Worldbuilding from Childhood Memories
By Sara Daniel
My grandparents spent their entire lives on a farm in Iowa that had been in our family for over a century. Every Christmas and summer, I would stay there for a few days or weeks, raking in idyllic childhood memories from the simple, old-fashioned, hardworking farm life.
My book centers on a dairy farm. My grandparents were never dairy farmers. However, the farmer who lived across the gravel road was. I remember walking into his barn and watching him hook up the milking machines as each cow took a turn, the contrast between the modern equipment and the old rundown barn striking even through my eleven-year-old eyes. I remember my grandparents talking about how tied to the operation a dairy farmer was with the constant twice a day, 365 days a year milking the cows required. I never considered using any of this in a story, but years later the details I needed were there in my memories, perfect for setting the scene and creating character motivations.
One Night with the Best Man is set on an Iowa farm the hero grew up on and can’t wait to leave in the dust. He must confront his memories of the farm, both the good and the bad. And then he must do something else—see the farm, not just for the memories of what it was but what it has become through the heroine’s vision for its future.
Susie clasped his palm. “Nice job on conquering your demons. Even better, we have time for a tour of the barn before you have to report to the tent for the rehearsal.”
“I already told you I’m not stepping foot in there. If we have time to kill, this bed is now conveniently bare and available.”
She didn’t take the bait. “You can stand in the barn doorway if you’re too chickenshit to go inside.”
Alex tugged her hand, pulling her flush with his chest. He could seriously get into her body rubbing against his. “You don’t call a Marine chickenshit.”
She smirked. “Prove it, and I’ll take it back.”
Hell if he didn’t swallow her bait whole. “You play dirty. I like that in a woman.”
“I’ve seen the kind of women you like. If you’re attracted to me, I won’t take it as a compliment.”
Alex laughed. If she wasn’t tied to the one piece of property he refused to have anything to do with, she would be damn near perfect. In addition to being witty and intelligent, she had a compassionate side that threatened to drown him in sweetness. Maybe if he concentrated on the sweetness of her ass again, he’d forget about their destination as she dragged him across the back lot.
The sexy professor had turned everything he’d thought he’d known about farm work on its head. What other surprises would she reveal if he took the time to uncover them?
Alejandro “Alex” Cortez vowed never to return to the family farm, but when his sister makes it the destination for her wedding, he has no choice. The farm’s new owner, sexy agricultural professor Dr. Susan Gundersen, is his only hope for a diversion from the haunting memories.
Susan knows better than to count on people sticking around for her. The farm gives her the roots and permanence she’s craved her entire life. As she helps Alex clear out his family’s mementos from the house, Susan is drawn to the raw and vulnerable man under his carefree exterior. A few kisses later, she falls hard and fast.
Despite their mutual attraction, Susan will never leave the farm and Alex will never consider staying. Will one passionate night with the best man give them the courage to face what they each fear most or drive them apart forever?