BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Taken With You Blog Tour: Giveaway & Guest Post by Shannon Stacey


Hailey Genest has seen most of her friends marry and have babies, and she’s happy for them, but it was a lot easier before she hit forty. She’s spent her entire life in Whitford, Maine, and if she hasn’t found her Prince Charming by now, she has to accept she’s probably not going to. When a new friend suggests they go on an adventure and embrace being single, Hailey agrees.

Surviving in the woods is game warden Matt Barnett’s idea of a relaxing vacation. But when he meets two women in need of help, he leads them back to safety – a task that proves more fun than expected, thanks to a certain hot blonde. He can’t resist pushing her buttons, even though she’s made it clear that the rugged, outdoorsy type just isn’t for her.

Hailey is glad to see the back of her tempting-tour-guide-slash-pain-in-the-ass. When he shows up in her life again, she’s determined to avoid him, no matter how good he looks in his uniform. But that’s easier said than done in Whitford, especially when he’s renting the house right next door…

Series: (Kowalski Family #8)
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication date: March 25th 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and riding her four-wheeler. From May to November, the Stacey family spends their weekends on their ATVs, making loads of muddy laundry to keep Shannon busy when she’s not at her computer. She prefers writing to laundry, however, and considers herself lucky she got to be an author when she grew up.

Find Shannon Online:


Right now, it seems as if one of the hottest trends in romance is New Adult. They feature characters ranging from eighteen to their mid-twenties or so, facing the issues that come with transitioning to independent adulthood, while also finding love.

So what do I write? A forty-year-old heroine. Hailey Genest, from Taken With You, is definitely not a new adult. She has a job, being the librarian for her hometown library, that she loves, and she owns a home.  The only thing she’s missing is a man to share her life with, but she’s not settling. She wants a man with a little sophistication and romance in his soul, and she hasn’t found him in Whitford, Maine.

I didn’t purposely set out to write a heroine who’s forty, even though I’m forty-one. Hailey started out as a secondary character, who went to school with others in the series, which set her age. As the years passed in the series, she grew older and, when Taken With You opens, she’s just celebrated her fortieth birthday.

It’s something of a challenge, having a character reach forty without having fallen in love. She’s had relationships in the past, and she’s certainly not a virgin, but none turned out to be what she wanted long-term.  She knows what she wants (or thinks she does) and she’s not accepting less. In the past, she’s considered moving to a more urban area in order to deepen her dating pool, but she can’t bring herself to leave her library or her home.

But her age isn’t a big deal in the story. That “you’re only as old as you feel” adage applies to fictional characters, too, and Hailey’s age is just a number. She’s a fun, vibrant and sexy woman who, yes, would like to find a husband and start a family, but she’s not losing sleep over it. Instead, she goes on a wilderness adventure with her new friend, Tori, meant to celebrate being single and free. Throw in a slow pace and a bad sense of direction, and Hailey meets Matt Barnett, who most definitely is not somebody she’d ever date. Or so she thinks.

One of my favorite romances from my books is a secondary romance in Yours To Keep, the third book in the Kowalski series. The heroine’s grandmother and the owner of the town’s hardware store (a grandfather himself) find a second chance at love with each other, and I enjoyed writing their path to a happily ever after they didn’t expect to find.

I think my youngest hero and heroine were in their mid-twenties, and Hailey is probably the oldest heroine (she’s a little older than her hero), but I don’t set out to write a character of a certain age. Their ages are more or less defined by where they are in their lives, and for me, they usually average out to mid-thirties.

What age appeals to you in a romance novel? Are you drawn to characters finding their way in life and finding love along the way, or perhaps to characters who’ve built lives and know who they are, but haven’t found that somebody special yet?

Thank you for inviting me to visit, and happy reading!



Tour wide giveaway Open to US and Canada

1 Print copy of Taken with You, Bookmark (Taken With You), and Moose print on a vintage dictionary

 a Rafflecopter giveaway
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  1. I don't pay much attention to the characters' ages when I buy a book. But I'm not on the NA bandwagon, I do like the characters to have some life experience.

  2. I'm not on the NA bandwagon either. I find as I get older that I want characters closer to my age so 30s, 40s, and 50s.

  3. Nice post, Shannon! The older I get, the more I like to see a more mature heroine. I'm not much of a NA/YA reader myself, so I prefer the hero and heroine to have been out on their own for awhile.

  4. As someone in their mid-forties, I would like to say thanks for this post and yes, there is a market there for heroines 40 + :)

  5. I'm 35, so reading a book with characters my age or older finding love, is something I try to look for. Not many authors seem to write older characters (even finding a heroine over 30 seems hard), so I really appreciate seeing this. I like to believe that love can happen at any age, and read about it.

  6. I'm always happy to read about heroines "of a certain age", especially since reaching my 40s and now 50. When I was younger, I thought of 50 as old; now I realize it isn't old at all! I still have so many things I want to do and experience. I'm very happily married and after almost 25 years, I can't imagine loving anyone but my husband. But If I had reached this point single, or been widowed or divorced when much younger, I would certainly be hoping to find someone wonderful to love.


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I enjoy hearing from my readers. Let's talk!