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Friday, January 23, 2015

Latest Release from Jane Leopold Quinn - The Real Deal - the second Birchwood Falls book

I've been fascinated by small towns for a few years.  Some of my books take place in a small town:  Home to Stay and The Keeper are two.  Now I've added the Birchwood Falls books to that short list. 

Birchwood Falls is a small Iowa town, idyllic and old-fashioned.  I even drew a map of the town.

As you can probably see, my drawing skills are rudimentary.  I don't even do a decent stick figure.  *=)) rolling on the floor  But it made taking my characters around town easier.  The center courthouse is a classic small town fixture.

The first book in the series was Lost and FoundHunky Marine Marc Rahn enlisted after his high school graduation to escape the pain of his parents’ fatal car wreck. Now on leave after eight years and multiple Middle East deployments, he returns to his small hometown to put to rest his suspicions that the “accident” might actually have been anything but.

What he doesn’t expect is an intriguing flash of a pierced nipple from a new neighbor on move-in day. The breast’s owner, Phoebe Barnes, is a beautiful young jazz singer who plans to make it big in the music business. Her early years in foster care made her hungry for attention and fame, and she’s out to achieve both at almost any cost.

Despite their differing paths, Marc and Phoebe quickly give in to the sizzling attraction between them. But will their passion turn deadly when the person who killed Marc’s family decides two murders might not have been enough?
I fell in love with Marc and Phoebe and was thrilled when Ellora's Cave accepted their story. 
The Real Deal is the second in the series.  Marc's best friend from high school needed a love story.  A run-away bride filled the bill.  When her fiancé is busted at a gentlemen’s club, Norah Ballard calls off the wedding. Shocked and humiliated, she takes the first train out of Chicago and ends up in a picturesque small town called Birchwood Falls.
Michael Banning spots the new woman in town and recognizes her from college. She’s even more gorgeous and sophisticated now. He’s no longer the nerd he was back then, and now that she’s on his turf, he’s going to touch and taste every sleek, beautiful inch of her. Whatever her reason is for being in his town, he’ll fulfill all her desires so she never wants to leave.

Norah doesn’t plan to let another man—no matter how sweet, smart and sexy—get close enough to hurt her again. But Mike’s passionate pursuit of her, the way he seems to know just how to arouse her, awakens a sexual hunger she didn’t know she had.
Here's a short excerpt from The Real Deal:

“…Falls, Ioway. Ten minutes.”

She jerked out of a surprisingly deep sleep at the conductor’s clipped announcement. It had been unusually quiet on the train, no babies crying, no kids racing up and down the aisles to disturb her. Amazed she’d slept the night through, she blinked her eyes out of a muzzy-headed stupor, not sure why the conductor’s call woke her this time. She yawned, stretched the kinks out and gazed out the window all the while taking deep breaths to quell the thumping of her heart from the sudden awakening. As a counterpoint to her emotions, the train puttered slowly along a rushing river, water leaping and sparkling in the morning sunshine. A glance across the aisle showed rocks and greening foliage on the side of a hill.

“Birchwood Falls comin’ up,” repeated the conductor.

She heard the rustling of clothing and thumps of suitcases hauled down from the overhead bins. Outside the window, now that they’d passed warehouses, the sun hit her full force and lit the town with an enchanted glow. Enchanted glow? Where did that come from? Nothing in her life was enchanted right now and it was supposed to be. Right this minute she should be enjoying married life. This was to have been her honeymoon and a month off work. She teared up at the memory of her beautiful expensive gown. What a waste. Again she realized she missed that more than the SOB groom. Brought roughly back to reality when the train came to a halt at the station, she glanced out the window, spotting a sign.

Birchwood Falls—You’ve Come Home.

A sign. An omen? The town literally glowed in the sun. Like Brigadoon. She’d recently seen a revival of the classic musical, the story of two hunters discovering the magical Scottish town as it materialized from the morning mist. Just as Birchwood Falls appeared to her, aglow and radiant in the sunrise. The beginning of a new day. A new life?

She froze in her seat for a moment staring at the sign. This town called to her. In a daze, she gathered her suitcase and jacket. Alighting from the train, she stepped out onto the wooden platform, bemused at not knowing what the future held. She watched as the train rumbled down the tracks leaving her in this strange place. Alone for the first time in her life, she had no plans, nowhere to go and nothing to do. She cracked a slight smile at her unexpected freedom. She’d have to find someplace to eat, then a place to stay.

Then cold hard reality hit her and she shivered abruptly with fear. She’d have to find a doctor and get tested for STDs. Garrett might have endangered her life. God forgive him, because she never would.
Last summer I went to the musical Brigadoon, something I'd wanted to do for decades.  When I was a little girl, my mother would play Broadway albums while she ironed.  I loved those shows and Brigadoon was my favorite of all time.  The story of a magical town appearing through the mist to "two weary hunters who lost their way" fascinated me.  And I loved singing along.  So to see a revival of this play at the Goodman Theater in Chicago was thrilling.  My husband said my knee jiggled throughout the whole show, and I know I was singing along silently, I hope silently, with every song. 

So when Norah saw a beautiful small river town outside the train windows, then the sign,
Birchwood Falls -- You've Come Home

I thought of Brigadoon.  And small town home. 

High energy Norah Ballard had the stuffing knocked out of her when her fiancé was caught drunk and disorderly at a strip club on the morning of their wedding.  Flee...  First train out of town...

Mike Banning, low key high school teacher, had just been wandering through life between school and his parents' bar, Ollie's.  Norah's appearance in his bar knocked the stuffing out of him

After her fiancé's betrayal, Norah couldn't have met a more down-to-earth, steady guy than Mike.  And "of all the gin joints" in the world, Mike couldn't believe his luck in having the gorgeous, sophisticated woman walk into his.

Lost and Found is available here: 
EC -


The Real Deal is available here:
EC -

Amazon -

My blog, listed below, has descriptions of all my books.  Feel free to browse.  *:-h wave
Jane Leopold Quinn
My Romance:  Love With a Scorching Sensuality
Amazon Author Page


E.Ayers said...

Can't wait to read this one, Jane. And I love your map. It's much better than any I've drawn.

Jane Leopold Quinn said...

Thanks, E. I actually loved making that map and naming the streets.

Rose Anderson said...

Love that map. I've always toyed with the idea of making one. I think it adds a really nice visual to the fantasy.

Jane Leopold Quinn said...

I wish there'd been a way to put it in the book. If you're going to invent a town, you should invent a map. ;-)