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The Story Behind the Story: Cherish on the Cape

Where did Cherish on the Cape come from?

That’s a multi-layered question, my friend! My stories start with a kernel of an idea, but then as I write, it all unfolds, and I’m introduced to more and more characters as if I were watching a movie…but sometimes the movie pauses, and I get to choose the next direction like those ‘pick your path’ or ‘choose your adventure’ books I loved when I was a kid.

Many of you know my childhood was shaped by a great loss. A beautiful woman who was both sweet and kickass, nurturing but firm, supportive but with great expectations of those she loved was taken from me when I was seven.

She was my mom. Always will be, but now…since ’82 she mothers me from the other side.

The loss of her impacted my brothers and I profoundly, and one of those ways for me was my connection to and the desire to understand the deep level by which loss affects people.

So comes Love on the Cape. You have a mother facing the greatest tragedy on earth, having lost her sweet boy Archer and a man damaged by his abusive past. I had so much to play with involving the emotions between these two.

And emotion is my big, big love.

I used my own struggles with wanting my dad to be proud of me when writing the scenes between Blayne and her father Noah in Honor on the Cape.

And, I’m sure it’s no surprise to those who know me, that I often cry when writing these scenes. They tear at my heart as I feel the emotions running through my characters.

My husband often reminds me with a hint of worry in his tone, “You know these people aren’t real, right?”

Creating stories that make a reader FEEL each moment is an incredible accomplishment for me. It’s where my heart lives, and how I operate myself. And though the journey may seem scary, the fact that I write romance guarantees my readers a happy, loving ending. Bringing happiness around to the end and setting up a beautiful future is one of my very favorite things about writing romance.

Now for Cherish on the Cape, as I was writing about Larkin in Love on the Cape, I came across Claire, and I knew her journey would need to be a struggle, too. Her path was to lose the magic of her dreams coming true before even experiencing them.

I can only imagine how devastating that particular situation would be but imagine I did.  I thought about the pain and fear and hopelessness I experienced as a child, and how those feelings raised their ugly heads throughout my life every time I hit a milestone where my mother would have played a big part. The first Mother’s Day I had to celebrate without her one month after she died, my First Holy Communion, sixteenth birthday, graduation from high school, college, my wedding, and babies…and when I was diagnosed with the same disease that stole her from us.

See what I mean?

I take each one and think about which emotions my character would be going through, considering their loss and at what time in their life they are in.

It’s exhausting. LOL! And beautiful and cathartic.

I’ve been asked where I get my pulse on loss from, and as you can see it isn’t hard to figure out. The pulse I put on the page for all of you resides in my own heart.

And all of this born Cape Van Buren.

If one of my stories, one chapter, one scene helps a reader get through a loss of their own with an ounce of strength and hope, then every tear I’ve ever dropped is worth it ten-fold.

But don’t worry, though my stories may touch on or dive into hard things, I’ll be sure to make you laugh as well. To pick you up and hold you tight so that when you close that last page, you’ll believe…

In happy ever afters.

Hugs, loves, and peanut butter!