While pursuing the publication of my first two novels several years ago, I considered what else I was most interested in writing – you know, in case the whole Jane Austen thing didn’t pan out.
I’ve always been intrigued by the idea that a single choice in life can change everything that happens subsequently. For example, what if rather than choosing to go to college A, where you met your future spouse, you had selected college B? Would you have ended up marrying someone else instead, and consequently having different children? Yikes! Even a minor decision (such as where to eat lunch, what to order, or what route to take getting there) might make the difference between an ordinary day and winding up in the hospital from food poisoning or a car accident. Of course, being the romantic that I am, I’m thinking you might meet that certain someone wonderful in the hospital, which you never would have if you hadn’t gotten sick/injured. The possible variations are endless.
But let’s take it one step further. What if there were a way you could turn back the clock and make a change, perhaps to correct the biggest mistake of your life? Is there a certain point where you turned left and now wonder what would have happened if you’d turned right instead? Or would you use your second chance to choose a different life entirely?
That’s what I wanted to write about – turning points, second chances, and out-of-this-world possibilities.
Well, the Jane Austen thing did catch on, I’m happy to say. But in the meantime I’d written my first book of the Crossroads series: Leap of Faith, which had to patiently wait its turn for publication. When I’d finally written a second for the collection, Leap of Hope (a JAFF piece), I published them both together. Each book is complete in itself but connected with the others by theme and the Crossroads Center characters. It doesn’t much matter which one your read first.
By the way, I’ll be selecting the hero/heroine for the next book from the people you will have already met in the previous one(s). So I’d love to hear back from you about whose story I should write next!
Here are the backcover blurbs for the first two books:
Leap of Faith: Second Chance at the Dream
At the Crossroads Center, they’re in the business of granting second chances. And their newest client is Ben Lewis, a former star athlete who never recovered from the death of his dream to make it big in the big leagues. Now he’s being offered the opportunity to return to 1991 and try again, this time without the illness that originally ended his baseball hopes. What’s the catch? He will pay for his second chance by forfeiting his memories of the first… and possibly along with them, the love of his life. Can he find his way home to the woman he’s long forgotten but never stopped missing? Or will reaching for the brass ring with both hands cause the treasure he once possessed to slip forever from his grasp?
This is NOT primarily a sports story; baseball is simply the rich and interesting backdrop for what happens when Ben gets his giant, world-class “do-over.” In many ways, it’s not so different from a Jane Austen tale, dealing with love and the forces that bring people together… or keep them apart. So I’m trusting my friends in the Janeite community will keep an open mind and give this novel a chance. (Read the prologue here)
Leap of Hope: Chance at at Austen Kind of Life
At the Crossroads Center, they’re in the business of handing out second chances. And their newest client is Hope O’Neil – college student and Jane Austen devotee, who has always believed she’d be more at home in the past, wearing corsets and courted by men in cravats. But can a modern girl really fit into a world with no electricity, cell phones, or indoor plumbing? Hope is about to find out when her wish for an Austen kind of life is unexpectedly granted. Although she envisions her second chance will be like something straight out of Pride and Prejudice – complete with her own Mr. Darcy and a romantic happy ending – she gets more than she bargained for in this delightful romp through Regency England… a lot more.
Read the prologue here. Since Leap of Hope is every inch a Jane Austen fan fiction piece, I’m hoping it will serve as a bridge from my other novels into this series. As I said above, it doesn’t matter which book you read first.