The Making of…Lucky Harbor

I am a pop culture ‘ho. I inhale TV, People Magazine, and TMZ with equal joy. Same goes for movies. My favorite part of any DVD is always the special features, specifically the Making Of extra, and I like to create the same with my own books. So consider this the Making Of edition of my Lucky Harbor novels.
When I began brainstorming the sexy contemporary romance series about three sisters who get stuck running a dilapidated resort, I decided I was out of my mind. I don’t have sisters. I have a brother, and we like each other just fine.

For days I stared at a blank screen. Then at the dinner table one night, my three teenage heathens started bickering and fighting, and I just stared at them, both annoyed and … suddenly inspired. “Keep fighting,” I told them — much to their utter shock, since I’ve spent the past fifteen years begging them to get along.
Because suddenly it was a piece of cake to write the sisters. See, it turns out that they were estranged, and stuck together. Their claws were barely sheathed, with both resentment and affection vying for space, and … I was in writing heaven.

Especially when it came to finding the three sexy guys who would be the love interests. I’m a big romance reader as well an author, and for me, it’s always about the hero. It doesn’t matter what he looks like, or what he does for a living, or even who his family and friends are — it’s about his heart. 

It just so happened that about this same time, my neighbor was having an addition put on her house. For six glorious weeks, there were a bunch of guys hanging off the roof and the walls, in perfect line of sight of my office.

Which is really my deck. It’s a wonder I got any work done at all during that time. Seriously. I sat in the sun and wrote while in the background all these strong, good-looking sweaty guys hammered, and sawed, and in general, made my day.
On some days, they even took off their shirts. Those were my favorite days of all. 

Inspired, I needed a setting. I wanted the trio of books to be set in the Pacific Northwest, nestled between the ocean and the Olympic Mountains, I knew I was creating the fantasy for myself. Growing up in Los Angeles, in the land of the cement highways and year-round flip-flop wearing weather, I dreamed of a place where there were four seasons. Where I could boat in the summers and ski in the winter. Where I could go to the grocery store and run into people I knew.

What I didn’t realize is that I would start this series and then find out I had a lot more than three stories to tell. But back to the beginning. After I’d written the first book, my editor called me.

Jill, we need a great series title name that signifies small town, warmth, and humor

How about “Funny-Warm Small Town”?


Okay, okay. How about Moonlight Bay, Eagle Lake, Whisper Falls …

No offense, but you’re not very good at this.

How about You’re Lucky I’m Not Overly Sensitive Harbor?

You’re onto something. Lucky Harbor it is…

And so Lucky Harbor was born. I have written the series in groups of three so that readers never feel like they have to start at the beginning. They can jump right in wherever they please. This month’s release, ONCE IN A LIFETIME, is number nine. 

Can I admit that it’s one of my favorites? I know, don’t tell the others, but it’s true. Our hero, Ben Kincaid, has been delivered a few life blows that’s changed how he lets people in. As in he doesn’t let people in. And the heroine … well, she’s a reformed bad girl with a list of wrongs she’s trying to fix and failing spectacularly. And then there’s the fact that Ben is on that list and he doesn’t even know it. Oh how I enjoyed pitting these two love-resistant people together and watching the sparks fly in spite of themselves.

And though I’ve LOVED creating and writing the Lucky Harbor novels, all good things must come to an end. This summer there’s a brand new – and final – trilogy from Lucky Harbor, and I hope you won’t miss them:

The Lucky Harbor Series