A Place in Her Heart Launch Party

A few months ago, I was contacted by Harlequin with an offer to take part in their More Than Words program and I happily agreed. You see, the More Than Words program honors women who are making a difference in their communities and the charities in which they’re involved. The stated goals of the program are:

1. Raise awareness about worthy causes that are of concern to women

2. Provide financial assistance to these important charities

3. Engage employees, authors and readers and the general public in worthy causes and provide opportunities for them to make a difference.

Authors are contracted to write novellas which feature a charity and the award recipients affiliated with those charities. While the real-life person isn’t the main character of the story, they are mentioned in some way. I was chosen to write a story about Linda Burston, the support coordinator for the Women’s Lunch Place in Boston, a women’s shelter that offers a vast array of services to homeless and poor women. Linda knows how many of these women feel as she herself struggled with homelessness and addiction a number of years ago. She was able to turn her life around with the help of the Women’s Lunch Place.

With that in mind, I wanted to craft a heroine who has been through her own share of struggles and found help at the shelter, her own turning point. Thus, Katy McShea came into being. Katy came from a tough upbringing and found herself in an unexpectedly abusive marriage. After fleeing and living on the streets, she found help at the Women’s Lunch Place and is now the proud owner of a bakery. She continues to volunteer at the shelter and is on her way there for that purpose when her car breaks down. When the tow truck driver turns out to be none other than Callum “Cal” Walsh, a good high school friend she’d secretly loved, her world is turned upside down again. She finds herself even more attracted than she was before, but she’s proven that she doesn’t have good judgment when it comes to men. Plus, she’s been down that road with a man in uniform since her ex was in the Navy, too. But this is Cal, who’d always been a good friend. But she’d let him go because she knew how much becoming a Navy SEAL meant to him. However, as they spend time together, she begins to wonder if maybe there’s room for more in Cal’s life than his job. And if maybe love deserves a second chance.

Since this program is all about the wonderful work that charities perform, I was wondering what some of your favorite charities are? Do you volunteer?

Check out Harlequin’s More Than Words site for more information on the program, the recipients and to download free novellas. The download of A Place in Her Heart should be available on retailer sites beginning tomorrow and should be up everywhere within a few days. I hope you enjoy it.



  • Jane says:

    Hello Trish,
    I remembering reading a More Than Words story by Meryl Sawyer a couple of years ago. My favorite charities are Doctors Without Borders(MSF) and Save the Children.

  • Trish, congrats on your new release! What a great idea for a series! Your story sounds fabulous.

  • flchen1 says:

    I LOVE the More Than Words series, Trish–so excited to hear you’re part of it! Will definitely be looking forward to your story and the other new releases! As for favorite charities, we support InnVision Shelter Network, a local organization that supports people and families in transition. We also like Second Harvest Food Bank here, and Today’s Youth Matter. Thanks for highlighting some of these groups that do so much good!

  • Helen says:

    Hi Trish

    This sounds totally awesome and I must look into it I would be very happy reading this

    Have Fun

  • Shannon says:

    At work, we have a program that allows us to donate a small sum of money to any of 4,000 books. The book is thick and the print is tiny which is nice that they now have a searchable website. Over the years, I’ve donated to different ones because I don’t have a favorite.

    One is Doctors Without Borders which serves in many very poor and/or conflict ridden areas.

    There’s specific Fischer Houses or the Fischer House Foundation, places where families of wounded veterans can stay at reasonable rates. (I stayed a something similar in Coeur d’Alene when my Mom was sick for tens of dollars (10, 20?).)

    And then I give to a place called the Women’s Center (with locations in NoVa and DC). Long ago, they provided me with discount counseling; more recently, I took workshops on the legal, economic, and emotional aspects of divorce. I urged my husband to take the legal course which advised mediation as the much cheaper alternative. They welcomed him, even though there were only two guys in the class. A class act all around.

