Monday, December 22, 2014

It's release day for Playing House, book 3 in the Dropping Anchor series!

It's a little hard for me to process that the last book in the Dropping Anchor series releases today. The start of the series, Island House, was my first manuscript, and I started it in 2010. You'll note that it isn't my first published work, an honor that goes to the short story Traditions from the Heart, which was part of the 2012 Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar. I'd gotten most of the way through Island House and then gotten discouraged, put it aside, and moved on to other projects.

The story kept eating at me, though, and I went back to it time and again. I'm more than a little bit in love with Niall, and I'm sure that shows in the book. While it's technically a romance, Island House is really the story of Niall coming to terms with an unimaginable loss and giving himself permission to grow and move on.

The book set the tone for the entire Dropping Anchor series. Each book is about a different kind of life journey, and all three have main characters who are a little lost and confused and have to find their way to happiness. In Island House, Niall finally lets go of his guilt over his partner's death and allows himself to live the kind of life his partner would have wanted for him.

In Finding Home, we watch Ian, who is self absorbed and brusque, finally settle down and grow into himself. Even though he's in his thirties, he never really grew up. Despite his character flaws--which are legion--he's a good guy at heart. It just takes the right motivation for him to uncover those depths.

The last book, Playing House, comes out today. I love all three books in the series, but for personal reasons, Playing House will probably always be the book closest to my heart, and it's all because of Frank.

All his life, Frank has been different. He's never had a label for it, but he's known that the way he processes things and experiences the word around him is somewhat off kilter from the norm. It hasn't negatively impacted his life, because he hasn't let it. He's taken completely by surprise when his husband says he wants to start a family, and Frank has to really take a good, hard look at himself and see if that's something he wants as well. And, of course, he has Niall and Ian there to help him along the way.

The entire Dropping Anchor series is about watching the struggles as men we've come to love--Niall, Ian, Frank--navigate the challenges that have been thrown their way, learning and growing as they go. The overarching theme in all three books is self-acceptance, and that's something I hope all readers are able to internalize for themselves. We're always so hard on ourselves, and the men in the Dropping Anchor series have to learn to be gentler with themselves. It's something we could all take a lesson from.

The Dropping Anchor series is available at most online book retailers.

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