Sophie Fortune Robinson is on a mission. The word around the office watercooler is that the boss’s youngest daughter is intent on landing Mr. Right by Valentine’s Day—and that she has her eyes, and heart, set on a certain hunk in Marketing.
But when she enlists her longtime pal and coworker Mason Montgomery to teach her how to get a man to notice her, little does she know she’s already captured his attention!
Now Mason’s in a real bind! He has just a few short weeks to fight his way out of the “friend zone.” On his agenda: convincing sweet Sophie that he is the real man of her dreams! Will Fortune smile on true love’s venture?
STELLA BAGWELL is a USA Today bestselling author who has written close to 90 books for Harlequin. She lives on the Texas Gulf coast with her husband, where the winters are mild and the summers sweltering. Along with her writing, she stays busy helping her husband care for their 10 horses, 11 cats, and a flock of gulls that always seem to know when it’s feeding time!
Bon Appétit and a Book: A delicious recipe to enjoy alongside the book with an image. Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without something chocolate! Here’s a cake recipe that my family enjoys.
Buttermilk Cocoa Cake
2 cups sugar, ¾ cup shortening, 2&1/2 cups flour, ½ cup cocoa, 2 teaspoons soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup boiling water.
Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs and beat until smooth. Sift dry ingredients together and add alternately with buttermilk to creamed mixture. Add vanilla and water. Pour batter into 13/9 inch pan, or if you prefer layers, two 9 inch pans and bake at 350 degrees until cake springs back when touched.
4 cups confectioner sugar, 6 Tbs. cold butter, ½ tsp. vanilla, ¼ tsp. salt, ¼ scant cup milk. Whip with mixer until creamy.
Song Playlist: A prepared playlist of songs that embodies the book’s characters and their love story. Crazy, I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You, Don’t Touch Me, At Last
How-to Tips for Aspiring Writers: Tips for those looking to get their work published/break into the industry. At the time I wrote my first book I was too young and ignorant to realize becoming a published author was difficult task. I didn’t have an agent. Nor did I know anyone who’d written anything more than a personal letter to a friend or relative. I held the belief that if I wrote a good enough story some publisher would buy it. Fortunately, Harlequin did buy my first effort and since then I’ve never stopped writing. Nowadays, I think the same still holds true—a good story will sell itself. So my advice would be to hone your manuscript until it’s the best it can be. Don’t try to dazzle the editor with a complicated plot. And most importantly, make sure the emotions of your characters—even the supporting characters, shines through. And last, but not least, believe in yourself and write with confidence.
Writer’s Space: Photos and a brief description of the place where they do their writing. My writing space is a spare bedroom I turned into my little office. The walls are covered with some of my favorite photos and my desk is always messy!
Love Lessons Learned: Real life romance lessons learned from the book. Sophie learns that a person’s outward appearance doesn’t often portray what’s on the inside. She also learns that, more often than not, money can only complicate matters of the heart.
Movie Star Cast: The author picks movie stars to play the characters in a movie. Heroine, Sophie Fortune Robinson is played by Alicia Vikander. Hero, Mason Montgomery is played by Zachery Levi.
A Valentine’s Romance: The authors describe the perfect Valentine’s Day. I’m the simple type, so my perfect Valentine’s Day is having my husband treat me to a nice meal. And, of course, if I get flowers and chocolates along with it, that makes the whole day extra special!
Q&A WITH HER SWEETEST FORTUNE by Stella Bagwell
- How did you come up with the friendship/relationship love triangle as a plot? Actually, the plot was suggested by the editors as a part of a special continuing series. As the author, it was my job to breathe life and personality into the characters and their story.
- What is your favorite part about writing for Her Sweetest Fortune? My favorite part of writing Her Sweetest Fortune was putting two friends together and watching their confusion and surprise as the attraction builds between them.
- Any tips for readers hoping that a special someone was more than just a friend? If that special someone goes out of his way to do something thoughtful for you, then he probably has more than friendship on his mind!
- What was the first book that made you cry? While I was still in high school my brother gave me a set of Ernest Hemingway books. When the hero of A FAREWELL TO ARMS lost the love of his life, I definitely cried. To this day I still can’t watch the movie or I’ll start sobbing.
- How long do you spend researching before beginning a book? That all depends on the setting of the book and the plot. If it’s a place or plot I’m familiar with then a week or two of research is plenty. When writing continuity the research always takes longer because you have to make sure characters, setting details and plot lines match those of the authors stories going before and after your own.
- How do you select the names of your characters? For me, choosing names for my characters is one of the most time consuming part of writing a book. I want the name to define my character’s personality and at the same time I have to be careful not to choose a name I’ve used in a prior book. If something doesn’t immediately pop into my head, I’ll reach for the telephone directory and search until I find a name that feels right.
- If you didn’t write, what would you do for work? I would probably be doing the job I held before I became a writer, which was a hairdresser. By the way, a treasure trove of stories goes through a beauty salon!
- Do you believe in writer’s block? I think a writer’s mind can go on a lazy streak or be distracted by outside influences. But I personally don’t believe in writer’s block.
- What is your favorite thing about writing contemporary romance? My favorite thing about writing contemporary romance is definitely the happy endings and the hope that the future will be filled with love.
- Are you excited for Valentine’s Day? I always look forward to Valentine’s Day. After being married for nearly forty-six years it still melts my heart to get flowers and romance from my husband!