The Summer of No Regrets by Katherine Grace Bond sounds like a fun, funny, AND moving contemp. Saving cougar cubs? Teenage heartthrob in disguise? I’m all in! And I’m so thrilled to host Katherine Grace Bond on my blog today! Check back in the coming days for a review and be sure to comment on this wonderful guest post.

The Summer of No Regrets by Katherine Grace Bond

Amazon | Goodreads | Author Website | Author Twitter
The day Brigitta accidentally flings herself into the lap of a guy she’s never met, her friend Natalie is convinced he’s Trent Yves, egotistical heartthrob-in-hiding. When the boy, who calls himself Luke, is nearly eaten by a cougar, Brigitta finds herself saving his life, being swept into his spectacular embrace and wondering if she wants Natalie’s fantasy to be true.

As the two spend the summer together raising orphaned cougar cubs, Brigitta still can’t be sure of his true identity. But then again, since her grandparents’ death, her father’s sudden urge to give away all their possessions and become a shaman, and her own awkward transition from girlhood into a young woman, she isn’t sure of anything. What is the truth? More importantly, can she accept it? – Goodreads

How (and Why) to Be an Outsider by Katherine Grace Bond
Author of The Summer of No Regrets

I like to be indoors. Indoors has my computer and my books and my sofa and Doctor Who. Indoors is dry and temperature-controlled and free of bugs. I haven’t always been this way. When I was growing up in Seattle, I was always on my bike or roller skates or screaming through the yard being chased by a giant mouse (I had a bizarre imagination even then). Or I’d read for hours under a tree. Outdoors was an escape, too from Mom and Dad’s regular Saturday screaming match. Even if I could still hear it (along with the opera music), somehow not being trapped with walls around me felt better.

And then there was my grandparents’ place, “Cherrywood,” in Indiana, where I spent my days among the oaks or on the screened-in porch. I loved it there—the warm, spicy air filled with birdsong. It was my haven.

But, I’m an adult now with task lists and deadlines and Important Things To Do—indoors, of course.

So when I wrote The Summer of No Regrets, whose main character, Brigitta, practically lives outdoors, I was stuck. I stared at the screen, trying to imagine what trees were like.

It was kind of stupid.

Finally, I had no choice but to take the computer into the woods and find a stump to sit on. It was often wet, and I had to commune with the insect world, but I wrote some of my best scenes out there. And the earth began to teach me things:

1) Nature surprises. That “ptchioo” sound I kept hearing was not a bird; it was a squirrel called a chickaree. One morning, I lay on a nurse log watched as two of them conversed from different trees. Their bodies would go rigid with each call. After a while, a third squirrel appeared and then a fourth. They called back and forth in rhythm, perfectly timed, as if they had sheet music. Pretty cool.

2) Nature heals. After learning that someone dear to me had attempted suicide, I couldn’t sleep. Sometime after midnight I took a sleeping bag and went outside, where I lay under the stars. When you are sorrowing, look at the sky! You feel your smallness in the midst of something vast and unfathomable. We are accustomed to thinking we can know everything, given enough study. The sky gives me hope that we can’t—that there will always be things we don’t know and will never understand. I want to live in a universe like that.

3) Nature reconnects us. Because we are made of star stuff and nourished by the atmosphere of this planet, we suffer from the layers that separate us from the earth—roof, walls, foundation, floorboards, carpet, shoes, socks. To step barefoot out the door and into the dirt is to find ourselves once more. Try it!

And when you read The Summer of No Regrets, do so, if you can, under the sky.

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