— Wendy Crutcher, Superlibrarian
It’s been a productive year, in more ways than one – not only did I sign a contract for four more Special Editions (series name: JERSEY BOYS. Says it all, right?), but my oldest kid and his wife gifted me with a new grandson during the summer. So thus far the count is, five sons, two grandsons. Will I ever get the chance to buy girl stuff? Not holding my breath, heh.
Also, in July I was thrilled beyond all reason to win my third RITA award, for A GIFT FOR ALL SEASONS. This makes my third RITA win in five years (A MOTHER’S WISH in 2009, and WELCOME HOME, COWBOY, in 2011, are my other two.) And, since I’ve won three times in the same category, I was also inducted into Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. Only fourteen other authors – including the likes of Nora Roberts and Susan Elizabeth Phillips – are on that list. I was, and still am, stunned. And very, very honored.
Anyway…I’ve turned in two of the JERSEY BOYS books, focusing on a group of siblings, four of whom were adopted after being fostered as children by a retired Air Force Colonel and his big-hearted wife. As always, these are people any of us might know – the small-town detective, the football coach, the owner of a salvage company. A very sexy computer geek, even if he doesn’t realize how sexy he is. J These stories combine everything I love about small towns, but with Jersey attitude. Yes! The first, THE REAL MR. RIGHT (February 2014, January on eHarlequin) is a reunion story between Matt Noble (the detective) and his twin sister’s high school BFF, Kelly McNeil, who’s returned to Maple River, New Jersey after nearly twenty years away…seeking refuge for herself and her two young children from her unstable, alcoholic ex. But will Matt’s protectiveness undermine her still shaky ability to stand on her own two feet…or support her as she finally learns how to fly?
Then, in April 2014 (March on eHarlequin), perpetual bachelor Tyler Noble turns out to be MORE THAN SHE EXPECTED, when he realizes his pretty neighbor is not only pregnant, but that the baby’s father is nowhere to be found…much as Tyler’s birthfather abandoned his mother thirty years before. But while Laurel Kent certainly never expected to find herself a single parent at thirty-five, she’s also decided that depending on other people – even funny, sexy, generous neighbors – only leads to heartache. So…is she being practical and self-protective? Or just stubborn? You be the judge…
The third book will be available in the early fall, the fourth sometime in 2015. So check back here, or follow me on Facebook for up-to-date info on releases and works-in-progress.