The Rose Arbor/ Rose Harbor Connection

A few years ago I wrote a young adult novel that I really loved. I had every intention of making it into a trilogy. I loved my idea, loved the concept, but the problem was every time I sat down to write the second book I lost my enthusiasm. I didn’t want to write young adult fiction. Don’t get me wrong, I love teenagers. I have lived in what I call a house of hormones for more than fifteen years, meaning that I’ve parented teenagers for more than fifteen years.

And what have I learned?

I’m not hip.

I don’t want to be hip and I don’t want to try and be hip. Oh sure, I sometimes wear my daughter’s clothes, but that’s strictly a vanity thing, or a laundry thing. So, I was in a quandary. Since this was before I had decided to self-publish, I thought I had to brand myself as genre specific author and I knew I didn’t want to write Romance, Mystery, Fantasy, Young Adult or Literary. What to do? I knew I wanted to write and that’s about all I knew. So I did what all Mormons have been taught to do.

I went to the temple fasting (want to know more about this? You can read about it in the Bible) while there I got the distinct impression I needed to write like Debbie Macomber. A very clear answer to my prayer, but I wasn’t very happy.

I’ve heard Debbie Macomber speak twice. She’s an amazing, inspiring speaker, but I hadn’t read one of her bazillion books since high school. Debbie was one of the Harlequin authors that my mother read. Before my mother’s death when I was fifteen, she kept a large box of romance novels beside her bed and she didn’t know it, but I read all the books in that box, including Debbie Macomber’s. I hadn’t picked up a Debbie Macomber novel in years, but on my way home from the temple I stopped by Walmart and picked up two of her books. After reading them I decided that maybe God really had heard and answered my prayer.

So, like Debbie Macomber’s Blossom Street or Cedar Cover series, I created a small Pacific Northwestern  series that I patterned after my own home town of Arlington, Washington. I named my series and the town Rose Arbor. Although my contemporary character Bette in STEALING MERCY (published July 2011) lived in Rose Arbor, my first official Rose Arbor book is A GHOST OF A SECOND CHANCE (published March 2012) because the bulk of STEALING MERCY takes place in 1889 Seattle, about 30 years before the town of Rose Arbor, AKA Arlington, was established. While I was drafting A GHOST OF A SECOND CHANCE I was simultaneously rewriting a novel I began in 2004, THE RHYME’S LIBRARY, my soon to be second Rose Arbor book. I threw in some of my Rose Arbor characters and life was good. I began drafting my third Rose Arbor novel LOSING PENNY shortly after I published A GHOST OF A SECOND CHANCE and I loved it because I got to reform bad boyfriend Drake. And since THE RHYME’S LIBRARY has a sequel, Love at the Apple Blossom, I have five finished or nearly finished Rose Arbor books.

a ghost copy (2)the rhyme's librarylosing penny

And writing-wise, everything was beyond peachy until I read the Debbie Macomber newsletter announcing her new Rose Harbor series. Her first Rose Harbor book was published August, 2012. The difference in our series titles is one letter. Literally shaking, I called my husband with the devastating news.

Well, it’s not like her stories take place in a small Washington town, he said.

Oh, but they do. They do, I told him.

The thought of rewriting and making new covers for my books overwhelmed me so I didn’t to do it. If I hadn’t so far along in my series I would have, but my simple goal became to have three Rose Arbor books published before Debbie Macomber had even published one. I decided that she since she was 1. a nice person 2. a really big fish 3. and I was such a tiny fish that she probably wouldn’t care.

So, what happened? My teenage daughter stumbled across my teenage book, Beyond the Fortuneteller’s Tent and she loved it. This boosted my confidence and reaffirmed my belief that I don’t have to try and be hip to write young adult books. (I now have four—almost five, including the three award winning Beyond books, and Witch Ways, a Kindle Scout winner that will be released tomorrow.)

beyond the tent new(1) Beyond the Fortuneteller’ Tent, a I Heart Indies Finalist

Witch Ways copy (1) get your copy here A Kindle Scout winner, now available for pre-order, released tomorrow.

Why do I think that my writing prayer answered the way it was? I really believe it was my Heavenly Father’s way of saying, I know you. I’m listening. And look, here’s a miracle to show you that I’m paying attention.

