The first book in the Heritage Art Park Series – in it, we meet all the characters bound to come in the following books, starting with Jen Conrad. This is the improved and revised second edition.
Raised by an imperious society mother and a superior court judge, Jen Conrad does everything exactly as expected. When her husband of 37 years dies, her best friend Renee convinces her to open a needlework shop in the new Heritage Art Park, and a group forms at the shop where Jen realizes life was not all as it seemed. She has a secret – and it’s big. Not even her husband knew.
The family has always swept unpleasantries under the rug, and there are many. Enduring one too many insults from her father, Jen finally confronts her parents about The Incident, and discovers a sense of freedom – finally – to abandon the role she has played her entire life. You can get the book here:
Renee Murphy’s term as mayor of San Diego is up. She opens an art store, which means saying goodbye to her retirement fund so she can honor her commitment to bring Heritage Art Park to life. Somehow, Renee inherits an angry fifteen-year-old who doesn’t want to be there. They have a lot in common, but Renee is not mom material.
Renee must reconcile her own upbringing, her jaded views on crime, drug use, and homelessness, and her need for love and acceptance while juggling Child Protective Services, a missing partner, a very sick friend, and a blast from the past.
The merry-go-round called life just stopped, and Renee is spinning.
A witty, relatable, and engrossing read for fans of Jennifer Weiner and Nora Roberts.
Jade Robinson has inherited Iris’s estate, and she has no clue what she’s doing. She opens up a store at Heritage Art Park called Pages with writer Robert Graham, catering to the novice and experienced literati in town with writing classes, books, and readings. She’s taken on quite a lot including caregiving an older stroke victim and hiding domestic violence victims. Her past is catching up with her, and she’s nervous about a new man in her life. Iris’s lessons are coming home to roost.
TRINKETS – In formulation
Jen’s sister Maggie opens up a jewelry and accessory store for therapy; if you know Maggie from Stitches, you can predict the outcome. She partners with Suzanne Finch, the top-tier realtor in town, but she is not who she seems to be. We know her secret from Stitches, but we don’t know it all until we get a few years into the Art Park. Suzanne is – think a young Auntie Mame – bulldozing her way through life only to find out a softer touch can be just as effective. Watch as Maggie and Suzanne deal with mental health and relationship issues.
Sandpaper – In dreamland at the moment
This will be the story of Bruce Miller, the General Contractor for the art park. He wanted to build a wood craftsman store, but recent events took the wind out of him and he’s just not motivated. His son decides to start the store, and with Bruce’s help, he goes through a major life change. Watch as he navigates his change with the art park vendors and owners. It’s not easy, but Bruce has more reconciliation to do and the community learns to live with diversity.
Herbs – On the back burner
This will be the story of Choyou, Jen Conrad’s former housekeeper. She brings her auntie to San Diego to help start Herbs, a store in the art park that offers medicinal teas, ancient herbal remedies, feng shui, alternative medical treatments, and asian arts. Immigration and prejudicial issues rear their ugly heads (that’s as far as I’ve gotten in the planning of this one…)