Wednesday, June 07, 2017

UNDER A SUMMER SKY - Melody Carlson - One Free Book

Dear Readers, I’m loving these destination romances that Melody is writing now. I’ve never been to Savannah, Georgia, but after reading this story, I almost feel as if I have been. The setting is so alive in this book. And Melody has written memorable characters for a long time. They feel like some of your best friends and linger with you long after you’ve finished the book.

Welcome back, Melody. How did you come up with the idea for this story?
Because Under a Summer Sky is part of my Follow Your Heart series, the setting location plays an integral role. In this case, the story is set in Savannah—and I quickly discovered that this gorgeous historic city provides a rich backdrop, ripe with creative possibilities. As far as the actual plotline, it was partly inspired by a friend’s true story—a young art teacher who reinvents her life by taking what seems a “risky” art-related job, which turns out to be incredibly fulfilling. That was the “jumping off” point, from there it was simply a fun exploration in a town filled with amazing architecture, charming riverboats, and even a ghost or two.

If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Well, that’s a hard question because I would naturally want to invite all my favorite writer friends—and I have a lot of them. But if it can only be six . . . here goes. Robin Jones Gunn (she’s a kindred spirit and dear old friend) and Francine Rivers (because I love and admire her) and Lisa Samson (because we have some similar interests when it comes to craft) and Brandilyn Collins (because she is incredibly smart and fun) and I guess I should include a couple of guys . . .  so I’d ask Bill Myers (because I like how he thinks) and Jerry Jenkins (because he has the fastest wit and humor I’ve ever seen).

That would be a good group. Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Okay, I’d start with Jane Kirkpatrick (because she’s a good friend and kindred spirit plus she lives nearby) and Steph Whitson (because she’s a wise woman) and Liz Higgs (because I just plain love this woman) and Tracie Peterson (because she’s such a pro and I could probably pick her brain) and Kim Sawyer (because she’s a goodhearted person and talented writer) and Lauraine Snelling (because she has the best laugh).

Another wonderful group. I love all of them. Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?
Writing—or maybe I should say publishing—has changed a lot in recent years. It’s harder than ever to contract books these days. This has been an adjustment to me—simply because I’m used to writing so much. Learning to slow down my pace, although welcome, has been tricky. Thankfully I still have contracted books to write, but it’s definitely a different world out there. Also, I’ve been trying to get my foot into the TV/film market. Right now my previous Follow Your Heart book (All Summer Long) is in pre-production for a Hallmark movie, but you never know . . . it could all unravel. That’s happened to me a few times. So I’m just trying to trust God for whatever is around the next corner. Fortunately, that always works out just fine. J 

That’s wonderful. They usually don’t go into pre-production unless they’re pretty sure they’ll be making the movie. The movie that I’m one of the screenwriters is in pre-production right now. I’ll pray for yours, and maybe you could pray for mine. Now tell us about the featured book.
High school art teacher Nicole Anderson feels stuck in Seattle. So when the opportunity to manage an art gallery in Savannah presents itself, she steps out of her comfort zone and goes for it. After all, it’s just for the summer. The gallery job comes with house and cat-sitting responsibilities—as well as some unexpected and perplexing trials. But Nicole rises to the challenge and quickly falls in love with the beauty of the historic city. Meanwhile a pair of brothers compete for her attention, solidly pulling her into this charmingly romantic old town.

Please give us the first page of the book for my blog readers.
Nicole Anderson had no idea why her mother had slipped into the back of her art classroom this afternoon, but because this seventh period class was half over, Nicole pretended not to notice. It wasn’t easy to ignore that platinum-blonde hair styled within an inch of its life. Her sixty-five-year-old mom wore a slightly catty expression as she slid into a vacant chair. Sitting up straight, she pristinely clutched her faux Hermès purse in her lap, and unlike the students, she looked attentive.

