When I first decided to put fingertips to keyboard and try this writing a novel thing, I’d recently discovered Twilight. As a homeschool mom, I’d been reading through the classics I’d skipped when I was younger, choosing instead at that time to read my mama’s red-covered Harlequins. That young adult series, however, made me fall back in love with reading for fun. It helped me remember the joy of losing myself in a fabulous story with relatable characters…well, somewhat relatable characters. I’ve yet to meet a sparkly vampire in real life, unfortunately.
So, with my young adult read fresh in mind, I went back in time and pulled memories from my own young adult years. The first book I wrote is a contemporary romance that will (finally!) release later this year, and then it was time for a new book to write, so I stuck with what I knew and began a new novel. A book that would eventually kick off my Entangled Teen time-travel series, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century.
Fast forward a year, and I’ve already got my beyond fabulous YA editor, Stacy Abrams, and she announces that she’ll be leading up a new adult category romance line called Bliss, where the focus is on romance, humor, close family and friend relationships, and small towns. She suggested I think about writing a proposal for the new line, and with her belief in me, I decided to do it.
I picked up a Kristan Higgins novel, wanting to reacquaint myself with the adult romance genre. And I instantly fell in love. All those memories of sneak-reading my mama’s books came rushing back, along with the later years when I was able to openly share them with her. This was my first love, after all. And with all those happy memories circling my brain, I came up with a series idea set in a fictional town around New Orleans, a small town very similar to the one where I grew up.
Suddenly, I was having a blast. I was smiling the entire time I was writing, cracking myself up with character one-liners and family teasing. The hero in the first book, Taste the Heat, is a culinary fire captain and my heroine is a Cajun chef. That led to tons of fun research involving eating.
I know. It’s a hard job.
The second book in the series, Seven Day Fiance, I had even more fun. I visited my cousin in the heart of Cajun country, got a fabulous tour of all the back roads, interviewed locals who gave me amazing stories, and ate more food. Because, you know, research. That hero is a New Orleans city boy and my heroine was a Ragin’ Cajun Queen of Cracklin’ (fried pork fat). Oh, and the book started with a shirtless bachelor auction.
Yep, I was having a ball.
That leads me to book three, Accidentally Married on Purpose, my latest release. This completes this particular trilogy, but I’m already cooking up stories because I can’t stop hanging out with these quirky characters who love as fiercely as they tease. In this final book, wild child youngest sister Sherry finally meets her match—country music super star, Tyler Blue. If drunken Vegas weddings, lists of rules made to be broken, and hot men cuddling with adorable dogs is your thing, you’ll definitely want to check this one out.
Side note: Though Accidentally Married on Purpose focused more on the music scene and Mardi Gras than the family restaurant, I still had some yummy food research. By now, it’s simply tradition 😉
So, my journey may have had some twists and turns along the way, not to mention a few surprises, I found my way back to where it all began. Those adult romance novels that inspired my romantic heart from a young age. That made me a fan of falling in love and believing in happily ever after. I hope my books inspire someone just as much.
Thanks to Rachel Harris for sharing a Behind the Book look with us. Join us here the rest of the week for more Bliss author fun.