Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than fifty novels, including Hope Harbor, Sea Rose Lane, Sandpiper Cove, Pelican Point, Driftwood Bay, and Starfish Pier, as well as Point of Danger and the Code of Honor, Private Justice, and her Men of Valor Series. Her books have been honored with three coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, and she is a member of that organization’s elite Hall of Fame. Her many other awards include National Readers’ Choice, Daphne du Maurier, Retailers’ Choice, Booksellers’ Best, Carol Award, and Reviewers’ Choice. She is also a two-time Christy Award finalist.
In 2015, Irene introduced readers to the small coastal town of Hope Harbor, Oregon in her beloved Hope Harbor Series. Now, seven books later, Hannon continues to weave captivating stories based in this seaside community with her newest Hope Harbor novel, Blackberry Beach.
FF: Can you please provide a brief description of your new Hope Harbor Series book, Blackberry Beach?
Blackberry Beach is the story of a woman who’s pursued a dream with single-minded determination—only to discover that the dream may not, in fact, be her heart’s desire. It also features a man who lived someone else’s dream until he walked away from worldly success to follow his true destiny. The story is about discovering what really matters and having the courage to change course midstream, no matter the obstacles.
FF: The secondary storyline focuses on an older couple who seem mismatched initially but who discover it can be a mistake to judge a book by its cover. Why did you include an older romance?
Because the heart doesn’t age, and we can fall in love at any stage of life. I think it’s important to show that love can transform a life, no matter how old we are. Romance isn’t only for the young!
FF: Katherine Parker, the female protagonist, is on the cusp of having everything she ever wanted—fame, money, and acclaim. Yet, she is still feeling unfulfilled. What lesson can we learn from Katherine’s life?
That it’s important to recognize success comes with a price, and to be absolutely certain that price is worth paying. Also that it’s important to keep our priorities straight and figure out what really matters in life. At the end of the day, it’s not awards on the wall or money in the bank or a corner office that give our life meaning. It’s the people we love—and who love us. Love is what makes life worth living.
FF: Although each of your Hope Harbor Series novels introduces new characters, there are also some people who continue to make an appearance in each of your books. Can you please tell readers how these charming characters make a difference within their community?
Everyone’s favorite secondary character in the Hope Harbor books is Charley Lopez, the resident taco chef and renowned artist, who dispenses wisdom from his stand on the wharf. Charley has received more reader comments than all of the other characters in my 50+ books combined. His kindness and empathy are legendary, and he’s often the glue that holds characters together in their time of need. Floyd and Gladys, my seagull couple, always provide a touch of humor. Readers love them. So much so that they now appear on the cover of every book. And my two bantering clerics, Father Murphy and Reverend Baker, not only dispense wisdom but have a friendly rivalry that’s always a stitch. I love showcasing these two best-friend church leaders from different denominations because it allows me to illustrate how we can live in harmony despite differences in tradition, ritual, or certain dogma points—because in the end we’re all brothers and sisters in Christ.
FF: The theme for your Hope Harbor books is “Where hearts heal . . . and love blooms.” Can readers always expect a “happy ever after” in each of your Hope Harbor novels?
Absolutely. I won’t write a book without a happy ending. I want people to finish my books uplifted, encouraged, and reassured that no matter the challenges we face, anything is possible—including happy endings.
FF: You first started writing books based in Hope Harbor, Oregon, in 2015. What was your inspiration for these books?
I wanted to create a charming small town that would give readers a feeling of “coming home.” While each story can be read as a standalone, readers who follow the series will find a beloved cast of secondary characters who appear in every book and who provide a sense of community and a true small-town feel. Based on reader response after the first six books, I think I’ve succeeded in creating a town Publishers Weekly calls “a place of emotional restoration that readers will yearn to visit.”
FF: Before you began writing this series, you researched the Pacific Northwest. Can you please tell us what you learned from your research?
While traveling the Oregon Coast from top to bottom during my research trip, I saw and learned many things that made their way into my fictional town, from the amazing cinnamon rolls at Sweet Dreams bakery to seagull romance to fantastic tide pools. I also absorbed the ambiance of the coast and soaked up the scenery. There’s nothing like in-person research to give you a true feel for the sights and sounds and smells of a location. That kind of firsthand experience makes it much easier to bring a place to life on the page.
FF: What are you working on next?
Book 2 in my Triple Threat Series, which features three sisters in truth-seeking professions that put them in the line of fire, will be out in October 2021. In spring 2022, I’ll return to Hope Harbor with Book 8 in the series.
FF: How can readers connect with you?
General information about my books and background can be found on my website at www.irenehannon.com. I’m also active on social media. While I do post on Twitter and Instagram, Facebook is my favorite place to hang out. I love to chat with readers there!
Katherine Parker is on the cusp of having everything she ever wanted–fame, money, and acclaim. So why isn’t she happy? In search of answers, she comes incognito to Hope Harbor on the Oregon coast for some R&R. Maybe in her secluded rental house overlooking the serene Pacific she’ll be able to calm the storm inside.
Coffee shop owner Zach Garrett has found his niche after a traumatic loss–and he has no plans to change the life he’s created. Nor does he want to get involved with his reticent new neighbor, whose past is shrouded in mystery. He’s had enough drama to last a lifetime. But when Katherine and Zach are recruited to help rehab a home for foster children, sparks fly. And as their lives begin to intersect, might they find more common ground than they expected . . . and discover that, with love, all things are possible?
Bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon invites you to come home to Hope Harbor–where hearts heal . . . and love blooms.
Hope Harbor #7
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Release Date: April 6, 2021
ISBN-10 : 080073615X
ISBN-13 : 978-0800736156
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