Guest blogger: Jennie Jones
My new romance and 7th book is out now, and I have to admit, writing this one gave me a few heart tremors.
A Place to Stay is Rachel Meade’s story. But she unexpectedly falls in love with a police officer, which creates numerous additional problems for her. As it did for me …
My hero, Luke Weston, is Senior Sergeant and OIC of a remote town in WA on the edge of the Great Victoria Desert where Rachel finds herself. Although this story is not about police, but rather the current issues Rachel—woman on the run—is dealing with, I had to give depth and realism to Luke’s role. Yet I knew nothing about how police worked.
I began to surreptitiously stalk police officers whenever I was out shopping or driving or having a catch-up coffee with friends. I’d watch them on the street, I’d see them buying their lunch at cafes and supermarkets. I watched how they moved, and how they dealt with anything from buying a sandwich to traffic control to breaking up a near-fight. I looked at their uniforms, at their weapons and equipment. Fortunately, I didn’t get questioned for my nosiness, let alone arrested!
Even with this study, and with my online research—which proved to show up little of the insights I wanted to know—I needed genuine guidance on police procedures or this book was going to be a no-go and my brave heroine, Rachel, would not find her story published.
I got lucky—and so did Rachel.
If it wasn’t for the help of a Senior Sergeant I contacted who is OIC of a town in the area I’d placed my fictional town, and for his willingness to assist, this story would not have come to light. He didn’t mind that this was a romance story, he was happy to help—but he cared deeply about policing. This is what I needed to enable me to underscore the characterisation of the police officers in my story, many of whom will appear in the next books in the series. And they are all heroes, in their own way, for the community of my fictional town of Mt Maria, and for the women they find themselves falling in love with.
My book is fiction, and I have used some licence (for which I’ve asked my police sources to forgive me) but there’s definitely a lot of my heart in this book, for Rachel and for Luke. I hope you enjoy it.
A Place to Stay is now out in ebook and paperback with Harlequin Australia. And can I also take this opportunity to thank ARRA for all they do for readers and writers of romance. You’re amazing, ARRA, and you have our hearts.
A Place to Stay
A remote outback town where she can become someone new—and maybe find a forever love?
Rachel Meade is a woman with a past she wants to escape from. Finding herself in Mt Maria, a small outback town in Western Australia, she thinks she’s found a place to stay.
Before she knows it, Rachel is corralled into helping with the Tidy Town competition by the Dramatic Society widows who have a tendency to gossip and take charge. It’s not in her plan, but she finds herself allowing friendships to develop. She’s even more surprised by her growing attraction to the town’s engaging senior police officer.
Ex-detective Senior Sergeant Luke Weston knows anything and everything happens in the country, and he’s seen it all—stolen chickens, pub fights and alleged cheating for the Tidy Town competition are only some of the puzzles Mt Maria offers Luke. He’s been playing for Rachel, thinking maybe she’s the one. Then he gets news that the Crime Squad are looking for her, and he’s ordered to get close and stay close. Is Rachael in trouble, or is she the trouble?
Luke is fighting his attraction to a woman he might have to take into custody, and it looks like he’s going to be arresting more than one person before the end of the week. Luke needs to restore peace in his corner of the outback, but he knows he’s not going to get out of this without getting his heart busted.
With her past catching up with her, Rachael has to decide whether it’s time to cut and run again, or whether this time she’s found the person—and the place—to finally heal her heart.
You can find buy links for A Place to Stay here.