Thanks to Delilah for letting me guest blog on her site today! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m an author of lesbian romances. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Delilah on two of her Cleis Press anthologies – She Shifters and Girls Who Bite. I’ve also had two novels, Harmony and Worth the Risk, published by Bold Strokes Books, and my third book will be released in January, 2013. It’s called Sea Glass Inn and it’s about second chances.
Have you ever wanted a do-over? A chance to revisit a conversation or career or relationship and maybe get it right this time? My character, Melinda Andrews, tries to do just that. Move, start fresh, gamble on a new life that is more aligned with who she is and what she and her son need. I love Mel. She brings a little bit of crazy and a whole lot of brave with her as she attempts to restore a dilapidated old inn on the Oregon coast. She’s not only my creation, but my inspiration as well, because – whether this is life imitating art or vice versa – I’m beginning a new chapter of my own. Starting over. Redefining myself. Mel bought a house to celebrate her newfound freedom, but I chose to get a new horse instead. (And new vet bills, feed bills, etc. But I’m pretty good at ignoring such practical matters.) So I – being who I am – listed and prioritized the qualities I wanted in a horse. And life – being what it is – tossed my list in the trash and sent Siena and Sunshine my way.
Siena and Sunshine. The Thelma and Louise of the horse world. Best buddies and refugees from a local animal shelter. (Their previous owner apparently wanted his own fresh start, so he simply abandoned his eight horses on a vacant piece of property. Nice, huh?) Frankly, except for the fact that they’re equine and have four legs apiece, they don’t fit the description I made of my perfect horse. For example, they’re not a gelding, aged six to ten years; they’re two mares, aged… well, it’s really not polite to ask. But they are gentle and wary-yet-friendly. Together, we’re going back to basics and beginning again. Trying to erase old pain while never forgetting the important lessons we’ve learned along the way. I’ve discovered that Siena and Sunny aren’t wrong for me because they don’t match my list. I simply wrote the wrong list.
We don’t get true do-overs in life. We can’t go back and change the past. But we can, and should, try to heal old wounds and revisit missed opportunities as we go forward. I suppose the best we can do is move toward the future a little wiser and kinder and more careful to protect ourselves and those closest to us. Siena, Sunshine, and I are definitely bringing some baggage with us on this journey, but who doesn’t? As my character Mel learns: new beginnings require hard work, patched-together dreams, and a determined (albeit shaky) faith in the power of love. New starts with old scars are always difficult. But the rewards? Definitely worth the effort.
Melinda Andrews arrives on the Oregon coast with a dream of running the Sea Glass Inn. Still reeling after an unexpected divorce, Mel believes she has missed her chance to find love. All she wants is to make her business a success and regain her independence. She locates the artist who inspired her move so she can commission more paintings for her new inn.
Pamela Whitford runs a gallery in a small seaside town, planning events and supporting other artists while neglecting her own talent. Since being deserted by the love she thought was forever, she refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her again. But Pam can’t resist the struggling new innkeeper, and she agrees to paint for her even though it means opening herself up to creativity and the vulnerability that goes with it.
Can they learn to trust again and discover a second chance at love?