Victoria Dahl is beloved for both her historical and contemporary romances. (In fact, RT's Morgan and Whitney enjoyed the author's latest contemporary series, featuring the Donovan Brothers Brewery, so much that they Dished about all three books!) Today, the popular author gives RT readers the first look at her next contemporary series. Meet the first book's cowboy hero, find out about the story's tough-but-tiny heroine and discover what ties this new series together in this edition of Spoiled!
Where are these modern day romances set?
The new series is set in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, an amazingly beautiful place that I'm thrilled to visit any chance I get.
How are the books connected? (Are we looking at another "sibling series" like the Donovans?)
No siblings this time! The series is connected through friendships and also via an apartment building in the town of Jackson. The building was originally part of the Studd farmstead, and due to the number of handsome men who've lived there over the years, the apartments are affectionately called The Stud Farm.
What inspired the series, was it a character, a place, something you overheard in a conversation?
It was the chance to go on vacation! LOL. Honestly, I was discussing possible locations for a series with my editor, and I thought of Jackson Hole, where I'd been several times. It's a lot like my town in Utah, and it's within driving distance. I decided to go right away to do research, and I got my inspiration during long drives on back roads.
Let's chat about heroes for a moment. Who will readers meet first?
The first hero you meet will be Cole Rawlins, a honest-to-goodness Wyoming cowboy. At first, he seems like a happy-go-lucky cowboy, but it turns out he's a lot deeper than that.
Is there anyone kicking around in the background who might get his own story later down the line?
Absolutely. You'll meet at least one future hero in this book. He's a friend of Cole's who lives at The Stud Farm as well.
What is something that one of them says or does that made you grin while you were writing?
Ha! Well, the first time Cole meets his heroine, a tough girl from L.A., he calls her "darlin'" right off the bat. Just because...Well, he's a cowboy. Of course, she immediately snaps, "I'm not your darlin'."
And onto heroines, for the heroine of your series starter, what is something that the hero loves about her?
He loves that she's tough and unreadable. She fascinates him because she won't let him know anything about her...at first.
Can you tell us what one of the heroines in this series looks like?
Absolutely! The heroine of this book, Grace, is petite, and she hates that. She wants people to know she shouldn't be messed with, so she acts pretty tough and has choppy, messy hair with purple streaks.
What are three adjectives that you'd use to define another one of the heroines?
Hm. Grace's best friend will probably be a future heroine. She's quirky, sweet and damaged.
What is an aspect of the series that you had to do some research on?
Ranching, first of all. I'm surrounded by ranches, but my family was farmers, so that took a lot of research.
Is there anything about the upcoming series that was a challenge for you to write?
It took a little while to figure out what was going on with the hero. He had an unexpected chapter in his life that the heroine knows nothing about, and it turned out to be darker than I expected.
What's an element of these stories that make it different from anything you've done before?
Did I mention the hero's a cowboy? Seriously, despite the fact that I grew up in Texas and Oklahoma, and I now live in the mountain West, I don't have any personal experience with cowboys. Ahem. Aside from a few nights of two-stepping and swing dancing, I mean.
Do you have any prospective titles kicking around — we totally understand that the books and series may be called something completely different?
Yes! The title for this book will be Close Enough to Touch. I love it, because even though Grace is right there, she holds herself apart and Cole can't quite seem to reach her. Until he does, of course.
Keep your eyes peeled for Close Enough to Touch, releasing next year. For more genre news and coverage, head over to our Everything Romance Page.