Adele Darcy

Adele Darcy is the alter-ego of creative artist and travel blogger, Adele Lassiter.

Solitude Lake is inspired by Adele’s time living in western Montana, where she spent countless hours exploring Big Sky’s wide-open spaces from Glacier National Park to Yellowstone Country and beyond.

She currently resides in North Carolina.

When she is not writing - she loves to explore scenic places, visit art museums and hang out with her orange tabby cat - Cezanne.

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Following the tragic death of her husband, Susan Dixon struggles with the realization that the love they shared was crippled by his legacy of secrets and betrayal. Hoping to rebuild her life, Susan moves back to her hometown of Hidden Creek Montana. Settling into her family's cabin on the peaceful shores of Solitude Lake, Susan searches for healing in the rugged scenery.

 

Taking a summer job at the neighboring Solitude Lake Lodge, Susan rekindles a romance with her old flame, Jake Arnett. As the couple fall in love under the Montana skies, a past of heartache and missed opportunities haunts them. Susan needs to heal from her husband's betrayal, while Jake is afraid of repeating past mistakes. Can these star-crossed lovers let go of regrets and fall into a happily ever after?

Book Excerpt

“It is great to see you.” Susan spoke the truth. She hated

that they had grown apart. Jake had always been her anchor.

He would always bear the distinction of “best friend,” even if

they had barely spoken in the past fifteen years.

“You look radiant.” Jake had missed Susan. She haunted

his thoughts daily. To Susan, Jake was a friend, but to

him...she was the world. Jake had loved Susan since they were

kids. Perhaps he was bitter that she chose Brad over him.

Seeing Susan again was a whirlwind. It unearthed suppressed

feelings he wasn’t quite sure how to handle.

“You’re not looking too bad yourself.” Susan bit her lip.

He looked as handsome as ever. “I appreciate the package you

sent back in January. It meant a lot to me.” Jake had mailed a

condolence letter to Susan with a box of pictures of Bradley,

Jake, and Susan from their days working together.

“I know that Bradley’s death was hard on you...” Jake

empathized. Through the grapevine he’d been able to piece

together the estate mess. Anger at the deceased burned like a

fire within him. He hurt for Susan’s loss, but cursed Bradley.


 

“I sold my house in Seattle. I’ve moved into the Lone

Moose on a permanent basis.”

“That is news.” Jake had heard Susan might be coming

back to town for a few weeks, but to learn she was in the area

for good—it was almost too much to bear.

“I’m going to work at the high school in the fall. In the

interim I’m looking for summer work to keep me busy. That

is, after I finish unpacking the horde I lugged with me from

Seattle.”

 

“I’d love to catch up over dinner.” The words slipped out.

Jake wanted to share a meal with Susan, but a part of him knew

that reconnecting with her could lead them both down a

dangerous path. He had barely survived the first broken heart;

he wouldn’t survive another.

“That would be fun...” Susan couldn’t refuse, but also

wondered if dinner was the best idea.

“I ran into Susan Blanchard at the grocery store.” Jake’s

words cut the air like a rusted train racing off a bridge.

“Oh?” Molly’s motherly instinct was on guard as she

pressed her lips together apprehensively.

There was a time when Molly prayed that she might have

the chance to call Susan her daughter-in-law. That was before

Susan eloped with Bradley Dixon...breaking her son Jake’s

heart. The fault was not entirely Susan’s. Jake allowed fear to

hide his true feelings for Susan until it was too late. Molly

feared Susan’s return could rupture sealed scars; her presence

was salt in the wound for Jake.

“She’s moved back into the Lone Moose permanently...”

Jake recognized his mother’s ambivalence. “She has a job lined

up at the high school, starting in the fall.”

“That is news.” Molly raised her right brow to feign

surprise. Beatrix Blanchard had phoned Molly weeks ago to

clue her into Susan’s plight as a widow and her return to the

lake.

“Susan was kind enough to invite me to dinner at her place

on Wednesday. I accepted.”

“Is that a good idea?” Molly’s frown was accusatory.

“We’ve been best friends since we were toddlers. Why

wouldn’t it be a good idea?” Jake shrugged.

“It’s your history that scares me.”

“She needs a friend right now.”

“Susan has plenty of friends in town to console her. I don’t

want you tangled up in her web.”

“Web? Susan isn’t a black widow, ready to bite me with

toxic venom.” Jake was infuriated by his mother’s reaction.

