Today we welcome honorary Playfriend and fellow Heart of Dixie member Lynn Raye Harris. Lynn writes super sexy alpha heroes set in glamorous faraway places for Harlequin Presents. Please make room on the swings for Lynn (and maybe some extra room so one of her uber-alpha heroes can join us too).
I never know when I start a new book just where it's going to take me. I have the characters, of course, and I have an idea of what the problems are between them. But where we go after that is always a surprise.
When I started writing The Devil's Heart, all I knew was that I had two characters with a past together and, as my friend Jean says, a big ass diamond. The diamond is central to the story because it's what drives the characters together again. Once they're together, however, there's a whole lot more to solve than just exactly who owns the diamond.
And that's where the fun begins. Marcos Navarre and Francesca d'Oro both have their reasons for wanting the diamond, and of course those reasons are in opposition to each other. Once I knew this, all I did was set them loose on the page.
They surprised me with the things they revealed about themselves. I had no idea until I was writing it what they'd been through in their pasts. I can't say everything went smoothly, however. I turned in the first draft of the book and waited for my editor's opinion.
It wasn't what I wanted to hear, I have to admit. While the core idea was sound, and the characters were sound, I'd gone way too far in the direction of exploring their past together. The first chapter is pretty much exactly as I wrote it, but much of the rest of the book had to change. I wrote non-stop for two weeks. I didn't shower (often), I didn't cook, and I didn't leave the house.
But at the end of those two weeks, I had a book that I knew was stronger. Fortunately, my editor agreed. Part of writing is rewriting. I don’t mind it, though I do grumble a bit while I’m doing it. ;)
The lesson for the writers reading is this: don’t fear rewriting, and don’t fear revising. We all do it, whether we’ve written 10 books or 100 books (trust me, I’ve asked the authors with 100 books and they told me the same thing!). Some books will be easier to write than others. The Devil’s Heart was a bit of a devil, but my reader mail so far tells me I succeeded. And RT Book Reviews Magazine awarded it 4 stars, saying, “Lots of conflict, hot love scenes and a satisfying ending make this an entertaining read.”
Here’s the back cover copy:
A diamond, and a deal with the devil…
Francesca D’Oro was just eighteen when darkly sexy Marcos Navarre swept her up the aisle—then fled before the ink on the marriage license had dried. Marcos might have given Francesca a jewel for her finger, but he stole another: the Devil’s Heart—a dazzling yellow diamond he believed belonged to his family…
Years later Francesca, no longer so youthfully naïve, is determined to reclaim the precious gem! But she’s forgotten that Marcos lives up to the treasure’s name—and dealing with the devil is always dangerous!
And here’s a bit of a teaser if you aren’t quite convinced yet:
“I beg your pardon?” Marcos Navarre stared at the slight figure dressed in dark clothes. The gun pointed at his heart never wavered.
“I said move.”
This time the voice was less gruff. Marcos stepped away from the hotel room door, hands up just enough so this intruder wouldn’t think he was about to do something crazy.
Like lunge for the gun.
If he could get close enough, he would do just that. This wasn’t the first time he’d been on the business end of a weapon, and fear was not what motivated his seeming compliance. He’d become inured to violence during the years he’d spent living in South American jungles with a guerilla army. He knew without doubt there was always an opportunity, in situations like this, to gain the upper hand. So long as his hands were free, there was a chance.
No, fear was not at all what he felt. Rage was the word he was looking for. Bone deep rage.
The person facing him was small, though he knew better than to mistake small for weak. Darkness shrouded the room and he couldn’t make out any details about his visitor. But he had several inches of height, and many more stones of weight to his advantage.
The moment he had opportunity, he would act. The key was to remain free, and to keep his senses on high alert. He refused to consider what he would do should this intruder attempt to restrain him in any way. Memories flashed into his mind: a dark room, the sharp odor of sweat and rage, and the feel of his own blood dripping down his wrists.
“You are wasting your time,” Marcos said mildly. “I am not in the habit of keeping large amounts of cash in my room.”
Marcos blinked. The gruffness in his intruder’s voice was gone. The person holding a gun on him so coolly was most definitely a woman…
Today, I’ll give away one signed copy plus some LRH goodies to a random commenter! Since a fabulous jewel is at the center of this book, tell me what your favorite gemstone is. Truthfully, I like them all … sparkly…. ;)
Lynn Raye Harris is a USA Today bestselling author who writes glamorous, sexy romance for Harlequin Presents. You can learn more about Lynn and her books at http://www.lynnrayeharris.com/. You can also follow Lynn on Twitter @LynnRayeHarris or visit her author page on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLynnRayeHarris
P.S. Instigator is guest blogging at Southern Romance's blog today. Please hop over and join her.