I’m one of those people who watch the news. Mostly because I work in an office by myself 90% of the time so if I didn’t at least watch the news I would be in a bubble. I attempt to stay up to date on current events and goings on in the world. I listen to economics podcasts next to hockey reports, at least when the NHL isn’t in a lockout. Sometimes what’s going on outside my four walls is depressing and at other times inspiring.
I’ll never forget how misty eyed I got over a news story about a young man who lost a leg and a few months later won a medal at the Paralympics. There’s good and evil in the world. It might not be a balanced yin-yang sort of thing, but if you look hard enough you can uncover the good though a lot of the time we get spoon fed the bad.
I fully admit that I take some inspiration for my books from the world around me. I like to talk about how fictional characters handle issues in their lives. How they mess up, overcome or defeat the seemingly impossible, rescue the damsel (or hero, because let’s face it, its better when you can rescue each other) in distress.
When I wrote A Kiss for a Cure, there was a current events piece I read that talked about a man in a really tight spot. He wasn’t in the military, but he worked in an auxiliary capacity and found himself behind enemy lines. He wasn’t taken captive exactly, but he was pressed into agreeing to spy on his country. Of course this agreement had strings and it wasn’t as simple as running home, telling the military types what happened and being safe. No, this man’s family was put into danger, his way of life threatened and for a short time he considered following through on his pledge to spy.
The story gets complicated after that, and sadly I never bookmarked the piece so I can’t even reference it. But it stayed with me. Made me think about tough places, the choices we make and where they take us. I wanted to write the story of a man faced with choosing whose safety means more to him. His own, or that of the woman entrusted to his care, who doesn’t even like him very much. What choices would he make? How would he handle the stress and strain? Would he crack.
Those are the questions I wanted to answer. What would Cai, the hero, do? Okay, so he’s the hero of the story. You probably have a pretty good idea of what the outcome is, but everyone can mess up. And I love an imperfect hero. Someone with flaws and uncertainties. I love stories that put a character between a rock and a hard place, and I hope I succeeded in writing it.
What’s the hardest decision you’ve had to make?
It can never be said that Sidney Bristol has had a ‘normal’ life. She is a recovering roller derby queen, former missionary, and tattoo addict. She grew up in a motor-home on the US highways (with an occasional jaunt into Canada and Mexico), traveling the rodeo circuit with her parents. Sidney has lived abroad in both Russia and Thailand, working with children and teenagers. She now lives in Texas where she splits her time between a job she loves, writing, reading and belly dancing.
What’s a girl to do when her parents gift her with a man for Christmas?
Caught between two kingdoms, Jordan has given up the privileged world of intergalactic court life to become an interstellar biologist researching space sharks. Unexpectedly saddled with a husband from a race who are rumored to be sex fiends, her life is yanked in a direction she doesn’t want.
But Cai isn’t human and he must have the emotional feedback of a mate in order to survive. Charged with protecting Jordan, can he win her heart and keep her safe from harm?
Will they survive the challenges that arise…sexual, emotional and political? Time is ticking away and it’s not on their side.
Christmas presents were not supposed to move.
Jordan froze, staring at the seven-foot-long box wrapped in silvery paper. The one sent by her parents. Her heart pounded so hard she could hear it. No, that pounding came from the box. From inside the box.
Blood drained from her extremities. Her chest constricted until she panted for breath.
What had her parents done this time? She clenched her hands and gritted her teeth. In the history of bad, over-the-top and gaudy presents, she feared this might be the worst.
She turned her back on it and put a hand to her stomach. She needed to sit down, preferably on something soft and forgiving, but her furniture had yet to be delivered. The only furniture in her new quarters was her bed. Everything else was packed up in the utilitarian beige plastos she’d purchased secondhand from a shipper to get her things to university. They showed their age with scrapes and dented sides, but they were so sturdy nothing had ever been broken in moving them from place to place. Plastos were stacked against the walls, in groupings in the middle of the floor, and in her bedroom. Everywhere. Her new quarters looked like a cargo hold.
Again, the pounding came from the box, but louder. She jumped and spun to face the box. Whatever was in there wanted out. She leaned against the wall and stared at the silvery paper. Light from the floor-to-ceiling windows made glimmering patterns against the surface of the package. She could escape the room, since her upgraded quarters had a real bedroom and a kitchenette, but whatever was in the box would still be there.
Sucking in a deep breath, she crept toward it until she could touch the top with her fingertips. It was cool against her skin, even through the paper. Bending, she put her ear against it and gently rapped. The box rang hollow.
Maybe she’d heard something in the Center clanging. There was always the chance there was construction going on over the holidays since most people were away for several weeks. Or maybe one of her plastos had fallen.
Something knocked from inside the box.