Well, I've been so busy announcing other books that I've neglected to tell you that my new Blaze, ONE FOR THE ROAD, is on shelves now!
There's something to enjoy about each story I work on, but with this one, there were a couple things I particularly loved. First, there were the two main characters. You guys know by now that I am a sucker for using subplots in my Blazes. I like to provide that "mirror" for the main love story--a parallel narrative that reflects and supports a theme. For instance, in my second Blaze, BORN TO BE BAD, the main hero and heroine were engaged in a battle of wills and hot sex while the secondary couple exemplified the power of a simple kiss (which was echoed at the end of the main characters' story after they'd learned enough to fall in love).
The same goes for ONE FOR THE ROAD, where one of the themes is "What exactly is a 'stranger'?"
See, the primary heroine, Lucy Christie, is bored with her life, and she decides to travel Route 66 with her best friend, Carmen, who's a bit wilder, in order to sort things out. And, when Carmen suggests that having sex with a stranger would be the most freeing thing that they both could ever do to get out of their dull grooves, Lucy takes Carmen's comment literally, surrendering to a night of passion with a cowboy on the condition that they don't trade names--that they remain strangers. However, when Carmen attempts the same thing with her own "stranger," she discovers that she can't carry through with her own suggestion--that she needs to know who this mysterious man is before getting physical with him. As Lucy and Carmen both discover more about themselves through more intimate situations, the two of them actually drift apart--best friends who are turning into strangers.
But, don't worry--there'll be happy endings on all fronts. :)
The second thing I loved doing in this book was using Route 66 as a backdrop. I've talked about this before, but a few years ago, Sheri WhiteFeather and I traveled part of the Mother Road, and I used my research from this trip for ONE FOR THE ROAD. If you all have ever wanted to explore Route 66, I highly suggest it because it really is liberating. Go with a good friend, because you'll have hours of conversation and illumination. You'll also get in touch with remnants of an idealized, faded America that's been stranded on the sides of the road.
(And if you want to see a few pictures of that, click here.)
I can see myself writing another Route 66 book someday because it's so inspirational. Do you guys have your own "Route 66" that inspired you to write?