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Melanie_Murray
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BAREFOOT SEASON Q&A with author Susan Mallery

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Melanie_Murray
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Re: BAREFOOT SEASON Q&A with author Susan Mallery

Barefoot Season  takes place not in Fool's Gold, California, but on Blackberry Island, Washington, and oh, how I wish I could go there!

 

Susan has an amazing amount of information about this place at her website, including a Visitor's Guide and recipes. I spent an hour looking at this when I first

found it!

 

Q&A below!

 

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Melanie_Murray
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Re: BAREFOOT SEASON Q&A with author Susan Mallery

Welcome, Susan! First off, tell us a little bit about the setting of the book and new series. I just loved how detailed you were in describing the island, not only in the book but on your website! So tell my Romantic Readers about Blackberry Island.

 

Blackberry Island… Where Life Is Sweet! www.blackberryisland.com

 

BAREFOOT SEASON is the first book of my new Blackberry Island series. Blackberry Island is a lively tourist community between mainland Seattle and Bainbridge Island, Washington. It’s primarily a weekend getaway for Seattlites looking for a quiet, sophisticated escape. Every direction you look, you’ll see incredible water views. You can laze the day away at wineries, world-class restaurants, then return at night to a charming boutique hotel or B&B, such as the Blackberry Island Inn, which is an institution on the island. Unfortunately, the inn is in financial trouble, thanks to mismanagement by Michelle Sanderson’s late mother.

 

As BAREFOOT SEASON begins, Michelle has inherited the inn and all its problems. After serving ten years in the Army, Michelle was injured in Afghanistan, and she yearns for the solace of home. But solace is hard to find when she discovers that her former best friend Carly is living in the inn’s owner’s suite, and that the bank will force her to keep Carly on staff. Michelle and Carly’s friendship was destroyed when they both fell in love with the same man. He proposed to Carly, then slept with Michelle, and they both felt betrayed. Can their friendship recover?

 

I do love a happy ending, so the women will find their way back to friendship – and they will both fall in love with terrific men that readers will adore. (Not the same man this time!)

 

Barefoot Season is really the story of a friendship. What inspired you to make this the central theme of the book?

 

I will always love writing romance, and BAREFOOT SEASON certainly includes romance, but with my women’s fiction books, I have the chance to write stories about some of the other relationships that are so important. Friendship is one of the touchstone relationships in my life. I can’t imagine going through life without my friends, who support me, cheer for me, comfort me, inspire me… But female friendship is also complicated, and complicated relationships make for the best fiction!

 

I was so impressed with how well you wrote each character. I was on the side of whichever character’s POV was on the page. Michelle and Carly came across as sympathetic, believable people in the middle of a true conflict. Did you take sides as you wrote?

 

I did – but my allegiance kept shifting, too, depending on whose scene I was writing! I’m fickle that way. I love both these women, and they both have very valid reasons for feeling the way they do. These are the kinds of stories I like to write… and read. I love a story with two sympathetic characters in conflict, and I love bringing them both to a happy ending so that readers can close the book with a satisfied sigh.

 

So many books feature male military heroes, and they explore how being in battle affects them when they return home. What a thrill to pick up a book and read about a female war hero. Tell us about how you chose to make Michelle a wounded soldier and anything pertinent you discovered in your research about females who serve.

 

During my research, I was completely blown away by the dedication and the passion exhibited by the soldiers with whom I spoke, all women. There is such a culture of service in our military. Our soldiers are sincere in their desire to serve the country, to protect their fellow citizens. It’s inspiring and humbling, the sacrifices they’re willing to make and the risks they’re willing to take on our behalf. Michelle is my way of honoring their service, and of acknowledging the hardships they endure.

 

One of the most important characters in the book isn’t alive. Talk about Michelle’s mother and how she affected the story from beyond the grave.

 

Michelle’s mom is the source of significant conflict between Michelle and Carly. Not only is she the reason the inn is in financial trouble, she’s partly to blame for their estrangement. Now that she’s gone, Michelle stills feels resentful toward her, as many daughters do toward their mothers, while Carly knows her as the woman who helped her when she needed it the most, when she was pregnant, alone, and broke. Michelle’s mom made promises to Carly that Michelle doesn’t want to keep, promises Carly relied on, both for her own sake and for her young daughter’s.

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Susan! Any last words for us about Barefoot Season, Blackberry Island, or Carly and Michelle?

 

BAREFOOT SEASON is a story from my heart. It’s the ultimately uplifting story of two friends who find each other again – and who find love along the way. I hope readers will come to love Michelle and Carly as much as I do. If you’re in a book club, you’ll be happy to know that I’ve included a Reader’s Discussion Guide in the book, with a suggested menu and recipes, plus some questions to get the conversation started.

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dhaupt
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Re: BAREFOOT SEASON Q&A with author Susan Mallery

THANK YOU Melanie for bringing this I LOVE love love stories about friends and I LOVE love love Susan too. :smileyhappy:

Oh and I love you too

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Susan-Mallery
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Re: BAREFOOT SEASON Q&A with author Susan Mallery

Thank you so much! It's good to be loved, Debbie. I really appreciate it!

Susan Mallery
New York Times bestselling author
www.SusanMallery.com
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Melanie_Murray
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Re: BAREFOOT SEASON Q&A with author Susan Mallery

Susan! Hi! Congrats on release day! How do you feel about the book being out?

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dhaupt
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Re: BAREFOOT SEASON Q&A with author Susan Mallery

Hi Susan, and I'll second Melanies congrats!!!

