A year ago I was given the opportunity to write a book for the newly-conceived Cherry Lake series. All I knew about the concept back then was that the series would be set in a small Montana town on Flathead Lake, and that the main characters would be descendants of four brothers – returned soldiers – who founded the town and planted cherry orchards.
I’ve worked with an amazing group of authors on this series. We whittled down the four brothers to one living ancestor, Nate Jackson, the grandfather of all of our characters. Early on the editorial director at Tule mentioned that one of the characters could have a secret family. I loved that idea so I quickly grabbed that character for my own. He became Nate’s oldest son and the father to my hero, Alex, in The Secret Son.
In all, Nate had two sons and two daughters who form the second generation and are the parents of our characters. Nate’s backstory and his own romance is fleshed out in the free prequel novella, Small Town Secrets by Roxanne Snopek.
Either the hero or heroine of our stories are first cousins and have always been part of each other’s lives. It’s been fascinating watching their stories evolve and interweave to create a sprawling family saga. One by one, we created businesses, stores, restaurants, parks, and secondary characters until we had a town that feels real, with real people and places, a colorful history and a vibrant present.
As well as the family connection we wanted another layer linking our stories. Riffing off the idea of the secret family we decided that all of our stories would be about secrets of some sort. Small town secrets.
I truly hope our readers enjoy discovering the lives and loves of the inhabitants of Cherry Lake as much as we, the authors, did in creating them.
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 – Available now!
Book 5: The Secret Bride by Jeannie Watt – Coming soon!
Award-winning author Joan Kilby writes sweet, sexy contemporary romance with a touch of humor. When she’s not working on a new book Joan can often be found at her local gym doing yoga, or being dragged around the neighborhood by her Jack “Rascal” terrier. Her hobbies are growing vegetables, cooking, traveling and reading–not necessarily in that order. Happily married with three children, Joan lives in Melbourne, Australia. She loves to hear from readers so feel free to drop her a line. For contact details and more info on Joan’s books, go to http://www.joankilby.com.