Congratulations to our three Bookseller’s Best Award finalists!
Fiona Harper: Snowbound in the Earl’s Castle
Michelle Douglas: The Nanny Who Saved Christmas
Donna Alward: The Rebel Rancher
The award is handed out at the RWA National conference in July in Atlanta, Georgia.
Settings can really help me anchor characters. When I know where they come from and how they feel about that place it often gives me a strong handle on what they want out of life…and why they might be having so much trouble trying to get it.
The minute I set First Comes Baby… in “The Bay” the story came alive for me. “The Bay” is the affectionate local term given to Port Stephens and its principal township of Nelson Bay. Port Stephens is an hour north of where I live and roughly three hours north of Sydney. And it’s one of my favourite places in the world.
I have such good memories of this place. I come from solid working class stock, but days stolen away at the bay with a prepacked picnic made my family feel like royalty. For me The Bay represents summer, laughter, family, good times and freedom from everyday concerns. Like I said, I love it.
So I thought I’d take you on a little photo journey to show you the places in The Bay that are special to Meg and Ben from First Comes Baby…
This is the strip where Meg and Ben live (they’re next door neighbours) in Fingal Bay, which is at the south-eastern edge of Port Stephens. They live one street back from the beach, but with awesome views (and yes I did use poetic license ).
And this is the beach they wake up to every day.
Here it is from a slightly different angle. If you look closely you might be able to see the sand spit that leads out to Fingal Island. Meg walks along there a lot.
Nelson Bay is only a short ten-minute drive away. Little Beach is very popular. At the far end of the beach is the Nelson Bay Marina. One Saturday Meg and Ben eat hot chips on the beach…
And one evening they share a rather passionate kiss here.
To give you an idea of scale, the harbour of Port Stephens is two and a half times larger than Sydney Harbour. I’ve only shown you the tiniest fraction. Here are a couple of pics from Gan Gan lookout.
A Father for Her Triplets: An uplifting new tale celebrating Mothers in a Million.
Single mom Missy Johnson has worked hard to provide her adorable triplets with the secure childhood she never had. But now that her baking business has taken off, Missy’s left struggling to juggle cupcakes and kids!
That is until gorgeous Wyatt McKenzie comes back to town, bringing memories she’d prefer stayed locked away… But when she sees him bonding with her mischievous trio, Missy realizes five might just be the perfect number!
Reader Favorite—Her Pregnancy Surprise
Grace would do anything for her daughter—even if it means seeing Danny again. He broke her heart once, and he doesn’t even know he has a child….
The Matchmaker’s Happy Ending: An uplifting new tale celebrating Mothers in a Million.
Professional matchmaker Marnie Franklin is delighted when she finally finds a great guy for her widowed mom—until she discovers that the man’s son is none other than Jack Knight. Successful and dreamy-looking he may be, but she blames Jack for destroying her father’s business. With her mother totally smitten with his dad, Marnie can’t avoid Jack.… Well, not without destroying her mom’s well-deserved happiness.
Soon Jack is forcing her to reconsider what really happened all those years ago. He’s determined to show her that her own Mr. Right is indeed right under her nose!
Reader Favorite—Boardroom Bride and Groom
Lawyer Nick isn’t used to spending his time at a children’s charity picnic, but it makes him see his beautiful colleague Carolyn in a whole new light.…
Second Chance with the Rebel: An uplifting new tale celebrating Mothers in a Million.
Everyone in the town could see they didn’t belong together. Mac was the adventurous outsider with a mysterious past, and Lucy was the wholesome doctor’s daughter. And Mac’s sudden departure just proved the rest of the town right.…
Seven years later a Mother’s Day Gala brings Mac back into Lucy’s life, and once again she finds herself charmed by him. Everything feels different, but the risk of heartbreak is just as strong. But doesn’t everyone deserve a second chance at happiness—even her…?
Reader Favorite—Her Royal Wedding Wish
Princess Shoshauna has followed royal convention all her life. When she meets soldier Jake, can she dare to dream of marrying for love?
First Comes Baby… An uplifting new tale celebrating Mothers in a Million.
Meg has always dreamed of having the perfect family, and when she learns her baby window is closing there’s only one person who can help.…
Ben has been Meg’s best friend since childhood. Their relationship is strictly platonic—except for that one unforgettable kiss. Helping her to become a mother is the easiest decision Ben has ever made. Only, soon he wants to be more than just their baby’s “uncle.” Can he convince Meg that he’s ready to do the unthinkable and settle down to be a real father?
Reader Favorite—The Loner’s Guarded Heart
When Josie arrives in Australia, she is intrigued by Kent, her only neighbor for miles. Can she break the iron padlock around his heart?
Even more tempting than ice cream!
Sorrel Amery is determined to make her summer event the talk of the town, and she knows just the way into people’s hearts—champagne sorbet! It’s the perfect strategy… Until the ice cream parlor’s owner runs off, leaving Sorrel’s plans melting faster than a sundae in the summer sun.
All Sorrel wants is to get back into her comfort zone, but when the gorgeous Alexander West arrives to help pick up the pieces her life gets shaken up more than ever before! Especially as this globe-trotting adventurer is determined that nothing in Sorrel’s life should ever be boring old vanilla again…
The most distracting boss of all…
For driven businessman Luke Savage success is the only option. So when gorgeous marketing intern Jess Sherwood waltzes into his office and casually informs him that his newly inherited vineyard has an image problem he’s outraged! She’s naive, overly ambitious, a know-it-all… And all Luke can do to stop her talking is kiss her senseless.
Eight years later the vineyard needs a boost—and Luke needs a hip new marketing strategy to save it. Jess may drive him crazy but she’s the right woman for the job. Their only problem is how to keep their minds on work and off that kiss!
A Daddy for Her Sons / Sparks Fly with the Billionaire
Raye Morgan / Marion Lennox
A Daddy for her Sons
When bona fide playboy Connor McNair watched his best friend marry Jill Darling, he never expected a second chance with the girl who got away. Now she’s a single mother and he’s back to persuade her to give up her pastry company. It’s just business…until Jill’s sweet smile has Connor thinking about fatherhood and forever. But that’s against all the rules…
Sparks Fly with the Billionaire
Banker Mathew Bond, the king of emotional detachment, wouldn’t normally foreclose on a loan in person, but Sparkles Circus meant a lot to him once. Feisty Allie Miski won’t allow a man in a suit to evict her family, no matter how gorgeous he is! But underneath this brooding billionaire’s cold exterior, Allie’s sure he has a heart of gold…
Along Came Twins / An Accidental Family
Rebecca Winters / Ami Weaver
Along Came Twins…
Kellie Petralia, soon to be ex-wife of Greek billionaire Leandros, is miraculously pregnant with twins! As Kellie surprises Leandros with the news, they’re just days away from divorce, but Leandros has other ideas… He’s determined to do whatever it takes to repair their marriage. But can he convince Kellie that miracles can happen twice in one family?
An Accidental Family
Firefighter Ben Lawless is tormented by memories of the friend he couldn’t save, and a pretty, pregnant woman living on his land is an unwelcome distraction. Still, as Lainey Keeler’s determination and spirit tempt him out of the darkness, he wonders whether he could have the family he’d convinced himself he didn’t deserve…
Michelle’s books are always excellent. Apparently the members of Colorado’s RWA think so too. Michelle has not one, but TWO books on the short list for the CRW Award of Excellence! Congratulations!
If you have checked out the two finaling titles, we suggest you do!