Message From The Author

Author's Message

Writing SIMMER ALL NIGHT almost got me killed.

Ordinarily, one wouldnt think that being a romance writer is a dangerous occupation. Sure, deadlines are stressful and families can mutiny over one more night of pizza delivery. But lets face it, its not firefighting or soldiering or policing the streets. Its mostly sitting at the computer day after day, lost in an imaginary world. So, what is dangerous about that?

In a word, research.

Yes, for every book, I venture away from my computer to do research. In the past, this has taken me to Texas museums, ghost towns, horse ranches and camel farms. However unpleasant camel spit can be, it is not life-threatening.

My dance with danger began after eight books and one novella set in Texas when I had an idea for something a bit different from my previous stories. This tale was still a romantic comedy, would still be a story based on a strong theme of family, but it let me stretch my writing wings by taking my Texans eastall the way to England.

Along the way, I came awfully close to getting those stretching wings permanently clipped.

SIMMER ALL NIGHT continues the loosely-knit series begun with my novella Castaway in Under the Boardwalk. In SIMMER, the search for one of five missing copies of Texas Declaration of Independence takes British-born Cole Morgan back to England. Its bad enough he must return to
a country he hates, but even worse, duty requires him to escort Christina Delaney, Chili Queen of San Antonio, certified flirt and embarrassment to her grandfather, the Earl of Thornbury. Having tormented each other as youngsters, Cole and Chrissy deny the romantic feelings simmering between them for years. But when an English viscount declares his intention to marry her, Cole realizes its time to turn up the heat. Murder, mayhem, and an extra measure of laughter spice up the recipe for transforming friendship into love.

I fell in love with these characters, and threw myself into researching their story. I read dozens of books, spent hours online, sought out experts of subjects concerning the storys era and locale. But after weeks and weeks, the setting for SIMMER ALL NIGHT had yet to come alive for me. I knew the place and time needed to be as real as the characters.

To solve my problem, I made arrangements for a trip to England, the itinerary emphasizing visits to English country houses. Thats when the wheels came off my research. Literally.

A Texan who drives hundred-mile stretches of sparsely traveled straight road across the plains of West Texas has no business attempting to navigate an English roundabout. My driving gave the phrase Ugly Americans an entirely new meaning.

The accident was more embarrassing than serious, and the rental car folks were a joy to work with. They actually laughed in agreement when I explained I thought it better to hit the iron bench in the pretty little park rather than the oncoming Volvo.

Eventually, I visited every one of the stately homes on my list, and the setting for SIMMER ALL NIGHT burst into life. Dog trot cabins from my earlier books have given way to grand ballrooms with painted ceilings and sumptuous bedchambers hung in silk. I was in writers heaven, and happy to still be physically on earth.

I hope youll look for SIMMER ALL NIGHT on the bookshelves this month. I promise a satisfying read. And if youve read my books in the past and youre worried this tale of British lords and ladies might be too much of a departure from my previous work, it isnt. To paraphrase, you can take a girl out of Texas, but you cant take Texas out of the girl. After researching and writing SIMMER ALL NIGHT, I agree.

In a roundabout way.

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