Saturday, December 01, 2012

Secret babies revealed!

Sorry for the sensationalist title, but writing this post made me feel a little like a tabloid journalist. My theme is the ever-popular secret baby storyline.

Here’s the classic setup, pre-Facebook, pre-texting, pre-GPS tracking. Teenagers fall in love, but he leaves town and disappears (possibly into the Army). Finding herself alone and pregnant, the heroine marries an older man to give her father a baby. He conveniently dies. As the book opens, the hero returns to town, but believes heroine loved someone else and had a baby with him. Gradually he discovers it’s his child, and true love conquers all.

Not very believable today, but oh, the possibilities. I’ve written countless secret and unplanned baby stories, including, in my Safe Harbor Medical miniseries, The M.D.’s Secret Daughter (he thought the heroine gave up their baby for adoption) and The Surgeon’s Surprise Twins (he donated sperm and she’s the surrogate).

This brings me to yet another high-tech twist, which I’ll call the Egg Donor Secret (or Unexpected) Baby Story. How many variations can an author come up with for a romance sub-category within a sub-category? You might be surprised—I was.

One example is my upcoming March release, The Baby Jackpot. The heroine’s both a nurse and an egg donor who, after providing eggs to the recipient mom, has a tipsy tryst with her favorite surgeon. Because not all the eggs were harvested, she’s now pregnant--with triplets. She may be determined to give them to an adoptive family, but the surgeon, who’s falling in love with his family-to-be, has other ideas.

Then I was invited to write a short story for The Mammoth Book of Medical Romance, an anthology due out next year. In developing the plot for “What The Doctor Didn’t Tell Her” (my working title), I came up with, yes, another egg donor twist. I won’t detail that here, because short stories are, well, short, and I don’t want to give away too much.

When I can find the time, I’m also updating and revising some of my earlier books. I discovered that Yours, Mine and Ours, first published twenty years ago, had an egg donor twist, too. The widowed hero’s seven-year-old triplets have driven away every nanny he’s brought home. They want their strict dad to remarry so they can have a mom, and when the precocious trio ferrets out the fact that they were born from donated eggs, they manage to get their genetic mom hired as their new nanny, without her or their dad being aware of the relationship.

Yes, it’s far-fetched, but I think I managed to make it believable. Rereading it was lots of fun (I had forgotten many of the details). Those kids are wacky and the sparks fly between my offbeat heroine and stern hero. The plot also brought home just how versatile this type of story can be.

Yours, Mine and Ours is my December special for 99 cents at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can track my monthly specials at my website and/or Facebook author site. Hope you enjoy them!