Sit-Down Saturday with Leigh Riker

Leigh Riker is brand new to the Heartwarming blog.  Give her a big Shout Out!

Here we are today, celebrating the release of

So, Leigh, where did you get the idea for this novel?
I happen to love a good reunion romance. It’s one of my favorite plots. There’s always an inborn conflict, plenty of emotion, and lots of room to explore a once-broken relationship that now has a second chance. My heroine, Molly, and Brig, the hero, just kind of popped out, really. I’m so glad to give them their story, which, I must say, they demanded!

In looking at the cover, if you could add a caption or captions, what would they say?
Brig and Molly in love, not only with each other
This tiny baby has already stolen some hearts

How long did it take you to write?
Between three and four months

What is your favorite scene?
The snowball fight during the blizzard. There’s more than attraction between Brig and Molly there; they get to play and for those few moments Molly can also see the more carefree Brig she once knew and loved before his military career took him away from her.

Who was your favorite character and why?
I have to say Brigham Collier. He’s a real alpha guy. Yet here he is, with an orphaned baby to care for, and the closer he gets to little Laila (and Molly) the more wrenching his necessary parting from her (and Molly) will be. 

If you could pick fictional characters to play the hero and heroine, who would they be?
Molly’s like a Jane Austen heroine, plucky but sometimes misguided and yet she has a big heart. Brig is like one of the Navy SEALs/black ops guys in, say, an early Suzanne Brockman or a Cindy Gerard book. Tough on the outside but a softie inside. He’ll go to any lengths for the woman—and in this case, the child—he loves.
If you want to know what they look like, Brig is Nacho Figuera, the face of Polo fragrances and a top international polo player. Molly is actress Emily Blunt.

Tell us one thing you learned during research.
Well, having raised two kids, I already knew as much as anyone ever can about being a parent (ha-ha), and I’d spent time at the kind of day care center Molly owns in the novel. I lived in the Cincinnati area, the setting of the book, for ten years. So those features all but wrote themselves. As for Brig, that was kind of reverse research: he’s a member of an under-the-radar secret unit so he could do whatever I pleased!

What music would match the mood of this novel?
Any romantic ballad—and I’m a real sap for those. Specifically for this book, “If I Loved You,” from the old musical “Carousel,” which became the title of the novel. The classic song “I’ll Be Seeing You” is another. Oh, and “If Ever I Would Leave You” from “Camelot.” Of course now the lyrics are all running through my mind and I’m about to tear up. 

This is your fifteenth book. Exactly what does that mean to you?
Wow! I’m still in business <g>. Seriously, it’s a special milestone. My first for Heartwarming but my fifth for Harlequin. And I have so many more stories to tell!

What do you plan to work on next?
I’ve just gotten the go-ahead to write another Harlequin Heartwarming. The working title is ONCE MORE WITH FEELING (but no, it’s not a reunion romance) and I’m already on Chapter Five. 
In addition, I’m the “new kid on the block” with the Heartwarming blog. I’ll be posting there soon, most likely about the never-ending renovations this year to my house. Or maybe not. That topic makes me see red.

What are you reading for pleasure right now?
THE FIRST BOY I LOVED by Cheryl Reavis. Before that I finished HAVING THE BOSS’S BABY by Barbara Hannay (a favorite of mine) and I’m halfway through THE COLLECTOR by Nora Roberts.


  1. Welcome to Heartwarming, Leigh! This book sounds wonderful and I can't wait to read. I love reunion stories as well. Best of luck with the current book and looking forward to seeing you on the blog. :)

  2. Leigh, your book sounds fabulous and love the cover (don't we have the best ones?) I'm looking forward to reading the book.

  3. Hi, Leigh! Welcome to the Heartwarming Sisterhood (and brother David Thurlo) We're happy to have you along. I agree that reunion stories have so much built in tension that it's all I have to see on the blurb and I have to have it. I love Emily Blunt! (Jane Austen Book Club - I could watch it over and over.) Congratulations on "If I Loved You." I just finished a book involving seniors and a talent show where they do a lot of old Sinatra numbers. I know that isn't one, but those old lyrics are magic. Also - used to be madly in love with Robert Goulet, and "If Ever I Would Leave You" just rips my heart out. So nice to have you with us.

  4. Welcome to Heartwarming, Leigh! I love your characters and am a sucker for a reunion romance as well. Can't wait to check this one out :)

  5. Hi, Leigh! Can't wait to read your first Heartwarming! So glad you mentioned Emily Blunt for your heroine. She's one of my favorite actresses. Congrats on your fifteenth book--that seems like a huge milestone to me!

  6. Welcome Leigh from another newbie. I can't write to music with words. Wish I could, but I start listening to the words and forget where I am. lol. Congratulations on If I Loved You!

  7. Thank you all! I'm so excited to be a Heartwarming author and blogger. Hope you enjoy If I Loved You.

  8. Welcome Leigh. So excited to have a book out the same month as you!

  9. Howdy Leigh. I almost forgot to come give a shout out since I'd already read the interview. we're so glad to have you here.

  10. Welcome to the Heartwarming blog, Leigh. Congratulations and best wishes with your release!

  11. You lived in Cincinnati? I'm about 30-45 minutes North. Too bad you still don't live there - I'd coerce you into coming to Lori Foster's Reader and Author Get Together.

    I love what your book is about! I just joined the Reader Service for Heartwarming (so I'll get all 4 without having to choose), but I think it's too late to get the July books so I'll order from the Harlequin site.

    Congrats on your 15th book and your 1st for Heartwarming.

  12. Welcome to the group, Leigh! Your book sounds fabulous! Congrats on the release!!

  13. Marcie, I lived in Lebanon for ten years! I know Lori well but the timing has never worked out (so far) for me to attend her get together. One of these days...


Post a Comment