Character Spotlight: Kathleen Y’Barbo’s Sessa & Trey with a giveaway

firefly summerMeet a widow and a doctor in

Kathleen Y’Barbo’s

contemporary romance

Firefly Summer

Redbud Press


The Story

Trey’s biggest challenge isn’t performing surgery…it’s restoring Sessa’s heart!

Artist Sessa Chambers may never recover from losing her prodigal son. Even as she grieves the tragic decisions that led to his death, and left her with a toddler to raise, she’s asked to work on her dream project—restoring carousel horses for the Smithsonian. But she can’t do it on her own…

Dr. Trey Brown can’t pick up a scalpel again. Yes, he acted in self-defense, but the events of that awful night haunt him. He was trained to save lives, not take them. When he goes to the young man’s widowed mother to apologize, she’s not at all what he expected. For one thing, she’s not as alone as he thought—not with the fearsome ladies of the Pies, Books, and Jesus Book Club in her corner. For another, she’s beautiful, and being in her presence is more jolting than any eight-second bronco ride from his former rodeo days. Before he knows it, she’s captured his heart as easily as they capture the fireflies gracing Sessa’s Texas ranch.

How can they overcome their past to embrace a future together?

Introducing Sessa & Trey

Sessa Lee Chambers

Brief physical description

Sessa Lee Chambers is a no-nonsense Texas woman in her 40s who is usually found carving carousel horses in her workshop or chasing her toddler granddaughter wearing jeans and a t-shirt with her blonde hair pulled up into a ponytail. She’s no stranger to hard work and loves riding horses, both requirements of living on a ranch, so she’s freckled and tanned with a healthy glow.


Actress Kate Hudson

Strengths and weaknesses

Widowed in her early 20s with a young son to raise, Sessa’s strength—and her weakness—is that she learned early on not to need anyone. Between keeping the ranch running, raising her son, and running a business that builds and repairs carousel horses, she has no time for anything else except, perhaps, the Pies, Books & Jesus Book Club’s monthly meetings.

Quirk (if any)

She cannot bake a pie to save her life! Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but being part of the Pies, Books & Jesus Book Club means when the club meets at her house, she has to provide the pies. She also discovers that she’s got somewhat of an issue telling the handsome rodeo rider turned doctor that she loves him. She feels it but just cannot find the words.

Your inspiration for the character

Sessa is an amalgamation of several awesome Texas women I know. She’s tough on the outside but so tender on the inside, and her capacity to forgive others far exceeds her capacity to forgive herself. However, Sessa’s mother Bonnie Sue was borrowed in part from my own mother who shares the same name and many of the same characteristics.

Background to the story

A decade or more ago, I was sitting at a restaurant with my mom, the aforementioned Bonnie Sue, along with my daughter and sister. We were having a conversation about something that currently escapes me, but in the midst of this she said this: “If I am ever going to meet a man, he will either have to quilt or sing in the church choir because those are the only two places I go.”

I demanded complete silence while I wrote that down. Having no idea what I would do with that statement, it sat in a file on my computer until I began writing what would become known as Firefly Summer. I thought the story would be about a woman stuck in the “sandwich generation” between her mother and her son. Then I realized this woman had found much loss in her life and in the process had healed by taking her abandoned granddaughter in to raise.

I thought this would be a women’s fiction tale, until the very handsome former Texas bull rider turned surgeon Dr. Trey Brown announced his intention to join the story. With Trey came the questions that fuelled the entire tale: Can a woman whose son has been murdered forgive the murderer? What if the man who ended her son’s life is the very man God has sent her to love? Not quite as easy to answer as the first question, is it?


Dr. Dalton “Trey” Brown III


Country singer Blake Shelton

StrengthsBlakeSheltonApr10 and weaknesses

He is honourable to a fault and holds himself to impossibly high standards. Charged with a duty to save lives, Trey cannot forgive himself for taking the life of Ross Chambers in self-defence. This weakness becomes a strength when he meets Sessa Chambers, Ross’s mother, and knows he must set things right somehow.  In all, he’s the quintessential Texas guy who wants to do right by those he cares for and has a strong need to protect those in his care.

