*Winners Announcement: Congratulations to Janet K. and Cheryl, who were our two randomly selected winners for Adrienne’s book giveaway. I’ll email you each privately to see which book you would like. Thank you all for rolling out such a warm Magical Musing welcome to Adrienne! –Amy
I want to introduce all our readers to Adrienne Giordano. Adrienne is a fellow Carina Press author and a long-time friend who writes wickedly funny and true-to-life characters in her romantic suspense and women’s fiction. She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction. For more information on Adrienne’s books please visit www.AdrienneGiordano.com. Adrienne can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.
Adrienne’s celebrating the release of her latest Private Protectors story, so I asked her to give us a sneak peek at how she goes about building her series. Ooh, and follow along to see what she’s giving away to two of our lucky commenters. Take it away, Adrienne!
As a reader, I love books in a series. For me, revisiting characters feels like sitting down with old friends.
As a writer, sometimes, that old friend turns into a nag. And I mean that in the nicest way possible. In my case, the nag turned out to be Janet Fink, a secondary character in my Private Protectors series. Janet is Taylor Security’s self-proclaimed computer geek. This woman has only found one system she can’t hack into and she refuses to give up trying. She’s the relentless sort.
Which leads me to her nagging. Around the time I started writing book three in the series, Janet began talking to me. She wanted to know why the male operatives at Taylor Security got to have all the fun while she gathered intelligence.
Here she was, the sole woman on a team with some of the most talented spec ops guys in the world and she was stuck behind the computer. The Taylor Security guys needed her though. She was the one they turned to when they wanted information and couldn’t get it on their own.
Unfortunately, Janet didn’t want to hear this from me.
I wanted to give her a story of her own, but I didn’t know what that story would be. She’s at her best when sitting in front of a computer, and I was fairly certain my editor wouldn’t go for a novel where the main character sits at a desk the whole time.
Then Carina Press asked me to write a novella (roughly a third of the size of a novel) and something exploded in my head. That explosion was Janet screaming “Mine!”
Immediately, she started campaigning for the top spot in the novella.
“Stop,” I said to her. “I need to think.”
Her response? “Yeah, you need to think about making me the heroine in this story. I can do this.”
“I’m sure you can, but we’re missing a plot.”
“Just make one up like you always do.”
I sighed. Literally. My imaginary friend would not leave me alone. One morning while working through various plot ideas, Janet upped the pressure.
“Forget Roxann!” she said. “She already got a book. This one is mine. Put me in there.”
She had a point about Roxann, the heroine in Risking Trust. I thought about it. Maybe I could work something out to finally give Janet her story. She’d been such a hardworking secondary character that she deserved to be the heroine.
“Finally, we’re getting somewhere,” she said. “And give me that hot new hostage negotiator at Taylor Security.”
Talk about pushy. First she demands to be the heroine and now she thinks she’ll dictate who the hero is? And besides, what negotiator? I didn’t have any hostage negotiators in my books. Feeling a bit smug, I said, “There isn’t a hostage negotiator on staff at Taylor Security.”
“There is now,” she said.
Magical Musings readers, in case you were wondering what Janet had in mind for the man who would be her counterpart in Negotiating Point, here’s an excerpt.
Feeling the electric whoosh of her success, Janet jumped from the chair, reached across the desk and high-fived Gavin. Their hands connected and he wrapped his fingers around hers, sending her filthy mind back to the blazing kiss they’d shared three weeks earlier after working a kidnap and ransom case.
At thirty-two she remained the lone woman on the team and, as such, worked hard to ensure the burly, manly men saw her as an essential asset rather than a woman who happened to be there for their amusement. At least until Mr. Sexy Galore Gavin Sheppard came aboard. James Bond may have had Pussy Galore, but Janet Fink had Sexy Galore. This man, with his Mediterranean looks—dark hair and eyes and smooth olive skin—could make a smart girl turn stupid.
Be a smart girl.
Maybe that hand squeeze was just a friendly thing. Sort of an I-don’t-want-to-do-you-but-you-did-good squeeze. Yes, that was it. She’d done her job well. Something she always strived for.
But then he pinned those sultry brown eyes on her and she started to rethink the idea that maybe he did want to do her. Touching him had been an epic mistake. According to her brain anyway. Her body had differing opinions. After another paralyzing second of heat pouring from his hand, he let go.
Double darn. Heaven help her, she didn’t know what she wanted. Touch me, don’t touch me. Touch me, don’t touch me. This was what she should have experienced in high school when everyone’s hormones but hers bugged out. Back then she found solace hiding behind her computer because the short, bean-pole geek would rather talk code than boys. The girls thought her weird and the boys found little appreciation for her A-cup breasts. Pretty much, everyone ignored her.
“Thank you,” he said.
She rubbed her hands together to replace the warmth that had abandoned her. “We’ll get her back. I know we will.”
I just have to keep my hands off you until we do.
Readers, who are some of your favorite characters? Leave a comment for a chance to win either a copy of Risking Trust or Negotiating Point. Two winners will be chosen.
What fun! Thanks for sharing your latest story and giving us the sneak peek. To qualify for Adrienne’s giveaway, leave your comment on this post by midnight EDT tonight. Two commenters will be randomly selected, and I’ll announce it at the top of this post tomorrow.