Character Spotlight: Just One Summer’s Joss, Sydney, Lennon, & Owen…with a giveaway

Just One SummerFour fabulous writers have teamed up to indulge readers who love stories with mesmerising characters, smart humour, authentic emotions, and the BEST kisses 😉

JUST ONE SUMMER releases today from the very talented Nicole Deese, Tammy L. Gray, Amy Matayo, and Jenny B. Jones. I’ve had the pleasure of reading Just One Summer already and you are in for such a treat! I adored each unique story and can’t wait for from these girls!

Four Best Friends. Four Love Stories. Just One Summer.

Four college girls, best friends since childhood, have found one constant in their ever-changing lives–summer. Every June the girls choose a destination to reconnect, only this summer is different. This year, each one must face life’s challenges on her own, overcome fear and failure, and learn the beauty of falling in love for the first time.


Joss Sanders 


A Summer Remade by Nicole Deese 

Joss Sanders needs an escape, a reminder of a sweeter, simpler, and steadier time. Only her family’s cabin isn’t exactly how she remembered it as a child, and neither is the charming boy who lives next door. Change is everywhere. If Joss doesn’t stop living in the past, she just might miss the promise in her future.

Brief physical description

Vertically challenged, curvaceous, long, chocolate-brown hair, and hazel eyes


This pic!

Strengths and weaknesses

Strengths: a fast friend, a lover of laughter, and a big believer in second chances.

WeaknJossesses: tends toward the overdramatic (who doesn’t?), takes on projects she shouldn’t, and wrestles with letting go.


Squeezes her eyes shut when she wants to disappear

Your inspiration for the character

Joss is what you might call a “chronic fixer.”  And if you know anything about chronic fixers, they aren’t the happiest of campers when the fix isn’t going as planned. Ahem…not that I would know anything about that. Moving on.

Learning how to manage the problems we can’t solve on our own—not even with a Santa sack full of cash, or a pantry full of sugary treats—is the inspiration behind Joss’s story. A fixer who must become a facer.

Background to the story

The summer between high school and college, I took a trip to Lopez Island (an island in the San Juans, off the coast of Washington state) with three of my very best friends. The extended vacation seemed like a fantastic way to relax and take a break from the stresses of school and home life.

And to this day, I can still see the vibrant colors of the island when I close my eyes. I can still taste the salt in the air and hear the sound of waves lapping against the dock. I wanted Joss and Drew to have a place like this too, a solace that provided them freedom and peace, even if only for a summer.



Nicole’s BioNicole Deese

Books have been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. As a young girl, my favorite pastime was “playing library.”at the age of 30, I decided it was time to share my own world of make-believe. I wrote my first novel, All for Anna, soon after that. I’ve been a wife to my hunk-of-a husband, Tim, for ten years, and a mother to my two crazy boys

Connect with Nicole: Website || Facebook || Twitter || Goodreads


Sydney Andrews


Waves of Summer by Tammy L. Gray

Sydney Andrews wants nothing more than to get away from a controlling ex-boyfriend, find some clarity and enjoy a drama-free vacation. But nothing in Sydney’s life is ever that easy. Especially when the sexy bartender she meets at her mother’s wedding wants more than just her friendship. He wants the girl she’s forgotten how to be.

Brief physical description

Brown eyes,  brown hair, great laugh. Girl next door look.

Hipster girl sitting on floor against blue background.


This girl!

Strengths and weaknesses

Strengths: Funny, makes friends easily, loves to see others be happy.

Weaknesses: A pleaser who sacrifices her own happiness for other’s wishes. Doesn’t face conflict well. Tends to hide away and pretend everything is fine.


Will make jokes when she feels uncomfortable

Your inspiration for the character

Sydney is like so many women I know. Women who love others so much that they forget how to love themselves too. It’s a balance I wanted to reflect upon. We all so easily put on a mask to protect ourselves. Sydney’s is humor and fun, but deep down, she’s searching for purpose and direction. My hope is that readers can relate to her character, even if their situation is very different, and feel inspired to find their own direction.

Background to the story 

Sydney is the only child of divorced parents. Her father never remarried, and spent his life pouring into his job and into Sydney when she came to visit. Her mother has been married and divorced three times, and the story starts at the reception of her mother’s forth wedding. As a child of divorce, who moved around a lot as a kid, I could relate to Sydney’s struggle in so many ways. From wishing she had a steady childhood, to wondering where she fits in the world. Finding one’s purpose is always challenging especially when that future looks so different from the people who have raised you. Sydney’s story is great because she finds herself in the most unlikely of sources, a type-A, control-freak, who gives Sydney the freedom to be real.


