Keywords: C. Lynn Beck, Heaven Scent, perfume, Rebecca Talley, author, Rebecca, Aldrich Heights, fragrance, blog tour, forgiveness, religion, Liza, Kyle
Liza has it made. At least that’s what it looks like for Aldrich Heights' star basketball player. Yet, life isn’t as golden on the inside as it appears on the outside. Liza feels abandoned by her father, who places work before family. Once upon a time, Liza and her father were close, but now she wonders if he even loves her anymore. Or if she loves him.
Liza’s mother puts her foot down and Liza’s father promises he’ll change and spend more time with them. Just when Liza starts believing him, tragedy strikes. Everything that matters to Liza is gone in one heart-wrenching moment.
Liza’s path to emotional recovery lies in forgiveness. However, she doesn’t see it that way and fights against the very idea … until Kyle, a boy from her high school, introduces Liza to a new religion. With a little help from Kyle—and from above—Liza learns to view the tragedy, and her life, with the right perspective.
Heaven Scent is a touching story that both young women and adults will enjoy. Just be sure to have a box of tissues and family members nearby when you read it—the tissues for the tears, and the family members so you can hug them and feel grateful that they’re with you.
Rebecca Cornish Talley, author of Heaven Scent, is not only an excellent writer but also a good sport. She's kindly agreed to let me interview her at a “virtual” beach in California.
Rebecca, thank you for joining me on this sunny day at the ocean. I know you love the beach and lived in California as a young girl. Since other interviews have already covered the technical reasons for why and how you wrote Heaven Scent, I thought I’d ask a few personal questions today.
1. If you wouldn’t mind, why don’t you start by telling us what the beach here looks like?
It might be hard to find this particular beach in CA since it’s tucked away in a secret cove, but the water is a brilliant turquoise and so clear I can see my feet. No seaweed tangling around my legs, thankfully. The water temperature is ideal, too. Cool enough to be refreshing, but warm enough to soothe. The clean, soft, white sand feels like satin under my feet and perfectly-shaped seashells wait along the shore for me to add to my collection. The shoreline seems to run forever in either direction and the sky is a pale blue with wisps of clouds gently moving across its great expanse while waves lap soothingly against the shore.
2. That’s such a cute bathing suit you’re wearing. No one would ever guess you had ten kids! If you could design an ideal bathing suit, what would it look like?
It’d mystically take off 20 pounds, and 20 years, when you wear it, slim you in the middle and give definition up top. It’d be available in iridescent colors that change to match your mood (kind of like the old mood rings) and every time you looked in the mirror, you’d see your inner beauty and strength.
3. In other interviews, you’ve said that your initial inspiration for Heaven Scent came from a distinctive perfume your mom used to wear. You often smelled it in the air, during difficult times, even though your mom had passed away. What are your favorite smells at the ocean?
Green apple bubblegum, coconut suntan lotion, and deep fried taquitos. I also love the smell of saltwater on my skin.
4. You’ve mentioned that your love of basketball was another source of inspiration for the book. You can’t play basketball here in the sand, so what games do you like to play at the beach?
The best games are Chase (the seagulls), Tag (with the waves), and Hide-and-Go-Seek (with the sand crabs).
5. Since you live on a farm and have a number of animals, what’s your favorite saltwater animal? And why?
Seals are my favorite saltwater animals because they’re so playful and friendly. I also enjoy watching them swim next to the boats and sun themselves on the buoys. Getting a seal to smile is especially fun, too.
6. Ooo, I notice you’re cooking something over there. Is that a hibachi? A crock-pot? (Hey, this is a virtual beach … so Rebecca can have a crock-pot if she wants!) Or a bonfire? And what is it that I smell cooking?
S’mores. Roasted, gooey marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate—what more do you need? That’s a balanced meal, right? So it must be a bonfire. And we're singing Primary songs around it 'cause I love Primary songs.
7. I see quite a few young women around. You once said you’ve worked with many young women over the years and that’s why Heaven Scent was written for a YA audience. Are these young women here from your church, or are they your family? Why don’t you tell us a little bit about them? (No names, please, we don’t want any stalkers showing up at our beach party!:)
They’re my daughters and my nieces (12 altogether). Aren’t they beautiful? Some sing, some perform, some draw pictures, some make crafts. Some are tall, some are small, some have long hair, some have short, some have blue eyes, some have hazel, some are shy and some are not. Most of all, they’re daughters of our Heavenly Father who want to live with him again someday.
8. Well, Rebecca, I can see the sun is starting to set, so it’s time to pull on a sweatshirt, sit in the warm sand, and watch the sun slide below the horizon. Why don’t you give us a little detail on what colors we’re seeing tonight and how the sunset makes you feel?
I can see the sun’s reflection dancing along the water as it paints the sky in hues of pink, orange, and red. The gentleness of the sun slipping below the horizon makes me realize that as one days ends, another will begin again, and that there is order in all of God’s creations.
Rebecca, thanks for your time and for allowing me to interview you. It’s been a wonderful visit, and I think your readers have enjoyed this personal glimpse into your life. You’re a talented author, your book is terrific, and the story grabbed me by the heart. Thanks so much for writing Heaven Scent.
Thank you, Cindy, for interviewing me here on our virtual beach. It’s been a blast!