This is Brenna and Luke’s story, and it’s a rollercoaster ride (the fun kind, not the kind that leaves you feeling sick ;) ) These two have had hardships and tragedies that brought them to the place they are now—which just so happens to be right next door to one another. It was so much fun writing neighbors turned to enemies and finally turned to lovers.
One of my favorite things about writing romance is digging into the core of my characters, where they keep all of their past pain as well as their secret hopes and dreams. This was especially true with Luke and Brenna. They both had secrets that I didn’t even know about until I’d written the scenes telling me so. These two were intense and so much fun. Another element of this story is the dynamic between Brenna and her much younger sister, Eve. There’s a decade between their ages and a galaxy between their personalities. After their parents died, Brenna had to shift from the big sister role to being a guardian. Now Eve is officially an adult, and it’s time they find a way to be just sisters again, which is a bit challenging to say the least.
Did I mention Max? Max is Luke’s Jack Russel terrier. He was burned in the warehouse fire that Luke saved him from. Not to worry because he’s all healed up now, but he’s still skittish around flames, which makes it a challenge to be the firehouse dog that the crew have decided he’ll be. Max has his own journey in this book. Like the hero and heroine, he has fears to overcome in order to be the best little firehouse dog he can.
Are you ready to fall in love? I hope so!
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Since we're only one day from release of Starting Over at Blueberry Creek, I have a little sample for you! You can read the rest of Brenna and Luke's story tomorrow!
Brenna smiled shyly, sweeping her hair back behind her ear. Something about that gesture, unsure and insecure, had Luke stepping closer.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“I have no idea. I told myself that I wasn’t going to kiss you tonight,” he said, voice dropping even lower.
“Oh?” He saw the muscles of her neck constrict as she swallowed. “That’s good to know because I told myself the same thing on the way over here.” Her gaze stayed on his, her pupils large.
“So we agree. Neither of us is kissing the other,” he said.
“I’m just here to feed the kittens,” she confirmed, her words coming out a little breathlessly.
Then she leaned toward him, and he did the same until her hands went up to brace herself against his chest.
He felt his every muscle tense. “But I can't seem to remember why us kissing is a terrible idea. Give me one good reason.”
Her lips parted as she looked at him. “I’m leaving for one. And my relationship with my sister is just getting back on track. Kissing her boss could derail it.”
“That’s two reasons.” Both very good.
“What do you have?” Brenna asked.
He sighed. “You’re my neighbor. If things go south, I’ll be stuck with you next door. At least until you leave this summer.” And if they didn’t go south, she was leaving. Dating casually had never been his thing. He didn’t fall easily, but when he did, he fell hard. Looking at Brenna, that was a real possibility.
Brenna laughed humorlessly. “That’s a good reason too, I guess.”
“Yep.” His gaze flicked to her lips and then back to her eyes. Standing this close to her, he studied the different shades of brown in her irises. There was even a little bit of green poking through.
One of the kittens cried out again.
“All right,” he said, gathering his willpower and taking a step backward while he still could. “Then we agree. We’ll keep our hands and lips to ourselves.”
Are you ready for Brenna and Luke's story? It hits shelves everywhere on February 25th!
2 years ago today, my sweet husband took me on a holiday tour of bed and breakfasts as research for a book I was writing. The book was about a down on her luck woman who had inherited a rundown B&B in the small mountain town of Sweetwater Springs (Christmas on Mistletoe Lane). Now I'm writing book 7 in that series. A lot of difference 2 years makes.
Aren't these bed and breakfasts beautiful?
It was a crazy, windy, rainy week here on the coast of NC. And a little scary too. Hurricane Dorian left our yard in disarray and our a roof with a few leaks. But the bright side is that we're all okay. I think sometimes nature gives us a reminder of just how fragile life is.
Being an author, I tend to steep in the emotions that come with these events. The anxiety of the growing storm. The fear at the howling winds and dancing shadows at my window at midnight (it really was terrifying) and the relief and overwhelming gratitude when the storm has passed. There's also the sadness for everyone who was harder hit.