 

what happens to Fools Gold which I happen to LOVE too and I can't wait to sink my teeth into this new series too.

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Melanie_Murray
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Re: BAREFOOT SEASON Q&A with author Susan Mallery

Here's what happens, Deb!

 

Summer Days   End of May! Can't wait! (Actually have the galley here...)

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Susan-Mallery
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Re: BAREFOOT SEASON Q&A with author Susan Mallery

Hi again, Melanie! Would you believe I scheduled a DENTIST appointment for today???? So how does release day feel? Oddly numb around the mouth. LOL

 

I am obsessive compulsive on release day, as I believe most authors are. Every hour, I look at the BAREFOOT SEASON page on BN.com to see whether the ranking has changed. As of this moment, it's ranked at #105. Not bad, when you consider that the sales rank tracks all books - fiction and nonfiction, hardcover, mass market and, like BAREFOOT SEASON, trade paperback. I will check again at least ten more times throughout the day. And that's probably understating it. Ten times an hour would be overstating it, but not by  much.

 

I have been thrilled and awed by the reviews I've seen for BAREFOOT SEASON. They're amazing and wonderful, and they mean so much... but professional reviews don't mean as much to me as reviews from regular readers. Now that the book is available everywhere, I'm anxious and excited to see how readers feel about it.

Susan Mallery
New York Times bestselling author
www.SusanMallery.com
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Susan-Mallery
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Re: BAREFOOT SEASON Q&A with author Susan Mallery

Yes, Melanie got it exactly right! Three cowboy brothers are coming to Fool's Gold this summer. First up on May 29 is

Summer Days  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then come Summer Nights , All Summer Long  and A Fool's Gold Christmas . PLUS a bonus ebook novella on May 1, ALMOST SUMMER.

 

Have you discovered the Fool's Gold website yet? Lots of great bonus content there, including between-the-books updates on the characters! www.foolsgoldca.com

Susan Mallery
New York Times bestselling author
www.SusanMallery.com
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dhaupt
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Re: BAREFOOT SEASON Q&A with author Susan Mallery


Susan-Mallery wrote:

Yes, Melanie got it exactly right! Three cowboy brothers are coming to Fool's Gold this summer. First up on May 29 is

Summer Days  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then come Summer Nights , All Summer Long  and A Fool's Gold Christmas . PLUS a bonus ebook novella on May 1, ALMOST SUMMER.

 

Have you discovered the Fool's Gold website yet? Lots of great bonus content there, including between-the-books updates on the characters! www.foolsgoldca.com


oh I have been there and I think I just got the shove to go back and soon.

thanks

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Susan-Mallery
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Re: BAREFOOT SEASON Q&A with author Susan Mallery

Be sure to check out the birth announcement for Finn and Dakota's baby! (Finn and Dakota fell in love in

Only Mine (Fool's Gold Series #4)  

Susan Mallery
New York Times bestselling author
www.SusanMallery.com
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dhaupt
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Re: BAREFOOT SEASON Q&A with author Susan Mallery


Susan-Mallery wrote:

Be sure to check out the birth announcement for Finn and Dakota's baby! (Finn and Dakota fell in love in

Only Mine (Fool's Gold Series #4)  


Oh I loved the triplet's love stories and I'll be sure to check them out.

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dhaupt
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Re: BAREFOOT SEASON Q&A with author Susan Mallery

Susan, something else I love is how you always offer great avatars to celebrate what ever season is going on, 

everyone like Susan on FB here https://www.facebook.com/SusanMallery

to make sure you get all the scoop on her.

 

Thnks Susan you make it really fun to be a fan :smileyhappy:

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reader_824
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Re: BAREFOOT SEASON Q&A with author Susan Mallery

[ Edited ]

Susan...I've enjoyed all your books. I have them downloaded to my Nookcolor so I can re-read whenever the moment strikes that it's time for me to go back to Fool's Gold.  I thank you for mentioning the release dates of the next in that series, so I can make a sticky on my laptop to download when they become available.  I also downloaded today's release this morning.  I'm looking forward to starting this new series of yours.

 

Keep up the good writing!

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Susan-Mallery
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Re: BAREFOOT SEASON Q&A with author Susan Mallery

That's so nice, Debbie! Thank you! Yes, I have a very talented but goofy assistant who loves making holiday-themed profile pictures that we can customize for any fan who wants one. Her Valentine's Day hearts were a big hit, as were the St. Patrick's Day leprechauns. But when we offered to put your face on the body of a turkey, only a handful of fans requested a custom pic! LOL Lesson learned - from now on, all of the holiday profile pictures will be designed to make you look good, not weird.

 

Like me at www.facebook.com/susanmallery so you'll be able to get in on the holiday profile pics!

Susan Mallery
New York Times bestselling author
www.SusanMallery.com
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Susan-Mallery
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Re: BAREFOOT SEASON Q&A with author Susan Mallery

Thank you so much! I hope you'll love Barefoot Season !

Susan Mallery
New York Times bestselling author
www.SusanMallery.com
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reader_824
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Re: BAREFOOT SEASON Q&A with author Susan Mallery

Susan...I finished Barefoot Season the other day, and all I can say is WOW!  What a powerful story you've written.  I think I've read and enjoyed just about everything you've written and I own just about everything, but this one is a 12 on a scale of 1-10.  I think it's the best thing you've done to date.  I got so involved with the characters that I alternated between wanting to hug them close and shake them until their teeth rattled! 

 

Incredible writing. Thank you!