IMAGINARY PLAYMATES

 

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Last month saw the release of my fifth Harlequin Superromance–the third book in my Taylor’s Grove series.  When I first mentioned this fictitious village in my second Superromance, THE SUMMER PLACE, I had no idea that the small town in Kentucky would grow so large in my mind.  It has become as real to me as the other towns surrounding it–the ones which actually exist.

I grew up in the small city of Paducah, Kentucky–population around 30,000, which has a presence in all my books.  But it was Small Town America that caught my imagination.  Small towns are notorious for being places where everybody knows everybody else’s business, and, to a large extent that’s true.   But everyone has a private life–ambitions, dreams, heartaches, secret loves–that they know better than to make known until the time is right.  Those secrets are the common theme of my Taylor’s Grove series.

In MOONLIGHT IN PARIS, it was a birth father.  In HIS KIND OF PERFECTION, it was an inappropriate relationship.  And in MY WAY BACK TO YOU, it’s a love suppressed for many years that finally resurfaces.

Maggie Russell was only nineteen when she got pregnant by Jeff Wells, who was twenty.  They did what they thought was the right thing by getting married, choosing to settle in Taylor’s Grove–right next-door to Maggie’s parents.  Their son Russ was born, but even the happiness he brought to their lives couldn’t overshadow the immaturity and selfishness of two people who were just too young and naive to make the best choices.  So they divorced when Russ was three, and Jeff moved back to California.  For the next fifteen years, they make joint custody work as well as can be expected when fifteen hundred miles separate.

For many couples, that would be the end of the story, but not for Maggie and Jeff.  In fact, it’s just the beginning–a new beginning and a new chance at love … if they can keep history from repeating itself.

Two more books are in the works for this series–RIGHT WHERE WE STARTED, which is scheduled for release in December, and EmmyLou Creighton and Sol Beecher’s story, which is yet to be named.  It will release sometime in 2016.

Then, it will be time to bid a fond farewell to my friends in Taylor’s Grove.  And they are friends.  I know each of them intimately and love them dearly.  How could I not?  I spend hours with them everyday–just as I did my imaginary playmates as a child.

Funny how that works out.

So, what about you?  Any imaginary playmates when you were a kid?  Would you care to introduce us?