“You know darn well that she is a strong and caring person.


 

She doesn’t deserve animosity, but compassion in the wake of

what that husband put her through.”

“You misjudge my respect for Susan Dixon. I think the

world of her. What I don’t want is for you to latch on to her.

She is vulnerable right now. If your relationship goes further

than friendship, you’ll wind up with another broken heart. I

don’t think the shattered pieces will be put back together this

time.”

“In terms of love, I got over Susan a long time ago. What

I don’t want to lose is our friendship.”

Molly sighed. She resigned herself to the fact that her son

was stubborn as he was blind in love. It was a lesson he would

have to learn the hard way.

Q&A with the Author

Q: Can you tell me a bit about yourself and how became an author?

A: I grew up in Raleigh NC and started my creative writing journey as a child, creating imaginary worlds and writing short stories and poetry.  I focused on songwriting in college, living and working in Nashville TN.  I performed at the famed Bluebird a few times. After graduating I moved to Montana and began writing mysteries and romances.  I love to write because it sparks my creativity and allows me to put my imagination to paper.  I enjoy creating themes around faith, renewal and resilience - while also having a lighthearted approach in my writing.  I like contemporary romance and cozy mysteries because they are powered by strong, unique and relatable characters. 

Q: What is your writing process like?

A:  A lot of my inspiration comes from places I’ve traveled to and imagining what life would be like living in that place - who would I meet?  What sort of business would I run?  I then start brainstorming ideas and plots.  I’m always thinking of ideas and have a notepad of future characters and plots to tinker with.  

 

Getting the idea is easy, but writing is hard - I love to write, but 90% of the process is discipline. You cannot wait for creativity to strike - you need to have a daily cadence for writing.  Once I get into the habit of writing - the creativity kicks in.  Some days I’ll write 10,000 words, other days five, but focusing on action and allowing learning in the process is key!

Q: What do you like to do when you are not writing?

A: I love art and painting funky florals and modern impressionism landscapes.  I love to travel to National Parks…I live in Yellowstone and have visited roughly thirty other parks. 

Q: How do you celebrate when you are finished writing a book?

A: A nice meal with friends and family

Q: How do you celebrate when your books are released?

A: When you write a book you want to share it with others - for them to be engaged and have conversations about the plot - the minute a book is released I celebrate by engaging with friends and readers. 

Q: Can you tell me how the book/series came about?

A: I lived in Montana for five years and it has a place in my soul.  One summer, my mom and I drove to Glacier National Park (I lived near Yellowstone - around five hours south).  As we drove along the mountain byway of MT-83 we noticed the numerous glacial lakes and historic lodges and cabins tucked in the forests by the lakes.  I instantly got the idea for a novel - Solitude Lake - about a town nestled by a mountain lake with a lodge.

Q: Are any of your characters similar to real-life friends or family?

A: All authors draw some inspiration from friends and family, but most of the characters are unique to the book.  I definitely see a bit of myself in both Susan’s contemplative nature as well as the firecracker lodge owner, Molly Arnett.

Q: What was the most challenging part of writing this book?

A: Figuring out balance between details and story.  The scenery is a central character in this book and I wanted to focus on creating that imagery and romance in the land, but also not be too detailed.  I worked with my editor to adjust a bit and hopefully readers enjoy checking into the Solitude Lake Lodge and the cast of characters

Q: What part of writing this book was the most fun for you?

A: Creating the people and places - I love Montana and drew heavily on my time in the area to imagine the environs of Hidden Creek - a small town with a mix of art and rodeo combined with the lake life of the area. 

Q: What Authors or other Books have inspired you to write this book?

A: Charles Dickens has a small part in this book - and he is a big inspiration for me as an author…but my contemporary romance style is heavily influenced by authors like Debbie Macomber and RaeAnne Thayne.  I love the way they create charming small town life with complex and heartfelt characters.

Q: What is your favorite passage from this book?

A:

A fever of hope kindled inside Susan, her deepest gloom

bathed in light, long days where the darkness of night was

eclipsed by the stars—the entire galaxy in sight and the fullness

of the moon. It was an unshakable feeling.

Q: If you could meet any of your characters, who would it be and what would you say to them?

A: Probably Molly Arnett - she has run the Solitude Lake Lodge for years and is a modern day Montana pioneer of sorts - from business owner to mother - I’d love to enjoy a glass of wine and a slice of huckleberry cheesecake with her.