My love affair with a small UK seaside town called Templeton Cove began back in 2012, when I wrote the first book in the series, Finding Justice. I created a town on the southern coast of England, inspired by my childhood holidays, along with a cast of seven or eight characters. The story is romantic suspense and revolves around the murder of a mutual friend to the hero and heroine.
By the time I’d finished writing the book, I’d fallen in love with the Cove and wasn’t ready to leave. So, as my agent started to send out Finding Justice to publishers, I started on the second book, A Man Like Him.
You can imagine my elation when Finding Justice was contracted by Harlequin Superromance! I felt as though I’d finally broken into the publisher I believed was the right home for Templeton Cove. My editor loved this small town as much as me and quickly contracted A Man Like Him followed by another three-book contract in 2013 (What Belongs To Her/Christmas At The Cove/Her Hometown Redemption), followed by another three book contract in 2015 (Saved By The Firefighter/Ethan’s Daughter/A Stranger In The Cove).
It’s always been a lifelong dream of mine to write an ongoing small-town series similar to those by my favorite authors, Nora Roberts, Jill Shalvis and Robyn Carr. Harlequin gave me that opportunity and I shall be forever grateful to have worked on eight books with the best editor on the planet, Piya Campana.
But, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end…
Harlequin Superromance has now closed its doors to new submissions and the last set of books will be published in June 2018. This is a sad fact for authors and fans of the line and I have received some truly amazing emails and messages from devoted readers of the Templeton Cove series. In truth, I have been overwhelmed by the support for all of my future endeavors, too.
Book 8, A Stranger In The Cove, will be released January 2018 and I hope I’ve managed to bring the series to a good and satisfying end for the fans who have read the books from the start to those who have jumped in and out – all the books can be read stand-alone.
So, what’s next for me?
I plan to keep writing and have a new single title romantic suspense, If I Want You, coming November 8th from the Wild Rose Press. In addition to this book, my agent is currently shopping out a new Edwardian romance and a new contemporary romance, both of which, I hope will be the first books in two brand new series.
The initial disappointment of Superromance closing has passed for me and now I’m excited for the future – things happen for a reason, right?
Fingers crossed, my amazing readers will continue to read my books as I write each one hoping to deliver a better and better story.
Rachel’s latest release is Ethan’s Daughter – here is the blurb & buy links (all the other books in the Templeton Cove series can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc):
There’s safety in solitude…isn’t there?
Single dad and best-selling thriller writer Ethan James has no problem being Templeton Cove’s most famous recluse…until a surprise visit from the past plunges him into a real-life crime drama just as feisty nurse Leah Dixon barges her way into his world.
Ethan’s first priority is to protect his daughter. His second priority is to keep Leah out of this dark web—and that means out of his bed. Except Leah isn’t going anywhere; she’s afraid little Daisy is in danger. Ethan couldn’t live with himself if anything happened to Leah…but pushing her away may be even harder!
If you need to see what Harlie’s Books obsession with this series is, here are the links to all of my reviews.
Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. Since 2013, she has had seven books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and an eighth coming in Jan 2018. She also has four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical Press.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.
She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!
March Fellows assumed he had all the time in the galaxy to pursue a relationship with Jules, an alien exchange student from Xenia, until she vanished without a trace. After years of searching, he finds his lost love on the eve of her arranged marriage.
The daughter of the Xenian emperor, Julietta never meant to fall in love with a Terran man while visiting Earth. Leaving to fulfill her responsibilities on her home planet opened up a hole in her heart that could never be filled. When March, now a cyborg, unexpectedly shows up just before she is to be bonded, she struggles to find the courage to turn him away a second time and follow through with her duty.
Before she can act, the lovers are thrust into a political conspiracy that threatens the Xenian empire and their lives. Claimed by the Cyborg is a standalone read in the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance series.
“If Naimo should…pass, what will happen?”
“The seer will choose another mate for me.”
