Book Trivia.

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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The title of my upcoming book (the first in the series set in the Finger Lakes wine region in upstate New York), is THE BEST MAN, due out 3/13. I always try to incorporate a double meaning into my titles (sometimes more successfully than others); this time, the title did a great job with that. The title was chosen by committee: myself, my two wonderful editors, and the marketing team at Harlequin.


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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!
SOMEBODY TO LOVE features a beautiful little pup named Beauty. Her name was picked out by one of my readers when I asked for help on Facebook one day…in return for naming the wee beastie, Claire B. gets an acknowledgement and an early copy of the book.  Thanks, Claire!


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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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I have a love/hate relationship with epilogues. I hate them in the first draft, because getting to the end is hard enough! But in revisions, I love to write the epilogue. The last line of the book is especially important, as is the first. Only CATCH OF THE DAY didn’t have an epilogue, but fear not–you’ll see how Maggie and Malone end up in SOMEBODY TO LOVE, coming April 24th.

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When I saw the original cover design for UNTIL THERE WAS YOU, I loved it…but there was a tiny problem. It depicted a couple on a dock, and there was no such scene or place in the book! However, a dock plays a prominent role in SOMEBODY TO LOVE, which comes out next spring, so the Art Department saved the design for that book and made up the gorgeous cover for UNTIL THERE WAS YOU.


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FOOLS RUSH IN, which was just reissued by HQN (check out the pretty new cover on the home page!) was my first completed manuscript. It took me about 6 months to write; another year to revise before I felt it was ready to be seen by the world. I’m a lot faster these days.


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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. I’ll be posting the cover in an upcoming newsletter, so make sure you’ve signed up for that (on the home page of this website, just below my author photo).


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I have a title for my April book! Somebody to Love…you know that song by Queen? Well, it was just kind of stuck in my head, and the HQN Marketing team liked it, so voila!


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In my April 2012 release, you’ll see some familiar faces. It’s the first time I’m writing a book that has something to do with another book…I’m very excited for you to revisit some old friends!


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I like to have a song that captures the mood of the book I’m writing. For the last 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.


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The original titles of my books don’t always make it to the covers….Fools Rush In was once called Stalking Joe; Too Good To Be True was once The Perfect Man. Sometimes the choice to change the title is mine, sometimes it’s the recommendation of the marketing department. The working title for My One and Only was The Last Man on Earth…as in the last man on earth Harper would want to be stuck with on a road trip is her ex-husband, Nick. Or so she says.


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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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Six of my seven books have been set in Red Sox Nation, with only Just One of the Guys set in the Empire state, home of my own beloved New York Yankees. Guess how many times the Sox have won a game in my books? Just once, poor things! In Fools Rush In, Millie’s mom has to go home and sit in the same chair as she did the night before, because the Sox won…and if she doesn’t Millie’s dad is afraid the Sox will lose.


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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. I haven’t been to Glacier National Park just yet (planning to this summer), but I guess I did a better job with Montana than I did with dear old CT.


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