Bobby Hutchinson, a best selling Harlequin writer decides to open a B&B in Vancouver, B.C. when sales of romance novels falter. Despite never having stayed in a B&B and knowing absolutely nothing about running one, she jumps right in. Strange people from nearby and halfway around the world arrive at her home with their stories and struggles, not to mention their baggage, psychological and otherwise.
Each chapter is peppered with a humor, a little tragedy and many life lessons (but mostly humor.) There are sure fire breakfast recipes guaranteed to turn out even if the cook is half asleep.'
In explaining why she opened a B&B, she says, "I was far too old for prostitution, the only other job I could think of which might net enough to pay the mortgage."
Excerpt from the book:
Divorce is the mother of invention. Of course necessity comes into it, but for me, divorce came first, which is why I decided, out of the fullness of my ignorance, to start a B&B.
I needed money, and how hard could it be? I’d raised three strapping sons, I knew how to scrub bathrooms, change sheets and make breakfasts Paul Bunyan would appreciate.
I was sixty one, twice divorced, loved people but hated leaving my home to come among them. I’d been single two years. My house in Vancouver had a respectable west side address, a terrifying mortgage due to buying out my ex, and three empty bedrooms upstairs.
My entire education consisted of a high school diploma from little old Sparwood High, located in a coal mining town in interior B.C., Canada. I’d married at eighteen, had a son at nineteen, and read my way through two more pregnancies and several libraries while trying to maintain sanity while raising three diabolically inventive sons whose sole mission in life seemed either to commit suicide on my watch or live past adolescence--in jail.
My only saleable talent was writing steamy romance novels. I was far too old for prostitution, the only other job I could think of which might net enough to pay the mortgage.
Writing earned me a fair living, but it was unpredictable. The urban myth about romance writers making mega bucks applies to those few exalted souls who make the best seller lists. There are others who commit slow suicide by turning out ten saleable properties a year, eating M & M’s from a desk drawer and sacrificing their health for thirty good pages a day. Their rule is, if you can’t write better, write faster.
Of course, there are a few amazingly gifted people—Nora Roberts comes to mind—who can write both fast and really well. It’s rumored Nora will turn out an entire page turner while waiting in line for take out Chinese.
Most of us are somewhere in between. We’re nail biting, coffee guzzling peons who glue our respective asses to the chair each morning and churn out five pages a day in between interruptions, probably earning less in a year than the check out girl at Safeway.
Why, people might say? We do it because we have to. Writing for us is like breathing—do it, or die. I’d done it successfully forty three times, and despite the impressive number of published books gracing my mantle, I was far from wealthy, albeit grateful to Harlequin for my not so steady income.
Writing fiction is hit and miss—one’s best, most brilliant ideas are often not what editors think will sell. Advance payments are always late. Most professional writers can finish a novel in the time it takes their publisher to send out the check originally meant to tide the starving writer through the creative process.
If we’re lucky, twice yearly royalties may pay the house taxes and the lawyer’s fees with enough left over to go to Puerto Vallarta to recuperate from divorce and deadlines.