“You will go through with it?”
“I will be required to.” The idea sickened her, but responsibility only could be delayed; it could not be shirked. Each postponement shortened the time available to produce an heir. She and Naimo or his replacement would have to couple often to ensure she got pregnant by the deadline.
“I hope for your sake he recovers, and you live a long and happy life together. I apologize for interrupting your solitude.”
She would never see him again. Her heart seized, but she didn’t dare watch him go. Julietta gripped the pillar of the tacani for support. Tears trickled down her cheeks.
For a big man, he moved quietly, his footfalls making the merest pitter patter on the floor. In seconds the door would open and—
She whirled around.
March stood in front of her, his face stony, his blue eyes lit with an emotion she couldn’t read.
He grabbed her and yanked her against his chest. Her feet left the floor. One strong hand slid under her hair to grip her nape and tilt her head. His mouth slammed down on hers, would have forced her lips to part, but she was already opening for his kiss, drowning in it. Waves after wave of need swamped her body, eradicating all thought and will, except for the need to get closer, to meld into one body so no space, no cultural divide, no duty could separate them.
His tongue lashed hers, but she accepted his anger as penance, craved more, incited more as she lashed back. Teeth gnashed, deliberate and accidental, drawing blood that mixed with the decadent taste of him. Her head swirled, and she grabbed at his shoulders for support. Taut muscle, as hard as rock, offered no give, like his kiss. He didn’t coax, he took, anger and pain evident in the crush of his mouth, the steel grip of his hands.
Scalding tears of love and despair poured from her eyes and into their mouths.
When he dropped her on her feet and thrust her away, it was like tumbling into the abyss again, like returning to Xenia all those years ago.
He wiped his lips as if to erase her touch. “Have a good life, Jules.” He left and never looked back.
By Cara Bristol
I was asked if I write a series bible or if I just start writing.
Series bible? You mean, make things easy on myself? Banish the thought!
No, I just start writing. I’m a pantser. I make up the story as I go along. I don’t even know I’m writing a series until I finish the first book. I’ve written three series now: the Rod and Cane Society, Breeder, and the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance series and with every one, I started the first book thinking it was going to be a single title.
That said, I have a made some lists related to the series. In the Breeder, there were a lot of “alien” words, so I created a glossary for myself so I could remember. And in the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance series, I listed the various usages of “cyber.” Cyber Operations is the secret organization of cyborg cyberoperatives, called Cy-Ops for short. Plus a bunch of other words. I had to keep track of which terms were two words, which were hyphenated, and which were single words.
Since secondary characters can become main characters and vice versa, sometimes I have to go back through previously published books to find out what I said. Did he have brown eyes or blue? What color was her hair? Where did he work again?
Ironically, I outline my short stories but write the novels by the seat of my pants. I have a gut feeling that the stuff I come up on the fly is better than if I sat down and cold-plotted. It feels more natural, more creative to me.
Seriously? Why are you NOT reading this series? I know, I know. I don’t read much sci/fi because frankly, I’m more visual when it comes to the genre. Star Wars/Star Trek anyone? But I can not get enough of Ms. Bristol’s Cy series. The men are hot, brave, loyal and fierce when it comes to their lady loves. The women are just as equal to the men. No wallflowers here. Sure, they have some kind of conflict going on but in the end, the hero and heroine are equals and treat each other as such.
March is just awesome. In fact, he might be my favorite out of the series. He gets pulled back into the Cyber Operations world when things go south. I really liked his interaction with Carter, the head of Cy-Ops. I’ve heard from a very good source, that Carter FINALLY gets his book next. About time. He has intrigued me from the start. Anyone, March is one of the good guys that never leaves a man down or a woman that he has wanted for the last five years. He never gives up and he never gave up on Jules. The sweetest part of the book is towards the end. He gave her something to work towards and finally had her see what exactly was going on. Of course, she already had figured out most of it.
