I've been a long-time fan of Carolyn Brown, so I'm thrilled to have her on the blog today to answer a few questions about her latest, The Sometimes Sisters (totally loved!) and a few other pressing questions this romance junkie had for her. The lovely people of Montlake Romance provided a giveaway of The Sometimes Sisters as part of this post, so don't forget to scroll down and fill in the rafflecopter for a chance to win!
Publication Date: February 27th 2018 by Montlake Romance
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
About the book:
When they were growing up, Dana, Harper, and Tawny thought of themselves as “sometimes sisters.” They connected only during the summer month they’d all spend at their grandmother’s rustic lakeside resort in north Texas. But secrets started building, and ten years have passed since they’ve all been together—in fact, they’ve rarely spoken, and it broke their grandmother’s heart.
Now she’s gone, leaving Annie’s Place to her granddaughters—twelve cabins, a small house, a café, a convenience store, and a lot of family memories. It’s where Dana, Harper, and Tawny once shared so many good times. They’ve returned, sharing only hidden regrets, a guarded mistrust, and haunting guilt. But now, in this healing summer place, the secrets that once drove them apart could bring them back together—especially when they discover that their grandmother may have been hiding something, too…
To overcome the past and find future happiness, these “sometimes sisters” have one more chance to realize they are always family.
Carolyn Brown: Exclusive Interview:
First of all, I want to say thank you for visiting Waves of Fiction! I’m a huge fan of your romances! Your stories touch my heart, make me laugh, and keep me entertained until the last page!
Thank you for that compliment. And thank you so much for inviting me to Waves of Fiction today. It’s such a pleasure to be here.
Q: Can you tell us a little about The Sometimes Sisters, and what motivated you to write their story?
It all started when the sisters showed up in my head and wanted me to write their stories. I had two sisters. Like Dana, I had a father who rejected his first family. One sister I never met. We shared different mothers. The other one was a part of that first family, and we were best friends and confidantes until the day she passed away. So the what ifs came into play. What if we’d met as adults? What if Joy hadn’t died in a car accident before I ever met her? What if Patti hadn’t passed away suddenly? What if we’d been thrown together as adults and had to overcome all the past?
Q: You’ve written several colorful female characters, like Agnes and Violet from your Cadillac, Texas series or Mavis and Naomi from your Burnt Boot, Texas series. These women alternately had me laughing myself silly and shaking my head. What inspired you to write these women and their battles?
Those women simply popped into my head and I couldn’t get them out. They were my inspiration. Agnes was only supposed to be a minor character, the crazy old aunt who lived across the street from the café, but she almost stole the show. After reading The Wedding Pearls, (that book has a couple of sassy elderly women also—Frankie and Ivy) my daughter called me late one night. She was still sniffling from the The Wedding Pearls ending and informed me that if I ever wrote another Cadillac story and Agnes died, she wouldn’t talk to me for a month.
Q: Will we see any fierce rivalry like that in The Sometimes Sisters?
Not so much as Agnes and Violet or Mavis and Naomi. Like sisters, they do have their jealous moments, but that stays “in the family”. Let anyone come in and threaten one of them, and the other two are there to support and protect.
Q: The Sometimes Sisters sounds more like Women’s Fiction from the book description, so I’m curious if there’ll be any romance?
It’s definitely Women’s Fiction. Dana, Harper and Tawny have a journey to make so they can lose the emotional baggage that’s weighing them down. It’s a story of friendship—but I’m not sure that I could write a book without a little bit of romance. After all, love heals and these sisters have a lot of hurts that need to be taken care of. So yes, there is romance mixed in with the friendship.
Q: Do you base any of your fictional characters on real life people? Have you written any characters based on yourself?
Real life people always sneak into my books, whether I know them or not. For example, Mr. B and I were out on a research trip and stopped for ice cream. A young cowboy, wearing dirty jeans, boots and spurs, a sweaty cowboy hat and a faded pearl snap shirt—oh, and a belt buckle with a long horn bull on the front—waited in line ahead of us. He became my next hero. Sometimes it’s something as simple as an attitude that I see in someone. The attitude shows up in a character that doesn’t look like that person, but sure tosses her head to the side like the lady I worked with at one time. Writers are people watchers so beware!
Q: You’ve been writing for quite sometime now, what is your favorite thing about writing?
Freedom and flexibility. My office is in my house and I can work in pajama pants and oversized t-shirts. I’m basically a hermit so this lifestyle suits me. So I’m free from all the entanglements of a job that takes me outside: business clothes, makeup, fixing hair and alarm clocks. I do wear shoes on Sunday, but some weeks that’s the only day. I’m very disciplined so I write for several hours every day, but my schedule is flexible. I don’t have to schedule time off with a boss when I want to go to a writer’s conference or the yearly family reunion.
Q: What is your least favorite thing about writing?
Fear. So far I’ve never been without the voices in my head. But sometimes I fear that they’ll stop giving me ideas. I have a plaque on my wall that says, “I know the voices in my head aren’t real, but they have really great ideas.” I hope that those voices stay with me forever.
Q: What advice would you impart to aspiring writers?
Write! Don’t Whine! Do you realize that both words start with a W and end with an E and they each have five letters? Why waste your time whining when you could be writing? Writing accomplishes something, even if it’s only 500 words a day. That means someday you will have a manuscript to offer somewhere. Set a goal, set your mind and sit down in the chair and write.
Thank you again for letting me stop by Waves of Fiction to talk about The Sometimes Sisters.
My pleasure, Carolyn! I love these answers, and I can't wait for what you have in store for us next!
Now here are my thoughts on The Sometimes Sisters:
I just loved this story so much! I shed tears, both sad and happy, The Sometimes Sisters brought out all the feels!
Dana, Harper, and Tawny are the “Sometimes Sisters” who had gathered for a month during each summer at their Granny Annie’s lakeside resort. Dana is the oldest, a bastard child of their father he refused to acknowledge, but Granny Annie wouldn’t stand for her son’s behavior and accepted her as the true granddaughter she is. Harper and Tawny were the legitimate daughters, but didn’t mean they weren’t abandoned by a parent too. These girls only got along sometimes, and there’s been a lot of years since that’s happened. Each one of the sisters has a sad tale and a sort of a chip on their shoulders, but they’ll need to get over it to work together after their Granny’s death. It’s Granny Annie’s dying wish to make it so, and Uncle Zed has been tasked to transforming these women to the “always sisters” instead of “sometimes sisters”.
At the death of their Granny, all three sisters gather at the Lakeside Resort, to mourn her passing and take over running the place with Uncle Zed, Granny Annie’s best friend, and their as-good-as grandpa. We gradually discover why each need this place to call home as the story progresses. I loved watching these women heal and draw close, while their Granny whispers encouragement or snap-out-of-it statements in their heads. I had to laugh at some of her sayings! Uncle Zed is quite the peacemaker, too, and I just loved him to pieces! My heart broke for his loss at the beginning of the story, but I was glad he got to stick around and witness these sisters putting aside their differences and becoming a real, solid family.
The setting is exactly the kind of place I’d love to spend the summer, a beautiful lakeside resort with old-fashioned cabins, a little snack, bait and tackle store, and a café serving all the good home-cooked favorites! This place sounded like a dream escape to me!
The lovely people of Montlake Romance have generously provided a copy of The Sometimes Sisters to one lucky reader! Please fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win!