About the Book
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational, Romance
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Publication date: June 2017
A group of seven friends navigate relationships and personal growth during a season of change.
About the Author
Author Interview via SLBWhat does your writing process look like? I write as the story comes to me. I don’t usually create outlines; sometimes I’ll list out things that I know need to happen in the story (or to help me keep track of my timeline). Usually, I write the story in order, but often one or two scenes will come to me out of order and I’ll jot those down to add in later.
If you could travel anywhere in the world for book research (no cost to you), where would you go and why? England! I’ve been once before and loved it so much. Also, I love writing about travel. My novel Looks Like Love involves a trip to Europe, and I hope to eventually write another book that includes travel.
What does "a day in the life of Brandy Bruce" look like? My children trickling into my bed, one by one—usually by 7:30 a.m. Then everyone starts begging for breakfast, and my husband and I have to get up. It’s summer now, so our days are pretty low-key. My husband heads to his office, and the kids and I do whatever we’ve got planned for the day. (This usually involves playing in the backyard and eating ice pops.) Lots of snacks and sunblock happen—then finally Jeff comes home. We eat dinner early at our house, usually by five o’clock. Then Jeff and I switch off, and I work on whatever freelance edits or writing projects I have going on before we tag-team bedtime for the kiddos.
If you were to go to lunch with one of the characters from The Last Summer, who would it be and why? I’d choose Sara. She’s my favorite out of the gang, and I think we’d get along well. Also, we both really like California Pizza Kitchen. That’s where we’d go.
What inspired you to write The Last Summer? I was in college when the story came to me. It’s a time when friendship is paramount, and that’s why it’s a huge theme in the book. All seven of the main characters came to me almost at once.
What did you as a writer take away from writing The Last Summer? That friendships change as we grow older and enter different seasons of life. And that when it comes to real-life love stories, no one is perfect. That’s where grace comes in.
What is your current WIP? What can you share about this project with us? We’re going through the proofs for the follow-up book to The Last Summer. (Squeals with happiness!) I’m so excited about this next novel. It’s slated to release early February 2019 and I’ve poured my heart and soul into it.
10 Behind-the-Scenes Facts
about The Last Summer’s Texas Setting
- The museum’s Pink-Floyd-laser-light-show date that Sara goes on was inspired by one of my first dates with my husband! He planned the whole date and we went to the Spaghetti Warehouse (which was also a place my parents went to when they were dating) and then the laser light show at the very same museum. Best. Date. Ever.
- Bodegas, the restaurant near the museum where Sara and her friend Wendy like to eat, is a real restaurant very near the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
- I wrote the scene about the gas station barbeque because there’s truly a gas station in Texas that serves amazing barbeque. (There are probably hundreds actually!) The food in Texas can’t be beat.
- Sara and her girlfriends go eat doughnuts at Shipley’s. Shipley’s is my favorite doughnut chain in Texas. I am still devastated that there are no Shipley’s in Colorado. For the longest time, no one I knew in Colorado had ever even heard of kolaches! What in the world. I grew up eating sausage kolaches and chocolate-iced doughnuts at Shipley’s Donuts, and every time I’m in Texas, finding a Shipley’s is a must.
- The Lake Shore Woods lake house was inspired by a real lake house out in East Texas. My best friend and I stayed there for a weekend years ago and I remember loving how woodsy and beautiful the area was, and thinking that I was going use that setting in a book too.
- Sara goes shopping in The Woodlands at a place called Market Street and it’s an area I love to go to whenever I’m back in town—lots of fun restaurants and shops and a movie theater.
- There’s a scene where the gang are all hanging out in Hermann hospital waiting room and one of the characters, Debra, brings in several sacks of Whataburger meals. Which is Texas to a T.
- I mention Dickens’ on the Strand at Christmastime in the book. This is a real festival in Galveston, Texas, held in late November/early December. It’s a Charles Dickens-esque Christmas celebration with people in costumes and a parade and carolers and street vendors. My grandmother was the one who first told me about it. She and her best girlfriends loved to go to Dickens’ on the Strand together.
- When describing Sara’s parents’ house in the affluent Willow Heights area, I mention the azalea bushes by the back deck. This stemmed from the trail of azaleas in Houston’s River Oaks section. It’s a beautiful area with stately homes and during azalea season, you can drive through and see what they call the trail of azaleas. My dad used to drive us through River Oaks when I was a little girl.
- As you can probably tell, I love Texas. I was born in Houston and lived there, then Conroe, Texas, and then Porter—both on the outskirts of the city—until I went away to college in Virginia. All of my extended family still live there and whenever I step off the plane and feel the humidity and heat of Texas—and see all the belt buckles and cowboy hats and T-shirts that say, “Most likely to Secede”—I know I’m home again. The places in the book that I didn’t create, such as the museum district and The Woodlands and San Jacinto, are all real places that I’ve touched and experienced. And from the sweet tea the girls drink to the tomato plants Addison grows, these little details come from real-life in Texas.
Guest Post: Everybody Loves Jason
Enter the giveaway HERE.
Giveaway package includes the following: summer swag (beach towl, flip flops, sunglasses, bookmark, and candy) & winner's choice of a print or e-copy of the book.
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