About rachelschurig

Novelist. Lover of books. Fan of hockey.

On the road for Ransom

There are several things about the new Ransom book that are unique compared to the rest of the series. It’s the first book where we’ll get to directly see what Will Ransome is experiencing and feeling (which I am super excited about! I wasn’t expecting to enjoy writing about Will as much as I did). The Ransome Brothersis also the first book where we’ll switch Point of View between more than two characters. Another way this book is a little different is that the boys aren’t on tour at all. Redeem is the only other book in the series where we don’t see the boys out on the road.

The fact that 4 of the 6 books show the band on tour probably tells you that I really enjoy writing about their life on the road! That’s mainly because a huge source of inspiration for this series was my own experiences traveling around with my friends to follow a band.  To tell you about this, I’m going to have to confess something: I am a huge Hanson fan. Yes, Hanson, those Mmmbop kids from the nineties. Feel free to laugh at me! The funny thing is that I absolutely hated them when I was a kid and they were popular. But then a good friend reintroduced me to them years later and I fell in love. If you haven’t checked them out lately, you totally should! They all grew up super cute! They own their own record label now and write really fun pop-rock songs and seeing their shows is SO MUCH fun. Seriously, go find some of their new music. Okay, Hanson advertisement over 😉

The band themselves didn’t have anything to do with my inspiration for these books—Ransom has a totally different sound, style, and reputation. But my own experiences as a fan did inspire a lot my writing, particularly about Daisy, Paige, and Karen. When I was in my early twenties some friends and I followed a tour around for a few weeks and it was seriously the most fun I’ve ever had. We slept in crappy hotels and camped out on the pavement in the freezing cold to get good spots inside. We lived on gross fast food and traveled by bus for over twenty hours. And I loved it! It was so great to spend that time with close friends and to get to hear music we were passionate about every night. That was the feeling I wanted to capture when I wrote about Ransom being out on tour—that sense of freedom and adventure, excitement and connection with a group of people.

Beyond those tour memories, travel in general has played a big role in my writing. Traveling is something that I truly love and I try to do it as much as possible. So it makes sense that I love writing about characters who are traveling, experiencing new places and new sights. If I’m writing about somewhere new, I try to visit that place first whenever I can afford it. It’s important for me to really get a feel for the places I write about. I was super lucky to be able to visit Paris before I wrote Rescue. That trip ended up changing the entire book.

I always knew that Lennon was going to go and find their mom while on tour in Europe. Originally this was all going to happen in London (which I’ve visited a few times before). But then I got to Paris and that idea totally changed. Paris seemed like a place that Lennon would have such a connection to. I knew he would love the art and the culture and the food and vibe of wandering along the river, looking at beautiful things. When I walked into the Musee d’Orsay, I immediately envisioned the entire scene where Paige takes the boys there as a special treat for Len and he connects with Haylee. I have no idea how their relationship would have been different if I hadn’t gotten the chance to see that place for myself. Something similar happened when I went to the Monet house in Giverny. It was suddenly so obvious to me that Lennon would take Haylee there and that’s where he would see his mother.

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Gardens at the Monet House in Giverny, where I plotted out Haylee and Lennon’s love story

Little surprises like this are my favorite part of writing. When I see something new or travel somewhere I’ve never been before or catch a glimpse of a stranger who seems interesting and suddenly feel inspired to write—there’s nothing in the world that makes me happier than that. I love it when I have a plan for a story and something new and unexpected comes barreling in to change it. To me there’s nothing more exciting!

The Ransome Brothers is set mainly in LA, which I was lucky enough to visit when I was researching the Lovestruck series. It’s also the place where I first had the idea for the Ransome boys (you can read about that here). In that sense, LA is really where this whole series began for me. And it felt completely appropriate and fitting that The Ransome Brotherswould take me back there.

 

**Book 6 in the Ransom series, The Ransome Brothers, will be available on June 12th**

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All about Paige

I have a really hard time picking a favorite character—it’s like picking a favorite child! But there are a few characters that really stand out to me and feel particularly special. Paige is one of those characters.

When I was working on the plot of Ransom, I knew I wanted Daisy to become friends with two girls who would help her to regain her confidence and break down her protective shell. The original character notes for the girls ended up really different from the way Paige and Karen look in the book. I had originally envisioned Paige to be a hard-core rock and roll chick. I knew I wanted her to be kind but I thought she would have a much harder edge. I pictured her being sarcastic with a sharp sense of humor and a jaded outlook on life.

But once I started writing the book, Paige totally took over. I love when that happens! Sometimes it feels like the character just reveals themself to me as I write about them and that’s exactly what happened with Paige. Almost as soon as I started Ransom, it didn’t feel right to make Paige sarcastic and sharp and cynical. It wasn’t her. Paige is sweet and excited and enthusiastic about everything. A total contradiction to her rock and roll style, with her leather jacket, dyed hair streaks, and multiple piercings. She’s a little ditzy sometimes but completely loyal and kind and she constantly surprises everyone with how capable she is at just about everything she tries.

