The Teenager In All Of Us

We all remember our teenage years. It’s a time when we become absorbed in our own selves, when we’re trying to establish our own identities, when we baffle parents with our mercurial emotions. We become highly sensitive to anything; the slightest criticism is taken as a huge insult, certain subjects are absolutely taboo with parents, and we can dissect seemingly innocent remarks for hours.

I’m a very reserved person, yet even I can remember being a stroppy teenager and driving my poor mother batty with my ‘attitude’. Now, it’s my turn to experience adolescence from a parent’s point of view. My daughter is fifteen, smack bang in the torrid teenage years when the hormones are playing havoc. It seems only yesterday that she was a smiling child happy to see me and spend time with me. Where did she go? How did she turn into this surly teenager who spends all her time holed up in her room? The odd times she deigns to have a conversation with me are like gold. I’m told fifteen is the worst age, and I can expect an improvement in the next couple of years. And I count myself lucky, because it could be so much worse. My daughter doesn’t get into trouble, mostly does her homework, is a talented artist, and has a part-time job. All in all, I think she’s handling the teenage years pretty well.

Although adolescence only spans a very short percentage of our lives, it has a major effect on us. The friendships we forge can last a lifetime, and our experiences during this tumultuous time can shape the rest of our lives.

So why am I talking about teenagers? Well, my debut contemporary romance, When Harriet Came Home, involves a hero and heroine whose teenage years play a big part in shaping who they are. Adam and Harriet grew up in the same small town but were never friends. Overweight and shy, Harriet didn’t enjoy her teenage years, while Adam was the golden boy, adored by everyone. But even he had a difficult adolescence with the sudden loss of his mother.

The teenage Harriet nursed a huge and secret crush on Adam, only to be responsible for his father’s downfall. Soon after graduating from high school, she fled her hometown for good, but ten years later she’s forced to return. She’s changed dramatically and so has Adam, but what happened during their teenage years continues to shape both of them.


Available at Carina Press,  Amazon,  and Barnes and Noble


After ten years of exile, Harriet Brown is back in town. Things have definitely changed, but so has she. Now the confident owner of a catering business, she's no longer the shy, overweight girl everyone—including her hot teenage crush—used to ignore. In fact, she's determined to make peace with Adam Blackstone for her part in exposing his father's secret affairs and corrupt behavior as mayor.

But Adam has changed as well. No longer a pampered, rich pinup boy, he just wants to reestablish his family's good name. He reluctantly agrees to a truce with Harriet, and is surprised by how changed she is. He doesn't want to be drawn to her, but he can't seem to resist her allure.

As Harriet struggles to come to terms with her past, her adolescent infatuation with Adam morphs into something more serious… Will she ever be accepted again? Or will ancient history ruin the chance of a future full of possibilities?


“Going so soon?” he asked.

She stopped, rooted to the spot, her brain dissolving at the sight he presented. He was shirtless, a towel slung around his shoulders, droplets of water shimmering on his damp face and neck. Fire licked through her body as she drank in his muscled torso with its sprinkling of dark hair arrowing straight down toward the waistband of his pants.

“Uh…uh…” A bare chest like his should come with a warning label, she thought faintly. “I don’t want to disturb you.”

“You’ve disturbed me already.”

Not as much as you’re disturbing me! She stared in helpless fascination at a droplet of water as it trickled across the curve of his pectoral muscle. She had a mad urge to lick that droplet, to trace her tongue along its path down his chest.

“The tow truck won’t get here for another fifteen minutes at least.” He rubbed his hair with the towel. He tossed the towel aside and reached for a clean Tshirt slung across the back of an armchair. “I’ve got some cold ginger beer in the fridge. Why don’t you join me?”

She couldn’t do that. If she did, she ran the risk of doing something embarrassing again. Like maybe she wouldn’t be able to control herself, and she’d grab him by the front of his T-shirt and pash the hell out of him. Oh, wouldn’t that be great?

“Thanks, but I think I should go.”

Somehow she’d managed to get herself trapped between the couch and Adam. He blocked the path to the front door, and when he took a step toward her, she faltered back against the couch.

“I think you should stay,” he said.

Thanks for having me here today!

Coleen Kwan


  1. @hotcha12 Hope I've whetted your appetite!

  2. Love the short excerpt. It peaked my interest.

  3. Thanks that is good excerpt. I will be looking to get this book.
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