Sisters

I write pretty short books, so there’s not always a lot of room for a supporting cast. Big families can get troublesome when you’re supposed to be focusing on the central romance. Because of that, my characters are sometimes only children, or they live away from their family, that sort of thing.

In my next book that’s coming out in March, the hero has 2 siblings (and yay – you get those stories in November

and next January) who both live far away. The heroine had a sister, but her sister died suddenly, leaving Avery to care for her baby niece.

Just because I “get rid of the family” doesn’t mean they aren’t important. And in many ways, LITTLE COWGIRL ON HIS DOORSTEP is very much about MY sisters.

My eldest sister Janet was the first person to give me the kick in the butt I needed to write my first manuscript. She always believed I could do it and told me that the years and rejections I put in was my form of “internship”.  The second book I ever sold starred a veterinarian (and so does my novella in May!) – just like my big sis.

This book is definitely a bit of a hat tip for the middle of us three, though (and we do have a brother, who is the oldest). My sis Janell has taken on a huge role in the care of my mom and stepdad this year. When someone needs driving to appointments or running errands, she’s on it. When my stepdad had surgery out of town this fall, it was Janell who went with my mom, stayed with her in bed and breakfasts that week, and made sure things were groovy. I half-joked that she was working on a fast track to sainthood. Her patience and compassion have been amazing. She is a far better daughter than I have been.

Over the holidays my family made the 5-hour trip and descended on her house for the better part of five days. We ate and played cards and she cooked a boatload of food for the potluck we held for our mom for her 80th birthday. I told her I felt like I’d been a total slacker and she’d done so much, and she laughed and told me she was thinking the same thing about me, so I guess we were even.

Anyway, the dedication and Dear Reader letters in this book are to my sisters, and I named the mini-heroine, baby Nell, after Janell.  As I say in the letter, I wonder if she will grow up to have the same twinkle in her eye and wicked sense of humour that my sister has?

 

 

Donna
Award-winning author Donna Alward has the best job in the world: a combination of stay-at-home mom and romance novelist. In 2001 she penned her first novel and found herself hooked on writing romance. In 2006 she sold her first manuscript, and now writes heartwarming Romances from her home in Nova Scotia, Canada. Donna loves to hear from readers; you can contact her through her website at www.donnaalward.com or through her publisher.

Twitter: @DonnaAlward

9 Comments

  1. Lovely post, Donna. You’re lucky to have such a great sister, especially one who inspires you to write.

    I’m lucky, too. My younger sister is my only sibling, but she’s wonderful and has accomplished some amazing things in her life. We’re very different–I’m the unconventional one, she’s the perfect one. She reads all my books but skips the spicy scenes. Now that our parents are gone, we’re all that’s left of our family, so we love and appreciate each other. Thanks for reminding me of her today.

  2. What a great tribute to your sister this post is Donna. You are very lucky to have a sister. I have four brothers and while they are great, there was lot I could have shared with a sister over the years. But, I am lucky I have to have a big sister in my oldest cousin Trish and a little sister in my youngest cousin Kelly. And then there are my BFF’s who I could not live without. So although my parents did not give me one of my own, I was lucky enough to be able to choose my ‘sisters’.
    Looking forward to reading this these books.. In fact I just started one of your books on my kindle this morning Hired by a Cowboy.

  3. Donna, I have three sisters and one brother. My sisters are all as different as daylight from dark. But we all manage to get along. Somehow. My oldest sister is pretty bossy though. She does keep us in line, although it’s my brother who has taken on the role of our mother who passed several years ago. He calls us all every few days to make sure we’re doing okay and tries his best to get us all together on occasion. I love them all and can’t imagine life without them.

    Congrats on the new release! It looks like a winner. Wishing you much success.

  4. Donna, what a wonderful tribute to your sister. I’m looking forward to reading the story. I can’t imagine life without my younger sister–or my older brother for that matter.

  5. Aw, I never had sisters and have two pretty awful brothers…so I’ve taken on my hubby’s sis as my own true sister and best friend. Congrats on the release, Donna! xo

  6. Loved reading about your sisters and will look forward to reading your books. What a wonderful tribute to family.

    I am the eldest of 7. Our two brothers are no longer with us. Three live fairly close to each other and see each other frequently. The other two are further away so we have to make do with phone calls. We are all so different and all so alike at the same time. Four of us have worked in schools as paras, secretaries and bus drivers. There are many ways our lives parallel each others, yet we are definately different. Mary can repair anything, Jackie is very giving, Melanie is the youngest and works with BD kids at school. Barb is crafty and I love to read!

  7. Great post Donna! I also have two sister’s one older and one about ten years younger then me. I had one brother between me and older sister but he passed away a few years back. Now my sister’s an I are pretty close but we don’t get together to often, but we have a ball when we do.

  8. Donna, go send your sister Janell some flowers, QUICK!!!

  9. I know this will be a good book. I have enjoyed every book of yours that I have read. Your cast of characters may be smaller, but those you have are well developed as are their relationships.

    My family situation is a bit similar to yours. I am the oldest of 6 and have two sisters, both sweethearts. Can’t say we always felt that way, but teen years are never easy. The middle sister is the only one living close to my dad and has been the one to look out for him, take him shopping, and make sure he gets to his doctor appointments. He still is pretty independent, but is 88 years old and not in the best of health. I have gone up for a week a few times when my sister has had to go out of town. That way someone is there if he needs something and she can enjoy her trip not having to worry or feel guilty.
    Some personalities are better suited for being the caregiver and of the three of us, she really is the best suited. I help as I can and she knows I am only a phone call and 15 hours away.

    Good luck with the release of LITTLE COWGIRL ON HIS DOORSTEP in March. I’ll be looking for it.

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