This is one of my favorite Paige quotes from Release, where she describes to Reed why she loves all the silly roadside attractions she drags the boys to on tour. I always felt like this was the moment where Reed really fell in love with her:

“Because it’s out of the ordinary,” I tell him. “I like things that are out of the ordinary—that’s the most fun part of life. Finding the things you weren’t expecting, the things you aren’t used to.” I wave my arms around to encompass the store. “Just think about the people who own this place—they must really love it. You don’t put all this effort into a Christmas store unless Christmas is, like, your favorite thing. I like that they’re sharing that with everyone. It’s like the Cadillac Ranch or the Jell-O museum. The people who started those places might be kind of weird, but they really love Cadillacs and Jell-O. It makes them happy. It gives them a purpose. And they want to share that.” I shrug, feeling slightly embarrassed by my enthusiasm. “I just think that’s cool.”

I didn’t plan this silly, earnest part of her character ahead of time . That’s just who Paige is. It almost felt like I didn’t have a say in it—Paige’s personality was already formed and she didn’t need me trying to fit her into my original plans.

I think that’s why I love her so much. She always surprises me, she always makes me laugh. Every scene with her is so much fun to write. Pretty much as soon as I started to write Paige back in book 1 I knew I needed to change things in the future books to give her a bigger role. When I started plotting book 6, Paige’s plotline was the first one I came up with. It was so important to me that this strong character gets a fitting story in the 6th book. I’m so excited for you to read The Ransome Brothers and see what I have in store for Paige Brennen!

New Ransom covers and how it all began

We’re getting so close to the release of the next Ransom book! A bunch of people have sent me messages to let me know they’re rereading the series to prepare for the new book. That makes me BEYOND happy! Before writing this book I did the same thing and reading all of those books just reminded me of how much I love this series and these characters. And my reread got me totes hyped for the new covers I’ve been working on with Paper and Sage Book Cover Designs! I am absolutely in love with these covers—I think they express the feel of this series perfectly! So without further ado, here are the brand new covers for Ransom books 1-5!

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Aren’t these amazing?? I love them so much. Next week I’ll have the cover for The Ransome Brothers ready to show you!

Speaking of The Ransome Brothers, today I was editing a scene featuring Daisy and Daltrey, and it got me thinking about the beginning of this series. When I get an idea for a new book, I’ll usually start thinking about the characters before I decide anything about the plot. Ransom was a little different—I had an idea for a character and within just a few hours I pretty much knew what was going to happen in the entire series. That’s never really happened to me before! It probably won’t surprise you to hear that Daltrey was the first character I thought of (even though his name was originally going to be Levi!) The second character might not be as expected—I actually thought of Rose before any of the other brothers or even Daisy!

The day I decided to write the Ransom series I was out in LA to do setting research for Lovestruck in Los Angeles. I knew I wanted the Lovestruck characters to go to Disneyland so I was visiting the park with my friend Jon (sometimes my job is SO HARD!) We were heading over to Space Mountain when we passed a younger guy holding his daughter, who was probably around four or five. This guy had longish hair in a ponytail and tons of tattoos—he totally seemed like a romance novel bad boy! He was so cute laughing with this adorable little girl as they walked by, this tough looking guy having a sweet daddy-daughter outing. I only caught the briefest glimpse of them, but I couldn’t get them out of my head for the rest of the day.

I’m TERRIBLE company when I’m stuck on an idea for a book because I can’t really think about anything else! Luckily, my friend Jon is a huge rollercoaster fan—and I am mega terrified of heights. So while Jon went to ride California Screamin’ a bunch of times, I got in a long line for Radiator Springs Racers. I pulled out the notes app on my phone and spent the next hour and a half plotting the entire Ransom series while I waited for the ride.

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Part of the original notes on Ransom, jotted down in line at Disneyland. This is the moment I had the idea to name the boys after rock legends and started to brainstorm options.

By the time I left the park that day I had decided on most of the main plot points for the whole series. Some of that changed over the months as I wrote the first four books but a lot of those original ideas ended up in the series.

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When I got back to the hotel that night I had decided on the main character names and descriptions. I scrawled out this note on a scrap of paper–which I ended up spilling something on. I’ve kept it pinned up over my desk ever since I got home from LA, stains and all 😉

I think about that dad and his daughter a lot. I hope they still do fun things together like visiting Disneyland. I hope they’re still as happy as they seemed when I saw them laughing for those few seconds that day. I’m so grateful that I caught a glimpse of them all those years ago because the Ransom series has given me more joy to write and share with you guys than anything else I’ve ever worked on. People always ask me what has been my favorite part to write. I don’t know if I have a favorite, I love a bunch of the scenes so much, but I can say my most emotional writing was the scene where Daltrey introduces his brothers to Rose in Rescue. After all, it was those two characters who started the whole thing!

