Release Day is always a day to celebrate!
Today I get to release my sixth novel: Spanish Bay. Have a look:
But first, some thanks: thank you to Debbie McGowan, my trusted publisher and editor, who’s always there for her authors, no matter what! Thanks to Natasha Snow for yet another amazingly beautiful cover. Thanks to Amberr Meadows for another book tour well organized and your assistance with this site. Thanks to Claudine Clarke and several others for proofing the text and a huge thanks to my fans (yes, both of you) for standing my by side. <3 I would also like to thank my son for being the sunshine of my life and my husband, for being the best partner anyone could ask for. You’re always there for me, no matter what!
I’m really excited about this book. My recent three novels were very heavy, dark even, and even though I always deliver a happy ending, as unconventional as it may be, the topics were difficult. It’s the “curse” of social realism, and that is pretty much what I write.
Spanish Bay is continuing this tradition, but I really wanted to make this a feel-good, a happy book, something to instill hope in young people who need light, who seek the guidance of literature to see that “it gets better”, for real.
Meet Neil and Chris, two young men who meet by chance outside a café in Carmel-on-the-sea, California. They fall in love and build a relationship. No, it’s not a happily ever after right away, but their relationship is strong, and they defy their own parents at times, they struggle with their families, with the hurdles thrown in their path by life, which is, after all, unpredictable.
But while the main protagonists in your typical romance novel never get to actually be a couple until the final pages, Neil and Chris never once have to doubt their love or their relationship. This isn’t a romance novel. It’s a novel about love, about family, and about the mountains you can move if you trust, let go, and rely on your partner. Neil and Chris have that kind of relationship, and I wrote it that way intentionally. Not only am I bored with traditional romance (knowing how it ends, but suffering with the characters and the hell they have to go through to get to the HEA), I also find it doesn’t give people hope: Do I really have to go through all this before I get to find happiness???
So what’s the difference between Spanish Bay and a romance novel? Neil and Chris have each other, always.
Having lived in relationships for much of my adult life, I know how much strength I gather from having a partner, from not being alone, not having to face “life” alone. Because even in Spanish Bay there is “evil”, there is “tragedy”, there is “sadness”, “happiness”, “sorrow”. Some of us call that life. Yes, shit happens, life happens. But wouldn’t you rather face life together than on your own? I see that as a read thread running through much of my writing, I allow my couples to face their trials together, their being a couple never the core of my books.
The other topic of this novel is of course Neil’s disability, and not just his. There is another character that is disabled in this book and who plays a significant role. I feel that we need more positive role models, no matter whether you walk on two legs or use wheels, whether you’re blond or brunette, blind or seeing, cute or look like me. In Spanish Bay, I focused on telling a life-affirming story of a man in a wheel chair, and it’s written in a way that even Young Adults may (there’s no question about can or will) enjoy it.