American Heartland is my latest romantic theme: a collection of books that celebrate all that is both good and true across our rugged and heroic land. Desiree is the new girl in town, a sleepy hamlet in Southern Indiana. Kyle Landon’s roots run long and deep in the rich land his ancestors settled. He’s a mystery writer, a collector of stories and a teller of tales, but he has a big problem. His eldest cousin, Trey, is the big man in town and his grandmother is actively matchmaking with Desiree’s father to get her and Trey together. Kyle befriends Desiree as the groom to her horses, but as he takes on spooky trail rides into the deep, dark woods and tells her folktales of love gone by, he draws her imagination into his orbit and weaves a romance both magic and tragic: of passion, of sin, of lust, of vengeance, and sometimes … death.
Life in the past was not as sanitized as our twenty-first century sensibilities. Wars, disease, injustice, and trauma mar the lives of those who’ve gone before. From the ancient Greek dramas to the murder ballads of the old American mountain folks, man has soared to heights of heroism while confronting the darkness in his heart. The age old quest for love is a tug of war between surface pleasures and societal niceties and the frightening passions that plunge deep like a vein of coal. The question is, which would you rather have? A sanitized Disney version of love with a superficial veneer of heroism or the monster that tips your heart in a tragic balance between heaven and hell?
Admittedly, my story is not that dark and it is a sweet romance taking place in the weeks leading up to the Fourth of July festival. But check it out. It’s on sale for 99c from August 14 to August 31. [Book Link]
Rachelle Ayala is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her foremost goal is to take readers on a shared emotional journey with her characters as they grow and become more true to themselves. Rachelle believes in the power of love to overcome obstacles and feels that everyone should find love as often as possible, especially if it’s within the pages of a book.
Her book, Knowing Vera, won the 2015 Angie Ovation Award, A Father for Christmas garnered a 2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award, Christmas Stray received a 2016 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award, and Playing for the Save got the 2017 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in Realistic Fiction.
She is also a writing teacher and founder of the Romance In A Month writing community. She lives in California with her husband and has three children and two birds.