Message From The Author

Brenda Novak

Genre: General Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Romance

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Author's Message

What would make a woman take in a troubled drifter?

Some people actually do this all the time. My mother-in-law is one of them. She never locks her doors. She routinely picks up hitchhikers. She’ll give anyone a meal or even a bed. As a matter of fact, she always has at least one stranger living with her and my father-in-law at any given time. And in all the years she’s been taking such risks, she’s helped hundreds of people and never had a problem.

I marvel at her. I would be very unlikely to trust a stranger to that degree. Of course, I have kids to protect, so I have added reason to be careful. But even with just my own welfare to consider, I’d only take in a drifter if I felt his need deep in my soul and was convinced there was more to be gained—that he would indeed benefit—than there was to be lost.

That’s exactly the situation the heroine of my new book, When Summer Comes, finds herself in when a handsome war vet comes to her door in the middle of the night. Levi’s in such bad condition Callie can’t turn him away. And once she starts trying to help and gets to know him, she no longer wants him to leave. She’s going through a difficult time herself—she’s been told she won’t survive the summer without a liver transplant—so many of the things that once seemed all-important don’t matter much anymore. Thinking she’s probably going to die anyway, and feeling added empathy, thanks to her own condition, Callie gives Levi shelter, and he ends up giving her more reason to live than she’s ever had before.

Although, in forty-something books, I’ve never written about a terminally ill heroine before, I found the conflict in When Summer Comes to be a powerful one. It allowed me to explore so many intriguing themes—quality of life vs. quantity of days, how empathy and love can change a person and his or her situation, the miracles that a little forgiveness can create, and the difference hope makes. And for those who might be worried, this is a romance, so the heroine doesn’t die. I actually got the idea for Callie’s situation from watching one of my best friends go through exactly what she does. My one-time college roommate had a liver transplant ten years ago and is still beautiful, strong and healthy. (I’d also like to say that she took in a handsome drifter and subsequently fell in love, but she was already married to the love of her life and they are still together today.)

For more information on When Summer Comes, or any of the other books in the Whiskey Creek series, visit my website.

- Brenda Novak

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