Highlights of the Deerbourne Inn series

I’ve been diligently reading all the books in the Deerbourne Inn series put out by The Wild Rose Press and my, oh my…I’m happily sucked into this fictional town of Willow Springs, Vermont! The stories, the people, the romance…ahhh!

Novellas (stories 40,000 words or less, and typically 75-150 pages long) are a great escape from the grind. I write full-time but also love to read, and I’m limited by my reading speed. I do enjoy full-length novels, but I have to say that novellas are my new secret passion! I can finish in one or two sittings and feel a lovely sense of accomplishment (and enjoyment).

Welcome to the  Deerbourne Inn , a lovely B&B in the heart of the Mad River Glen, Vermont.

Welcome to the Deerbourne Inn, a lovely B&B in the heart of the Mad River Glen, Vermont.

What’s interesting about this series is the stories span genres…mystery, suspense, paranormal, romance…and time (historical and contemporary). Since many, but not all, have romantic elements, the heat level is a spectrum from sweet to spicy to hot.

Willow Springs is in the Mad River Glen of Vermont. All the stories revolve around the townsfolk and visitors. Each story has at least one character staying as a guest at the Deerbourne Inn, a rustic, renovated B&B in the middle of town. There is no need to read them all in order. I’ve jumped around. Each story is its own. But as you read more, you may have little moments like me where you go “Ah! I remember him/her from the other book.” Each story adds flavors and layers and depth to this town.

P.S. I enjoyed researching for my own book in the series. For a few pictures from the Mad River Glen hop over here.

I’ll keep updating this page as more books are released. Without further ado, may I present the Deerbourne Inn:

Note: My own sexy scale is indicated: [sweet, spicy, or hot]

By Reservation Only (Barbara Edwards): [Mystery, Sweet]

The first book in the series sets us up with the Inn, and we learn about its owner, Nate, a former NYC chef. Along comes a mysterious woman searching for clues to her past. And…there is a mysterious arsonist among the townsfolk! HIGHLIGHTS: Lovely set-up, and mouth-watering meals! A wee bit of mystery tossed in.

Hope’s Dream (Peggy Jaeger): [Romance, Sweet]

A delightful winter cozy! Hope lives in town and works the ski slopes and at a bar to take care of her ill mother, though medical bills prevent Hope from pursing her career dreams. Along comes lawyer Tyler, who needs to get her to sign some estate papers that would be a windfall of income to Hope. Love strikes, and the more he is with her, the more muddled his situation gets (he hasn’t exactly told her the reason why he is in town). Well, you guessed it! Love. HIGHLIGHTS: I enjoyed Ms. Jaeger’s writing style and the sweet, slow burning romance that built up between Hope and Tyler. The imagery made me envision the crisp, powdery slopes of Vermont and warm cozy firesides.

Freedom’s Path (Linda Carroll-Bradd): [Historical Romance, Sweet]

This is the first (I hope of many) historicals in the series. 1855. Freedom-fighter Sidonie works as a maid at the Inn. An Army Corporal, Colin, comes to town under the guise of salesman to root out abolitionists. The cause is personal to Sidonie, as her grandmother escaped bondage years ago. Love builds between these two, opposites, but Colin has an empathetic heart. Then another slave-hunter comes town. Will Sidonie be caught? Will Colin turn her in if he learns of her involvement? HIGHLIGHTS: I enjoyed the suspense, Sidonie’s bravery (she hangs special quilts as “code” to other abolitionists), and the spark between her and Colin. This book was a pleasure to read and I liked the ending.

Spirited Quest (Julie Howard): [Paranormal, Sweet]

Paige runs the town newspaper, a dying art, and she is still figuring out what to do with her life in the wake of a divorce. In her early-50’s, she has spunk and a strong personality. Her niece, an acclaimed blogger and “ghost whisperer” comes to town to visit with the Inn’s local ghost. This story is paranormal meets suspenseful mystery (is the ghost real? Is somebody stalking her niece? Is she in danger?). HIGHLIGHTS: I loved the perspective of Paige and that she never really believed in this ghost nonsense. Well-polished writing kept me turning the pages.

Lyrical Embrace (Amber Daulton): [Romance, Hot]

Erica is on the run from an abusive ex in NYC, with a load of his cash in her bag, and her violin at her side. The last thing she wants is a romance. Enter Dylan, former rockstar and player. But Dylan wants a quiet life back home in Vermont, teaching kids music. Sparks fly fast with these two. Enter trouble: has her ex found her? Is Erica ever going to be safe and find a happy ending? HIGHLIGHTS: I liked that Dylan was not your typical bad-boy. This story is hot and heavy, but well-written and believable. I liked the secondary character development as well.

Soul of the Storm (Jean M. Grant): [Romance, Spicy]

Not sure I feel justified to review my own work! A quick summary: Charlotte is haunted by a past: a sister lost on a hiking adventure but her friend persuades her for a week away in VT to rest, not dwell on a mistake. She blames herself and her lying/cheating ex-husband. Matiu is aching to return his restless spirit back home to New Zealand, and works many jobs in town to pinch pennies. Neither are looking for love but both can’t deny their attraction and shared love of the outdoors. When the Search & Rescue team falls ill and a snow storm blows in, can Charlotte help Matiu on a rescue? Will love help her summit one last peak? HIGHLIGHTS: Flavors of Matiu’s Maori upbringing and a fun story for outdoor enthusiasts (hiking, kayaking).

