The warm feelings of Christmas have provided inspiration for author Delores Topliff, a Corinth transplant has who has found friendship and community as a part-time resident of the Cross City.

Topliff recently published the novel “Christmas Tree Wars” and also has a story in a new anthology “Christmas Cookie Mysteries” inspired by the Oak Ridge Boys’ “Christmas Cookies” album and also featuring Corinth native and beloved author Patricia Trainum, known to readers by her pen name Patricia Bradley.

Topliff said Christmas is a time when people seem more focused on caring for others and sharing love and concern with an increased focus on family and the importance of being together.

“It’s just not business as usual,” she said.

The author and college professor is a native of Washington State and currently splits her time between her farm in Minnesota and the home in Corinth she purchased in 2017.

It was Trainum who initially drew her to Corinth. The pair share the same literary agent and through various gatherings and meetings had gotten to know each other and become friends. When Topliff began searching for a home to spend the winter months in a warmer climate at the suggestion of her physician son she initially looked at Florida or other seaside locations but found warmth and kindness that drew her to Corinth where she found the perfect house just a few doors down from her friend and fellow author.

She said Corinth’s friendliness and family values made it feel like home.

“It was the easiest transition ever,” she said.

A gathering of authors sparked the idea for “Christmas Cookie Mysteries”. As another author talked about a similar project he had done related to a rock album, another participant mentioned a connection to the Oak Ridge Boys and the idea was formed to create a work of fiction based on their beloved Christmas album and the band gave full permission for the project.

Topliff said Oak Ridge Boys tenor Joe Bonsall, himself an author, was especially excited about the project.

“He’s been so supportive,” she said.

A trip through the land surrounding her now Minnesota farm as she was looking for property to purchase inspired “Christmas Tree Wars”. The book tells the story of neighboring Christmas tree farmers in a years-long feud which turns more intense when the son of one and daughter of the other come home and begin to find romance amid the turmoil.

She was traveling along a rural road when she saw a Christmas tree farm on one side and a lone tree standing in a hayfield on the other. The image stayed with her and she began imagining a story surrounding the owners of the two fields and the novel was born.

She hopes readers will be inspired by the importance of family and setting aside differences as they read the novel.

Topliff is busy putting the final touches on her next novel “Wilderness Wife” which will appear in February and on the next book in her “Books Afloat” series coming later next year. She also has plans for a sequel to “Christmas Tree Wars”.

To learn more about Topliff’s work, visit www.delorestopliff.com or follow her on social media.

Banner Independent Editor

Managing editor of the Daily Corinthian’s sister newspaper, Booneville’s Banner-Independent, Brant Sappington has been a member of the Daily Corinthian family since 2001.

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