Must Have Faith

Deborah Garland
Must Have Faith


Roane Publishing
Release Date
June 2018
Book 2 of Darling Cove Series
Contemporary Romance

Forgiving isn't easy. Forgetting may be impossible.

Greg Mallory isn't the kind of man to wallow just because he was left at the altar. Not when there are plenty of women to help him forget his heartbreak. But as the only Mallory son, he has an obligation to carry on the family name. When Greg's runaway bride returns, his head tells him to keep his distance, but his body and heart are both begging for a second chance.

Faith Copeland bolted out of Darling Cove with a shameful secret and stayed away for ten years thinking Greg Mallory would never forgive her. Coming home means facing her past and Greg. She just didn't think he still had the power to make her melt after all this time.

One moment alone proves their attraction is stronger than ever. Are they brave enough to start fresh? Or will past secrets destroy their second chance at happy-ever-after once and for all?

BOOK INTERVIEW on August 2018
~In honor of this Romance Review Featured Book Interview,
Must Have Faith is now available for 99 CENTS!~
Until Sept 8, 2018 only
Interview by Laura

Welcome, Deborah, to The Romance Reviews!

Q: MUST HAVE FAITH is book #2 of the Darling Cove Series. Where did you get your inspiration for this series? How are the books tied together?

I hadn't set out to write a series. I wrote, Must Love Fashion, but at the time it was called, Wishing on Italian Stars. I had all the ingredients for a series in that first book; a small town and a close-knit family but I hadn't intended for them to have their own books. I'm a member of the Long Island Romance Writers, and an editor was coming to one of our meetings to coach us how to pitch a series. We were told to have a pitch prepared to get feedback. That morning, I crammed like it was a test and dared to ask ‘what-if?'

So glad I did!

The Darling Cove series is tied together by the Mallory family as well as the town. If the series continues in 2019, it will go beyond the Mallory siblings, but there will always be a Mallory tie-in.

Q: Tell us more about Darling Cove. Where is it located?

Darling Cove is a fictional hamlet located on the North Fork of Long Island, New York. It's about 70 miles east of Manhattan. Right in the heart of wine country! Location wise, it's based on Mattituck and I had even been using the actual town name until I made the title change. Fans of Nelson DeMille will recognize Mattituck from his John Corey series.

As far as coming up with the name, I'd just read Baby It's You by Jane Graves. Her fictional location is Rainbow Valley and I was going for something like that when coming up with the title of Darling Cove.

In Must Love Fashion, I introduce readers to Darling Cove and the North Fork like this:

It's what [Gwen] loved about living on the North Fork, a thin stretch of coast composed of unique glacial soil surrounded by the Long Island Sound and Atlantic Ocean. Darling Cove was one of the many small towns enriched by the wine industry, thanks to hot summer days and ocean breezes that float across the farms to keep the grapes cool and moist at night.

Q: MUST HAVE FAITH is such a clever title. How did you come up with it?

Thank for the compliment on the title. *Smiles* When I figured out I wanted to make this a series and changed Book 1 to Must Love Fashion, I looked for other titles with "Must" in each of the titles. I had already saddled Greg with ‘jilted groom' status and happened to use the name Faith as his childhood sweetheart. Must Have Faith, just came to me. I shook my head at how easy it was.

Q: Tell us about the heroine Faith Copeland. What kind of person is she? How different is she from the Faith of 10 years ago?

Faith is a career woman by default. For so long it was all she had after she left Greg. In the past ten years, she's worked at CNN from an associate war photographer all the way up to Executive Producer in the cushy New York City studio. On the outside, Faith is a different woman. Mature and accomplished. In charge and in control. On the inside, however, she's still the young woman who loved only one man her whole life. What the ten years had done though was give her perspective. And courage. Courage to face the man she left at the altar and even scarier, confess why she really left.

Q: What about Greg Mallory? How is he a swoonworthy hero?

As a teenager, Greg Mallory was the town heartthrob. His looks got him plenty of girls, but when his little sister's best friend developed a crush on him, he didn't know what to do about it. So he did nothing. Being the oldest with two younger sisters it was instilled in him at a young age that he was their protector. Greg became a police officer because he wanted to be just like his father. He loves his job and most of all he loves his family. The death of his mother hit him hard. In those dark hours, he found his purpose and love. He found his Faith.

Greg was written as a secondary character in Must Love Fasion and without trying I created a man a lot of readers wanted to know more about. Here were some of the comments from reviews Must Love Fashion received:

"I am wondering if Greg gets his story or happily ever after. Hopefully so!"

"I really hope there is another book about Gwen's brother's life because I see some drama there."

"I'm anxiously waiting for the second book in this series, which I hope is about Gwen's brother, Gregory. That poor man is in desperate need of some loving!"

Q: What is their first meeting like, 10 years after Faith bolted from Darling Cove?

