Thursday, 9 May 2013

Kristi Ahlers: The Trouble with Beaches

What I love most about series stories is that there is an endless scope of story possibilities. And Kristi Ahlers' Trouble Series is an excellent example of this.

One reading this story will not find the same doldrum reads as with some other series work. Starting with (and I'll just use the main part of the title, because it's trouble with everything, apparently ;-) ) French Kisses, Ms Ahlers crafts a cute story set in Paris where there is a law on the books about not kissing on train platforms in the city. Why? Missed trains, late trains . . . who wants to interrupt a couple so obviously in love that their goodbye kiss seemingly goes on forever? Such passion!

Then we had Pilots. Not your average Mile High story, but it starts with one heck of a kiss.

Next is Voodoo. In this story, Ms Ahlers ventures down the path where ghosts roam the halls, and apparently bookstores. Set in New Orleans, the heroine appeals for advice from the local voodoo queen!

Just down the road, the heroine is making Cupcakes in her little shop in the French Quarter. Ooh la la, this book also includes one HUMDINGER of a recipe.

Over the holidays our hero and heroine were caught kissing under the Mistletoe.

And today, we're in San Francisco where our heroine is a tour guide. Oh my! If you thought the previous five stories curls your toes, Beaches will curl everything else. Besides writing some really lovely little stories in this series, Ms Ahlers can also write a kiss like no one's business.

In The Trouble with Beaches, Anne has just opened her own business--tour guides of San Francisco. her first tour is booked quickly with four lovely elderly ladies who want to see the top attractions. Easy, right? Well, when Anne and her stuck-in-the-60s driver, Gunther, arrive to collect the bitties, Anne learns several lessons rather quickly, including: never judge a book by its cover, never underestimate the elderly, and maybe love at first sight is a real thing.

Dean, an architect from the Windy City, thinks this tour will be a great way to spend some quality time with his dear old grandmother. The moment he sets eyes on Anne, something gets him going. It's not long before he realizes what that something is. He pushes her buttons every chance he gets, playing a fine line between totally ticking her off and getting her to melt into him. It's not long before both realize what's really happening here. And leave it to the bitties to stir the proverbial!

I loved the side attraction between Gunther and Cora, too. Remember, a retiree today was a rockin' hipster back in 1969 ;-)

To painfully use a tired cliche, The Trouble Series has something for everyone. And Beaches is no exception. Take a tour around San Francisco and learn some fascinating history of the city and its people, meet some incredible not-so-old ladies with some of their own stories to tell, and watch love bloom in an instant. Some people may think a meaningful relationship can't develop so quickly, but I beg to differ. Love finds its own way and in its own time. One either goes with it or struggles for eternity. Like Stephen Stills sang in his 1970 hit song . . . Love the one you're with!

I caught up with Kristi as her book was going to press, literally at the last minute (sorry Kristi!). She was gracious enough to take time out of her schedule for a quick chat about her life on the real world side of her screen.

Congratulations, Kristi, on your new release. Every Trouble story gets better and better. And welcome to Heart of Fiction. Our readers are very nosey people. They love your stories, but they want to know about YOU. For example: What is my writing space like?

It's a wonderful little room with all of my treasures surrounding me. I have printed pictures of all my covers on a inspiration board directly in front of my desk. My desk is in front of a window and when I look out I see a lake and tall pines surrounding the water. I have all sorts of knick knacks surrounding me, that inspire the writing.

Wow! Sounds idyllic. Can I move in with you? :-)

I know you recently moved. What is my daily routine like nowadays?

Once I get moving, the first stop is the coffee maker where I get a pot of Pumpkin Spice coffee brewing (yes year long, I buy and freeze it when it's available) then I pick up the house real quick before I sit down at the computer to either post blogs or start writing. I have my "write my blog days" and my "post my blog days" I set aside time for social media in between writing.

Mmm . . . pumpkin. I'm a firm believer that as with puppies, pumpkin anything is not just for Christmas ;-) Makes me want to break out some Libby's to make a pie!

Oh, wait! We were talking about you. It's not hard to get distracted by food, especially around you. I'm still having dreams about those cupcakes in New Orleans . . .

So, when you're not doing the cupcake thing or the writing thing, what do you like doing? Any special hobbies?

I love to read, and when I'm not reading, I relax by doing cross stitch. I'm also a huge fan of going to the beach when I can. :)

Yes, you do love the beach, and that comes through loud and clear in The Trouble with Beaches. I just know readers will love this one.

Thanks for the last minute chat. As you know, you RAWK!

Without further delay, check out The Trouble with Beaches for yourself, Readers, and see this one doesn't make you hanker for a tour of San Francisco, some great sourdough bread, a 'trip' through the Haight, and of course, a visit to the beach.

