It’s official. I signed the contract with The Wild Rose Press for my second historical romance novel. This novel is the book that I started last November for NaNoWriMo, a novel that haunted me for days on end until I finished it. I didn’t get it finished during November but after the fall semester ended and I could devote myself full time to writing, I wrote the last two thirds of that novel in less than two weeks. I couldn’t write fast enough.
On the way home from teaching today I found myself smiling. Okay, it was more like grinning from ear to ear. A.J. and Alli’s story is going to be published. My favorite couple will have their own cover, their own novel, and I get to share them with the world.
I shouldn’t have favorites. It almost feels as if I’m picking favorites with my children, but I can’t help it with these two. They have been living in my head for a while now, making the occasion appearance every so often to ask when it’s their turn to have their story told, and for several years now, I’ve had to tell them, “Not yet.” I almost think they’ve felt unloved and neglected.
They truly are my favorite couple. Alli is strong. She never loses her sense of who she is and she knows full well what her weaknesses are. Yet, she’s resilient and able to roll with the punches. She also never really loses her faith in her fellow man, despite being hunted down by a man who needs to see her dead to protect his reign over a small county in Georgia. She’s head-strong, which gets her in trouble and she’s a sucker for lost causes and the underdog—so of course she falls for an emotionally broken, former Confederate cavalry officer.
And, A.J. is so broken—physically and psychologically. In modern parlance, he’d have PTSD. What he saw in the War of Northern Aggression (cut me some slack here—half this story is told in his point of view!) and what he survived in a Union run prisoner of war camp would scar just about anyone’s psyche. In spite of the damage and the toll taken, A.J. is the most honorable character I’ve ever envisioned or wrote. Under the definition of “honor” in the dictionary I imagine his picture.
The story of my two favorite characters, my favorite couple, is being polished under the working title Smolder on a Slow Burn and it will be coming soon to a virtual book store near you. As soon as I know the release date, I will let everyone know.