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All Of Me, second book of the Durrell Trilogy, has arrived!

Two blue eyes. One toothless grin. And Jock Durrell’s heart is gone, gone, gone.

Jock is having a lousy week. Learning he is a father has been a shock but it’s the lack of sleep that’s killing him. The kid is five weeks old and cries all night, every night. He needs childcare. Yesterday. He’s hoping for Mary Poppins.

Charlotte Aubin is good at getting hired. Staying hired is more of a challenge, especially since she knows nothing about babies. But most worrisome is Jock himself. He’s kind. She hates that in a man – it’s so much more deceitful than open hostility. Falling for the baby may be unavoidable. But falling for Jock would just be stupid. No man can be trusted, especially when it comes to love.

But Charlotte’s past follows her, endangering everyone she holds dear. Will she flee to safety? Or risk it all for the man who has stolen her heart?

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Books I Go Back To

A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson

Ms. Ibbotson walked a fine line between sweet and saccharine in this story. If her main characters are a tiny bit superhuman in terms of their ethics, you still wish they were your friends.

But what I really love, and why I go back to this particular book, is the way Ibbotson built the story. Her basic setup is so stable and thorough, the most serendipitous of occurrences seem perfectly acceptable to the reader. As a result, the ending is enormously satisfying.

I aspire to creating that kind of inevitability in my story lines.

On Writing Romance by Leigh Michaels

This is my go to book for romance character development. Ms. Michael’s interview questions for main and even side characters are so detailed that by the time I have finished answering them, I have no doubt who I am writing about. The list of information is critical when I forget or lose track of a character’s attributes and need to get back on track.

On Writing by Stephen King

This book, I think, is Mr. King’s true masterpiece. Writing can feel a lot like gardening in April, a lot of back breaking labor covered up by unexpected snowfalls and delayed gratification. I reread this book to remind myself that even prolific and well received writers struggle to produce and aren’t always pleased with the results.

Romancing the Beat by Gwen Hayes

This slim little book reminds me of Mary Poppins’ portmanteau. Every time you think you have taken out everything which is useful, you reach in one more time and find yet another important item. Ms. Hayes is sensitive to the unique issues of romance novel structure and explains those issues simply and clearly.

When I am working on plot structure for a romance novel, Romancing the Beat is right next to me.