Knowing this was probably one of the most important scenes in the book, I knew it had to be good. To set up the excerpt… Faith had been asked by Gwen (Greg's sister) to step in as a photographer for her engagement shoot. When Gwen said her whole family would be there, Faith knew that meant Greg. Faith knew Greg would be there.

But Greg had no idea…

Enjoy this excerpt!


Greg Mallory stood a few feet away. [Faith's] eyes feasted on his bare back, wide and smooth. Perfect. Full of that hard, lean muscle she remembered. His body had always thrilled her, even as a young girl. She'd been drawn to him ever since she figured out what being a woman was all about.

She gasped when he dropped his cargo pants and revealed that curvy ass. "I, uh…"

Through a mirror on the opposite wall, her eyes connected to his as he quickly stood up. Greg spun around with a face full of the same fear that was coursing through her.

He'd filled out. Everywhere. Tight ab muscles trailed down to clingy boxer briefs. Little Greg tucked inside, his shape…very evident.

"Uh. I'm sorry," Faith choked out. "I didn't think anyone would be in here."

Greg stood still, his face flushed, and shoulders set back. "I'll be out in a minute." His deep voice emphasized his smoldering masculinity.

She stepped forward to pull the door closed. But her palms had become too sweaty to latch on properly and her wobbling ankles made her lose her balance. The camera she'd been clutching popped out of her hand. Instincts, driven by the several hundred dollars it cost, propelled her further into the room attempting to catch it. The camera bounced against her fingers like a volleyball until it was secure against her chest.

And Greg's.

* * * *

Plastic, metal and breasts.

Greg mentally inventoried everything he felt against his skin. His bare skin. It'd taken several seconds to process that he was standing in his underwear. With Faith's body pressed into his chest, his arms around her shoulders prevented her from falling. His Faith. Her fingers twisted around the camera to secure it, causing long fingernails to scrape against his stomach.

"I have it," Faith whispered as the pressure of her body against his began to wane.

Not so fast.

His fingers settled under her elbows holding her in place. The bottom of his chin brushed against the top of her head. All these years of imagining what he would say if they were in the same room was lost to him at that moment.

Her head tipped back to meet his gaze. Months of distant glances all crashed down into a full-on eye locking stare.

Q: What makes them perfect for each other?

Long Answer: Of all the couples I created and brought together, I think Greg and Faith will go down as my all time favorites. I got emotional talking about them to a reader at a recent book signing. Greg and Faith grew up together and share a similar background. Both their fathers were police officers. Their values completely lined up. Faith was made for Greg and the moment he made her his, all was right in Greg's world.

Short Answer: Greg and Faith have only ever loved each other. They learned the meaning of love, by loving each other.

Q: What for you is a romantic moment between them?

Greg and Faith have all kinds of moments in MUST HAVE FAITH before the big moment when they give into a desire that never evaporated between them. Their first meeting was more of a surprise. Then there's a ton of awkwardness. And one really hot kiss that almost gets completely out of control. But Faith puts the brakes on. She can't bear to hurt Greg again.

Here's a moment where they become…friends again. I think it's romantic.

Enjoy this excerpt!


Instead of hiding behind the coffee cart, Greg was front and center in the parking lot waiting for Faith when she stepped off the train the next morning.

His head dipped slightly acknowledging her.

She secured her work bag against her chest and moved to his truck. "Thank you for doing this."

"No problem. The shift ends right before this train comes in. So, it works out." He lifted a Styrofoam cup to his lips.

"Is the coffee from that cart over there any good?" She pointed to the end of the lot.

"Sure, do you want to get--" He'd turned around while speaking but stopped and faced her.

She smiled but didn't call him out on his spying. "Actually, I'm a little hungry."

"I can go for something to eat, too." Greg fumbled with his keys. "Wanna stop at Sadie's before I take you home?"

"God, I would love that." She climbed in the truck. It was warm, too warm if he'd just ended his shift, she noted to herself.

They drove in silence until reaching Darling Cove's one and only diner. Inside, Faith dragged her laptop out of her work bag and placed it on the table.

"I'm waiting to approve a package," she said to excuse the rude clunky device sitting between them.

After the waitress poured them some coffee, Greg's eyes wandered to the laptop's home screen. Without asking, he reached across and opened the folder in the bottom right hand corner.

"Hey, no peeking!" she said, trying to nudge the laptop away from him.

"I saw a picture of myself. I have a right to see how those party shots came out." His determined smile won him the device. "I want to see how ridiculous I looked in that suit."

"I don't think it's possible to look ridiculous in Prada." She tugged the laptop back. "Keep it in the center so we can both look."

"Fine," he said, and masterfully swiped at her cursor pad, knowing exactly how to open the pictures.

When she left, he'd been using a flip phone.

