Message From The Author

RaeAnne Thayne

Book Title: BLACKBERRY SUMMER
Genre: General Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Romance

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Author's Message

Fourteen years ago this summer, my husband and I had our second child, a boy who was born with many health challenges. During those tense early weeks while he was in the newborn ICU, I was given a book of encouraging quotations. One of those, by Italian writer and director Luciano de Crescenzo, touched my heart: “We are each of us angels with one wing. And we can only fly embracing each other.”

For some reason, that quote just stuck in my brain, especially as I've had many angels step up to help me over the years. It was also the inspiration for my June HQN release, Blackberry Summer – in fact, for my entire new contemporary romance series, Hope's Crossing, set in a fictional Colorado mountain town. I wanted to show the importance of community, of neighbors lifting and strengthening each other during shared challenges.

The heroine of Blackberry Summer is one of those people always eager to help someone else. Claire Bradford, the owner of a bead store in Hope’s Crossing, has spent her entire life taking care of others. She’s the first one to sign up to be her children’s room mother, she volunteers at the local senior citizens center, she never misses a chance to show up on the doorstep of ailing friends and neighbors with a warm meal and a kind word.

When Claire is injured in a serious car accident, the divorced mother of two finds herself in the uncomfortable position of needing help herself. It’s difficult for Claire to lean on anyone else – and much to her surprise, the person she finds herself turning to most is Riley McKnight, the sexy new Hope’s Crossing chief of police. Riley also happens to be the younger brother of Claire’s best friend and was once the teasing bane of her existence.

Riley has always had a thing for Claire. Now that he’s back in town, he wants to show Claire there’s more to him than just the pest he’d been as a kid or the wild, angry young man he’d become later.

I loved creating the people of Hope’s Crossing, their foibles and their eccentricities and most of all the concern and caring they feel for each other. The town even has its own Angel of Hope, a mysterious benefactor who sneaks around doing secret acts of kindness for those in need.

Of course, others in Hope's Crossing have stories to tell! Woodrose Mountain is a January 2012 release and Sweet Laurel Falls will wrap up the trilogy in June of 2012.

The message I hope readers take away from Blackberry Summer and the other books in the series is that when we take even just a tiny step outside our comfort zone to embrace and lift someone else, together we can change lives.

- RaeAnne Thayne


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