Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Little Something for the Weekend - Redemption Stories

Guest author Brenda Novak is here at the Pink Heart Society, talking about redemption stories and her ex-con heroine Phoenix Fuller...

I love nothing more than a hard-won happily-ever-after. Maybe that’s why I gravitate toward redemption stories. 

At some point, we’ve all done something we regret, created some challenge or obstacle we struggle to overcome. 

I think anyone who's ever rooted for the underdog can understand the appeal of a redemption story. Who doesn't love a "come from behind" win? A David that champions over a Goliath? 

There's just something inspiring about seeing a character overcome tremendous challenges, especially when those challenges were caused by his or her own mistakes. It takes courage to face up to our own shortcomings--to acknowledge them and overcome them, and it's encouraging to see it done in fiction. 

That's why I often use such flawed characters in my work. Not only are they more realistic to the human experience, they're more interesting than some perfect human prototype.

In This Heart of Mine, the latest addition to my Whiskey Creek series, Phoenix Fuller has been through quite a bit. She’s even served time. Now she’s out of prison and finally has a chance to make good, and she’s determined to do it. She’s different and admirable, but no one can see the admirable part at first, which is what makes the discovery of her true character so fun—and what made her such an interesting personality to create.

I’m often asked which of all my books is my favorite (I’ve now written over 50 stories!). That’s sort of like trying to choose a favorite child. (I have five kids, so I really relate to this analogy.) 

But there are stories that resonate a bit more strongly with me as I write them—and This Heart of Mine was one of those. It was a rare “gift” book, meaning it came easily. Of course, I’d been imagining the story for some time, was really looking forward to getting to this particular installment in the Whiskey Creek saga, so that could be one of the reasons. Perhaps my subconscious had already done most of the work.

Allow me to introduce you to Phoenix through a short excerpt:

It was the first time she’d seen her son since the day she gave birth to him. Phoenix Fuller had spent an eternity waiting for this moment. She’d counted every single breath, it seemed, for sixteen years, waiting to lay eyes on Jacob again.
But as anxious as she was, she’d promised herself she wouldn’t cry, or try to hug him, or do anything else that might make a teenage boy feel uncomfortable. She was a stranger to him. Although she hoped to change that now that she was back in town, she couldn’t come on too strong or he’d likely shut her out—even if his father didn’t make sure he kept her at arm’s length. She had to be an embarrassment to both of them. They were all from the same small town; it wasn’t as if they could hide the fact that she’d spent Jacob’s entire life in prison.
Her heart leaped into her throat as she watched Jacob and his father, Riley Stinson, get out of a large Ford pickup and stride toward the entrance of the restaurant.
God, her son was tall, she thought, hungrily devouring the sight of him. How he’d gotten so big, she had no idea. She barely topped five feet. Even at thirty-five, she could be mistaken for a much younger person when she wasn’t wearing makeup and had her hair pulled back.
But Jacob took after his father in size and shape, had the same broad shoulders, narrow hips and long legs.
“Excuse me. Your table’s ready whenever you are.”
Phoenix wouldn’t have heard the hostess if the woman hadn’t touched her arm when she spoke.
It required real effort, but she dragged her gaze away from the window in order to respond. “Thank you. The rest of my party will be here in a second.”
“That’s fine. Just let me know when you’re ready.” With a polite smile, the young woman seated a couple standing nearby.
Once again, Phoenix’s eyes were riveted on her son. Only this time, she felt such a surge of emotion she almost darted into the bathroom. She could not break down.
Please, God, don’t let me cry. He won’t come within ten feet of me if I do.
But the harder she tried to hold back her tears, the more overwhelmed she became. In a panic, she slipped around the corner, into the small alcove by the bathrooms, and leaned her head against the wall.
Breathe. Don’t blow this.
The bell over the door jingled, telling her that Riley and Jacob had stepped inside. She imagined them looking around, maybe getting annoyed when they didn’t find her. But she was frozen in place. She absolutely could. Not. Move.
“Hey,” she heard the hostess say with a familiarity that hadn’t been present in her greeting to Phoenix. “We’re busy this morning, like we are every Saturday. But if you can wait for a few minutes, I’ll get you a table.”
“We’re actually meeting someone who should be here.”
That had to be Riley, but Phoenix couldn’t say she recognized his voice. Her memories of him were vivid. But they’d both been so young, and he’d changed a great deal. No longer the skinny teenager she’d known in high school, he was a man with plenty of hard muscle on his solid frame, a man in his prime, and that had been more than apparent as she’d watched him walk, shoulder to shoulder, with their son a few seconds earlier.
“Who are you here to meet?” the hostess asked.
“Name’s Phoenix Fuller,” came his response.
“What does she look like?”

