My first book for Tule, All I Want For Christmas, was one story in a collection of four, the Christmas in New York anthology. I had soooo much fun writing that one, because I did so along with three of my closest writing sisters from my local RWA chapter, the Long Island Romance Writers. After I wrote about NYU English professor Cassandra Baines and her long lost love, Irish musician/bar owner Sean McKinnon, I hoped I’d be able to write for Tule again but had no idea what they had in mind.
They asked me if Sean had any siblings. How fortunate – he had seven of them! And an idea for some more hot Irish brothers was born.
Next up was the Summer in New York collection (recently renamed the Heroes of New York), again with my writing friends. In His Love — now renamed The Doctor’s Love — I wrote about Sean’s younger brother Gavin, a doctor from Dublin who was vacationing on the beach on Long Island, NY for four weeks. Quiet, kind Gavin and sassy art history lover Toni Westmore had instant chemistry, a fun summer fling ensued… and of course, they fell wildly in love.
I already had an idea for another McKinnon brother, if Tule wanted another story. Thankfully, they did, and this time I wrote alone. When Tule suggested a marriage of convenience story might be a path to take, Aidan and his best friend of a decade, the wounded but still strong single mum Maura Callahan, started talking in my head on a regular basis.
My biggest problem was, I had to figure out how to get a third brother from Ireland to fall in love in New York and have it be realistic. I mean, one brother moves to New York, meets a girl, they fall in love, sure it can happen! A second brother visits New York on holiday and also falls in love with a NY woman… okay, that could happen. But three brothers having that kind of luck? Nope. To me, that’s a stretch, and I didn’t know if it would fly with readers. So, the third story is set in Ireland– in Dublin (where Aidan lives) and a close suburb of it (where Maura lives with her wee daughter), and I had to somehow get them to New York and involve it in the story. This way, all three stories have that tie to both New York and the Irish brothers. I think the way I figured out how to do that is both true to the story, and satisfying to the reader.
I hope you’ll read Marrying His Best Friend to see how I pulled that off! Let me know if it worked for you, I love to hear from readers. Above all, I was just thrilled and grateful to be able to write another tale about this Irish clan I’ve come to love, and also another little love letter to New York, my lifelong home base.
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Jennifer Gracen hails from Long Island, New York, where she lives with her two sons. After spending her youth writing in private and singing in public, she now only sings in her car and is immersed in her passion for writing. She loves to write contemporary romance for readers who look for authentic characters and satisfying endings. When she isn’t with her kids, doing freelance proofreading, or chatting on Twitter and Facebook, Jennifer writes. Her romantic women’s fiction Seasons of Love series was published by Booktrope Editions, and she’s already hard at work on her next series, a contemporary romance trilogy for Kensington. Jennifer is a member of the Romance Writers of America and is active in the Long Island Romance Writers, as well as being a member of CTRWA.