One Last Adirondack Summer
By Heidi Sprouse
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
What do you do when your brother asks for one last Adirondack summer?
John Taylor and Tommy Jackman have been best friends since age eight, the day they made a blood brother pact to stick together through thick and thin. Every year since, they’ve spent their summers at John’s Adirondack camp, and gotten together whenever they can during the year.
Their pact will be put to the ultimate test when Tommy asks John to take him back to the lake to die. Without hesitation, John packs up Tommy and his beloved dog, Jasper, and drives his blood brother from Colorado to the Adirondack Mountains of New York.
It is the hardest thing John has ever done.
But the friends give each other a precious gift, the chance to share their lives one last time before Tommy no longer has a future. They remember all the firsts they shared: the first drink, the first smoke, the first night with a girl.
As Tommy’s life winds down, John holds on, blood brother scar against blood brother scar, until he realizes it’s not their last Adirondack summer. In this place, where they crossed the bridge from childhood to adulthood together, Thomas Michael Jackman will always be with him.
Take the journey with John and Tommy as they learn the grim lesson of how letting go can sometimes be the best way to hold on.
Tell us about your genre. How did you come to choose it? Why does it appeal to you?
Liberty’s Promise is second in a series that includes Whispers of Liberty and Liberty’s Legacy. It’s a historical fiction with a time slip twist. I can’t say too much about the twist or it will give away the surprise. I chose this genre after watching “The Sons of Liberty,” a miniseries on the History Channel. It brought the Revolutionary time period to life and made it so exciting. Living in historic Johnstown with its rich colonial heritage gave me plenty of inspiration as well. One of the final battles of the Revolution took place in our small town in upstate New York and is our claim to fame. I’ve always loved the Revolutionary time period and learning more about the birth of our nation. My story flowed from there!
What do you find most challenging about the writing process, and how do you deal with it?
My greatest challenge with the writing process is carving out enough time to write. There is never enough time! I am a Pre-K teacher, wife, mother, and content writer. I often feel like I am in the middle of a tug of war with all of my obligations. I want to lock myself away in a cabin in the Adirondacks, be a hermit, and immerse myself in writing. To write, write, write is my dream. Until that time in my life happens, I will take whatever snippets of time I can get, working toward the day when I am an established author who can do this full time!
When and where do you do your writing?
I write mostly in my living room on my laptop. It doesn’t have any letters anymore because I’ve worn them off. I’ve tried stickers, nail polish, and markers. Nothing will stick! I write in the early hours of the morning, the evening, the middle of the night—any time I can steal an hour or more to myself. Sometimes, I write on my break at school…or on a napkin…or on the back of my grocery list…or in a notebook I have on hand. I love those rare days that I have to myself when I can just WRITE!
What have you learned about promoting your books?
When it comes to promoting my books, I’ve learned it’s an uphill climb, but I’ve got my hikers on, a rope, and plenty of moxie. I dabble in Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I contact my local paper and go on the capital district news. I’ve visited schools and various author events. I’ll head to the senior center and libraries. I’ll go anywhere they will have me, send to celebrities, and offer support everywhere I go. I connect with authors who write similar novels and network with their fan base. I post inspirational quotes to help others along the way, hoping to draw in some readers as well. It’s not about money—it never really was. My main goal is to spread the word about my books because I have a tale worth telling. I will never give up because I am like Eleanor Roosevelt who once said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” I believe a grass roots movement will help me to become established. I work tirelessly toward that goal.
What are you most proud of as a writer?
I am most proud that I never gave up. I set out to become a published author and here I am ten novels later with no end in sight. I am unique in that I write many different kinds of novels, offering something for everyone. I won’t be boxed in.
If you could have dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and what would you talk about?
If I could have dinner with any author, I would love to sit down with Harper Lee to talk about one of my favorite heroes, Atticus Finch. Like Harper, I write about ordinary men who are extraordinary in their actions. I would thank her for giving us a character who has withstood the test of time.
Heidi Sprouse lives in upstate NY in historic Johnstown. She attended college at St. Rose in Albany, knowing all along her two loves were teaching and English. It took four years before she landed the teaching job of her dreams, but twenty years later she is still nurturing little ones in pre-K. She loves the privilege of watching brand-new little humans as they discover and begin to shape their own worlds.
Knowing what she wants and going after it in relentless pursuit is Heidi’s gift. Deciding to become an author can be downright unnerving, but Heidi bit into the challenge, took off, and never looked back. Her perseverance proves success is not a matter of luck; it’s a matter of finding what speaks to your heart, and committing to do that thing until it makes a difference.
When she isn’t busy teaching or with her husband, Jim, her son, Patrick, and her canine kids Chuck and Dale, she’s cooking up her next novel. She dabbles in sweet romances, historical fiction, and suspense thrillers, depending on what pleases her reader’s eye at any given moment. Heidi is always in search of the extraordinary in the ordinary, writing about strong men with old-fashioned values and the women who pick them up when they fall. She’ll tell anyone it's never too late to chase after your dreams, no dream is too small or insignificant, and any mountain can be moved with a proposal and a good plan.