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Friday, August 21, 2015


The Public Square today
Alice Orr is the author of thirteen novels, two novellas, a memoir, and No More Rejections: 50 Secrets to Writing a Manuscript that Sells. She’s a former book editor and literary agent, now living her dream as a full-time writer of romantic suspense stories. Learn more about Alice and her books at her website.

Once a North Country Gal – Always a North Country Gal

I was born and raised in a remote area of Northern New York State that locals refer to as the North Country. The boundaries are roughly from north of Syracuse all the way to the St. Lawrence River and the Thousand Islands with Canada on the opposite shore. The winters are fierce. The summers are mild. The people are interesting.

When I was a teenager in the North Country all I could think about was getting out of there and seeing the rest of the world. Since then I’ve done exactly that, and I never believed I missed my North Country roots until I decided to write a romantic suspense series. I was instantly certain where that series should be set. You guessed it. Remote Northern New York State.

I don’t go back there in real life now because my family members have all passed away or moved away. My friends have scattered except for one, and she lives on Lake Ontario. I grew up in town and visiting my family’s inland homesteads not far from town. Those are the places I remember most clearly and now discover I also yearn to experience again.

One of the wonders of being a writer is that we can go wherever we want in our imaginations. So I decided to travel in my imagination to my North Country beginnings, and that’s how the Riverton Road Romantic Suspense series was born. With each new book I go home again, and it’s a happy trip even though I murder at least one person in every story.

I recall places I loved when I was young. Near the overlook at a hilltop in the park, my family had picnic suppers on warm summer nights. The downtown arcade always smelled of caramel corn, and the public square wasn’t square at all. It was an oval at the center of town.

I reinvent these places in ways I love even more. The skies are bluer on sunny days and hover with more dark foreboding on stormy days. The grass is greener in springtime and the snow more sparkling in winter, but the people are mostly like the good folks I grew up with. Except for the villains, of course. You can’t have a suspense story without bad guys.

The romances in my books are reminiscent of my own hometown romance with my husband Jonathan, but that’s another blog story for another day. In the meantime, I can’t help thinking of one particular saying I used to hear back where I come from. “Once a North Country gal – always a North Country gal.” That has turned out to be true.

A Year of Summer Shadows by Alice Orr
Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 2

The town she loves is filled with deadly secrets.

Hailey Lambert loves the North Country even though she doesn’t love some of her North Country memories. Mark Kalli has wanted Hailey in his bed for a long time but she won’t give him the time of day. Now she’s mixed up in the murder of Finley Yates. Mark has no choice but to get involved with the killing and with Hailey – whether she wants him or not.

A Year of Summer Shadows is Book 2 in the Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series set in remote Riverton, New York. Angela and Gus head the Kalli family. Each of their four gorgeous sons has his own story. Book 2 is Mark and Hailey’s story. A Wrong Way Home was Book 1, Matt and Kara’s story.

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Angela Adams said...

"The town she loves is filled with deadly secrets." -- I like this opening. Great hook!

Alice Orr said...

Thanks Angela. I like that opening too and the idea behind it. The series is all about how a lovely place can have darkness beneath its pleasant surface. It takes brave souls with good hearts to confront that darkness - especially at the same time they are confronting their conflicted relationship with each other. Let me know if you decide to give it a read. Alice Orr