Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Summer Son by Craig Lancaster - Book Tour, Guest Appearance, Giveaway, OH MY!

The Summer SonCraig Lancaster does not disappoint readers with his second novel The Summer Son.   A powerful, moving story that is intense at times and keeps the readers attention the whole way through.

The story begins with Mitch as an adult, receiving mysterious phone calls from his dad. His life is in a quandary and spiraling fast out of control. After much deliberation with his wife, he goes to his dad to find the missing puzzle pieces to the jigsaw of his life. 

Throughout the story, there is a mystery to what is going on and the author gives slight hints but you don't really know until the end and  WOW!!!! You don't see it coming! 
I absolutely loved loved this book and will probably rave on and on about it.

And now from Craig  Lancaster:

By Craig Lancaster

Had I consciously picked a theme for my second novel, “The Summer Son,” I would have been hard-pressed to come up with one more frequently examined in art than that of fathers and sons. Fortunately for my overall sanity and my fleeting hold on my insecurities, I didn’t pick a theme; I tried to tell a story, and if it’s one that plays out against a familiar set of family circumstances, it’s only because so much of what binds us as human beings exists there.

The relationship between men in a genealogical line often comes with built-in points of conflict. Our fathers give us names we must rise to, or ones we must live down. They give us examples to follow – or, as is too often the case, they are in absentia, leaving us longing or angry or determined to do better by our own offspring.

It’s against this latter backdrop that my story takes place. Mitch Quillen has arrived on the back end of his thirties with little to show. His career is stuck in neutral, his marriage is fraying, and he has accumulated plenty of losses already, and he blames those losses on his estranged father, Jim. When Jim calls out of the blue – only to hang up and then repeatedly call again in the days that follow –Mitch’s wife, Cindy, takes the initiative and compels him to confront his father at last and come to terms with the deep divisions between them, a relationship seemingly so far beyond repair that she doesn’t even know where it went wrong.

The result is a first-person trip through the present day, as Mitch and his father collide over past injuries and the lingering raw feelings, and backward through Mitch’s memories of a summer nearly thirty years in the dust, an alcohol-soaked time of violence for which Mitch blames his father without necessarily understanding all that was at stake. As the two storylines converge, there is hell to pay and, perhaps, a route to reconciliation.

Here’s an excerpt from the book, as the 11-year-old Mitch lies in bed, listening to his father and stepmother fight across the hall:

The words were quieter now, delivered in low tones so as not to rouse me. It was a senseless consideration. I lay in the dark, my eyes open, and took in every syllable.

“I hate it here,” she said. “I hate being with you out there. I deserve better.”

“This is the deal,” Dad said. “You knew it when you married me.”

“I didn’t know it would be like this.”

“That makes two of us.”

“What do you mean?”

“I can’t keep up. You’re bleeding us dry, gallivanting around. I come home and find you in Billings –“

“I was just having fun.”

“It looked fun, you and that guy.”

“He’s just a friend. Not that you’d know –”

“He was friendly, that much was clear. He can be friendly with a busted nose.”

“Oh, yeah, big man Jim. You can’t understand it, so you’ve got to hurt it.”


“I didn’t do anything that you didn’t do first.”

“Lying whore.”

I turned over, wrapped the pillow around my head and said a silent prayer that it would end soon. It seemed to me, as I lay there in the dark, that Jerry had made the only sensible decision.
He had gotten out.

With a novel like this, written in first person and covering such emotional ground, I often get asked if it has autobiographical underpinnings. The answer, I’m afraid, isn’t so simple as a yes or a no. Jim and my father share a profession, and Mitch and I share some worldviews, but the emotional center of the story comes from a much darker place than anything I’ve experienced with my dad. We’ve had our struggles, mostly due to separation (I was raised primarily by my mother and stepfather) and interests (we have little in common), but those are distances we’ve been equal partners in trying to bridge, particularly in my adult years. The fiction I choose to write helps me purge many things, but I would be at loose ends if I tried to parse what is intensely mine and what is simply a function of trying to understand people and their motivations.

Did I succeed at getting below the surface of a difficult relationship in “The Summer Son”? I hope you’ll read it and judge for yourself.

credit: Larry Mayer
The Summer Son,” which was just released by AmazonEncore, is Craig Lancaster’s second novel. His first, “600 Hours of Edward,”  was a 2009 Montana Honor Book and the 2010 High Plains Book Award winner for best first book. 
His website is

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy of “The Summer Son.”

Must be a GFC or email follower to enter.
US/Canada - Winner will be picked February 5, 2011.

Thank you Mr. Lancaster for the opportunity to read your wonderful novel and wishing you much success!!


PoCoKat said...

Sounds like a very compelling book...would love to read it.

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

Suko said...

Natalie, this does sound like a very absorbing book. Please enter me in this giveaway. I will post this in my blog's sidebar.


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Nice to meet you, Natalie! Craig sent me the link to this post and asked if I'd post about it at West of Mars Win a Book. I did; I hope it brings you both some new fans. I also hope you'll send us future links of your own. We'd love to have you.

Craig Lancaster said...

Thanks for letting me camp out on your site today, Natalie. Good luck to everyone who throws in for the book.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful book. I would love to read it!


Karen F said...

I LOVE to read and I LOVE to win! Hope I do ;.)
kkfoster35 at msn dot com

Natalie W said...

Thanks Craig for hanging out and thank you to everyone stopping by and entering for the book!
Natalie :0)

clenna said...

This sounds like a keeper!

clenna at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

I've been reading such good things about this one. Please enter me!
stacybooks at yahoo

fredamans said...

With an intro like that, who could resist entering. If you loved it, I'm sure it's amazing.


Carol N Wong said...

I wasn't sure at first but after that intro I am positive that I want to read this book. Have you ever noticed that there a lot of mother-daughter books but not much on father and son. I think this will be one of the 'Must reads" of the year.


The Giveaway Diva said...

Thanks so much for the contest!! the book sounds so great!!


Taffy said...

Interesting story, very compelling! Thanks for the giveaway.


Anonymous said...

This book sounds just fantastic!!!!!! Hope to win. Thanks

Amy said...

I haven't read many books about the relationship between fathers and sons. I think Craig;s new book sounds riveting and powerful. Please enter me in the giveaway for The Summer Son.

Thank you Natalie and Craig for this giveaway!


Nan said...

This books sounds very good. Please enter me in the giveaway.


Carol M said...

I'd love to win this! It sounds really good! Please enter me. Thank you!
mittens0831 at aol dot com

lgm52 said...

Sounds like a great mystery/suspense story! Thanks for the giveaway.

Teenage Bride said...

I love the title... the whole play on words is great!!

Thanks for your sweet comment today! Happy Monday!

Frugaluser said...

I need a new book to read soon. maybe this will be it

Alkaski said...

I would love to win a copy of this novel. Thanks for posting all the great information about it!

wenzowsa at canisius dot edu

kavyen said...

Thanks for hosting this giveaway.

I am hosting a giveaway too, please participate

Sarah E said...

I would love to read The Summer Son. Please enter me in this giveaway!

I follow via GFC.

bookloversarah1 at yahoo dot com

Sarah E