Book Recommendation ~ The Last Summer by Brandy Bruce

Book Description:

For twenty-something Sara Witherspoon and her group of friends, a perfect Southern summer includes lake-house getaways, wedding planning, outdoor concerts, and a dash of romance. But for these seven friends who love each other like family, this year, summer rolls in with changes for everyone.

Sara’s longtime crush, Luke, has been her best friend for as long as she has been a part of the group. When Luke begins seriously dating another of their friends, Sara’s forced to deal with her hurt and jealousy, while outwardly try to support them both.

While Sara comes to terms with her own heart and her friends’ relationships, an unexpected handsome pilot from North Carolina and an old flame are thrown into the mix. Knowing her heart suddenly becomes much more complicated.

But as time unfolds and friendships begin to unravel, Sara and the others are presented with the reality of what a season of change does to old friendships and new love interests.

Does growing older mean growing apart?

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I really enjoyed reading The Last Summer. The book is written in first person point of view and we journey with Sara in a coming of age story with romantic elements.

Sara has had a secret crush on her best friend, Luke, since the moment they met at the singles group at church when she moved back to Texas. She was welcomed into their tight knit and fun loving group. The seven friends support and encourage each other as they do life together.

Their idyllic and comfortable friendship group is challenged by life changes and new relationships. When Luke starts dating Debra, one of her friends in the group, Sara struggles to cope with how the budding romance impacts her friendships with both Luke and Debra.

I loved the ensemble cast of characters who were both real and flawed. They made mistakes and had to live with the consequences of their decisions. The faith of each of the characters played an important role in the story and impacted their life choices.

I spent a large part of the book uncertain about how I’d like to see the story end. I love Brandy’s writing style and I couldn’t put the book down. I highly recommend The Last Summer to readers who enjoy contemporary Christian fiction that’s reminiscent of the 90’s tv show Friends.

Read a FREE sample at Amazon.com

Friday Weekend Escape to Texas, USA with Lynette Sowell

Today we’re escaping for the weekend with my author friend, Lynette Sowell, to Central Texas, USA. Lynette is giving us a tour of her home state and sharing her love for the Lone Star State. Enjoy!

Cowboys, soldiers, and wide open spaces

By Lynette Sowell

Welcome to my neighborhood! I love to travel the country (and the world) sometimes through books, but I thought I’d let you have a glimpse of where I’ve called home for over twenty years now—Central Texas.

Most people think about cattle, wide open spaces, pickup trucks, cowboys and such, when they think about Texas—and all those things are true. Within a few minutes’ drive of my city, you’re in the Hill Country, where they do have cattle and ranches.

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cattle n ranch

But what I love most about the area, besides those wide open spaces, is being so close to Fort Hood. I can dine ’round the world and never leave home. We have a large expatriot community here from transplants as far away as the South Pacific!

Guam celebration

As a local newspaper reporter, I get to enjoy time with those of many varied backgrounds, like recently attending a 70th anniversary celebration commemmorating the liberation of Guam from the Japanese. The island folks had a big party here, complete with roasted pig, pancit (with Spam) and other yummies.

In our part of Texas, the cavalry is still alive and well, and the Army’s First Cavalry division still has a horse detachment that rides and trains. Their purpose is ceremonial, and they along with their mounts travel around for parades and public events.

Cavalry

Texas has big churches, but it also has small community churches that have been around for more than a century. Immanuel Lutheran Church recently celebrated its 125th anniversary—a big milestone.

Lutheran Church Before the storm

When driving through the Texas countryside, you never know when you’ll come upon an encouraging word, like with this church sign. I drove past it one very busy morning, when I had a lot on my mind and much to do. Glimpsing this sign made me feel as if I’d had a nudge from a friend, telling me I wasn’t alone with my concerns and I should probably fret a lot less.

Country Church

That’s why when I decided to write a contemporary Texas series, I chose to set it in the fictional town of Starlight, Texas—not far from Fort Hood. Inside the three titles—Catch A Falling Star, Counting on Starlight, and The Sweetheart of Starlight—I’ve put many of my favorite things about Central Texas inside their pages: wide open spaces, fickle weather to include hail storms, heat, ice storm and a tornado;/ a kaleidoscope of characters to include transplants from other parts of the country, as well as Germany and Korea; along with high school football and barbecue, all wrapped up in a small town with a view that goes on for miles.

Thanks for stopping by and reading about my corner of the world, deep in the heart of Texas!

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Here’s more about Catch A Falling Star:

Justine Campbell would gladly rewind her life a few months…back before it crumbled around her like so much gilded plaster. Billy Tucker could use a rewind button, too. He’d go back to the day before his humvee exploded in Iraq, injuring himself and killing two of his buddies. Billy’s bitterness and Justine’s humiliation make for a prickly pair when they first meet, but can either of them let go of the past long enough to let God make their paths straight again?

http://www.amazon.com/Catch-Falling-Truly-Digital-Editions-ebook/dp/B00ESR5F5G/ref=la_B001JS1XFI_1_22?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1407284718&sr=1-22

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LYNETTE SOWELL is an award-winning author with New England roots, but she makes her home on the doorstep of the Texas Hill Country with her husband, her dog Mocha, and a duo of spoiled cats. When she’s not writing, she chases down stories for the local newspaper and is always up for a Texas road trip.

Blog: lynettesowell.blogspot.com
Facebook: facebook.com/lynettesowellauthor
Twitter: @LynetteSowell
Goodreads: goodreads.com/author/show/311277.Lynette_Sowell

Friday Weekend Escape to San Antonio, Texas, USA

This week I’m visiting San Antonio, Texas for the Romance Writers of America annual conference. I’ve left behind the frosty winter temperatures in Canberra, Australia and I’m enjoying a brief taste of summer in Texas. I’ve posted a couple of photos below. Enjoy your weekend!

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