Quirk (if any)

When the story begins, Trey is unable to hold a scalpel without becoming physically ill.

Your inspiration for the character

Trey was a product of creative brainstorming and asking myself what sort of person would be the hardest to forgive. My answer: anyone who hurts my child. I took that thought and expanded on it to ask this question: What if the man God intends for me was the one man I found hardest to forgive? From that, a character was born.

Background to the story

The town of Sugar Pine, Texas, is in part a product of my own life and the little town of Port Neches, Texas, where I grew up. Names and locations have been changed, but the spirit of small town camaraderie and Southern nosiness remains the same. I always hated it when, during my childhood, my mother would find out what I had done before I ever got home to confess it. Now I long for that closeness, and I think many others do as well. I hope to offer some of that in the Pies, Books & Jesus Book Club series novels and novellas.

Thanks for your wonderful effort with this, Kathleen!

Relz Reviewz Extras
Character spotlight on Kyle & Millie and Flora & Lucas
Reviews of The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper,  Anna Finch and the Hired Gun and The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck
Visit Kathleen’s website
Buy at Amazon: Firefly Summer or Koorong


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28 Responses to Character Spotlight: Kathleen Y’Barbo’s Sessa & Trey with a giveaway

  1. Interesting story line for a book.

  2. I really, really appreciate this blog post because I love to know all that background information when I read a book. And that line from Bonnie Sue is classic!

  3. Oh, and the pie I usually bake is Cherry! Also, I am interested where the name Sessa came from as I have a daughter named Tessa.

  4. Have already read the ebook and loved it! Enjoyed reading the story behind the story here. Would love to win a PB copy for my collection.

  5. I usually make pumpkin pies because I like them and they are fairly easy. I usually only make them at Thanksgiving though; I don’t bake pies very often.

  6. I don’t have one specific pie I bake. I like variety- apple, pecan, peach, oreo…. I’m working on merengues now!

  7. Living in Texas, I am fond of the pecan pies. Yum! Thanks for the character info and giveaway!

  8. I am a cookie and a cake baker, but I don’t think I have ever made a pie from scratch by myself. Have helped my mom make Apple and blueberry on occasion.

  9. Connie Saunders

    I have 3 favorites: Peanut butter, French Coconut and Pumpkin.

  10. My go-to pie is cherry. Apple is usually what I make if I don’t have the ingredients for cherry.

  11. I loved this book!! Kathleen writes laugh out loud funny dialogue and ooohhhhh the town “it takes a village” mentality was similar to my church growing up. I loved the characters, and more than once found myself sniffling at the love they had for each other. And yes, that Sessa cannot bake a pie is priceless.

  12. Is there any other type of pie besides chocolate?? Not in my world. Thanks for the chance to win this book. Sounds thought provoking and delicious!

  13. I love to bake Kentucky Derby pie! Pecans, bourbon, and chocolate chips. Yum! If I am ordering; it’s cheesecake all the way!

  14. I have never made a pie in my life! My favorite is pecan.

  15. I would love to read this book,it sounds very interesting and i love the cover.

  16. Apple pie is the ultimate for me – with a crumb topping. I lived in Montreal, Quebec for 5 years and there was an amazing dessert cafe on the island that had the BEST apple pie. It was nearly 5-6 inches tall with layered apples and a crumb topping. That might be one of the few things I miss from my time there. :)

  17. My favorite is Coconut Cream.. I make a no-bake SF cheesecake the most for hubby 😉

  18. My go to pie is French Silk. You can’t go wrong with chocolate.

  19. My favorite pie to bake is coconut cream, from scratch. It is simply marvelous!

  20. Pecan

  21. Andrea Williams

    It’s a toss-up between Coconut Cream and Pecan Pie.

  22. I can bake just about any dessert, but I have to order pie as I can never get the crust right so Blackberry is my favorite to order

  23. Apple Pie

  24. Thank you so much Rel for this blog post and a chance to win a book by Kathleen Y’Barbo.My favorite pie sweet potato and banana cream pie. Yummy!

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