I am taking a break from m/m romance today and talking about my friend, Sheila Roberts’, new book, The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane. I truly call Sheila a friend, she’s been a mentor for me for a few years as I have worked on my own novels. I even got to meet her last year when she was in Kansas City for the Romantic Times reader’s convention in May.
The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane once again takes us to Icicle Falls, an idyllic town in the mountains of Washington State. This is the fourth or fifth book that take takes place there, part of Sheila’s life in Icicle Falls series. I was first introduced to the town and it’s inhabitants after reading Better than Chocolate. This story is also about the Sterling sisters and Bailey’s return to life in Icicle Falls after a horrible publicity stunt left her practically bankrupt in Los Angeles.
When Bailey returns, her and her sister Cecily, become interested in the same man for the different reasons. What is so wonderful about Sheila’s stories and writing is that Cecily and Bailey could be any two sisters, siblings, cousins, best friends, fighting over the same person. I think deep down inside we’re all looking for love and that’s what makes us so crazy in that dating stage. We’ve all been afraid someone was going to take our man. But the great thing about The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane is that it begs the question, so if someone did take your man, is he the one meant for me?
Another thing I love about The Life in Icicle Falls series is the wisdom provided by town author and Sterling family matriarch, Muriel Sterling. The theme with this book is starting over, which is why Bailey returns to Icicle Falls to begin with.
For writers: Every book I read, I always try to glean a lesson for my own writing. Sheila is the master of point of view, so if you’re trying to hone your POV skills, read Sheila’s books. She even wrote an m/f romance from the guy’s point of view, and did it beautifully. That’s what makes Tea Shop so good, you get to see the situation from everyone’s point of view and that creates tension and heightens the ebbs and flows of the plot.
I am a member of Sheila’s street team, so I received a copy of the book well before it was released. But I still have one question for Sheila, when are we going to see Muriel Sterling’s books available????