Message From The Author

Brenda Novak

Book Title: WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES
Genre: General Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Romance

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Author's Message

Come meet the group of friends — both male and female — who make Whiskey Creek the Heart of Gold Country!

In my new series, which begins with the 150-page prequel When We Touch (currently available for free at brendanovak.com, Amazon.com, Harlequin.com and other e-tailers), readers will be introduced to a tight-knit group of characters who grew up together in the small town of Whiskey Creek, a place I fashioned from having visited Sutter Creek, Jackson, Coloma and other gold rush towns founded in the mid-1800s in Northern California’s Sierra Nevada Foothills. Because I live within an hour of many of these places, I’ve enjoyed exploring them over the past several years. With western boardwalks still connecting the buildings downtown, restored Victorians that have, quite often, been turned into Bed and Breakfasts, old-fashioned ice cream parlors that cater to tourists, saloon-style bars and old-fashioned hardware stores, many of which sell gold-panning equipment, they feel like the towns that time forgot. Because I love history, I’m completely taken with them. I’m also taken with what it might be like to grow up in such a place while living in a modern world.

Meet Gail DeMarco, who thought she’d escaped her small-town roots to make it in the big city, and Cheyenne Christensen, who was dragged halfway across the United States as a little girl by a woman she’s still not sure is really her mother. And Noah Rackham, who lost his twin brother in a mine explosion that isn’t quite what it seemed …. Whiskey Creek means something different to each person. But to all of them, including thriller writer Ted Dixon, who’s determined to uncover the mystery behind the early nineteenth-century murder of a young girl at one of the B&Bs in town; Eve, whose family owns the “haunted” B&B where that long-ago murder occurred; Baxter, who’s secretly in love with his best friend and Sophia, who was once known as the high school’s “mean girl” — it’s home. Every Friday, they meet at Black Gold Coffee to catch up and chat. Developing these characters, their individual challenges and their romantic entanglements, has been particularly enjoyable for me as a writer. But I didn’t expect to grow almost as enamored with the businesses in this town. Because they almost become characters in the story, I’ve created Black Gold Coffee mugs and other items that readers might enjoy — like the Amos Auto Body T-shirt (black with white writing) that advertises Dylan’s business in the second book, When Snow Falls. 

Whenever I create a series, people always ask me which story is my favorite. In this case, it’s too hard for me to pick — too much like asking me to name a favorite among my five children — but I do have at least one favorite thing about each. I love the redemption theme (and the humor) of When Lightning Strikes, the deep emotional underpinnings of When Snow Falls and the triumph — for both hero and heroine — in When Summer Comes. Although these books are a change from the romantic suspense novels I’ve been writing, and will continue to write, I find there’s enough drama and interesting characters in Whiskey Creek to forgo, for the moment, any appearance by a serial killer!

- Brenda Novak


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