Willow Park Romance # 1
By: Sarah Hegger
Releasing March 31st, 2015
In this evocative new series from author Sarah Hegger, a woman returns home after a long absence—and wonders if two wrongs really can make a right...
Nine years ago Lucy Flint ran away to Seattle, taking her friend's boyfriend and leaving her high school sweetheart without a word of explanation. Now she's back in Willow Park, Illinois, to help care for her ailing father—and it's no surprise that her ex, Dr. Richard Hunter, is still angry.
Still, she's a different Lucy now. Sober, wiser, ready to make amends to the long—make that very long—list of those she mistreated during her wild younger days. Falling for Richard all over again would mean wreaking havoc in both their lives and possibly squandering her opportunity for redemption. But here, in the place where everything went wrong, is the one person who always felt right, and a second-chance that could be the best mistake she ever made…
Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A hot Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble.
Mimicking her globe-trotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother.She currently lives in Draper, Utah, with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.
She loves to hear from readers and you can find her at any of the places below.
Hello Sarah! Welcome to Roberta’s Dreamworld and thank you for your time. First of all, tell us something about yourself, both as a writer and as a person.
Thank you for having me in Roberta’s Dreamworld today. I’m a mixed breed having been born British, raised South African, married Canadian and currently living in the US (this can change and will change on very short notice). I’m a wife and the mother of two teenager girls, two golden retrievers and a cat. I began my career in acting and have eventually drifted back to my first love, writing. I wear two writing hats, historical and contemporary. I have two historical romances published, and Nobody’s Angel marks my debut into contemporary, and the beginning of the Willow Park Romance series.
How/when did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
Books have always been a great love, and with that came the love of writing. It has always been in the background, and looking back, I can see how even in my various career incarnations, I have always used it. When I turned forty, I decided it was time to write that book I’d always wanted to write.
Let’s speak about “Nobody’s Angel”. We’ve read the synopsis but can you tell us a little more about what the book is about?
Recovering alcoholic, Lucy Fint, comes home to Willow Park to make peace and seek forgiveness for her wild youth so she can move on with her life. Lucy has been through a huge journey to reach this point, but she comes home to find it much the same as it was when she left. Also there is the man she left behind, the love of her life, Richard Hunter. He’s top on her list of amends as she broke his heart nine years ago when she ran away with another man. Back in Willow Park Lucy must come to terms with all her old demons, and a love that hasn’t died.
How did you come up with the idea and how did you create the characters?
My husband encouraged me to write contemporary and I’ve always loved the idea of lost love rediscovered. Lucy was drawn from my own experience as a recovering alcoholic
If you should describe your books in three words, what would you pick?
Poignant, warm, real
Do you have any favorite authors and did they influence your choice of the genre?
How long have you got? There are so many authors that I have loved over the years. I have very eclectic reading taste, and will read just about anything if you give me a character I can get behind. The first romance novel I read was by Georgette Heyer, and I wanted to be just like her. She was able to build a world of quirky characters that drew me right in and transported me. I still love to read Regency romance, but writing them didn’t work out so well for me. If I had to specify romance writers that I admire, I would go with Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Lisa Kleypas and Christie Ridgway. On the non-romance side, I can read the work of Anne McCaffrey over and over again.
What else do you enjoy doing, when you’re not writing?
I love movies, of all kinds. I like to cook and hike with my two Golden Retrievers.
As a writer do you get support from your family and friends?
I do, my family has been great. Especially around giving me the time and space I needed to write. This is a big challenge, especially when an author is unpublished. You need to spend a lot of time creating something that you may or may not be able to sell. The romance writing community is an incredibly supportive one. I have discovered a world of writers who share my struggles and neuroses and there is always someone on hand to help me over an obstacle.
What are your dreams and plans for your future as a writer?
I want to keep doing what I’m doing, writing books that people enjoy reading.
Would you like to say something to the readers to encourage them to read your books?
The relationship between a writer and a reader is a very intimate one. I invite you into a world I’ve created, and you join me there when you read. Together we build the story and the characters. I am grateful to everyone who comes on this journey with me, and love hearing back from them.
I'm having a tough time rating this book. I really really wanted to like it more, but I just couldn't connect with Lucy. I tried to put myself in her shoes, try to connect on an emotional level with her throughout the book, but even though at times I was sorry for the treatment she received from other people and from her father, I just couldn't sympathize and that made it a big obstacle for me to really get hooked, since the story is mostly in Lucy's POV.
However, Richard is a beautiful character, and I really liked the parts when he was around. I guess Lucy's behavior toward him in the past was another reason why I couldn't seem to be able to like Lucy. Nobody deserves what she put him through, especially not a good person like him.
The story has a little slow pace, at times it dragged a bit, so it's been really hard for me to rate it, because some parts didn't work well for me, while others were nice and sweet.
Don't be discouraged by my opinion, though. It is a beautiful story of redemption and second chances, so if you like that kind of stories, you should definitely pick up a copy.