There was a time when I could quite comfortably write three or four books a year. Between my first novel After Ben’s submission, rejection, and its eventual publication, I wrote three other novel-length works. I was midway through a fourth when something happened that made me put down my pen.
The story that forced me to pick it up again was Salvage, as I mentioned here a few weeks ago, and the whole time I was writing it I wanted to tell more of Jamie Carlson’s story.
Recovery is a love story, although initially it centers on Jamie’s relationship with Alec and Belle Bailey, along with their almost-estranged son, Owen. It’s set in San Diego—a city I’m very fond of.
Alec had sold the party to him as a golden opportunity. But the only golden thing Jamie had seen so far tonight was the late-evening view over San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.
The light was incredible.
From this elevation, the city was gilded by a blazing sunset, and Jamie cataloged the range of colors. From the deep blush of a Napa Valley rosé to the honeyed tones of vintage champagne, he saw shades in the sky his editing software could enhance even further. As he thought through the process involved in turning a raw digital image into something sublime his heart rate decelerated.
Alec had been right.
Jamie could get through social occasions like this without him. And he could absolutely talk to people as if he were just as professional as them. They didn’t know that the last time he’d been here he’d blown some guy for free drinks or that he’d puked in one of these ornate planters. That had happened over a year ago, and if he could put it out of his mind, and focus on his work instead, he might make some useful contacts.
He could do this.
Jamie does, and it’s while alone at that party, facing very personal demons, that Jamie meets Daniel Priest—a man old enough to be his father.
His next glance caught the man beside him smiling warmly. He was very good-looking, Jamie decided. Those faint lines feathering the edges of his eyes were particularly attractive. They deepened when Jamie shook the hand he offered.
“It’s Daniel,” the man said. He paused before adding, “Daniel Priest? Your father introduced us earlier. I was over there.” He twisted briefly, nodding in the direction of the bar where magazine executives still thronged for free drinks. “Is your dad still here?”
“My dad? That was Alec Bailey, and he isn’t my father.” Jamie had to smile at that mistake. Alec would find it funny too. His real son, Owen, significantly less so.
Owen Bailey is the exact opposite of his kind and loving parents. Dealing with Owen, while fulfilling Belle Bailey’s final wishes, takes Jamie and Daniel on an incredible journey. Charting their course, and watching love come into Jamie’s life for the first time, took much longer than I expected. Salvage and Recovery seems to have been with me forever, but writing about love and loss in such detail takes time and commitment.
Now that both novels are done, I’m glad that I made that investment.
PS: You may wonder why I admitted that my first book was rejected. I mention it as often as I can in case any aspiring writers are reading. It’s crushing to receive a rejection, but I believed in my first book. It went on to do amazingly well—a fact that still surprises and delights me! So, my message is to keep writing, and don’t worry— your words will find their readers one day but only if you submit them.
Blurb: San Diego is a city of second chances for Jamie Carlson. His new career as a photographer is taking off, and with the support of a loving surrogate family, he’s finally putting his party years behind him. The Bailey family helped him solve his drinking problem, but there’s no easy solution to staying sober now that Belle Bailey’s dying. Her last wish is a challenge Jamie can’t overcome without help.
Solving problems is Daniel Priest’s specialty. More than twenty years older than Jamie, he’s successful and experienced. He makes his living resolving corporate crises—but his personal life has been far from perfect. Now that his marriage is over, Daniel’s determined to make up for lost time. One night with Jamie isn’t nearly enough for him.
Daniel’s honest offer of help is more than Jamie expects from a one-time hookup. Even so, fulfilling Belle’s last wish is a tall order. Repairing her damaged family as she requests proves difficult when Jamie has to face his own past as well.
Jamie could risk his hard-won recovery by admitting why he hit rock bottom in the first place. If he wants a future with Daniel, he’ll have to address those reasons head-on.
About the Author: Con Riley lives on the wild and rugged Devonshire coast, with her head in the clouds, and her feet in the Atlantic Ocean.
Injury curtailed her enjoyment of outdoor pursuits, so writing fiction now fills her free time instead. Love, loss, and redemption shape her romance stories, and her characters are flawed in ways that makes them live and breathe.
When not people watching, or wrangling her own boy band of teen sons, she spends time staring at the sea from her kitchen window. If you see her, don’t disturb her—she’s probably thinking up new plots.
The Giveaway: Every Book In Con Riley’s Backlist!