The Lovely Lady Preacher: Meet the Characters of Magnolia Bluff

Review: Father Frank stays true to his vows while desperately trying to save both his friend and the potential killer. 

Ember Cole is a lovely lady.

She’s friendly.

She’s outgoing.

She’s determined.

She preaches down at the Methodist Church.

Ember is also the mystery woman of Magnolia Bluff.

Everyone in town thinks they know her.

But do they?

She’s always around if you’re in trouble or if you need help.

But what secrets lie behind her seductive eyes?

In You Won’t Know How … Or When, Book 4 of the Magnolia Bluff Crime Chronicles, Ember Cole goes out of her way to be a friend to Father Frank, a Catholic priest visiting her quaint and eccentric little town.

He’s on vacation.

He hears a threat.

Someone wants to kill him.

Or maybe someone wants to kill somebody else.

No one in Magnolia Bluff even knows he’s in town.

Or do they?

Father Frank may be a stranger.

That’s all right.

The Reverend Cole never meets a stranger.

And Father knows she will stand with him even if no one else does.

He can just feel it.

*

James R. Callan, author of You Won’t Know How … Or When

“Hello.” She extended a hand. “I’m Ember Cole, the pastor here. By the looks of you wandering about aimlessly, I suspect you’re a newcomer to Magnolia Bluff?”

“Of sorts,” Father Frank replied, shaking her hand. “You’re correct that I just arrived today.”

“Then let me be one of the first to welcome you to our lovely town. And if you don’t have a church here, I’d like to invite you to join us tomorrow.”

“I appreciate the offer, but … my name is Father Frank DeLuca. I’m here visiting my friend Father Lee, the pastor at Christ the King Catholic Church.”

Ember Cole shook his hand and ducked her chin just a little. “Now I’m embarrassed.” She raised her twinkling eyes to look Father Frank in the face. “But you are out of uniform.”

They both laughed. “I’m on vacation. No preaching this week. No Roman collar.” He almost added, and no hearing confessions, but remembered that wasn’t true. “So since I’m on vacation, just call me Frank. What a beautiful church you have. I had to come get a better look.”

“Would you like to see inside?”

“I would love to.”

They walked across the manicured lawn and up a few stairs and entered the church.

From the outside, the windows were impressive, but offered only a basic grey to black coloring. But from the inside, with the bright daylight shining through, they were magnificent. The edges covered the spectrum of blues and greens. But moving toward the center, these irregular shapes gradually transformed into oranges and yellows, becoming lighter and brighter, ending in a brilliant white center piece.

“Wow. This is even more beautiful inside than outside,” said the priest.

“Thank you. We believe setting the proper atmosphere can help people get ready for the beauty of God and good deeds.”

Father Frank smiled and nodded his head. “I like that. Can I use that sometimes? I’ll credit you as the originator.”

Ember gave a little laugh. “I don’t know if I made that up and or just remember hearing someone else say it. Probably the latter. But use it as often as you’d like. And no credit is needed.”

Father Frank knelt and said a silent prayer, and then rose and started toward the door.

Outside, he turned to Reverend Cole. “Thank you for allowing me to visit your beautiful church. I‘m sorry I can’t hear you preach tomorrow, but it would be rude of me not to hear Father Lee’s sermon. Perhaps another time?”

“I’d be flattered.”

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