I have been blessed to be surrounded by incredible women my whole life. My mother is one of three sisters. She had four daughters who had four daughters. So in my family alone, the estrogen factor was significant. And I am not exaggerating when I say that these are all accomplished and educated women. With sisters, aunts and nieces (not to mention a wonderful cousin or two) you would think I didn’t need girlfriends.
You’d be wrong. While I had girlfriends growing up – some of whom I remain friends with today – it wasn’t until my mid-20’s that I learned the true value of friends.
I moved away from home at age 26 and discovered the meaning of loneliness immediately. I lived in Boston – vibrant, young and exciting – but I explored Faneuil Hall, the Common, the Garden and everywhere else, alone. I worked with only eight people and they were men. I missed the women in my life until I met a few wonderful neighbors, just in time to move again. The process repeated.
I have found that it takes a while for women to develop true friendships. They need to find common interests and build rapport, then history. But I kept moving before I could make all that happen. I left New England with one friend – a lifelong friend, a true blessing in my life.
My career took off from all this movement and my husband was definitely wonderful company, but I know you’ll understand when I say that a job and a husband cannot replace a girlfriend.
After six years, I was finally blessed. I joined a huge company full of interesting people and I stayed in North Carolina, then California, long enough to forge friendships with amazing women. These are friendships that have outlasted our jobs, built now on history, mutual respect and admiration and the fact that they are empathetic and fun, really fun.
Recently, I spent time with 11 of them, and I was inspired to start a new romance series where my heroines are loosely based on my friends. The plots will be fictional, but the inspiration for my characters will come from these loving, generous, remarkable women. For example, my friend who walks a mile twice a day – rain or shine – to feed a stray cat that has come to love her. Or my dear friend who loves Broadway Theater, travel, romance and has friends across the globe. There is an amazing woman from Italy who left her home and family for the man she loves, while another married her high-school sweetheart. There are two who actually owe their happy marriages to introductions I made. All are smart, funny, quirky, and relatable.
The series – tentatively titled The Double Dare Romances – will offer glimpses of their stories occasionally, but mostly it will offer a hint of who these women are to me – supportive, kind, a family without the biological roots. Their strengths, and their quirks, will be lovingly conveyed through my heroines.
I hope you will enjoy the stories inspired by the wonderful women in my world. The series will be available mid-year 2020.
While you wait for this great new series check out my Beguiling Bachelors series. Bedazzled is the first book in the series and is only $.99 or free if you have KU.
A Chance Encounter Can Change Everything…
Keeli Larsen is second-guessing her decision to support herself as an independent jewelry designer. She has no money, no friends, but she knows she has talent…
Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.to/2CSoJzy
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