Friday, October 19, 2012

Readers loved him. . .I didn't

When I write, I expect everyone to like the characters I love and hate the ones I don’t.
It doesn’t always work that way.  When I wrote The Business of Love, I thought I’d created the most annoying younger sibling ever in Cleveland Alexander (More Than He Can Handle)

He was rude, arrogant and so unsupportive of his brother’s relationship with Jill.  Quite frankly, he was acting the same way I did when my brother and sister got married. But hey, I was a teenager losing my buddies – I had an excuse. 

Cleveland, on the other hand, had an attitude problem. But he had something else too. Fans. 

I got so many emails from readers asking “when is Cleveland’s story coming out?” My initial thought was never-- ever! 
I just couldn’t see myself dedicating months and months to being alone with this man.  What kind of woman would want to deal with him?
That’s when you have to be creative. I decided that Cleveland’s woman had to feel the same way I did about him – at least at first. As I got to know Cleveland, I realized that he wasn’t that bad. And he actually became one of my favorite heroes. 

See, I didn’t know Cleveland when we first met. And as much as I don’t like to admit it, Cleveland and I are a lot alike. Pig-headed. Fiercely protective of our older siblings – as if we know so much more than they do – and dedicated to that one special person we love.
It looks as if the readers were right. Cleveland deserved his story and I’m glad I got a chance to tell it. 
Coming in May, 2013: Forces of Nature

Crystal Hughes is mad as hell
No one is going to tear down the farmland that’s been in her family since the turn of the century—certainly not multimillion dollar Welco Industries. And until Welco's president meets with her, Crystal will wage a fiery one woman protest to prove it! But when he finally appears, Douglas Wellington III is far from the elderly curmudgeon she expected...
Tall, lean, and fabulous, Douglas is in for a surprise of his own. Crystal's cafe au lait beauty takes his breath away. Still, if she had any sense, she'd realize his project will save the impoverished community. With battle lines drawn, Crystal issues Douglas a challenge: spend one week on the land he wants to destroy. He agrees, if only to be alone with her. But when nature takes over amid North Carolina’s lush countryside, these two warriors just may discover what happens to even the best laid plans...

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