Message From The Author

Colleen Thompson

Genre: General Romantic Suspense, Romantic Suspense

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Author's Message

Colleen Thompson Fuels Readers' Fires


As the wife of a big-city firefighter, nothing terrifies me more than the thought of a serial arsonist with murder on his mind. Throughout 18 years of marriage, I've grown accustomed to listening for fire reports, dreading late-night phone calls and anxiously waiting for Michael to come home as each shift ends.

But I have been privileged, as well, to witness firsthand the incredible bond that unites the department's men and women. Firefighters can be counted on to show up on moving day to do the heavy lifting, to help build
a new shed in the backyard or even gut and entirely reconstruct the interior
of a home that was badly damaged in a terrible flood. Whenever disaster befalls firefighters or their families, the crew rallies around, responding with amazing generosity.

This fellowship is never stronger than in the aftermath of sudden death, especially when a tragedy occurs on the job. It is, unfortunately, a bond that Reagan Hurley, the heroine of Fade the Heat (Dec., Love Spell), has come to understand all too well. The daughter of a Houston firefighter killed in the line of duty, she has spent years struggling to live up to his legacy: training at the fire academy, working her way through several years of service as an emergency medical technician -- even becoming an amateur boxer and representing the department in its annual charitable clash with the cops -- until she finally achieves her highest ambition, an assignment fighting fires.

Now, her dream is in jeopardy, thanks to what she sees as her own inexcusable weakness -- the development of asthma. But when she seeks help from former neighborhood bad boy and longtime crush Dr. Jack Montoya, Reagan becomes entangled in an arsonist's web.

Before long, she realizes that Houston's next firefighter funeral may be her own.
Fade the Heat is a book I've dreamed of writing for years, even while I penned historical romances under my Gwyneth Atlee pseudonym.(I also wrote Zebra historical romances as Colleen Easton.) As I worked on the story, I dug deeper than ever before, drawing on hours of conversations with Houston firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics, spending a memorable night riding along in a supervisor's unit and delving into the uncomfortable realm of my own limitations as an asthma sufferer.

Because it's such a personal story for me, I had a hard time letting go of the characters I came to know and love. Fortunately, I won't have to. My editor has given me the go-ahead to write a follow-up story featuring Jack's little sister, Luz Maria. Heat Lightning is currently scheduled for a November 2006 release. First up, though, will
be The Deadliest Denial, a stand-alone romantic suspense novel about a woman who learns that her police officer husband has been arrested for planning her murder. The book is scheduled for a May release.

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