The Heartbreaker of Echo Past ( Gold Valley book 12)
Confessions from the Quilting Circle
The Heartbreaker of Echo Past, coming out in June, and Confessions from the Quilting Circle, coming out in May, by Maisey Yates, are great reads. Both stories delve into family and how relationships, misunderstandings, secrets, communication, and love affect the dynamics. People must come to grips with their past.
The Heartbreaker of Echo Past is a novel where Yates has outdone herself, hitting a homerun. It is the story of Iris Daniels and how she has come into her own. After her parents died in a plane crash, she became the de facto mother to her sisters Rose and Pansy. Giving up her own dreams until the sisters were grown, she has felt unappreciated and not special. But after her younger sister Rose tried to set Iris up with a nerd, she decided to make a life for her own. Wanting to set up a bakery she must convince the building landlord, Griffin Chance, to lower the rent. To do this, Iris travels to find the mountain man landlord offering to cook and clean for him in exchange for a lower rent. After weeks of seeing each other, it becomes obvious that there is a connection. The bond that grows between them becomes a friendship that turns into a romance. Both share the grief of losing loved ones.
A bonus is the novella Solid Gold Cowboy that sees Gold Valley’s bartender, Laz Jenkins, getting his happy ever after. Laz has been in love, for years, with his best friend, Jordan, the coffee barista in the previous books of the series. After she becomes a runaway bride and accepts Laz’s invitation to stay with him sparks fly and both realize they were meant for each other.
Confessions from the Quilting Circle is based on Maisey’s own family. It has three sisters and their mother coming to grips with their grandmother who has just died. Each has lived most of their adult lives separate and apart from one another. Lark, the youngest, is an artist and someone who pretends to let issues roll off her; Hannah, is a concert violinist who is very sarcastic; the oldest Avery is the fixer but cannot fix her own marriage; and Mary, the sister’s mother, must come to grips with her abonnement by her mother, the girls’ grandmother. While cleaning out their late grandmother’s attic, they discover their grandmother’s fabric swatches. They decide to finish the guilt using those squares. Having turned the candy shop into a café, they meet weekly to sew the quilt, but also to share their secrets.
Both books delve into family loss, long buried secrets, and suppressed emotions. Readers will take the journey along with the characters.
Elise Cooper: Because Iris was such a beloved character did you feel any pressure in writing the story?
Maisey Yates: I wrote it before people wanted her story. By the time Logan and Rose’s story came out I received more email about her than any other character I have ever written. I must admit, I was a little worried that readers would like the storyline. I edited the first hero out because he was too blasé. I thought of this mysterious mountain man who was a loner. It was a very challenging book to write because both characters had very emotional issues.
EC: It had a lot of what you are known for, great banter, but it was more of an emotional story?
MY: I have written over hundred romances. I am trying to figure out how to do something a little different, while keeping the things that are essential to my romances. But with these characters, Iris and Griffin, the story just seemed to happen. Yes, it has a different kind of feel.
EC: How do you write the banter? The scene where Iris tells off her sisters is hilarious!
MY: Although I don’t have sisters, I am very close to my friends. After I met author Nicole Helm, I literally felt she was the sister I never had. We have so much in common. I do have a sibling and know how we can push each other.
EC: How would you describe Iris?
MY: Everything that she loves I love including knitting, baking, and British mystery shows. She is a nurturer, homemaker, introverted, but not innocent and fragile. She is strong, quietly determined, capable, and seems to fly under the radar. She feels second best, not appreciated, and does not feel special.
EC: How would you describe Griffin?
MY: Broken, a disaster, a very good man. Unlike many of my heroes he did not have a terrible childhood, but as an adult had this devastation. It stole all the hope from him. He can be intense, a hermit, and a loner.
EC: What about the relationship?
MY: Iris was the one who always took care of everybody, and now is looking for an adventure, not a boring man. They were right for each other. Both have grief and need to realize they must move on. They would never go back to who they were before. She is the complement to who Griffin has become. They understand each other and Iris is a good listener.
EC: There is a very powerful quote in the book, “The hardest part is when everybody else forgot. But we hadn’t.”
MY: Although other people’s lives change for a while, those that experience loss have their lives change forever. They must take the pieces of what is left and move forward. In the end, people go on with their lives. Many times, people do not know how to handle sadness. Right now, because my mom is in hospice, I am experiencing that rush of support. But eventually, everything will turn quiet, and that person is left with the sadness along with the reality of permanence that the person is never coming back.
EC: You wrote a novella Solid Gold Cowboy?
MY: I had Jordan Whitfield as the heroine. She was the background character in many of these books. I made up her fiancé Dylan. I wanted to give the bartender, Jax, his happily ever after. He knows everyone’s secrets and had to hear/see their drama. It is about time he had some happiness.
EC: The women’s fiction book, Confessions from the Quilting Circle, also deals with sadness?
MY: I based it on my mother’s mom. Her half-brother, George lost his father in Normandy during WWII. His mother, my grandmother, never got over her first love. Although she remarried, she told my mom she was never in love with her husband, my mom’s dad. As with the grandmother in the story, both were broken by the past.
EC: This is a good book for Mother’s Day?
MY: Yes, because of the relationship between mothers and daughters.
EC: Can you describe each sister?
MY: On the surface they are different, yet all the sisters are running away from their life. They were not able to share until now. The oldest, Avery, is organized, efficient, a homemaker, and a fixer. Hannah is a concert violinist, independent, and angry at times. Lark, the youngest, is an artist, a businesswoman, an optimist, and has a façade that issues can just roll over her.
EC: What about their mother, Mary?
MY: She is the most like one of my cowboy heroines. She was raised without a mother and found a man to accept who she is. She must face issues incrementally, handling mother abandonment while raising her own children. One of her daughter’s commented, “The same woman who was a wonderful grandmother for me…was the same woman who hurt my mother deeply and desperately.”
EC: A powerful quote is about victimhood?
MY: You are referring to this one, “I’m not a victim because I’m weak. I’m a victim because a person that I trusted very much took advantage of that trust.” Avery’s husband crosses the line. She thinks of him as two different people. She was vulnerable because she hung on to the idea of who she thought he was. He took advantage of her trust by selling her a bill of goods.
EC: What role does the quilt play?
MY: I love crafting although I knit, and do not quilt. The scope of their history is in the fabrics that they decided to make into a memory quilt. The women’s circle allowed them to speak freely and expose their secrets. The inspiration is how their history was women into the fabric of the book.
EC: Can you tell us about your next books?
MY: There is going to be a third book with authors Nicole Helm, Megan Crane, and Jackie Ashenden. It is about half-sisters who start a farm store on their grandfather’s ranch. It will be out in April 2022.
The last two books of the Daniels family are out later this year. The first one out in October is Cousin Jake’s story and is title Rodeo Christmas At Evergreen Ranch. Out in December will be cousin Colt and Mallory’s story. She is the siter of Griffin. It is titled True Cowboy of Sunset Ridge.
The women’s fiction titled The Miraculous Ruby Mckee will be out about this time next year. It is about an abandoned girl who looks for answers to her past.
I am also starting a new series out in 2022 titled “The Four Corners” that is a cross over with the “Copper Ridge” series.