Guest Author: Margo Hoornstra and the Brothers in Blue Series

MargoFor this month’s guest author, I turned to another of my fellow members of the Mid-Michigan chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America). Margo Hoornstra is actually a founding member of the group, and continues to be active as an officer and mentor. Lately, she’s been working on and promoting a new romantic suspense series called Brothers in Blue. I finished reading Book One, On the Surface, a few weeks ago, and can’t wait to dive into Book Two! In the meantime, I asked Margo to share the story behind this exciting series, and I’m so happy she agreed to share it with us:


How One Romantic Suspense Series Came To Be

To serve and protect was never more personal

Brothers In Blue, four heroes who met at the police academy and became lifelong friends. The dropout, the straight arrow, the movie star and the maverick.
All share a passion to serve and protect. Each in their own unique way.

Did you ever wonder how some books are born?  I have too. Where do the ideas for an entire series come from? While all fiction authors approach their creativity in different ways, here’s a look at how my latest series, Brothers In Blue, came to be.

Since 2008, I’ve had several short stories and novels published each year on a regular basis with The Wild Rose Press. I seemed to be on a roll with my writing.

Or so I thought…

One day, I was in my home office toiling away on my latest work in progress, a four-book series about four ordinary women who become millionaires and how their lives, and loves, change as a result.

Unfortunately, something about this series just wasn’t clicking.

Which was doubly frustrating. Before this, I’d put aside a romantic suspense novel that wasn’t clicking either. What had started as a short story about an old, abandoned colonial house had morphed into a full length. In that book the lead character, Brad Collins, is an ex-cop turned bounty hunter who poses as a handyman to help a woman resurrect a family owned bed and breakfast. I knew his purpose going in isn’t all that noble. But why? I had no clue.

I seemed to be at a stalemate. Nothing was working in my writing these days. So why then don’t I simply just quit?

That was it. I QUIT.

Stalking down the hall and into the living room, I plopped on the couch. With both arms crossed over my chest in true body language style, I was in full out self-protection and don’t-you-dare-argue-with-me mode.

“Nothing is working for me anymore. I quit.”

Across the room, relaxing in his favorite recliner, my husband slowly glanced up. “You know you don’t mean that.”

Obviously, he hadn’t received the body language interpretation memo.

I held myself tighter. “This time I do. I really do mean it.”

He didn’t seem to notice. “Really?”

“Yes. Really.”

“I’ll bite. Why?”

“Nothing’s working.” I hate when I have to repeat myself with him. “My contemporary romance series about women who become millionaires is going nowhere. I’m not excited about it. The same is true with the romantic suspense I’ve ditched as well.”


For the next few moments he sat there, having the good sense not to argue further. Quietly letting me fume.

Then he looked me in the eye and opened his mouth. “So how about this? I see a woman in her apartment, alone and confused. She’s just lost her job and doesn’t know what to do next. Enter an undercover cop who needs to run surveillance on a resident across the street. Her place is the perfect vantage point, so he figures out a way to get her to help him.”

That was all I needed to hear. Because…

Brad Collins had a friend, still on the force. Although a straight arrow when it came to police work, Vince Miller helps Brad out now and then with ‘inside’ information. This guy was just itching for a book of his own. Enter the unemployed heroine and undercover officer idea from my dear husband and the four-book series, Brothers In Blue was born.

Brothers In Blue, four heroes who met at the police academy and became lifelong friends. The dropout, the straight arrow, the movie star and the maverick. All share a passion to serve and protect. Each in their own unique way.

With one book finished, and fleshed out premises for three more, I sent a proposal for the series to my publisher. Shortly after, I was thrilled to receive contracts for all four books.

Brad Collins is, of course, The Dropout. His novel became ON THE SURFACE, Brothers In Blue, Book 1. (Published in 2017.)

He sought vengeance only to discover love.51xk6jq-m9l._sy346_

Wrongly convicted ex-con and recent parolee Jenny Reynolds wants to forget her tarnished past and focus on a brighter future. One that begins with a return to the small tourist town where she grew up. The restoration of her family’s once proud Rest Easy Bed and Breakfast is the only thing on her mind. Fleeing an ex who refuses to let her go, what she doesn’t need to complicate her already problematic life is another man.

Enter handsome handyman Brad, a man who seems to care as much about restoring the B and B as she does. A man who soon becomes ready, willing and able to steal her heart. A man, as it turns out, with more than a few secrets of his own. A dropout from law enforcement, the real Brad Collins will use anyone and anything to fulfill a personal vendetta.

When two pasts collide and danger threatens, their budding love for each other may be the first casualty.

** Note from Patricia: You can read my review of On the Surface here.
On the Surface
is available at Amazon.

As for Brad’s friend and confidant, Vince Miller, The Straight Arrow, his novel became ON THE FORCE, Brothers In Blue Book 2. (Published in 2018.)

51wqfn9htzlLosing her job was nothing compared to the prospect of losing her life.

