One runs from …
Inheriting his grandfather’s property on the rocky point in Serenity Harbor, Maine is the perfect escape from the biggest professional disaster of Grayson’s life. Will distance and space help Gray heal old family and professional wounds enough to open his heart to love?
One runs toward …
Lauralee struggles to save the family art gallery as she watches her aunt succumb to Alzheimer’s. Returning to Serenity Harbor is payment for the kindness that saved her life and soul. Now she’s on a quest to find her father. Will this trip home help her learn to trust and finally convince Lee she can truly belong for the first time in her life?
This week Wild Women Authors is pleased to have Delsora Lowe, author of The Legacy of Parkers Point, part of the Welcome to Serenity Harbor anthology. With her is, attorney turned restauranteur, Grayson Mann who's up first.
Where are you from, Gray? New York City
Tell us a bit about The Legacy of Parkers Point. Parkers Point has been in my family for generations A few years ago, my childhood buddy, Luke, and I decided we’d both had enough of the City. For reasons I won’t go into, I wanted to get the hell out of Dodge. Much to the displeasure of the rest of my family, I inherited my grandfather’s property. What better place to start a new life. Luke’s a jazz pianist and I’m a reformed attorney. We opened a restaurant, and the rest is history. That is until Lee Adler strolled into the Starlight Grille one evening. Despite my wish to get on with my life as if the past never happened, Lee made me face the pain and humiliation that followed me to Serenity Harbor, Maine, and learn from it. She rescued me. I guess you could say, I did the same for her.
What did you think the first time you saw Lauralee Adler? I begin my story a few weeks after I first met Lee. For some reason, after only a few nights of having her sitting at my bar and indulging in an appetizer and sometimes a drink, I looked forward to her company. I have no clue why. Mostly, she is quiet, but the feel of her voice courses through me when she does speak up. She is intelligent and funny. And yeah, the red hair and the curvy body was the first thing that attracted my attention. And the funky clothes wears—those definitely caught my attention. I finally figured out she uses them to try to hide her curves and keep her distance. I want to find out why.
Intriguing. What was your second thought? It was the sadness emanating from her that brought out my need to care for Lee. No—maybe not the right word. She’d bristle if anyone tried to care for her. I itched to bring her out of her self-imposed shell and find out what lay beneath the surface. Lee—okay, so she hates it when I call her that, but to me it fits—moved to town a month ago to take over her aunt’s art gallery. Even when she acts annoyed, I see the momentary light shine from those cinnamon eyes when I call her Lee. She’s not all that comfortable with people, so once the bar and restaurant starts to fill up, she’s out of here like a spooked doe. That’s when I concocted a way to get her to hang out longer—by appointing her my taste tester for new cocktails and menu offerings. She’s got that intuitive creative flair that she seems embarrassed to show when she critiques my food and drink. I’m making it my mission to keep her coming back--so I can find out what the hell she’s all about.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? No way. I don’t do love.
What do you like most about Lee? Her innocence and worldliness all rolled into one. Makes me want to dig deeper. Lee intrigues me the way most women don’t. I’ve always been a keep-it-at-the-surface-level kind of guy.
How would you describe her? Wary. That’s the first thing I noticed about her. Oh yeah, did I mention the red hair and curves. The more she comes into our restaurant, the more I realize she’s got a soul that’s deeper than anything I can imagine. Either she’s hiding something, or she’s dealing with some sort of personal pain. She hates her curves. What’s with that? Evidently, people have hurt her along the way. She’s loyal to her aunt. Why else would she work her ass off to fix up the gallery and bring it back to its glory days? I can see all the hard work ahead of her is worrying her, so I offer to help. She discourages me at every turn. One day, while she worked in the gallery I unpacked boxes of her paintings. I can tell they are not her aunts. Dark, gloomy, scary, but vivid. She was pissed I found them. She hides her talent and the pain that comes across in her work.
How would she describe you? For the most part Lauralee would say I’m cocky, trying to save her when she doesn’t want me to, and sometimes overbearing. But I know Lee feels the attraction between us. My gut says she doesn’t believe she deserves to pursue a relationship with friends or lovers. So yeah, she also thinks I’m stubborn since I know she deserves to have both. I’m in her face about it constantly—she says it’s rescue mode and she hates that about me.
What made you choose the hospitality business for a career? Owning a restaurant? I never dreamed I would do this. I wanted to go to business school, but I come from a family of attorneys and judges. Law is supposed to be in my blood. I hated every minute of being an attorney. And when I blew the case of a lifetime—even worse than you think, but that’s my little secret—I needed a total change. Luke talked me into trying the hospitality route. He wanted out of the city limelight so he could concentrate on his music, and not on being a star. What better idea than opening a piano bar in a sleepy coastal Maine town that turns into a bustling vacation attraction for the elite every summer.
