did you get the idea?
Yates: I was talking to Nicole and joked
about book pitches. I was totally kidding, but
the next day I started thinking about the possibility
of writing a story centered around four people
staying at a farmhouse. I texted the other authors,
and got them on board. We actually had an auction
to see which publishing house would get the story.
Nicole, Caitlin, Jackie: It came out
of the fact we were all friends. We shared everything
we wrote. It just seemed to flow together and
felt very organic.
Crews: Nicole wrote those wonderful grandmother
letters that started off each story. Jackie wrote
the first story so we knew where we were all going.
Since there was a crossover of characters how
did that work?
Ashenden: Since they were all in my story,
I wrote the other heroines and asked each author
if what I wrote was out of character, but no one
rewrote the lines. We all knew each other’s
character very well.
How about the seasons, how did that come about?
Maisey came up with the year of the cowboy. I
thought since it is a year let’s break it
into seasons. The original title was The Year
of the Cowboy.
Helm: I chose summer because my hero
has two children. I wanted them to be a large
part of the story and did not want them to be
I love the season of fall. It was October when
we pitched it and as I was driving by my daughter’s
school, I saw the sign, “Red Star Holiday
Bizarre.” I ripped off the name and used
it in the book.
They thought to give me winter because
it was freezing and sad. I had never written about
snow or Christmas so I found it challenging. Thankfully,
everything magically fell into place.
How did the farmhouse come about?
Some of us were staying at a farmhouse
in Illinois. It was very similar to the one Caitlin’s
husband drew for us. In this book, with the farmhouse,
it felt a bit mystical. It was funny, how we all
had the same farmhouse in our heads.
How would you describe Grandma June?
Even though she was a great grandmother,
her daughters were not great mothers. I knew people
who were not great parents, but learned from their
past mistakes. I also think that sometimes we
cannot control how people turn out. I think June
was outspoken, accessible, salty, and brave. She
could not go back in time but did try to make
changes for the future. Like the four cousins,
I miss my grandparents so much. What a great thing
it would be to have a magic farmhouse. My grandmother
had a paperweight that I used in the story. I
put in tidbits that reminded me of my grandma.
Both my grandparents have passed. I dedicated
this story to them. I would love to be able to
communicate with them.
How would you describe the parents?
Most of the parents were selfish and
self-centered. They cared more about themselves
than their children.
How would you describe Bella, Noah, and their
BELLA is stubborn, determined, vulnerable,
kind, and guarded. She is like most of my heroes.
NOAH is grumpy, a man of few words, a loner, and
THEIR RELATIONSHIP is based on a connection both
tried to deny. Bella doesn’t want Noah around
because she is ashamed of the terrible crush she
has on him.
How would you describe Keira, Remy, and their
KEIRA is elegant. She is a lost-soul and fragile
but would argue with that description. Because
she is the first one to live in the farmhouse
she is grieving a bit more than the others who
had more time to process. Being the oldest she
tended to have a slightly different relationship
with her grandmother. Some grandmothers favor
REMY is angry,
heart-broken, hard-headed, and basically a cowboy.
has two different parts, one they had and one
they will have. The previous one was destined
to fall apart because they could not communicate,
had secrets, and they were so young. The one today
looks back at the failures of the first time,
which enabled them to build a stronger structure
going forward. They became friends before lovers.
How would you describe JJ, Cade, his daughters,
and their relationship?
JJ is serious, practical, and sometimes tries
to hide her emotional hurt. She is compulsive
and not a dreamer, with a focus on being helpful.
focus is to be a good dad. He is responsible.
LORA and ELLIE are aware that their mom left them.
The older one is snarkier and grumpier. The younger
one is a dreamer.
THE GIRLS was based on my family. JJ first thought
of herself as just a baby-sitter. But she became
emotionally involved because what the girls went
through was similar to her own backstory. She
is reliving her past through them because she
lost her relationship with her sister.
CADE and JJ’s
RELATIONSHIP was really good for each other. At
first, JJ and Cade were very guarded because they
were hurt in the past. They rely on each other
and then let the attraction take over. They developed
a friendship first.
How would you describe Lila, Everett, and their
LILA feels she has boundless options
and can always make things turn out OK. She wanted
to be an optimist instead of being like her mother
who was sad and bitter. Everett was the first
time that did not happen. She is determined, cheerful,
optimistic, creative, and impetus.
EVERETT has the
need to think that controlling the outcome will
make things turn out all right. He is responsible,
practical, and a realist.
had them both butting heads since they are control
freaks. They have a ten-year gap in their age
difference. Lila saw him as a fantasy at first,
but then realizes he has his own issues. Both
had to overcome barriers. Everett tried to protect
himself from the bad things but also the good
things. They realized that if there was to be
a long-term commitment there will be ups/downs
and give and take. I wrote this book quote, “Love
wasn’t just rainbows, and fairy-tale endings.
Love was acceptance. Love was patient. Love was
fifty-fifty. Love bore burdens. Love hoped. Love
Do you have Christmas decorations like you wrote
When I was writing that scene, I thought
about the Christmas decorations I have.
There is a quote about cities. Are you a country
girl or a city gal?
You are referring to the book quote,
“Country roads, sooner or later they get
you where you need to go.” I have lived
in cities all my life until about four years ago.
We moved to rural Oregon. I am aware of the difference
in lifestyles and like to write characters that
represent small towns.
Do you garden?
I do not. My grandmother and my mom were
big gardeners. By putting those scenes in the
book, I was paying homage to them.
Iris Cob Horses?
I was flying to Atlanta in October and
next to me was a cowboy. He was telling me how
profitable these horses are and showed me pictures.
I told him I was totally going to steal the idea
and I did. Unfortunately, I know nothing about
Can you give a shout out about your next books?
There is a strong possibility there will
be a sequel to this book with new characters,
but we hope to bring in these characters as well.
Out in May will be Secrets From A Happy Marriage.
It is my first women’s fiction book that
focuses on family relationships with some romance.
It is about women who have a Lighthouse Inn B
I have a new book series that started
last week, called South Dakota Showdown. It has
six brothers who are police officers who are trying
to bring down their father, the head of a motorcycle
gang. It is romantic suspense.
Sexy Beast is the next book in the billionaire
series. It has a billionaire and his neighbor,
a best friend, who become involved.
In the summer will be book 4 in the “Alaska
Force series.” It is written under the name
Megan Crane and is titled Delta Force and has
the heroine escaping her criminal family by changing
her identity. She meets the leader of the Alaska
Force that helps her survive her demons.
Elise and Myshelf.com
would like to thank the authors for their time.
Their books can be found online and in stores.