Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Fictional Town of Bellham By Danita Cahill

Check out my friend Danita Cahill's first book in her Bellham Romance series.

I was flat on my back after having dental surgery when I came up with the characters for the first story in my Bellham Romance series this past summer. The two main characters popped into my head and would not leave me alone. Even when I was half loopy on pain killers, there they were, walking and talking and falling in love inside my head.

It wouldn’t have bothered me – I’m a writer after all, characters have always taken up residency inside my head – except I was right in the middle of writing another book. But all that walking, talking, and loving by these new characters, Joel and Heather, was way too distracting for me to carry on with my work in progress (WIP). So, I set the WIP aside – I mean, really, what else could I do? – and wrote Joel and Heather’s story, “Love at First Click.” I just released it as an eBook for Kindle this month.

My original plan was to make the first book in the Bellham series a holiday story. I figured I’d finish my WIP, “Daisies are True,” then write the Christmas story and release it in the fall of 2014. Since I had that story already plotted out, I’d already given some thought to the little town of Bellham. The businesses. Some of the characters. And of course the bell tower which plays Christmas music and the strings of bells that the townspeople hang over the streets.

But I had no idea how Bellham would get under my skin and become so real!
After writing the first book in the series, starting on two others, and plotting out another eight, I can close my eyes and picture the town clear as a postcard. I’ve even had some dreams that have taken place in this fictional town, including one where my husband and I buy a house!

When you read or write a story does the setting become extremely real to you?

Blurb for Love at First Click:
When wedding photographer, Joel Canfield, spots stunning bridesmaid, Heather Garity, he falls head over heels. Except Joel doesn’t believe in love at first sight. Besides, physical chemistry or not, Heather already has a boyfriend. 

At least she does until she catches said boyfriend making out with her little sister. 

Heather swears off men. Finishing college and opening her own florist shop are more important goals. 

Heather’s best friend, Amelia the set-up queen, notices the spark between Joel and Heather. With Joel’s help, Amelia manipulates a seaside getaway for Heather and Joel. 

But the coastal vacation backfires. 

Will Heather pull the plug on Joel, the vacation, and her best friend? Or will she swallow her pride and put her dreams on hold for a chance at love? 

Excerpt from Love at First Click:
If Joel believed in love at first sight, he’d be in love. Over-the-top, star struck, birds singing, bumping into sign posts in love.

But he didn’t believe in that nonsense.

Besides, it wasn’t love he was feeling. It couldn’t be. It was just infatuation. Look at that bone structure, those deep blue eyes, the rich shine and color of her hair, and her amazing smile.


What man in his right mind wouldn’t be infatuated?

Joel moved several feet to the left inside the Bellham Baptist Church sanctuary, and crouched down to get a different angle. Aiming his lens directly at the tall, stunning, redheaded maid of honor, he pushed the shutter release. Shifting to the right, he took more shots. He checked the screen, fired off several more frames, and checked the screen again to make sure.

Yes. Definitely.

He may not be in love with her, but his camera certainly was.

He’d never enjoyed photographing anyone so much before. It seemed he couldn’t take a bad picture of the redhead. Every single shot was a knock out.

She was a knock out.
Who knew he’d come across such a beauty in little Bellham, Oregon?

I wonder if she’d consider a private modeling shoot in my studio under controlled lighting.

No, scratch that.

The way she tossed back her hair, the way her eyes lit up when she laughed – she had a free-spirit beauty best captured in natural light.

An outdoor shoot…maybe against a water backdrop. A waterfall, her in a bikini, head thrown back, wetting her hair under sparkling, blue water. Maybe I should take her to Hawaii for a week-long shoot. Many beautiful background opportunities in the Hawaiian Islands...

Joel closed his eyes and breathed in. He could almost smell the sea, almost feel the tropical humidity on his skin, almost picture the redhead dressed in a white bikini, frolicking in the waves.

And did he ever like what he could almost see. 

Danita Cahill is a multi-published, award-winning writer and photojournalist. She’s written and published more than 2,100 articles and columns in 10 different newspapers; a dozen magazine stories in six different magazines; a non-fiction eBook – Kids are a Crack Up: Humorous Stories from the Mouths of Babes; and two novels – Mist, a supernatural romantic suspense; and Love at First Click, a small-town contemporary romance, and the first in the Bellham Romance series. 
To learn more about Danita Cahill, her books and her upcoming releases, check out her Amazon author page, or find her on Facebook.


Danita Cahill said...

Thanks so much for hosting me, Paty! It's always fun to be here.

Karen Duvall said...

Great excerpt, Danita! Good luck with the new book!

Danita Cahill said...

Thanks, Karen! Glad you stopped in!

Melissa Keir said...

Great cover and excerpt! I have my hometown in my books because the place is in my heart. I can't escape it even though I haven't lived there for almost 20 years!

Best wishes!

Danita Cahill said...

Thanks Melissa! That's fun you put your hometown in your books. I'll have to check them out.

Danita Cahill said...

Paty's daughter, Christy designed the cover. She's very talented.

Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

A fictional home town that becomes real--as a fellow writer, I can really relate to that! Glad Bellham's citizens won't leave you alone!