During the past few weeks, I’ve been reading proofs for two books to be published this year. One thing that struck me was how much these dissimilar novels, written almost ten years apart, reveal about the themes I love.
I’m drawn to heroes and heroines who are wounded, sometimes figuratively but often literally. Also to law enforcement figures. As a news reporter, I used to spend a lot of time in police stations, and admire the men and women willing to face raw danger to defend others.
In my September release from Harlequin American, Twin Surprise, two supporting characters from Daddy Protector (which comes out in May) get their own book. Marta, a sunny gift shop manager who spent years recovering from a traffic accident, is troubled by her attraction to a playboy cop. Derek turns out to be struggling with his own challenge: a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
Despite the serious issues, there’s plenty of lighthearted fun. A bachelor auction. A pair of feisty personalities butting heads. And, as the title implies, a pregnancy with a bonus.
The other proofs were for my May ebook from www.triskelionpublishing.net. Touch Me in the Dark is a paranormal romantic suspense I’ve rewritten several times since its inception a decade ago.
The hero, Ian, is an injured former police officer who retired on disability. Driven to paint, he’s become obsessed with images of a woman murdered a generation ago in the subdivided Victorian house where he lives. Then he meets a new tenant, a young widow who bears a striking resemblance to the victim. Did fate bring them together so he could save her from a mysterious force, or does the threat to her lie buried within Ian?
As you can see, the fact that certain themes and backgrounds resonate with an author need not detract from a book’s uniqueness. A quick read of each book’s first chapter reveals dramatic differences in tone, mood and plot.
To me, each situation is grippingly new and each relationship unique. Just as with real people, my characters chart their own courses. One thing they have in common, though: whatever pain life may inflict, love and commitment have the power to heal their spirits.