Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than 250 books with sales of more than 7.5 million, including many bestselling Christmas novellas, young adult titles, and contemporary romances. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, her novel All Summer Long has been made into a Hallmark movie, and the movie based on her novel The Happy Camper premiered on UPtv in 2023.

In this interview, Melody discusses her latest book, Just for the Summer.

FF: Can you please provide a brief summary of your novel Just for the Summer?
Ginny and Jacqueline are two very different women on similar career paths in the hospitality industry. Both are disenchanted with their work. So when they discover a job swap website, they give it a try. Ginny gives up her job at a swanky boutique hotel to manage a fishing lodge while Jacqueline happily surrenders her rural life to chase her sophisticated dreams in the big city. Of course, nothing goes smoothly, but at least some unexpected romance shows up.

FF: What was the inspiration for your novel?
Hotel management has always intrigued me, but I realize it can be fraught with challenges. What if you were stuck in a hotel you really didn’t like? What would happen if you swapped jobs—just for the summer?

FF: In your opinion, what sets Just for the Summer apart from other stories of trading places?
The very different locations really play a major role in this story. The women swapping lives couldn’t be more different, and yet there is something that ultimately connects them in a fun way.

FF: Just for the Summer explores the impact of setting on a character. Without giving away any spoilers, can you provide some hints as to what the main characters learn from their experiences?
Both women want an escape, but maybe they’re not fully sure what they’re fleeing from. Sometimes “the grass is greener” lures us to a new and better life, but to our surprise, it’s not all that different because we are still there. We can’t run from ourselves, but we can change. Maybe that’s part of the lesson.

FF: This novel shows the contrast between urban and rural life in the Pacific Northwest. Is there one you prefer over the other?
I definitely prefer the rural life. It’s okay to visit the big city sometimes, but I’m a country gal at heart.

FF: The two protagonists in this book are very different from one another. Which character did you find easier to write?
I thought Ginny would be easier to write because she is probably more like me, but I had a lot of fun with Jacqueline. I probably tortured her a bit, but in the end, it was good for her.

FF: With over 250 books written, it seems you’ve done it all! Is there a genre or subject you have yet to explore that you would like to?
Wow, interesting question! A futuristic novel might be fun. But it could be tricky trying to keep it upbeat and positive.

Just for the Summer
Melody Carlson
Genres: Romance
Release Date: March 19, 2024

ISBN-10: ‎0800744713
ISBN-13: ‎978-0800744717

Book Summary:
Ginny Masters manages a popular boutique hotel in Seattle with hospitality and grace—neither of which is extended to her by its exacting owner, Diana Jackson. Ginny’s circumstances are further complicated by the unwanted attention of Adrian Jackson, CFO of the hotel and son to Diana. Because Ginny lives near the hotel, she never escapes the pressures and demands of a career she thought she would love but finds she may be stuck in.

Jacqueline Potter begrudgingly runs her grandfather’s fishing lodge in western Idaho. The rustic, cozy cabin life is not her style, but it is the only job opportunity she could find in the hospitality industry. Ben Tanninger, a local river guide with roguish good looks, may be the only redeeming factor. Still, Jacqueline longs for the sophistication of city life.

Could the desires of both women be fulfilled by JobSwap, an online service that allows them to switch employment for the summer? While the women are thrilled to trade locations, their swap may have ramifications they never thought of: Is Jacqueline cut out for the weight of Diana’s expectations? Can Ginny embrace a rustic lodge in place of a polished hotel? And what of Adrian’s and Ben’s interests?


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About The Author

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books for teens, women, and children. Before publishing, Melody traveled around the world, volunteered in teen ministry, taught preschool, raised two sons, and worked briefly in interior design and later in international adoption. "I think real-life experiences inspire the best fiction," she says. Her wide variety of books seems to prove this theory.