Lion Dancing for Love (Laura Boon): [Romance, Hot]

Caitlyn is in town visiting her friend, while on a year-long “holiday” trying to find herself and avoid going home to California in the wake of a bad break-up. Corey is a wholesome (adorable!) young widower. The two have an instant (well, they try to deny it) connection. Their romance is believable and enjoyable. Is Corey ready to move on, and can love keep Caitlyn in town? HIGHLIGHTS: I enjoyed both characters’ backstories (Caitlyn is Chinese-American and let’s just say she gets this widower to dust off his dancing shoes to help her in a special Lion Dance). I learned a bit about this important ceremonial dance and I adored Corey. This is another hotter romance when it comes to love scenes.

Forever in a Moment (Charlotte O’Shay): [Romance, Spicy]

Sam’s fiancé dumped her days before their wedding and she’s looking for an escape from her too-serious, too-predictable life in NYC as a lawyer. Enter her “honeymoon” for one in Vermont at Christmas, a broken down car in the snow, and a ruggedly reclusive dairy farmer named Jed. These two can’t fight their attraction, but with Jed’s painful past and her own secret, can these two get their act together for a HEA? Can Sam say goodbye to the routine and start anew in small-town VT? HIGHLIGHTS: The fresh, first person/present tense style by the author really highlights the voice of the characters, brings them to life on the page. I loved Sam’s candidness and Jed’s sincerity (Ah, a hot, sensitive farmer!). The love scenes are sexy but not too hot. A fresh, keep you in your seat read!

Witches’ Cliff (Peggy Chambers): [Paranormal, Sweet]

Penny’s returned to town after leaving with her mother after her birth and the stigma of being witches. She descends from a family of witches and lives in Salem, MA. On the heels of a marriage proposal she is uncertain about (he’s a bit slimy), she comes to town to seek guidance of a different kind…from an ancestor. This requires climbing the Witches’ Cliff (where witches were tried and tossed off) on Halloween and summoning her great-many times over-grandmother. Oh, there’s also a handsome electrician who has eyes for her and another local witch she is skeptical about: is she friend or foe? HIGHLIGHTS: I enjoyed the paranormal elements, Penny’s down-to earth attitude, and the overall story line.




Soul of the Storm: Releases March 20th! (Cover reveal & excerpt...)

Friends (and strangers, doctors, people I bump into…) keep asking me why I’m having three books come out this spring back-to-back? Because I am crazy? LOL. That’s a long story and I will explain it in a future blog post. :) But for now, hey look, a new cover! A release date! And an excerpt! And of course, a bit more about Soul of the Storm, too:

SouloftheStorm_w12963_ib.jpg

Charlotte MacGregor lost the thrill of conquering mountains five years ago when her sister disappeared on a hiking adventure without her. Still guilt-ridden, Charlotte heads for a vacation to rustic Vermont with a friend—where she's surrounded by reminders of her devastating loss and plagued with unanswered questions.

Matiu Christiansen is an outdoors buff. He works multiple jobs to save for his dream of owning an outfitter in New Zealand. He's never quite felt at home in the United States and he yearns for his Maori roots, but his attraction to Charlotte puts a kink in his plans to move home later this year.

Thrown together by coincidence, Charlotte and Matiu form a kindred bond through their shared love of the outdoors. Can Charlotte surmount her demons to assist Matiu on a rescue when a late-season snowstorm hits? And can Matiu help Charlotte heal from the pain of the past?

Soul of the Storm is part of the new Deerbourne Inn series by The Wild Rose Press. With an idea already brewing for a healing story set in my native region of New England, I jumped on board with this series of shorter stories/novellas that take place in the quaint fictional town of Willow Springs, Vermont. It’s hypothetical location is near the town of Warren, VT, so after doing some research in the Mad River Valley (would you expect less from this traveler?), I got writing! This was one of my favorite stories to write to date.

And now for a teaser…

She went to feel her ring on her finger with her thumb…but the ring wasn’t there. That old habit would not die even years later.

A dog bark intruded. The man crossed to the back door. “Reka, sweet girl, take your nap. Only a few hours here and then home, okay?” He spoke to her like a father to a toddler. The dog barked again. “A swim and walk this morning weren’t enough for you?”

He approached the dog, petted it, and whispered affections.

Charlotte made a soundless “Aww” and kept perusing.

The man returned, nearer. Residual sweat traced his brow. He pointed to a selection of books in the middle. “These are the best. Depends on what you’re looking for. Honest reviews or glorified fantasies?”

“Honest reviews, always.”

He stroked a hand through his neck-length black hair, the longer top layer falling over his forehead. He squatted and withdrew a few books from the lower shelf. “You could go with the popular or famous names, sure, but I like these authors.” He handed her one.

A book on South America sat in her hands. She muttered, “Thanks. Don’t need that one.”

“Oh, already been there, eh? All good, all good.” He took it and shoved it back on the shelf. “Where do your dreams lie then?”

She swallowed. No, I wasn’t there in that way. I was supposed to have been there. Five years ago. Instead she said, “Well, Vermont for now.”

“You’re in luck. I’m from Willow Springs.”

Soul of the Storm releases on March 20th!  Amazon  ~  Barnes and Noble  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo  ~  GooglePlay  ~ Walmart

Soul of the Storm releases on March 20th! Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ iTunes ~ Kobo ~ GooglePlay ~ Walmart