Blog tour day 4: Romance Novel Giveaways asked me to share some fun facts about my newest release, Into the Fire. Here goes!
This is the first book in The Elements series. I started with the idea that Fire, Light and Water are three of Earth’s key elements. They are beautiful and powerful forces of nature, each with their own unique properties. Just like love, when they come together, there is no stopping them. I didn’t have any characters in mind when I came up with the idea for the series. I looked to my past novels for inspiration because I like making those connections for readers.
In In Search of Mr. Anonymous, Lucy Chalmers plans the dream wedding of Veronica Clayton and Rob Ashford. They seemed like the perfect power couple—she was the poised daughter of presidential hopeful Gary Clayton, and he an ambitious self-made millionaire. I thought it would be interesting to give them a backstory. How did they meet? Why was she the only woman who could break through his hardened demeanor? They provided the inspiration for Into the Fire.
I wrote much of this book during COVID. I was in a rut at first, unable to focus or motivate myself to write. It was hard for me to get into the mindset when there was so much pain and uncertainty around me. But then it became my escape. It was the only place I could go where I could leave all of that behind, even if just momentarily.
This book has more love scenes than any of my other books. It seems the heat level rises with each one. It was strange writing them with a house full of people. No one at school or work. So, I’d hide away in my office in the wee hours of the night. It was the only time that felt right, like I could put some separation between my role as mom and my role as writer. After the first draft my editor told me I needed to spice things up because I wasn’t delivering on my promise. It was hard for me to tow that line. The book is a Contemporary Romance and I didn’t want it to feel like Erotica. But the premise lends itself to some steamy moments. At times I had to push my boundaries, just as Rob pushed Veronica’s. Hopefully readers will feel I captured the right balance.
Rob claims not to be a romantic, but he takes Veronica on elaborate dates. I have never been to any of the destinations he chose. It was fun doing research to make the experiences feel authentic and I used my imagination for the rest. My favorite was the hot air balloon ride. I don’t think I could ever go on one in real life, so I experienced it vicariously.
I always like to assign a type of car to my love interests. I think it gives you a feel for their personality. Rob drives a Lamborghini because it’s smooth, powerful, masculine, and makes a statement, like its owner.
I try to take something away from each of my protagonists. Veronica has inspired me to be more open and willing to try new things. When we first meet her, she’s defined by who everyone else expects her to be. Her life has revolved around making a decision that’s in the best interest of her family. At twenty-nine years old, she’s never made a decision for herself. And she was OK with that. Until Rob came along. He is the one man who challenges her. Who stirs up memories of the adventurous girl she used to be who yearned for more. He makes her realize her past doesn’t have to define her. Veronica comes into her own because she’s willing to push past the fear. She tries new things, tests her boundaries, and listens to the inner voice she had silenced. I’m the type of person who can be ruled by fear and sometimes it prevents me from doing what I want to do. If I’ve learned anything this past year, it’s that things can change in an instant, so we need to make the most of each day.