The Path by Tawdra Kandle
Abby Donavan came to the small beach community of Crystal Cove to start over. After a painful affair broke her heart and derailed her burgeoning career, taking over management for the just-opened bed-and-breakfast was the safe choice. In this sleepy town, Abby figured she could bury her memories and forget the pain.
When the chance to have her own hotel falls into her lap, though, she can’t resist the temptation. Making the old Riverside Inn into the showplace she’s always dreamed of running offers the second chance she never expected.
Abby didn’t expect another kind of second chance to land on her doorstep at the same time. Ryland Kent wants to help her bring the Riverside back to life, and his passion for restoration is irresistible. But as much as she wants to ignore it, she can’t help seeing another spark in his eyes . . . one that offers to reignite her own flame.
Sometimes the path to a happily-ever-after is anything but smooth.
Location, Location, Location
Writing a book is a process that never ceases to fascinate me. How real my characters become to me . . . how important their loves and lives . . . it’s just intriguing.
Even more interesting to me is the fact that their homes and towns become part of my world knowledge. I could draw you a map of the fictional Birch College in South Jersey. I can tell you all about the apartment complex where , Ava and Liam all live at one point or another. I can lead you to all the landmarks in King, Florida. And Harper’s Creek, the home base of Carruthers Institute Initiative, is nearly as familiar to me as my own home.
But my favorite spot, my all-time most detailed setting, is Crystal Cove, Florida.
I based Crystal Cove on the small town on New Smyrna Beach. It’s a place that I enjoy as a visitor. Breakers, the burger joint on the beach there, was a jumping-off point for the creation of the Riptide, Jude’s family restaurant. Matt Spencer’s shop also has a real-life counterpart.
Nearest and dearest to my heart are two lodging establishments: The Hawthorne House Bed and Breakfast and the Riverside Hotel. I hadn’t intended to include a B&B in Crystal Cove, but as I was in the midst of writing The Posse, a pretty yellow house was being refurbished to open as a bed and breakfast. I knew that was something Logan and his late best friend Daniel would’ve loved. It seemed the perfect project for Logan and Jude to complete together.
This past spring, as I was finishing The Plan, my husband and I had the chance to stay a night in New Smyrna at the quaint Riverview Hotel. That was when I realized what was going to happen with Abby: she needed a new place to manage, and I could just see Jude deciding to renovate an old hotel. While the Riverside in The Path isn’t exactly like its real-life hotel, the location was definitely an inspiration.
However, as late as this summer I’d yet to stay at the Inn on the Avenue, the B&B that had inspired The Hawthorne House. I’d never seen the interior. When we planned a wine date with friends in NSB, I decided to see if the Inn had room for us. They did.
Walking into a place you’ve seen in your mind for so long can be a little unsettling. There was a great deal about the Inn that was different from the Hawthorne House. I had the uneasy sense that I was in a house I’d known intimately . . . before it was changed. The sensation was a little dream-like.
I’d worried that seeing the B&B might change my vision of The Hawthorne House, but happily, that’s not been the case. My imagination, as it turns out, is stronger than reality.
I guess that might be why I’m a writer.
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