Hot on the heels of my latest release, I am pleased to announce that my next manuscript is well underway. The last four of my novels – The Ghosts of Tullybrae House, Shadow, The Other Side of Dawn and The Haunting of Tess – explored difficult topics for each protagonist, and took them on a journey of self-discovery. While I love delving into what makes characters tick and am not afraid to dive deep to flesh out meaningful themes, I’m taking a break from heavy for this next novel.
I’ve decided to go back to my roots and take on a romance. In novels like A Noble Deception, A Noble Treason, and The Christmas Blend, I enjoyed letting relationships and love carry the story, and I am having fun with that aspect of writing once again. But instead of the historical settings I have selected in the past, I am going full-on contemporary with this one. Introducing: Autumn in Arborwood.
Welcome to the quiet community of Arborwood. Nestled in the popular Northern Ontario lake district of Muskoka, it is a place where everyone is family, whether blood relation or not. While wealthy vacationers from around the world flock here during the summer months for some pampered rest and relaxation, the locals are happy to create for them (and their tourist dollars) a destination experience on which the district’s economic health depends.
Arborwood is where Ryan Mitchell has grown up. Ever since she was a little girl, she was raised by her father, Ed, and her “family” of friends, neighbours and fellow residents of this quaint little town. Leaving Arborwood was never in the cards for Ryan, which is why she pursued a college education in Hospitality Management – the dominant industry in the area. Now, she has landed her dream job: General Manager at the Arborwood Inn, a popular upscale resort. Life couldn’t be more perfect.
When the Arborwood Inn’s owner, the larger-than-life “Poke” Bosworth, passes away, the loss of this beloved figure is felt throughout the community. Poke has willed ownership of his beloved resort to his nephew, Jake Hanley. Jake’s world couldn’t be farther apart from that of Arborwood. The son of a billionaire real estate tycoon, Jake grew up in a Manhattan high rise, surrounded by wealth and luxury, but lacking the warmth of family. Following in his father’s ambitious footsteps, he has built a successful acquisitions and mergers empire… which he runs with ruthless precision and ice-cold calculation.
Ryan loves the Arborwood Inn. Jake wants to sell it like he does with the other failing businesses he acquires for profit. But what he doesn’t realize is that just because a business isn’t a multi-million-dollar success, that does not mean it is failing. What the Arborwood Inn offers goes far beyond the small but tidy profit it earns annually. The Arborwood Inn has priceless treasures like community, family and warmth.
Will Ryan Mitchell be able to thaw Jake Hanley’s icy corporate mind and teach him to love Arborwood as much as she does? What happens when she unintentionally thaws his jaded heart in the process?
As a writer, I love how fun it is to explore how characters like Ryan and Jake make it from point A in their relationship to point B. What adventures can I take them on as they are falling in love? What characters can I introduce to paint a larger picture of their story than Jake and Ryan can tell themselves?
I am several chapters in, and I am enjoying myself immensely. Stay tuned for updates on Ryan and Jake’s story as it comes to life.