Deep End of the Lake

About the Book

Book: Deep End of the Lake

Author: Carol Grace Stratton

Genre: Women’s Contemporary Inspirational Fiction

Release date: March, 2021

Life looks great for Ally Cervantes. She has a gig with the paper in Lake Surrender, two adorable kids, and is marrying camp director Will Grainger in a few months. What could go wrong? Her optimistic side assures her she can juggle it all, especially her new custom cake business.

But typical, Ally bites off more than she can chew. Her dream job as a reporter is turning into the treadmill she left when downsized from a prestigious publishing company in Northern California. Now she covers everything from a contentious school board meeting to the new dog food store in town. Oh to have a day off. But she is bound to prove her worth as a writer even as Janice, the know-it-all office manager, scrutinizes her every move.

Her home front isn’t much better. Benjie, a 7-year old on the spectrum has a penchant for squirrels, tantrums and running off at school. But Will has a way with him and can already see changes in Benjie as he bonds with the boy.

Kylie, her precocious thirteen year old is another story She’s trying to wedge herself in-between Will and her mother, obvious she doesn’t want her mother to remarry. And worse still, she’s discovered boys – the kind that drive cars.

When Will hints at Kylie’s resistance to the upcoming marriage, Ally blows him off.  Will, being a camp director, hears things about Kylie but Ally is in no mood to listen. When he confronts her on Kylie’s doings around town, Ally takes offense. Blending this family together is like mixing half dried cement. The tension builds between them as he seeks out God’s will for his life. Has he taken on too much? A side of him reminisces about his ex-fiancé. Sarah, a quiet, calm woman doesn’t have a tangled mess for a life.

It’s only through a near tragedy and coming close to losing Will, that Ally, a new believer, realizes what it means to trust God for her future. Her aunt reminds her “When you’re swimming in the deep end of the lake you’d better know how to swim.”

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Carol has published three books through Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas: Changing Zip Codes, Lake Surrender and Deep End of the Lake. Her first novel, Lake Surrender, won a 2016 Illumination Award Medal for Inspirational/Romance Fiction and was chosen as one of the top favorite books for Prismatic Prospects blog in 2015 as well as being a finalist for Serious Writer’s Book of the Decade.

Her work has appeared in a Guideposts book anthology, with credits from Focus on the Family online, CBN online, the MOPs website, In Touch and Your Church magazines. Carol was a reporter for the Mooresville Weekly for two and a half years with over 500 articles to her credit. She speaks to MOPS groups, has taught at writing conferences, and has had a blog for twelve years (carolgstratton.com).

Although born on the West Coast, she lived in the Midwest for years and now lives with her literary muse husband in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where she diddles around on a mandolin, plays with eight grand kids and encourages new writers. Her most recent book, Deep End of the Lake, is a sequel to Lake Surrender and is a Golden Scroll winner.

More from Carol

Camps are in my blood.

I committed my life to Christ at a Young Life camp, kissed my husband-to-be (for the first time) at Mt. Hermon and worked at two summer camps as a college student.  Experiences like standing under a giant California redwood tree in the rain or hiking in the rugged Sierra Nevada Mountains with a backpack shaped my early life and unleashed in me a love for God and His creation.

The tradition continued with all four of my children attending Bair Lake Bible Camp in Michigan when they were growing up. Experiencing camp helped them grow in their Christian life while having a blast water skiing, hiking and boating. They still talk about the experiences.

Now my grandchildren have discovered camp life. Fresh from their first experience, my grandsons shared stories of the 48 foot tall, (“Not just forty but forty-eight feet, Gammi.” they corrected me) climbing wall and the WATER BLOB a camper could jump onto to catapult their friend into the lake. So when I hunted a setting for my story, a summer camp seemed the perfect fit. Why, of course, send Ally Cervantes to work at a camp.

Because at camp, magical things happen.

We can make lifelong friends at a camp, commune with nature, and most of all connect with the God of the Universe. At summer camp you and I drop all pretenses of our normal life. Suddenly we find ourselves singing ridiculously silly songs around a campfire, and there’s no other world that exists at that moment besides friends, fresh s’mores, a smoky fire and a lumpy sleeping bag.  But in the midst of the fun we mull over life’s important issues while trudging through dusty hiking trails or having a whispered late night conversation on the cabin porch with our new best friend.

Best of all, God shows up, knowing He can get our attention. Suddenly our mind becomes aware there is more to life than getting good grades, finding the right boyfriend, and discovering that perfect career. At camp we shift into slow gear and listen to our Heavenly Father say, “Be still and know that I am God.”

Ah, what a life.

Author Interview

What is your favorite genre to read? What is your favorite genre to write? And why are they your favorites? 

I’m drawn towards stories about family sagas, especially by some of the older writers like Rosamunde Pilcher as well as contemporary writers like Eva Marie Everson. Families, different types, fascinate me as the author shows how they cope with life. And just for relaxation I’ll kick back with a cozy mystery.

 And as for my favorite genre for writing, I love many: middle grade novels  (The Littlest Bell Ringer ) and humorous fiction. I’m not sure I could write a completely humorous novel but I’d like to try. Humor keeps me going!

What inspires you the most? 

I am inspired by people who have difficult situations and are able to not only survive but create a life worth emulating such as parents who raise special needs children. While working in an autistic classroom I was able to see these remarkable parents cope with difficult situations. I see God’s hand working in these families. 

Once an idea takes root, how long does it take you to write it down? 

Unfortunately, I’ a slow writer as my ideas take up to a year to marinate. I usually take a setting and put my character in it, asking myself, “What if…?”  After a period of time one of my scenario clicks and I’m off and running. And when I become stuck on one of the plot points, I turn to my muse, (my husband, John) for new ideas.

What are your hobbies other than writing?

Living in North Carolina, I love hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains. You can’t deny God’s creativity as you take in the majestic vistas and there’s an upbeat spirit in the people of Western North Carolina that’s undeniable.  Closer to home, you’ll find me in my garden puttering around with zinnias, hollyhock, phlox and Russian sage plants. Seeing things grow in only a few months is a satisfying contract to the slow business of publishing a novel.

Do you have a genre that you would never write? (In the Christian genre sphere i.e. speculative, historical, contemporary, etc.)

Speculative fiction takes a unique writer who loves to create an entire universe, craft a story and develop unique characters. I’m happy writing in today’s world. I find enough tension and plot twists in normal, everyday life. 

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carol is givig away  the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of Deep End of the Lake!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/22671/deep-end-of-the-lake-celebration-tour

Other Stops on the Deep End Of The Lake Book Tour:

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 7

Texas Book-aholic, November 8

Inklings and notions, November 9

Beauty in the Binding, November 10 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, November 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 11

She Lives To Read, November 12

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 14

Spoken from the Heart, November 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 16

Blogging With Carol, November 17

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 18 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, November 19

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 20 (Author Interview)

Mornings at Character Café, November 20

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  1. Great interview, Carol, I enjoyed following the tour and learning about Deep End of the Lake, which sounds like a fantastic read and I love the cover! Good luck with your book and I hope the tour was a success!

    Thanks for sharing it with me and have a spectacular day!