Nicole cleared her throat, continuing her lecture on the Renaissance period and trying not to be distracted by her mom, whose pale blue pantsuit looked comically out of place amid the high school students. Slouching in their “uniforms” of shredded denim, faded tees, grubby flip-flops, and strange hairdos, these teens were bored and antsy, and probably too warm since the temperature in the art room was pushing eighty.

Nicole clicked to the next image on the screen. She always reserved the Renaissance for the last week of her art history class. Not because she was saving the best for last, but because it would be irresponsible to leave it out completely.

“Raphael is considered to be one of the premiere painters of the High Renaissance.” Nicole stared at the somber self-portrait up on the screen. Even Raphael looked restless and discontent. “Born Raffaello Sanzio in Umbria, Italy, this artist is best known for his religious works. In many ways, his style was more lifelike than his predecessors . . .” She droned on, surrendering to the heat-induced stupor and wondering why the art department was the only building with no AC. She clicked to the next image.

“Raphael did numerous Madonna and child paintings in various settings. Perhaps he simply wanted to get it just right.” She tried to inject interest into her voice. “Most would agree that he did.” She clicked to Portrait of a Young Man. “It’s interesting how Raphael captured the young man with that sideways glance—as if he’s got mischief on his mind.”

Really, she wondered, is this how I planned to spend my life? Boring these disinterested high school students with information they probably wouldn’t retain past their final exam on Friday—if they kept it that long. What was the point? She glanced at the class as she clicked to the next image. To her surprise, a hand raised. Was someone really going to ask a question? Then she realized it was only her mother, waving eagerly like a first grader. Some of the students were looking at her with a smidgeon of curiosity.

Nicole bit her lip. To allow her mother to speak up was dicey at best. Caroline Anderson was unpredictable—she tended to speak first and think later. It might amuse these teens, but Nicole wasn’t ready to witness her class degenerate into adolescent chaos. It was the last week of school, and as Principal Myers liked to say, the natives were restless. Why encourage them?

Readers, you won’t want to miss this fun contemporary romance.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Melody, for spending this time with us. I know a lot of my readers, and they’ll love this story.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Under a Summer Sky - Christianbook.com
Under a Summer Sky: A Savannah Romance (Follow Your Heart) - Amazon
Under a Summer Sky (Follow Your Heart): A Savannah Romance - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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16 comments:

rbooth43 said...

I love reading Melody Carson's books and Under A Summer Sky would be a great birthday gift for myself!

A Cooking Bookworm said...

Sounds like a great summer read!

Stephanie
Binghamton, NY

mybabyblessings AT gmail DOT com

Melanie Backus said...

I would certainly love to read this one! It sounds great! Thank you for the opportunity.

Melanie Backus, TX

Beth Gillihan said...

Love the cover! Sounds like a wonderful summer read! Thank you for the chance to win!

Beth in Montana

Library Lady said...

We have Melody's books in the Church Library.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to win this book.
Janet E.
von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com
Florida

Abigail Mitchell said...

Looks really good. I love her dress!
Abigail in VA

Pam K. said...

I enjoy Melody's books. I've read quite a few of her Christmas novels. This one looks really good. Thanks for the interview with her and the chance to win Under a Summer Sky.

pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com
Kansas

Vivian Furbay said...

I would love to win a copy of Under the Summer Sky. jtandviv@q.com

Winnie Thomas said...

This sounds like a great book. I've read a couple of Melody's books and really enjoyed them.

Winnie T. from Utah

Lori said...

I live in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.
This sounds like a fun book.

Connie said...

I don't get to travel much so I especially reading books about different areas. I look forward to reading Melody's book.
Blessings!
Connie from KY
cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

SavingsInSeconds said...

We've been to Savannah a couple of times. It's beautiful!
Dianna in TN

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.

Sabrina Templin said...

I love a book that allows you to feel as if you've been there!
Sabrina in Utah

rubynreba said...

Always thought Savannah, GA would be a fun place to visit. It will be fun to read about.
Beth from IA

Pam Graber said...

I've always wanted to visit Savannah. Maybe reading your book, Melody Carlson, will motivate me to actually DO it. Would love to win!

Pam in OH