What’s in a Darlington Romance
So my new book, Close To Home, has been available at www.bywaterbooks.com a little over a week, but since it was released ahead of schedule (first time that’s ever happened) I’m still playing catch up a little bit. I had intended to do a series of blogs leading up to the release to build anticipation, but I figure that you’d rather just have the book first and get the blogs to fill in as we go, so that’s what I’m doing now.
The first thing I want to talk too you about is the first thing most people notice about the book, the cover.
The amazing and talented Ann McMan gets all the credit for this one. Isn’t she fantastic? She is better than anyone in the business at capturing so much more than 1,000 words in a single image. Go ahead stare at it for a minute or two. I certainly have.
And while you’re at it, take note of those three words between the title and my name.
A Darlington romance.
For those of you who have followed my work for a long time, that’s a new subtitle, but it’s not a new concept. If you’ve read either The Long Way Home or Timeless (or both), you will recognize the name “Darlington” as belonging to the fictional Midwestern town where those books take place. Close to Home is set in the same world.
I’ve struggled a little bit to figure out what that means, but first of all, let me be clear about what it doesn’t mean.
- It doesn’t mean this book is a sequel to either of those books.
- It doesn’t mean they were written as series, hence having to label them retroactively.
- It doesn’t mean you need to read these books in any sort of order.
- It doesn’t mean you need to have read the other books at all.
Close to Home is a stand-alone romance, as is The Long Way Home and as is Timeless (They, too, have been labeled as Darlington romances retroactively). That isn’t to say that people who have read the others won’t recognize some character crossover. Characters from all three books appear in the others, as do some landmarks that readers have come to recognize as synonymous with Darlington; however, those are the things that most significantly tie these books together.
Honestly, that connection is hard to define. So hard to define, in fact, that we almost didn’t use the Darlington romance moniker. The commonalities of these books goes so much deeper than setting or character connections. The Darlington romances ultimately share a sensibility much like the Midwest itself, complex layers, homey and hostile all at once. It’s the longing for front porches and lightning bugs, laced with a silent vigilance carried by all those who cannot conform. It’s a love of a place that can’t love you back. It’s a quiet kind of defiance that allows only the most stubborn to stick.
These are romances about ordinary women living ordinary lives in the most ordinary of places who still find the strength to fight for extraordinary love stories.
If that sounds like your kind of book, pick up some Darlington romances today and read them in any order you like.