Tammy’s BioTammy Gray

Tammy L. Gray is the kindle best selling author of the Winsor series and Mercy’s Fight. Her mission is to provide clean, culturally relevant romances that incorporate messages of hope and healing. When not chasing after her three amazing kids, Tammy can be spotted with her head in a book.

Connect with Tammy: Website || Facebook || Twitter || Pinterest



Lennon Dixon


A Painted Summer by Amy Matayo

Darby Sparks has lived a very sheltered life. A homeschool graduate, a small town resident, and the only child of two over-protective parents. But she’s had enough. She wants to see the world and chase her dreams, and that’s just what she does…until she runs out of money. With limited options, Darby finds herself working for dangerously hot Lennon Dixon, the owner of a downtown Los Angeles tattoo parlor. To call the job unfamiliar is the world’s biggest understatement. And to call her attraction to Lennon unexpected is a very close second.

Brief physical description: Brown hair, blue eyes, nice physique, tattoos on arms

Resembles: Adam Levine, of course.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

Adam Levine

Strengths: Loyal, thoughtful, incredibly hot (that is totally a strength), artistically talented, business owner

Weaknesses: Slightly insecure, private sometimes to a fault, incredibly hot (which is also SUCH a weakness because his hotness is unfair to employees who wish they could date him)

Quirk: He sizes people up by looking them up and down

Your inspiration for the character: Look at the photo again. Stare long and hard. Really, really concentrate. He is the inspiration for the character, for my ability to get up in the morning, for pretty much my whole writing career and my very existence since 2007 (not really, but sorta).

Plus, I like tattoos and men who wear them well.

Background for the story:  Besides the hope of writing a fairly entertaining story, one of my biggest goals as a writer—in nearly every story I write—is to hopefully make people think and to push past common stereotypes. Stereotypes like: Christians have it all together, non-Christians are messed up and immoral, good people wouldn’t compromise themselves for the sake of money, tattoos are evil and wrong. These are just a few examples of the characters I’ve written so far, and Lennon is the latest. He’s a good guy who also happens to own a tattoo parlor and is the bearer of lots of ink on his body. Despite looking like what some might consider to be a little rough, Lennon is kind and gentle, funny and thoughtful, a shrewd businessman and well-respected in his community.

This book is also about fear, about facing it head-on and forcing your way around it until you’re able to overcome it once and for all. I can relate; I’m pretty sure we all can.



Amy’s BioAmy Matayo

Author Amy Matayo is the Amazon bestselling author of The Wedding Game, Love Gone Wild, Sway, and In Tune With Love. She graduated with barely passing grades from John Brown University with a degree in Journalism. But don’t feel sorry for her–she’s super proud of that degree and all the ways she hasn’t put it to good use. She laughs often, cries easily, feels deeply, and loves hard. She lives in Arkansas with her husband and four kids and is working on her next novel.

Connect with Amy: Website || Facebook || Twitter



Owen Jackson


Wild Heart Summer by Jenny B. Jones

Twenty-one year old Avery Crawford has had to fight for everything in her life, and this summer is no exception. When her culinary internship in a chic restaurant falls through at the last minute, she gets an unexpected offer to work on a dude ranch in the quaint town of Sugar Creek. While Avery’s up to her apron in cattle drives, trail rides, and kitchen duty, the cute ranch manager Owen Jackson is determined to sweep her off her feet. Just as Avery finds herself unable to resist Owen’s Southern charm, her own family secrets begin to unravel, pushing her away from the ranch–and the love of one handsome cowboy.

Brief physical description

Owen Jackson is tall, dark-headed, tan from long days working in the sun, and has the kind of muscles that come from hard work and not a gym membership. He looks great in a pair of jeans, wore cowboy boots before they were hipster chic, and always has an easy smile.


I got some help from my readers on Facebook, but he looks like Jean-Luc Bilodeau, an actor I was totally clueless to. (But am quite happy to be enlightened.)


