Hi everyone – please welcome Kathleen Irene Paterka back to Magical Musings! Kathleen is the author of numerous novels which embrace universal themes of family and home, including the Women’s Fiction series, “The James Bay Books”. Kathleen is co-author of the non-fiction book FOR THE LOVE OF A CASTLE, published in August of 2012.
Dale, thanks so much for inviting me to stop by Magical Musings today. It’s always good to be here with this group of lovely ladies. It feels like home.
News travels fast in a small town. Seriously, how many secrets can you have when you live in a place with only one stoplight? Everyone else’s business is routine fodder for daily discussion at the local coffee shop, or the aisles of the grocery store.
My newest release in the James Bay series is LOTTO LUCY. Lucy Carter, a reporter for the James Bay Journal, is a hometown girl of modest means. Raised by her grandmother after being abandoned as a child by an alcoholic mother, Lucy protects her heart by reporting on life, rather than living it. When Lucy wins $70 million in the lottery, she’s suddenly living the life of the rich and famous in a four thousand square foot condo at the James Bay Yacht Club. She’s the darling of the James Bay elite, not to mention her mother’s darling, too. After a twenty year absence, Lila’s crawled out of a bottle and returned to town, trying to crawl her way back into Lucy’s life. Or is it Lucy’s money she has her eye on, instead? And while life in a gated community keeps the rabble away, Lucy struggles to fit in with the kind of people who hired her grandmother to vacuum their floors and clean their toilets. Money, property and prestige come into play as Lucy journeys to discover that while money might buy a flashy sports car, it doesn’t make a down payment on happiness or mending family relationships.
The James Bay novels revolve around ordinary people, with ordinary lives and ordinary jobs who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances. When I began dreaming about the series, I immediately thought about placing the books in a little town similar to my own. I live in Michigan’s beautiful North Country, a region renowned for beautiful beaches, million-dollar sunsets, warm sunny days and crisp cool nights.
My husband (a native of Northern Michigan) and I spent some time brainstorming; eventually, we came up with the fictional town of James Bay. I think it’s a great representation of so many of the resort communities sprawled along the shores of Lake Michigan. James Bay is a beautiful little spot with a year round population of three thousand that can easily swell to nearly twenty thousand people on any given day during the ten weeks of summer. Visitors fill the hotels, shop at upscale boutiques, and dine in five-star restaurants the locals can’t afford. During the height of the season, there’s a type of ‘us v them’ mentality at work. The year-round population is a close-knit community, just like a family. And just like in families, there’s a lot of bickering going on. It can make for quite the drama! And there’s quite a bit of drama in the James Bay series.
What about you? Do you live in a city or a small town? Do you ever dream about winning the lottery? Do you think it would affect the way you live your life, or change your relationships? For better… or worse?
Lucy and I would love to hear from you!
Kathleen is giving away a free copy of one of her James Bay novels to one lucky commenter!