The Story Behind Close to Perfect by Barbara Longley

07 May 2018

By Barbara Longley

Each of the Perfect, Indiana books deals with issues our troops struggle with while reintegrating into civilian life after multiple deployments. Though the stories delve into sensitive and emotional issues, the overall tone is hopeful and healing. I write romance, so readers are guaranteed a satisfying resolution for each of my heroes and heroines.

The first four books are all contemporaries, and the stories are set in the fictional small town of Perfect, Indiana. Throughout the contemporaries, readers hear a lot about Tobias and Mary Lovejoy, who founded the river town shortly after the Civil War. Each July 4th, the Lovejoy family, direct descendants of the founding couple, hosts a celebration for the residents of Perfect, complete with a pig roast and fireworks.

While writing the first four books, I couldn’t help but wonder about Tobias and Mary. What was their story? Why did they leave Atlanta and settle in Indiana? Who were they, and what were their hopes and dreams? I’d get emails asking the same questions. Readers wanted to know when their story would be told, and then the characters began to take shape in my mind.

Research is one of my favorite things to do. I traveled to Savannah, Atlanta Georgia, and southern Indiana, made notes, visited Civil War museums and worked on developing the backstories for the couple. Tobias and Mary, like the main characters in the contemporaries, also suffered the traumatic effects of war. Tobias spent the last year as a prisoner at Fort Sumter and barely survived the ordeal. Mary lost her entire family and her way of life. The two became very real to me, and I couldn’t wait any longer to tell their story. I really enjoyed writing this book, and I sincerely hope you will enjoy reading Close to Perfect.

The Perfect, IN series begins with Ceejay Lovejoy and Noah Langford in Far from Perfect, next (and my favorite) is The Difference a Day Makes, then A Change of Heart and The Twisted Road to You, and finally, Close to Perfect. I do hope you’ll take a look, and the first four books are on sale ($1.99/Kindle edition US) during the entire month of May, which is . . . perfect.

Barbara Longley is the author of the new book Close to Perfect. 

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