CANMORE – Picture this: you land a sweet new place to rent in town only to find out later your new roommate is actually a dreamy professional athlete you had a giant crush on as a wishful thinking teenager.
Well, local novelist Fortune Whelan can take you through the rest of the will-they-won’t-they story in her debut book, Stuck With You, available Tuesday (April 5) online and at Café Books in Canmore.
“It’s not a straight up Rom-Com; it’s a little bit unassuming,” said Whelan, a local librarian. “You’ll read it and you’ll laugh out loud and it’s one of those books where you’re just like, ‘should I laugh? Did anyone see me laughing at this?’ Truly just being able to find the joy in every day and enjoying life.”
Stuck With You surrounds NHL all-star Clark Dorsey, an aloof personality who steps away from the game to spend time with his sick brother in Seattle. While transitioning out of a high-profile relationship, newly single nurse Leena Lopez, a beautiful and opinionated woman who’s caring for the ill Dorsey brother, accepts an invite to move in with her patient.
With Clark now around a lot more, he and Leena suddenly discover the new arrangement in Seattle isn’t what they initially thought it would be.
The novel is Whelan’s first entry in ‘The Dorseys of Conception Bay’ series, which has two more editions set to release in 2022 through Tule Publishing Group, out of California.
“I wrote all three books over COVID,” said Whelan. “I was at the library and I was laid off. I had E.I. coming in and I was taking care of my kid and I had some time, so it was like the perfect time to sit down and write a book that I wanted to write.”
Initially, Whelan pitched the idea as a standalone, but an opportunity came forward to make it a trilogy “and here we are now.”
“I always write family stories and how they are in life right now is a product of those relationships affect their personal relationships with people who aren’t their family,” Whelan said.
Growing up in Calgary with three brothers and a sister, Whelan knows about intricate family dynamics – and with the Flames being the hottest ticket in town, hockey was always very prevalent. Especially with her hockey-loving father.
Whelan is even one of the stars of YouTube show, Chippy Chicks, where five romance authors and hockey fans chat about Canada’s favourite sport, romance, and romance on ice.
“I thought I was hockey crazy, but not compared to the other writers in my group,” said Whelan.
The story takes place at an ocean-side city, but Whelan added a homage to Canmore. Leena is bicyclist – she rides one everywhere, in fact – giving a hat tip to the local diehards willing to pedal in rain, shine, and well, it’s Canmore, so in negative 20 degrees with fat tires, too.
“Having some time away from [Stuck With You] and reading it over again, it’s a little bit surreal because I’m like, ‘did I write this book?’ Like, I know it’s me, but I’m little bit surprised how much I enjoyed my book. I don’t know if that’s a horrible thing to say,” Whelan said with a laugh.
Stuck With You will be available online and in hard copies at Café Books, Tuesday (April 5).
Whelan will be signing books at Café Books on Sunday (April 10) from noon to 4 p.m.