Monday, August 27, 2012

Cara Lynn James

Cara Lynn James spent several years as a U.S. Naval officer and Navy wife before moving to Vermont. She began her writing career ten years ago and has had four books published, Love on a Dime, Love on Assignment, Love by the Book (the Ladies of Summerhill series) and A Path toward Love.

A Path toward Love 
Katherine came home to forget her past.
The last thing she expected is a hopeful future. Young widow Katherine Osborne returns to her family’s rustic camp on Raquette Lake in the Adirondack Mountains. She’s determined to live a quiet life, but her socialite mother is equally determined to push her into a new marriage while she’s still young. Andrew Townsend has known Katherine since they were children. An attorney who is successful, but not wealthy, he knows she is socially out of his reach. But he’s curious what changed the free-spirited girl he once knew into this private, somber young woman. Katherine has kept hidden the details of her unsuccessful marriage. When past sins come to light, she must turn to God for the courage to be honest. But how can she trust the God she feels has let her down? When she confides in Andrew, their relationship takes a dramatic turn into uncharted territory. Amid impossible obstacles, two young people must learn to trust enough to walk the path that God has cleared for them. A path that leads to healing and restoration. A path toward love.

Welcome to Ink Dots, Cara Lynn. Where are you from and who do you live with? I’m originally from Connecticut in the northeastern part of United States. I’ve lived all over the country and now I live in Florida with my husband, my daughter and five year old grandson.

Tell us how you came to write this book. My editor at Thomas Nelson suggested I write another book set in the Gilded Age, but change the setting from Newport, Rhode Island. So I chose a lake in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York and placed my characters at what is called ‘a great camp.’ I wanted to write about an area I’ve been to and love. The plot of the story was mine.

If you could have lived at another time in history, what would it be and why? Probably during the Gilded Age because it was an optimistic time with modern conveniences if you had the money to buy them. I wouldn’t have wanted to be poor since the living conditions were awful back then. I think I might have liked to live in England during the Regency period.

Have you been to Australia? No, I’ve never been to Australia, but I’d like to visit. When my husband was in the Navy he visited and absolutely loved it. He said the people were so friendly. If I got a chance to visit, I’d like to see kangaroos in their natural habitat and I’d like to see the beautiful beaches. 

How has writing this book changed you? It’s made me a better writer and definitely a faster one! I learned how to write under pressure and not panic when my deadline was looming. I also learned how to dig deeper into a character’s emotions.

Where can we find you on the internet? You can find me at my website and at

Cara Lynn has included the first pages of A Path Toward Love for us to enjoy. If you would like more, and I'm guessing you will, you can enter for a chance to win your own e-copy of her book. Tell us about the best camp adventure you ever had. Like Cara Lynn's heroine, you may have a favourite family camping spot you remember fondly... OR you may have a horror camping story you'd like to share. Leave your comment below and I'll announce the winner in the comment thread on Friday. 

Until then, here's peek at A Path Toward Love. 

Hernando County
Florida July 1905 

Katherine Osborne couldn’t escape the numbers. She dragged her gaze from the lush orange groves right outside her office window to the ledger open on her desk. Why had she ever believed she could run a business with little experience and less capital? The numbers screamed bankruptcy and the end of her dream—unless she quickly obtained a loan to tide her over. She hoped an answer would come in the afternoon post. All she needed was a little more time . . . surely business would improve. 

For a few moments she gave in to her mounting fears and buried her head in her hands, allowing the warmth and stillness of the afternoon to wash through her. But at the sound of footsteps, Katherine glanced up and smiled at her maid. Etta Mae, young and pretty, strode through the doorway holding out a stack of mail. “For you, Miz Osborne.” She grinned and her teeth glistened white against her dark skin. 

“Is there a letter from the bank?” Etta Mae always riffled through the mail before she turned it over to Katherine. The maid shook her head. “Sorry, ma’am.” Katherine nodded. No word from the loan officer killed her hopes, but only for the day. Perhaps tomorrow she’d finally receive her response. 

“There is a letter from New York,” Etta Mae said, holding out the envelope. 

Katherine ripped it open and scanned the creamy page filled with her mother’s spidery script. 

My Dearest Katherine, Papa is on his way to Florida to visit you at Buena Vista. I expect he’ll stay for a week or so, possibly longer. He’s scheduled to arrive late afternoon on Monday. I do hope this letter precedes his arrival so that you can give him a proper welcome. 

Today! Katherine’s heart sputtered at the thought of Papa coming to Buena Vista. She missed him terribly, though a pinch of anxiety tempered her joy. Why was he traveling all the way from New York in the heat of the summer? Her family always spent the season at their camp on Raquette Lake tucked into the rugged Adirondack Mountains. The air was cool and fresh— nothing like Florida. Only something important would drive Papa from Camp Birchwood in July. She’d wager it involved her mounting problems with keeping the citrus groves operating. Katherine glanced at her pocket watch pinned on her plain cotton shirtwaist. Papa’s train would probably arrive within an hour or two. She needed to tidy up her appearance, and above all, calm her nerves. She continued to read Mama’s letter. 

I do so wish I could join Papa, but I’m afraid my social obligations prevent me from traveling so far. Aunt Letty is with me at Camp Birchwood, for the summer. Our weather is delightful. That’s such a blessing since we have a houseful of guests to entertain. I do wish you could be here to vacation with us. Try to join us whenever you can, my dear. 

Katherine placed the letter on her lap. How she wished she could visit her family. She hadn’t seen any of them in eight years, ever since she’d eloped with Charles against her parents’ wishes. 
They’d never extended invitations to spend summers in the Adirondacks when he was still alive. They detested him—with good reason, as she discovered too late. With a deep sigh rising from the depth of her lungs, Katherine lowered her gaze and read the next few pages of the chatty letter. At the bottom of the last page she found a postscript. 

P.S. I neglected to mention that your old friend, Andrew Townsend, will accompany Papa to Florida. I’m sure you’ll be anxious to see them both.