Storm's Interlude was started in a bit of a snit, if I'm to be honest. You see I'd written an inspirational romance with all its rules and constraints that no one wanted to buy. Why did I write that sub-genre? Because as a grandma, I wanted to keep my books squeaking clean in case my grandaughters, ages 17 and 10, ever wanted to read them. Sounds like a noble reason, don't you think?
Unfortunately the book was so poorly written, everyone could see it, but me. Folks, now that I read back over the manuscript, the thing had more plot holes than a sieve. The characters were immature acting for their age. A total mess. Still, at the time I couldn't see it, and as with most writers, I was very defensive of that story. So the day I finally faced the facts, I was upset and grumbling as I ran the sweeper. "I suppose if I wrote a romance with the typical alpha male and lots of sex, it would sell. Well, I can't write something like that. I can't. Can I?" I turned off the vacuum and issued myself a personal challenge. Put the sweeper in the closet, powered up my laptop and in a snit wrote the most outlandish beginning to a novel I could think of...and Storm's Interlude was born. Here's what I wrote:
Someone swaggered out of the moonlit night toward Rachel. Exhausted from a long day of driving, she braked and blinked. Either she was hallucinating or her sugar levels had plummeted. Maybe that accounted for the male mirage, albeit a very magnificent male mirage, trekking toward her. She peered once more into the hot July night at the image illuminated by her headlights. Sure enough, there he was, cresting the hill on foot—a naked man wearing nothing but a black cowboy hat, a pair of boots and a go-to-hell sneer.
Well, well, things really did grow bigger in Texas. The man quickly covered his privates with his black Stetson. Rachel sighed. The show was evidently over. Should she stand up in her Beetle convertible and applaud? Give a couple cat calls? Wolf whistles? Maybe not.
She turned down the music on the car’s CD player. Sounds of crickets and a lonely bullfrog in the distance created a nighttime symphony in the stillness of this isolated stretch of country road. Lightning bugs darted back and forth, blinking a display of neon yellow glow.
The naked man strode toward her car, and Rachel’s heart rate kicked up. Common sense told her to step on the gas, yet what woman wanted to drive away from such a riveting sight? Still, life had taught her to be careful. She reached into her handbag and extracted her chrome revolver. Before he reached her car, she quickly slid her gun under the folds of her skirt. Just let him try anything funny—I know how to take care of myself.
Both of his large hands clasped his hat to his groin. His face bore annoyance and a touch of chagrin. “I need a ride.” By his bearing and commanding tone of voice, she guessed the man was used to giving orders and having them followed.
Her eyes took a slow journey across his face. Even in the moonlight, she could see traces of Native heritage. His shoulder-length ebony hair, too long for her tastes, glistened against his bronzed skin. Proud arrogant eyes sparked anger.
Because Rachel believed in indulging herself, she allowed her eyes to travel over his broad shoulders, muscular chest and tight abdominal muscles. She saw a thin trail of dark hair starting below his navel, knowing full well where it ended, and fought back a groan. Her eyes slid back up to lock on his. “You need a pair of pants, too.” Knowing her voice hummed with desire, she cleared her throat, hoping the naked man hadn’t noticed.
He looked up at the sky for a beat. “Just my freakin’ luck! A birthday party gone bad, and now I’m bein’ ogled by some horny kid with damnable blue eyes.”
What the heck was wrong with her eyes? She quickly glanced in her rearview mirror and saw nothing amiss. She narrowed those “damnable blue eyes” and sneered. “Look, buster, I’m not the one prancing around Texas naked as a jaybird. I’ll have you know I’m hardly a kid.” She glanced down at the black cowboy hat. “And, furthermore, stop hiding behind that big ol’ Stetson. From what I saw, a French beret would do the job.”
There, let the arrogant fool stew on that while he struted back to whatever rock he crawled out from under. She slammed her car in gear and sped off.
Coming July 15th from The Wild Rose Press. Yippee Skippy!!