FINDING OUR FOREVER
by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author
The search for her birth mother brought Cora Kelly to the New Horizons Boys Ranch. Getting a job there was easy enough, but confiding in Aiyana, the ranch’s owner, that she’s really her daughter? Cora’s not sure she can do that, not unless she’s confident the news will be welcomed. And once she gets to know Elijah Turner—Aiyana’s adopted son and ranch manager—that decision becomes even more difficult.
Although Elijah can’t deny his deep attraction to Cora, he’s always struggled with trust. Anyone with his past would, and there’s something about the ranch’s newest employee that isn’t exactly as it seems. But if the feelings she awakes in his guarded heart are any indication, she might be just what he’s long been waiting for.
Cora has always has a curiosity about her birth mother. So she hired a private detective to look into who and where her birthmother is. When she finds out that she runs the Horizon Boys Ranch near Santa Barbara and that they are looking for an art teacher, she decides to apply in order to get closer to the woman.
What she finds out, just confuses her more. Aiyana is kind and giving and has adopted 5 other boys in her absence. But why? Why would she give her up only to end up adopting other children?
What Cora didn’t except was to end up having such a strong attraction with Aiyana’s oldest adopted son Elijah who helps to run the Boys Ranch. Not wanting to give away that she is Aiyana’s biological daughter, she keeps the secret. But as things start to become more between her and Elijah she knows that she has to come clean about why she applied at the Ranch and what her true identity is.
Although there is a romance throughout the book with Elijah and Cora, the story really is about Cora and Aiyana.
I did enjoy the book. Even with the subject, there wasn’t a whole lot of drama in the book. It was more of a self discovery for all of the characters including Elijah. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to more in the series, which I would assume would be about Elijah’s other brothers.
Did writing about Cora Kelly, Aiyana and Elijah require a lot of research into birth mothers and adoption?
Definitely! The story was actually inspired by a friend of mine, who has finally found her birthday mother (my friend is nearly 60) after a closed adoption at birth. Her story has been exciting, frustrating, heart-wrenching, just like Cora’s. She shared it with me as she was going through it. That’s what made me want to write about a woman who was also looking for her mother. Also, I did a lot of research online.
What is your favorite part about writing Contemporary Romance books?
I love the emotional honesty. They are stories that are so easy to identify with because the characters are often facing problems any one of us could face.
Do you have any traditions you enjoy during early Spring?
My birthday is in the spring (and everyone else’s in the family, besides my oldest daughter, is in the fall, all bunched together). I make my birthday last the whole month of May! Ha! (My family has often remarked on this.)
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I caught my daycare provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep all day while I worked as a loan officer. Once I realized what was going on, I quit my job to stay home with them myself. Problem was…I wasn’t working because I wanted to. I still needed to contribute financially. I had three of my five kids then, and I had no idea how I was going to help earn a living while taking care of them at the same time, but my sister sent me KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR. It was a wonderful book, one that really swept me away. When I finished it, I remember thinking, “I wonder if I could write a book.” I started OF NOBLE BIRTH the next day and have never looked back.
How long does it take you to write a book?
I have deadlines every four months. If I was really pressed, I could probably do one in three, but not book after book.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I’m always on the hunt for new character names. I listen when I meet people, pick up on certain names my children mention or other people mention around me. I’ve even gone online and looked up lists of the most popular names in America. My former assistant gave me a character naming book which has been helpful, too!
How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
I’ve written 61 so far. I have quite a few favorites—usually for different reasons—but if I had to pick only one, I’d have to say THIS HEART OF MINE. That book is really emotional for me, and yet it just poured out. It’s the easiest book I’ve ever written.
What book are you reading right now?
Sandra Brown’s STING. I have an online book group in which I select a fellow author to highlight in the months when I don’t have a release of my own. I’ll be going to Arlington, TX to interview Sandra live next week! I can’t wait. I love her work!
What are your current projects?
I’m currently finishing the fourth book in my Silver Springs series (comes out in November). Then I’ll be starting the third book in my Evelyn Talbot series, which is geared more toward suspense than straight contemporary romance.
What advice do you have for writers?
I can boil it down to just one word. Believe. It’s that simple. If you truly believe in yourself and your talent, you will be motivated to actually sit down and write the book instead of only dreaming about it. You will be driven to seek out any help you may need (research or craft-related) to make it the best you can create. You will follow through with marketing ideas until you sell it (or self-publish it), and you won’t give up if you don’t immediately reach your goals. Belief drives the entire engine—especially through the rough spots.
BRENDA NOVAK, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, has penned more than 45 novels. A two-time Rita nominee, she’s won The National Reader’s Choice, The Bookseller’s Best, The Bookbuyer’s Best and many other awards. She runs an annual online auction for diabetes research every May at brendanovak.com. To date, she’s raised over $2 million.