Book Trivia.

IN YOUR DREAMS features a water rescue scene that was technically (and emotionally) very difficult to write. McIrish, my sainted husband, is a rescue diver on his fire department team, and advised on that scene. . 

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In WAITING ON YOU, the third book in the Blue Heron Series, one of my favorite things to write was the banter between Colleen and Connor, the twin owners of O'Rourke's. My agent happens to be a fraternal twin as well, and it was her favorite part of the book. WAITING ON YOU features my second set of twins; Maggie and Christy in CATCH OF THE DAY were identical twins. 

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I had a hard time picking the hero's name in THE PERFECT MATCH. I wanted a nice blue-collar name, none of this Jayden or Caeden stuff, and ended up going with Tom, named after my fierce crush on the actor Tom Hardy.

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My sister served as my advisor for design on a budget for SOMEBODY TO LOVE. I have no flair when it comes to decorating, but my sis has quite a gift, so everything Parker did to beautify the little house in Maine came from my sissy’s brain. Thanks, Hil!

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Colonel from CATCH OF THE DAY (possibly the greatest dog of all my books) was named after my neighbor’s Golden Retriever, and the first dog of that breed I knew well. I’d go over to Linda’s house to carpool to school and  sit with Colonel, crooning my love to him, while she got ready. He was such a good dog, and as I recall, died too young. Their next dog, Clyde, was also a peach…but that’s another story.

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Finding a hero’s name is harder than finding a heroine’s name for me. As you might know, I gravitate toward the Irish/Anglo names (Liam, Ian, Callahan). Originally, Malone from CATCH OF THE DAY was going to be named Clancy. But then I made a friend whose last name was Clancy, and it just didn’t feel right. Now, I can’t even picture Malone with another name. Maloner the Loner just popped out as I was writing; certainly wouldn’t have worked with Clancy, would it?

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Posey, the heroine of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU, lives in a half-restored church. My brother and sister-in-law live in a fully restored church, and it’s gorgeous (been featured in a magazine and stuff). I got a lot of the details for the fictional house based on their experiences.

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The heroine’s dog in UNTIL THERE WAS YOU is a black-and-white Great Dane. For the cover shot, the doggy model just happened to be a neighbor of a Harlequin executive, and so Mumford got his shot at fame.

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I like to have a song that captures the mood of the book I’m writing. For one book, it was a song suggested by a reader: Make You Feel My Love, sung by Adele, written by Bob Dylan. I listened to that song more than 700 times!

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In JUST ONE OF THE GUYS I used the names of my nieces and nephew for the kids in the O’Neill clan. But my nephew Desmond hadn’t been born yet, so he gets a cameo in MY ONE AND ONLY I have since been gifted with another nephew, so I'll have to put him in an upcoming novel, too.

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In several books, there are hidden references to some of my other books…just a wink and a nod for my faithful readers. Have you ever found them? For example, In TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, Grace’s mother is a glass sculptor renowned for her depiction of the female form. In THE NEXT BEST THING Lucy’s cousin, an obstetrician, owns a glass statue of a baby in utero—the same piece Grace’s mom was commissioned to make for a hospital.

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Picking out names is always hard for me—I use several baby name websites, including one from the Social Security Adminstration, so I can be accurate in choosing names of people born in a certain decade. For example, while Jaden is a perfectly beautiful and popular name today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a 35-year-old man with that same name.

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I like to visit the settings of all my books to try to get things just right, and (not to brag or anything), I’ve always gotten high marks from readers and reviewers alike on this aspect. Except once—one reviewer said my sense of setting was lacking in TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, which is set in my home state. Go figure. 

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I try to mention Derek Jeter at least once per book.