My little seasonal restaurant kept me hopping this year. I wouldn’t complain except it left me so little time and energy to work on my new book, Take These Broken Wings. But with summer winding down, I finally made it out to the Quinn den to work on Wings.
Getting things back in order, I noticed my calendar was stuck on July. For a reason…
“HOLD ON to your original dream!”
The two key parts of this quote were why I stood transfixed in front of that calendar for several long seconds. First, holding on to the dream takes perseverance and dedication, as you learn the skills needed. And second, it’s easy to forget as we confront the challenges on the journey how passionate we were about making that goal a reality. It’s good to remind ourselves of that desire.
In June 2005 I was laid off. It was a real bummer especially since I’d just bought a new car but I decided to take the summer to try to get my head straight and wind down from six years of working eighty-hour weeks. I sat by the bayou handwriting stories that had been in my head for years. What an escape…
Then came Katrina. I left Louisiana to work in D.C. and Atlanta (more eighty-hour weeks) so I could pay the bills and six months later I was back home writing. The first time I decided to enter a contest was 2007 and I got 2nd place for Only the Heart Remembers in romantic suspense. I read later on the agent/judge’s website, “Send me your manuscript, but please no ‘amnesia in the storm’ stories”. Good thing I didn’t read that before I entered the contest. Fear can be a huge de-motivator. It can annihilate your dreams.
From that contest, I received an “I almost bought this but it’s not quite right for us” letter from Harlequin and was asked to send two versions of it to another editor at a conference. After being pulled in so many different directions I began to doubt myself, put the manuscript aside and moved on. But after publishing my Destiny Paramortals and Storm Lake East series, I decided to take a chance, revisit this book, retitle it and bring it to my readers.
Nick is the fulfillment of that the original dream, published eleven years after it was written. There’s so much of me in it, my fascination with storms, the premonitions (Brenna’s “curse”), the community of characters I’ve loved for so long. My hero and his lady have a magical connection but I don’t want to give it away so I’ll just say, there are plenty of surprises.
In chronological order, Nick is third in the Men of Honor Series, after Ridge and Luc, and before All I Want for Christmas where you meet characters from all three books and upcoming characters from my next books, coming this winter. I sure hope you love the characters in Nick as much as I do.
For this week end only, Ridge is $0.99 to celebrate Nick’s release on its eleven-year anniversary.
Want a chance to win a copy of Nick in epub or mobi? tweet or post on facebook this post to your followers and come back here to post your tweet in the comment box. (Book link will be delivered via email.)
Did you have an original dream? Have you given up on it or are you still pursuing it? Why not clip this little calendar pic to your computer or frig to remind you to never give up?
You’ve killed him, Bad Brenna taunted. Brenna looked down the steps at the man lying motionless in the tropical downpour. I told you that silly phobia would get you in trouble if you didn’t get a grip.
Brenna knew she was right, knew it was exactly why Bad Brenna existed, to help her cope with the trauma that had turned her into a scared rabbit whenever lightning was in the forecast. But her anxiety over the approaching storm had been magnified by yet another premonition. Typically, it meant someone was about to die. Had she been the means, this time, of fulfilling her own prophecy? As usual, there were no clear answers. She needed to start trusting her sixth sense if she was ever going to get rid of Bad Brenna.
But for now, she had an unconscious burglar on her hands…
“Who are you?” he demanded, looked down at her with suspicious eyes.
Her eyes widened with consternation. “Oh, my God. You have amnesia. You don’t know who you are.”
“No, damn it. I know exactly who I am.” His words were slurred. “What I don’t know is who you are and why my head feels like it’s about to implode.”
He swayed, staggered backward. It didn’t take precognitive abilities to see it coming. She grabbed for him, wedging herself behind him to prevent yet another concussion. Now, hadn’t she known what would happen next?
Suddenly, he was toppling backward, but at the last minute he flipped her over to take the brunt of the contact with the hard floor himself. She felt the air leave him followed by a startled oomph as she landed on top of him—hard.
Brenna blew the hair out of her eyes. “Well. I guess chivalry isn’t dead. I’ll bet that hurt.” She rubbed her knee as he threw an arm over his face and groaned. She was going to succeed in killing him if she didn’t get him into the bedroom.
He swore again, lavishly, and this time her grandfather who’d spent thirty years in the Navy saluted from his grave. For a couple long seconds, he floundered like a beached octopus legs kicking and arms moving until he finally righted himself. Brenna knelt next to him and placed her hand on his shoulder.
He flinched. “Leave me alone. Are you trying to kill me?” His left hand cradled his temple.
“I’ll have you know I was trying to break your fall. You were going down like a Redwood in the Sequoia National Forest.”
He shook his head, “Silly woman, if I’d landed on you, you’d have been hurt.”
Another sharp crack of thunder made Brenna flinch. When the light flickered on those amber eyes amidst a mask of blood and bruises, she shivered. Bad Brenna was thinking, He’d make a nice Christmas present. Her eyes traveled down the contours of his body. Rational, sane, levelheaded Brenna knew this might turn into her worst nightmare.
How could she even think of sex at a time like this? Her house was a wreck. The power was out. Handsome stranger or naked burglar or hunky naked burglar—however she chose to think of him, the bottom line was she didn’t know who he was or how she was going to get him on his feet.
It couldn’t get any worse.
“Shit. My head hurts, and I have to piss,” he said.
She rolled her eyes. What a gentleman.
He put his hands on the floor, gathering the strength to rise. He swayed like a rickety saw horse on all fours, his bicep muscles quivering, face turning a sickly green as his features contorted.
“Oh, no.” She recognized that look.
“No, no, wait.” She darted for the trashcan.
Too late. He threw up, and her freshly waxed hardwood floor was covered with a stinking, steaming, slippery pile of vomit.
She glimpsed of his eyes rolling up, and just as she got a hand on one a powerful forearm, he passed out. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to keep his shoulder from grazing the oozing pile of muck when he landed.
A loud boom shook the cabin.
Brenna looked up at the ceiling. “Oh, quit, will you?”
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