Last week author Lois Winston wrote a blog post about her home state of New Jersey and why she sets many of her books there. Before she turned to writing mysteries about me and that other New Jersey sleuth, wrote romance and romantic suspense. One of those books, Finding Hope, is also set, not only in New Jersey, but in the same town where she sets the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries and the Empty Nest Mysteries.
Another NJ Heroine
I'm often asked where I get the ideas for my books. I’m a news junkie. Most of my plots have arisen in part from newspaper article I’ve read. I start playing the “what if” game, adding elements from my own personal experiences or those of others I know. Such was the case with Finding Hope.
The idea for Finding Hope came to me after reading about a fertility doctor in Virginia who had used his own sperm to impregnate the eggs of his in vitro patients. My cousin had gone through many years of unsuccessful fertility treatments at that point. When her insurance refused to pay for another treatment, she and her husband adopted a baby from China.
But what if my cousin had become pregnant and years later she and her husband discovered he wasn’t the biological father? That “what if” led to other “what if’s” which I won’t give away here because I don’t want to include any plot spoilers. Let’s just say, I gave the factual story a few very unique fictional twists.
I’ve also been deeply touched by our troops overseas, especially those who have given their lives to keep us safe. I’ve often wondered about how their young widows have coped with the loss. So I sent Hope’s husband off to war where he’s killed in action.
In addition, I put some of my own experiences into the book. I have a degree in graphic design and illustration. My husband is an architect. I made Hope an artist and Ben, my hero, an architect. Write what you know, right?
Finding Hope in not your traditional romance. My hero is still married to someone else at the beginning of the book. It’s also a first person narrative. That made for a hard sell back when the book was written. Editors loved it but didn’t know what to do with it. The book didn’t fit their concept of what a romance should be, but it also didn’t quite work for their women’s fiction lines. No one was willing to take a leap of faith and give the book a chance. So it spent years gathering virtual cobwebs in my computer. Thankfully, we authors who have gone indie now have more options and are able to bend the rules—or even ignore them totally.
For me, Finding Hope was an extremely emotional book to write. Even though I’ve infused it with touches of humor (how can you not have humor when you’ve got three-year-old triplets in a book?) there were many places in the book where I cried as I wrote the scenes. I still get teary-eyed when I reread parts of the book.
Finding Hope is one of the ten romances you’ll find in Super Bundle 4: Endless Love.
Hope Morgan was always the good girl, doing what her conservative parents expected: she gave up her dream of going to college, became a secretary right out of high school, and married the boy next door. When Hope is suddenly widowed, she finds the courage to pursue her own dreams. Twelve years later, after working full-time and going to school at night, she obtains her degree and is offered a position at a prestigious architectural firm.
That’s when her long-exiled libido decides to resurface, and Hope finds herself falling head-over-heels for Ben Schaffer, her married boss. What Hope doesn’t realize is that Ben’s marriage is less than ideal. Within days of Hope starting her new job, Ben’s wife walks out on him and their three-year-old triplets—the same day the nanny lands in the hospital. When Ben can’t find a last-minute replacement, Hope agrees to step in as a temporary nanny—not the best decision she’s ever made, given her raging hormones.
Ben is fighting a battle with his own hormones, but an office romance is the last thing he needs or wants. However he and Hope are no match for three very determined three-year-olds on a mission to find a happy ending.
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~*~USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry. Visit her at her website and follow her on Twitter and Pinterest. Sign up for her newsletter for special features and subscriber-only giveaways.