Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A SWEET review of A Semi-Sweet Summer

a semi sweet summer FB banner copy

About the Book:

A Semi-Sweet Summer - Medium 300
Name of book: A Semi-Sweet Summer
Author: Jan Elder
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 18, 2017
Cassidy Cooper never wanted to set foot in Crystal Falls again. Ten years earlier, she’d given her heart to a boy who’d, in turn, humiliated her deeply. Now, back in town as the sole beneficiary of her sister’s estate, she’s determined to make her sister’s dream of an upscale chocolate truffle shop, come true.
Hunter Gray is very intrigued by his new neighbor. His escape artist cow, Marigold, engineers an introduction…but it’s not quite the first impression he was hoping for. Baffled by the nagging suspicion he’s seen this woman before, he plots to win Cassidy’s heart at every opportunity.
With the object of her unrequited love living within shouting distance, Cassidy prays for strength to forgive and forget. And Hunter? He just wants to get back to his own dream to grow his farm and get to know the pretty girl next door. If she’ll let him.

Click here to purchase your copy of Jan's wonderful book

About the Author

Jan Elder with Pink FlowersJAN ELDER is an inspirational romance writer with a passion for telling stories other women can relate to on a deep level. She strives to write the kind of book that will strengthen the reader’s faith, introducing the reader to a loving and forgiving Lord who walks beside us in our daily lives, while also providing an entertaining and engrossing love story.
Happily married for fourteen years to loving (and supportive) husband, Steve, the two live in central Maryland along with Jamie (a chubby black and white tuxedo cat), and Shu-Shu (a willowy tortoiseshell cat). On the weekends, Jan and Steve comb the nearby countryside in search of the perfect ice cream flavor.
My Thoughts

We have the story of Cassidy and Hunter. Cassidy's mom had married and the two lived with her mother's husband, and his daughter, for a few years until the two divorced and Cassidy and her mother moved. Cassidy considered her step sister her actual sister, and refers to her as such in the book. Her sister died, and left everything she had to Cassidy, even though the two were not on speaking terms and hadn't been for years. Her sister was friends with a neighbor girl who didn't like Cassidy at all, and together the two girls humiliated Cassidy and she could never forgive them. This set off the events that led to Cassidy not speaking to her sister, so she was shocked when she was willed a house and the makings of a chocolate business in small town Crystal Falls.

After vowing to never step foot back in the little town, Cassidy finds herself gawking at a bare-chested neighbor who has just followed his cow into her yard. She comes to find out that Hunter, the bare-chested cow chaser, is the one person in the little town she'd hoped to never see again . . . and he lives right next door!

 Once word gets out that Cassidy is following through with her sister's wishes of opening a gourmet truffle shop, things start happening such as a someone breaking into the shop and causing a lot of destruction. Everyone is pretty shocked when the find out the culprit, but will Cassidy ever be able to get over what her sister did to her, and will she and Hunter make a life for each other?! I guess you'll just have to read it to find out!
I just loved this book! It's not a difficult read, nor a long one. I read it in an evening/night, and found it to be well paced and sweet (pun TOTALLY intended!) The characters are sweet, and you really get a sense of their personality. They are well developed, and the timeline makes sense. The whole story line is well paced, and believable. I could really put myself in Cassidy's shoes, and I appreciate how the author was able to fill in any gaps that wouldn't make sense like how her sister was able to get the money to pay off a house and start a business at such a young age. 

Guest Post from Jan Elder

How did you come up with your premise? Is there a story behind your book? How did the story evolve?
When I first parked myself in front of my laptop, preparing to write A Semi-Sweet Summer, I was waxing nostalgic. Shortly before that, I joined a Facebook group, people from a church I had attended when I was a teenager. Memories flooded through me and a myriad of feelings, some quite strong, rose up to assault me. There were a great many pleasant remembrances, but what I recall the most about being in those “stuck in the middle” years was that there was a great deal of anxiety, the sensation of being so very different—certainly not part of the “in” crowd.
A large part of this book harkens back to my teenage years, my thoughts swinging to a boy I had the biggest crush on in high school. He was three and a half years older (I still remember his birthday) and he was definitely in the “elite” segment of our church youth group—the cool kids I so longed to be a part of. Sorry to say, I followed him around like a puppy, learned all of his favorite foods, chosen hobbies, etc. I try not to think I actually stalked him, but I was very aware of his presence, and searched for ways to be near him.
In A Semi-Sweet Summer, I tried to transfer some of that raging angst into fodder for Cassidy’s discomfort in finding her unrequited love living right next door. Cassidy never really fit in, hardly that enviable cheerleader, not a person that anyone would notice. Rather, she sees herself as sort of an ugly duckling. Now she’s back ten years later and it’s a tough situation. By this time, my characters have grown and changed from the people they were in high school. They are well on their way to the path God has set before them. And by the end, they are very different—kinder, gentler folks who have learned a bit more of what it means to truly love.
I like to think that God can use our experiences to help others through similar situations. Maybe this novel will provide some hope or closure for those who have been in the same boat, and spur them on to get past the pain. And hey, who doesn’t love a good story about baked goods, happy cows, and chocolate truffles?
As for me? The funny thing is, my husband has the same first name as my first love. He even has the same color hair, the same easy grin as that other guy. I guess one could say I am attracted to a certain type. But oh, my sweetheart is so much better. My guy is the man God had waiting for me. The other was only a pale imitation, just practice for the real thing.

Blog Stops

ASC Book Reviews, October 12
Remembrancy, October 16
A Greater YesOctober 19
Carpe Diem, October 19
autism momOctober 20
Quiet Quilter, October 23
Karen Sue HadleyOctober 24
Reading Is My SuperPower, October 25 (Interview)

Giveaway

9a5528df-acbd-45c0-b4cf-247aef8a6113
To celebrate her tour, Jan is giving away a 12 piece box of Godiva Chocolates and a Kindle Fire HD Tablet with Alexa (Valued at over $100)!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c1fd


**I received a copy of this free in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion. I wasn't required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.**

3 comments:

  1. Great review! I love that you felt connected to the characters and that the pacing and "sweetness" level is perfect. Looking forward to reading this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment, Danielle. Researching a book about a chocolate shop was lots of fun! I hope you get a chance to read. Blessings, Jan

      Delete
  2. THANKS, "Open Window" (Missica) for the lovely review of A Semi-Sweet Summer! As I'm paging through this blog, I'm loving it. My nephew has Aspergers and so I know a bit about your journey because my sister has been there. Blessings to you and all the best, Jan

    ReplyDelete