In just two weeks you’ll get to join Callie Stevens and her brother Jack at the Old Mission Peninsula lighthouse as Callie tries to fulfill God’s plan for her life without completely annoying her brother. While this sibling duo tries to figure out their lives, two other characters show up and unwittingly cause problems for both of them.
For me, there’s no better way to connect with a book than by connecting with the characters, so this week I’m going to give you an early peek at the people in Summer Plans & Other Disasters! Here’s a sneak peek at the characters in the contemporary Christian fiction novel (with a healthy dose of romance!).
Calista (Callie) Stevens: A Traverse City native who couldn’t wait to get away from the tourists, Callie follows her passion for music into a job teaching music to elementary school children. A talented woman, she taught herself how to play the guitar after years of piano and violin lessons, and she’s dabbled with a few of the brass instruments (the trombone is her favorite!).
The ability to play Beethoven doesn’t necessarily indicate coordination, though. She hasn’t put on a pair of roller blades since that one time in high school, and power tools are out of the question ever since that roofing incident with the nail gun. That might make for a difficult summer, seeing as though she’s spending it with her brother as his assistant park superintendent.
She really does need the job, though. Anyone who works in education knows how uncertain everything is from year to year, and she doesn’t want to get stuck financially (she does have student loans to payback). Besides, the work will help her keep her mind off other things … like Kyle. She’s 98.5% sure God wants her to reconnect with Kyle (her ex-boyfriend), who still lives in Traverse City. But then there’s Ryan. He’s every girl’s fantasy, except Callie’s not a girl anymore, and Ryan’s still her brother’s best friend, and she never thought spending the summer in her hometown would mean spending so much time with Ryan.
Jackson (Jack) Stevens: There’s not much about Northern Michigan that Jack doesn’t love. Long, hot summer days are perfect for fishing. Cold, snowy winters give him the perfect excuse to grow out his beard. He could do without so many out-of-towners in the summer, but the quiet, isolated winters more than make up for the busy summers.
When he’s not outside working or inside catching up on the University of Michigan athletics (go blue!), he’s in his shop (a.k.a. the garage) with his tape measures, table saw, chisel, and sander. The only smell better than a cool, fall morning is the scent of fresh wood shavings as they fall to the floor. His hand-made furniture isn’t going to make him rich, but he hasn’t had to buy a Christmas present for anyone in ten years, so that’s nice.
Jack’s as excited as Callie is to have her home for the summer. Despite their age difference, they’ve always had a special bond. That doesn’t mean he always understands her (or her plans – why can’t she just trust God?), but he’ll always support her. Even if that means hiring her to do a job she has no business trying. (Better stock up on bandages.)
Ryan Martin: Running into a rumbled, scrawny kid in middle school was the best thing that ever happened to Ryan. An only child, he never knew what he was missing until he bumped into Jack and became an unofficial part of the family.
It’s really hard to imagine biological brothers being much different from Jack and Ryan. Sure, they’re best friends, but they’re also pretty different, and sometimes their patience with each other runs out before they have a chance to figure things out. No matter how many times they’ve had to give each other space, though, their friendship holds. Maybe it’s their shared faith in God. Or maybe it’s because Jack’s uninterested in making new friends.
And then there’s Callie. Yeah, she could be annoying when they were younger, but she’s certainly outgrown a lot of that. Ryan’s view of her really started to change when he finally attended one of her piano recitals (she was in high school, he was in college). Who knew that an awkward, My Little Pony-playing kid could make such amazing music! By the time she graduated college, it was pretty clear that Callie wasn’t a little kid anymore. Not at all.
Stacey Chapman: Did you know that enthusiasm is petite and blond? Maybe not, but it could be. All of those describe Stacey, the unexpected fourth in the unusual Martin/Stevens family. She’s no stranger to funky families (they could turn her family’s story into a soap opera!), but not even that could have prepared her for Jack and Ryan.
For starters, she’s never had a big brother. These two older men – and more mature Christians – filled a hole in her life that she didn’t even know was empty. Okay, Ryan fills that hole. Jack … how to describe it? Half of the time he’s the nicest, kindest person she’s ever met. The other half of the time she’d really like to punch him. And all of the time she can’t help but notice how handsome he is.
And how lucky Jack he to have Callie as a sister? Stacey doesn’t actually need anymore sisters, but she could use some friends and Callie arrives at just the right time. They don’t get to spend a lot of time together (Stacey works two jobs, plus she picks up odd work anywhere she can, and then there are her family obligations) but she’s looking forward to a time when they can.
Add a few other minor characters, some miscommunication, two curious raccoons, and more, then blend! On September 15, you’ll see how all of these ingredients create the perfect summer plans (and disasters).
Which of these characters can you best relate to? If you could ask any of them a question, what would it be?
Can’t wait for September 15? Sign up for my monthly newsletter, and get the FREE, unpublished prologue to Summer Plans and Other Disasters!