Looking for a summer read with heart and humor? Check out Lori Foster's new release, Cooper's Charm, available now wherever books are sold.
1. What inspired you to write Cooper’s Charm?
We used to park our RV at a resort just like Cooper’s Charm, in the location I described for Ridley. My “writing spot” in the RV showed a creek outside the window, woods outside the door, and a wonderful trail to an old railroad trellis within a short walk. I loved it there and finished several books at the resort. In the evening, we’d swim in the lake or the pool and take nice long walks around the grounds.
Since then we bought lake property so I haven’t been back to the resort but I still remember the peaceful feeling, the friendliness of everyone who worked there and those who visited. It’s a wonderful setting, and I hope I did it justice in the book.
It certainly seemed like a terrific place for someone to heal – and to fall in love.
2. What happens in Phoenix Rose’s life that causes her to accept a job in Cooper’s Charm?
The news forever tells us about tragedies, giving the basic details and sometimes a quick interview with the victim. But that’s where it ends and we never see the struggle someone goes through after being a victim to violence. I’m fortunate that nothing like that has ever happened to me or mine, but my heart goes to anyone who’s had to deal with it – and that’s what I put into Phoenix.
Her landscaping business was robbed by masked men who, once they’d had her money, wouldn’t have been content with just robbing her. If it hadn’t been for a customer returning to the store, she’d have suffered an even bigger assault.
It would take a very rare person not to be altered by something like that. Phoenix’s entire life changed... but she wants it back. She wants to return to the strong, fearless woman she once was. A woman unaware of that type of fear.
Cooper’s Charm is a good setting where someone can be alone and yet surrounded by people.
It’s a good place to heal the spirit... and also a good place to fall in love.
3. When her sister Ridley Rose stops by for a visit, what motivates Ridley to extend her stay?
Ridley is dealing with her own issues after an ego-bruising divorce. Like Phoenix, she’s drawn to the peacefulness of the area, and she feels challenged to prove she can do a good job at the menial task of housekeeping – which is actually very hard work. As a bonus, she can keep an eye on the younger sister she loves more than life itself.
4. How does the sisters’ temporary diversion turn into something more permanent?
Each of them finds the meaning of “home” that had been missing in their lives. They gain new friendships, accomplishments, and general satisfaction. They also find love, but they’d already fallen in the love with the area too. Being in the resort community with all the varied and quirky characters gives them a sense of family, of peace, of being where they truly belong. Like puzzle pieces that finally come together, they “fit.”
5. As moms, how do we teach our children the importance of nurturing relationships with our siblings?
First by showing. When someone is open and honest, caring, when you take into consideration the feelings of others, you teach young minds to do the same. Boundaries help. Children should know that arguments will happen, disagreements are common since we all have individual goals and perspectives, but meanness is not allowed – and neither is violence. It always breaks my heart when I hear parents talk about the physical fights their children get into. It is never okay to strike a sibling, for any reason, and although it’s bound to happen on occasion, there should be consistent repercussions to that behavior.
Individuality should always be promoted, but in my opinion, it should be taught hand-in-hand with the understanding that you’re part of a family and will be part of a community as you grow and mature, and in the larger sense, part of a great big world. Respecting yourself is important, but so is respecting others. One doesn’t trump the other.
We all have to work together, to care about each other, to make our small piece of the world the very best it can be – and that starts with family.
6. Are you currently at work on your next novel? If so, what are you able to share with our readers?
The next book out is DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION and I’ve already finished it. I looooved Brodie. He’s a super-alpha guy, comical, big and capable but also kind and understanding. He has his faults, as do we all, but he balances them with a gentle heart. He cares about others – and his big rescue dog. Oh, and he loves his mama, which is always fun. He recognizes that he’s the man he is because of her – which makes him the perfect man to help Mary move beyond a very sad upbringing.
I’m currently working on SLOW RIDE, which is a story for his brother, Jack. It, too, is super fun. Jack – in his own unique ways – is just as awesome as Brodie. DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION is out November 20.
Need more book recommendations? Check out our summer book picks here.
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