Follow by Email


Refuge at Pine Lake ~ Review with Interview

Refuge at Pine Lake
A Pine Haven Novel
By Rose Chandler Johnson

Robin Lancaster has had a crush on Caleb Jackson for years and he never noticed her - until last year. But the romance that promised to be something more fizzled as fall moved in and Robin left Pine Lake behind. But this summer she's determined to once again catch Caleb's attention and wrangle a marriage proposal out of him. There is just one complication to her plans - her mother rented out their lake home to a perfect stranger.

Ughhh - whats a girl to do with her future happiness on the line? Robin decides to do a little creative strategizing - first off convince Matthew McLaughlin that she is part of the lake house deal - she'll do the cooking and take up residence in the small apartment off the house.

Matt just wants to be left along - living in the guilt that has consumed him the last few years following his wife's death. But thanks to the intervention of his best friend he finds himself leaving California behind for Georgia and Pine Lake. With his grumbly personality, he is less than happy to discover a young woman with a bubbly personality living there.

Refuge at Pine Lake is an enjoyable read as Robin, Matt, and Caleb are caught up in a unique situation. Can Robin's high school dreams come true? Or is there something better for her that she'll lose with her own machinations. This is a contemporary romance that those looking for a clean read will enjoy (word of warning there is a fair bit of kissing so if you aren't a fan you are forewarned).

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I offer my honest opinion - all thoughts expressed are my own.

About the Book:
Series: Pine Haven
Genre:  Christian, Contemporary
Publisher: Chanson Books
Publication date: March 7, 2019
Robin Lancaster, a twenty-six-year-old former kindergarten teacher, has her summer and her life all figured out. She’s ready to be on her own, writing and illustrating her children’s stories at her family’s beloved lake house. Once there, she intends to rekindle a romance with Caleb Jackson, the area’s top hunting and fishing guide, and bag him for herself.
Complications arise from the start when Robin finds out her mother has rented the lake house to a man they know nothing about.
Matthew McLaughlin, forty-year-old widowed university professor and author from California, shows up at Pine Lake in crisis. A sabbatical might be his only hope to save much more than his career. He needs a place of refuge. Sharing the lake house with a lighthearted young woman and her dog is the last thing on his mind.
Caleb Jackson has his own plans. He’s used to things going his way, but a man staying in Robin’s house presents unforeseen challenges. When paths unavoidably entangle for these three, hearts are on the line.

About the Author:

Rose Chandler Johnson is known for her heartwarming, inspirational writing. In addition to works of sweet contemporary fiction, her devotional journal, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments won the Georgia Author of the Year Finalist Award in 2014.
In her novels, Rose brings to life fascinating characters with compelling relationships embracing family, community, and faith. In distinctive southern settings, Rose creates memorable stories that will stir your heart. Readers often say her writing warms the soul as it reaffirms belief in love and wholesome goodness. Don’t be surprised if you sigh with pleasure as you savor the final pages of her stories.
Rose has lived in a suburb of Augusta, GA for thirty plus years. Before retiring from Georgia’s school system, she taught English, French, and ESOL. Currently, she is an English instructor at a community college. In addition to reading and writing, Rose enjoys cooking, sewing, gardening, and spending time with her six children and her beautiful grandchildren.

Author Interview:
What do you love about this new story?
There’s so much to love--the intriguing storyline which involves an unlikely love-triangle, and the characters who make the story come to life. Any one of the characters could be someone you know. All of them have real struggles and goals, strengths and weaknesses, and the reader sees them dealing with life and growing in the process. With my Georgia roots and love of nature, I also love the natural setting by the lake and the quirky small town.
How do you develop your setting (a photo, a trip, a random comment)?
So far, my settings have developed from my own life and travels. Setting plays a principal role. Pine Lake is a place of refuge for Matthew McLaughlin. And Robin wants to live there not only because it’s her favorite place to be, but also because the man she hopes to marry lives there. I modeled the lake house setting after one I know well, Lake Thurmond. Pine Haven, the fictional town, replicates so many small towns with lots of southern charm. Maybe that’s one reason the story seems so real.
Share one or two new things you learned while writing this book.
A vital component of our well-being is our connection with others. We need that connection in order to feel needed and valued. In an atmosphere of love, we’re free to be our best selves. The story highlights the complex dynamics of relationships and the lovely way God works on our behalf.
Of all the characters you’ve created in this novel, who would you like to have lunch with and why?
Robin’s neighbor, Mr. Charlie, is an octogenarian that really touched my heart. He has a rich lifetime of experiences and a quiet gentleness about him. He’d definitely want to fry fish and hushpuppies for me. Lunch with him would be a treasure.
What do you hope readers will tell others about this story?
You’ll be immersed in this authentic, true-to-life story with relatable characters. It’s refreshing and a pleasure to read. Read it!

10 Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book

  1.    I storyboard my novels the old-fashioned way adding cut-out pictures from magazines for all the characters. I envisioned the girl with strawberry hair as none other than Avril Lavigne.
  2.    I have fun creating Pinterest pages for my books.
  3.    My protagonists love to cook, as do I. There’s so much food prep in this story I have seriously considered a recipe book to follow.
  4.    I kitchen-tested Jenny’s favorite apple strudel muffins three times to perfect the recipe.
  5.    Characters’ names are important. For some reason, naming the dogs was the most challenging for me. The pets’ names changed multiple times during the writing process.
  6.    My sister Margaret wears only Shalimar perfume. It’s the signature fragrance of a character in the story also named Margaret. This little element in the story was totally unpremeditated.
  7.    YouTube was great for live-action research. Even though I used to waterski years ago, YouTube videos refreshed my memory.
  8.    For fishing advice, I relied on my youngest son and a friend who lives on Lake Thurmond.
  9.    Flora and fauna need to be accurate, even in fiction. My daughter insisted the golden eagle Matt sees had to be a bald eagle because those are the ones we see at Lake Thurmond.
  10.  Mr. Charlie is an endearing neighbor in the story. As it happens, my daddy and granddaddy were both named Charlie.


(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
Giveaway ends June 14 at 11:59pm MT.
Enter the giveaway HERE.

Tour Schedule

Check out the other stops and follow along with the blog tour HERE.

1 comment:

  1. I'm very pleased to be on Blooming with Books. Thank you so much for the great blog post.


Thank you for your comments.
~ Blooming with Books