Me? Well, I'm thinking it's about time for another road trip. As a California girl, I feel pretty fortunate that there are a lot of great places to visit within driving distance to one another. I'm a bit further north than I used to be, but there are times when the coast and the Monterey area just start calling. It's probably why I set my upcoming Butterfly Harbor series (from Harlequin Heartwarming) there. At least if I can't get there in the physical sense, I can go in my mind. In case you need a little help imagining, here's some help:
Ahhhhh. You feel better now, right? The idea for this series kind of happened in a flash--one of those a-ha moments writers dream of. It's like striking a vein of gold in a mine. There's a small town just outside Monterey called Pacific Grove. It's a bit of a tourist destination with a large retreat center and tons of small businesses. The houses are eclectic and traditional, the ocean is right over the hill and the weather, honestly, couldn't be more perfect. Hence the model for Butterfly Harbor. But my stories needed some added punch, something at stake, and having the town struggle for survival seemed the perfect answer.
THE BAD BOY OF BUTTERFLY HARBOR (on sale 12/1) opens the series. Holly Campbell, a life-long Harbor resident isn't convinced all the new ideas to bring the town back to prosperity are going to work, especially not when it means having to alter the precise schedule that keeps her life running smoothly. She sure doesn't believe the return of Luke Saxon, the town's one-time notorious bad boy returns to take over as the new sheriff. There's a lot of history between these two but there's also a lot of discoveries to be made. At its heart, this book is about forgiveness and persevering through life's sometimes crippling challenges; it's also about the resiliency of the human spirit.
For me, the beauty of the coast helps bring everything into balance, as it does for me whenever I return to the place that inspired me. Two years ago, before I started writing the book, I took a road trip with three good friends (my Monterey girls as I call them). We spent the weekend exploring every inch of Monterey and Pacific Grove and they helped me delve into what makes small towns like these so special and fun to write about.
So as we head into "the crazy" season, where the windchill kicks up and the sun sets sooner than it should and the Christmas carols start ringing through the radio, I'm thinking it's about time to load the girls up, head down south and get some new story ideas, you know, in case anyone wants to read more about Butterfly Harbor.
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USA Today and national bestselling author Anna J. Stewart can't remember a time she didn't have a book in her hands or a story in her head. Early obsessions with Star Wars, Star Trek and Wonder Woman set her on the path to creating fun, funny, and family centric romances with happily ever afters for the independent heroines she writes for both Harlequin and Berkley. Anna lives in Northern California where she deals with a serious Supernatural & Sherlock addiction, surrounds herself with friends and family and tolerates an overly affectionate cat named Snickers (or perhaps it's Snickers who tolerates her). Visit her online at www.authorannastewart.com.