Cara Lynn James writes historical romances set during the Gilded Age. Her fourth book, A Path toward Love, released August 14th. Her previous novels are Love on a Dime, Love on Assignment, and Love by the Book.
Cara and her family have resided in northwest Florida for the past ten years. She’s also lived in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Texas, California, Virginia and Vermont. In her younger years she served in the military as a Naval officer along with her husband who’s a retired Navy pilot. Now Cara writes full time -- when she’s not playing with her five year old grandson or Sparky, the family Papillon.
God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
I see myself writing the stories God inspires me to write. I’m interested in historical romances and historical women’s fiction/romances, but I’d also love to try writing contemporaries set in
England within a small town setting. If I get really brave and
adventurous, I might attempt a mystery. I’m not sure I’m clever enough to pull
one off, but I think I may try to find out.
Tell us a little about your family.
My husband (a retired Navy pilot and retired science teacher) and I moved to
ten years ago. We lived in Vermont
for the previous twenty years. My son’s family now lives in Jacksonville, but my daughter and her
five-year-old son live with us. It’s fun having a three generational household,
but it certainly isn’t like being empty nesters! An adorable Papillon named
Sparky protects us from any danger. Well maybe not, but he keeps us company.
I’m originally from
and my husband is a native Floridian. We met and married in San
Diego, California where we were
both stationed as Naval officers, and then we were transferred to Virginia Beach. After my
husband retired from the Navy we moved to Vermont, a place we all love. But it is so
cold in the winter!
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Yes, it has. Now I read more ‘how-to-write’ books and research books. And I also read more historical romance. Years ago my favorites included thrillers, mysteries, women’s fiction and romantic suspense. Actually, I still enjoy them, but I’ve added many more romances to my list.
Unfortunately, I don’t have as much time to read as I’d like. But it’s my favorite pastime, so I write during the day when my mind is fresh and I read in the evening. I’m really addicted to books. I buy way too many (but is that really possible?) and I’ll never get through all of them.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on another Gilded Age historical romance set in a small
Massachusetts town and in . It’s about an impoverished young woman who
takes a position as companion to her rich, elderly cousin in Newport, Rhode
Island Newport. When the old woman changes her will
in her favor, there’s outrage among the other relatives. With the help of a
handsome neighbor, a curious Laura tries to discover the reason for her good
fortune. This leads her down a crooked path toward a new identity she never
suspected and what others consider an unsuitable romance.
What outside interests do you have?
My major interests are my family, writing and reading. They take up most of my time. My grandson is such a blessing to have around! He’s so entertaining.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Last year my cousin mentioned I’d always said I wanted to write a book set in
. My mother’s family
comes from Newport,
Rhode Island Newport
and so I frequently vacationed there as a child. It was my second home. I was
always fascinated with the beautiful scenery, the ocean, the beaches, and
especially the history. Some of my ancestors founded the town in 1639, so that
really increased my interest.
But after I finished the Ladies of Summerhill series (Love on a Dime, Love on Assignment and Love by the Book), my editor asked me to change the location for my fourth book. We finally settled on
in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New
York. I lived in Vermont
for many years, so I was familiar with the Adirondacks.
In fact, I could see them from the top of my road. They were right across the Champlain Valley
and Lake Champlain. Even though my characters
are still Gilded Age millionaires, they lived very differently at their
Adirondack ‘great camps’ than they did in the Newport “cottages” which are
I choose settings I love and that makes it easy to write about them.
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
I think I’d pick Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain because I love his books, especially Huckleberry Finn. He had such a fantastic sense of humor and insight into the human condition. He’d be so entertaining and I think I’d learn a lot about people and about writing. Also, he lived in interesting times, so I’m sure I’d get a great history lesson.
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I wish I’d realized writing is a business, not a hobby. Of course I’d always known
publishing is a business just like any other, but it really didn’t register when I just wrote at my leisure. Until I had a deadline, I didn’t understand how pressure-packed writing could be. I’m sure every journalist understands how important it is to write fast and to write well, but I was a stay-at-home mom and I never considered the business side of writing. My one great luxury was flex-time when my kids were in school. I wrote when I felt like it. Needless to say, I didn’t get much accomplished during those years.
But when I signed a publishing contract, things changed. I had to adjust to writing, revising, and promoting all at the same time. At first I found it difficult to juggle everything, but I got used to it. Every job has its surprises!
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
He’s teaching me to be patient, to enjoy my family, and not to worry about the future. It’s easy to plan ahead and try to control things, but uncontrollable events always pop up and often without warning. So I trust the Lord with the future. As far as writing goes, I’m learning to really enjoy the process more.
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Read a lot, write a lot, and when you get discouraged (and you will occasionally) don’t give up. Perseverance is the key. One more thing—it’s important to define what success looks like to you. Is it writing the best book you can, or is it only getting published?
Tell us about the featured book.
Katherine came home to forget her past.
The last thing she expected is a hopeful future.
Young widow Katherine Osborne returns to her family’s rustic camp on
in the Adirondack Mountains. She’s determined
to live a quiet life, but her socialite mother is equally determined to push
her into a new marriage while she’s still young.
Andrew Townsend has known Katherine since they were children. An attorney who is successful, but not wealthy, he knows she is socially out of his reach. But he’s curious what changed the free-spirited girl he once knew into this private, somber young woman.
Katherine has kept hidden the details of her unsuccessful marriage. When past sins come to light, she must turn to God for the courage to be honest. But how can she trust the God she feels has let her down? When she confides in Andrew, their relationship takes a dramatic turn into uncharted territory.
Amid impossible obstacles, two young people must learn to trust enough to walk the path that God has cleared for them. A path that leads to healing and restoration. A path toward love.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Katherine Osborne couldn’t escape the numbers. She dragged her gaze from the lush orange groves right outside her office window to the ledger open on her desk. Why had she ever believed she could run a business with little experience and less capital? The numbers screamed bankruptcy and the end of her dream—unless she quickly obtained a loan to tide her over. She hoped an answer would come in the afternoon post. All she needed was a little more time . . . surely business would improve.
For a few moments she gave in to her mounting fears and buried her head in her hands, allowing the warmth and stillness of the afternoon to wash through her. But at the sound of foot- steps, Katherine glanced up and smiled at her maid. Etta Mae, young and pretty, strode through the doorway holding out a stack of mail.
“For you, Miz Osborne.” She grinned and her teeth glistened white against her dark skin.
“Is there a letter from the bank?” Etta Mae always riffled through the mail before she turned it over to Katherine.
The maid shook her head. “Sorry, ma’am.”
How can readers find you on the Internet?I’m at www.caralynnjames.com, www.seekerville.blogspot.com, and www.facebook.com/caralynnjames. You can read the first chapter of A Path toward Love at http://www.caralynnjames.com/books.html
Thank you, Cara Lynn, for introducing us to your new book.
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A Path Toward Love - paperback
A Path Toward Love - Kindle
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