Anyway, when I was growing up, we had an old black and white television with a pair of rabbit ears that could pull in two stations. Less if there was a lot bad weather in the area. So I buried myself in books. I loved fantasies like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. As I grew up, while I continued my love of fantasies, I fell in love with Victoria Holt’s dark and gothic novels. My mother didn’t really approve of them, she’d rather I read something more … literary. But I loved how the heroine had to overcome obstacles like her faithful nanny poisoning her. Or the possibility that the hero was trying to kill her.
When I moved out from home and could indulge in my love of romances without feeling like I had to hide my books from my mom, I discovered Kathleen Woodiwiss. I read everything of hers I could get my hands on. Then I haunted bookstores and libraries and found other authors that wrote similar stories. That's when romances began opening the bedroom door just a crack.
About three or four years ago, I bought my first e-book – Kate Pearce’s Antonia’s Bargain, which led me to buy her Eden’s Pleasure. (They were written and released in the reverse order, but it didn’t matter to me.) I was hooked. I loved that the bedroom door was left wide open. That the heroine wasn’t stuck to the normal sexual standards of keeping both feet firmly on the floor. That she could be sexually adventurous, and yet still virtuous. (I know, it sounds weird, but Kate manages it spectacularly in Antonia’s Bargain, and it’s what I try to emulate in my own writing.)
I love how romances can create flawed characters, with great internal conflicts, and still have a happy-ever-after ending. It’s not a pie-in-the-sky idea, I’ve been married for 31 years to a man I adore. But there’s something satisfying about curling up with a book at the end of the day and losing yourself in the story, reading how someone else overcomes adversity and finds true love. It gives me that little push when I’m having a bad day of my own, let's me forget my own troubles. And if there’s great sex involved? Well, that doesn’t hurt either. As my hubby can testify. ;)
That's why writing a character like Sam Watson, from my latest release Personal Protection, was so fun to play with. He had such a past that I could torture him with. You see, Sam's a big strong bodyguard who has built up his company from the ground up and turned it in one of the most successful ones on the eastern seaboard. He's one of those guys that everyone knows, everyone envies, who is surrounded by friends, and yet, there's a part of him that is incredibly lonely. He doesn't show it to many people, but when the heroine, Rosie, discovers it, and discovers why, she has to make a decision. Actually, she forces him to make a decision. One he doesn't want to face.
If you'd like to read an excerpt, you can find one here. You can also find outtakes and more excerpts on my blog.
Oh, and I'll give you special advance notice - join my mailing list, and you'll get an extra chance to win goodies during next month's Birthday Bash. Check back on my blog for details on June 25th - first contest will be held on June 26th when Jaci Burton visits.