To Nina Lindsey!
I’m transitioning my writing and advocacy to a new site that should be up soon, but since it’s not up in time for these early posts, I decided to get started here on the Read-A-Romance site, since it exists and I can use it!
Yesterday, I posted my first blog post under my new #BobbisBookNotes tag. Be sure to check out the post and find some some #greatbooks recs from the past couple of months.
Today brings my first author interview in this space, and I’m so excited to introduce you to author Nina Lindsey.
Nina Lindsey is the pseudonym of a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who’s slightly changing her tone with a new series, Bliss Cove.
The first three books revolve around three sisters who’ve recently lost their father. Their mother, overcome with grief, is ready to give up her beloved Bliss Cove bakery, but the sisters step in to keep it going until she’s in a better frame of mind. In doing so, Aria, Rory and Callie have to navigate their own relationships and shortcomings in order to keep their family intact, and while they’re figuring all of that out, they might just discover their own soul mates along the way.
I’ve read two of these so far, and I just love them. They have the witty dialogue and small town charm of authors like Jill Shalvis or Susan Mallery, and just like those queens of the genre, Lindsey has managed to create Bliss Cove as a warm, breezy town that comes off as practically a character in its own right.
Early this week, I caught up with Lindsey, a Wisconsin writer who was born and raised in Northern California, and asked her a few questions, starting with the adorable setting, Bliss Cove. Where did she come up with this dreamy place?
“One of my favorite places in the world is Monterey, California, and one of my favorite shows, Gilmore Girls, is set in mythical Stars Hollow. So when I was thinking of this series, I kind of had in the back of my mind a merge of these two wonderful places. Like Monterey and Carmel, I think of Bliss Cove as being just south of Santa Cruz geographically, which gives it a California beach setting, but then I gave it the warmth and charm of Stars Hollow. I imagine ivy covered cottages and hangouts where everyone knows each other, but that also feel friendly and welcoming to visitors and tourists. The idea of a fantasy place to live adds dimension to storytelling. This delightful, amiable town can’t help but affect the characters in profound and interesting ways.”
And the characters? Lindsey considers herself a romance writer, but what she really tries to do is “write books that reflect the journey of people trying to find themselves and their place in the world, and being comfortable with who they are. I also find romance appealing, and the idea of discovering the right partner at the right time for all the right reasons is sometimes its own journey of self-discovery.”
For Lindsey, exploring that type of arc in a place like Bliss Cove is even more fascinating. “Home, family, sisters, romance and love in all its huge, messy forms. An idyllic beach town where everyone wishes they could live. And even, a little, the idea of fate. The first three books in the series, which deal with the Prescott sisters, have really allowed me to dig into all of these things. It’s been both fun and challenging, in ways that remind me what’s important and why I enjoy doing what I do.”
The books are in no way autobiographical, but Lindsey is very aware of how big a hole the loss of a parent can leave. She lost her own mother in 2005, the same year she became a mother herself. “These two things are so huge and pivotal. They changed everything. And to have them happen so close to one another was heart-breaking. Yet on the other hand, the reality of it also made me very aware that nothing is more important than family So the loss of my mother, and my awareness of that loss have made me a better mother to my own kids.”
Lindsey does not have a sister. (She has an older brother. “We get along fine. No drama.”) But she decided to dive into dramatic sister dynamics with the Prescotts because she had very clear ideas of who each of them were, and she could see pretty clearly they might have issues, which would probably be exacerbated once their father died.
The first book, LOVE WALKS IN (find it at Amazon) revolves around Aria, the youngest sister:
Bus ticket to hometown of Bliss Cove – $124.50
Purchase of old building and business license – $35,250
Thirteen orphaned cats – free
Finally proving to her family that she can be successful – priceless
Shaking off her past mistakes and fickle reputation, Aria Prescott is determined to start a new life with her latest venture, the “Meow and Then Cat Café.” Though the café is in the town’s most rundown neighborhood, Aria will let nothing stop her from success.
Then property developer Hunter Armstrong shocks the Mariposa Street shop owners with a buyout offer that threatens to destroy the old district. Aria refuses to let the ruthless businessman intimidate her into selling her beloved café, even if Hunter’s dark, glowering sexiness secretly makes her want to purr.
Aria and Hunter are soon locked in a fiery, tense war over the fate of Mariposa Street. But when Hunter starts falling for this sexy town sweetheart, he discovers that winning the battle might mean losing his heart.
I hope you’ll check out this delightful series. I was sold by that copy above, but then I fell in love with the covers. Aren’t they gorgeous? The next two books will release in October (AND I LOVE HER – Callie’s story), and November (LOVE ME TENDER – Rory’s story).
You can follow Nina Lindsey at her website – ninalindsey.com – where you can also sign up for her newsletter and nab a free book from the series, WE FOUND LOVE (which I love!)