I’ve been reading Harlequin books since I picked up a free promotional copy in my hometown grocery store when I was fourteen. Harlequin books are entertaining. They reach into the heart of a woman and leave it feeling…better. But they are so much more than a pastime or a hobby. These books, in the telling of stories about people like you and me who are facing real conflicts, provide us with solutions. Or suggestions. With validation. And most importantly, with hope.
By the time I was fifteen, after a year of reading a book a day, I was telling everyone I knew that I was going to write for Harlequin someday. My mother worried about me. She started telling me to get my nose out of those books. I’d hide in the bathroom – Mom was too polite to ask what I was doing in there – to read my books. I’d stay up late at night to read them. They took me out of a world where I was ordinary, one of a crowd, destined to become what my society expected me to be. They showed me a deeper life, one that mattered far below the surface, one that was waiting for anyone who had the courage to look into her own heart and find what was hiding there. They gave me hope.
When others gave me the proverbial pat on the head as I went to college to major in English with the plan to write for Harlequin, I felt sorry for them. They didn’t get it. I had all those years of believing in real love and happily ever after in my heart. Life got ugly for me pretty quickly. I grew up fast. But the fire of life’s promise had been born in me and wouldn’t die. That flame of hope, that belief in true love, sustained me through the darkest night of a woman’s soul. Through it all I continued to write. To believe. I was going to keep love alive in the world. To pay forward the hope. I was going to write for Harlequin Books.
Today I come to you a few decades older but with as much hope in my heart as ever. I come to you with sixty-three published Harlequin and MIRA books and a brand new series that is truly my “pay it forward.” I hope you’ll join me at The Lemonade Stand, a very unique women’s shelter. So far we have six unconnected stories set at The Stand, a place Where Secrets Are Safe, coming to you over the next two years. I can’t promise you an easy life, but I can promise that if you’ll spend time at The Lemonade Stand, if you’ll dare to open your heart to the stories, you’ll find my hope lurking there.
Let’s shine some more light into the darkness. Let’s tell the world about our little so-called hobby here. How long have you been reading Harlequin books?
About the Book
You make lemonade. That’s what Lynn Duncan believes. A single mother and nurse practitioner, she works at The Lemonade Stand, a unique women’s shelter supported by various businesses. These include a physiotherapy service, where Grant Bishop, a landscape designer, takes his disabled brother.
When Grant and Lynn first meet they’re intensely attracted to each other—but they don’t see a future for themselves. They’re too committed to the people they need to protect. For Lynn that’s three-year-old Kara and the residents at TLS. And Grant will sacrifice anything for his brother. That might have to include a relationship with Lynn….
Giveaway: Leave a comment answering Tara Taylor Quinn’s question for a chance to win Wife by Design!
Giveaway open to residents of US and Canada. Contest will close February 9 at 11:59pm ET, and one winner will be selected from all eligible comments and announced here on February 10. For full contest details, visit our contest rules page.
Update: The giveaway is now closed. Please check the comments to see if you won!