    National Association of Mental Illness is another one that does great work on helping families deal with the problems of schizophrenia and bipolar. I had C-Span on when cleaning house, and they’ve developed a set of classes, seminars, and on-line classes to help returning troops to deal with PTS in partnership with the VA and other veterans organizations.

  • Dianna aka Hrdwrkdmom says:

    This is a wonderful program. I don’t volunteer but I donate and support every other way I can.

    • Well both are needed, so that’s wonderful that you can help. Sometimes people simply don’t have the time to volunteer on a regular basis, but these organizations need funds to operate.

  • catslady says:

    This sounds like a great program. I started out being a candystriper when a teenager, then I helped out with the Girl Scouts, I belonged to a women’s group that did charity work and now I volunteer with our American Legion.

  • What a fantastic idea! And I love the premise of your story. Can’t wait to read it!

    Most of the charities I support are animal related charities. I support our local humane shelter and I also donate to Best Friends, a sanctuary in Utah. I support The Gentle Barn, which is an amazing farm sanctuary.

    At Walmart we donate food to our local food bank. The amount of food is dictated by the amount of trouble a department manager wants to take to box up the food and keep it frozen for pickup. Our pickup guy laughs because we box up EVERYTHING we possibly can to donate. He says other stores’ bakeries donate a box or two a week. We donate as many as 30 boxes a week. I simply like the idea of someone eating this food rather than the alternative. Walmart throws away tons of food each year and it breaks my heart.

    • That’s so wonderful that you donate so much food, Louisa. And yes, it’s really sad how much food is wasted in a country where people are hungry.

      I would love to visit that Best Friends Sanctuary. I’ve always thought it sounds like a wonderful place.

      • Another place similar to Best Friends is Black Beauty Ranch. It was started by Cleveland Armory (He wrote The Cat and the Curmudgeon) and it is a sanctuary for all sorts of animals. I especially love it because the last lines of Black Beauty by Anna Sewell are posted at the gates of the ranch.

        And so I have nothing to fear; and here my story ends. My troubles are all over, and
        I am at home.

  • Trish, what a great initiative! I hope it means a boost in support for all the charities – and you’ve picked a wonderful one. Good on you! The story sounds wonderful too – love the idea of people getting a second chance at happiness and it sounds like Katy deserves it! Best of luck with the book – hope it sells in the squillions!

    • Thanks, Anna. But I will say the charity was chosen for me, but it’s one that I would have picked anyway. They do such great work.

      I believe there were three chosen this time. Another is one that does flights for ill children who need to get to hospitals far from their homes. I don’t remember what the third one is.

  • Cassondra says:

    Trish what a wonderful gift to give–a story for a charity. And you got such a fantastic heroine to emulate through your character!

    I do support charities, mostly for animals or veterans, but I’m sorry to say that it’s mostly with my money now. I used to give a lot of time in volunteer service to several organizations, (did a lot with Habitat for Humanity–a cause I really believe in) and spent thousands of volunteer hours with our Search & Rescue Dog team, but I do less of that now as my dogs are older and no longer able to search. I want to find time to get back to actual volunteer work, as I always got so much out of that. I felt like I got more than I gave, which is the way of it, I think.

    I’ve always, ALWAYS wanted to volunteer with literacy, teaching people to read, but every time I’ve tried to do that, I can’t seem to find an agency that will call me back and give me information on how to help, so maybe I’m not meant to participate that way.

  • Amy Conley says:

    Trish, what a great idea. Please tell me, was it eadier or harder to write this story when you were given a storyline to follow.
    I volunteered to teach religion classes for two years when my own kids were going, and then was “asked” to resign when I said priests should be allowed to marry and when I refused to lie and say I was pro-life, and I am actually pro-choice. I didn’t mind resigning when the priest we had at the time wanted me to lie.
    I also worked as a substitute teacher for our school district, this also included teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), and I would have done that for nothing. I enjoyed it so much and I like to think my students got as much out of it as I did.