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The Closer You Get, third book of the Durrell Trilogy, has arrived!

Two responsible people.  Two impossible dreams. What could possibly go wrong?

Jessica Piers learned all about responsibility the day she became a single mom. Responsibility means working all hours to pay for ever longer jeans, tons of peanut butter and band camp tuition. At least she doesn’t have to worry about running into Ronan Durrell. He’s never coming back to the island. Which is good, because she’ll never forgive him for leaving when she needed him the most.

When Ronan is fired from a prestigious Boston architectural firm, all he feels is relief. Well, that and guilt. So he heads home to the island to figure out what’s next. One thing’s for sure. It can’t involve Jessica. Because dreams are fine for boys, but a man does the responsible thing. Even if it means walking away from the only woman he ever wanted.

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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.