I'd barely begun the first draft and had a relatively short time to complete the story when my wonderful mother-in-law passed away. Writing about a daughter who feared she was going to lose her mother was tough, and I suspect I skirted around the topic in that first draft.
I was fortunate that our editor at Harlequin Escape loved the overall concept of our #MindalbyOutback series and requested changes to all of the stories to bring out the overarching story of the cotton mill closing.
Back to the keyboard and after some major rewriting, in which my characters come up with the idea that sets the town on the road to recovery, I resubmitted my book and waited for several anxious months until that wonderful email arrived accepting all our books for a special series and print bind up.
Originally this was titled 'Stitched Up' because Paul Carey is the saddler and leather artist, and Serena Quinlan is a clothes designer. That working title changed with the new focus on the town of Mindalby coming back from the edge of despair and taking charge of their own future.
A teaser: (because I love first meetings, don't you!)
‘Blast and damn him.’
At the sound of a deep, male voice, she turned and took several quick steps around the car. ‘I’m Serena Quinlan, the—’
She came to an abrupt halt.
Water dripped from shoulder-length black hair and a stubbled jaw onto a well-muscled pair of shoulders and chest. The rest of his body was lost to view behind the corrugated iron half-wall.
Serena followed the line of the man’s arm to a tanned hand gripping the edge of the wall. A strong hand, a workman’s hand. Soap bubbles ran down his forearm and dripped from his elbow into a muddy pool beneath wooden slats. A sliver of bare thigh flashed into view.
‘Pass me that towel, will you?’
Serena met his dark-eyed gaze before she registered what he’d said. ‘Towel?’ She blinked and looked around. A towel with the Manly Sea Eagles emblem lay on the ground near her feet. Looking from the towel to the man her inner turmoil fled, replaced by amusement. She’d caught the saddler bare-arsed in his outdoor shower.
A gust of wind rolled the towel further out of his reach.
‘Any time soon would be good, unless you’re comfortable talking to a bloke in the buff. Doesn’t worry me, but—’
Laughter threatening, Serena scooped up his towel and held it out. ‘Maybe not at our first meeting.’
E-book - Harper Collins
Heart of the Town (print bind up - four stories)
For specific retailers, use the links below:
If you spy it 'in the wild', please take a photo (with you holding it if you are game!) and tag me in a FB post with where you spotted it. Thanks!