Some of you already know multi-award-winning author, Stacy Monson. A few years back she was a blogger here at Inspy Romance. Stacy continues to write contemporary Christian romance that “Reveals an Extraordinary God in Ordinary Life” and she is racking up more awards for her books than I have space to share on this blog.
In just over a week, Stacy’s next book, Open Circle, comes out—having had glimpses of this story, I know it’s going to be another award winner, maybe her best yet! Here’s the back cover blurb to pique your interest:
Mindy Lee “Minnie” Carlson’s dream job has dropped into her hands, but there’s a catch. She has four months to revive Open Circle, the town’s only Senior Adult Day Center, or the doors will close, leaving her beloved seniors stranded, and eliminating the only job she’s ever wanted.
Globe-trotting photographer Jackson Young documents the forgotten people of the world, focusing on the poor and elderly. After decades on the road, he’s stunned to learn his beloved Grandma Em is still alive in the small town he’d had to leave decades earlier.
Overjoyed, Jackson races back to his hometown to reconnect with her, only to discover she’s been Minnie’s adopted grandma for the past twenty years. When Grandma Em has a stroke, his ideas about her care pit him against Minnie’s determination and expertise. For Grandma Em’s sake, and the future of Open Circle, they’ll need to do the impossible—find a way to work together.
The inspiration for this story came from Stacy’s own life experience. I’ll let her tell you about it:
After 8 long years my mom, Joyce, lost her battle with Alzheimer’s. Just eighteen months later we lost my mother-in-law, Marguerite. Writing Open Circle was a simple way to acknowledge all the fabulous people who cared for these amazing women through their years of struggle. There are so many people who care for our elders – from daily cares to adult day programs to support groups, research, developing educational programs. I was astounded to discover layer upon layer of dedicated people who are determined to make life better each and every day for both those afflicted with the disease as well as those who love and care for them.”
Having watched my mom battle with dementia (she’s now singing in the heavenly choir!), and now watching my father-in-law go through the same, I have had the opportunity to witness countless amazing caregivers in their lives. I applaud Stacy for writing this timely and important story!
But let’s not forget the purpose of this blog, and that’s to talk romance. Stacy recently sat down separately with Open Circle‘s heroine and hero, Minnie and Jackson, to ask them a few questions about romance. She’s not certain there’s much hope for these two to actually get together! (Interview previously seen at Shannon Taylor Vannatter’s blog).
Minnie, where is the best place you can think of to find a potential spouse?
Minnie: Here in Lawton. Small towns are so different from the city. I went to college in Minneapolis, and everything moved so much faster. It was noisy all the time, and everyone was in a hurry. I enjoyed my time there, but it was always a relief to get back home where people take time to get to know each other.
Jackson, where is the worst place you can think of to find a potential spouse?
Jackson: In a small town somewhere. I was born in Lawton, which is pretty small, and there are a lot of things I appreciate about it. But there are people there who can’t see beyond its borders, who aren’t willing to travel and see what the world has to offer. I wouldn’t mind if they came from a small town—I might like it, actually—but not if they can’t look beyond its borders.
What type of character traits are you attracted to?
Jackson: Adventurous, fun. My Grandma Em was always up for trying something new, checking out a new place to eat or a new trail to hike. Someone like that who sees what a big world it is.
Minnie: Solid, focused on others, willing to help whenever it’s needed. I work with seniors, many of whom need people they can count on to help in big and small ways, so my guy would have to have a heart for other people.
What’s the one habit or lifestyle that would make you run the other way?
Minnie: Someone with one foot out the door, ready to take off if they get a better offer. I don’t have time for people who are only focused on themselves and what they want or need.
Jackson: Definitely not being able to have fun, doesn’t smile, takes life too seriously. I’ve seen heartache and pain all around the world. I photograph it. So I need someone who can laugh, who appreciates and focuses on what’s good in life.
Okay, then. Hard to imagine these two even being friends let alone developing a relationship, isn’t it? But each of them has positive, even endearing qualities that the other just might discover as they end up working together to keep the doors of Open Circle wide open for the town’s seniors.
Now, a question for Inspy Romance readers:
Small town living or big city living? Why?
Open Circle releases on June 21 and is now available for pre-order: Amazon
About Stacy ~
Stacy Monson is the award-winning author of The Chain of Lakes series, including Shattered Image, Dance of Grace, and The Color of Truth. Her stories reveal an extraordinary God at work in ordinary life. Residing in the Twin Cities, she is the wife of a juggling, unicycling physical education teacher, and a proud mom, and doting grandma.
Connect with Stacy ~
Newsletter: Subscribe to Stacy’s newsletter & receive a FREE copy of SHATTERED IMAGE ~
Pre-Order OPEN CIRCLE for only $2.99! ~
Giveaway Details ~
Stacy Monson has graciously offered to give away one paperback and one ebook copy of OPEN CIRCLE. To enter, answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.
Small town living or big city living? Why?
Contest ends Friday, June 15, 2018 at midnight CST. Two randomly chosen commenters to this post will receive a copy of OPEN CIRCLE.