Please join me in welcoming author Sarah Anne Crouch to the blog today to talk about her debut novel, A Summer in Shady Springs!
Sarah Anne Crouch grew up in a small town much like Shady Springs. She cherishes the close relationships and beautiful memories from her hometown. Though she’s lived everywhere from Malibu, CA to Nashville, TN, Sarah now resides in Arkansas with her husband, three children, and thousands of books. You can find her online at sarahannecrouch.wordpress.com or @sarahannecrouch on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
A SUMMER IN SHADY SPRINGS
SERIES: Shady Springs #1
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: Anaiah Press
RELEASE DATE: August 10, 2021
The last place Madeleine Mullins wants to be is back in Shady Springs, Arkansas—the town where her whole world fell apart. But when her beloved Aunt Clara begs her for help, Madeleine reluctantly takes a job painting a mural at her aunt’s church. Her plan is to finish quickly and leave her bad memories behind. But the more time she spends with the handsome youth minister and the more she reads her Bible, the more she wonders if she has been wrong about God and the Church all along.
Three years out of college and A.J. Young still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up. He knows he wants to settle down and build a family but hasn’t found the wife he’d like to share his life with. Then Madeleine comes to town. Their friendship buds quickly, although it can never be anything more as long as she isn’t a Christian.
An undeniable attraction grows between A.J. and Madeleine, but she’s only in town for a few weeks, and he can’t date someone who doesn’t share his beliefs. How can Madeleine help A.J. discover a passion for the career he’s always wanted? And how can A.J. convince Madeleine to give God and Shady Springs a second chance?
Hi Sarah! Welcome to the blog!
Sarah: Summer for sure! I hate being cold, and my birthday is in July, so that one’s a no-brainer for me.
Carrie: Summer is my least favorite season – out of all the seasons haha. If it wasn’t so hot, I’d like it well enough 🙂
Sarah Anne: Netflix. I’m a big film junkie, plus you can often get Hallmark shows and movies on Netflix if you wait long enough.
Carrie: that’s a good point – patience IS a virtue
Sarah Anne: I love board games! We often play games with my husband’s family when we all get together. They even occasionally let me win the board game, but they never let me win a card game.
Carrie: Board games are so fun – we love playing them too!
Sarah Anne: Ebook. I know that’s a hot take. It’s just so much easier for me to read on my Kindle while rocking a baby. Also, my husband has enough print books for the both of us. (Let’s be honest, he’s got enough for about fifty people.)
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Sarah Anne: If I could pick anything, I think it would be super speed. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to get all the laundry folded and dishes washed in a few seconds? Then I could spend the extra time reading and writing!
Carrie: yes please!
Q: Other than the Bible, what are five of your most cherished books?
Sarah Anne: A Wrinkle in Time, Pride and Prejudice, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, and The Chronicles of Narnia (I have a boxed set, so that can be just one, right?)
Carrie: totally 🙂
Q: Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?
Sarah Anne: I work best with clean surfaces, no music, and no distractions. With three small kids, that can be difficult to manage, so I try to find a little corner to hide in when I can. Lately, that’s been my big dining room table. I have a bay window where I can see the yard and watch the neighborhood, which is nice. Plus, it gives me an incentive to keep the table clean.
Carrie: dining room tables do tend to be repositories for clutter lol
Q: Which character in A Summer in Shady Springs was the most difficult to write?
Sarah Anne: Nancy Jones, a church member who hurt my main character and her mother, was most difficult to write. If my book had a villain, it would probably be her. I wanted her to have good, believable reasons for doing what she did. The good news is, the more I got into her head, the more I added to her story, and I ended up creating material for my next manuscript through exploring her character.
Carrie: oh that’s interesting!
Q: Did you have the whole plot outlined before you started writing, or did you let the characters dictate what came next?
Sarah Anne: Outline 100%! I was blown away when I realized that authors can outline their books before they start. When I was younger, I always assumed they just started at the beginning and wrote until they got to the end, which is why I had a whole slew of first chapters I wrote in my teens. I can’t finish a manuscript without outlining first, but I still give myself freedom to change things as I go along. (If anyone’s a writing nerd like I am and really wants to know, I use a hybrid of The Snowflake Method and Story Genius.)
Carrie: ah yes… i have a few of those ‘first chapters’ from my past as well – why i decided just to read & review & blog instead lol
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from A Summer in Shady Springs?
Sarah Anne: I wrote this book because of conversations I’d had with friends who left their faith and the Church after being hurt by Christians. So often people run away from God because of other people’s mistakes, or the hypocrisy of other Christians. My message is this: Don’t rob yourself of the amazing love of God for any reason! Christians are people too; they make horrible choices sometimes. But you are missing out on the best gift of your life if you let other people pull you away from Christ. Conversely, for fellow Christians, we have to be careful not to push anyone away from God through what we say and do.
Carrie: amen ♥
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Sarah Anne: I am very excited to say I will get to be a part of a novella collection coming out September 2022 with Amy Anguish, Heather Greer, and Regina Merrick. The title is Love in Any Season, and my story is “A Sweet Dream Come True.” Each story focuses on a Main Street business and seasonal festival. It’s going to be super cute!
I’ve also got lots more to say about Shady Springs! (Or maybe my characters have lots more to say.) My next book will focus on Henry and Catherine Mullins. Then I hope to have a couple more Shady Springs books after that!
Sarah Anne Crouch is offering a digital copy of A Summer in Shady Springs to one of my readers! (Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read A Summer in Shady Springs by Sarah Anne Crouch?