Where did you get the idea for this novel?
We’re continuing to write stories set in Sparrow Lake, our fictional small town in Wisconsin. Our heroine, Priscilla Ryan, made an appearance in THE FOREVER HOME, after she returned to her home town to start a new business, The Main Street Cheese Shop, and Kristen Lange, heroine of HOME TO SPARROW LAKE asks her to be a bridesmaid in her wedding to Alex Novak. That gave us an “always a bridesmaid, never a bride” idea that would be fun to play with.
In looking at the cover, if you could add a caption or captions, what would they say?
We’re hoping our hero and heroine are not itching too badly from all the hay :) Actually we suggested the idea of using the hayride for the cover, but we both have experience as to how uncomfortable that can get if the hay gets inside your clothes...
Who was your favorite character and why?
Of course we always love our heroes and who wouldn’t love Sam Larson, former town bad boy who came home after finding himself in terrible trouble not of his own making? Sam sees this as his last chance at starting over, both with a new business (a former rodeo rider, he’s starting a dude ranch) and with Priscilla Ryan. The night of the prom, he’d kissed her and told her he wanted her to be his girl, but the next morning, he rode out of town on his motorcycle without saying goodbye.
But we can’t forget Mia Ryan, who at twelve is unfortunately too young to be a heroine anytime soon. Spunky Mia will try anything, and her great love is horses.
What is your favorite scene?
A non-rider herself, Priscilla takes her nieces to the new dude ranch to ride at Mia’s insistence. She’s nervous at the possibility of seeing Sam and is glad when someone else is going to head the trail ride. But when she has trouble mounting her horse, strong hands grasp her waist and give her a boost. Sam, of course. And of course he rides along with her.
Tell us one thing you learned during research.
We personally visited a dedicated cheese shop, tried a few new cheeses and had a fabulous lunch there. We wanted Priscilla’s shop to be a similar experience for her customers. Linda will talk more about cheeses (and have some photos) in her next blog entry on April 15.
How many books does this make for you? Exactly what does that mean to you?
This is book #96 and a special book for me (Patricia) because it’s the 75th book I wrote for Harlequin. I didn’t even realize it until I got the following congratulations from the Harlequin team:
THE LONG ROAD HOME is #13 at Harlequin of 26 books for Linda.
What do you plan to work on next?
We’re currently writing the fourth book set in Sparrow Lake. No title yet. The heroine is Grace Huber, introduced in THE LONG ROAD HOME. Her family company is building a new community adjacent to the town and Grace is responsible for it’s being built “green.” We have a very likely hero for her in Caleb Blackthorne, a Native American who teaches ecology at the local community college. The romance is complicated by his teenage daughter Angela, who gives herself the artist’s name “Summer Storm.”
What are you reading for pleasure right now?
An exciting romantic suspense -- Sandra Brown’s Mean Streak (Patricia).