The fourth Rose Arbor book (all of the books can be read independently) Love at the Apple Blossom Inn, is free.

apple blossum in copy

Writer friends, if you have a free book, please list it here with your buy links.


About Kristy Tate

USA Today bestselling author Kristy Tate has come a long way from small-town Washington. Her avid curiosity and love of reading have carried her to thirty plus countries. (She loves to travel to the places she reads and writes about.) She's the author of more than twenty books, including the bestselling and award-winning Beyond Series and the Kindle Scout winning Witch Ways series. She writes mysteries with romance, humorous romance, light-hearted young adult romance, and urban fantasy. When she's not reading, writing, or traveling, she can be found playing games with her family, hiking with her dogs, or watching movies while eating brownies. She is also a popular public speaker and presents writing workshops for schools, libraries, and fundraisers. All proceeds donated to charity. References available upon request.
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15 Responses to The Rose Arbor/ Rose Harbor Connection

  1. jamesdibenedetto says:

    Thanks for this opportunity! The first book of my Dream Series, DREAM STUDENT, is free on Kindle –

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Carol says:

    That’s scary when you realize your books are similar to another author’s or the title is similar. No one story is alike, and no one writes like you. Congratulations on your books and your new release tomorrow. Wishing you tons of sales!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. MRS N, the Author says:

    I loved hearing about your journey to writing and publishing the Rose Arbor series, Kristy. Isn’t it funny how God works? I remember vividly the spark that launched my Princess of the Light series. I encountered a homeless man back in 2012 and my heart went out to him. I wanted to help him but felt that I couldn’t. I’m just one person. I silently prayed, “Lord, please help me find a way to help him.”

    He responded, “I gave you the gift of writing for such a purpose.”

    The rest of the day I thought about it and about the homeless man. What if I had the power to help him? What if I could bring him Light and destroy the Darkness within him? That afternoon I started writing Princess of the Light.

    Next month is the one year publishing anniversary of Princess of the Light. The best part is that through my writing and blogging, people are donating and helping Spread the Light to men, women and children like the homeless man I met on that fateful day. 🙂

    Kristy, your series sounds delightful and I can’t wait to read it. I have Witch Ways already on my Kindle waiting to be read. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Here’s to your increasing hipness, Kristy! 🙂

    The first book in my epic fiction series, The Movement of Crowns, is free on all ebook platforms, including at Amazon.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I LOVE the cover to Beyond The Fortunetellers’ Tent…but then I’m kind of partial to castles which would explain why I write medieval and time travel romances.

    Thanks for the opportunity to give a shout out to my freebie and my debut novel from last year. If My Heart Could See You is one of my Amazon bestsellers!

    Buy links:

    Barnes & Noble:


    Liked by 2 people

  6. Kristy Tate says:

    Thanks for all your comments! I love hearing from you

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Since we’re talking about authors of Main Street, I have a mystery titled “Main Street Murder” that you might want to check out. It’s number 2 in my Jake and Emma Mystery series.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Iris B says:

    Thanks for the opportunity Kristy.

    My free book is set in Australia … and is about football player Tyson Gaspaldi. Here’s the link:

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Joan Reeves says:

    What a journey, Kristy. I always find authors’ stories fascinating. Good luck with the Rose Arbor series and your other books.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. susanrhughes says:

    Kristy, you are a talented author and the young adult genre is perfect for you. Better that you aren’t hip – you can relate to all the teens who feel the same way. It’s what makes Evie come across as a real teenager with regular worries about fitting in (along with discovering she might be a witch).


  11. E. Ayers says:

    Kristy, I love your books. Rhymes Library was the first one I ever read. A super read! And so are all the others. I don’t think you are anything like Debbie Macomber, you are just like Kristy Tate and I think that is the perfect place for you!


  12. stephaniequeen says:

    Great story, Kristy! I love your new release Witch Ways.


  13. leighmorgan1 says:

    Kristy, what a great ‘coming of age’ story, hip or not—Grin. Can’t wait to read your Arbor Rose series, I’ll be checking out: Apple Blossom Inn right away.


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