Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I've got a special guest today. A writer from both the fiction and non-fiction spheres of the publishing world. She has a new release this week from The Wild Rose Press--That Girl's The One I Love. For those of you who attended TWRP's writers' retreat in Asheville last year, you'll recognize the location of this story.
Alana Lorens has been a published writer for over 35 years, including seven years as a reporter and editor at the South Dade News Leader in Homestead, Florida. Her list of publications includes the non-fiction book 101 Little Instructions for Surviving Your Divorce, published by Impact Publishers in 1999, stories in A Cup of Comfort for Divorced Women, in December 2008, and A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Parents, in June 2009. Her Clan Elves of the Bitterroot series (as Lyndi Alexander) is available from Dragonfly Publishing; THE ELF QUEEN in 2010 and THE ELF CHILD in March 2011, with THE ELF MAGE released in early 2012.

Her first release (as Alana Lorens) is SECRETS IN THE SAND, in the Crimson Rose line from The Wild Rose Press. Since then, the Wild Rose Press has also published CONVICTION OF THE HEART, another romantic suspense novel, the first in the Pittsburgh Lady Lawyers series, and Zumaya Publications published the second in that series, SECOND CHANCES.

Alana also takes care of a husband and a bunch of kids and blogs on a variety of subjects, including autism, science fiction and life at Awalkabout.

One side of the Biltmore Estate
I've asked Alana to tell us how she came up with the idea for this week's release. And for the location, as well.
Chef Kim
My daughter Kim took an internship as a pastry chef at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, (,_North_Carolina) several years ago after she finished her culinary arts degree, and so in visiting her, I got my first look at this beautiful city nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina. Subsequent visits have endeared the place to me, and that’s the reason I chose to set my latest novella, THAT GIRL’S THE ONE I LOVE, in that charming place.

Leyla Brand meets Arran Lake, when his band Copper Moon plays as part of the Bele Chere festival (, a great site for arts every July.  They spend a day together, even going to the Biltmore Estate for a meal at my daughter’s restaurant, The Stable, where they share a slice of her signature dessert, a strawberry and lemon custard pie! (It is sooooo good.)
Front View of the Biltmore Estate
View of mountains from the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC

I also spend an awful lot of time online, and discovered Facebook last year, later than most of those who follow all the latest trends. The ability to connect with long-lost friends and relatives interested me, and I also incorporated that into the story. The Internet has a broad reach, and every so often, it just might help the cause of true love, as well.


Leyla Brand has one perfect day in her life: the day she meets rock singer Arran Lake at the Bele Chere Festival in Asheville. They have so much in common, Leyla is sure they are soulmates and will have a future together.

The very next morning, when Arran receives the call to hit the big time, he vanishes into the world of California rock and roll to become an international star, leaving her behind. Only a few phone calls keep them in touch -- until his phone is disconnected. After that, all she has of him is every new song that hits the charts.

Five years later, she gets a message on the Internet from an unfamiliar address. Someone wants to know if she's the Leyla of Bele Chere. Should she open that door and discover who this might be? Who else could it be? And if it is Arran, why does he want to contact her now, after all this time? Will he just break her heart again?


He continued to stare at the flowers, lost now in some memory of the past, one that obviously hurt him. She changed the subject, wanting to lighten the mood again. “I like this one,” she said, pointing to a bright pink flower identified as oleander.

            “I’d make a different choice. That one’s poison.”

            She yanked her hand back. “Oh, my gosh!”

            He laughed. “Here. Now if this was my greenhouse, I’d give you...” He studied her a minute. “A string of white dendrobium orchids, like little butterflies. You could pin them in your hair, right here.” He reached over to tap her head gently, then his hand slid down her hair to her neck, while he looked into her eyes.

            She felt such a connection that almost without conscious thought she moved a little closer. His hand drew her in, till they stood inches apart, gaze still locked. Her lips parted, as if she intended to speak. Nothing came out. Before she knew it, he’d stepped in to kiss her. Right then she knew they wouldn’t leave each other till the morning.

            He seemed to feel the same way, because after they left the greenhouse at the estate, they went down to the Grove Arcade, looking in shop windows, then out to the botanical gardens, all the time holding hands and talking. If she could have predicted what a “soulmate” might be for her, someone who seemed to share so many common qualities, right down to their favorite peanut butter cup ice cream, she’d have chosen someone like Arran. A man who took no effort to be with. Someone she could really be herself with. No matter what she was wearing, or how her hair looked, or how much she earned.

            It was time.

            When they reached the end of the path at the rose garden, she whispered, close to his ear, “Why don’t you come home with me?”

            He drew back, his eyes narrowed. “Are you sure? You’ve just met me.”

            Another surprise. She’d always believed men were hardwired to say yes any time they were propositioned. Arran was indeed out of the ordinary.

            “I’m sure,” she said. “I’ve even got a couple of Danish in the refrigerator for breakfast. And coffee.”

            “Breakfast, hm?” He studied her a long moment. “Leyla, I don’t want you to think that because I sing in a band means I just use women. I’d never take advantage of you.”    

               Now, that could be one hell of a line. Maybe it was. But his eyes were so sincere. She didn’t want to frighten him off, not now. That kiss had promised much more. “Guess I don’t usually stalk guitarists and throw myself at them, either. Does that make us even?”

            He actually blushed. “Hey, I’m the one who asked you to lunch.” He held out his right hand. “Let’s call it a draw.”

            She took his hand and shook it. “Deal.”        

            He let go and slipped an arm around her waist, his hold on her possessive. She did the same. “Which way to your place?”



Nancy Jardine said...

Congratulations, Alana! I love how you got the ideas and the excerpt is very...nice! (Needed a little more though-you left it hanging)

LisaRayns said...

Very interesting post. Great excerpt and blurb!

Anonymous said...

Very nice! As we have an Upstate SC home and have visited Biltmore several times--heavenly at Christmas (pun):-)--and hope to visit again in the spring, we'll have to visit Kim's restaurant, see if we can meet her. Nothing better than a scrumptious dessert!
Thanks, Vonnie, for hosting Alana.

Alana Lorens said...

thank you--and I know that Candlelight is supposed to be the best and most beautiful of the year!

Angela Adams said...

Awesome pictures!