The Last Summer by Brandy Bruce -Giveaway Tour with Singing Librarian Books

Synopsis:

TheLastSummerFor 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?

   The Last Summer

About the Author:

BrandyBruce

Brandy Bruce is a mom, a wife, a book editor, an author, and someone who really loves dessert. She’s the author of the award-winning novel The Last Summer, Looks Like Love, and The Romano Family Collection. Brandy, her husband, and their children make their home in Colorado.

 

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10 Behind-the-Scenes Facts

about The Last Summer’s Texas Setting

  1. The museum’s Pink-Floyd-laser-light-show date that Sara goes on was inspired by one of my first dates with my husband! He planned the whole date and we went to the Spaghetti Warehouse (which was also a place my parents went to when they were dating) and then the laser light show at the very same museum. Best. Date. Ever.
  2. Bodegas, the restaurant near the museum where Sara and her friend Wendy like to eat, is a real restaurant very near the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
  3. I wrote the scene about the gas station barbeque because there’s truly a gas station in Texas that serves amazing barbeque. (There are probably hundreds actually!) The food in Texas can’t be beat.
  4. Sara and her girlfriends go eat doughnuts at Shipley’s. Shipley’s is my favorite doughnut chain in Texas. I am still devastated that there are no Shipley’s in Colorado. For the longest time, no one I knew in Colorado had ever even heard of kolaches! What in the world. I grew up eating sausage kolaches and chocolate-iced doughnuts at Shipley’s Donuts, and every time I’m in Texas, finding a Shipley’s is a must.
  5. The Lake Shore Woods lake house was inspired by a real lake house out in East Texas. My best friend and I stayed there for a weekend years ago and I remember loving how woodsy and beautiful the area was, and thinking that I was going use that setting in a book too.
  6. Sara goes shopping in The Woodlands at a place called Market Street and it’s an area I love to go to whenever I’m back in town—lots of fun restaurants and shops and a movie theater.
  7. There’s a scene where the gang are all hanging out in Hermann hospital waiting room and one of the characters, Debra, brings in several sacks of Whataburger meals. Which is Texas to a T.
  8. I mention Dickens’ on the Strand at Christmastime in the book. This is a real festival in Galveston, Texas, held in late November/early December. It’s a Charles Dickens-esque Christmas celebration with people in costumes and a parade and carolers and street vendors. My grandmother was the one who first told me about it. She and her best girlfriends loved to go to Dickens’ on the Strand together.
  9. When describing Sara’s parents’ house in the affluent Willow Heights area, I mention the azalea bushes by the back deck. This stemmed from the trail of azaleas in Houston’s River Oaks section. It’s a beautiful area with stately homes and during azalea season, you can drive through and see what they call the trail of azaleas. My dad used to drive us through River Oaks when I was a little girl.
  10. As you can probably tell, I love Texas. I was born in Houston and lived there, then Conroe, Texas, and then Porter—both on the outskirts of the city—until I went away to college in Virginia. All of my extended family still live there and whenever I step off the plane and feel the humidity and heat of Texas—and see all the belt buckles and cowboy hats and T-shirts that say, “Most likely to Secede”—I know I’m home again. The places in the book that I didn’t create, such as the museum district and The Woodlands and San Jacinto, are all real places that I’ve touched and experienced. And from the sweet tea the girls drink to the tomato plants Addison grows, these little details come from real-life in Texas.

 

Snippet

They all exchanged looks around the table. I felt like they were having this private conversation and hoped the conclusion would be that they wanted me. Because there was something special about the people at this table. The way they kidded and joked and touched each other and moved like one breathing organism. The way they did seem like a family. Six people connected to each other. I wanted to be the seventh.

“I have a feeling, Sara Witherspoon,” Addison said, tilting her head to the side and studying me as though she could see all the way to my heart, “you belong too.”

I don’t know how she knew, but she did. Like I said, Addison is the leader. She’s the glue. Once she said those words, all tension melted away, and I was included. If Addison said I belonged, I did. She reminded me of Melanie Wilkes in Gone with the Wind. If Mrs. Wilkes was the cool-headed voice of reason that could settle the chaos around her, Addison was that same strong, trusted constant amid these six friends. Her word was law. And from that day forward, the six people around that table at Isabella’s became like six extensions of myself.

We were a circle. Within a month, Jason asked me to go out to dinner with him. Luke hadn’t shown any romantic interest in me, and there was Jason, with that thick, dark hair and playful personality and handful of tattoos on his olive skin—how could I say no? We started dating. A year after that, we

broke up. As much as I truly liked Jason and couldn’t help feeling attracted to him, I hadn’t fallen in love. I couldn’t picture us married and having babies. We were better as friends. I know Jason didn’t agree, but he and I both refused to let our break up damage the circle. Eventually, things between us returned to normal.

