Jen: Today we are excited to welcome RaeAnne Thayne to Romancing the Book. RaeAnne, will you share a short bio with us?
RaeAnne: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne loves words. Her love affair started as soon as she learned to read, when she used to devour anything she could get her hands on: cereal boxes, encyclopedias, the phone book, you name it! She loves the way words sound, the way they look on the page and the amazing way they can be jumbled together in so many combinations to tell a story.
Her love of reading and writing those words led her to a fifteen-year career in journalism as a newspaper reporter and editor.
Through it all, she dreamed of writing the kind of stories she loved best. She sold her first book in 1995 and since then she’s published more than 40 titles. Her books have won many honors, including three RITA® Award nominations from the Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews magazine.
RaeAnne finds inspiration in the rugged northern Utah mountains, where she lives with her hero of a husband and their children. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at raeannethayne.com.
Jen: REDEMPTION BAY is the 2nd book in your new Haven Point series. What would you tell someone who is coming to Haven Point for the first time? Is there anything you want first time readers to know before they jump into REDEMPTION BAY?
RaeAnne: Haven Point is a series of books that explores healing in its various forms — healing hearts, healing bodies, healing families and healing a town. Haven Point – on the shores of beautiful Lake Haven, a few hours from Boise, ID – has seen some tough times and suffered some losses, but despite all the challenges, it’s a place where people care about each other.
Jen: Readers love your Hope’s Crossing series. What made you decide to step away from that and start the Haven Point series? Was it hard to leave Hope’s Crossing?
RaeAnne: I absolutely loved writing the Hope’s Crossing series but after seven books, I was ready for a change of scenery. Writing about new places and new people helps me stretch as a writer and I was excited to introduce my readers to another town with a different set of challenges. I have to admit, I had a tough time leaving Hope’s Crossing behind but I cheated a little by making this a spin-off series. The first book in Haven Point, SNOW ANGEL COVE, features Aidan Caine, whose family is well-known to readers of the Hope’s Crossing series. I also fully intend to return to Hope’s Crossing at some point in the future. I have many more stories there I still want to tell!
Jen: In REDEMPTION BAY, Ben Kilpatrick returns to Haven Point for a quick business opportunity. He soon realizes that this town that holds so many painful memories may just be the way to heal his heart. His “quick” trip soon turns into a more permanent stay. What changed for Ben and helped him realize that Haven Point, a place of pain and hurt, could bring him so much healing?
RaeAnne: Because of his difficult family situation, Ben became very self-contained as an adult, telling himself he doesn’t need anyone else. When he comes to Haven Point and finds a town where people are reaching out to help each other, he is fiercely drawn to the sense of community and belonging he finds in his hometown. He’s completely taken by surprise to realize he wants to be part of it.
Jen: We love that Mckenzie Shaw is such a strong female character — and such a good mayor. Did you base any of her character on any real women in politics?
RaeAnne: I would have to say she’s a composite of many women I’ve met over the years who are trying their best to serve their communities. When I was the government reporter for a small daily newspaper, I sat in city and county council meetings with many smart, savvy, compassionate women who worked hard to make their communities a better place. Politics on a national level is obviously important and newsworthy but local lawmakers – usually underpaid and underappreciated – sometimes play a much more crucial role in creating well-run, livable communities.
Jen: In REDEMPTION BAY, Ben and Mckenzie both come from dysfunctional and nontraditional families. Do they understand each other better because they have hard backgrounds?
RaeAnne: Absolutely. I think their story is a classic example of two people with a little broken corner of their hearts who end up helping each other heal. Together, they create their own sort of safe, warm haven.