We are here today with Catherine Lanigan whose July release, FAMILY OF HIS OWN, is the 8th book in the SHORES OF INDIAN LAKE SERIES.
What does the back cover say about FAMILY OF HIS OWN?
He’s ready to settle down…with or without her
Scott Abbott has always loved Isabelle Hawks. And he’s always been her rock. Patient, dependable, strong. But lately, she’s been acting like that rock is weighing her down. With her art career taking off, Isabelle has been spending less and less time in Indian Lake…and with him. Scott isn’t even sure what they are to each other anymore. They might be friends with a history, but it sure doesn’t feel like a future. Maybe it’s time for Scott to set her free and focus on his own dreams. A real home. A family. All the thing he had hoped to share with her…..
Where did you get the idea for the novel?
Since the inception of The Shores of Indian Lake series when I first introduced Isabelle and Scott, I’ve wanted to write Scott’s story. His unrequited love for Isabelle, the passionate, obsessed artist, was the kind of angst that always draws me to buy a novel.
Also, I identified a great deal with Isabelle. I know what it’s like to be “in my creative zone”. But Isabelle takes her need for distance and space to an unhealthy level. I’ve seen this kind of behavior so many times not just in myself but others. My curiosity couldn’t wait to explore it. I have to admit to being a biography addict. I love reading about real people, who left a mark on this world. It’s fascinating to me to see the convoluted routes so many of us must take to get to the end goal. For artists, writers, composers…all creative types, we do have this “alternate world” we live in. It’s more than escape for me, it’s a place I inhabit with my characters. Because Isabelle is so focused on her art and is just about to accomplish her lifetime goal, when Scott finally asks her to marry him, she feels like the Titanic when it hit an iceberg. She thinks she’s making the right decision, but what she doesn’t realize is that her life is terribly out of balance.
As fiercely as Isabelle grasps her career, Scott is the polar opposite and realizes that his happiness is not to be found in a Pulitzer Prize winning piece of journalism, but in the little arms of two “abandoned” children of a heroin-addict mother. I didn’t have to do much research to learn about the “Foster Care system” in our country. I have been witness to stories told to me by patients in my brother-in-law’s dental office where I work. I know one couple, now in their eighties, who have been foster parents to sixty-three children. A former writing student of mine and his new bride have just become foster parents. Another patient in the dental practice spent three years first being a foster parent and then adopting a disabled child. Their stories tore my heart to shreds.
When I was researching PROTECTING THE SINGLE MOM, the detectives told me stories of these children being left in mini-marts, grocery stores, left on playgrounds and at the beach by drug-addicted parents. We’ve all read stories of babies being found in dumpsters, but the situation is becoming common. It’s not “shocking” enough to warrant a story in a newspaper or on-line column. The noble and caring hearts of these people who take in these abandoned children deserve all my respect. They are the real heroes in our world today. I wanted Scott to be that kind of guy. And he was.
Do you have a favorite scene?
I have several favorite scenes. Because I’ve posted the scene between Scott and the two children he comes to adopt, Bella and Michael, I thought I’d share a different scene here with you.
This is the scene in which Isabelle turns down Scott’s marriage proposal. I had so much empathy for Scott, who finally had the courage to ask Isabelle and at the same time, I felt her terror at the choice she thought she was being given. To give up a lifelong dream and know that all her life she would resent Scott, her best friend, for pulling the rug out from under her, it had to be frightening and heartbreaking on BOTH sides.
Scott leaned toward her, gazing at her with a force of longing and desire she couldn’t remember seeing before. “Isabelle, I came here tonight...” He placed his hand on hers. “To ask you something.”
A sense of foreboding settled over her. “Scott, I don’t think...”
“Hear me out. We’ve always been best friends. You’re the first person I think about when I wake up. We spend so much time together. We know each other inside and out. I want us to move forward with our lives.” He squeezed her hand earnestly.
“We are moving forward,” she said reflexively.
