PARIS - The Paris Presbyterian Church will host a "Coffee With the Author" with Carolyn Majors Bradley at noon July 17 at the Gathering Place Coffee House located at 127 Steubenville Pike.
This is the second Christian author event the church has hosted.
"There's a lot of local talent in the area that I feel sometimes gets overlooked," said Margie Zellars, outreach director. "There are some very talented people in the area."
BOOK SIGNING — Paris Presbyterian Church Outreach Director Margie Zellars, left, and volunteer coffee host Cyrena Neely, right, plan an upcoming book discussion and signing with local author Carolyn Majors Bradley, center. Majors Bradley will speak at noon Wednesday at the Gathering Place Coffee House. -- Summer Wallace-Minger
Zellars added church members were pleased to be able to offer a showcase for local authors through the coffee house.
Majors Bradley is the author of the devotionals "The Seeds of My Love" and "Sundays, Dreams and Souvenirs" and the children's book, "A Gingerbread Heart."
She will speak about her faith journey and her books and will do a book signing during the event, at which coffee and snacks will be available.
Many of the prayers and essays from "Seeds" and "Sundays" are prayers and essays Majors Bradley had written throughout her life, with reflections on her childhood and being a mother and wife. She was influenced by her childhood roots in her faith, which she described as very strong and an important part of her early family life.
"It's a book of reflections on living, sharing, praying and hoping through all different moments of our lives," said Majors Bradley of "Sundays."
Her essays and prayers are centered in a love of God and family, and she hopes those who read the devotionals are inspired to see God in nature, she said.
"You need the love of God, the love of family and friends to get through the hard times," she said.
Majors Bradley honed her essay skills by writing a monthly column in the local Green Leaves publication, which circulated in the Eldersville area, for many years. She saved much of the material over the years, and, following her retirement, she decided to use it for a book, which became "Seeds" and was published in 2010.
"Most of them were common experiences that would apply to a lot of people," she said.
She had such an abundance of material that she began work on a second book, "Sundays." Two sons, Jeff and Mark, also contributed essays.
"Jeff has nine (essays), and all of them about memories of his childhood," she said.
Majors Bradley used many of her original paintings and drawing - many of them of her children throughout their lives - along with those contributed by friends and family, to illustrate the book. The cover of the book features a painting of her son Mark.
Majors Bradley said she often wrote out prayers as a way to deal with difficulties and kept them. Some of these also are included in the devotionals or inspired other prayers and essays.
"Some of them are just as I wrote them," she said, adding that her faith helps her cope with adversity. "I hope they comfort and help people, as they did me."
She also will have her illustrated children's book, "A Gingerbread Heart," available. The book was inspired by a Christmas ornament craft her son Jeff made as a kindergartener and follows the Bradley family as they grow and change through the eyes of the gingerbread boy ornament.
"He made it at his school Christmas party," she said. "We've put it on the tree every year since, and we still have it, although I had to have it laminated last year."
She added she had enjoyed switching gears and writing a children's book, which she didn't find difficult, "because I never grew up - I'm just a kid in a grown-up's body. I've always loved spending time with my children and grandchildren and playing games and stretching my imagination."
Her books are available at xlibrisbookstore.com, barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com.
Majors Bradley will have copies of her books for purchase and will sign books during the event.
The coffeehouse is free and open to the community and church members encourage area groups to utilize it. Future plans include Wii bowling tournaments and family movie nights. It is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and is staffed by volunteer hosts.
For information, call the church at (724) 729-3450 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Wallace-Minger can be contacted at email@example.com.)