“I’m not sure these days,” he said, and Phoenix winced. Her shoulder-length dark hair wasn’t bad. It was thick, probably her best asset. Her hazel eyes weren’t unattractive, either. She didn’t feel she was ugly. But the scars on her face would be new to him. She hadn’t had those when she went to prison.
“She wasn’t very tall,” he added, as if that might be the only detail still applicable.
“There was a woman who said she was expecting two more to join her,” the hostess said. “But I don’t know where she went...”
Determined not to miss this opportunity after waiting so long for it, Phoenix curved her fingernails into her palms, took a deep breath and stepped around the corner. “Sorry I...I had to wash my hands.”

For those of you familiar with my latest series, you know it’s centered on a close-knit group of friends—both male and female—who’ve grown up together in the small Gold Country town of Whiskey Creek. 

Although it’s technically a fictional town, it’s based on the real towns that were founded when gold was discovered in California, and it still retains its character, despite the passage of the years. Consider yourself formally invited to visit! 

The complete list of Brenda Novak's Whiskey Creek series is available on her website, with the first two—When Lightning Strikes and When Snow Falls—on sale now.  This Heart of Mine is her latest: 

As the daughter of a hoarder, Phoenix Fuller had a tough childhood. So when the handsome, popular Riley Stinson became her boyfriend in high school, she finally felt as though she had something to be proud of. Phoenix was desperate not to lose him—especially once she found out she was pregnant. Yes, she might have acted a bit obsessive when he broke up with her. But she did not run down the girl he started dating next.

Unfortunately, there was no way to prove her innocence. Now, after serving her time in prison, Phoenix has been released. All she wants to do is return to Whiskey Creek and get to know her son. But Jacob’s father isn’t exactly welcoming.

Riley doesn’t trust Phoenix, doesn’t want her in Jacob’s life. He is, however, ready to find someone to love. And he wants a good mother for his son. He has no idea that he’s about to find both!
Brenda would love to get acquainted with you, too. You can find out more about her me on her website or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Fun - Fairy Tales

Desere Steenberg is talking to the Pink Heart Society about fairy tales...

Ever wondered what it would be like if real life was a fairy tale, well I have, countless time over! In my dreams I have been Snow White, Cinderella, Belle and yes even Ariel.  Or how about if fairy tales were like real life?

If Real Life Was Like A Fairy Tale

Instead of having to head out in search of the perfect dress for that rocking party , you could simply call on your fairy god mother , literally five minutes before the party starts and she’ll transform you into a goddess looking like you just stepped out from the pages of an Elle magazine!  No mess, no fuss, no going from store to store, no having to sit for half the day to get hair , make-up and nails done. 

Or how about the office hunk you've flirted with for ages, showing up looking like sex on legs instead of wearing jeans that so do not have any form of a tight fit, flip-flops and so not looking like the hot-always in-a-killer-suit-and-tie – guy from the office.  Prince Charming definitely!

Or if your guy would really pay attention and really listen to everything you say, hello Mr. Beast, thank you for my library!  And of course if the date is a total failure ( like that ever happens in fairy tales)  we would not be left stranded or have some idiot driver whoosh by and hit that “ When the heck did it rain?” puddle and leave us looking like date-zilla. No, we would simply run outside and our transport would be waiting for us!

If Fairy Tales Were Like Real Life

Now if fairy tales were real life, well Cinderella would not have lost her shoe, nope the darn thing would have broken either a clasp or a heal, and well she would have no other choice but to have gone barefoot. Mr. Beast would definitely not have heard a word Belle said or paid any attention to her and why she loves books, nope instead he would hammer down on the fact that he’s a beast in bed and outside the bedroom he could not really give a rats behind what you do or don’t do as long as it’s within his domain and of course don’t you dare step outside.  

Prince Charming would show up looking all laid back and like he’s about to hit the beach instead of taking you out for the night. It would take you literary the whole day to get every type of magical transformation done and find that killer right dress.  

