by Melissa West
Authors often speak of writing with your heart and putting everything into each story, and we do. Mostly. We create plotlines, character sketches, brain storm conflicts and complications, and then edit and edit and edit some more, until we’ve created a book that fills some great need within us.
But occasionally through all of this, we also stumble upon ideas that are so special to us that they become books of our hearts. Heart books, I like to call them. These stories go beyond the ideal of love and become a part of our very being. We live and breathe the story until it has overcome us, and there is nothing that can stand in the way from the beginning until you reach the words, “the end.”
That story for me is YOUR B&B OR MINE, which releases on November 9th.
See, I began writing after having my first daughter and feeling a need to do something more. Something with my time, something that mattered, something that I could show her and be proud of my accomplishment. My father and I talk every day, and as I detailed my interest in writing a book, he quickly asked to read it as I wrote. Soon, he became the driving force helping me complete that story. If I missed a delivery date, he’d call, pushing me and pushing me until I reached the end. And I did, and that book was called GRAVITY, my debut novel.
But six months later my father would learn that he had cancer, and my greatest hero would stop reading for me as he focused on his treatments and healing. I shared much of his journey with my readership because he’d been such a big part of my becoming an author in the first place, and I even went as far as to donate a percentage of GRAVITY’s earnings to The American Cancer Society in his name.
He went into remission a year and a half later, and in another one of our great talks, he said that I should write what I know—the South. Write about family and community, write about small towns that feel like people, and stories that make you feel hopeful. Stories that remind you of the complexities of life, and that through each other, you can survive anything. A week later, I’d written the first few chapters of YOUR B&B OR MINE? The story consumed me.
I love this book, and as my dad is once again battling the cancer that refuses to give up, I’m left grateful for having such a supportive and involved father. He is my ultimate hero, and the person I strive to be each day. He’s proven to me that we’re stronger than we think, and without him, I wouldn’t be an author today.
YOUR B&B OR MINE
All’s fair in love and war, especially in the Deep South…
Savannah Hale never planned to come back to Maple Cove, Georgia. Her hometown has too many painful memories, especially of her high school sweetheart, who was killed during combat. And yet here she is…broken-hearted from her mother’s death and left to deal with the Hale family legacy—Maple Cove’s landmark bed and breakfast. In need of repairs and near foreclosure, she’s hanging on to the B&B by a thread.
And the man out to buy it is the man she’s never been able to forgive…or forget.
Former soldier Logan Park is haunted by memories of his own. Some are of his best friend. Other are filled with longing for the girl he could never have. Now Savannah is back, and their attraction can’t be denied. But Logan has already sacrificed everything to atone for his sins, and there’s no way he’ll let himself fall for a girl who might never love again.