Welcome to Wildflower Farm! Yes, the Skimmerdale series has had a makeover. The sheep farm in the Yorkshire Dales has a brand new name, and the books have new titles and covers to reflect that. I really love the fresh, new look and I’m deeply grateful to my cover designer, Berni Stevens, who has worked miracles over the past year, replacing so many of my covers for me.
I’ll be honest: I loved the old covers for the Skimmerdale books (also done by Berni), but after consulting several writing friends, I had to agree they weren’t perhaps best suited for the genre. This series does have a lot of emotional content, and tugs at the old heart strings, but it’s also full of humour. The books didn’t really reflect that. As beautiful as they were, they needed to be less serious and more in keeping with my other new covers, so they had to go.
No author I know likes to admit to having favourites among her books or characters, but I will say, hand on heart, that what is now Summer Wedding at Wildflower Farm is probably the book I’m proudest of. It was quite complicated to write, having seven points of view and various plot threads that needed weaving through the story and tying up neatly at the end. I nearly gave up on it several times, but I’m lucky that I had so much support and encouragement from family members and my writing family members, the Write Romantics – particularly Rachael Thomas for her invaluable farming advice, and Alys West and Jessica Redland, who read the book in its earliest stages and gave me such useful feedback. They also made me keep going, when all I wanted to do was hurl the computer through the window!
I will also admit that Eliot Harland, my gorgeous Yorkshire Dales sheep farmer, is my favourite of all the heroes I’ve written. There’s something about him that tugs at my heart. As much as I love my other heroes (and I do, every single one of them) Eliot’s always been special to me.
What will you find in the Skimmerdale books?
- A beautiful Dales setting, obviously. One of the northern dales, Swaledale, inspired Skimmerdale, and it truly is a stunning area with breath taking views.
- Sheep. It goes without saying, since Wildflower Farm is a sheep farm, and Eliot breeds hardy Swaledale sheep.
- Humour. Lots of it, especially from 70s rock god, Cain Carmichael, as he struggles to deal with his complicated family life.
- Yorkshire life. A warm, caring community, a formidable vicar’s wife who dominates the cake tent, a country show, and a gorgeous village wedding.
- Emotional stories. Life hasn’t been easy for Eliot, and he’s not the only one. Many characters have demons to fight and battles to overcome.
- Warmth and a Feelgood Factor. Despite the obstacles in their path, there’s so much joy and love and friendship within these pages.
- Romance. You’ll find fun, light romance, second chance romance, first love, later-in-life love, and deep, abiding, lasting, and totally unexpected love in this series.
- Family relationships. The family at Wildflower Farm have been through a lot, but the bond between them all is unbreakable. And before long, friends become family, too.
- Happy endings. Would you really expect anything else? I do, after all, guarantee a happy ending!
So, if you haven’t yet read the Skimmerdale books, why not give them a try? You can buy them individually or together in one volume. Paperbacks will be coming soon for those of you who don’t read ebooks. They’re also FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited.
Head over to Wildflower Farm and meet my delightful friends, the Harlands. You’ll have a wonderful time!
Have a great week.