Mallory Johansen has nearly given up on thinking she’ll get her act together – the one where she plays the part of an adult – by the time she hits thirty. As it is she’s desperate and depressed. Her only friend is leaving town, she’s paired to work with a man who can’t stand her, and she finds herself homeless. Definitely hasn’t mastered being a grown-up yet.
Otis Bell wants nothing more than to play his guitar, book acoustic bands to perform at his upcoming music venue, and be in charge of his own life. Instead, he’s working full time in his family’s auto shop. He only owns half the supposed music venue, which stands as an abandoned church and needs more than a little work. When his best friend moves away, he’s paired with an aloof girl he’s never liked as a partner, and stretches himself thin working too many hours.
The Chapel is the little music venue that could. Full of potential. Full of ugly carpet, peeling paint, and exhausting work. Mallie and Otis navigate their way through a fledgeling partnership, trying their darnedest to get the place up and running while trying pretty hard not to fall in love in the process.
Guest Post- Jess B. Moore- The Chapel
My new book, The Chapel, is about a historic church that was slated for demolition. Until Otis Bell steps in with his savings and a crazy plan! Let the church-to-music-venue renovations begin!
This idea is based on several real life scenarios.
First, my husband and I have always talked about doing this: turning a church into a music venue. As a family, we’re very into music, and often imagine opening our own place. Not in a realistic sort of way, but it’s fun to dream. The acoustics in a church would be phenomenal, making it an ideal structure. Plus, the old churches were built with such care and devotion, that I can’t help but feel the love when inside one.
Also, in a nearby town to us, there’s this darling little historic church that sits atop a hill and looks over a working mill. You can go see the waterwheel turning and buy grits from them. It was driving by this place that sparked the idea for the church I used in my book! I added some stained glass, but otherwise didn’t change much from the original building that had stayed in my mind.
Originally the story was set in a town like the one where the real-life church resides. The characters were unrelated to my other books, telling their own story in their own way. I started writing it years ago, but never finished it. One day I brushed it off (so to speak), and gave it a read with fresh eyes. I shared what I had with several friends, asking for opinions on whether it was worth finishing. The answers were a resounding YES.
Then I had to decide if I wanted to keep it as it was, and release it as a complete stand alone. Or if I wanted to write into my existing fictional world of Fox River. My previous four books are all set in the quaint and quirky town of Fox River, and ultimately writing it as a tie-in made more sense to me. It got me excited to start working on the story, when I knew I could pull in other favorite characters.
This, like all my books, is a love story. Mallory Johansen has grown up living with her aunt, uncle, and cousin. Right at the start of the book, her cousin Tyler drops the bomb on her that he’s leaving town, and as such bailing on his partnership with his best friend Otis. Of course this results in Mallie becoming Otis’ unwitting partner, and we spend the rest of the book rooting for them to fall in love! Alas, these frenemies are determined to find a way to work together, but have no plans for romance.
The Chapel can be read as a standalone novel. If you like it, you might want to go back and read the other books in the Fox River Romance series.
The Guilt of a Sparrow, Fierce Grace, The Worth of a Penny, Saving Grace
Jess B. Moore is a writer of love stories. When she’s not writing, she’s busy mothering her accomplished and headstrong children, reading obscene numbers of books, and knitting scarves she’ll likely never finish.
Jess lives in small-town North Carolina with her bluegrass obsessed family. She takes too many pictures of her cats, thinking the Internet loves them as much as she does. She is a firm believer of swapping stories over coffee or wine, and that there should always be dark chocolate involved.
The Fox River Romance novels combine her interests in family, music, and small towns into thoughtful tales of growing up and falling in love. These books can be read as stand-alone, or as a series starting with The Guilt of a Sparrow.