• • •

Anne is starting her own tour business and her first tour is made up of four retired ladies. How hard could this tour be? Well, Anne isn’t counting on one lady getting flirty with her 60’s retro driver, one lady having an unusual love of sharks, or the grandson of the leader of the pack not only being sexy as heck, but also being a teasing thorn in her side. Her attraction to Dean is instant and hot, and suddenly when the tour comes to an end, Anne wonders if a new chapter in her life is about to begin. Or is it going to be bon voyage to her heart?

Dean has agreed to join his grandmother on her vacation as a way of spending some time with her. Since he’s so busy with his architectural firm, he hasn’t spent time with her like he normally had. This trip to California is exactly what he needs. He’s prepared to have a great time. What he’s not prepared for is the instant burning attraction to the sexy little tour guide. Dean wants Anne more than he wants his next breath, and although the attraction is mutual, he realizes he needs to talk Anne into giving him a chance. Well, nothing worth having ever came easy, and he’s going to make sure Anne realizes they’re meant to be together.

Anne was screwed.

Yup, there was no way to sugar coat it. She was going to jack this up in a big way—after all if you were going to do something, you might as well do it right. And Anne believed in excelling at everything she did, even if it was screwing up. Well, it couldn’t be said that she wasn’t going to be memorable.

“Are you sure you’re ready to do this?” Meredith asked with a laugh.

Meredith was Anne’s best friend and she was currently home in Napa trying to run her family’s winery. “No, but I’ve got to start sometime and this shouldn’t be too hard. I hope.”

Anne had quit the rat race. Well, in so far as she didn’t go to an office and sit in a cubical all day and watch the world pass her by, that is. With help from her eccentric grandma, she was able to fulfill her dream of owning her own tour company and be a tour guide in her favorite city—San Francisco.

Her first tour group was arriving later that afternoon and she was at once both sick and excited. It was a horrible feeling. Since she really wanted Tours by Anne to succeed, she was putting an awful lot of stress on herself, and she parked that stress in her stomach.

Meredith patted her on the shoulder, “You know exactly what the group wants to see. You’ve made all the arrangements, paid for the fees where needed . . . things are going to be fine.”

Gunther, her van driver—a suggestion by Grammy and one Anne couldn’t say no to—strolled into the office and made his way over to the dorm fridge. He hadn’t left the 60s behind like everyone else. He was currently wearing a tie-died shirt sporting yellows, oranges and greens—bold colors to be sure—and his graying hair was pulled back in a ponytail. “Ya know, Annie girl, you’ve just got to let things roll, ya dig? Life is too short, man, to get all bent over the small stuff.”

Intellectually, Anne knew this and so far her dealing with Martha Bryant had been perfectly normal. Blissfully normal, actually. Anne really had no reason to feel so unsettled but she did. Like first day of school kind of nervous. No, it was not that. It was a sense that she was missing something, maybe didn’t have the facts kinda thing. She hated that. Really, really hated that.

Despite her misgivings, she was as ready as she could be. With the help of Martha it was determined the first day of the tour would be spent at the famous Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39, and if time allowed, they would do a driving tour of local  tourist sites before they would go their separate ways for dinner. The second day would be spent at the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose and then they’d have free time for the few hours left before the group departed for Los Angeles—without Anne of course.

Before Anne could respond to Gunther, her grandmother came into the kitchen. “Good morning, dear.”
Anne walked around the butcher block table island to her grandmother. “Morning, Grammy.” She kissed her papery cheek. “What are you doing over here so early?”

Anne grabbed a mug and filled it with her favorite pumpkin spice coffee. She didn’t understand why it had to be a seasonal flavor, so when it was available she hoarded it and kept it in the freezer to drink throughout the year.

“Just wanted to be here before you left to wish you luck.”

“Thanks, Gram.” Anne turned to Gunther, “Are you ready?”

“Born ready, dude.”

• • •

Kristi Ahlers is a California girl! She grew up in Northern California in a small city called Yuba City. Since then she's lived in Brussels, Belgium, and England along with a myriad of other locations. A former flight attendant, she was able to continue to feed her love of travel. This has greatly influenced her writing, allowing her to pen stories about places she's managed to visit and things she's experienced.

Kristi loves to hear from her readers.

Find Kristi online at --

Kristi Ahlers
Kristi's Blog
Tirgearr Publishing

• • •

Stay tuned for the Trouble Duets collections --

The Trouble with Paris includes French Kisses and Pilots
The Trouble with New Orleans includes Voodoo and Cupcakes
The Trouble with California includes Beaches and the soon to come, Vineyards

• • •

Tirgearr Publishing is giving away a copy of The Trouble with Beaches today to one lucky commenter. Leave Kristi a message with your email address, or ask her a question, and be automatically entered into the random drawing.

Or grab a copy of Beaches here

Be sure to check out Kristi's main page at Tirgearr Publishing for her Trouble backlist, as well as her novel, His Heart's Desire.


  1. Thanks so much for hosting this blog today! YOU totally RAWK on a Jelly Roll! :)

  2. LOL You're too funny, Kristi.

    Thanks for chatting last minute. And yes, it was very last minute. You're the best!

  3. You know me, I love to chat, so no worries. Anytime! :)