A CASE FOR FORGIVENESS by Carol Ross
Innkeeper Shay James has been telling herself for a decade that she's over her ex-fiancé, Jonah Cedar. But now the Chicago attorney's come home to care for his ailing grandfather, reawakening powerful feelings—along with painful memories. Shay can't afford to repeat history.
At twenty-two, Jonah couldn't wait to trade his secluded Alaska hometown for big-city success. Shay was supposed to share that dream. Yet even with unresolved issues between them, their connection is stronger than ever. Jonah's visit was only going to be temporary…until a threat to Shay's beloved Faraway Inn gives him a reason to stay and fight for that second chance.
Where did you get the idea for A Case for Forgiveness?
The idea for this one was definitely character based. The heroine, Shay James, has a bit part in the first book in the Seasons of Alaska series as owner of the Faraway Inn and cousin of Mountains Apart hero Bering James. There is just something about her… She's spunky--loyal, generous and thoughtful, but she also has a quick temper and a stubbornness that can (does) get her into trouble. She’s so lovably flawed while she valiantly struggles with the hand fate has dealt her… She just had to have her own story. And I'm so grateful to my editor Kathryn Lye who helped me figure out some critical plot details.
In looking at the cover, if you could add a caption or captions, what would they say?
Thank you, Harlequin, for the perfect cover? Okay, that might not be that great as a caption, but I do love it. How about…forgiveness is one of the most valuable gifts we can give to ourselves.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I am going to pick two because they are pretty much a team--Gramps and Doc. Gramps (aka Caleb) is the hero’s grandfather and Doc is his long-time friend. They are loosely based on my own dad (who was called Papa by his family) and his friend of roughly sixty years, Warren. The joking, teasing, bickering, and unwavering love and loyalty were a joy for me to write. I think Papa may have had a hand in helping me with some of the dialogue from his favorite fishing hole up in heaven.
What music would match the mood of this novel?
Country music fans think Rascal Flatts…. The beginning is ‘What Hurts the Most’ and ‘Prayin’ for Daylight’ while the end is ‘Bless the Broken Road’, with touches of ‘I Melt’ and ‘Mayberry’ throughout the entire book.
What is your favorite scene?
I love the scene where Jonah is playing bingo with the Senior Circle. Cynical about returning to Rankins and used to his action-packed big-city attorney lifestyle, needless to say he’s very reluctant to attend. But he soon gets caught up in the spirit of it. I got the biggest kick out of writing it, and this is where Jonah first begins to see that maybe Rankins isn’t quite as bad as he remembers even as he realizes his connection to Shay is just as strong as he recalls...
Tell us one thing you learned during research.
One of the best things about writing this series is researching the state of Alaska. I’m always learning something new and getting lost in (and inspired by) the most stunning photographs. But for this book in particular I’m going to go with estate law and the Alaska Homestead Act. I was fascinated to learn that homesteading was possible in Alaska until 1986 (no, that’s not a typo).
How many books does this make for you? Exactly what does that mean to you?
A Case for Forgiveness is my second published novel. This one is huge for me in terms of confidence. I kept thinking with the first one that maybe it was just a fluke, that there had been some kind of mistake, or that my editor hadn’t really read it… I also love this book because it was the first time I made myself cry while writing--that felt like a milestone, too!
What do you plan to work on next?
I am just finishing up book four in the Seasons of Alaska series and waiting on revisions for book three, which is due to be released in October. So very excited!
What are you reading for pleasure right now?
John Sandford’s Deadline, number eight in his Virgil Flowers series. John Sandford is one of my all-time favorite authors--I read everything he publishes. (I dream of going fishing with Virgil…)
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