Jules, of my Jules. I adored how she was able to incorporate the Terran world with her own. She never expected to see March again, much less be able to be with him. She had two things in her heart…her planet and her love for March. She just never thought that she would be able to have both. I loved how Ms. Bristol brought their two worlds together and also, explained Jules’ culture and how the bonding is for the good of her planet. Ms. Bristol has a way of explaining her worlds without dumbing it down or reaching out so far that no one would understand it. She makes the story flow with her words and characters.
You really care about them and how everything is going play out. I felt so sorry for Naimo in the end. He didn’t deserve what happened in the end. And trust me when I tell you this…the ending is SO unexpected. Loved it. How it all played out is brilliant. I just wanted to slap Kur upside his head. How could he? And his father, too? Anyways….
Do yourself a favor and pick up this book and series. It’s brilliant!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
USA Today bestselling author Cara Bristol has been the no. 1 best seller in science fiction romance, bdsm erotica, and holiday fiction on Amazon. She’s the author of two science fiction romance series featuring tough alpha heroes: the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance cyborg series and the Breeder science fiction romance series, which emphasize character-driven stories written with a touch of humor and sizzling chemistry between the hero and heroine. Cara lives in Missouri with her own alpha hero, her husband.
Prepare to fall in love with the Claytons and Harringtons and their rich Portuguese heritage. A Wedding at Meadows Shore is the first book in the series. In it, you’ll meet the family and visit their beloved Meadows Shore nestled along the moody Atlantic in the charming seaside town of Fair Harbor. It all begins with Sophie’s story, where she discards the past and learns to trust herself and others. The series follows the lives of her sisters and cousins while they, too, sort through their baggage and fall in love. Travel with them on their romantic journeys, stopping in rural Minnesota, New Orleans, and other enchanted places along the way. They are wealthy and powerful, but suffer pain and loss much like the rest of us. Even great privilege can’t shield them from those experiences. But despite their wealth and power, I think you’ll find them approachable and down-to-earth—or as Cole Harrington would say: “We put our pants on one leg at a time, same as everybody else.” There’s an old Portuguese adage, “the rooster crows loudly, but it’s the hen who’s in charge.” And so it is with the Claytons and Harringtons: strong women, alpha males, and of course, Avó Angelina, the family matriarch who keeps them all on their best behavior. Bem vindo à família, Welcome to the family!
A Wedding at Meadows Shore:
His voice took on a husky, seductive quality. “The women I date aren’t interested in my body, Sophie. What interests them is how I pleasure their bodies.”
She stared deep into his icy blue eyes and snickered.
Max never missed even the smallest of details. They were often the difference between success and getting your hat handed to you. Tonight, he noticed Sophie’s eyes betray her, even as she mocked him. Her pupils were dilated, the rich, whiskey-colored irises nearly overtaken by black. I have her attention.
Embolden by her body’s reaction, he took a step closer. He was so close that if she’d been breathing, her breath would’ve warmed his skin. “I can bring much more to your bed than my father does. So…much…more…” He drew out the words, emphasizing each in a voice that oozed sex. “And though I’m not an easy man to impress, I’m sure you’d have no trouble persuading me to finance your agency. None at all,” he drawled.
Neither of them spoke for a long moment, maybe two. The air was charged. The silence dangled between them like a ripe peach, fragrant and swollen, tempting the weakest among them to reach for it first.
“What do you think?” he asked softly, ending the silence.
While waiting for her response, a calculated kind of wait, he resisted the urge to lift his hand and run his fingers through the strands of hair that’d come loose, softly framing her face.
“I think you really are an ass.”
With that, she turned and walked away. Leaving him to gape at her magnificent back.
The Dirt on Writing a Series
Meadows Shore is the first series I’ve written, and while it’s been great fun, writing a series is rife with pitfalls. Some authors publish a book without thinking about a sequel, and it’s not until readers beg them for more, that they consider a series. I planned on a series from the beginning, and the ability to pre-plan has made the process far less complicated. But it still does take precious time, and a high level of organization to keep everyone and everything straight.
