About Rebecca York

NY Times & USA Today best-seller, Rebecca York, is the author of over 150 books. She has written paranormal romantic thrillers for Berkley and romantic thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue. Her new romantic-suspense series, Decorah Security, is set at a detective agency where agents have paranormal powers or work paranormal cases. She also writes an Off-World series where each story is a science fiction romance taking place on a distant planet in the far future.  View website

Saga of the Front Door–Modern Life

I don’t have to put a key in a lock to get into or turn on my car. This made me think that it would be nice to have the same feature with my front door. Of course, I would have to do SOMETHING, not just walk up to the door with a key in my purse, but I found out that I could have a keypad and just punch in a code to open the door. My lady handyperson brought us a new keypad lock and installed it.

So far so good. But that created two new annoyances. Right now, you have to punch in the code to lock the door from the outside. Not exactly a streamlined process. Hopefully, she can solve that problem; but meanwhile, another became apparent right away. The knob on the new lock stuck out too far for the storm door to close. To even close the front door from the inside, you had to reach out, push the storm door open, and quickly slam the door before the storm door closed as far as it can.

The handyperson ordered a new storm door, but the men who came to install it said it would have the same problem. Fortunately, there was a solution–moving the storm door frame farther out. “If you are going to do that,” I said, “then just fix the frame and I’ll use the old door.”

Would this work out? Yes, at least the two doors now close at the same time. We just have to figure out how to work the lock from outside without using the keypad.

On a less complicated note, my latest story is Out of Time, in the New Year’s Eve Shorts collection to be published on Christmas Eve–now on pre-order.

I had a fun time with my story about a man and woman who meet in a little room and fall in love. But there are serious impediments to their walking out the door together. it turns out that they stepped into the room from different time periods. How do they manage a HEA, or are they doomed to disappointment? Do you like time-travel stories? They’re a personal favorite of mine.

And here’s the beautiful Out of Time Cover that Michele Hauf did for me.

New Recipe and New Book Cover

Like most of you, we’re still at home riding out the current virus situation. I’m doing most of the cooking, including testing some new recipes. Here’s one Norman and I both liked. When you can come up with a salad a guy will enjoy as a main dish, it’s always a good day.

PEPPERONI SALAD

2 to 3 main dish servings

In my search for something new, I started putting this salad together and was delighted with the results. It’s hearty enough for a main dish. If you are making the salad in winter, it’s best with halved cherry or grape tomatoes. For the pepperoni, I used a package of thin slices and cut them into strips.

3 tablespoons good quality olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons sliced green onions or chives
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, optional
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup chopped fresh tomato (or halved cherry tomatoes)
3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup chopped pepperoni
4 cups sliced romaine leaves​

In a salad bowl, stir together olive oil, vinegar, and spices until well combined. Add all remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Serve at once or chill, covered, in the refrigerator for several hours before serving.​

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I’ve recently changed some of my book covers. Here’s the new cover of On Edge, the prequel to my Decorah Security Series. When I first started writing the series, Frank Decorah, the head of the agency wasn’t the focus of the books. But after a few books had come out, readers asked me about his story. I told it in On Edge, which explains why he’s so interested in paranormal cases and why he often has almost uncanny insights. It all started when he was at the Naval Medical Center recovering from a serious injury–and gets drawn into the other-worldly experience that leads into the relationship most important in his life. I keep On Edge perma-free so readers can easily get into the story.

CHRISTMAS 1935

How did I come up with my story in the Dear Santa boxed set? To explain, I have to back up to Race for the Gold, a book that I published as part of the Golden Legacy series. It’s about an enchanted inheritance passed down through the generations. Because I wanted to write about a family that desperately needed financial rescue, I set it during the Great Depression of the 1930’s in the area where I live–Howard County, Maryland.

My hero is the owner of a horse farm that’s going under. The heroine receives an inheritance and uses the money to rescue his business.

Because I enjoyed my research into the local area and the time period, I decided to write about another local 1930’s family in trouble. They live right down the road from the horse farm, and all the previous characters play a part in the story. This time I imagined a good man who gets arrested for a series of burglaries he didn’t commit. Now he’s in jail, and his family is trying to scrape by without him, under the stigma of his incarceration. The story starts with a tearful letter to Santa from one of his young sons, saying he doesn’t want any presents this year. He only wants his father out of jail before Christmas. Sophie, his older sister, the heroine of the story, reads the letter and chokes back tears. Desperate to bring in some money for her family, she gets a job as a kitchen helper on the now-affluent horse farm–and that leads to the plot of my novella in the Dear Santa anthology. The young farm manager is wary of her because she will be working closely with his mother, the family cook, and he worries she could be a crook like her dad. But gradually he realizes that she’s a totally honest person. He’s falling for her when she asks him to help her prove her father is innocent. Although he’s still not sure about the father, he agrees to help her–to prove the truth, one way or the other. This decision sends the two of them of on a reckless adventure one winter night. Of course, as the title of the book, Christmas Miracle 1935, suggests, it’s probably going to come out okay. But there are some rocky episodes before we get to the HEA.

The Good Old Days

The good old days were just last year–when we still felt safe getting on a plane to fly basically anywhere we wanted. Our last big trip inside the U.S. was to Portland, Maine, where we spent most of a week exploring the city and the surrounding area. Am I going to set a book there? Probably not because my changed worldview has made me think about using locations closer to home.

But back in the good old days, I loved traveling to new locations and exploring them–considering whether they’d make a good setting for a book. Some places are used over and over by authors: San Francisco, Las Vegas, Washington DC, New York. Another favorite location is New Orleans which I first visited maybe 40 years ago. Our friends recommended a charming B&B at the edge of the French Quarter. I loved it so much that I set one of my heroes there in an early romantic suspense novel, In Search of the Dove. Everybody talked about how terribly hot and humid it was in New Orleans in the summer. That was true, but it wasn’t any worse than Washington, DC, in the summer–where I grew up in the era without air-conditioning.

 

I’ve returned to Louisiana a number of times since, both in person and in my memories, for books I was writing. From New Orleans, I branched out into the bayou country for another romantic suspense, Bayou Moon. I wish I’d given it another title because, of course, I now use “moon” in the titles of my werewolf books. Recently, I’ve explored the bayou again–in Cursed, one of my Decorah Security books.

The story combines lots of elements I love–spooky swampy locations with snakes and alligators, a brooding old mansion, and a voodoo curse. It’s also got a very eccentric hero who hires a Decorah Security agent to help him figure out who is murdering people near his plantation and making it look like the killings were done by the claws of a large cat. As you might suspect from the cover, the hero is a shifter. But not a wolf, and someone in town is trying to drive him away. That’s unfortunate because the curse chains him to the bayou. What’s the motivation for the killer’s campaign of deceit? Who’s responsible? And why does female Decorah agent, Morgan Kirkland, start having dreams of long-ago lovers who were cruelly separated by fate? There are a lot of puzzles in the mix, all spiced up with Louisiana gumbo.