Lauraine Henderson began writing as a child, poems and journaling, until babies, building houses, and bookkeeping jobs usurped her world. 

Now, well established in Oregon and with the children grown, she devotes her time to writing her favorite genre: clean romance. Years of life experience translate into plots, calamities, and happily-ever-afters as she writes her inspirational and romantic stories about fictional people who seem so real, you’ll want to know what happens after the book ends! 

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Where’s the harm in pretending to be engaged for a couple months?

Elliott Palmer’s brilliant impulse to propose a fake engagement to his sister’s teacher in order to get rid of a stalker may be the biggest mistake of his life. Or it could be the best thing to happen since his cookie empire went national. 

Charlotte Bloomberg feels like she’s walking a tightrope at work after the scandal last year that almost cost her teaching job. Yet…Elliott’s proposal could be the answer to her saving face with not only her co-workers, but her family, too. 

As the two work through school calamities, nosy family members, and a stalker getting closer all the time, the lines between real and fake start to blur when hearts get involved. But what happens when the police insist a wedding date will bring the stalker out in the open, and Elliott suspects Charlotte of being a crook?

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Q&A With the Author:

1. Why do you choose to write romance? Do you write any other genres?
I love writing clean romance because I love reading clean romance. There is so much negativity and hardship in the world, people with disabilities of one kind or another, and societal unrest. I want my readers to be able to escape their everyday challenges and relax for a couple hours. I don’t write any other genres at this time. I’ve thought about writing some non-fiction and I may do that someday.

2. How long does it take you to write a book, typically?
Typically, it takes me about six weeks of steady writing to write a book. Unfortunately, I don’t always get to spend my time steadily writing, which means my books take a lot longer. Once the first draft is completed, it usually takes two to three more weeks of editing and revisions before I get to the final manuscript.

3. Since a lot of romance books show both male and female perspectives, share with us the most difficult thing about writing the perspective of the opposite gender?
The hardest part of writing from a man’s perspective is getting the emotions right. I know men and women think differently and feel differently. I use music and listening to the comments of men in my world to figure out my hero’s perspective. 

4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
This is a difficult question. I guess I would have to say that sometimes, when I’m writing, my character will say something that changes the direction of the scene and I will usually go with it, letting the story write itself in many ways.

5. Tell us a bit about a future project you are working on? Do you have any little sneak peeks you can share?
I’m working on the second book of the Cookie Romances, A Cookie and a Promise. This is the story of Elliott’s sister, Kelly, and her ex-boyfriend, Brandon. They were both supporting characters in the first book, A Cookie and a Kiss. The time is five years later, after Kelly and Brandon are out of college. Kelly hasn’t seen Brandon since the summer before senior year in high school, when Brandon broke up with her. Now, Kelly is done with school and excited to take her place at her brother’s side in their family cookie business. Brandon was promised an internship by Elliott and he takes it. When it’s obvious they still have some unresolved feelings to work through—read: they can’t seem to stop fighting at work—Elliott forces them to collaborate on a new cookie recipe or they’re both fired! Collaboration leads to reconciliation, but all is not at it seems when the cookie recipe fails and Kelly and Brandon have no one to blame but each other.

6. What is the most romantic date you have ever been on? Or, what is your idea of the perfect Valentine Date?
My husband provides me with a lot of inspiration. Our first date—yes, the very first one—was one of the most romantic dates ever. He picked me up in the morning, we double-dated with another couple and tried to go boating, but the boat wasn’t working, so we came home. To make up for the wasted day, we went out for dinner and he let me pick the restaurant. I chose a restaurant at the top of a hotel in downtown Portland. We dressed up in long dresses and suits and had the most elegant dinner. He said it was the best steak he’d ever eaten. Great conversation and lots of laughs over the calamities with the boat. Once dinner was over, we dropped off the other couple and he took me to “the top of the world,” a deserted street at the top of a hill that looked out over the lights of the valley. He parked the car, turned on the radio (hey, it was before the days of iPods and cell phones), and we slowed-danced in the street. Then he took me home and tenderly kissed me good-night.

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