To maintain my sanity, and avoid getting myself into too much trouble, I keep an up-to-date series bible, a binder, in which I catalog character descriptions, traits, and other minutia. I do this for both the main characters, and for each of the supporting characters, many of whom, will one day have their own books. I also keep careful notes on places the characters frequent, where they live, work, and play. While maintaining the binder takes some effort and a great deal of discipline, having the information at my fingertips has saved me considerable time, and perhaps, some embarrassment.
There are dozens upon dozens, of small, seemingly insignificant details in every book that are easy for an author to lose track of. This number grows exponentially with each new book in the series. If readers fall in love with a character, they remember everything about them. Every single thing. While a meticulously kept series bible can save an author from making some blunders, it’s not entirely foolproof.
The trouble usually arises with a main character in a story, who was first introduced in a previous book. If a character makes even an off-handed comment, or behaves in a particular way in an earlier story, the writer is stuck with it for the entire series unless it can be easily explained away. Readers pay attention to everything, and they hold authors accountable, as they should.
The best part of a series, for both readers and writers, is that you don’t have to say goodbye to the characters you’ve fallen in love with. There are lots of opportunities to revisit beloved characters in subsequent books. Like my readers, I’ve enjoyed immersing myself in the family I’ve created, and their Meadows Shore community. It’s not unusual for writers to become attached to the characters they birth, and this is especially true in a series where one lives with the characters over an extended period of time. They take-up residence inside your head, and some of them find their way into your heart.
Writing the Meadows Shore series has brought me tremendous joy, and I will continue to write the books for as long as readers want to read them. Maybe even longer, because I’ve fallen madly in love with the place, and the charming characters that call it home.
Harlie here: Iwill review the books individually but just a few things before I start.
1. This is a series. You DO NOT have to read the books in order. They stand alone but I read them in order.
2. At the beginning of each book, there is a family tree so you can remember who is who. Trust me, with all those Harrington boys (cousins to the Claytons) and the Clayton women…you will need it in the first book. After that, it’s easy.
3. These are grown-up romances. In other words, The characters are firmly in their careers and the pecking order in the family. Plus, these characters deal with real issues. Issues that everyday people have. Yes, they have money but they don’t flaunt it nor do they use it in ways that are for quick fixes.
4. Ms. Charles has written a series that I would read until the end of time. Her characters just fly off the pages. You get into their heads and actually know what they are feeling. They are in 3rd person present so the story just flows.
5. Lastly, the characters have sex. I know, right. But again, these are grown-ups. They behave like grown ups. They talk like grown ups and they deal with their issues as grown ups. And yes, parents play a big part in the stories.
6. All the characters show up in all the books. The Harrington men are there for each other, through the good and bad. They are tough on each other and put up the mirror to their brother’s face. You don’t see that much in books. Their love is fierce but they don’t take any bullshit either. The woman are a hoot. When you read the books, you will see that and agree with me. Plus, it’s nice when they put their cousin’s in their place, too. Strong women indeed.
Okay, now the individual reviews.
A Wedding at Meadows Shores (Max & Sophie)
Oh my. Max is a handful. A manwhore that isn’t ashamed but underneath all that sleeping around is a man that is lost, sad and desperately wants what his parents had. And to make matters somewhat worse, after the death of his mother, his dad is dating. Of course, he thinks that his dad is dating Sophie, calls her a gold digger and the sparks fly from there.
Sophie is a great character. Strong, a fixer but has no one to fix her. Yes, she has her male cousins (overbearing to a fault) and her younger sister but after a messy marriage, she longs for the love that her parents had, too. She knows what she wants from a partner and finding it in Max is troubling.
