Hi Cerise! Thanks so much for inviting me to be your guest today. I was going to share a little about writing a series. My romantic thriller series, The Edge of Texas, is set along the Texas coast just 25 miles north of the Mexican border, so there is a beautiful semi-tropical setting to begin with. Then I added some flawed characters, each carrying around a load of backstory. Finally, I paint on a coat of trouble, and if the characters seem to be getting a handle on it, I drop a disaster on them.
The hero of the first book, BAD MEDICINE, is Raphael Solis, the sheriff. In this book, he is reunited with Chloe, his high school sweetheart who fled town after his mother and sister falsely accused her of theft and caused her to lose her scholarship. To say that she has a big chip on her shoulder would be an understatement. I put them through hell together in this first volume.
BAD MEDICINE is followed by BAD KARMA, and then BAD VIBES, my newest release, picks right afterward. This is the blurb for BAD VIBES: Darla (one of Raphael’s deputies) arrests a vagrant, hanging around the marina, but after he’s cleaned up, she discovers a hunky, hard-body with a smoldering gaze hidden beneath the filthy rags. He turns out to be a federal agent working undercover. He’s after a gang of human traffickers using the Intracoastal Waterway to bring sex slaves into the United States from Mexico. Rafael assigns Darla as liaison officer to work with the feds, bringing her face-to-face with the “Iceman”, Mike Burke, the undercover agent she arrested. Darla, Mike and his partner tear up and down the Intracoastal Waterway in pursuit of the human traffickers, but when two local women disappear, the search becomes personal.
As an author, I always have a feeling of loss when I’m writing the last chapter of a book, because I’m saying goodbye to those characters. But in a series, you’re just continuing the saga. The short excerpt I’m sharing today is from BAD VIBES, but this scene is in Raphael’s point of view. He has been searching for his best friend’s missing wife, so he’s carrying around a huge burden when he goes to his own residence late that night.
Rafael stepped into the cool darkness of his tenth-floor beach front condo. The air-conditioning rushed out to embrace him.
He closed and locked the door and started the involved process of removing his damp, wrinkled uniform. He first disarmed himself and secured his sidearm in a lock box he kept close to the door, now that he was a responsible parent. He divested himself of handcuffs, badge and credentials before removing his boots and starting to unbutton his shirt.
He glanced in on Lacy and Daniel, asleep in what had been a guest room in his bachelor days. He stood over them, each in turn, silently tucking the coverlet around Lacy. Here, with his children, he was always able to regain his sense of values and purpose; no matter what the real world had robbed him of on any particular day.
Tiptoeing out, he left the door ajar, knowing Chloe would be waking whenever Daniel cried out for his next feeding.
Rafael slipped silently into the master bedroom, listening to Chloe’s measured breathing as he removed his clothes and soundlessly stepped into their bathroom. He felt too dirty to climb into the same bed with his wife.
He deposited his clothes in the hamper and turned on the shower. He brushed his teeth and stroked his hand over his day’s growth of beard. He smiled at his reflection in the mirror, hearing Chloe’s voice address him as her favorite werewolf.
Stepping into the water, he inhaled the steamy spray. The warm rain shower made him feel whole again. He washed his hair and body and turned off the water. Rubbing his eyes with his fists, he opened them to see Chloe holding a towel for him.
“Thanks,” he said, stepping out. “Sorry that I woke you.”
“I don’t mind,” she said. I love you, you know?”
He smiled, reaching for the towel. “I know. I love you more.”
“Impossible.” She ran her hands over his damp chest.
Rafael slipped the tiny straps off her shoulders, letting the short gown fall beside the towel. “I swear, baby, you could raise the dead.”
Her soft gurgle of pleasure was drowned in his kiss as he pressed her soft, supple body against his.
Rafael lifted her and carried her to their bed. He placed her in the middle and slid in beside her. As he stroked his fingers from her cheek, over her breast and down to her hip, his fatigue evaporated.
A clutch at his heart reminded him that he’d almost lost her twice within the last year. First, at the hands of an old childhood foe, the heir apparent to a local crime family and later, when she’d gone into labor and happened to arrive at the Emergency Room at the same time as a crazed stalker was closing in on his victim.
He swallowed hard and gathered her closer. “Don’t ever take any chances, Chloe. Promise me that you’ll always think before you act.”
Her arms wound around him. “I never try to get in the way of nut cases. It was just my karma.”
“Get a new karma,” he growled.
The order of this series is
(1) BAD MEDICINE
(2) BAD KARMA
(3) BAD VIBES
(4) BAD DREAMS
I hope everyone has a chance to visit South Padre Island and the Lower Rio Grande Valley. In the meantime, you can visit through my series and keep up with the happenings. My goal is to entertain…and keep you up nights. ;-) *hugs*~J.D.