I recently celebrated a birthday…
Any how, forget the candles already…the celebration got me thinking about my April release, Perilous Waters.
Stay with me. There is a connection!!
Although a number of elements in the story had been rattling around in my head for some time—namely the setting of a cruise ship, a plot involving stolen art, and an FBI hero—the plot came together during the Alaskan cruise my husband and I took to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.
So it shouldn’t have surprised me that “family” became a key theme of the story. Or that the celebration of important milestones, like anniversaries and birthdays, would cause the hero and heroine, Sam and Jennifer, to reassess the importance of “family” in their lives.
After all, birthdays and anniversaries are a natural time to pause and reflect on where you’ve been and where you’re headed and possibly how you’d like to change in the year ahead.
They each boarded the ship purportedly to celebrate an important milestone. For Jennifer, she was there to celebrate her 25th birthday with her twin sister, a birthday which also marked the beginning of a new chapter in their lives. For at 25, they would finally gain control of the family art gallery bequeathed to them by their parents who’d died tragically when the girls were still teens.
In reality, Jennifer agreed to the cruise in order to get her sister away from the art gallery and the influence of the curator, who has also been their guardian and the estate’s trustee, in hopes of convincing her to agree to sell.
Sam, on the other hand, is purportedly there with his parents, his brother and young nephew to celebrate his parents’ 40th wedding anniversary. He booked and paid for the trip for every last one of them. But in reality, he’s there to spy on, and ultimately arrest, Jennifer and Cassandra Robbins, his prime suspects in an art smuggling case.
He naturally invites Jennifer to spend time with him and his family, and for a woman who hasn’t enjoyed “family times” for many, many years, the allure is irresistible.
This was a scenario I could easily relate to.
Although I didn’t lose my parents at a young age, it sometimes felt that way. I was the youngest child by four years so by the time I was twelve, family vacations and evenings playing games together became a distant memory. I well remember how I fell in love as much with the idyllic-seeming family camaraderie of a couple of the guys I dated in my teens as the guys themselves.
Of course, Sam, being the God-fearing, honorable guy he is, feels terrible about how fond Jennifer grows of his family. Not that his emotions remain untouched.
By seeing his family through her eyes, his appreciation for what he has, and what he’s been missing out on by choosing to live and work thousands of miles away from his family, begins to grow.
But…I can’t give any more away. You’ll have to read the book to see how he digs himself out of that hole.
Your Turn: What are some of the ways you have celebrated important milestones?
Giveaway & Specials News: Perilous Waters is available now directly from Harlequin in print or Epub, with free shipping to first time customers or on minimum orders, and… receive an additional 10% off their already discounted price with coupon code: SB14SL3
There’s also two Love Inspired Suspense giveaways happening this month at the Suspense Zone, including Perilous Waters, you can check them out here: http://www.thesuspensezone.com/contests/current-contests/