Thursday, May 24, 2018

Showcase- Heron's Landing Interview with JoAnn Ross

I'm so happy to be showcasing JoAnn Ross's latest book, first in her new Honeymoon Harbor miniseries, Heron's Landing.

ISBN-13: 9781488079047
Publisher: Harlequin
Release Date: 5-22-2018
Length: 496pp
Honeymoon Harbor #1
Buy It: Amazon/B&N/Kobo/IndieBound/Audible
Welcome to Honeymoon Harbor, the brand-new, long-awaited series by beloved New York Times bestselling author JoAnn Ross, where unforgettable characters come face-to-face with the kind of love that grabs your heart and never lets go.

Working as a Las Vegas concierge, Brianna Mannion is an expert at making other people’s wishes come true. It’s satisfying work, but a visit home to scenic Honeymoon Harbor turns into a permanent stay when she’s reminded of everything she’s missing: the idyllic small-town charm; the old Victorian house she’d always coveted; and Seth Harper, her best friend’s widower and the neighborhood boy she once crushed on—hard. After years spent serving others, maybe Brianna’s finally ready to chase dreams of her own.

Since losing his wife, Seth has kept busy running the Harper family’s renovation business and flying way under the social radar. But when Brianna hires him to convert her aging dream home into a romantic B and B, working together presents a heart-stopping temptation Seth never saw coming. With guilt and grief his only companions for so long, he’ll have to step out of the past long enough to recognize the beautiful life Brianna and he could build together.

excerpt courtesy JoAnn Ross––

Seth Harper was spending a Sunday spring afternoon detailing his wife’s Rallye Red Honda Civic when he learned that she’d been killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.
Despite the Pacific Northwest’s reputation for unrelenting rain, the sun was shining so brightly that the army notification officers—a man and a woman in dark blue uniforms and black shoes spit-shined to a mirror gloss—had been wearing shades. Or maybe, Seth considered, as they’d approached the driveway in what appeared to be slow motion, they would’ve worn them anyway. Like armor, providing emotional distance from the poor bastard whose life they were about to blow to smithereens.
At the one survivor grief meeting he’d later attended (only to get his fretting mother off his back), he’d heard stories from other spouses who’d experienced a sudden, painful jolt of loss before their official notice. Seth hadn’t received any advance warning. Which was why, at first, the officers’ words had been an incomprehensible buzz in his ears. Like distant radio static.
Zoe couldn’t be dead. His wife wasn’t a combat soldier. She was an army surgical nurse, working in a heavily protected military base hospital, who’d be returning to civilian life in two weeks. Seth still had a bunch of stuff on his homecoming punch list to do. After buffing the wax off the Civic’s hood and shining up the chrome wheels, his next project was to paint the walls white in the nursery he’d added on to their Folk Victorian cottage for the baby they’d be making.
She’d begun talking a lot about baby stuff early in her deployment. Although Seth was as clueless as the average guy about a woman’s mind, it didn’t take Dr. Phil to realize that she was using the plan to start a family as a touchstone. Something to hang on to during their separation.
In hours of Skype calls between Honeymoon Harbor and Kabul, they’d discussed the pros and cons of the various names on a list that had grown longer each time they’d talked. While the names remained up in the air, she had decided that whatever their baby’s gender, the nursery should be a bright white to counter the Olympic Peninsula’s gray skies.
She’d also sent him links that he’d dutifully followed to Pinterest pages showing bright crib bedding, mobiles, and wooden name letters in primary crayon shades of blue, green, yellow and red. Even as Seth had lobbied for Seattle Seahawk navy and action green, he’d known that he’d end up giving his wife whatever she wanted. The same as he’d been doing since the day he fell head over heels in love with her back in middle school.
Meanwhile, planning to get started on that baby making as soon as she got back to Honeymoon Harbor, he’d built the nursery as a welcome home surprise.
Then Zoe had arrived at Sea-Tac airport in a flag-draped casket.
And two years after the worst day of his life, the room remained unpainted behind a closed door Seth never opened since.

My Interview with JoAnn:

