Behind the Story: The Way Back to Erin

I’ve been celebrating the release of The Way Back to Erin, my third novel in A Findlay Roads Story series, and I recently shared some of my inspirations and challenges in the creation of the stories. While each has some difficult, true-to-life element at their core, The Way Back to Erin carried a lingering weight given all the grief shared by the two main characters, Burke and Erin.

I didn’t expect this third book to be quite as challenging, on an emotional level, as the first two in the series. The other stories deal with some devastating subject matter such as Early Onset Alzheimer’s, fractured families, and infertility. But I underestimated the power of grief, which is the central conflict for Burke and Erin. As I said in my Reader Letter at the beginning of the book:
 

Grief is a tricky thing. It has no timetable. It is not bound by the constraints of a five-step process. It will catch you unawares, lulling you into a false sense of security one hour, only to strike you savagely with the reminders of your loss in the next. 

 

But I ended with:

Grief will tie you up, cut you deep, and hold you down. But it will not keep you there forever.

The best, but also the hardest, thing about The Way Back to Erin was bringing both Burke and Erin through the sphere of grief they were stuck in. It was a story with no easy answers because life itself is not easy. They had to work for their happily ever after, just as the rest of us do. But it was also extremely satisfying to wrestle with them and their emotions through the book and then see where they ended up and knowing they deserved to be there. You’ll just have to read the book to see what I mean!

Visit me on the Harlequin Heartwarming blog for more details behind the story, including the inspiration for the town of Findlay Roads as well as the scene that moved me the most while writing.

All three stories in A Findlay Roads Story series are available now in eBook or mass market paperback. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

The Way Back to Erin by Cerella Sechrist

Please, judge my book’s cover!

They say not to judge a book by its cover, but I’d love for you to do just that in the Cover of the Month contest on AllAuthor.com.

The Way Back to Erin has been nominated for the March contest, but only the top book covers will move on to Round Two.

Please vote by Tuesday, March 6, at bit.ly/erin-cover


Click Here to Vote!

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Ode to a Lighthouse

Concord Point Lighthouse, Maryland

Concord Point Lighthouse in Havre de Grace, Maryland | photo by Cerella Sechrist

The Way Back to Erin may be the third book in my Findlay Roads Story series, but it was actually the first story I envisioned for the series.

I had a very clear vision of the opening scene: a groom, left standing in the rain, after his fiancée failed to appear, and a single mother taking pity on him and offering him a temporary place to stay at her bed and breakfast. That story eventually became Erin’s, a character who has been present in both of the previous Findlay Roads titles, Harper’s Wish and A Song for Rory.

When I first created the town of Findlay Roads, I researched and visited several towns in the Chesapeake Bay region. One of my favorites was Havre de Grace, Maryland, where I spent the weekend at a B&B (similar to the Moontide Inn featured in the book), strolled the waterfront promenade, and visited the Concord Point Lighthouse. Havre de Grace has a rich history that not only inspired my creation of the town, but the lighthouse – and its stories – shaped the theme of The Way Back to Erin: finding your way back home.

I recently wrote about the history of Concord Point Lighthouse and Havre de Grace on the Harlequin Heartwarming blog. The lighthouse in Findlay Roads plays a small but critical part in The Way Back to Erin: it is a safehaven, a symbol, the light at the heart of the story, leading Burke and Erin back to each other and to the home they’ve both longed for.

Click here to read more about the place that inspired my Findlay Roads series and see just how it influenced the characters in The Way Back to Erin. And be sure to catch the full series beginning with Harper’s Wish and A Song for Rory.

 

Harper's Wish (A Findlay Roads Story #1)          A Song for Rory (A Findlay Roads Story #2)          The Way Back to Erin (A Findlay Roads Story #3)

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