And all kinds of animals flocking to sing with you, yeah right! The deer would run as far and wide as possible most likely trampling one of the dwarfs in the process, and the skunk would instead of being all kind and helpful, he would really let it rip and no little dip in the river would wash that stench away.  And let’s face it Aurora would wake up looking like an utter complete wreck!

Now let’s not forget Ariel , yeah I always wanted to be a mermaid, swimming along with not a care in the world, and dreams of walking on land. Reality is, of course, if Ariel really did hit land,  she would constantly be stuffing her face with seafood, and boy oh boy do I think she would really start to smell after a few days because hello taking a bath and protecting her secret , not a possibility! And her loving Prince would most likely be the one to snap the pics and splash ( splash haha) it all over social media.

Speaking of social media here are some ideas of what fairy tale characters might have said if they were real:

@PrinceCharmingTheSnowWhiteVersion: “Heading out to look for a chick in a coffin, would so rather be drinking!”

@CinderellaattheBall: “At the ball, man this dress is uncomfortable, next time I am calling Versace!"

@Bellelovesbooks: “Finally got that personal library, but there’s only a 1000 books, NEED MORE!”

@AurorathesleepingBeauty: "Woke up to some creepy guy kissing me, hello sexual harassment case!"   

Tell us in the comments if any of your dates have ever played out like a fairy tale or if instead it was the perfect version of a real life disaster. 

To find out more about Desere, you can read her romance reviews on Romance Book Haven, and follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Time Out Thursday - Annie West's Passion for Flowers

It's time for Time Out Thursday, here on the Pink Heart Society, and Annie West is talking about her love of flowers...

It's autumn here in Australia, which is always such a wonderful time in the garden. I think spring and autumn are my favourite seasons, and they always entice me away from my desk and my writing to enjoy the outdoors. 

You see, I'm an almost gardener. 

I grew up among gardeners so I spent a lot of time outdoors in our rambling garden, which included an ancient rainforest gully as well as a mini orchard and terraces where previous owners had grown flowers to sell. 

When we travelled I'd always hear comments about the type of wattle (acacia) that was flowering at the time, or be taken to admire some spectacular private garden in full bloom and of course I learned to identify at least some of the local Australian flowers while bushwalking. 

Gardening is in my blood and I love gardens, but as for being greenfingered...well, it's a bit hit and miss!

As the daughter of a one time florist, I have a particular love of flowers. Yes, I have a few rose bushes, though the climate isn't ideal for them here on the coast. No, I no longer have neat garden beds of flowers. I did that in a previous home (with a different climate) and cultivated everything from daffodils to Japanese windflowers and peonies. Now my garden is very large and lush, but surrounded by big gum trees so it's more of the 'natural' (green and overgrown) look than a flower garden.

Nevertheless, I adore my flowers when they show themselves. I love the huge variety of flowers from delicate looking roses or even humble pansies to lilies and fragrant swathes of bluebells and all sorts of things in between. They always make me smile - a sure fire way to feel better when things aren't going so well. Here are a few photos I've taken in recent months (some in my garden and some elsewhere).

This oriental lily is called Stargazer and I love watching it emerge.
An Australian Waratah, state floral symbol of New South Wales
Wistaria. We had a tunnel of this in our backyard when I was little. Absolutely gorgeous scent!
Ornamental cherry - a real sign of spring
And here's a photo I took this morning - one of my favourite hibiscuses.

Do you have a love of flowers? Do you have a garden to potter in and grow your own? Or do you only get up close to cut flowers in bouquets? Or are you sadly allergic to them? I'd love to hear about your favourites!

Annie's latest book is a Mills and Boon Modern, Harlequin Presents called The Sheikh's Princess Bride.  It's the second in her Desert Vows duet (after The Sultan's Harem Bride).  

It is available now from Harlequin, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Book Depository.  Here's a taste:
Wanted: royal bride and mother

For Sheikh Tariq of Al-Sharath, one miserable marriage was enough. With a kingdom to rule, he has no time—or wish—to find a bride, but his children need a mother.

Could Princess Samira of Jazeer be the answer? Samira has sampled passion, and it left a bad taste. With the knowledge she can't have the children she's always wanted, Samira steps into Tariq's ready-made family. Her only condition? No sex!
Samira thought royal duties and her love for Tariq's children would fill the hole in her heart, but a craving is building that only the sheikh's touch can cure… 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Writer's Wednesday -- The Learning Curve

Today Pink Heart Society editor Jeannie Watt talks about the learning curve in her early writing attempts.