During my dating-Jason phase, Sam and Lily got married, which didn’t really change anything since they were already such a unit. I realized early on that Luke and Debra were never an item. I’d mistaken Debra’s warm and friendly demeanor and Luke’s tendency to be protective and kind as the traits

of a dating couple, but those endearing qualities of both of them extended to all of us. My crush on Luke diminished as Jason and I dated and then shifted to ‘just friends.’

Sort of.

And somewhere along the way, painfully, Luke and I became best friends.

 

Grab a copy for your beach bag today!

   The Last Summer

Read my review (click here)

 

Giveaway

TLS summer pack giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Giveaway package includes the following: summer swag (beach towl, flip flops, sunglasses, bookmark, and candy) & winner’s choice of a print or e-copy of the book.

Giveaway open to US residents only and ends 11:59pm MT on July 21st.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

 

 

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The Lost Castle (The Lost Castle #1) by Kristy Cambron

Launching a brand-new series, Kristy Cambron explores the collision of past and present as she discovers the ruins of a French castle, long lost to history.

Synopsis:

A thirteenth century castle, Chateau de Doux Reves, has been forgotten for generations, left to ruin in a storybook forest nestled deep in France’s picturesque Loire Valley. It survived a sacking in the French Revolution, was brought back to life and fashioned into a storybook chateau in the Gilded Age, and was eventually felled and deserted after a disastrous fire in the 1930s.

As Ellie Carver sits by her grandmother’s bedside, she hears stories of a castle . . . of lost love and a hidden chapel that played host to a secret fight in the World War II French resistance. But her grandmother is quickly slipping into the locked-down world of Alzheimer’s, and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family’s history.

Sparked by the discovery of a long forgotten family heirloom, Ellie embarks on a journey to French wine country to uncover the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty–the castle so named for Charles Perrault’s beloved fairy tale–and unearth its secrets before they’re finally silenced by time.

Set in three different time periods–the French Revolution, World War II, and present day–The Lost Castle is a story of loves won and lost, of battles waged, and an enchanted castle that inspired the epic fairy tales time left behind.

My Thoughts:

The Lost Castle is brimming with emotion. Both intricate and detailed, this story is an adventure that you won’t soon forget! Kristy Cambron expertly weaves together three poignant stories into an elegant masterpiece that will tug at the heartstrings of even the most stoic reader.

Ellison (Ellie) Carver’s parents died when she was 11-years old, and she was raised by her Grandmother Viola. Now her Grandmother is slipping away, slowly losing her memories and Ellie longs to know more about “La Bell au bois dormant – The Sleeping Beauty”, a castle in France that seems to hold secrets her Grandmother can no longer remember. A journal, handwritten in French and a photo from June 5, 1944, are the only clues that Ellie has to go by. She feels compelled to travel to France to uncover the mystery that is locked behind the Alzheimer’s walls in her Grandmothers’ memory. Will she be able to discover the mystery of The Sleeping Beauty castle, or only find more unanswered questions?

I honestly couldn’t pick a favorite time period in the story. Every time the story progressed to another time jump, I would think “Oh, just a few more paragraphs, I’m not ready to move on.” However, within a few words, I was fully engaged and happy to be in that time setting.

If you are on the fence about reading a time-slip story with three different time periods, don’t let it hold you back from reading this amazingly well-written story. Just take a piece of advice and pay close attention to the date at each section, that way you can quickly know where you are in time. I’d also add, that you may wish to set aside time to enjoy this book because once you start, you won’t want to put it down!

With a robust theme of faith and a resilient hope for the future, this story is one that will linger with you long after you read the last words on the page. I give this story 5 stars and encourage you to find a copy of this wonderful book to enjoy for yourself.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

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About the Author:

KristyCambron  KRISTY CAMBRON has a background in art and design, but she fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. She is the bestselling author of The Ringmaster’s Wife, named to Publishers Weekly Spring 2016 Religion & Spirituality TOP 10. Her novels have been named to Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books and RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards Best lists for 2014 & 2015, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations. The Lost Castle (HarperCollins, series debut in 2018) is her fifth novel. Her first Bible studies (DVD + study guides), The Verse Mapping series, will release in 2018.

Kristy holds a degree in Art History from Indiana University, and has 15 years experience in education and leadership development for a Fortune-100 Corporation. She lovesstorytelling from the stage and travels to teach about the intersection of story roads, faith-following Jesus, and her affection for Bible Verse-Mapping. Kristy lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

The last and most important thing? Jesus Christ is everything — let her tell you about Him sometime.

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  The Lost Castle

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