Find Your Way Home
Book 1 Small Town Dreams
April 26th, 2022
Find Your Way Home by Jackie Ashenden is an adversary to lovers’ story with a lot of adventure. Readers get to imagine the beautiful New Zealand setting with the blueness of the lakes, the white capped mountain peaks, the weather changes, and the small-town atmosphere.
“This the first in a series set in New Zealand. I wanted to do something connected to my Alaska series, Deep River.” Since New Zealand is ripe with small towns it made it easy to write a small town into the series. There is a small town in the South Island, an ex-mining town that I based the story on. The South Island has a lot of outdoor activities like bungee jumping and hiking, so the heroes must be outdoorsmen. I brought in some of my Deep River characters and connected them up.”
The plot has Isabella Montgomery, Bethany Grant, and Indigo Jameson hoping to open shop to help revitalize a remote town. Brightwater Valley, New Zealand, put out a call to its sister city of Deep River, Alaska, hoping to entice people to build homes and businesses in Brightwater to invigorate this ghost town.
Isabella (Izzy) decided to join the group after losing her job and being ditched by her fiancée. She wants to start over and embrace the adventurous spirit of the town unlike her former town of Houston, Texas. Chase Kelly is the defacto Mayor of the town. He is trying to raise a teenage daughter Gus by himself and make the town economically livable again. But he and Izzy seem to constantly butt heads as they try to find ways to bring in tourists.
Chase is a micro-organizer, managing everything, has a need for control and is very bossy yet is very caring and will do anything for those he loves. He tries to convince himself that he is not attracted to Izzy as he overanalyzes his feelings. Izzy on the other hand is determined to just follow her own lead and try not to please others. Chase and Izzy dance around each other and struggle to deal with ghosts in their past. But when they get together sparks fly as they realize they have more in common, including exes who never really cared about them.
“One ghost is talked about in the book That Deep River Feeling has Izzy’s brother, Zeke Montgomery, as the hero. Their father is the antagonist. Izzy was the peace maker between her father and brother. Her parents told her she had to be good, or they would disinherit her. Chase’s father went to the pub, after his wife died, and never left it. He has abandonment issues, having to be on his own and raising his little brother.”
“Another ghost are their exs. Both are weary of having a new relationship. They have certain assumptions and begin to realize those assumptions are wrong. Izzy sees in Chase someone who is protective, giving and caring whereas her ex was selfish, self-centered, and wanted only a trophy wife. Olivia, Chase’s ex always wanted her way and made him always justify himself, while Izzy listened to Chase’s feelings and took them into account. This is why I put in this quote to show how Izzy and Chase realized they accepted each other for who they are. The quote, “Love is acceptance. It doesn’t require you to do anything or be anything. It just requires that you be yourself.” New Zealanders are straight up people.”
This is a story of love and loss, acceptance, and new beginnings. The character banter is perfect as they snipe at each other until they realize they have a connection and are learning how to trust again.