I have a binder on my bookshelf called “Early Stuff”. I never touch it; however, I can’t bring myself to toss it. I don’t want to destroy the evidence of the long and sometimes painful process that made me an author. I don’t really want to read it either. Too cringe-worthy.

The thing about writing is that you hear all this advice and you think you have a grasp on it, when often you don’t. Or at least that’s how it was for me. Conflict was the most difficult thing for me to conquer.

Let’s use one of my very early stories as an example. And just so you know, I don’t beat myself up for missing a few subtle points—such as kidnapping is bad—because I was doing my best at the time using what I knew.  But I might blush a little.

So in this early story, which I plotted after several years of reading all the Harlequin Presents I could get my hands on,  I have this set up that I think is brilliant. My heroine is a paparazzi-like photographer who specializes in photographing this one particular sports hunk. She’s driving him crazy. So crazy that when he catches her photographing him when he’s about to helicopter in to his remote family cabin, he stalks up to her, grabs her and hauls her into the helicopter with him. (Hullo…kidnapping…) 

They fly to his remote cabin (the pilot was apparently unconcerned about being an accessory to kidnapping) and then there they are. I have to come up with some kind of stuff for them to do, so I have the heroine accidentally burn down the cabin. Now they’re really in trouble, stranded in the wilderness together. They’re sniping at each other while kind of noticing that the other one is hot and then….

And then….

I had no idea.

I thought about lightning storms and broken legs, but ultimately I had nothing for them to do except to dodge disaster. They had external conflict, but they  didn’t have any personal goals, motivations or faulty emotional survival strategies. I’d never heard of these things because this was pre-internet days. I knew what I loved about romance, but I couldn’t yet replicate it, because I hadn’t completely deconstructed it.

I hadn’t yet figured out  that I not only had to give my characters a reason to be at each other’s throat, but that they both had to learn and grow from their experiences together. 

They had to examine their current emotional survival strategies and realize they weren’t working any longer. They had to face down a fear in order to live a more emotionally satisfying life. They not only had to deal with serious external conflicts—they had to change enough to do something that was really, really tough for them emotionally. Something they couldn’t have done at the beginning of the book. Something that they would have scoffed at.  “Oh, yeah. I’m going to bare my soul in public to win a woman. Uh huh…”

Once I finally figured out that I had to torture my characters internally more than externally, my writing took off.  I still love a good cabin-burning and helicopter kidnapping, but now the real meat of the story is the heroine finding the strength to stop holding herself aloof as a way of protecting herself, or the hero accepting that he’s never going to undo damage he once did, but that he still deserves a chance at happiness.

And if I get to have one of them burn down a cabin to get to that point—hurray! 

What aspect of the writing process has been most difficult for you to master?

Jeannie Watt writes fast paced, character driven stories set in the American West. To find out more about Jeannie and her books, please visit her website or her Facebook page. Her next book, To Tempt a Cowgirl, will be released in July 2015.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesday Talk-Time - Spring Break!

Jenna Bayley-Burke is here at the Pink Heart Society to talk about how to make Spring Break a bit more enjoyable...

It's the time of year where kids escape their classrooms, college students head for warm weather, and parents try to rearrange their schedule to make the most out of family time. The weather has been extreme this year - I have friends on one coast who spent their Spring Break snowed in, and out West our lakes aren't even full. Spring Break is always a roll of the weather dice.

Whether you're dreaming about all the skiing you missed this winter, or dreaming of rain to wash away the snow so you don't have to shovel the driveway yet again - there's a book for that. The snowed in setting, the lure of the beach read, and the pure escapism of places you'd love to travel to. If you're packed into a Disneyworld hotel room or saving money with a staycation, I bet you need a brain break.

While I keep my circus entertained with movies and museums, arcades and bowling alleys, I'm packing my own private beach. Anything with sand on the cover, beach in the title, or a Presents with Greek anything. It's raining on my Spring Break, so I'm bringing sunshine everywhere I can.

I set my Under the Caribbean Sun series on Anguilla because I needed to go there. And if you can't physically travel, going there in stories is the next best thing. White sand beaches, the setting sun painting the sky and ocean, and that laid back ease of an island in paradise. Take me there.

