Riverbend, BC, is the quaint (fictional!) Canadian town you wish you were from, where everyone knows everyone, seasons are celebrated, and love is in the air.
When I decided I needed to write some shorter fiction not set on Green Acres Farm during 2015, I decided to move back to my own side of the 49th parallel — the north side! But I didn’t want a real town. A composite sounded more fun, so I took some of my favorite things from various Kootenay towns (yes, the Canadian spelling is Kootenay, not Kootenai!) I’m familiar with and lumped them together into one quite fictional community. There are bits of Castlegar, Nelson, Creston, and Rossland to be found in Riverbend, all mixed together with a layout and shops from my own imagination and suggestions from some of my friends on my Facebook author page.
Secretly Yours is the first novella set in Riverbend. The time frame is from just after Christmas to Valentine’s Day. Frankly, I assumed this series would contain not only shorter stories, but shallower ones. After all, how deep can you go in 21,000 words (about 1/4 the length of my Farm Fresh Romances)?
Apparently deeper than I originally thought! I’m thrilled with this story. I loved writing Nick Harrison, the former bad boy who is now a youth pastor. I loved Lindsey Solberg, the chef who’s returned to Riverbend to care for her teenage half-sister and gets rooked into putting a fundraiser Valentine’s banquet together for the church youth group. I also loved the energy, passion, and guile of that teenage sister, Madison Kimball.
Chef Lindsey Solberg agrees to cater the church’s Valentine’s Day fundraising banquet as a favor to her teen sister, but she’s shocked to discover the bad boy from her high school days is now Riverbend’s youth pastor. Seriously? How could he have changed that much? Nick Harrison has prayed for years for an opportunity to make amends. Now Lindsey’s back in Riverbend and won’t give him the time of day. What’s a guy to do except leave a trail of gifts from a secret admirer?
Lindsey’s heart takes a beating when she realizes the boy who was never good enough is now a far better man than she deserves.
Secretly Yours is currently up for pre-order on Amazon and will release on Sunday, February 1. I expect to keep it exclusive to Kindle for the foreseeable future. It’s really too short for paperback, but I might bundle several novellas together for print later in the year. That said, if you’re a subscriber to Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for free!
Expect four more Riverbend novellas in 2015. Secretly Yours covers the winter season. Pinky Promise (first draft nearly complete — you’re going to love this one, with two pint-sized matchmakers!) is a spring-time romance and will release in April. I don’t have titles for the summer, autumn, and Christmas stories, but the characters and situations are already floating around in my head.
I hope you’ll come along for the ride and enjoy every visit we make to Riverbend!
Lest you worry, Dandelions for Dinner, the fourth Farm Fresh Romance, will release in March, and I’ve begun Plum Upside Down for a summer release. Yep, I’m keeping busy at Casa Comer!