Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Book Spotlight: Moonlight on Butternut Lake by Mary McNear, Q&A, and a Giveaway!

Moonlight on Butternut Lake

Moonlight on Butternut Lake: A Novel by Mary McNear
Series: The Butternut Lake Trilogy #3
Print and e-book, 384 pages
Published May 12th 2015 by William Morrow Paperbacks

New York Times bestselling author Mary McNear returns to the beguiling shores of Butternut Lake with the highly anticipated third novel of her Butternut Lake trilogy, Moonlight on Butternut Lake (William Morrow/Harper Collins, Trade Paperback, May 12, 2015). Like the rest of the bestselling series, her new novel can be read independently and weaves a gorgeous and gripping plot united by one magical destination.

The bestselling series has won critical acclaim from Kirkus, Booklist, The New York Journal of Books, Woman’s Day, Library Journal, RT Reviews and more. Fans of McNear’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling Up at Butternut Lake will rejoice in her latest romance, a novel which New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs said is “so beautifully rendered, you’ll wish it was real.”

Mila Jones, fleeing a dark past, leaves Minneapolis for the safety and serenity of Butternut Lake. Ready to forge a new life, Mila’s position as home health aide to Reid Ford is more than a job. It’s a chance at a fresh start. Though her sullen patient seems determined to make her quit, she refuses to give up on him. 

Haunted by the car accident that nearly killed him, Reid retreats to his brother’s cabin on Butternut Lake and lashes out at anyone who tries to help. Reid wishes Mila would just go away. . .until he notices the strength, and the secrets, behind her sad, brown eyes. 

Against all odds, Mila slowly draws Reid out. Soon they form a tentative, yet increasingly deeper, bond as Mila lowers her guard and begins to trust again, and Reid learns how to let this woman who has managed to crack through his protective shell into his life. While the seemingly endless days of summer unfold, Reid and Mila take the first steps to healing as they discover love can be more than just a dream. 

Perfect for lovers of Susan Wiggs, Debbie Maccomber, and Kristin Hannah, Moonlight on Butternut Lake is a novel of courage, romance, and resilience that is to be savored and shared

Praise for Moonlight on Butternut Lake

“Butternut Lake is so beautifully rendered, you’ll wish it was real…A book to relax, enjoy and savor any time of year, but especially during the long, lazy days of summer.”
—Susan Wiggs, New York Times bestselling author

“A delicious setting and a heroine to cheer for, Moonlight on Butternut Lake is my favorite kind of book.”
—Susan Elizabeth Phillips, New York Times bestselling author

An interview with Mary McNear

1. Do readers have to read the other Butternut Lake books first to enjoy your newest novel?
No, each book in the Butternut Lake series can be read independently. All three books tells a distinctly different story, but they all take place in the beautiful setting of Butternut Lake and some of the same characters appear in all three books.

2. How closely does Butternut Lake resemble the Midwestern lake (and town) where you spent your summers?

The beauty and tranquility of the real Midwestern lake in northwestern Wisconsin where I have spent many summers is the inspiration for Butternut Lake. In my mind, the real lake and Butternut Lake are identical. Both lakes are pristine and surrounded by great Northern Pines. But the town of Butternut Lake, the stories, and the characters in the series are entirely fictitious.

3. Would you categorize yourself as a “romance” author?

I would characterize myself more as a writer or women's fiction, than as a romance writer. I think the themes and stories I'm most interested in writing about—family, relationships, personal change, overcoming hardships, love—are particularly appealing to women. On the other hand, I love romance and all my novels have a romance in them!

4. What do you love most about writing fiction?

Ever since I was a child, I've been making up stories. So, I guess I've been writing fiction in my head since I was very young. And although I think writing is difficult and sometime exhausting, it is incredibly rewarding and exciting when a story comes together. Being able to convey how a character acknowledges unresolved feelings of guilt, or how a character confronts buried secrets from the past, or even how two characters come to realize they are in love, is challenging and immensely satisfying. But mostly, I love telling stories that will resonate and reach a growing audience of readers who can identify with my characters and their predicaments.

5. What was your favorite part about writing Moonlight on Butternut Lake? What did you find most challenging?

The two previous books in the Butternut Lake series had more characters and several subplots. But this time, I really enjoyed focusing on just two people and the nuances of their characters. Also, Moonlight was the first book I've written that has an element of danger and suspense. I've never had to tackle that before and so pacing, the unfolding of the plot, and the interweaving of characters was particularly challenging—but fun too!

6. Who are your biggest literary influences?

I read voraciously in many different genres: literary, non-fiction, Young Adult, romance. But in terms of my early literary influences, To Kill a Mockingbird, Peyton Place, and Main Street all inspired me to write about small town life. As a city kid, I had an early fascination with what I saw as the mystery and glamour of small town life. In those books explosive secrets were hidden behind the placid exteriors of the tidy colonial houses that lined Main Street.

7. Do you plan to continue writing Butternut Lake stories? Any other books in the works?

I recently signed a contract with Harper Collins to write two more novels. Right now I’m working on my fourth Butternut Lake novel. It is about two sisters, who love each other but also drive each other crazy. And it is about how they change and grow over the course of one summer.

8. What is the number one thing you hope readers take away from your novels?

The number one thing I hope readers take away from my novels is that love--in all it's different forms, whether it's between a parent and child, siblings, sweethearts, or friends—is the most essential part of the human experience.

About the author

Mary McNear, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Butternut Lake series, writes her novels in a local donut shop where she sips Diet Pepsi, observes the hubbub of neighborhood life, and tries to resist the constant temptation of freshly made donuts. Mary bases her novels on a lifetime of summers spent in a small town on a lake in the northern Midwest. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, two teenage children, and a high-strung, minuscule white dog named Macaroon.

Connect with Mary

I want to thank JKS Communications for providing a copy of Moonlight on Butternut Lake for one of my lucky followers!

Be sure to check the sidebar for my current giveaways!


  1. I love the name of this lake! So cozy! (Probably because I love butternut squash so much! My favorite author for summer beachy reads has been Anne Rivers Siddons for many years. I haven't picked up her latest one this summer, but I have it on my list. Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. I got the second book in the series before I realized it was a trilogy. Definitely going back to get the first! Of course, you can't have two books of a trilogy without the third so....Thanks for the chance to win Moonlight on Butternut Lake :)

  3. What a delightful giveaway. Thanks. My favorite author to read during the summer is Kimberley Freeman. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. Favorite authors to read during summer or anytime is Lisa Genova.

  5. I am a fan of Jennifer Chiaverini and I enjoy having one of her books for a summer read.
    Thanks for spotlighting Mary's book.

  6. I go to the author who got me reading in the first place 'Christine Feehan'. But I love to read from new authors that I have not read from before. Also I like to go to R J Robb.

  7. I haven't read any of the Butternut Lake books yet, but they are all on my Goodreads "want to read" list:)

  8. My favorite reads are the books set in Charleston, SC.

  9. Daniel Silva is great summer reading.

  10. What a fantastic title - homey and mysterious both.

  11. I don't change authors with the seasons, so no one specific to summertime. I do like to have something that can be read in multiple sittings (not a nail biter!) since I have less long blocks of uninterrupted time.

  12. My neighbor loves these books! As for summer reads, both Nancy Thayer and Elin Hildebrand release very summery/beachy titles this time of year and can be counted on to be good reads!


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