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The creative process sometimes happens in the most convoluted ways. When I was toying around with ideas for my third single title contemporary, I started with a title, Amazing Gracie, and not much else. Try selling that to an editor!
For a brief moment, Gracie was going to be a kid, not the heroine. That didn't exactly go over well either. Bless editor Kate Duffy for her patience as I fiddled.
And then, in one of those exciting bursts of inspiration that writers pray for, Gracie MacDougal sprang to life in my mind: a detail-oriented, workaholic hotel executive. Gracie's life very much needed a shake-up and in an instant, she quits her job then jets to Virginia to relax. Unfortunately, Gracie doesn't know the meaning of the word.
Enter Kevin Patrick Daniels, the sexiest, most laid-back male ever to don a pair of faded denims. Kevin is the kind of man who knows how to distract a woman. He doesn't appear to work but spends an inordinate amount of time lounging around in a backyard hammock. He resides in an old southern mansion and also controls the fate of dilapidated old Victorian house that Gracie wants for a bed and breakfast.
Notice how Gracie's vacation lasted a split-second; the challenge of wrangling that house away from Kevin provides more entertainment than she has had in a long time.
Throw in Kevin's elderly aunt who weighs in on Gracie's side, a slew of relatives who plague Kevin's life like locusts, and Gracie's slick, sophisticated ex-boss, and you have all the elements of a romantic romp that was more fun than anything I've written in years.
Better yet, I was able to set the story in a part of Virginia to which I recently returned after years of living in Miami. Virginia's Northern Neck is rich in history; George Washington and Robert E. Lee were born just down the road. Fredericksburg's Civil War battlefields are in close proximity and Williamsburg is only a couple of hours away. Colonial Beach is a community that prides itself on tradition. It has returned to its summer resort roots: rich in antiques, host to a boardwalk arts and crafts festival and loaded with seafood restaurants.
I invite all of you to visit Gracie and Kevin's world, first in Amazing Gracie, and then the actual Colonial Beach. Stop by my store, Potomac Sunrise, some weekend; I truly love to visit with readers.
For those of you who enjoy revisiting characters you love, there will be four more books about those sexy Texan Adamses, out later this year from Silhouette. Watch for The Cowgirl and the Unexpected Wedding from Special Edition in mid-October, Natural Born Lawman, from Special Edition in mid-November, the emotional single title The Unclaimed Baby in mid-January and finally, from Special Edition, The Cowboy and His Wayward Bride in mid-February. Write to me anytime at P.O. Box 490326, Key Biscayne, FL 33149, or, during the summer months, in care of the store: Potomac Sunrise, 308 Washington Ave., Colonial Beach, VA 22443. If you're cyberspace savvy, e-mail me at SAW1122@aol.com
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