Message From The Author

Author's Message

Captive

To research Captive, I went to a re-enactment of a Seminole War battle. Intent on taking notes on Seminole war strategy, I was startled when I saw James, my fictional hero, in the flesh. Actually, he was a teacher from a Broward community college, but he looked exactly like James. He was tremendously knowledgeable, and if James were living in the 20th century, that's who he would have been. I tried not to stare too hard during his lectures; I couldn't imagine trying to explain to this man that he was the living, breathing embodiment of a character in one of my books.

Captive began last year with Runaway, where I first encountered James MacKenzie. Brother of Jarrett, who was the hero of Runaway, James was one of those characters who materialized and behaved with exceptional presence right from the start. In Runaway, he had to be subdued-it wasn't his book. But in captive, James is a man with a mission who has endured a great deal and is subsequently torn in his loyalties.

In turn, Teela, the heroine, is both passionate and courageous. Endowed with a spirit for high adventure, she is willing to defy her step-father, the law, society, and the dangers of the land to have what she wants. (Naturally, what she wants is James.) As the Seminole War escalates, they both must fight not only for freedom and justice, but for their very lives.

Set in Florida, where I have lived most of my life, Captive entices with a natural warmth. I'm well aware that Florida means different things to different people. To most, especially travel agents, it's sun, sand, fishing, diving and a promise of a vacation of pure relaxation. But we've also had our share of difficulties, especially in the southern reaches, where we struggle with a growth boom that has changed the tip of the peninsula forever from a group of small towns to massive international centers.

People always say that Florida is where old people go to die. I think it's more likely people move or retire to Florida because it's a place they know their friends from out of state will come to visit. In the dead of winter, we are a warm shelter. From the deep Southern charm of places like Tallahassee and Micanopy to the central entertainment meccas of Disney World, Sea World, Busch Gardens and Universal Studios, from the cosmopolitan bustle of Dade and Broward counties to the spectacular Florida Keys at the end of the peninsula, the state provides an incredibly diverse environment.

Captive was written about a time long before Disney put the Kissimmee/St. Cloud area on the map. It was written with a great deal of loyalty and love for the natural beauty of my home state, and I hope I've captured that beauty for you in Captive. I'd also like to thank Penguin USA; this is my first book with them and they have been tremendously supportive.

Write to Heather c/o Creative Promotions, 1156 E. Ridgewood Ave., Ridgewood, NJ 07450.


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