Summertime cowboy books have a similar effect. The sweltering heat, shirtless cowboys and skinny dipping. Open fields, a sky sparkling with stars, and a slow southern drawl. Take me there.

When life gets truly hectic, I turn to the medicine that has never let me down - contemporary crack. Give me a Greek billionaire and a luxurious villa on his private island. The Italian tycoon and the private beach steps away from his mansion. The Spaniard and get the picture. You've been there.

Tell me...what's the best escapist read you've found lately? There are lots of places I want to go...

Jenna Bayley-Burke's latest release is a reissue of her first book, Just One Spark. European readers loved it back in the day, but North American readers couldn't get theirs eyes on the sexy rom-com until now.

For more info on Jenna and her books you can visit her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Male on Monday - Austen Heroes

Donna Alward returns to the Pink Heart Society this week with a veritable smorgasbord of heroes...all from Austen adaptations. Buckle up...

One of my favorite things to do during a very long winter (and this has been one of the longest! So much snow!) is to curl up with a blanket, a glass of wine, and a good Jane Austen adaptation. Let’s face it…there’s a lot of swoonworthy watching. So let’s pick some favorites, shall we?
Pride and Prejudice. Now, during a long, snowy, dark, dismal winter you might want to watch the longer miniseries and glory in the delightful Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. Or perhaps you’re imagining spring and the image of Matthew MacFadyen strolling across the field with his greatcoat flapping. I call that a win/win. We shan't mention Wickham because, well, he's too much of a scoundrel! 

Persuasion. One of my favourite Austens and Captain Wentworth is one of my favourite heroes, too. When the latest came out with Rupert Penry-Jones as the Captain, I was skeptical – but quickly won over. I haven’t seen the Ciaran Hinds/Amanda Root version…

Emma. Mr. Knightley is a bit smug (sort of like Darcy) but when he realizes it is Emma he loves…oh, there’s nothing like a proud man made humble by the heart. I always rather liked Jeremy Northam in the role. I couldn’t really fall for either Jonny Lee Miller or Mark Strong in the role, though. Also - Mark Strong with hair kind of freaks me out. I love him as a villain! 

Sense and Sensibility. Well, if this isn’t just a cornucopia of choices. Let’s take two versions: the Emma Thompson and the latest one out in 2008. In the first we have Hugh Grant as Edward – lovable but a bit ridiculous (I always see him as Froggy Gone a’Courtin’). Then we have Alan Rickman as the Colonel. To be honest, I love Rickman but it was hard to picture him with the much younger Marianne. That being said, the moment when he says “Give me an occupation or I shall go mad” is damn near perfect. And Greg Wise as Willoughby…oh yes. 

But the 2008 version gives it a run for its money. First of all, we have Dan Stevens as Edward. You know, the guy that played the heir in THAT popular period drama but then LEFT…(Not that I’m bitter or anything). And David Morrissey as Brandon. HOLY HELL YES. You might recognize him as The Governor from The Walking Dead (which freaked me out a bit to be honest). And Dominic Cooper as Willoughby…a different dynamic to the role but sexier IMO. The battle between those versions is pretty darn close. I love both for different reasons.

I should mention Mansfield Park, but it wasn’t a fave of mine in the books and the movie was meh for me too. I just can’t seem to warm up to Jonny Lee Miller, though I do love Frances O’Connor (and love watching her on Mr. Selfridge).

And Northanger Abbey – it’s not a favourite of mine either, though I do like JJ Feild (who reminds me a little of Tom Hiddleston or Michael Fassbender.  Ooooh, can you imagine a movie with the three of them playing brothers???? I particularly liked Feild in the Sally Lockhart movies based on the Pullman books.

I’ve created a poll – so you can tell me who your favourite is!