Top notch CFO Sydney Raines is devastated when her coveted job working for a high profile conglomerate is yanked out from under her. Determined to restore her mangled reputation, she finds her second chance when the owner of an upscale art gallery hires her as his personal assistant.

Straight arrow cop Vince Miller is assigned to crack an international art theft ring. Working undercover, he never counted on meeting Sydney Raines, let alone falling in love with her. Then an unexpected twist in the case reveals the identity of a serial killer, along with the shattering realization that Sydney could be the psycho’s next victim.

On the Force is available at Amazon.

ON THE MAKE, Brothers In Blue, Book 3 with The Movie Star, Adam Hollingsworth aka Adam Pride, is completed and in the editing stages. (Publication date to be determined.)

Will a tragic past sabotage future dreams?

When it comes to husbands, Madison Clark’s track record is the thing of nightmares. Twice widowed, she’s given up on happy ever after—terrified any new love is certain to end in heartbreak. But with two young boys to raise, a stable family life is all she longs for.

Cop turned movie idol, Adam Pride always craved the family he never had. Though Madison and her boys are hard to resist, he wants his own. Not someone else’s readymade version. When the unexpected ties them together forever, he’s torn between growing hope for the future…and nagging fear his dreams will be crushed.

In an alarming turn of events, Madison unknowingly lands in a desperate killer’s crosshairs. For Adam, all bets are off. But can he save her from the deadly threat? Or will a shocking revelation destroy their fragile love?


All four Brothers In Blue books are, for me, very much a labor of love. First responders, police, fire, EMTs and military have always held a special place in my heart. Those who leave the safety and security of their homes and families to willingly put themselves in harm’s way to ensure the safety and security of our homes and families. Many of these individuals, I’m proud to say, are some of my nearest and dearest friends.

By writing this series, I hope, in a small way, to honor, support and recognize these very special souls for the treasures they are.


About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
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25 Responses to Guest Author: Margo Hoornstra and the Brothers in Blue Series

  1. Diane Burton says:

    Great post, Margo. I’ve felt that “I quit” moment several times. So glad you didn’t. Wishing you much success with this series.


  2. Diana Stout says:

    Fantastic blog!!!!! Interesting to see your “I quit” moment, Margo, and how you came out of it with solid stories. Love the premise.


  3. Margo Hoornstra says:

    Thank you so much for inviting me to be here today.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jeff Salter says:

    Welcome to 4F1H, Margo.
    I love your description of the “sit-down” with your hubby, and the resulting brainstorming.
    My wife and I often do the same thing… sometimes at home and sometimes over breakfast at a local (inexpensive) spot we like.
    There have been several times when I’ve turned to her and said, “where does my heroine work?” or “What kind of house does this (supporting character) live in?”
    And many, many other ways that she’s assisted in getting my stories on track and moving forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Loved the post. I’ve been going through a struggle with a series I’m planning. It’s so tempting to quit!
    Best of luck with your series. I too have a soft spot for first responders and the challenges they face. Thank goodness there are still dedicated men and women willing to take on the job.


    • margohoornstra says:

      Hi Alina. I feel your pain with the struggle. But then it’s so nice when we finally break through with that next idea. First responders are true treasures to all of us.


  6. Kara O'Neal says:

    Gosh! I’ve been having the same thoughts. My husband helped me, too, just the other day. I’m glad you kept going because the book sounds great!


    • margohoornstra says:

      Oh thank you, Kara. Can’t even count the number of times I’ve wanted to quit and my fabulous husband simply picks me up and aims me in the right direction, again and again.


  7. Sounds like a wonderful series! I love how the idea came about.


  8. pamelasthibodeaux says:

    Your series sounds AMAZING Margo!
    Good luck and God’s blessings with it


  9. Sorry that I am late in welcoming you.Margo;I spent most of the day with my mind in Sunday-mode!
    I am glad that your husband is so supportive and that he also has good ideas.Amazing how stories and/or ideas can come out of nowhere to almost anyone.
    I wish you all the best .


    • margohoornstra says:

      Thank you so much, Tonette. I so appreciate the opportunity to be here. I’m a little late getting here too. Busy and very involved Monday for me.


  10. Jannine Gallant says:

    Ha! You wouldn’t quit! I would have flown back there just to kick you butt! lol Look how far you’ve come with this series. Go, you!


  11. casimclean says:

    What a great article. I love Margo’s books!


  12. Sounds like your husband knows you really well. So glad you didn’t quit!


  13. I love your story about the story! Did you make your husband an extra nice dinner? 😍


  14. Alicia Dean says:

    Oh wow. I never knew that was how this story came to be. That is SO very cool. I’m happy you didn’t quit…look what we’d all miss out on! Ha, I can honestly say, I’ve never once entertained the idea of quitting, not since I was a young child. 🙂 Although, I have definitely had some slow years.


  15. Elaine Cantrell says:

    Welcome to the blog, Margo. I’ve had a few of those ‘I quit’ moments myself. Good luck with your series.


  16. alsnhendersn says:

    I’ve tried to quite writing before. It didn’t work for me, either. So glad you’ve continued!


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