Hi JoAnn welcome to The Reading Frenzy and to the Harlequin family.
Tell my readers a little about the first novel in your Honeymoon Harbor series, Heron’s Landing and about the series itself.
Hi Debbie, I’m delighted to be here at The Reading Frenzy!  Having spent so many years at Harlequin writing series category and Mira single titles, it’s super to be back “home.”
I’m so excited about this new series set on the lush and green Washington State peninsula, where there’s even a rain forest! Honeymoon Harbor is loosely inspired by a charming Victorian seaport town where the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound meet. It’s from there that the deep blue water flows between the U.S. and Canada to the Pacific Ocean. In my series, the town changed its name after a royal visit in the early 1900s in order to hopefully boost tourism. My husband and I have been visiting the Olympic peninsula for over thirty years and the setting for my town is close enough to the rugged and wild Washington Coast for my characters to drive to. The title of the first book, Herons Landing, comes from the beautiful Great Blue herons that nest there. Readers who enjoyed my Oregon Coast Shelter Bay series will feel right at home in Honeymoon Harbor.
Readers know how much I love Harlequin, the publisher that makes the world go round. What makes you excited about working with the HQN team?
Harlequin is, hands down, the quintessential house for writing romance. The genre isn’t an afterthought, or secondary category for them. HQN is romance, and I’ve always found a freedom to write whatever story appeals to me.
Also, your use of the word “team” is so on point. Everyone —from art to editorial, to sales, marketing, and publicity — all work together on each book and everyone at has the same goal that I do. Making the book as good as it can be and getting it in the hands of readers all over the world.
Another thing that’s special is that they’re just flat out fun to work with. The unrelenting positive attitude is always contagious. I’m also excited that they’re becoming the place for Women’s Fiction, because my series stories already tend to fall on the line between contemporary romance and WF, so I’m looking forward to writing single titles along with my Honeymoon Harbor series.

JoAnn right on your website banner it says “Small Towns…Warm Hearts”
As a reader I love small town romance they say warm fuzzy but watch out for the nosy neighbors LOL.
What draws you to write about them?
First of all, for all the Friday Night Lights fans out there, I decided on “Small Towns….Warm Hearts” because “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts” was already taken.  lol
While I love visiting cities, I write about small towns because having grown up in an Oregon small town they’re what I know and can relate to. I’ve taken part in all those festivals, including once getting snowed on while riding on a 4th of July high school Pelicans swim team parade float. In small towns you’re always running into someone you know, which is usually a good thing, because it gives you a chance to chat and catch up, but as you pointed out, it can admittedly have its downsides. Such as the summer day my boyfriend was driving home from my house, and in the twenty minutes it took him to get there, three people had called his mom to tell her that he’d been speeding.
I’ve gotten up at five in the morning to bake cinnamon rolls for a town fundraiser, stuffed miles of crepe paper into chicken wire to build a Homecoming float, and fallen in love at the Homecoming dance. Also, my high school sweetheart (the boyfriend who was speeding) bought me a white paper bag of salt water taffy in the small coastal town where my Shelter Bay books are set, then proposed while we were watching the resident whales at the seawall. The taffy store, by the way, is still there. As are the whales.

On your website you attribute your love of storytelling to your Irish teller of tales Grandda and who, with her consent, kidnapped your grandmother in order to marry her. Did you ever base any of your books on this story?
I’m so glad you asked! That’s a true family story that I was able to use in A Woman’s Heart, an Irish small town book I wrote for Mira. Brady, my heroine’s father, was totally my grandfather, including the infamous “kidnaping when her wealthier “lace curtain” Irish family wouldn’t permit her to marry him.
Many of the Celtic folklore tales told in that book were stories Grandda McLaughlin had told to me. Others were fictional, but I probably couldn’t read that book now and tell you which stories were his and which were mine. Our son read it while exploring Ireland before showing up for college classes in England, and called to ask me how I’d gotten the accent down so well. That’s when I realized Grandda’s voice had been in my head the entire time I was writing the story. To this day, whenever I’m super tired or upset, my syntax reverts to Irish without me noticing. More than once a newlywed argument would end with my husband laughing and asking me, “What did you just say?”

JoAnn congratulations for having over 100 books published what an accomplishment. If you could go back in time to give your just starting out self one piece of advice what would it be?
Thank you! I’d advise my younger, starting-out self, to always remember that a writing career is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s also a rollercoaster, so the best thing to do is to hang on tight, remember that you’re living the dream you’ve had since you wrote your first story (a romance about two star-crossed Mallards) when you were seven-years old, and stay focused on telling stories that will hopefully make some reader’s day a little brighter. That’s the same advice I remind myself of all these years later whenever my writing/life balance gets a little bumpy.

JoAnn thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer my questions.
Will you be attending any author/signing events in the near future?
It was truly a pleasure. And yes, I’ll be signing Herons Landing at RWA’s national conference in Denver in July. It’s four days before my birthday, so I’ll be able to celebrate early with 2,000 fellow romance writers!

Prequel novella available now

Connect with JoAnn Website - Facebook - Twitter

Meet JoAnn:
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author JoAnn Ross has been published in twenty-seven countries. A member of Romance Writers of America's Honor Roll of bestselling authors, JoAnn lives with her husband and three rescued dogs — who pretty much rule the house — in the Pacific Northwest. Visit her on the web at


  1. This sounds wonderful and you know I enjoy small-town romance series!

  2. It would not be a small town without those neighbors lol

  3. Whew! Ms. Ross has been around for a long time and I've read and enjoyed many of her books! Thanks for the interview! Hugs...RO

  4. Oh I love those small town stories. Lovely cover :)