Holiday open house to host authors

By Jan Ballard, Choctaw County Extension Service


Two different Mississippi authors, two different books to appeal to two different audiences. Two highlights for this year’s Holiday Open House at the Choctaw County Library on Thursday, December 12 from 2:30 p.m.–6 p.m., will be two new books, both written by Mississippi authors. Signed copies of Whitney Yarber White’s new book, Who Left Jesus in the Box, will be available to purchase. Also, Merle Temple, who joined the Yarn Spinners book club for a discussion of his book, A Ghostly Shade of Pale, in October, will return to sign and talk about his book with any who are interested.

Last year, Whitney Yarber White came to the Holiday Open House at the Choctaw County Library to sign her then new book, Don’t Swallow Baby Jesus.

In 2013, she has another new book inspired by her three sons, Who Left Jesus in the Box.

“After spending most of the night anxiously preparing for Santa’s arrival, Aaron finds his younger brothers playing with the nativity set without the most important character…Jesus! Aaron is sure that his parents will give the younger brothers a good talking to, but instead Aaron is the one who learns an important lesson. It is easy to get wrapped up in the excitement that the season brings and leave Jesus in the box, so join these brothers as they discover an exciting way celebrate the birth of Jesus! “

Whitney’s family members will be in Ackerman to sell signed copies of this new book. The book is also available on line at – 24 pages – $8.99 (paperback).

Whitney says, “I give all of the honor and glory to God for these books. Without Him there would be no Christmas, I would have no children, and therefore I would have no stories to tell. I have a passion to write children’s Christmas books because I feel that there should be more books about Jesus at Christmas time. You can find plenty of books about Santa, the reindeer, snowmen, etc. but books about Jesus are actually very limited. I want my children to read books with meaning and I want them to know exactly why we celebrate Christmas.”

Whitney Yarber White is a stay-at-home mom and lives in Mississippi with her husband, Matthew, and their three sons, aged 4, 3 and 1, while also co-owning Trades to Treasures in Calhoun City.

She holds a degree in special education from Mississippi State University and taught developmentally delayed children in Calhoun City for two years upon graduating. In 2011, her second year of teaching, she received the Teacher of the Year award.

One reviewer, who also happens to be a member of the Extension Service Yarn Spinner’s Book Club, notes, “Our book club has been fortunate to have had three different local authors join us for a discussion. What a blessing it was to have Merle Temple visit us on October 1st to talk about A Ghostly Shade of Pale. To meet this tall, soft-spoken gentleman (with the emphasis on gentle), one would NEVER conclude that he would be capable of writing some of the painful, actually torturous, events that unfold in this story, let alone to have literally lived almost all of them! Ghostly gives a clear and vivid history of the greed, crime, and corruption that was flourishing unchecked in Northeast MS in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. The hero of the book, a knight wearing armor (the armor of God), seems too good to be true, until you meet Merle and find out that he is real and has been willing to sacrifice much to take a stand. And, throughout the retelling of some struggles between good/bad, goodness/evil, and beauty/ugliness, he is able to present a respect not only for the characters in the book, but even for the reader, that I have not experienced before in this type of literature. I would highly recommend Ghostly and, along with other readers/reviewers, look forward to the second part of the trilogy.”

Mr. Temple will return to Choctaw County on December 12 for the Holiday Open House.

“Since Christmas is not far away, we are offering specials on A Ghostly Shade of Pale”, says Merle Temple. We are about to relaunch with the second printing and all of the collectible first edition hardbacks are now available directly from us at

Just contact us, and we will sign, ship, and even gift wrap if you’d like. It is a nice way to get your shopping done for all of those hard to buy for folks, and have the gifts delivered to your door.

These first editions sell for $25.95 plus shipping, but we have discounted them to $23 which includes shipping in the U.S. Kindle edition for $9.99 on