Series: Laurel Cove Romance #2
Published by Good Day Publishing
Publication Date October 6, 2020
Genres: Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: North Carolina Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 35-60
Written for: Adults
On the outskirts of Laurel Cove, North Carolina sits a quiet lake tucked into gentle mountains carpeted with the brilliant colors of autumn. Grief binds the lake’s only residents into an unlikely family, where old and new love build a bridge between loss and hope.
For years, best-selling author Cora Bradford has worked tirelessly to tread the unrelenting waves of grief in solitude. That is until a new neighbor moves in down the road and threatens to disrupt what she’s carefully preserved of the life she once knew. Will God ever answer her prayer for peace and calmer waters?
Following a scandal, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Luke Bassett escapes to the one place in the world he’s ever experienced peace—his mother’s cabin on the lake where he spent childhood summers. But the memory of her and the mistakes he made are hardly peaceful. To make matters worse, he gets off to a rocky start with his bitter, but breathtakingly beautiful, neighbor. Was running away from the life he’s always known the biggest mistake of all, or the beginning of something he never knew he wanted?
Spunky, opinionated, and recently widowed Ina McLean is alone for the first time in over ninety years. When Cora and Luke come together to care for their only other neighbor, Ina’s belief in God’s goodness through life’s ups and downs works to restore their hope in learning to live—and love—again.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Also in this series: Someplace Familiar, Someone Found
Blending heartwarming friendship, romance, and overcoming grief, Suddenly Forever binds three neighbors into a family as they each grieve the loss of loved ones. It was so well written and the descriptions of the beautiful North Carolina Blue Ridge mountains in October were so vivid I almost felt the chill here in the hot Florida September!
I really appreciate that despite sensitively showing the depth of Cora’s grief, it still did not drag me down; hope was always there. Hope of something better around the corner. There was also light humor sprinkled throughout. Not overly done but just right. Such as the “haunted” hayride they went on. Luke’s reaction was surprising and quite fun.
Author Teresa Tysinger didn’t make things easy for her characters. Cora kept falling back into her pattern of fearing to let herself love – fearing she would again lose the one she loved and fearing it would be dishonoring to her deceased husband.
I loved sweet Ina, Cora’s feisty, ninety-plus-year-old neighbor! She was so patient and kind. And she was so fun with her no-nonsense way of saying what she was thinking. Her advice, though, was not always solicited and yet she was always quick to give it!
Luke had not had much of a relationship with the Lord since he was a boy. His journey back to the faith he had been neglecting touched my heart. The faith message was clear and was integrated throughout the entire story.
Readers who enjoy Christian fiction will want to read the Laurel Ridge Romance series. Each one stands alone quite well, but do yourself a favor and read them both!
Interview with Teresa
Teresa kindly spent some time answering a bunch of questions about herself, her faith and her writing. I hope you enjoy getting to know her better as I did!
If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you go?
Even though I currently write stories set in the south, I would jump at the chance to spend a year living on and writing about San Juan Island in Washington! My husband and I have vacationed there a few times and it is simply magical. The island is small but offers very diverse landscapes, from beaches to mountains and grassy prairies to dense forests. The wildlife is abundant and the people are so friendly! It’s a slower pace and so peaceful, which actually reminds me a lot of Laurel Cove, NC – the fictional town in my current novel series.
Other than the ability to create your own happily-ever-after endings, what is your favorite thing about being an author?
My favorite thing about being an author is the one-on-one time I get to spend with God. When I write, I try to always invite him into the process with me. It’s often in those writing sessions that I feel closest to Him. I’m most alive and most aware of God when I’m crafting stories.
What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
The biggest challenge I face as an author is finding the “fringe time” during which to write. As someone with a full-time day job, I write during the fringe hours: before anyone is awake, after dinner and chores, on the weekends between errands. It’s very challenging, but thanks to a very supportive husband and usually understanding daughter it works!
What is your favorite book or character that you’ve written?
Choosing a favorite character is like choosing a favorite child! But, if I must… I actually have two favorite characters, one that’s been written and one who is still just an idea. I’ll tell you about the one I’ve already written. Ina McLean is a third-wheel main character (she’s too important to be categorized as a supporting character) in my new novel Suddenly Forever. She’s ninety-three, incredibly sassy, and oozes gobs of I’d-better-write-that-down sort of wisdom. In fact, almost all my favorite lines from the book are spoken by Ina!
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Naming characters is one of my favorite parts of writing a new story. When I’ve given a character their name, they really come to life. However, I most often choose characters’ names quite haphazardly. I think of names I like and usually one just sticks out and – BAM! – it clicks with the character’s personality I am imagining. Sometimes I will research last names that are popular in a certain geographical area. I do also work in family ties into my characters’ names. For instance, the hero in my first novel Someplace Familiar, Jack Bowdon, has my great-grandparents’ last name.
What was your dream job when you were a child?
I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I read Anne of Green Gables as a young girl and fell in love with storytelling. The notion of taking readers to a completely different place, introducing them to new people, and making them feel invested in what happens was magical to me then and it still is now. Even though I also have a full-time day job, it’s a dream come true to write novels in my spare time.
What is your favorite season? Are there special memories associated with it that make it special that you can share with us?
Hands down and unequivocally, my favorite season is and will always be autumn. There is something about the relief the cooler season brings from the stifling summer that makes you go “ahhh.” The coziness of sitting in front of a crackling fireplace with a blanket, coffee, and a good book. The brilliant colors outside (if you’re lucky to live in a location that enjoys fall foliage) and muted colors of cable knit sweaters and mittens by the time November rolls around. The fun and whimsy of Halloween and closeness of family and friends at Thanksgiving. Pumpkins, brisk breezes, soups, and traditions. What’s not to love?
What do you do when you are not writing?
When I’m not writing, I work full-time as a director of communications for a national non-profit that provides scholarships to college and seminary students. I spend my day writing press releases, updated websites, managing social media, and designing promotional graphics. While I’d love to write books full-time someday, I really do love my job. There are also the most important ways I spend my time: being a wife and mom!
What is your favorite Bible verse?
God gifted me my favorite Bible verse when I was going through Confirmation in 6th grade. We had to pick a life verse and I landed on Isaiah 41:10. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Little did I know then that I would call upon this verse countless times in my life. As someone who struggles with worry and anxiety from time to time, God knew it was just the verse for me. Oh, how He loves us!
Will you tell us about Suddenly Forever?
The main characters are very different from one another but share a common thread of grief. Each for their own reason, they are living with loss and searching for hope. As the only residents living around a quiet mountain lake, they journey from being neighbors to unlikely family. It’s the sweetest transformation that has really left an impression on me.
The inspiration for came in the form of a lightning bolt – figuratively, not literally. Lying in bed one night, I could not stop thinking of this one character who was beginning to take shape in my mind. An hour or two later, after much tossing and turning, I pecked out a vivid story idea into my glowing phone screen. In that short time, the characters were real, their hurts and desires clear, and I even knew the ending. As a complete pantser (fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants writer), I’ve never had such a clear pathway for a story. It really feels as though God co-wrote this book and I have been in prayer for the person(s) He will speak to through it. That’s so exciting!
Suddenly Forever is set in the fictional mountain town of Laurel Cove, North Carolina – same as the setting of my first book, Someplace Familiar. Laurel Cove is inspired by the childhood hometown of my best friend from college, Burnsville, NC. Just over the mountain from our college, I would visit Burnsville on the weekends for homecooked meals and a quiet place to study. I fell in love with its charm, Southern hospitality, quaint small-town traditions, and breathtaking landscape.