Monday, July 6, 2009

Sunset Beach and interview

Author: Trish Perry
Publisher: Harvest House Publisher
June 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7369-2675-1
Genre: Inspirational/women’s fiction

Sonny Miller has just graduated from college, and her graduation gift from her mom is a week stay at a beach house in San Diego. Sonny is hoping that she and her mother will have a heart-to-heart talk and Sonny will learn all the secrets her mother has kept over the years.

A short time before leaving for the beach house, Sonny learns of an aunt, Melanie that she has never met, so she is quick to invite her to the beach house as well. It is time for the three of them to get to know each other, Sonny believes. But her mother thwarts her plans when she shows up with Irena, a classical singer who is struggling with issues of her own.

The three Miller women have strong personalities, and the clashes begin almost immediately. When Sonny finds herself in over her head, she has to decide whether to let the issues go, or to keep pushing for answers. But as the sisters begin to reconcile, Sonny begins to make some surprising connections.

SUNSET BEACH is book three in The Beach House Series started by Sally John. I loved Trish Perry’s Beach Dreams enough to go back and read Ms. John’s stories, and I was glad to see the beach house lives on in SUNSET BEACH.

I couldn’t help but love Sonny’s Aunt Melanie. She is a real sweetheart, a kind individual who is there for her husband, son, and when she learns of her existence, her niece. Sonny was a bit too pushy in a way, but that pushiness also matched her chosen career. Teresa (Sonny’s mom) took a lot longer to learn to like as she seemed to hold everyone—even readers—at a distance. I loved the romance that opened up in the book too.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading SUNSET BEACH, and I loved the cover illustration enough to want to head for the beach and spend time in that little cottage myself. I am thankful that Ms. Perry allows us to spend time there vicariously through the pages of this book. Discussion questions and an excerpt from Beach Dreams are included at the end of the book. $13.99. 328 pages.

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Tell me a little bit about your background and your family.
I’m the middle child; middle girl. I was raised as one of five kids by my British mum and my WWII Air Force vet dad. I lived in Newfoundland (Canada), California, Colorado, and finally Virginia, which I’ve called home for the greater part of my life. I love it here. Most of my family still resides in Virginia, which is a bonus.

My late sister lived a rough lifetime of medical problems, which had a distinct bearing on our family lifestyle and our sensibilities toward the hardships of others. Her eventual death may have been a blessed relief for her, but it was a huge loss for us. The loss is what brought me to the Lord.

Both of my children are believers, which brings me such peace. I have a 29-year-old daughter, who is one of the coolest, smartest, most intuitive women I know. She’s blessed me with a remarkable grandson, now five. And my 16-year-old son is brilliant and funny, and he tells me daily that I’m weird (but I can hear the “I love you” in there when he says it).

What do you like to do in your spare time? Hobbies?
Novels and films are constants in my life; if I’m home and not working, I’m usually absorbed by one of those. I love good stories. I enjoy varied styles of music. I love to sing and served on my church’s worship team until my writing schedule got so busy. I still serenade the neighbors on occasion, whether they want me to or not. I’m a self-admitted former disco queen, and I still love to dance. And I make sure to get together with girlfriends at least once a week. Socializing, dining, and laughing—it’s like having your batteries charged!

If you could vacation any where in the world, where would you be and why?
I’d love to take a tour of Europe, both the touristy spots and the secret, unblemished spots. I’ve never given great thought to why Europe draws me more than other parts of the world. But I suppose the fact that my heritage is rooted in Europe makes it more appealing to me. And I’m spoiled, to an extent, by the creature comforts of the U.S. I love learning about life in the other continents, but I’m not a roughin’ it kinda gal. I’m not proud of that, but I’m absolutely aware of it!

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
Well, hands down, I’d have to be able to teleport. Frankly, I’d travel a lot more if it weren’t for airports! I would have chosen the superpower of flying, but who wants to carry all that luggage in the air? If I could teleport, I could have my luggage in my circle of teleportability (you have heard of those, yes?), and it would teleport with me, free of luggage searches and additional-baggage fees.

What has God been teaching you lately?
I’ve been blown away by how clearly He forgives my weaknesses. Things have occurred in my life over the past 18 months for which (right or wrong) I carried a burden of guilt. You know, that feeling of “how did I contribute to this mess?” Yet He has blessed me so abundantly in the midst of my feelings of conviction, that He amazes me daily with His obvious love. The blessings keep me humbly aware of how much I need Him. And they instill in me such a strong desire to serve Him and to follow His guidance and will.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I think I probably wanted to be an actor when I was a child. I memorized dialogue, imagined scenes, and studied actresses I admired. But I never went out for Drama in school. I was horribly shy and couldn’t imagine auditioning for anything. Still, I was well served by my obsession with dialogue and the visual exercises of creating scenes in my mind. Sometimes I still come up with my scenes and dialogue by simply visualizing them on screen or acting them out with imaginary characters. I try to keep these antics private, of course. I’d be in big trouble on one of those Big Brother type of reality shows.

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