What is your biggest fear? Failure. Pure and simple. In my family failure is not an option.
How do you relax? Grilling steaks on my deck overlooking the churning Atlantic, sipping a Maine Brew. That’s as good as it gets when I’m busy hustling customers pretty much 24/7 during the summer. And listening to music always takes me into another dimension. Living on the coast, I’ve actually had time every once in a while to hike or kayak, but not often enough. In the city—I did none of this—unless you calling riding the subway sport.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Tom Sawyer. He had the guts to head out into the big, bad world. Okay—so he ran away from overbearing relatives. Potato, po-taaah-toe.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Be true to yourself. Too bad I didn’t take my grandfather’s advice to heart until it was almost too late. He never did get to see me follow my own course. But his inheritance gave me the opportunity to finally do so. I hope I did you proud.
Thanks for all this, Gray. Now it's Delsora's turn.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? All things romance—I watch or read my favorites over and over and over, while I try to deconstruct them. I’ve always been a happily-ever-after kind of person. Working in rape crisis and other non-profits has made me want to block out the sometimes ugly world and bask in the fantasy of good always wins out. So I steer away from movies and books that make me cry. Yes, I do cry in romances, but in the end, I know those tears will turn to happy ones.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I can’t think of a single event. I grew up in a big city, with the relentless hustle and bustle. I lived in many countries—my dad was in the foreign service. My stories always gravitate to small town living. Between moving to Maine where I raised my children and spending my childhood summers in the Adirondacks or at my grandmother’s in rural New York, I think I was destined to be a small town gal. Don’t get me wrong, I love big cities and all the craziness and cultural opportunities, but I always want to come back to Maine, my home, even though I wasn’t born here.
Tell us how the anthology came about. Last summer, on the deck of one of my writer friends, as a bunch of us sipped wine and feasted on pot luck after a day of writing and brainstorming, the idea was floated by the host to write an anthology. Within an hour, we had created a fictional coastal Maine town, a list of potential town names and businesses, and filled it with potential characters. Fifteen months later we have lift-off with nine authors in Welcome to Serenity Harbor (and several others already lined up for book two in the Serenity Harbor: A Pine Tree State of Mind series). I stupidly volunteered to work on the production management team—best thing I’ve ever done! I learned pubbing from soup to nuts. And…I’ve already started the next novella, featuring Luke, Gray’s best friend.
What project[s] are you working on now? As well as Luke’s story, I’m working on a fun and flirty trilogy about three female small business owners in Galway Cove, a fictional town not far from Serenity Harbor.
What's up next for you? Scary stuff, I say with a smile. I decided to retire and launch into the world all the books I’ve written over the last twelve years. Well, maybe not all of them (at least until they get a total rewrite, and some will never resurface again). First up will be self-publishing my four completed books in The Cowboys of Mineral Springs series. I did receive the call for the first one, The Prince’s Son, which received several awards including first place in the 2014 New Jersey Put Your Heart in a Book contest. After much agonizing, because I really respect and had heard wonderful things about the editor, I decided to self-publish, now that I have time. The second book, The Rancher Needs a Wife, was a finalist in the same NJ contest in 2013 and won final awards in both the 2013 Golden Claddagh contest and the 2012 Golden Rose contest. Then I need to edit number five and finish number six in the series. So busy times ahead!
To learn more about Delsora Lowe, go to:
To purchase Welcome to Serenity Harbor, you can go to [for both the ebook and print edition] Amazon, Kobo, BN, iBooks.
Here's an excerpt from The Legacy of Parkers Point:
Grayson Mann wiped down the bar, his arm sweeping over the smooth black wood, to bring up the shine. He glanced toward the bank of windows knee-high to ceiling across the front of the intimate restaurant. Layer upon layer of sheer curtains on the bottom half gave the room a shimmery, under-water appearance in daylight and cocooned customers at night. The top half, festooned with white twinkle lights, cast sparkles of light during the day and at night mimicked starlight.
Dusk had long been his favorite time of the day. On an early fall Friday afternoon, it was his respite between the languid hush of late lunches, easing him into happy hour when locals’ laughter bounced off celery-colored walls. The quiet settled him, between the times when his thoughts wandered to places they shouldn’t and moving into the rote activity of bartender. Soon he’d slam out drinks while picking up shards of conversations piercing his brain with details of his customer’s lives he wanted little to do with.
The wide slab of wood running the length of the back-end of the restaurant served as his personal protective force. Bartender against the world.
Unless she wandered in before he got too busy to pay attention. The one person who made him want to listen and talk and care. After only two weeks.