: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy "Tidings of Comfort and Joy"
Tidings of Comfort and Joy
They met during the holiday season and married in May. Jessica savored every moment of happiness with her beloved husband Johnny but their newlywed bliss is shattered when he’s caught in a storm on the lake on the Fourth of July. First missing, then presumed dead, Johnny Devereaux appears to be gone and everyone mourns him except his wife. Jessica refuses to believe he could be dead and she steadfastly refuses to give up hope that he is alive and will return. As the months pass, each holiday is another reminder of his absence and it becomes harder to believe but she refuses to yield to despair. As his family, especially his brother Tad, struggles to accept Johnny’s death, only his great-grandmother and bride hang onto their hope. Jessica comes to believe he’ll return to her at Christmas so the holiday takes on new significance as she waits for tidings of comfort and joy.
Growing up in historic St. Joseph, Missouri, Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy scribbled her stories from an early age. Her first publication – a poem on the children’s page of the local newspaper – seems to have set her fate. As a full time author, she has more than two dozen full length novels published along with assorted novellas and short fiction. Her publishers include Astraea Press. A contributor to more than two dozen anthologies, her credits include Chicken Soup For The Soul among many collections of short fiction. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Missouri Writers Guild, and the Ozark Writers League. Lee Ann earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Missouri Southern State University as well as an Associate Degree from Crowder College. She has worked in broadcasting, retail, and other fields including education. As a wife and mother of three, she spends her days penning stories, cooking, reading, and other daily duties. She currently makes her home in the Missouri Ozarks, living in what passes for suburbs in a small town and works as a substitute teacher in the local school district.