Strengths and weaknesses

His strengths are that he’s protective, a Southern gentleman, hard-working, and a bit of a romantic. His weaknesses might be that he has a rough past, just like the heroine, Avery, so he doesn’t fall easily. But when he does…

Quirk (if any)

Nothing strange about Owen. I usually leave the quirks (and you know how I love my quirks) to the leading ladies. Owen is someone who definitely feels more comfortable on the ranch than out on the town.

Your inspiration for the character

I live very, very close to the place where the fictional town of Sugar Creek is set. It’s actually a blend of a few towns in the great state of Arkansas. So it was easy to imagine a hard-working, cute cowboy. We have one or two of those around here.

Background to the story 

Originally I wanted to set the story in New York City, but in all honesty, I just ran out of time to get the research required. The character of Owen had been with me for sometime, but I hadn’t ever dared to write someone who wasn’t this traditional romance novel prince charming—wealthy, very educated, fancy job, etc. There’s something very freeing about writing a novella. It made me want to take a chance and step outside my usual line-up of guys I write. I really enjoyed it. And I’ve always, always wanted to tell a story set on a dude ranch. This project gave me the opportunity to mesh a few “wants” together: dude ranch, cowboy, and a locale I absolutely love.


Jenny’s Biojennybjones

Award-winning author Jenny B. Jones writes romance with sass and Southern charm. Woefully indecisive, she writes YA, New Adult, and women’s romance. Since she has very little free time, Jenny believes in spending her spare hours in meaningful, intellectual pursuits, such as watching bad TV, Tweeting deep thoughts to the world, and writing her name in the dust on her furniture.

Connect with Jenny: Website || Facebook || Twitter || Instagram

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share This!

14 Responses to Character Spotlight: Just One Summer’s Joss, Sydney, Lennon, & Owen…with a giveaway

  1. This looks like such a fun collection!! Loved meeting the characters and look forward to reading their stories!

    • Sorry didn’t read the question before commenting! Go to romance novel would be Julie Lessman’s O’Conner series. Movie is a bit harder to pick but I think I’ll go with Seven Brides for For Seven Brothers!

  2. Thanks SO MUCH, Rel for having us on your blog. Such a fun character spotlight for Just One Summer!

  3. I must be weird, because I rarely re-watch or re-read a book. Now that my kids are getting older, I do enjoy watching older movies with them that I consider safe. I tried Sleepless in Seattle with my 16-year-old daughter, but she didn’t want to finish it. She did enjoy Princess Bride, but IDK if I’d ever seen it!

  4. Movies: Love The Notebook and The Sound of Music. Could watch both of them a million times.

    Books: That is so much harder. Love Kristan Higgins. She makes me laugh out loud. Love Deanne Gist and Amy Matayo. Love Elizabeth Camden. Basically, I can’t pick a book. :)

  5. I love Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson! I can’t count how many times I’ve read it :) My latest go-to movie is North and South with Richard Armitage- what a kiss!

    Thanks for sharing about this book- I hadn’t heard about it yet and I’m excited to read it!

  6. Thanks so much Rel for all you do! We appreciate you more than you know. :)

  7. Until recently, I would have said Pride and Prejudice. It’s the only book I have read more than once. In January, I finally read Katherine Reay’s Dear Mr. Knightly and fell head-over-heels in love. I have to admit that I haven’t read the book in full a second time, but I have read the last 20 pages again quite a few times. That is until I had to return it to the library. Since then, I have purchased my own physical copy.

  8. Meagan Williford

    Go to romance movie is 27 Dresses or You’ve Got Mail. For the novel it’s Pride and Prejudice.

  9. Would love to win this book, sounds fabulous and sweet :) My go to romance books would be anything by Erynn Mangum, Jen Turano, MaryLu Tyndall, Rachelle McCalla, Lindi Peterson, Becky Wade and Trish Perry… their books and always inspired by their stories.

    My go to movies would be While You Were Sleeping, Seems Like Old Times, 13 Going on 30, Regarding Henry, Return to Me, and Ever After (have watched so many times I’ve memorized the lines in each of them). Thanks for the giveaway, hugs to you ladies!!

  10. I have a feeling this book is going to be fantastic! So far, my go to books are The Colonel’s Lady by Laura Frantz or Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen. However, after just finishing Becky Wade’s series, it’ll join. My go to movies are either Pride and Prejudice or the Hallmark movie Window Wonderland.

  11. My go-to romance or movie? There are too many. But as far as movies go, any romantic comedy with Cary Grant is a winner in my book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *