Setting plays such an important role in any story. Where a story is set affects the mood and feel of it. It can help create tensions and conflict. It can add to our understanding of character motivations and emotions.
In Amy's newest series, Chicago Sisters, readers get to meet three very different sisters, living and finding love in a big city. Chicago offers up such a variety of settings for a book. From its skyscrapers that take you to unbelievable heights to its gorgeous parks and beaches, Chicago is always alive with energy and zing. There's something for everyone in this town - art, entertainment, shopping, and let's not forget some of the best food in the world (Chicago pizza, anyone?)
Speaking of food, the first book in the series, The Better Man, is set in a downtown restaurant. Sato's is an upscale Japanese restaurant inspired by some of the city's finest dining establishments.
In the story, Kendall Montgomery is hired to design the space for this new business, unaware that she will be working under the watchful eye of manager Max Jordan (who just so happens to strongly resemble her dead husband). The chaos of a place under construction adds to the tension the characters are experiencing. As the restaurant comes together, so do Kendall and Max.
In March, Amy's second book in the series will be available. The Best Laid Plans features a determined ER nurse and a lovable paramedic who both live and work in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. Charlie and Emma spend a lot of time at the hospital and firehouse, their homes away from home. These settings allow for a plethora of secondary characters and dramatic action scenes that help set the pace of the entire story.
In complete contrast to Amy's books, Carol's Seasons of Alaska series tells the stories of four members of the James family living in the small town of Rankins, Alaska, which is about as far from Chicago and the big city (or any city for that matter) as you can get. Rankins is all about country life, situated on the edge of a deep water bay (fresh seafood anyone?) and the lower reaches of the scenic Opal River. It is bordered by rugged, snow-capped mountains and seemingly endless wilderness on one side, and the beautiful North Pacific Ocean with its islands and sandy beaches on the other.
In the first book, Mountains Apart, readers get to visit Rankins’ wild side with guide and outfitter Bering James as he tries to win Emily’s heart and show her the "best" that Rankins has to offer. But moose, wolves, bears, snow-covered mountains, and especially this town's obsession with seafood aren't quite what sun-loving San Diego corporate executive Emily has in mind. But in Bering and Emily's case, country meets city in just the right ways.
A Case for Forgiveness, the second book in Carol’s series is slated for an
April release. In this story readers get a glimpse of Rankins’ more professional venues, although in this small town sometimes notions of 'professional' are not quite the same as their big city counterparts. No one knows this better than Shay James, the owner of the Faraway Inn. Needless to say, an extraordinary inn in a remote location like Rankins attracts some rather, um...interesting guests. While attorney Jonah Cedar discovers that practicing law in a small, one-room law office (however temporary) is a whole lot different--and quite a bit more challenging, than his regular life with a big city law firm. These two have a seemingly impossible legal matter to solve and a bitter past to get over, which they achieve in quintessentially Rankins fashion as plenty of wildlife, a bit of fishing, and a taste of an inviting Alaskan summer set the scene for love.
Whether you’re in the remote country or the glamorous big city, chilling on the windswept coast or basking in the heat of a scorching desert, perched on a rugged mountain peak or lounging at a lakeside retreat, you can be sure that Heartwarming will deliver sweet romance in any setting!