Glad you're here. You'll find reviews of various products....books, dvd's, music, and who knows what else you might find with a review! There will be an occasional interview and maybe even a few giveaways! Enjoy your time here and find yourself a treasure or two!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

"Beyond Summer" review and e-book giveaway

I am so excited to have Carie Lawson, author of "Beyond Summer", with us today. Thanks, Carie, for taking time to let us know a little bit about you.
Carie Lawson, author

How long have you been writing and when was your first book published?

I've been writing seven years and my first book, Beyond Africa, was published by Desert Breeze in March of this year.

What advice or tips do you have for writers who are just getting started?

Here's my big, profound answer--You have to love it. If you don't, the work wouldn't be worth it. Discovering that I loved to write as much as I love to read was the first step in a journey that was a little harrowing and a lot of fun. The opportunity to share my writing is a blessing.

Where do you get ideas for stories?

Through the characters. They form in my mind long before they have a story.

Has anything surprised you about being an author?

Everything! After I started writing, I was very surprised to realize all that I didn't know about it. I was a business major in college, so I had very few resources when I began writing. I homeschool my kids and constantly learn something new about grammar. That started when my oldest was in the third grade.

Tell us how you come up with characters.

I start with basic strengths and weaknesses. For instance, Zane, our hero in Beyond Summer, would be one who struggled with his keeping his temper in check. To balance him, I gave him this need to nurture and protect. One without the other wouldn't have been a very interesting or likeable character.

What is a typical writing day like for you?

I try to work in an hour a day for writing. It's not much so I'm pretty protective of that hour. If I can get one day a week where I have a two or three hour block, that helps. For me writing has to work in to my life, because my full time job is being mom.

How long does it normally take you to write a book?

About eight months, a little less if I can stretch those one hour slots into two.

Where is your favorite place to write?

Panera Bread. I like to have a snack and never ending coffee. The crowd noise is easy to ignore, and I don't feel the pull of laundry that needs to be folded or dishes that should be loaded. But most days I'm in my bedroom with the door closed while enforcing the "don't come in unless someone is bleeding" rule.

What is your favorite genre of Christian fiction?

Romance. It's fun and relaxing. And I really like happy endings.

What are you reading right now?

I can't read anything until the weekend. Shawna William's No Other is at the top of my list so that I can be ready for the book club discussion this month.

What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

Read. A good book, a fireplace, a cup of hot tea. Ah!

What is your favorite movie?

You've Got Mail. I love Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. It's fun to go back and watch what was, at the time, very technologically advanced.

What 3 things would you rather not be without?

My Bible, my family and a good book.

If you had the time and the money, what would you like to do?

I HATE to fly, but I'd love to see Europe. Rome, Ireland, the south of France.

How can readers and fans contact you? (website, blog, face book, twitter, etc)

I'm still a pretty basic girl. I've got a website and try to hit Facebook once a day. My fan page is Carie Lawson Books.

Thanks so much for having me. It's been a lot of fun:)


 Desert Breeze Publishing, 2010
My review of "Beyond Summer"......

Beyond Summer is book number 2 in the Twisted Roots series. Zane McCord is back from Africa, working from home and raising his son, Daniel. His sister-in-law, Libby, helps him care for his son since Daniel’s mom left several years ago. Libby, her husband and his family are going back to Africa to take some supplies to the orphanage and clinic Libby used to work at. With Libby gone Zane will need someone to help with Daniel and Libby has just the person. She has the idea that Carly, her college roommate, and her 2 girls, can stay in Libby’s home while she’s away and help Zane care for Daniel.

I enjoyed Zane’s reaction to Carly when he met her. She is a very beautiful woman, model quality. He has sworn off this “type” of woman since his wife left him and Daniel. Of course he tries to act nonchalant around her but when he steps outside and meets her 2 little girls, his heart is captured.

Carly is married but separated from her husband at the moment. Just what is the story behind this separation? She certainly doesn’t want to talk about it. And her oldest daughter, Anna, seems to be a little scared about something. She doesn’t want much to do with Zane, preferring to stick close to her mother. Brie, Carly’s youngest, immediately takes to Zane and everyone else.

Carie has done a superb job of developing her characters and their situations. You are drawn into the book, and become a part of the families. This is one of those books that I didn’t want to put down! It was worth just a few hours of sleep to finish the book. I highly recommend this and also the first in the series, “Beyond Africa”. You won’t be disappointed.

If you would like to enter for a chance to win an electronic copy of "Beyond Summer", please leave a comment with your email address.  A winner will be announced on Saturday, 9/11/10.  Good luck and God bless!


  1. This sounds like a great book.

  2. I love stories with kids in them. Sounds intriguing.

  3. Janet, don't enter me as I have a copy. Just couldn't pass up the opportunity to say that I've known Carie for a while now and she is simply an amazing person. Definitely the kind of mom I wish I could be. I'm so happy for her and her success!!!

  4. Hope everyone is having a great Labor Day! Thanks again, Janet, for having me. There's a great game of dart tag going on downstairs. I'm happy for a reason to escape to the computer:)

  5. I enjoyed the interview. I agree with the statement about loving to write if you want to be a writer. It takes great dedication - you have to love it! Please enter me.
    Deborah M.

  6. Jen,
    You're too kind! You are an awesome mom, and writer and teacher. Thanks for saying hi! Hopefully I'll see you soon.

  7. Well, Janet, it's been a wonderful day here. We've played soccer, Spoons, Go Fish, eaten. Thanks for having me. It's been fun getting to know you better and I was encouraged by your wonderful readers! Thanks for taking the time out of your Labor Day to spend with me.

  8. I am adding this series to by tbr list.
    It sounds good.

  9. Wendy, you won't be sorry! She's writing the 3rd one now. I just LOVED the first 2!!!
    Good luck!

  10. This book sounds really good. Looking forward to reading it. Thanks for giving away a copy. Count me in on the giveaway.

  11. This book sounds wonderful. And oh, what a great interview.


  12. And the winner is..........
    Deborah M.
    Congratulations!! I'll be emailing you shortly.


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