…by Senior Editor Victoria Curran
What a great month to be in the business of romance publishing! I feel as if romance writers are the experts in Valentine’s Day, so thank you to authors Roz Denny Fox, Eleanor Jones, Loree Lough and the writing duo of Mae Nunn and Gwen Ford Faulkenberry for contributing books to Heartwarming just in time for this romantic event.
Roz’s book, An Unlikely Rancher, is a poignant story about a military widow who buys a ranch—an ostrich ranch—and becomes entangled with the wounded former military pilot-with-dog she’s unwittingly inherited as a renter. In typical Roz form, this story is deeply emotional and (spoiler alert!) the redemptive ending is so cathartic! A must read.
Eleanor’s book, A Place Called Home, is another in her miniseries Creatures Great and Small, returning to England’s Lake District, which the author conveys so beautifully. This is a second chance at love story, where the setting is almost another character in the book, frankly, along with the animals that always play a key role (hence the name of the flash!). WARNING: make sure you’ve set up tea, scones, jam and Devonshire clotted cream before you start this book.
Loree’s got an unfair advantage with her book: who can resist the title, Once a Marine? My worst-kept secret: I love a good military hero. Ex-military hero. Wounded military hero. Military hero wanna-be. Any and all of the above. There’s just something innately noble and heroic about that guy. Authors: you can wound your heroes as much as you want to when they’ve got a military connection…you can even make them as horrible as you want to. I know they’ll rise above the biggest disadvantages to redemption in the end. (Might be why I love the TV show NCIS so much.) In this particular Those Marshall Boys story, Zach Marshall is now teaching self-defense, but he and one of his pupils have a whole lot of baggage they’ve got to work past to find love…
We’ve got a couple of writing partnerships at Heartwarming, which is fun, and Lone Star Refuge is the final book in Mae & Gwen’s Deep in the Heart miniseries. Still set in Texas (where else!), Stella’s the stickler for rules and Joiner Temple’s the thrill-seeking cowboy she’s saddled with. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, yay.
*For those of you who love the Heartwarming covers (and so many of us do) some of the authors have entered the Houston Bay Area RWA’s Judge a Book by Its Cover contest and you have until Monday (Feb. 9) to vote, so get on it! (Who did our own Kate James have to bribe to get top billing in the contemporary lineup, I wonder… Share your secrets, Kate!) https://jabbic.hbarwa.com/rc
I also want to remind readers that the Heartwarming authors’ Huge Valentine’s Day Giveaway ends in seven days, so sign up and join the countdown to V Day and get a chance to win some pretty amazing prizes. http://heartwarmingauthors.blogspot.ca/2015/01/its-huge-heartwarming-valentines-day.html
My most heartwarming Valentine moment to contribute to the authors’ contest is in fact more than a moment, as I invited a potential cat adopter into my house…and into my washroom…where she sat on my toilet for two hours with little foster Kaya on her lap, while I sat cross-legged on the floor against the bathtub. (I couldn’t figure any other way to prevent the cat from hiding under a bed.) Kaya had her at meow, but it was poignant to see the love pouring out of this woman, who will be giving my baby the first real home she’s had since she was dumped pregnant in the woods eight years ago. And Kaya is going to get to live in a century home with a wraparound porch and a gentle, older dog and a horse. Sadly, this wonderful adoptive mom wouldn’t take me and the other four cats, but I’m still working on her. After all, it’s February: hope and love are in the air!