Monday, April 28, 2014

We're All Hazy In Chicago

Chicago.  Also known as the "Windy City" or "Second City".  It's the place my heroine calls home.  It's where I call home.  It's a cultural mecca with an amazing night life, great shopping and a complete weather nightmare. 

It's not uncommon for it to be eighty degrees one day and forty degrees the next.  Winters can hit negative numbers and last fall they actually evacuated Soldier Field, the home of the Bears football team, due to severe storms and tornados in the area. 

Despite this, 2.7 million people call the city home.  This doesn't include the multitudes of people in the outlying suburbs.  My novel "Second Time's the Charm" is based in Chicago, in the city I love. 

But what is its allure?  What draws millions of visitors every year?  The Picasso?  The men?  Well, yeah, but we won’t even get into the variety of men you can find in the skyscraper paradise.  Cops, construction workers and executives… Oh my!

The real draw?  The food, of course.  The city is an eclectic culinary explosion of everything from Saganaki in Greektown, to pizza in little Italy, to a Shami Kebab on Devon Avenue.  I love that I can walk from one block to the next and get an authentic meal or a taste of another culture.  It's an amalgam city that thrives on new experiences, a surplus of cuisine waiting to be explored. 

Is it really a surprise, though?  I mean, we dedicate a whole week to food in July.  Taste of Chicago, anyone? 

Although food is one of the benefits to calling Chi-town home, my heroine finds another draw to the city.  It’s nice to have great shopping and nightlife, but that’s not it.  It’s not even the gorgeous annoyance who now owns the company where she works.  Although, he is rather delicious. 

She calls the city home because she finally found a family.  Somewhere she belongs.  Somewhere she feels comfortable.  Security.  That’s a huge draw to any city.  It has the power to help one overlook below zero temperatures and gale-force winds.

What about your hometown or your current city keeps you there?  What do you love about the place you call home? 


Her first love is back.  Is she making a mistake or is the second time the charm.  

They say your first love is unforgettable, but Allison Southby would love to forget.  She still has the splintered heart from when Adam Byrnes ran from her bed, never to be heard form again.  Thankfully, she’s always had her work to keep her mind off her non-existent love life.   But when her boss, and mentor dies mysteriously and another company threatens to take over his legacy, her focus should be on fixing the company.  Yet, she can’t keep her mind, or hands off her late mentor’s son, Adam.   

Detective Adam Byrnes needs to get back to the life he built in Phoenix.    But between the questions surrounding his father’s death and keeping Allison safe, he can’t seem to leave the city of Chicago.

With danger swirling around them, can they find the love they once shared?


Vanessa M. Knight writes contemporary romance novels with a dash of suspense.  She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and Windy City RWA. 

She lives in Chicagoland with her husband, son and menagerie of dogs and cats. When not writing, Vanessa loves to scrapbook, watch movies and read anything she can find.

For more information on Vanessa, including her Internet haunts, contest updates, and details on her upcoming novels, please visit her website at:


  1. Cheryl Lynn NeumannApril 29, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    I was born and raised in Chicago but spent much of my adult life hopping from city to city around the USA. A few years ago I jumped at the chance to return to my roots. I am thrilled to be back in Sweet Home Chicago. Even after this past winter! In Second Time's the Charm you capture the vibe and electricity of Chicago as well as it's industrious, hardworking, hot, sexy citizens. Thanks for giving us a great read.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thank you, Cheryl! You're making me blush.

  2. Hi Vanessa--so nice to meet you and to hear about your book. It sounds great. I love Chicago, but as a visitor since I live south of MInneapolis. I feel the same loyalty to my home city (although maybe not this winter because it's been awful and is still going on!). But Chicago is an easy drive and we've been known to make an overnight trip just to get Gino's Pizza - lol.

    Can't wait to read your book. I wish you much good luck with it!

    1. Thanks, Lizbeth! Agreed on the weather. It's been one nasty winter here, too. Gino's is awesome, though. Could definitly get behind some deep dish pizza for dinner tonight. : }


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