The Next Big Thing – Big Time Romance in a Small Town

My bestest writing buddy, Lauren D. Smith, recently wrote a post on her blog tagging me. It’s called “The Next Bog Thing” and it’s a great way to find new stories and connect with up and coming artists. I am so humbled that Lauren tagged me, and so here is my Next Big Thing:


(1) What is the working title of your book?
            Working Title, currently, is Cherry Valley Book 1: Natalie and Cole.

(2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
           Funnily enough, this story – or more importantly, the trio of stories that starts with this one, came to me after  having a conversation with a couple of girlfriends of mine. One of my friends started wondering what life would have been like had she made different decisions in her life – essentially, what would have happened if she’d gone back and found her first love? And our frank and terribly innappropriate conversation was the base for these three novels.

(3) What genre does your book come under?
           Probably just a contemporary romance slash Intrigue – I don’t seem capable of writing novels without at least one of my characters receiving some type of death threat …

(4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
          Oh, this is tough … for Natalie I think I would choose someone like Pheobe Tonkin, only a mite older. As for Cole, I think someone like an older Chris Zylka (yeah, you know I miss The Secret Circle on the CW).

(5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?   
         Natalie Beachampe is returning to the home she ran away from, and the man she ran away from, ten years ago, but not all is as she left it… and something lurks int he shadows …

(6) Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
         None of the above – it is a Work in furious progress!

(7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
      Um … I guess … two weeks and counting … a quarter of the way there! Booyeah!

(8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
        Hm … I hope it’s close to some of Lori Foster’s books – particularly the Visitation series, in that it’s built around a set of characters and a quaint little town. Also, the Inn Boonsboro Trilogy by Nora Roberts.

(9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
         As I said before, it was all based on an inappropriate conversation between girlfriends, that’s where my kernel of inspiration started. Then, of course, my setting was not the big city I lived in – I felt like it just wouldn’t convey the same feel as a small town, so I looked to a real place, Cherry Valley and the outlying areas for the small town as a real starting off point – including the beautiful harbour there, and the surrounding lavender fields and Main street charm.

(10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
          I am hoping that readers will pick up on the strong bonds of female friendship between the three heroines of the series – who have been lifelong friends, and I want readers to fall in love with the town itself. I have, in this first story, two lovers who have a backstory that spans a decade, and a lot of filler things that make them broken, but ultimately two people with a great deal of passion who can irritate one another and inspire one another to be fully people. And I am hoping that it comes through in such a way that people love it.

Here’s an excerpt from about Chapter four or so, just after Natalie has encountered Cole for the first time in ten years:

Natalie was still reeling from her encounter with Cole hours later, as she made her way to Chrissy’s house, hoping against hope,  that he wouldn’t be there.

It had rattled her, seeing him again. His tall frame, his lean muscles – but mostly his eyes. Still that deep blue they were whenever he was looking at her. It brought her back completely. Looking at him, holding her groceries and with Mrs. Longo on one side of her, she had been eighteen again. Her heart thudded painfully in her chest as she remembered how her lower body flushed with heat as soon as she heard his voice.

He could still reduce her to a sweating pile of hormones.

And he knew it, the bastard.

She swore out loud, but even as she did she remembered how they’d finally come together. Years of pent up lust and attraction, rolling between them through adolescence and highschool, and then the day after her graduation, after she had run away from home, she had hoped, for the last time, hiding out by the little patch of river that dipped into a shallow pond by the sheep farm, he had stumbled upon her.

She remembered how bold she’d felt, how he’d smiled at her and sat next to her, ignoring the tear tracks on her cheeks, and she suddenly felt beautiful. It was that thing between them – the fire that welled up whenever they got too close to one another. It singed her brain, making her think crazy things – like how beautiful he was, and how beautiful she felt, and how, at that moment, she could follow through, she could take what she wanted from him, give up everything to him, and walk away unscathed.

With a frustrated sigh at the perfect memories, Natalie thought of how he’d played with a strand of her hair, saying something she could barely recall, and then she’d leaned towards him, pushed into him with her lips, her breasts. And there had been no drawback, no hesitancy from either of them. She’d pushed towards him and he’d pushed back, and suddenly his hands had been cupping her breasts and her hands had been undoing his jeans.

It had been so quick, the start of something that would remain between them, hot and secretive, for the next ten years, though she’d walked away from it only weeks later. Without mentioning to him that she wouldn’t be back.

And it had taken everything from her.


So tell me what you think and feel free to share your own WIPs or fully formed stories with me in the Comments below! This was great fun and I am so glad to know such wonderful people who consider me worthy of this honour! 🙂







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