When I knew the book was going to be released into the romance reading world, I asked Laura to write up a little sumthin’ sumthin. on research she did for the book because she’s not a native Vermonter ( the book’s locale). In fact, she lives outside the U.S. so I knew her research story was going to be a goodie! Allow me to let her tell it in her own words. Here’s Laura…
When The Wild Rose Press put out a call for submissions for their Deerbourne Inn series, I was intrigued. I liked the collaborative nature of the series which meant I would be working with other writers (such as the wonderful Peggy Jaeger who is hosting me today) as well as the team at WRP. In the story bible, I read about Corey Duncan, third generation business owner and a man widowed too early in life. I had found my hero. I just needed a heroine to pull him out of the bubble he had withdrawn into. Up popped Caitlin and Lion Dancing for Love was born. Time to get to work! There was just one problem. I live in Australia and have never been to Vermont. (Peggy here: yes, that would be a problem, hee hee!)
Fortunately, I was lucky enough to study in Kansas many years ago, courtesy of a tennis scholarship. The team travelled around a good bit, but mostly in the Midwest and South. I never got to New England. So, I knew something about America and Americans but nothing specific about Vermont.
Thank goodness for Google!
I started by researching the geography of Vermont. What was the weather like in February and March (the time period covering my story)? What drives the economy? What is its history? Is a particular architectural style favored? What transport is favored? Who are its people? What sports do they play? What do they do for fun? What are their values? One of my characters is half Chinese, so I wanted to know how people in Vermont would treat her.
I approached the Vermont travel board, who were extremely helpful and mailed me a package, which reminded me that Vermont is a foodie state, committed to local produce and so I disappeared down another, mouthwatering, rabbit hole, exploring the menus of Vermont restaurants. I downloaded images to create an electronic pin board so I could look at visuals and maps for when I need to imagine the Inn, Main Street and Town Square in Willow Springs. And I read books like Peggy’s Hope’s Dream to see how she portrayed Willow Springs.
Fingers crossed, readers will enjoy my interpretation of Willow Springs. My editor, who doubles as my first American reader, seemed to (more finger crossing). However, for me, the most important thing to remember is that people are people. We may differ on the surface in terms of accent, cultural backgrounds, education and ethnicity – all of which provide wonderful color and diversity to our world – but on the inside, we have the same hopes, fears and passions, the same conflicted relationships with our mothers, and the same appreciation for loyalty, kindness, strength – and a good-looking man in a pair of blue jeans. 😉
Peggy here, again: OMG! I love how you did your research. I live next door to Vermont in New Hampshire and I didn’t know they were considered a foodie state. I’m gonna have to spend more time in Vermont, for sure! Thanks so much for joining me today, Laura. Now, let’s hear about LION DANCING FOR LOVE and your wonderful characters!
Licking her wounds after a bad relationship, San Diego accountant Caitlyn Summers travels to Willow Springs to help her friend gear up for the annual Maple Sugar Ball. She isn’t planning on staying long, but one encounter with the delicious Corey Duncan has her re-evaluating her plans.
Corey swore off love when his wife Annie died from breast cancer. Caitlyn is too young, too citified, and vibrates with a passion and energy that will upend the safe, comfortable rhythm of his life. Corey has to choose between playing it safe and taking a risk on love. Caitlyn needs to find the patience to let Corey lead. If not, the Maple Sugar Ball might end in a sticky mess, instead of a slow dance with the man who has captured her heart.
Will their fire burn hot enough to erase doubts and past hurts?
“You don’t have to be good at it. You have to be able to follow and count to three.”
She put her hands on her hips. It was his turn to raise a brow. “I can follow—if I choose to.”
He chuckled. “Such sass. Prove it.”
He held out his left hand, and she moved forward and placed her right inside it. He twined their fingers and pulled her into position. A heady combination of scents rose from her, vanilla and pheromones and something uniquely Caitlin. Her skin was slick against his. “Rest your head against my chest,” he murmured.
“I don’t recall that as an official position.”
“It’s the one I favor. Stand on my feet. That’s it.” He adjusted her arm, so she had a good hold around his neck and drew her even closer. “Step with your right foot first…back across, together. Forward, across, together. Back, across, together. Forward, across, together.”
Halfway through the song, he let her feet slip to the ground. At the end he kept a firm grip on her waist while he hit replay, then led her through a series of fast twirls, their bodies so close they were almost one. When the song ended, they collapsed in a heap against the wall. She was giggling.
“I get why it was considered scandalous when it was first introduced.”
He smiled and tipped her chin toward him with a finger. “It’s only scandalous if you do it properly.” He brushed his lips softly across hers, then claimed her mouth as she breathed into him.
You can purchase LION DANCING FOR LOVE here:
A little about Laura Boon….
Laura Boon stole her first romance from her father’s bookshelves as a teenager, The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss, and was immediately captivated. After holding a variety of positions in publishing, from bookseller to sales rep and publicist, she eventually found the courage to write her own stories. She was born in Zambia, grew up in South Africa, and went to university in America. She now lives in Australia with her husband and their fur babies Beau and Arro. When she is not reading or writing, she enjoys sleuthing for artisan chocolate and beautiful stationery, watching tennis, and walking alongside Sydney’s beautiful harbor. You can find Laura online via her blog or Facebook page and on Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads, Bookbub and Amazon.
Peggy here: click here to read my review of LION DANCING FOR LOVE.
Be sure to discover the other, already released books of the Deerbourne Inn series – and watch for more releases in 2019 and 2010!