Today we’re welcoming Leyla Jo Jared from Nancy LaPonzina’s A Path through the Garden! Thanks for joining us, Leyla Jo.
So let’s get started, because our readers really want to know…
Everything about you! Tell us, where did you grow up? Is that the only place you’ve ever lived or have you moved around?
Though born and raised in Robeson County, North Carolina, I only pieced together my origins after participating in an archaeological dig at a new subdivision in Raleigh. That sounds strange, I know, but that’s how it happened. Meeting my archaeologist husband-to-be turned my life around. Through his research and the efforts of my best friend, my African-American ancestry blended to include Native American ancestry as well. I’m a country girl at heart and even though I have a professional office in the city of Raleigh, nature speaks loudest to my spirit.
What’s your current occupation?
I’m a Nurse Practitioner supporting holistic health care and alternative health remedies for my clients. I hold Reiki Second Degree certification. My practice includes Bache Flower Remedy Essences and gemstone work as well as metaphysical modalities including astrology.
What’s in your refrigerator right now?
Let’s see, skim milk, quinoa, a roasted chicken, spinach, tomatoes, celery, vegetable stock, pasta, blueberries and strawberries, lemon bars, and anniversary cake.
What smell do you associate with your childhood? Is it a happy smell?
The wonderful fragrance of acres of tobacco flowers from the fields surrounding Aunt Beatrice’s homeplace. As a tiny toddler, I couldn’t do much to bring in the crop but the heady smell of it warmed by the sun made me eager to get up and on with my day. The fields started on the other side of the driveway. From the porch, I could see the tobacco leaves golding up from the bottom. It was my job to check it from the porch each morning and let Aunt Beatrice know when I saw the first color. I wonder how helpful that really was.
What’s a typical Saturday morning like for you?
Yoga at dawn followed by a bowl of whole grain oatmeal with blueberries and maple syrup. Then a short walk in the woods with the baby where we collect things we find in the forest: pinecones, bird feathers, wildflowers, shiny stones, berries to bring to my office. I see clients in the office until noon and then we spend the rest of the day out in the meadow behind our home, picnicking, reading, and enjoying the day. Sometimes we see our neighbor and she lets us ride her horses.
Do you have any tattoos? What are they? If you don’t, would you consider getting one and what would it be?
Ahhh, being the health professional and an advocate of healthy lifestyles, I wouldn’t promote tattoos.
What is your most treasured possession?
A gift from Aunt Beatrice, a small woven Indian basket, one of the few things I ever had from the biological mother I never knew. I only place the most special things into that basket at any given time. I put the ancient pottery sherds we discovered at Nardi Point into it for safe-keeping.
Do you have any regrets? What are they?
I wish we could have had a baby sooner, and that Hal had been able to see him … hold him.
Do you prefer jeans or sweats? Flip-flops or sneakers?
To tell the truth, I like brightly-colored 100% cotton like FLAX clothing. It’s cool, the colors are amazingly vibrant if you want to mix and match and they can all be thrown into the washing machine. No dry-cleaning, fuss, or muss. http://www.redonionclothing.com/
What is your greatest achievement?
Hands done, it’s the preservation of our discovery of Paleo-Indian Native American pottery at Nardi Point. Had we not gone against the construction company, this important piece of history belonging to every North Carolinian, as well as personal revelation about my ancestry, would have been lost forever.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I want to be able to maintain a healthy balance between my client hours and my personal life. I tend to get absorbed in my clients and large amounts of time can pass quickly before I realize it. There are only so many hours in the day.
Describe the perfect meal.
Being a Southerner, any meal featuring country style cooking including sweet potatoes, roasted chicken, collard greens, string bean casserole, biscuits, sweet tea, congealed salad, North Carolina style barbecue, and banana pudding sits fine with me.
Is there anything you’d like to tell your writer?
I love her. She listened to me when I spoke my heart and went through my greatest loss by my side. We cried tears of sorrow together, followed by tears of joy. You just can’t break a special bond like that.
Be sure to look up Leyla Jo in A Path Through the Garden and come back next week for an exclusive excerpt…
Alternative healer Leyla Jo Jared helps others grow their families, yet struggles with her own infertility. Archaeologist scientist husband, Hal Jared dearly wants to share the context and provenience of a multi-racial baby and feels guilty he has let her down. Hoping for a solution for their craving to become a family, Leyla Jo turns to her folkways heritage and explores natural plant botanicals.
When the archaeological exhibit the couple curates is compromised by international scientists from Rome, and the Director of the local Art Museum, the couple’s role in the professional, scientific community is severely challenged. After Hal falls ill, Leyla Jo’s desire leads to a conflicted crossroad … must she choose her husband’s health over their yearning for a child?
Now Leyla Jo must explore her path through the garden and travel her biggest journey.
A Path through the Garden Purchase Link: http://www.amazon.com/Path-Through-Garden-Nancy-LaPonzina-ebook/dp/B00DQ9S0DG/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1&qid=1401907506