As most of you know by now, I'm a California girl--through and through. I can't imagine another state I'd want to live in (maybe Hawaii), but if I had to choose one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited, Alaska would be on the top of the list. How fortunate that my latest Heartwarming release MAKE ME A MATCH takes place there!
When Melinda Curtis, Cari Lynn Webb, and I bounced ideas around for a Valentine's anthology, the first notion was to do something with matchmaking. It was the romance holiday, of course it had to revolve around love (and, well, romance, so duh). But...we decided to turn the expected on its head and made our heroes the ones determined to help unattached singles find their perfect mate. Not ones to make things easy on ourselves (or our heroes), we put these three men (Cooper, Ty, and Gideon) in the testosterone rich, estrogen lacking Alaska, because, hey, we needed to give them a challenge, right?
There is something inherently appealing about Alaska. You can almost hear the snow drifting down, the flakes landing feather light, and feel the chill against your cheeks simply by thinking about it. I was fortunate to have visited there a number of years ago with my pseudo-little sister, Jessica--we took a cruise (she's originally from Alaska, so having the personal tour guide was a definite plus). Now I'm not normally a fan of drizzle, rain, and fog so thick you can't see to the other side (despite growing up in SF), but something magical happens in Alaska. It's like you're transported to another, much more quiet world. A place where what's important emerges from the chaos and craziness in the lower 48.
**Okay, I just spent 15 minutes digging for my photos (10 years ago meant pre-cell phone era)...I survived the avalanche in my closet to find them! Yay! See what I mean about other worldly? *sigh* Now I want to go back!**
In a scene I wrote for SUDDENLY SOPHIE, my contributed novella to the collection, Sophie, my heroine, is out on a date arranged by Gideon, one of our matchmaking bachelors. What Sophie doesn't know is that Gideon really doesn't want to find her a match, so...let's just say it isn't the best date ever. This should give you a clue--doesn't that just look...romantic? It does? Okay, then imagine it's night. Ha! That was fun to write. (This was actually taken in Sitka, far away from where our fictional town of K-Bay is).
At its heart, MAKE ME A MATCH is about friendship and the bonds that form. Coop, Ty, and Gideon have dreamed together, failed together and stalled out in life together, but nothing has torn them apart. And nothing will, not even as each of them find their perfect match.
I'm lucky to have friends like that. Melinda, Cari and I have been critique buddies for almost a decade now. We practically have our own language and a shorthand no one else would understand. We can be unflinchingly honest with one another, but we are also each others' first call when things get rough. We know there are two shoulders for us to cry on when need be (and trust me--there has been need). No one gets by in this life on their own. Having friends like I do, or like the three bachelors from K-Bay, makes all the difference in the world.
So I leave you with this beautiful flower (I have no idea what that is--it was pretty, so that was all that mattered, LOL--feel free to tell me what it is in the comments!). I hope that you, like Coop, Ty, and Gideon, surround yourself with forever friends as you go through life.
Happy reading, heartwarmers!
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 her independent heroines. 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.