Romance novels offer hope and there's a lot of that after a crisis. I think nature serves to give us reminders of that as well--the sun always returns after the rain.
Here's hoping that Dorian was the worst this hurricane season will offer.
I love audiobooks! If not for my Audible subscription, I wouldn't "read" half as many books every year. Listening to books makes my car rides more enjoyable and doing housework less of a chore.
Having my books available in audio is a dream come true for me for that very reason. It's my preferred format, followed by print, and then digital. Everyone has their preferences, right?
SNOWFALL ON CEDAR TRAIL doesn't release until September 24, 2019 but you can listen to a sample TODAY (and preorder in audio if you feel inclined). Enjoy!
Today marks one month until SNOWFALL ON CEDAR TRAIL is out in the world!! Over the next month, I'll be sharing little tidbits and teasers leading up to the release to get you ready for Alex and Halona's story! This one is emotional and I LOVED writing it. I really can't wait for you all to read this story and tell me what you think.
One of the things I'm very excited about is the inclusion of a yummy cookie recipe from the Two Peas and Their Pod Cookbook which hits shelves on September 3! I'm a huge fan of the Two Peas and Their Pod site. Maria has AMAZING recipes that are adult and kid friendly. In Snowfall on Cedar Trail, there's a scene where Halona and Alex have a great time making a batch of Triple Chip Chocolate Cookies (YUM!) from this cookbook for the annual Hope for the Holidays event in Sweetwater Springs. It was messy and flirtatious and so much fun to write <3
If you want to check out or preorder this upcoming cookbook release by Maria Lichty, you can do so HERE.
If you want to check out the Two Peas and Their Pod website (which I highly recommend), you can do so HERE.
I attended my 7th RWA (Romance Writer's of America) Conference last month, and it was amazing as always. I was able to catch up with old friends and meet new ones, which is always my favorite part. And I got to return to NYC, which is one of my favorite cities to be in!
Below are a few picture highlights from my trip. You might recognize a few familiar faces :)
The picture above is of me and a few of my publishing sisters from Grand Central/Forever. (myself, Melinda Curtis, April Hunt, and Miranda Liasson).
The picture below is of me and BRENDA NOVAK! I was so excited for my book to be her bookclub choice last October. I couldn't wait to finally meet her in person <3
I got to participate in 2 signings while at RWA. One was for my publisher and one was a Literacy Signing, where all proceeds went to literacy. I still pinch myself over the fact that people are reading my books. I love opportunities to talk to the readers who I am so grateful for!
Miranda Liasson and I got to pose with our books on the big screen at the Forever party!
My FAVORITE class was one with Damon Suede. I was sitting ALL THE WAY in the back, but it was still a highlight. Damon is one of my favorite speakers. He's a story genius!
Another highlight of RWA 2019 was going to see the Statue of Liberty. I've always wanted to see this in person and it was AMAZING!!!! She's breathtaking!
HAPPY TUCK & JOSIE DAY!!!
I'm so thrilled for Springtime at Hope Cottage to be out in the world, on the shelves, and in your hands. I loved writing Tuck and Josie's love story. It was so fun to give them a second chance at life and love. These two characters really struggled and fought for their happy ending. To me, every moment was magical, down to the little raspberry-colored bird that led Josie off the hiking path to begin with.
I hope you enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed writing it, and I can't wait to hear your thoughts! I wanna know which moments you laughed and which brought you to tears.
To celebrate the release of SPRINGTIME AT HOPE COTTAGE, I'm having a GIVEAWAY!!!
You can find Springtime at Hope Cottage on shelves wherever books are sold. I want to see your #springtimeathopecottageshelfie on social media. Make sure you tag me so you can be entered for a chance to win a $50 gift card to your choice of either Walmart, Target, or Amazon! Every post is worth one entry. Sharing is caring and is worth 2 entries! <3
Winner will be announced on March 29! Good luck!
Take Forever Romance's Holiday Romance Quiz to see which Christmas Romance you're paired up with!! Maybe you'll be matched with mine (Christmas on Mistletoe Lane)!
#readForever #Christmasromance #SweetwaterSprings#ChristmasOnMistletoeLane