I’m delighted to have Carie with me today. Welcome, Carie!
Hi, Edwina. Thanks so much for having me today on your blog and taking the time to read Beyond Summer.
Tell us about Beyond Summer.
Zane has strong opinions about beautiful women, none of them are favorable. When Carly comes into his life for the summer with her two pretty daughters, Zane begins to change his mind. When Carly's past comes to light, Zane knows he had it right in the beginning: Beauty is nothing to want in a woman.
Carly's two daughters and Zane's son are an important part of the Beyond Summer. What inspired them?
As a mom, it was easy to write about the kids. I enjoy the innate gender differences in kids. My three boys cannot understand why my daughter needs seven pair of flip flops. But there's also simple personality differences in all kids that makes each one special. The kids in Beyond Summer appeared in my imagination fully formed. Daniel, the defender, Anna, the pleaser and Brie, the rebel. There are a few times that my kid's words came out of one of the children. I'll let the readers try to guess which ones. I have to say I fell in love with Daniel, Anna and Brie. Carie did such a great job of writing from these children’s points of view that I wanted to take them home with me.
Where did the series' name Twisted Roots come from?
The Twisted Roots series is about the McCord siblings. In my mind, the four siblings are represented by four trees. Each tree is a strong individual capable of surviving the world alone. But the trees are close enough that their roots are tangled together, making their collective roots stronger and steadier. The idea is to have four individual stories that are strengthened by family ties. Their "roots" ground the characters and give them a sense of security without hampering each one's ability to pursue their own loves and interests. That is a great analogy!
One of the other secondary characters is Brody, Zane's brother-in-law. His relationship with Zane's sister, Haven, is...interesting. Is there a story there?
Brody and Haven's story is the next one in the series. They married too young and are floundering because of mistakes. The only chance to save their marriage may come during six weeks together in Africa.
Is there a take-away message to this book?
Yes. Forgiveness is an essential part of happiness. When we let old hurts rule our emotions, we ultimately end up miserable. It's harder to forgive when someone has hurt our loved ones. Maybe the hardest things of all is to forgive ourselves for hurting someone we love. Zane and Carly both made mistakes that hurt the people they care the most for and they have to start to forgive themselves to be able to rebuild their lives.
Carie, can you share a short passage from the book?
Here's a snippet I hope you'll enjoy:
Carly stepped toward him to take his bowl.
He cocked his head to the side and stared at her. "I've got it." Stepping past her, he rinsed the bowl thoroughly and stacked it in the dishwasher. Then reaching into a cupboard above the sink, he pulled out a mug that proclaimed him the World's Best Dad. "Here's where I keep the grocery money. If you need something, just pick it up, but you don't have to do the shopping, that's not part of the job."
"I thought the outing would be good for the kids."
He shrugged at her. "That's fine then." He leaned back against the counter, crossed his feet at the ankles and folded his arms over his chest. "You know, you're going to have to let them play outside."
The grimace passed over her face before she could stop it. "Of course."
"You don't want to be stuck inside with a five-year-old boy all summer, Carly. Trust me on this one."
She nodded, hoping her face looked agreeable.
He took a step toward her, so close they were almost touching. She had to crane her neck to see his face. The corner of his mouth turned up in amusement. "Carly, just one other thing."
She strained to keep the pleasant look on her face.
"You're going to have to relax."
Beyond Summer is published by Desert Breeze Publishing and hit the shelves on September 1, 2010. This is definitely a book you will want to add to your collection!