When I sat down to write my newest release, Harvest Heat, I had to come up with a crop that my main characters could harvest together.
I went straight to the internet to search for farm crops common to Australia. The moment my gaze landed on the sunflowers, I stopped reading because I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I’m not sure if my love of sunflowers comes from the fact that I grew up in Kansas, the Sunflower State, or that they’re just so darn happy, but those bright yellow and brown flowers never fail to make me smile.
I remember a road trip I took twenty years ago to Colorado. I’ve heard people compare the drive across Kansas to hell, but I love my state, and I find fields of beans, corn, wheat and sorghum beautiful. Western Kansas is incredibly flat, which is perfect for growing food to feed the nation, but not as spectacular as the mountains of Colorado. On this particular day, the clouds were heavy overhead and the landscape appeared rather gloomy in shadows. We crested a slight rise in the road and BAM there it was. Acres and acres of fully-bloomed sunflowers, highlighted by a sliver of sunshine that had somehow forced its way through the clouds. I remember the sight so clearly. My breath caught, and I knew I’d never see anything more beautiful in my life. The whole area seemed to glow with the brilliance of the deep yellow-gold of the petals. I carried that memory with me through the rest of my trip, and I don’t mind telling you that Colorado paled in comparison to those fields of sunflowers in an isolated stretch of western Kansas.
Jamie, one of my characters in Harvest Heat, arrives in Australia from the Kansas City area. His main goal for the vacation was to put off joining his father’s law firm by taking an extended tour around the country, but when he wanders through a farm show, he remembers the summers spent on his grandfather’s farm. Jamie decides to look for a bit of farm work in the area that he can do in exchange for room and board. Walking down the dirt road toward Lochie’s farm, he can’t help but feel he was meant to be there when he sees field after field of sunflowers. By the time Jamie and Lochie finish harvesting the sunflowers, their lives will never be the same.
Once my story was finished and it came time to settle on a title, Harvest Heat seemed a natural fit. Likewise, the title for the sequel to Harvest Heat came to me with a smile on my face. Sunshine, Sex & Sunflowers is my homage to that long ago drive across Kansas, and how a single sight could so profoundly move me. I plan to make that same drive in the fall this year, and although the peak season for sunflower beauty will have passed, and the harvest most-likely complete, I will still carry that memory with me. Thankfully, Goodland, Kansas holds a giant piece of art that will surely bring at least a grin to my face when I see it. If you ever find yourself driving across Kansas on I70, make a quick stop in Goodland to see the twenty-four foot by thirty-two foot giant Vincent van Gogh painting of three sunflowers in a vase and think of me.
Harvest Heat By Carol Lynne
Love blossoms in the heat and dust of the Outback.
Touring Australia before starting his life as a lawyer back in Kansas seemed like the perfect escape for James. A trip to the Mandarra Horticultural Show has him itching to work on an authentic Australian farm. What he doesn’t expect to find in the bush is a field of sunflowers and a man who makes him tremble with need.
Lachlan has resigned himself to living alone in the Australian bush. Since returning from Sydney to run the family property, he’s put his sexual desires on hold, knowing his mates would never understand. When he takes a chance and hires a good-looking young tourist to help him on the homestead, Lochie begins to wonder just how heated this year’s harvest will be. Will he be able to put his worries aside and take a chance on love?
Publisher’s Note: This book is a prequal to Sunshine, Sex & Sunflowers. This book has previously been released elsewhere. It has been revised and re-edited for re-release with Pride Publishing.
General Release Date: 14th March 2017
About the Author
An avid reader for years, one day Carol Lynne decided to write her own brand of erotic romance. While writing her first novel, Branded by Gold, Carol fell in love with the M/M genre. Carol juggles between being a full-time mother and a full-time writer. With well over one hundred releases, one thing is certain, Carol loves to keep busy writing sexy cowboys, shifters, bodyguards, vampires and everything in between. Although series books are her passion, Carol enjoys penning the occasional stand-alone title.
As founder and President of GRL Retreat, Inc., Carol helps organize the annual GayRomLit Retreat. Now in its sixth year, GayRomLit is an annual retreat that brings together the people who create and celebrate LGBT romance for a one-of-a-kind, must-attend gathering of dynamic, informal, and diverse fun.
Carol loves to hear from her readers. You can take a look at her Website and follow her on Facebook. She also has a Website dedicated to her Cattle Valley Series.