A whole bunch of Ransom news

The Ransome Brothers are coming! The sixth book in my Ransom series will be available on June 12th and I am so freakin excited. It feels like I’ve been working on this one FOREVER and I really can’t wait to share it with you. And it’s coming so soon!

In other exciting Ransom news, I had pretty new covers made for the series! I really love the original covers but it’s always good to put a fresh face on things. I’m so pleased with how the new ones turned out. I particularly love how strongly they represent the music theme of the books. Next week I’ll be revealing the rest of the series but today I wanted to give you a sneak peak of the new cover for the first book. Check out the new Ransom…

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If you didn’t see the announcement a few weeks ago, all of the Ransom books (as well as the rest of my series) are now available in paperback! I know many of you have been waiting for these. You can find them over on Amazon.

One last bit of Ransom news: Over the next few weeks, I’m going to do a short blog series about these books. I’ve been working on the Ransom series since the summer of 2013–so long! Book 6 is meant to be a wrap up of the series. That doesn’t mean I’ll never write another Ransom book (and you’ll be able to visit with the Ransomes in the Intrigue series), but this is the last one I have planned out. So I thought it would be a good time to share some stories about how this series came to be and what my experiences were like writing it. I hope you’ll join me in my walk down memory lane!

Okay, now I need to go and edit, edit, edit. Only three more weeks until release day!

Take care,

Rachel

Paperbacks now available

A lot of people have been asking me about paperbacks lately. All of my books are now available in paperback on Amazon. I know many of you have been really patient waiting for these–sorry it took so long! I’ve included links for all of the paperbacks over on the books page. Enjoy!

 

p.s. The 6th Ransom book is coming along. I keep feeling like I’m getting close to the end and then it gets longer…and longer…at this rate the book is going to be huge! Stay tuned for release date info!

 

A New Lilac Bay Book is Here!

I am so glad that I can finally share the new Lilac Bay book with all of you! I think this might have been the hardest book I’ve ever written. I was working through a lot of anxiety and writer’s block with this book. So it feels really good to not only be finished with it, but to be really happy with how it turned it out. I so hope you like it too! You can check it out on Amazon and everywhere else ebooks are sold. Let me know what you think!

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Amazon, Amazon UK, Google PlayiBooksKoboNookpaperback

Two rival bar owners. One inconvenient attraction. All’s Fair in Love and Beer in this new small town romance from USA Today Bestselling author Rachel Schurig!

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Cora Hanson’s bar is a Lilac Bay institution.

And that’s just the way she always wanted it. Nothing makes Cora happier than knowing her friends and neighbors are having a good time at Cora’s Place, the pub she’s poured her heart and soul into. Sure, maybe it gets a little stressful, working as much as she does. And yes, it’s been an awful long time since Cora has made time to date. But what does that matter so long as her bar remains Lilac Bay’s most popular gathering place?

When Owen Nichols shows up with plans to open his own bar, Cora is sure she doesn’t have anything to worry about. There’s no way some outsider can compete with her years of success. There’s only one problem—Cora and Owen have history. And it’s hard to concentrate on beating Owen in business when she can’t seem to forget what it was like to be in his arms.

Cora knows she needs to get her head in the game if she wants to win in this battle of the beer joints. But Owen doesn’t seem to be backing down. And it’s starting to look like it’s not Cora’s customers he’s after—it just might be her heart.

Coming soon…

Hello, lovely readers! I hope you’re all having a wonderful 2018 so far. It seems like we’ve either had snow or rain all winter long but that’s okay with me–I like to be cozied up inside while I’m writing. And I’ve been writing a lot! I think quite a few of you will be happy to hear that I’m working on the 6th Ransom book–finally!

You guys, I missed these characters soooo much. I’ve been re-reading the whole series to prepare for the new book and it’s been so nice to visit with the boys and their ladies again. People always ask me which Ransome brother is my favorite and I’m constantly changing my mind. Right now I have a huge crush on Reed, which isn’t really surprising. Paige is one of my favorite characters from any of my series. Whoever makes Paige happy makes me happy! Anyhow, I’m really liking the way book 6 is turning out so far and I can’t wait to share it with you soon!

In the meantime, I’ve been working with an awesome cover artist (Shout out to Paper and Sage Designs!) to give the Three Girls series a facelift. I’ve had the same covers on those books for years now so I thought it would be nice to try something new and fresh. What do you think??

The same cover artist has been helping me come up with a more cohesive look for the Lilac Bay series–which is really helpful since the 3rd book is super close to a publication date! All’s Fair is currently in the editing phase and I should have some release news for you in the next two weeks. Check out the covers for this series below and stay tuned for info on the release!

Okay, that’s it for me. Can’t wait to have more news about Lilac Bay and Ransom for you soon. Hope you’re all doing great!

xoxo Rachel