Join five women connected only by friendship and the road that runs like a lifeline through a run-down development called Happiness Key.
Southern California socialite Tracy Deloche finally gets a chance to swap business for a romantic evening with down home environmentalist Marsh Egan, but dinner goes cold when she spots her ex-husband prowling outside her cottage. Janya Kapur, finally settling into an arranged marriage, envies every pregnant woman she sees, but Rishi, her husband, is suddenly reluctant to talk about children. Waitress Wanda Gray loses her job after new owners turn the Dancing Shrimp into a tapas bar. At the suggestion of wise neighbor, Alice Brooks, Wanda starts her own business, until Wanda starts Pie War I with the local bakery.
When the empty cottage at Happiness Key is rented by single mother Dana Turner, all the neighbors believe this spit of Florida Gulf Coast land will be a fortunate harbor for a mother and daughter who have moved far too often. Until they discover Dana's shocking secret.
As the women of Happiness key struggle to discover the whole truth in time to help their new neighbor, their only weapon is friendship. But will friendship be enough?
Today I have the pleasure of sharing my blog with Mrs. Emilie Richards and she has generously agreed to answer a few questions about herself and her newest release Fortunate Harbor. Please help me welcome Mrs. Richards!!!
Will you please start of by telling us a little about yourself and how you started writing?
With a master's degree in family development and counseling, I worked in several kinds of counseling/social service positions until the birth of my youngest son. Since I planned to stay home with him for his first few years, I realized I had a golden opportunity to give writing a chance. I'd always loved what little fiction I'd written in school, but my life had gone in other directions. The moment I began, I knew I would never stop as long as my fingers moved and my brain still whirled with stories. Writing was like coming home.
Are there any idiosyncrasies or items that you must have while writing?
I've written everywhere in all kinds of situations. I don't need a view or the perfect study, and even though I'm surrounded by silly mementos, they aren't essential, either. Give me a working computer, a comfortable chair, and relative quiet, and I'm good to go.
Visiting your website, I see that you have a few series out, is Fortunate Harbor part of one of these series, a new series, or a stand alone? Please tell us a little about it.
Fortunate Harbor is the second book of three which began with Happiness Key, and will end with Sunset Bridge next year. Happiness Key was a stand alone novel, or supposed to be, but as so often happens, I enjoyed the characters so much, and so did my publisher and readers, that I was asked to continue. So Fortunate Harbor picks up where Happiness Key leaves off. It's the story of a shabby beachfront community on Florida's Gulf Coast, and four very different women who become friends and confidantes. Fortunate Harbor introduces a new renter, Dana and her daughter Lizzie, who come to live in the last house in the little "development" called Happiness Key. Of course Dana is not what she seems, and life is filled with twists and turns for all the characters.
What inspired you to write Fortunate Harbor?
I enjoyed my characters so much that given a chance to follow them a bit into their futures, I couldn't say no. I had introduced a number of situations in Happiness Key that were fun to explore more fully and resolve or even complicate. Ex-spouses, blossoming, unsolved mysteries. It's almost as if I wrote the first book with a second book in mind, even if that wasn't conscious. And once I was finished with Fortunate Harbor, it was clear to me that there were still plot threads to conclude. So Sunset Bridge is now in progress.
What would you say to someone who has never read one of your novels… how would you describe it to them in a manner that would entice them to read something from your bookshelf?
I think first and foremost I'm a storyteller, who explores complex characters and situations with a view toward positive resolutions. I want my readers to feel better about the world we all inhabit when they've finished one of my novels, but I still want them to have food for thought and feel they've grown in some small way along with my characters.
Is the location of Fortunate Harbor significant or special to you?
Fortunate Harbor is set on Florida's Gulf Coast where I grew up. Palmetto Grove isn't a real town, but I picture it near Ft. Myers. I lived a little farther north in St. Petersburg.
Who are some of the authors that inspired you or that you are currently reading?
I've been inspired in some way by every well written book I've ever read. The books that were not well written inspired me to work harder at my craft and try to avoid those mistakes.
Are you working on anything currently? Would you be willing to give up some top-secret information for the inquiring minds?
I'm about halfway through Sunset Bridge. After that I have a new idea, this time a series I'm planning right from the beginning. So my next step will be to write that up and present it to my publisher for discussion. The beginning of a series is like the beginning of a love affair, filled with promise and possibilities. I'm looking forward to that, even while I'll be sad to part with Tracy, Janya, Wanda and Alice, of Happiness Key.
Thank you for taking the time to sit down with me and answer a few questions. I have really enjoyed spending the afternoon with you and look forward to sitting down with Fortunate Harbor in the near future!
Planned Television Arts has been kind enough to offer up one copy of Fortunate Harbor to be given away.
All you have to do is leave a comment to be entered.
The contest is open to the United States and Canada only.
The contest closes July 11 at noon (Eastern).
I will post the winner either that night or Monday morning.