It’s funny how the mind works–and doesn’t work. And thereby hangs the tale of a book.
Recently, I uploaded the final manuscript for my latest book, DEAD HEAT, a romantic suspense that surprised me when I realized that it was set a couple of weeks before Christmas!
Now, I didn’t set out to write it as a Christmas book–and it’s not what you’d call a Christmas book unless it’s of the Die Hard Christmas genre. *LOL*
What happened was that I was brainstorming ideas last year about how I wanted to develop the Outlaw Ridge, Texas series. The first book in the series was HEAT LIGHTNING. I knew I wanted the word HEAT in the title of each book, but I didn’t necessarily want the book set in summer.
The phrase, dead heat, fit the scope of the story since the heroine and the villain are in a dead heat with the prize being her life or death.
I decided to set DEAD HEAT in the winter–December in West Central Texas to be precise.
My husband read the manuscript to make sure I got the “guy stuff” correct. (That’s guns, bullets, fighting moves, etc.) He asked, “Is this a Christmas Romance?”
I said, “Huh?”
He laughed and asked, “Do you realize you set it just before Christmas?”
I said, “Huh?”
No, I did not realize that. I was just living in the world of Outlaw Ridge, Texas, and trying to figure out how Sabrina, the covert operative heroine, can keep her secrets from John, the Navy SEAL hero who was her lover, yet enlist his help to save herself from an international criminal intent on capturing her.
I guess it’s a perfect case of tunnel vision. In any event, I ended up happy with this edgy romance that I first finished in August as a 20,000 word novella. When I was bored during Hurricane Harvey’s 4 days of pounding rain, I played around with the story and ended up expanding the novella so much that it became a full-length novel of 63,000 words by the time I typed THE END for the second time.
THE END — now I can live happily ever after with this latest book up on pre-order and due to publish Nov. 14.
About Joan Reeves
Joan is a New York Times and a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. All her fiction have the underlying premise: It’s never too late to live happily ever after. Joan lives her happily-ever-after with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. They divide their time between the hustle and bustle of Houston and a quiet house in the country where they grow fruit trees while battling gophers, skunks, coyotes, deer, and the occasional copperhead snake.
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