One of my projects last summer was to rebrand my older books. You might remember that I re-released the Guitar Girl Romance series formerly written under my pen name Hope Franke. I decided to give the series a fresh look and to bring it back under Lee Strauss. I've also changed the series name to Love & Light.
What do you think of the covers? I love them!
The LIGHT & LOVE sweet romance series is set in the singer-songwriter world in Europe. I've been married to a musician for over thirty years and I live in Germany part-time, so I'm well-versed in this world. I loved the idea of creating characters who sang and wrote music and that I could collaborate with musical artists to incorporate their lyrics into the books.
Not only that, some of the artists spent time in the studio to bring the songs to life for the series, so if you want to, you can listen to the characters sing. Pretty cool!
The first two books are set in Dresden Germany, where I lived at the time of the writing, so I was able to get a good sense of the setting and the mood for the main characters Katja and Eva.
Sing Me a Love Song - Book 1
Katja Stoltz is used to tough times—an abusive stepfather, life on the streets, a musical dream that keeps shattering—but it’s hard to compete with the ghost in Micah Sturm’s mysterious closet.
The Baroque beauty of Dresden Germany can be breathtaking, but it can also be bitterly cold. After being tossed onto the streets by her unfeeling roommates, Katja fears there’s only one recourse left for her. The oldest profession on earth.
Micah’s the one to pick her up, but he surprises her with his no strings offer — a place to stay until she gets on her feet.
If only it weren’t for this undeniable attraction between them, a gravitational pull they both struggle to resist. Katja can't help but fall in love.
But Micah has a secret that could ruin everything.
Will Katja find happiness on her quest for the truth about Micah? Or will she miss out on her Love Song?
This is the building I've based Eva (Your Love is Sweet) and Gabriele's (In Light of Us) house on. There is an actual house church on the main floor (with outer metal blinds tagged with graffiti) which I use as a pattern for the one run by Eva's parents.
The Golden Rider is a famous Dresden icon. This pedestrian lane links Neustadt to Altstadt and is the site of many fairs and festivals throughout the year. This is where Katja plays guitar for the artist festival in Sing Me a Love Song.
Anyone who walks from Neustadt to Altstadt will pass this statue, which includes Katja and Michael from Sing Me a Love Song, and Eva and Sebastian from Your Love is Sweet.
The Augustus Bridge. This is where Katja often busked (worked as a street musician) and where a significant scene takes place between her and Michael. (Sing Me a Love Song)
Eva and Sebastian also spend time on the path that runs along the River Elbe. (Your Love is Sweet)
Berlin features prominently in the third act of Sing Me a Love Song. I didn't have this project in mind when I visited there last summer, so as a result, I don't have that many pertinent pictures. I hope to go again sometime and then I can add to this album.
The Brandenburg Gate. Marks the division between East Berlin and West Berlin. Katja spends time here while waiting on Michael before going to visit her family who still live in project type housing in East Berlin.