Spotlight & Giveaway: Summer at Mount Joy by Ophelia London

Posted June 14th, 2024 by in Blog, Spotlight / 37 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Ophelia London to HJ!

Hi Ophelia and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Summer at Mount Joy!

Hi HJ! It’s been a while, and I’m so thrilled to be back on your awesome blog!

Please summarize the book a la Twitter style for the readers here:

SUMMER AT MOUNT JOY is Virgin River-meets-Fixer Upper when a former-soldier-turned-cowboy and a city-girl-turned-renovator must come together to return her family’s ranch to its former glory.

Please share the opening lines of this book:

As Josh drove toward the swankiest part of town, he couldn’t help imagining how proud his father would’ve been if he’d been present to see him off. His chest expanded with satisfaction when he reckoned pretty dang proud, what with him somehow landing the hottest girl at school to accompany him to senior year Homecoming.
I think one more mental fist bump is in order.


Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

  • Josh, my hero, is a former-soldier/bull-rider/cowboy/renovator, with a touch of some lovely PTSD. You’ll love him so hard.
  • Just like Roxy, my heroine, I have a bunch of older brothers who teased me relentlessly and gave me the most embarrassing nick-names.
  • One of my very favorite scenes was added on my third edit pass.
  • In the previous Sugar City novel, WIFE FOR THE WEEKEND, Roxy was a total hopeless romantic. It was fun to write about a more confident yet relationship-weary Roxy in this book.
  • I spent way too much time researching “hot cowboys” images in Pinterest.
  • Unfortunately, I did NOT have to research how it feels to be sprayed by a skunk.


What first attracts your main characters to each other?

Definitely looks. Roxy sees Josh across a crowded room, expecting to see an crusty old ranch hand, and is floored by his blue eyes, swoony smile and perfect butt. Josh recognizes stunning Roxy almost immediately, bringing back all the memories of their date to the Homecoming dance ten years earlier.

Using just 5 words, how would you describe your main characters”love affair?

  • Surprising
  • Taboo
  • Affectionate
  • Fun
  • Swoony


The First Kiss…

…is a complete surprise to both characters…or so says Josh–though Roxy claims he was reading her mind. Aren’t impulsive kisses the BEST?

Without revealing too much, what is your favorite scene in the book?

Definitely when Josh gets to be a hero in action. The true plotty-drama of the story takes place after this little snippet…

“Don’t!” Josh’s shout of caution was a reflex, and he immediately pushed from the fence and took off at a sprint. “Get him down!” he shouted to the kids surrounding the boy. But their cell phones were out, egging him on.
Josh’s instincts said he had no choice but to take control of the spooked animal before she did real damage. It was darkly comical how shocked the kid looked when the horse began to buck, her powerful legs kicking out behind her.
“Slide off and run to the fence!” Josh commanded, grabbing for the rope, adrenaline pumping, brain sharp as a laser. But the kid was so panicked he had a death grip on the horse’s mane, making her thrash harder. “Dammit, let go!”
As if in slow motion, Josh watched helplessly as the kid followed his orders at the exact moment the horse whipped around and gave one mighty buck, resulting in her inexperienced rider flying fifteen feet into the air.


If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would be absolutely crucial to include?

The “shower” scene. It’s not what you think, sweet readers!

“Take my hand.”
Josh’s hand gripped hers, strong and firm. Roxy placed her other hand around it.
“Can you see?”
“No.” She shook her head, feeling a strange type of lump in her throat. “But I think I’m…crying.”
“Good. That will help clear out your eyes naturally.”
She nodded, that lump in her throat growing.
“Okay, let’s go. Stay close to me and I’ll lead you.”
Roxy swallowed hard. Stay close to you? But she didn’t have time to process the possibility of their bare skin brushing together, before Josh pulled her forward into the house. She heard their bare feet on the kitchen tile. He squeezed her hand when they reached the carpeted stairs. She squeezed back. They were both panting for breath when they entered the master bathroom.
She didn’t need her eyes to picture what the room looked like. There was a long counter with double sinks, antique fixtures that they would probably keep post-renovation. A large claw-foot tub sat under a window, and the avocado-tiled standing shower with a bench and one single showerhead.
Roxy’s inhalation shuddered, making her shoulders quiver and her legs go weak. She’d been nude in front of a man before, but this was different.
This was Josh.
Joshua Manning.
Jay Man.


