In honor of the upcoming release of the final book in the Girls’ Night Out Series, I thought I’d do a few blog posts on where I was at in my life when I wrote each story.
The next book in the series is called "Second Chances" (see what I did there?), and it follows Olivia and Theo through their journey from lust to love. Olivia has a lot of me in her. Her anxiety, her need to keep things under control, her love of cooking? All me. I make a mean strawberry vanilla preserve that my kids eat by the spoonful. (I’m hoping to make a video with that recipe for you all soon!) She is not one to follow her impulses easily, but when she does the rewards outweigh the sacrifices.
I began this book during my daughter’s second year at the pre-school. We had made a few friends, moved houses again, and I was finding my feet in California. We were exploring our new home and adopting new ideas. All-organic? Yep, I tried it. Make your own baby food? Yep, did that too. Cloth diapers? Well, I had to draw the line somewhere. But one of my favorite perks of California living is my farm box.
There is a service here called Farm Fresh to You. They are a consortium of organic farms and small batch producers who send weekly boxes of fresh fruits and veggies directly to their subscribers. Every other Wednesday, I open my door to a box of produce mere hours from the farm. I can truly taste the difference. My kids have gotten spoiled living in America’s Fruitbasket. If you are interested in exploring this service or following pictures of life on the farm, you can read their blog here: http://blog.farmfreshtoyou.com/ or follow them on Instagram @farmfreshtoyou. But I digress.
In the fall, FFTY holds their Capay Crush festival, marking the beginning of the wine making season by pairing wine tasting, organic specialty food producers, and amazing food trucks, with activities for the kids, tours of the farm, and live bands. It is truly lovely event if you are ever in Yolo county. We went and had an absolute blast, and my writer’s brain began to percolate. Who would live out here? Who would devote their life happily to running this farm in the middle of nowhere? Who would they fall in love with? Theo found Olivia, and "Second Chances" was born.
I finished this book after we moved away from California (more on that later), so much of this is a love letter to the state I had called home and was missing terribly every time I went to a grocery store and paid $32 for a pumpkin. I hope you enjoy the second epilogue. I had a scene I wanted to write from Gran’s perspective that just didn’t fit into the body of the story, but it was too sweet to throw away. (Who am I kidding? I never throw ANYTHING away.) I have it up on my website under “Extras” just for you! Thanks for reading with me.