"That's my favorite," she said behind a mug of coffee pointing to one of just the Mallory's. "But I'm biased."

His warm smile hinted that he agreed. She liked how Greg had been looking at her. This might be easier than she imagined, being friends with him. Even if there was still an enormous amount of tension since the kissing and touching in her bed.

Q: Which character in the series is the hardest to write? Why?

Must Be Crazy, Book 3, features Darling Cove's Fire Chief and single father, Edward Mendelsohn. I admit, after being so overwhelmed with Greg that I found it hard to 'get into' Edward. But readers shouldn't worry. Once I got going, the man exploded on the page for me. But he's not the one that was hard to write for. It was his son, Julian. Not having children myself, kids, in general, are hard to write. A seven-year-old boy was a challenge. I want to thank, Suzanne McKenna Link, who critiqued Must Be Crazy and helped me perfect some of Julian's actions and dialogue. I also want to thank the parents of my (now) ten-year-old nephew Jack (to whom the book is dedicated). Going through scenes where Julian was prominent, I'd text Jack's mother and father with questions. Would Jack ask this? Would Jack want to know that?

Now, the other scene-stealer in Must Be Crazy is Skye Mallory's lively Golden Retriever, Casey. I needed no help there. Dogs I know. I'm the mother of a pug.

It's worth noting that we meet Casey in Must Love Fashion. When it came time for MUST HAVE FAITH, I couldn't not have a dog around. So Faith, who is living back home with her parents, has a dog as well. And the dog, Roxy happens to be, Casey's litter mate.

Q: What kind of research did you have to do to write this book? Please share an interesting fact or unique behind the scenes experience.

Even though Darling Cove is fictionally set in the North Fork, because so many scenes take place in different parts of town, visually I saw my own town, which is on the North Shore of Long Island. The two are about 30 miles apart. And my uncle has already called me out on describing Greg's house nearly identical to mine. Except for the color.

What can I say? You write what you know.

Q: Please give us a sneak peek at book 3 in the series.

Not only am I excited about Book 3, Must Be Crazy, featuring Skye Mallory (Greg and Gwen's snarky middle sister) and the hot hot volunteer fireman, Edward Mendelsohn, I am ecstatic that it's coming out so soon after MUST HAVE FAITH. There was a brutal ten-month wait between Fashion and Faith. Brutal for me.

Here's a sneak peek:

Edward Mendelsohn hit the gas when the light turned green.

Julian was hurt. Again. Nothing serious, a slip off the monkey bars at his summer camp. At seven, his son was turning bold. As nerve-wracking as it had been for Edward, he was glad the little guy was coming out of his shell.

A miracle, Edward felt, since his mother left three years ago when he was four. Julian was a fantastic kid. Smart, sweet, polite, when he wasn't making Edward crazy with his antics—hiding and wandering off. Thinking he's a superhero and diving off play equipment.

Edward was tempted to turn on the red shiny emergency lights across the top of his white Chevy Suburban. The Darling Cove Volunteer Fire Department's chief car already caused a frenzy whenever he drove into the camp's parking lot. He'd joined the department soon after Julian was born and after years of working up through the ranks, he'd been elected Fire Chief late last year.

Most people didn't realize he was also an architect. People in the Hamptons had tons of money to throw at him to give them nice houses. That's what paid his bills. Including the expensive camp that couldn't seem to stop Julian from falling down.

Edward hopped out of the truck and rushed through the halls, ignoring stares from women who seemed obsessed with him. He never understood the fascination with single fathers. Didn't people know if a guy was raising a kid by himself that meant something probably went horribly wrong?

Must Be Crazy ~ Having it all means risking everything ~ Drops Oct 22

Q: What's up next for you?

Up next: A Must for Christmas

I really couldn't let Greg and Faith go so easily. Wanting them in my life a little more, I wrote a Christmas Novella that picks up the moment Must Be Crazy ends.

I'm afraid I can't even post the blurb because MUST HAVE FAITH is still fairly new and I don't want to spoil any surprises. Obvious as they may be.

But those who have signed up for my newsletter, and follow me on BookBub and Amazon, will be alerted when A Must for Christmas is released.

Also on the horizon for me is a Paranormal Romance, Drawing Bloodlines. It's the first of a new series called The Princeton Allegiant. Drawing Bloodlines will be released by Soul Mate Publishing in April 2019.

Sounds great! *grin* Thank you for your time, Deborah!

Bio of author, Deborah Garland:

Deborah Garland is a versatile author of women's fiction, contemporary and paranormal romances. Her books are about love and the struggles of complicated relationships. The heroines are strong and witty and the heroes fall hard for them.

She lives on the North Shore of Long Island with her husband and their spoiled pug, Harley. She loves chocolate and eats her bacon cheeseburgers with a Grey Goose cosmopolitan.

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May 26, 2019 06:45 PM ( EST )