Monday, May 16, 2011

Fade to Blue & author interview + giveaway

Today, I'm delighted to host my friend Julie Carobini. She writes fun stories set in California along the ocean. She has a new book releasing this week, and it's another good one. I read  -- no, savored -- Fade to Blue over several days, letting myself enjoy the heroine's journey.

In honor of the release of Fade to Blue, I'm giving away a copy of Sweet Waters, the prior book in the Otter Bay series. To be entered leaving a comment about your favorite ocean/water escape. Congrats to winner Sarah Forgrave.

Suz Mitchell is a determined dreamer and won't allow her ex-husband Len's jail sentence to ruin their young son Jeremiah's life. An accomplished artist, she moves with her child across the country to California's central coast and lands a job restoring priceless art for the historic Hearst Castle overlooking the ocean.

A serious old flame, Seth, also works at Hearst and jumbles the dreams inside Suz's heart. While sorting out the awkwardness of their past split and current spiritual differences, a repentant Len shows up eager to restore his family.

What I loved about this story is that Suz is a gal I wanted to bring home for coffee. I needed to know how she waded through so many issues and how they resolved. There also was a major twist at the end that I loved. It really upped the stakes and made me love the outcome all the more. 

If you would like to read the first chapter of Fade to Blue, go HERE.

I always want to know how people got started writing. Where did your interest start?
My father wrote magazine articles on the side, including interviews with entertainers such as Fred Astaire and Fred MacMurray. Always loved that! I too became an article writer almost twenty years ago, but I always yearned to create fiction. I wrote two novels that did not sell, but as they say, third time’s a charm, and my debut novel, Chocolate Beach, released in 2007 (re-released with recipes in 2011 as an eBook). By that time, I had a renewed faith in God as well as a redefined focus on the kinds of stories he was leading me to write.

What compelled you to write this book?
Ever since the inception of the Otter Bay Novels with Sweet Waters, I’ve wanted to set a book with the famed Hearst Castle as its backdrop. So much intrigue and mystery about that real castle on the hill and its eccentric, yet astute owner. Of course, novels are more than their location. So after writing the 2nd of these stand-alone novels, A Shore Thing, even I longed to know what happened next for the big-hearted, single mom from that story. Fade to Blue satisfies that curiosity … ☺

What surprised you as you wrote this book?
Writing this story was much like holding a seashell, constantly turning it over in my hand. Though they’re often tossed into the sea with nary a glance, seashells are intricately beautiful—even when broken. The more I examined the shattered life of Suz—the heroine of Fade to Blue—the more beauty I found. Only the One who restores our souls can make that happen.

Are there  specific lessons you hope readers will learn and apply to their lives after reading your book?
I hope readers get lost in the story and the beautiful setting, that they revel in God’s creation as much as I did while writing it. I also hope they experience the Good Shepherd’s gentle leading (Psalm 23), and fall in the love with the concepts of forgiveness, sacrifice, and grace—as much as they do the breathtaking locale.

How does the book intertwine with God’s call on your life and how you are currently serving Him? This story reminds me not to dwell on the past, but to prayerfully, joyfully—and ‘hope’fully— move forward. Such lessons there! Suz Mitchell made mistakes in her past—so have I—yet healing brokenness and restoring souls is God’s business. Praise him for that!

Anything else you want to add in closing?
Just that I hope people reading this are encouraged to follow their heart’s desires with the Good Shepherd as their guide. God took all the lows and highs in my life and created something new with them. Although I’d always wanted to write, I had no inkling that I’d be writing beach- themed novels one day. I just kept praying and writing and seeking until an idea popped into my head. I followed that idea, and now find myself talking about my fifth novel filled with ‘waves of grace.’ Be encouraged!


Casey said...

I really enjoyed Fade to Blue, it was like visiting the ocean, especially since it is still so cold here.

I got to visit the ocean in CA the last two summers and I have just loved standing on the sand and letting the water wash over my feet, taking the sand below my feet with it. Such a feeling! :)

Thanks for the giveaway. :)

Charity said...

I am actually in the middle of reading Fade To Blue right now but I don't have any other of Julie's books so I would love to be entered in this giveaway. One of my favorite places is Chincoteague Island. Lovely horses and beautiful place! Thanks!


Debbie F said...

Fade to Blue sounds like such a wonderful story - I have never read Julie's books before - I will have to add this one to my TBR pile. Thanks

dcf_beth at verizon dot net

Jo said...

I have read a few of Julie's books and have really enjoyed them. Would love to get entered for this giveaway.


writerashley said...

One of my favorite beach getaways is Sandestin, Florida. The beaches are so white they look like snow, and there are plenty of quant restaurants and stores around! :)

ashleylikesflowers at gmail dot com

B. J. Robinson said...

Sounds like a great read :)I love the water. If I win any books, I read and review them on my blog. I'm signing to follow yours and hope you'll follow mine as well.

Anne Payne said...

I'm reading Fade to Blue right now. I would love to read Sweet Waters. My favorite ocean spot is at Jax Bch Fl. Nothing beats the Atlantic surf & sunrises/sunsets...well, maybe Hawaii but I haven't been there ;)


Sarah Forgrave said...

I've heard great things about Julie's books but haven't had the pleasure of reading one yet. Maybe this will be my lucky day. :)

As far as beach getaways, I'm a big cool-weather beach fan, especially on Michigan's north shores. There's something so serene about them...They don't have the loud roar that ocean beaches do, and they're less cluttered with things and people.

Thanks for offering this giveaway, Cara. Hope you have a great week!

Debbie Clark said...

I have not had a chance to read any of Julie's books yet. I would love to win Sweet Waters and get to know her books. Thanks for the chance to win.

Debbie Clark


ihhcheryl said...

Julie is a new author to me as well and would love to read one of her books. I would have to say my favorite ocean getaway is my home town of Monterey CA. I now live in Washington state and really do miss the beautiful ocean at Monterey Bay :)
Thanks!- Cheryl

Edna said...

I have just read Fade To Blue, and would love to win the first book in the series


Martha W. Rogers said...

I've heard about this series and would love to read it. My favorite beach spot would be on the West Coast of Florida. (Haven't been on the eastern side) and loved the white sands, wonderful water around Tampa Bay area. Spent time there several different springs and really enjoyed it.

apple blossom said...

I'm stuck in the midwest haven't been to any ocean, but I'd love to I'm not real picky which one. However, my daughter is moving to VA in the fall so maybe the east coast is more of a possibility than the west.

Ann Lee Miller said...

I'd love to read this book!

Judy Cooper said...

I have not read any of Julie'a books but Fade to Blue sounds like a book I would enjoy. In fact I intend to seek out her other books. Please count me in for the giveaway.

Jackie S. said...

I would love to be entered....anxious to read Julie's book(s). I enjoy ocean/marshes in Charleston area....cause daughter lives there!!! Thanks!

Charlotte Kay said...

Another new author for me, YEAH!!!!!!
I am grateful for the chance to win this book!

Charlotte Kay
charlovesmark at gmail dot com

rbooth43 said...

I love to get lost in the story and the beautiful setting, that I can revel in God’s creation and fall in the love with the concepts of forgiveness, sacrifice, and grace with a major twist at the end that I would love to find out the outcome of Fade To Blue. By the post I am hooked to read this book!
Thanks Julie!


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