I’m pretty excited about The Secrets of Cherry Lake. Not only do I love the characters, but I’m thrilled to be writing a series with Joan Kilby, Roxanne Snopek, and Jeannie Watt. I’ve read all the books and I’ve got to say, Cherry Lake is a great place to be, not just for the residents, but for the authors, as well.
Roxanne kick-started the town and the stories with her novella, Small Town Secrets. Joan brought us The Secret Son and the first Cherry Lake secret. Hers is a whopper.
Her Secret Love, the second book in the series, introduces bad girl Jess Palmer (a granddaughter of town patriarch Nate Jackson) and all-around great guy, Damon Brand. Jess is a failed actress. Damon’s a small business owner and an up-and-coming metalworks artist.
Theirs is the worst-kept secret in town.
Poor, misunderstood Jess spoke to me from the moment I came up with their story idea. Ten years ago, Damon—who was madly in love with her all through high school—finally made his big move, and she abandoned him on the side of the road wearing nothing but a smile. She took off for LA not too long after. The story became legend.
It’s kind of hard to expect readers (or anyone in Cherry Lake, for that matter) to like her when she pulls stunts like that.
What matters the most to the story, however, is that Damon likes her. Don’t get me wrong. Even after ten years he’s not ready to forgive and forget. But he understands Jess in a way not many people do. Her Jackson mother expected her to be perfect. Unfortunately, not only is Jess spoiled, impetuous, flighty, and maybe a bit too plainspoken, she’s also dyslexic. She struggled in school. Rather than find help for her, her parents expressed nothing but disappointment in her. The town thinks she isn’t very bright. When Damon looks at her, however, he sees a big, fluffy ball of insecurity—and a whole lot of potential. If not for Damon, and her cousin Carrie (check out her story in Her Secret Protector), Jess would never have made it to graduation.
While Jess is a hot mess, Damon is the exact opposite. This guy is a white knight. A prince. He knows what he wants. He knows what’s important. And he knows how to get it. In short, he’s perfect—and Jess has spent her whole life not only running from perfection, but trampling it into the ground.
I’m sure you can see their dilemma.
What I love about the Secrets of Cherry Lake series is that nobody’s running away from the town, not even Jess. Circumstances might have taken some of the series’ characters down different paths, but it will always be home to them. They long to come back. This is small town living at its very best.
Next up is Her Secret Protector. Jess is hoping that the tall, dark and broodingly-handsome Ethan Nash is good enough for her quiet, good-girl cousin Carrie Logan. Or maybe she’s hoping he’ll be just a little bit bad. ;-)
The Secrets of Cherry Lake
Book 1: Small Town Secrets by Roxanne Snopek – Available now!
Book 2: The Secret Son by Joan Kilby – Available now!
Book 3: Her Secret Love by Paula Altenburg – Available now!
Book 4: Her Secret Protector by Roxanne Snopek – Coming soon!
Book 5: The Secret Bride by Jeannie Watt – Coming soon!
Paula Altenburg lives in rural Nova Scotia, Canada, with her husband and two sons. Once a manager in the aerospace industry, she now enjoys working from home and writing fulltime. Paula writes fantasy and paranormal romance, as well as short contemporary romance.