Welcome to one of the February 19th stops on the blog tour for A Summer Wedding at Cross Creek Inn by Cheryl Holt, organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for excerpt spotlights, guest/interview posts with the author, reviews, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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Author Guest Post
Prompt: How do you pick your settings, and how much research do you do for the settings?
The book I’m releasing this month is actually a contemporary women’s novel that’s set in the Colorado Rockies. The Cross Creek Inn that I’ve invented for the story is a posh, exclusive resort where the rich and famous can hold a private event and keep the paparazzi at bay. So it’s a very different book from what I usually write.
For my setting, I needed a place where I could lock together a very diverse group of people, so they were alone and bumping up against each other in ways that would spur all kinds of drama. In a contemporary novel, it’s hard to find a spot like that, so I devised one where the setting is designed for people to be secluded.
Also, with this novel, I’m targeting readers who enjoy books by authors such as Elin Hilderbrand. She typically sets her books on Cape Cod or other luscious ocean spots, and her books are so popular that there is a whole subgenre that’s sprung up with women writing exactly that kind of “ocean” novel. So I felt, if I wanted to offer a story to those readers, that the ocean setting was way too overused and I needed to try something different. I lived in the Rockies for several years when I was younger, and it’s a magical spot on the planet. So I used mountains rather than oceans.
It helped me to exacerbate the differences among the characters because the groom’s family are all “city” people from LA, and the rural mountain environment is so different for them that they might as well be on Mars.
Normally, I am a historical romance writer, and I set nearly all of my books in Regency England, around 1814 or so. It’s an incredibly popular time period with female readers, and it’s also the time period Jane Austin lived in and wrote her novels.
Since I always use the same year and place, I don’t ever have to wonder much about what the “setting” will be. Usually, it’s London or a posh country estate with a grand manor house. Basically, I write versions of Cinderella over and over, and it’s women’s favorite story and has been throughout history. So I try to always make one book exactly the same as the next, so the Cinderella elements are all there, but I try to always make each book very different too.
When I need to mix it up a bit, I’ve used a pirate’s secret island. I’ve used ancient castles. I’ve sent my characters to British outposts such as Gibraltar or Cairo. I’ve had characters survive a shipwreck and wash up on a deserted island. I use star-crossed lovers, who meet and fall in love, but because of societal strictures, it seems like they can’t end up together. So I always have to put them in a place where they’re thrown together in a way they wouldn’t normally be. It has to be a romantic spot, where they have chances to secretly fall in love without other people noticing.
I have a very vivid imagination, so I’m always able to come up with a lovely spot, and I’m a very “visual” writer too, so when readers read one of my books, they can always vividly picture the location I’ve invented in my mind.
Because I use the same time period and location, I never do any research. Everything about my books is the same: clothes, carriages, houses, furniture, etc. And while my books are typically set in a historical period, they aren’t connected to historical events (such as the battle at Waterloo or something like that) so I don’t have to brush up on my history before I get writing.
About the Book
A Summer Wedding at Cross Creek Inn
Cross Creek Book One
by Cheryl Holt
Published 15 February 2021
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Page Count: 328
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
From New York Times bestselling author, Cheryl Holt, comes a sparkling, fast-paced novel about the complexity of family—and all the ways they can drive us crazy.
The lavish Layton-Benjamin wedding promises to be an event to remember, and the groom’s wealthy parents have spared no expense to impress their guests by hosting it at the exclusive Cross Creek Inn, a private mountain retreat tucked away in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. But the bride and groom are from completely different backgrounds, and they’ve only known each other for a few months, so it’s been a ‘hurry-up’ engagement that has everyone worried.
When the groom arrives late and tempers start to flare, it’s clear the wedding is a minefield that has to be carefully navigated. As parents and friends begin taking bets over whether the happy couple will make it to the altar, secrets are revealed, new loves emerge, and true happiness is finally found.
Book your visit to the Cross Creek Inn! A witty, fun summertime story about family, friendship, and finding out what matters most—that only Cheryl Holt could tell.
An Amazon ‘Top-100’ Bestselling Author…
“It’s so beautiful here!”
Jennifer Layton spun away from the stunning scenery out the window of her hotel room, and she smiled at her father, Greg.
“I suppose it’s all right,” he replied.
“You suppose?” she asked. “Don’t injure yourself by exhibiting too much enthusiasm.”
She had three siblings, but she’d always been his favorite. It was an open and established family fact about which they all joked. On hearing her remark, he was instantly chastened.
“I’m sorry, peanut. It’s marvelous, and I’m delighted by it too.”
She grinned. “That’s more like it.”
From the minute she’d phoned to tell him she’d gotten engaged and was planning a quick wedding, he’d been slow to exhibit the attitude a girl ought to expect from her only parent. He was a widower and carpenter whose wife died of cancer when his four children were very small. Jennifer had just been eight at the time.
He’d spent his life providing for them as best he could. He was sensible and pragmatic, with strong views about the world and his place in it. He’d never been the type to reach out and grab for more than he’d been given, but he’d wanted more for her and her siblings than he’d ever been able to supply. In that, he’d been very generous.
He’d encouraged her to spread her wings, to go to college and move on to a great future, and she’d done exactly that. She’d fled their home in Portland, Oregon, to attend college in Eugene, then she’d flitted off to sunny, exciting Los Angeles.
In the process, she’d fallen in love with Eric Benjamin. He was disgustingly rich and had grown up in an environment so different from hers that he might have been raised on the moon.
About the Author
CHERYL HOLT is a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon “Top 100” bestselling author who has published over fifty novels.
She’s also a lawyer and mom, and at age forty, with two babies at home, she started a new career as a commercial fiction writer. She’d hoped to be a suspense novelist, but couldn’t sell any of her manuscripts, so she ended up taking a detour into romance where she was stunned to discover that she has a knack for writing some of the world’s greatest love stories.
Her books have been released to wide acclaim, and she has won or been nominated for many national awards. She is considered to be one of the masters of the romance genre. For many years, she was hailed as “The Queen of Erotic Romance”, and she’s also revered as “The International Queen of Villains.” She is particularly proud to have been named “Best Storyteller of the Year” by the trade magazine Romantic Times BOOK Reviews.
She lives and writes in Hollywood, California, and she loves to hear from fans. Visit her website at www.cherylholt.com.
Cheryl Holt will be awarding an autographed print copy of the book (US ONLY) to 10 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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