by Lea Darragh
Let me tell you a story about bohemian Emerson Taylor and her city boy Jack Archer (and it’s not This Love, their tragic tale that released September 15th).
I began writing stories just over six years ago, intrigued and determined to make my way through the crazy fantastic experience that is writing a book. And they say everybody has one in them, and I do believe that, but when it came to Emmy and Jack, my very first heroine and her hero, it seemed I had quite a few.
They always lived in pretty Cobblers Cove, a fictional seaside village snuggled somewhere along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road – because there’s nothing like toes in water to ease us through all of life’s contemplations. Emmy wasn’t always an artistic interior designer, nor was Jack a worldly chef. Emmy wasn’t always as broken as I wanted, and Jack always seemed too, I don’t know, lukewarm. Let’s face it, a good book has a strong – even if she’s broken – heroine and her hot-as-hell hero, even if he is what stands in her way of true love.
In my original Emmy/Jack story, he was secretly married. Divorcing and desperate for a new life and fresh start, but still married. While Emmy, after living an average life full of rejection and heartbreak, she thought she’d finally found true love with Jack…until it all turned to shit and everything blew up. Even after writing 114k, it was still very meh.
So, then what? How low could I sink these two? How much could I break them? After five drafts, endlessly hashing out plots with others, and suppressing the deep contemplation to just give it all up, it hit me! Thank goodness, because now Emerson and her Jack will be released into the world.
I’d love nothing more than to let you in on the conflict that I forced upon them, but it’s just too juicy to share. But let me tell you, it’ll have you considering your morals and the lengths of your bravery. These two are broken in vastly different ways by a shared tragedy. One that not all could forgive, or survive.
And for those of you who are completely in love with the ocean, here’s a little insight into how the intoxicating setting of This Love melted its way into me. The images were taken over a couple of mini breaks to Phillip Island/Cowes/San Remo. It’s gorgeous there. Another world, but the beach feels like home to me. The roaring yet calming sounds. The crisp salty sea air. Step onto the sand and I feel like I’ve slipped away from everyday life. The sunset images were taken in a small cove in San Remo where my husband and I walked the coastline, completely taken by the seclusion, feeling like the ocean was ours. I could clearly envision Emmy taking her moonlit, midnight swims. The image of the swirling sea against the rocks was taken in Phillip Island. The water was a vivid turquoise and just stunning. The image does not do it justice. And the view of the horizon was taken in Cowes. The sun was high in the sky as a scuff of clouds hovered over the ocean. There’s always serenity when there’s an ocean of water. The perfect remedy for all that ails you.
So when you settle down to read This Love, the time and time again reinvented love story between Emmy and Jack, I hope you feel them there with you, and you feel yourself there with them!
When Emmy’s fiancé, Ethan, is killed by a speeding driver on the way to their wedding, she is devastated beyond words. Numb and confused, she withdraws from the world.
Eighteen months later, Emmy has settled herself into the coastal town of Cobbler’s Cove. With satisfying work in a new restaurant, a quiet home by the sea, and friends who pick her up when grief comes back to haunt her, she’s finally daring to dream of a bright future.
That is, until she meets Jack Archer—a worldly chef who draws people to the restaurant. Emmy and Jack have mutual friends and a common goal, but their history could tear them both apart.
When Emmy finds herself falling for Jack, she begins to question her love for Ethan. She’s tortured by the past and scared of the future. Does she have the strength to forgive and move on?