Under a Summer Sky: Book Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway #LoneStarLit

June 17, 2017 Blog Tours, Giveaways 2

Follow Your Heart, Book 3
Melody Carlson
  Genre: Contemporary Romance / Christian / Inspirational
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: June 6, 2017
Number of Pages: 320
Scroll down for Giveaway!
High school art teacher Nicole Anderson is looking forward to a relaxing summer in Savannah, house-sitting and managing an art gallery for a family friend. The house is luxurious in a way that only old money could make it, and the gallery promises interesting days in a gorgeous setting. Yet it isn’t long before her ideal summer turns into more than she bargained for: a snooty gallery employee who’s determined to force her out, a displaced adolescent roosting in the attic, and two of her childhood friends—who also happen to be brothers—vying for her attention.

With the backdrop of a gorgeous historical city, incredible architecture, and even an alleged ghost or two, combined with the opportunity for romance . . . anything can happen! 
Bestselling and award-winning author Melody Carlson invites you to spend the summer surrounded by splendor . . . and tantalizing possibilities.

“Heartwarming and uplifting.”Library Journal on Once Upon a Summertime 

“Sweet, romantic, and endlessly entertaining.”Radiant Lit on Once Upon a Summertime
“This winsome romance [is] a perfect summer read.”Publishers Weekly on All Summer Long

Excerpt: Chapter 1, Part 1

From Under a Summer Sky

By Melody Carlson


Nicole Anderson had no idea why her mother had slipped into the back of her art classroom this afternoon, but because this seventh period class was half over, Nicole pretended not to notice. It wasn’t easy to ignore that platinum-blonde hair styled within an inch of its life. Her sixty-five-year-old mom wore a slightly catty expression as she slid into a vacant chair. Sitting up straight, she pristinely clutched her faux Hermès purse in her lap, and unlike the students, she looked attentive.

Nicole cleared her throat, continuing her lecture on the Renaissance period and trying not to be distracted by her mom, whose pale blue pantsuit looked comically out of place amid the high school students. Slouching in their “uniforms” of shredded denim, faded tees, grubby flip-flops, and strange hairdos, these teens were bored and antsy, and probably too warm since the temperature in the art room was pushing eighty.

Nicole clicked to the next image on the screen. She always reserved the Renaissance for the last week of her art history class. Not because she was saving the best for last, but because it would be irresponsible to leave it out completely.

“Raphael is considered to be one of the premiere painters of the High Renaissance.” Nicole stared at the somber self-portrait up on the screen. Even Raphael looked restless and discontent. “Born Raffaello Sanzio in Umbria, Italy, this artist is best known for his religious works. In many ways, his style was more lifelike than his predecessors’ . . .” She droned on, surrendering to the heat-induced stupor and wondering why the art department was the only building with no AC. She clicked to the next image.

“Raphael did numerous Madonna and child paintings in various settings. Perhaps he simply wanted to get it just right.” She tried to inject interest into her voice. “Most would agree that he did.” She clicked to Portrait of a Young Man. “It’s interesting how Raphael captured the young man with that sideways glance—as if he’s got mischief on his mind.”

Really, she wondered, is this how I planned to spend my life? Boring these disinterested high school students with information they probably wouldn’t retain past their final exam on Friday—if they kept it that long. What was the point? She glanced at the class as she clicked to the next image. To her surprise, a hand raised. Was someone really going to ask a question? Then she realized it was only her mother, waving eagerly like a first grader. Some of the students were looking at her with a smidgeon of curiosity.

Nicole bit her lip. To allow her mother to speak up was dicey at best. Caroline Anderson was unpredictable—she tended to speak first and think later. It might amuse these teens, but Nicole wasn’t ready to witness her class degenerate into adolescent chaos. It was the last week of school, and as Principal Myers liked to say, the natives were restless. Why encourage them?

“Miss Anderson?” her mother called out. “I have a question.”

“Class,” Nicole said in a flat tone, “our unexpected visitor happens to be my mother.” She forced a smile, hoping to appear more mannerly than she felt. “I’d like you to meet Mrs. Anderson.” She looked directly at her mother. “You have a question?”

“Yes, Miss Anderson, I do.” Her mother’s blue eyes twinkled as she stood up. “I’m curious. Have you ever seen any original works of this particular artist? And if you have, will you please tell us about it?”

Of course, her mother already knew the answer, but for some reason she wanted Nicole to share with the class. Nicole took a deep breath, noticing that her students actually looked somewhat attentive just now. Perhaps this was a teachable moment.

“As a matter of fact, I have seen a few pieces of Raphael’s original art.” She told them about how she’d spent a year touring Europe after graduating from college. “It was a really sweet gift from my parents and turned out to be an amazing trip for me. Seeing the actual works of the people I’d studied made the art come to life for me. When I walked past the pond where Paul Gauguin had done the lily pad painting, I could almost feel his presence.” She told them about visiting the Louvre and some of the Renaissance works there. To her pleasant surprise, most of her students perked up, and some of them actually seemed to be listening with genuine interest.

She continued to tell them about Florence, Italy, pointing out how Raphael and some of his contemporaries lived there. “You can imagine how it would inspire them to be living around other artists, exchanging ideas and—” She was cut off by the bell, signaling that her last class and the school day had ended. “That’s all for today,” she called out as the students gathered backpacks and things, making a mass exodus.

A girl named Alyssa paused by the door. “That’s pretty cool, Miss Anderson. I wish I could go to Europe like you did.”

“Yeah, me too,” the boy behind her said.

“Maybe you will,” Nicole said.


Read part two on the Lone Star Book Blog Tours stop on 6/22/17.


Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than 6.5 million, including many bestselling Christmas novellas, young adult titles, and the contemporary romances Once Upon a Summertime and All Summer Long. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon.
Grand Prize:
Print copies of the three books in the Follow Your Heart series, Thanks You’re A Peach Tea Gift Tin,12×18 Savannah travel poster, & Georgia Peach Cookies Tin
1st Runner-UpFull series + $15 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
2nd Runner-UpFull Series + $10 Starbucks Gift Card
June 17-26, 2017
(U.S. Only)
Excerpt 1
Guest Post
Author Interview
Excerpt 2
Excerpt 3
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