My favourite Austen movie hero is: free polls

(If you can't get the poll to work, you can use this link)

Donna’s upcoming release is Summer on Lovers' Island, the next book in her Jewell Cove series from St. Martin’s Press:
Lizzie Howard’s life has always been adrenaline-charged. Top of her class at Harvard Med and now a gifted trauma doctor, Lizzie’s medical career has always come before rest, relaxation, and especially romance. But when one careless mistake brings her future to a screeching halt, Lizzie’s only chance at reviving it is to temporarily take over a friend’s practice in Jewell Cove. The sleepy Maine coast leaves her feeling more lost than ever—until she meets widowed doctor Joshua Collins, and her heart starts beating a little bit faster…

Coming home to Jewell Cove was Josh’s salvation after his wife died. Looking for peace among friends and family, he’s grateful to work in the town’s small medical clinic by day and spend his nights trying to forget everything he’s lost. Lizzie’s big-city sensibilities are a brash reminder of the world he’s pushed away, but he can’t deny that together they’ve sparked a flame. Maybe love is the best medicine after all …

Summer on Lovers' Island releases on May 5. You can read the first chapter on her website, and she'd love it if you said hello on Facebook and Twitter!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Little Something for the Weekend - The Perfect Hero

We're delighted to have Melinda Curtis back, talking about how her inspiration for heroes affects the way she writes them.  PLUS she's got a special offer for Pink Heart Society readers...
I write a lot of books every year. One of the biggest challenges is figuring out what the hero looks like to me – coloring, facial expression uniqueness, body type, etc. My heroes usually have “dark hair” for two reasons. I was first published by Harlequin and they were notorious (among authors) for not depicting blond heroes well (or, let’s face it, guys with facial hair).

I thought it’d be fun to take you along with me as I land on the perfect hero for my latest work-in-progress, a sweet romantic comedy novelette in my Fairytale Fellas series: Cinderella Fell for a Fella

As I write this article, I’m just starting to think about a name for my hero and land on Mack Prince. Just his name sounds sturdy and dependable, but he’d also have something that sets him apart from the crowd. So I’m ready to think about a “dark haired” guy and how my heroine might first think of him. It’s kind of like taking my hero for a test drive and it goes something like this: 

Could he be like Robert Downey Jr.? If so, I might write something like:  

He stood next to the display of tennis shoes – tall, wiry, dark eyes twinkling as he watched shoppers pass, as if he was one of Cindy’s kindergarten students daydreaming of mischief or recess or…the puppies at the shelter booth across the way. Then those dark eyes found Cindy in the crowd, and she felt that twinkle all the way down to her toes. 

Or could he be like Johnny Depp in one of his early, soulful roles? If so, I might write something like:  

He stood next to the display of tennis shoes, standing out more than the neon sneakers next to him with his shoulder length black hair, teal paisley button down, gold-tipped cowboy boots, and collection of Bohemian bracelets on each wrist. It wasn’t until after Cindy’s brain registered his appearance that her gaze caught on his soulful one. I’ve loved deeply, that gaze said. I’ve been hurt, those dark eyes said. And something in Cindy’s chest constricted and was lost.


Or could he be like Ben Barnes? If so, I might write something like: 

He stood next to the display of tennis shoes – tall, wiry, tan, a poster boy for exercise. Cindy wouldn’t just buy sneakers from this guy, she’d follow him on the jogging trail, have kale shakes for breakfast, and give up chocolate. Okay, maybe not chocolate. And then his dark gaze connected with hers and something inside her shifted. So long, chocolate.

Can you see how taking characters for a test drive helps establish who your hero and heroine could be? Does one of my heroes resonate with you more than another? 

If so, place your vote by commenting below. If none of them resonates, suggest a different role model for my hero and take him for a test drive starting with the phrase: He stood next to the display of tennis shoes… 

Melinda Curtis is an award winning author who writes the Harmony Valley series of sweet and emotional romances for the Harlequin Heartwarming line.  Melinda also writes independently published, steamy and fun romances as Mel Curtis. 
Mel's latest book, One Perfect Year, is available from Harlequin, Amazon, B&N, Kobo and iTunes now:

He's coming up on her blind side

How can Shelby Hawkley forgive Gage Jamero for bailing on her when she needed him most? He and her husband, Nick, were the best part of her life. Now her former best friend is back, shaking up the widowed wine harvester's world. The safest bet is to protect herself. Except Gage is awakening feelings that are decidedly unfriend-like.

Shelby is the woman Gage has secretly loved since high school. Starting over—together—could be the best dream he's ever had. If only he can find the courage to say what he should have said all those years ago.


  Readers of the Pink Heart Society blog will be sent a FREE copy of Cinderella Fell for a Fella by signing up for Melinda’s book release email newsletter: 

If you’re already on Melinda’s mailing list, you can email her at for your complimentary copy.
Find out more about Mel at her website, on Facebook and Twitter or on Pinterest!