Jenna Clark always tried to bury her bleak beginnings in Montana's Bitterroot Valley, but a newfound secret about her father's identity forces Jenna to dig up her past. While there, mysterious threats and dangers suddenly enter her life that bring about an unexpected man of her dreams--Michael Callahan. After a lifetime of running away from family and love will Jenna find the courage to confront her past and step forward into the future?
Where did you get the idea/inspiration for your book?
I have known people, and in fact have some in my family, who have taken their own terrible story of their family of origin and completely turned it around to create a beautiful life for themselves, for those around them and for the lives of their future family. How does that happen? What kind of courage does it take to be an agent for change? I wanted to explore that question and honor those who have done it.
Where does the title for your book come from?
Jenna discovers her heart beats with courage—the courage to change her circumstances. The heartbeat that pulses throughout the novel—Jenna’s tenacity and her ability to reach for true love—is symbolized by the bitterroot flower and the secret heart it literally hides. The book is set in the valley of the same name.
What is your favorite book?
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. I love the vivid colors of her settings and the vibrance of her characters.
Do you have anything in common with your character, Jenna?
Yes, I love to run and to drink green smoothies!
What is the quality you most admire about Jenna?
Her perseverance and her fierce loyalty to her family. Wait--that’s two things!
Tell us about bitterroot flowers and if they have a role in your book
Jenna’s deep, bold courage is symbolized by the bitterroot flower itself. It appears small and delicate but it is an incredibly resilient flower that is native to this area. A little-known secret is, if you slice through its root near the top, you find—not kidding—a pink heart.
What are you working on now?
The second novel in the series. Who can you trust? Someone who on the surface may seem beautiful and appealing could turn out to be terrifying. Someone who at first seems fierce and intimidating may actually be hiding a kind and caring heart. How can you find out which is which? Another story set in Montana.