What fun, being invited to play with you all—thank you so much. I’m happy to talk about my newest book, A DATE WITH FORTUNE, which is Book 2 in the latest Fortune Family continuity series for Harlequin Special Edition, “The Fortunes of Texas: Southern Invasion.”
My hero is Michael Fortune, the COO of his family’s telecommunications company in Atlanta, Georgia. He’s a leader and independent thinker. He organizes dates as he would a business meeting, that is, he plans and follows through, although he’s also creative. He is instantly attracted to the heroine in a way that’s never happened to him before. However, she doesn’t let him just organize things and have his way, and he’s not used to that from anyone. He has to rethink what’s worked for him in the past. I love how he does that.
My lovely heroine is Felicity Thomas, a candy maker who is just as sweet as her products, but she also is a good businesswoman with a smart mind. She’s perfect for Michael because she’s entirely different from his usual choice, which intrigues him, and it’s a good thing since he needs his life shaken up some. Also, almost everyone in town, including his own family, tell him to stay away from her. So of course he doesn’t.
One of my favorite parts of writing continuities is getting to play in the same sandbox with other writers. While I think my story stands alone just fine, my heroine and the heroine of book 1 by Allison Leigh, HER NEW YEAR’S FORTUNE, are roommates, so Allison and I worked together a lot, exchanging scenes and ideas. It was a blast! Some enduring friendships have come from writing the continuities. I love the whole series.
This book required a whole lot of horrible, draining, exhausting research in how to many candy, especially truffles :-). Man, oh, man, was that the most fun research ever! One of the things I learned was the difference between good and bad white chocolate. I always thought I wasn’t a fan of white chocolate, until I tasted some that was exceptional.
In general, research is one of my favorite aspects of writing any book. I usually discover something that makes a difference in the book, something that spurs my imagination or takes me down a different path. One of the most interesting interviews I did was with a DEA agent who asked me at least ten times not to mention his name, but he also gave me great up-to-the-minute details about their technology, which I got to use but called it “experimental.” I especially enjoy doing one-on-one interviews. Last summer I drove 500 miles to where I planned to set my next three books, Red Valley Ranchers, which are set on a cattle ranch, a lavender farm and an organic-food farm. The organic farmer, in particular, gave me so many great ideas. She told me where the ideas in my plot would and wouldn’t work, given the local environment, and what would be feasible for a one-woman operation. It would’ve been a very different book without her input.
I’m always happy to learn something new when I’m reading a book. How about you? If you provide an answer, I’ll draw from the names for a $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card.
Thanks for having me!