by Frances Hoelsema
Book 1: Growing Up Neighbors
Little Deborah Harrington stared across the street the day the Michaels family moved in. Who was this family? Would she even like them?
Nicholas Michaels hated the fact he had to move away from everything and everyone in his life, but his feelings change when he meets the Harringtons. Deborah and Nicholas become the best of friends, and as the children grow up, their friendship deepens.
But then tragedy strikes. Will this cause them to part ways? Or will it perhaps make them realize they may have stronger feelings for one another before it’s too late?
“The best thing about this story, is that there is no ‘instalove’ … which is a very good break from a lot of other stories. The friendship they have grows naturally and is very believable.”
“What a sweet little book! It’s sort of Pride and Prejudice meets Henry and Beezus.”
“Brilliant story about the misunderstandings and the triumphs of growing up, friendship and love!”
Book 2: Next Door Neighbors
Elena Montgomery, an elderly victim of fibromyalgia, has two main loves in her life: Brian, her attractive and hard-working son; and Jill Stevens, her caring friend and next door neighbor. When Brian and Jill meet for the first time, they have a chemistry that no one can deny. Although Jill finds herself wanting to get closer to Brian, she believes she can’t. Being hurt in the past, she vows to remain single the rest of her life, thinking it’s better not to love than to love and get burned. Brian, on the other hand, wants to get to the bottom of her fears and show her that not all men are the same. He is determined to win her trust, her heart and her hand in marriage. Through pain, passion and pursuit, will Brian be able to prove to Jill what true love is all about?
“The author also does an amazing job with the character development. The reader instantly understands where Jill is coming from and can sympathize with her.”
“Loved this cute story!”
Book 3: Long Lost Neighbors
Gregory Bronson learns he’ll soon be moving away from his neighbor and best friend, Alison Levin. When he tells her the shocking news, she feels her world is being turned upside down. What would she do without Greg? What would Greg do without her?
Fast forward fifteen years. Ali is engaged to Sean Whitman who can provide her with anything she could ever want. While vacationing, however, she runs into Greg. Suddenly she’s not so sure Sean is the one.
Greg finds himself just getting out of a bad relationship when he and Ali reunite. He can’t help but be attracted to her and wonder if the two of them could ever stand a chance.
As the two of them rebuild their friendship, the foundation for something more is set until one day they finally give in to their desires. But after they are interrupted with an emergency, Ali realizes she must make a choice. Will she choose her fiancé, Sean, and go through with a wedding that is already planned and paid for? Or will she give it all up for her friend, Greg, who could give her the one thing Sean doesn’t: all of himself?
CIR: What inspired this book?
HOELSEMA: Growing Up Neighbors was inspired by my own love story. Although not all events happened to me and my husband, the bottom line of neighbors growing up together and falling in love is what we experienced.
CIR: Who is your favorite character and why?
HOELSEMA: My favorite character is the male lead, Nicholas Michaels. I enjoyed developing him into what I see in my husband.
CIR: What was the hardest part of writing this story?
HOELSEMA: The toughest thing was trying to write about some of the tough events. Sometimes we don’t want to remember the bad, but they are part of our past and what makes us who we are today.