Readers should read this book …

if they love swoony-sweet, small town romances with laughable banter, kisses that take three pages, and happily ever afters! Did I mention the hot cowboy?


What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned?

I’m really enjoying living in the world of Summer at Mount Joy at the moment, but I always have plot bunnies hopping around my brain!


Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: $25.oo USD Amazon gift card to winner.


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Roxy and Josh come up with numerous names for their new dude ranch. Josh suggests Roxy’s Place. “…Definitely a place I would like to spend the night….”
If you got to name your very own dude ranch, what would it be called?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Excerpt from Summer at Mount Joy:

“From your résumé,” Roxy continued, “I knew about your time in the military, building all those schools over there. But earlier, you said you rode the most dangerous bull and ended up in the hospital.” She paused, as if formulating her next question. “Did that happened after you got out of the army?”
“Do you want to know about my time on the rodeo circuit?”
“Rodeo?” she asked but in a way that made him feel safe to share.
“That’s generally where you ride bulls, Rox.” He arched an eyebrow. “But yes, that was after the army, after I physically recovered.” He paused and kicked the fence post. “It’s hard to explain, though I do have better words for it now. I experienced a lot of adrenaline in Afghanistan—an overload of it, it’s how my body is wired. For years, I was walking around in a body full of cortisol, constant headaches and anxiety. I had a rough time adjusting after that. Taking care of the family farm is a slow pace comparatively. I was restless to the point of making some really reckless decisions. Trying to stay on a thrashing bull who wanted to kill me seemed like a good way to burn off misplaced energy and my Superman complex.”
He was surprised how Roxy hadn’t once flinched back at his story. Or flat-out left him standing there for the crows to eat.
“I was good at it, a natural, my coach kept telling me,” he continued, “but I got cocky. Careers don’t last long with those ingredients. I was stupid and made a lot of mistakes during that last ride, but it was a wakeup call. Some guys like me broke their backs, necks, some even lost limbs. I hate to say I was lucky, because I don’t believe in luck, but something I can’t explain kept that bull from scooping me up and flipping me into the air one more time. I would not have walked away from that.”

Excerpts. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

In a family made almost entirely of successful overachievers, Roxy Elliott is the odd woman out. Yet she’s determined to save her family’s old, run-down ranch from being sold and razed to the ground and, in the process, to prove that she has more heart—and ambition—than her family expected. The only problem? In a town as small as Mount Joy, there’s just one guy who can help her with the ranch’s transformation…and he’s a complete pain in her backside.

Had he known firecracker Roxy Elliott would be his new boss, ex-soldier-turned-cowboy Josh Manning definitely would have taken a hard pass on the town’s new job. He has his own memories from the last time they were together, and he’s not about to let her off the hook a second time. But Josh will do anything to save his family home from foreclosure, even sell his soul to the last woman he ever would have wanted to be partners with. But Roxy Elliott might just surprise him yet…

At first, nothing goes according to plan. The pipes are all rusted, the hideous wallpaper is impossible to remove, and the front porch is one rotten board away from swallowing someone whole. Now the dude ranch is showing some serious potential for not only transforming the community, but both their lives, as well. But while Roxy Elliott is still the loveliest thing to ever cross paths with a grump like Josh, summer romances never last forever…and history has a tendency to repeat itself.
Book Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Goodreads |

Meet the Author:

USA Today bestselling author Ophelia London was born and raised among the redwood trees in beautiful northern California. Once she was fully educated, she decided to settle in Florida, but her car broke down in Texas, and she’s lived in Dallas ever since. A self-proclaimed Southern Woman, she enjoys cupcakes, planking, reruns of Dawson’s Creek and obsessing over her Italian Greyhound, Peanut. Ophelia is the author of SUMMER AT MOUNT JOY, book #4 in her Sugar City series, as well as the Honey Brook series, the Perfect Kisses series, the Abby Road series, and other adult, NA and YA sweet romances. Don’t call her when she’s streaming The Golden Girls. #PaceyLove
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37 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Summer at Mount Joy by Ophelia London”

  1. Glenda M

    Thundering Paws – I’d want it to be an animal rescue in addition to the dude ranch part

  2. Amy R

    If you got to name your very own dude ranch, what would it be called? Mystic Pines Ranch (I like this fictitious town Kristen Ashley created)

  3. Banana cake

    Lola’s Ranch because my chihuahua would be the boss of all the animals.