Field Trips and Writing
There’s a saying about writers that everything we do ends up in a book. Everything we see, do, taste, hear about, and every place we visit, inhabit, and explore. Every story has characters, plot elements and events, and of course, place and location, or setting. Many stories are set in imaginary places and others are grounded in real places. Since I live in California, I enjoy setting my romances in places I’ve lived and visited: San Francisco, San Diego, Laguna Beach, Hollywood, as well as an imaginary place, Christmas Creek on the Redwood Coast.
My Have a Hart Series is set in San Francisco, particularly the Sunset district, south of Golden Gate Park. It is a fascinating neighborhood that surprisingly enough has a “small town” feel smack dab in a large, impersonal city. Perhaps it has to do with being on the edge of Golden Gate Park, or the fact that it has the worse weather in California, smack dab in the fog zone. Or it could be Irving Street full of small Asian restaurants, or the neighborly feel of the dive bars and independent coffee shops that still exist despite recent gentrification. In any case, while writing Spring Fling Kitty, I wanted to experience the essence of the neighborhood by walking through it, eating at a ramen shop, and visiting Golden Gate Park.
In Spring Fling Kitty, my heroine, Nadine Woo, is an adventurous artist. She first meets Connor Hart, a San Francisco firefighter, while climbing a tree to rescue her kitten. I walked through Golden Gate Park looking for interesting trees that she could climb. Nadine enjoys eating at the Asian food shops along Irving Street, so I walked up and down the street and ate at a ramen shop. My friend and I also walked by the fire station and looked through windows of the area bars, which weren’t open on a lazy Sunday morning. The day was drizzling and rainy at parts, but it was a wonderful adventure.
Although the setting for Spring Fling Kitty was based on real locations: Golden Gate Park, Spreckel’s Lake, Irving Street, and Ocean Beach, all the shops and locations such as the Love Bean Coffee Shop, the firestation, and other details are all fictional. It’s good practice to avoid getting into trouble. But by visiting the actual setting, I was able to capture the feel and energy of the neighborhood and weave it into my story in ways that made it more realistic. There is a Vietnamese restaurant with over a hundred items on their menu, spicy ramen noodles, trees that are angular and crooked, a firestation, and row houses worth millions. That’s all real, but the details are imaginary. What I love best about writing real places is the notes I get from readers either wanting to visit, or actually checking it out for themselves and telling me they saw a tree Nadine could have climbed, or the coffee shop she might have met Connor at, or the firebox that figured into the end of the story.
A stray cat shows a fire chief and his fiancee’s sister that doing the wrong thing is sometimes right when it comes to love. Spring Fling Kitty – feel the love, the romance, and the danger.
Title: Spring Fling Kitty
Series: Have a Hart book #3
Author: Rachelle Ayala
Pages: 298 pages
Heartbreaker Connor Hart, one of the youngest fire chiefs in the country, is planning on marrying Dr. Elaine Woo, a woman who pretended to cheat on him with his best friend many years ago. She bought him a Dalmatian puppy, he gave her a ring—and the women of San Francisco are about to lose their most eligible bachelor.
Artist and poet Nadine Woo is down on her luck. The cast-off half-sister of Dr. Elaine Woo, she doesn’t measure up, according to her strict and distant father. When Nadine and her mother are about to be evicted from their apartment, she gets an interesting offer from her sister. Seems she’s in need of a little help concerning her relationship with Fire Chief Connor Hart.
As soon as Nadine meets Connor, she knows she’s in for a rough ride. Connor is the fireman who rescued her and her little gray kitten, and she’s never forgotten how safe she felt in his arms.
When Nadine takes her sister’s place at a spring fling weekend with Connor, love ignites, and there’s no going back.
Can a spunky little kitty show Connor and Nadine that doing the wrong thing is sometimes right, especially when it comes to love?
Spring Fling Kitty is Book #3 of the Have A Hart Romance Series. It can be read standalone, although characters from the previous books appear here in supporting roles.
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Connor Hart a young Fire Chief is about to marry his childhood sweetheart Elaine Woo, who gave up on their relationship in College to become a doctor. Now she is back and claiming Connor.
Nadine Woo, Elaine’s half sister from her Father’s mistress is a free-spirited artist. She met Connor one day when he rescued her and her Fiesty Kitty Greyheart. She feels connected to him immediately…until she finds out he is her sister’s fiance and her sister wants her to be their surrogate.
Thier Father suddenly decides to divorce Elaine’s mom and kick Nadine and her mom out of their apartment for Elaine’s best friend, a young doctor. Schemes abound among Elaine, Nadine, and their brother to break them up.
I loved this story. There is a lot going on and i was surprised at all the drama and twists. Just when you think you have things figured out…Bam! another twist! There is not on-page sex, so the story is sweet and clean.
I loved Nadine and her free-spirited ways. I also liked the poetry in the story and how the meanings fit each situation, almost like a premonition.
If you like sweet, clean romance with lots of twists and drama, Sexy firefighters and sweet artists you will love this book. I highly recommend this book( and the other two Hart stories) for some fun summer reading.
*I received a copy for an honest review*
Have a Hart Romance Series
Rachelle Ayala is a bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her foremost goal is to take readers on a shared emotional journey with her characters as they grow and become more true to themselves. Rachelle believes in the power of love to overcome obstacles and feels that everyone should find love as often as possible, especially if it’s within the pages of a book.
Her book, Knowing Vera, won the 2015 Angie Ovation Award, and A Father for Christmas garnered a 2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award.
She is also a writing teacher and founder of the Romance In A Month writing community. She lives in California with her husband and has three children and two birds.
Message from the author
Hello everyone. I am a writer who loves to combine romance with suspense and humor. My foremost goal is to take you, the reader, on a shared emotional journey with me as my characters grow and become more true to themselves. I believe stories are the means for us to connect and experience life in new ways. As a writer, I’m privileged to share my private dreams and visions with readers. I’m a romantic. I believe in the power of love to overcome obstacles and feel that everyone should find love as often as possible, even if it’s within the pages of a book. Happy reading and loving!
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Books by Rachelle Ayala
Intercepted by Love [Parts 1 – 6]
Jewells in Love