“I mean together. I’ve thought a lot about where my life is going, and I realize now that writing articles for the local paper is not going to make a difference in this world. I saw that tonight, in that apartment. But I can change the future for these kids. I can take something horrible and make it happy. It’s my hope that you’d do that with me.”
All Isabelle could do was stare at him. “You just got through saying we were best friends, but you don’t know me at all. You of all people know that I just won the chance of my lifetime. A shot at a gallery show! The one thing I’ve worked for since high school.” Her voice cracked. “It might be selfish, but it’s my chance, Scott. The one I dreamed about while I was raising my siblings.” Her palms were sweating and her heart rammed against her chest like a caged animal. She shot to her feet. “You are not asking me this right now.”
“Oh, but I am,” he replied quietly.
“I don’t believe this,” she said, raking her hand through her hair and turning from him.
“You don’t want to be together?”
“I don’t want children,” she said in a rush.
“You never told me that before.”
“Not in so many words.” How could he have missed this obvious fact about her? She’d often confided how heavily the responsibility for her brothers and sisters had fallen on her. How she valued her independence above all.
“I’ve told you, Scott. My whole childhood was cooking, cleaning, doing my siblings’ laundry while they played on the swing set or went to football practice or piano lessons. I was sweeping and changing diapers. I walked Violet in the middle of the night when she had bronchitis, so my mother could sleep and go to work.”
Isabelle’s voice rose and tears streamed down her cheeks. She could feel resentment in every teardrop. She hated that she felt that way, but she did. “I rarely had time to draw. I desperately wanted to be in the art club in high school. You remember. But most of the time I had to drive one of the other kids to their lessons or the library or whatever when they were supposed to meet. There was never any time for me.” Her cheeks were blazing hot.
“I knew you resented the responsibilities...”
“Resented?” She snorted. “All I dreamed about was drawing and painting. No one ever asked me what I wanted. What kind of lessons I wanted.”
Her tears were coming in torrents and as she dropped her face to her hands, Scott enfolded her in his arms. “I’m so sorry, Isabelle. I didn’t realize how deep this went. There’s so much emotion in your paintings... I should have understood.”
She sniffed and pulled back. She placed her palms on his chest and felt his thundering heart.
She was hurting him, but she didn’t know what course to take other than escape. “Don’t you see, Scott? This is my chance to be free. My art has always meant freedom to me. I can explore the entire universe if I make this sale. With the Lodges closed for the winter, I have time to paint what Malcolm wants. I can do this. It will be my grand adventure.”
“Your new life,” he said huskily.
He smoothed her hair back from her face and traced the edge of her cheek with his thumb. “You go for it, Isabelle. Be the best you can be.”
“I intend to.”
Then he kissed her with so much longing and passion, she felt weak.
He pulled her closer, and she melted into him, catching the faint scent of the spicy cologne he always wore.
“Isabelle,” he whispered, as he released her. “I have to go.”
She lowered her head. “I understand. Bye, Scott,” she said, her voice quaking.
What’s next for you?
Next up is HIS BABY DILEMMA to be released in December. This is Mica Barzonni’s story and for my series, this one is quite different. I won’t spoil the surprises, and there are several, but I’m enjoying the story between Mica, the youngest of the four Barzonni brothers and Grace, the niece of Louise Railton the owner of The Louise House sweet shop. Grace is a fashion designer who lives in Paris. She has also been in love with Mica since she was sixteen. When she comes back to Indian Lake just before New Year’s, she has a very big surprise for Mica.
I’m also working on four more stories for SHORES OF INDIAN LAKE. I had such a good time with Isabelle Hawks’ large family during the writing of FAMILY OF HIS OWN, I simply had to go back and dig deeper into this wonderful family.
At the same time, there are always more secrets being revealed about Mrs. Beabots and her past in Paris and with her mysterious husband, Raymond.
As always, I love hearing your comments about Indian Lake and what stories you would like to see in the future. You can visit my new web site: www.catherinelanigan.com,
Follow me on Twitter @cathlanigan or Pinterest, Facebook and my Prism Book Tours, past and present at www.Prismbooktours.blogspot.com.
Have a happy July!