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When it’s time to plan a vacation, do you head to the beach? Regina Merrick’s novel, Carolina Dream, looks like it would transport us there without costing us an airline ticket. 😉 I’m happy to have Regina visiting today to share a little more of the “story behind the story,” but before we do, let’s take a peek at the back cover.
Sarah Crawford wants more from life than to attend the wedding of her ex-fiancée. An unexpected inheritance in South Carolina comes at the perfect time, just as Sarah is willing to use any excuse to get out of town.
When she meets potential business partner Jared Benton and discovers that a house is part of the inheritance, she is sure that God has been preparing her for this time through a recurring dream. But will a dream about an antebellum mansion, many rooms to be explored, and a man with dark brown eyes give her the confidence to take a leap of faith, leaving friends, family, and her job behind?
You can find Carolina Home here:
Welcome, Regina! What inspired you to write this series or this novel in particular?
Carolina Dream (book one of the “Southern Breeze” series) came about as the result of an actual dream. One night I dreamt that I was walking through an old mansion that was in disrepair. The furniture was in all the wrong rooms, but as I walked through, I thought of what could be. When I woke up, I couldn’t forget it, so I started thinking “what if,” and ten years later, Carolina Dream was published. I did have the forethought to write down the dream, and I found it recently. It was really bad! LOL! Fortunately, I have edited the bad out of it and created a character who could describe it better than I could in the beginning!
Remembering a dream well enough to write any of it down is impressive. Who is your favorite secondary character in this latest novel, and do you think you’ll include that character in a future story?
Oh, my favorite secondary character is definitely Lucy Dixon, Sarah Crawford’s best friend. She’s tiny, funny, and is bursting with energy and self-confidence. She’s the friend we all need – she encourages and sees the best in everyone. You’ll definitely see her in book two of the series. In fact, she’s the central character in Carolina Mercy, coming in 2018!
She sounds very fun! Why did you choose this particular setting, and have you been there?
The Pawley’s Island/Litchfield Beach area of South Carolina is one of my favorite places in the whole world. We first visited there with my family (just like Sarah in CD!), and simply fell in love. We’ve been there once since then, and I would live there if I could. It’s situated about halfway between Myrtle Beach and Charleston, so you get the best of both worlds in a more residential setting – some of the cleanest beaches in the US and a more low-key lifestyle.
I wouldn’t classify Myrtle Beach as “low-key,” although I enjoyed visiting there. Next time I’ll have to find this area instead… What do you hope your readers take away from this novel?
My main character, Sarah, has gone through heartbreak, and is struggling to trust God. I hope my readers can identify with Sarah in that while she trusts God ultimately, she finds His blessings in the most unexpected places and learns to overcome the spirit of fear and hopelessness that has kept her in bondage. My goal as an author, and as a Christian, is to be an encourager for others!
Trust can be such a tough struggle. Can you share (briefly) about something you feel the Lord has been teaching you recently?
What a great question! Lately, the Lord has been working on me to RELAX and get to know Him better. After years of trying to keep up with what I think is expected of me, I’m learning to let things go – whether it be stuff, positions, etc. – and focus on what God wants for me. He has used my health, my sanity, and my family to get me honed in on HIM! ☺
That’s awesome! It’s so easy to focus on all the other things we think we’re supposed to do and lose sight of Him… If you could offer a word of encouragement to an aspiring author, what would you say?
I would say GO FOR IT. Keep writing. Find a group that encourages you and teaches you both the craft and business of writing. If not for my Ken-Ten Writer’s Group, I would not be published today. God uses all sorts of avenues to publication, and they won’t all be like mine. If you follow what might seem like rabbit trails to you, they might just be that “narrow way” that is God’s path for you.
Great advice! Thanks for taking the time to share with us today, Regina!
Your turn! What do you find most appealing about Carolina Dream?
More about Regina:
Regina Rudd Merrick began reading romance and thinking of book ideas as early as her teenage years when she attempted a happily-ever-after sequel to “Gone With the Wind.” That love of fiction parlayed into a career as a librarian, and she is currently the director of a small public library in Marion, KY. She began attending local writing workshops and continued to hone her craft by writing several short and novel-length fan-fiction pieces published online, where she met other authors with a similar love for story, a Christian worldview, and happily-ever-after. Married for 30+ years and active in their church, Regina and her husband have two grown daughters who share her love of music, writing, and the arts. Visit Regina on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or on her website at www.reginamerrick.wordpress.com.
You can connect with Regina online:
Carolina Dream Giveaway:
Regina has graciously offered to give away a copy of Carolina Dream (winner’s choice: paperback or e-copy). Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.