Guest JoAnn Ross – and Giveaway!
Once upon a time in Oregon, a boy and girl fell in love. It was not, as their parents continually insisted, merely puppy love. But the Real Thing.
Years passed. When the girl was eighteen-years-old, the boy took her to the Oregon Coast, where he bought her a white paper bag of saltwater taffy, then proposed.
Naturally, the girl said, “Yes!”
The magnificent coast has always been a special place for me. Even before that memorable proposal. But on that day it became my most romantic place in the world. Which is why, when I returned to my romance roots, writing comfort stories about families and falling in love, I wanted to invite readers home to Shelter Bay with me.
Shelter Bay is a magical place. Not magical in the paranormal woo-woo sense, but magical because it’s a town that not only shelters (thus its name), but heals. Where life moves at a slower pace, where people genuinely care about each other, and where even the most guarded heart is no match for love.
Combining my hobbies of photography and scrapbooking, I’ve made a scrapbook video of the town, which, although fictional, borrows from several beloved coastal towns we love to visit. Those familiar with the coast may recognize several of the locations and sights, although I did photoshop the names of the Grateful Bread and Sea Mist restaurants.
I’m going to share a little secret. Those of you who’ve been reading my Shelter Bay series may have been suspecting that Sedona, the CPA turned baker from Take the Cake, would be my next heroine. Which is exactly what I’d planned. But hottie SEAL medic Lucas Chaffee turned out to have a different idea about that. Although he definitely found Sedona appealing, they just didn’t click. I was getting concerned about this problem when I woke up one morning with what turned out to be the opening line of On Lavender Lane in my head:
“Madeline Durand was braising short ribs in an Omaha department store when her husband’s sex video went viral.”
Suddenly, celebrity chef Maddy appeared on the scene to save the day! And better yet, I discovered that Lucas was the “summer boy” who’d broken her heart years ago.
Which is how On Lavender Lane turned out to be a reunion story, and although Lucas believed he had a good reason for what he did back then, he has a lot of explaining to do. But having let Maddy leave Shelter Bay once, he’s not about to let her get away this time. After all, he’s a SEAL on a mission, and with the help of some Shelter Bay matchmakers, he whips up with his own special recipe of passion, patience, and perseverance to win her over.
Of all the books I’ve written, I honestly had the most fun writing the final chapters of On Lavender Lane, when a determined Lucas pulls out all the stops. You can read the first chapter and some lovely reviews on my website. Always willing to sacrifice for my readers (lol), I gained ten pounds while test cooking every meal that appears in the book. All which will eventually appear with other yummy Shelter Bay recipes in a free e-cookbook, so stay tuned for that.
To celebrate Lucas and Maddy’s story’s publication, I’m giving away autographed copies of the first two books in the series — The Homecoming and One Summer — to three people, chosen at random, who comment. To give everyone time, the winners will be announced here, in the comments section, on Thursday, so please check back here!
I’m also having a month-long Find Lucas contest, where I’ll be giving away either a Nook Simple Touch, A Kindle Touch, or a B&N or Amazon gift card for the equivalent. Details can be found on my website.
Connie Fischer, Patti P, and Nancy Davis! Congrats & thanks for blogging with us!