It’s my pleasure to welcome Beverly Nault and in honor of these last days of summer, we’re giving away a copy of Fresh Start Summer, book one in the Season’s of Cherryvale series–a cozy, arm chair travel where neighbors care, gardeners share and God allows do-overs. With a touch of humor, a smattering of faith and a glimpse at movie-making glamour, you’ll adore the folks living on The Cherrypath, a unique artery that stitches lives together as one in heart and mind.
Q & A with Beverly Nault:
The cover for Fresh Start Summer is so bright and cheery. Tell us a little about how this reflects the town of Cherryvale.
I wanted to build a town that provided an escape, a quick retreat if you will. Cherryvale’s a place that’s just a little bit friendlier, a little slower paced, where you can feel rested and refreshed. I believe my publisher, Lamp Post Press, did a great job matching the art to that feeling, and what’s inside. The rainbow, for instance, makes an actual appearance in the story.
Fun! There is a great crop of themes in Fresh Start Summer that really resonate with readers. One that really stood out to me was your characters’ love of horses and animals. Will you share with us a little more of why this theme is so dear to you.
What a great question! I feel our pets are God’s hugs wrapped in fur. His critters add comfort to our lives, and they’ve always been a huge part of my life. I grew up showing horses, and have loved many cats, fish, birds and dogs (or granddogs!). So when I was developing Cherryvale and its characters, many of them appeared as four-legged, with feathers, or with fins. And they took on active parts, more than just set pieces. I had lots of fun assigning them important roles in some of the plot twists.
It really shines through! Another fun detail is that Grace is a baker and her specialty is muffins. I love her generosity and how she bakes them to share with the whole town. What’s her most popular flavor and what’s your personal favorite muffin?
Cherryvalers argue over their favorite flavor, so I don’t know if I should pick one, or I’d have an uprising on my hands. If I had to narrow down my favorite, it would be any flavor I didn’t have to make. LOL. Unlike Grace, I’m not really a very good baker. OK, I’ll pick poppy seed. Or chocolate-chocolate chip. Or…
They all sound so good! I think it’s impossible to read Fresh Start Summer and not want to pay a visit to Cherryvale. If we just got off the bus in the center of this sweet little town, what top three stops should we make?
First, we’ll step into the diner, The Lunch Bucket, and let Shelby bring us a slice of pie, and a dose of her downhome wisdom. No matter what’s troubling you, (no use trying to hide it from her) Shelby has a story about how God walked her through something similar, and by the time we finish our slice of cherry crumble a la mode, she’ll have our hearts straight and heads cleared. Next, I’ll show you The Daily Grind, smell the deep aroma of fresh-brewed? Maybe Shelby’s floated our caffeine level with her endless cups, but let’s go inside anyway. A series of photos along the wall depict Cherryvale’s before and after transformation. The town had been in a financial slump, and folks were moving away until Grace Harkins led the charge, and volunteers transformed the shabby storefronts to historical charm that now attracts tourists, antiquers, and even the movie biz. For our last stop, let’s see what’s happening at the Cherryvale Community Theater. From talent show fundraisers to the annual Christmas pageant, the theater is the cultural hub, and a great place to find all the ‘Valers gathered. If I can talk you into staying a little longer, let’s take a leisurely stroll around The Cherrypath, the artery that winds around town, connecting Cherryvalers’ lives as “one in heart and mind.” (That’s from Acts 4:32) Called simply “The Path,” I’d love to show you the old fashioned, white-steepled church, where we can spend a few moments together, praising God from whom all blessings flow.
A stroll on The Path sounds just heavenly. Will you share with us a favorite paragraph from the book?
I’d love to! Here is how The Cherrypath affects Jeff, a new arrival to town, the first time he experiences it.
“Over tinny racket from the ear buds draped on his shoulder, a goldfinch called per-chick-er-ee. Jeff cut off the device the better to hear the surround sound symphony. The anxieties over his career and doubts about his ability to parent dissolved. A feeling of serenity hidden for decades surged through his veins. All at once, the meaning of the word “evensong” became clear. Shoving the player into his pocket, he allowed the gathering peace to take a firm hold of his heart and soul. Lightning bugs flickered and danced above the hedgerow along the fence, beckoning him forward along The Path.”
Beverly, thank you so much for being with us today and sharing more about the first book in the Seasons of Cherryvale series!
Thanks for having me, it’s been fun showing you around Cherryvale!
To be entered simply leave a comment here, or on my Facebook page sharing your favorite type of muffin. All commenters will be put into a hat (er…not literally) and a random winner will be drawn on Friday 17th at noon! 😀
For more on Beverly’s Seasons of Cherryvale series, you can visit her website or check out her blog, Bev Said What? You can also find her on Pinterest and Twitter or say hi the next time you’re on Facebook!
Have a great week!
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Book Release Guest Spots for the week:
A very thoughtful interview at Mrs. Mommy Booknerd. This one was a lot of fun 🙂
And on Wednesday, I’ll be hanging out with Stacy Henrie, so please drop in and say hi! Stacy is an absolute sweetheart and has a book coming out next month which I’ll be featuring in a few weeks!!