A Stranger in the Cove
Templeton Cove Stories #8
by Rachel Brimble
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Mac Orman is on a mission. When he discovers his recently deceased father had been searching for his birth mother, Mac aims to finish the job by finding the grandmother he never knew. His quest leads him to Templeton Cove—and a firecracker of a woman who instantly jump-starts his tortured heart.
For Mac, Kate Harrington is the most tempting kind of distraction. But their sizzling connection comes with a side of suspicion for Kate, who doesn’t trust this brooding stranger in her town. Mac arrived with no plans to stay, but as he falls for Kate, he wonders how he could ever possibly leave.
**easily read as a standalone!**
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Rachel lives with her husband and two young daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Here first novel was published in 2007. Since then, she's had several books published with small presses and since 2012 has written mainstream romance and romantic suspense for Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and Victorian romance for eKensington/Lyrical Press.
Agent represented in the US, Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, When she isn't writing, you'll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England. And in the evening? Well, a well-deserved glass of wine is never, ever refused...
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Inspiration – settings/characters/plots…
The single most common questions author get asked by readers and interviewers is where we get our inspiration. This is such a difficult question to answer without leaving the person asking the question no more informed than they were before speaking with you!
Inspiration is everywhere…snippets of conversation, news articles, TV programs and movies, your experiences/others experiences, places, history. I could go on and on
Let’s start with one aspect at a time…
This is where the majority of my stories begin taking shape in my imagination. I love visiting new and old places, looking for that new story idea. I’m lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK. Wiltshire is rich with history, phenomenal countryside and beautiful villages. On top of that, I am just thirty minutes drive from the famous Georgian City of Bath.
There are so many places to inspire me from the churches and cathedrals, to the tiny hamlets hidden away which are bound to hold secrets. I love wandering around Bath and thinking of the many, many generations of people who have lived in this wonderful city and the struggles they faced and conquered. Look around you and ask yourself, “Who lived here?” “Who fought here?” “Who fell in love here?” “Who lost a loved one here?” And then ask yourself, “Why?” “Who?” “How?”
Templeton Cove came alive in my mind by reminiscing about my childhood holidays – the beaches, piers, oceans and shops all mixed and merged until I had created my own fictional town. Eight books later and I still love Templeton more than any place I’ve created.
This is a difficult one for me – many writers start their stories with the character, especially in romance. This rarely happens for me. Occasionally, I hear a voice or a line of dialogue and have to find out who said that and why. It usually turns out to be the hero or heroine––although, other times it has been a secondary character shouting to be heard.
I start finding my characters by trawling the Internet for pictures of famous actors or models. Usually one of the faces catches my eye and ‘speaks’ to me. I’ve found my character. After that, I complete a full character sketch looking for their story. The sketches usually produce the characters’ Goal, Motivation and Conflict. After that, I have to start plotting…
Once an author has the hero and heroine’s (also villain’s if you have one) goal, motivation and conflict, the plotting begins to formulate. I try to make the hero and heroine’s goals conflict to provide solid obstacles for them to overcome during their journey and romance. The most important element of any storytelling, and the thing that must run throughout the book, is the characters’ internal conflict/their biggest fear or point of pain. Once you’ve established this and know it will be difficult for the characters to get past whatever it is inside them that’s holding them back, you have your plot. Everything revolves around finding a way for these characters to grow and change. That is your plot. Everything else is used to colour your story.
What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? I’d love to chat!
Oh, for the love of God. The man’s smile was slow, soft and as sexy as hell. It was like
an invisible aphrodisiac on her newly ignited libido. She took another sip of her drink, her heart
racing and her body on fire. He looked at her as though he had X-ray vision…or the ability to
make her want to strip without the request even passing his lips. Every inch of her body was
intensely aware of him and she didn’t like it. Not one tiny bit.
Good looks and even better bodies were not to be trusted. This guy could be just as much
of a cheater as her ex. Even more so, if his killer smile was anything to go by. She couldn’t
imagine a woman not being affected by it. So why did she want to keep looking at him?
He leaned his elbow on the bar and faced her. “So…” He took a sip of his drink. “Do you
live around here?”
Feigning nonchalance, she sat straighter on her stool and drew forth as much of a
welcome attitude as she could. It wasn’t this stranger’s fault he’d attracted and intrigued her in
one very dangerous blow. “Yes.”
He smiled. “That’s all I get?”
“That’s all you get.” She returned his smile, her body relaxing a little. His voice was rich
and deep and had the same warming effect on her as a shot of whiskey on a cold night. “That is,
until I know a little more about you.”
“Shoot.” He drank. “Ask me anything you want.”
“Okay…” Her gaze dropped frustratingly to his mouth, most likely quashing her
nonchalance in a heartbeat. She shifted on her seat and lifted her gaze to his…although his eyes
were by no means a safer option. She cleared her throat. “What brings you to the Cove?”
His gaze locked on hers and the seconds ticked by. His blue eyes darkened as his smile
Kate raised her eyebrows, curiosity whispering through her. “Was that not a good
question to start with?”
He flitted his focus to the band once more. “I’m looking for work.”
She frowned. “In Templeton?”
“It’s as good a place as any, isn’t it?”
She hazarded a guess that the shift in his tone was meant to induce a throw away
question, to make her believe it was no big deal why he was in Templeton. Little did Mr. Bad
Boy know, she was blessed—or sometimes cursed—with the innate ability to read between the
lines, to sense when something wasn’t quite right with people or situations. Her senses pinged to
high alert with this guy at the sudden stiffness in his body, the way his jaw had set. His easy
demeanor of a moment before had been replaced with clear defensiveness.
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