This is a grown- up couple with issues that everyone goes through. Trust, parents dying, having to pick up the pieces for your siblings/cousins and being strong throughout. In that process, you lose yourself and will fight through the bowels of hell to find that someone to share it with. Max and Sophie do that and more. This is a gem of a romance. Sophie’s cousins give him hell when he needs it but they also realize that Sophie is a grown woman that she will not be cuddled by them.
Overall, I loved the story. Max and Sophie are perfect for each and start the series off with a bang.
My Sweetest Sasha (Cole & Alexa)
Cole (Sophie’s cousin) is in even bigger manwhore than Max. Yes, trust me, Read the book. He is a piece of work. One thing that he isn’t, a trauma surgeon that should be let go from the hospital. Dedicated, treats patients and staff with dignity; just can’t keep in his pants. He cracked me up in the beginning but then my heart would break for him a little at time when dealing with the emptiness.
Alexa, oh my. She had to be the strongest woman or the dumbest (He He) to be able to bring Cole to his knees. And yes, strongest. She never thought that she was strong but watching her grow as a character in the book is a joy. It’s refreshing to read when a character finds the strength within themselves and gives some of that strength to the person they love. She did that for Cole and at that point, Cole is toast.
Theirs is a love story that is slow building. Oh yes, the sex doesn’t happen until about 65-70% into the book but it is not needed. Their romance is friendship based and Cole needed to learn that before the sex could happen. Alexa needed to learn that Cole was true to his word and his love for her.
Overall, watching Cole fall was a gift that Ms. Charles gave me. He didn’t have to grovel, make promises that he couldn’t keep but just keep doing the right things and behaving like a grown up.
Petite Madeleine (Derek & Cassie)
So now we Derek’s book. Second chance love. What could be sweeter? Especially when Derek and Cassie never fell out of love with each other. We get to know how they “broke up” and the why. But captured my heart is the lengths that these two went through to be together again. They didn’t let Derek’s depression or Cassie’s cancer stop them. Okay, maybe a little but Ms. Charles deals with both issues gracefully and with great emotion.
This is most emotional of the books so far. Sure there is humor but the issues in this book are well though out, emotional and tender, too. The scene when they reconnect physically brings a smile and tear, too. Beautifully written; raw, emotional and tender. Derek just sealed his fate with me. *swoon* I also liked how when it came to the sexy times, that Cassie had to remind him how it was before in college and I had to giggle. 😉
Did I mention baseball? Lord, how did I get this far and NOT mention that Derek is the General Manager for a MLB team. That’s extra swooning for me. I’m a HUGE baseball freak. Yes, freak. But that’s a whole different blog. Any way, I liked how his job didn’t get in the way of his love for Cassie. These two fought for the love that had before and they love that shared now. It was a truer, purer love.
You really need to do yourself a favor and read this series. I know, I’m a series whore at times, but I honestly haven’t read a series this great in a long time. All three books are top notch with characters that I love and would read about until Ms. Charles is tired of writing them. Her writing is flawless, the pacing is perfect and you can lose yourself in a book/series and never want to leave.
I can not recommend a book/series higher.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Eva Charles is the author of the multi-titled Meadows Shore Series chronicling the lives and loves of the Clayton-Harrington family. She invites you to visit their beloved Meadows Shore, nestled in the charming seaside town of Fair Harbor, where you’ll enjoy love, laughter, loyalty, and an abundance of mouth-watering food, Portuguese style.
After being a confirmed city-girl for more than thirty-five years, Eva moved to beautiful western Massachusetts in 2014. There, she found herself living in the woods with no job, no friends (unless you count the turkeys, deer, and coyotes roaming the backyard), and no children underfoot, wondering what on earth she’d been thinking. But as it turned out, it was the perfect setting to take all those yarns spinning in her head and weave them into a romantic tale.
When she’s not writing, trying to squeeze information out of her tight-lipped sons or playing with the two cutest dogs you’ve ever seen, Eva’s creating chapters in her own love story.