Good morning, I hope you’ve had an interesting week. This week, I’m going to share a little about In Plain Sight, the second novel I published with Crimson Romance.
At that point in my career, I was still exploring options and wanted to improve my work speed, so I signed up for NaNoWriMo bootcamp. The idea being to write 50,000 words in one month. Now, since I’ve done that and more on a number of occasions, it doesn’t seem so daunting, but the first time–let’s just say, I thought it was a bigger mountain to climb than it was.
Before I started writing the actual novel, I thought I’d like to submit it to a Christian publisher, but after I spoke with the representative, I discovered I couldn’t. In Fire Angel, people drank alcohol and swore. If I wanted to publish with them, I would have to change my author name. WHAT? Since I publish under my own name, that wasn’t going to happen!
But, I was determined to write the book in the thirty day period–about what, I wasn’t sure. As a pantser, I knew the story would come to me and it did–three years ago today–not the calendar date but the significant date.
If you’re Christian, today is Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified, died, and buried. Each Good Friday, I attend church. Three years ago, the service was a re-enactment of the hours before Jesus’s death. I was cast as Mary Magdelene. So what was I given to wear? A long, jersey, hot-pink and white striped gown that tied at the waist with a hot-pink band that matched the five pound hot-pink veil I had to wear with it. At the time, my hair was long, but it took a dozen pins or more to keep that sucker on my head. It slipped off halfway through the re-enanctment.
Now, I don’t know the exact range of colors available to women two thousand years ago, but I’m willing to bet hot-pink wasn’t one of them. Neon colors rose to popularity in the sixties–the 1960’s! I took a look at myself in the mirror and the first thing that came to mind was that I looked like one of those little striped beach huts–you’ve got it. I looked like a beach cabana. The seed for the story was there. By the time, I got home, I couldn’t wait to start writing. The ideas flowed and meshed do well, the book practically wrote itself. There are many different kinds of blindness in the world.
In life, you pay a price for everything you do. Widowed, her dream of starring on Broadway in ashes at her feet, Misty Starr yearns for a happy, healthy, normal life for herself and her four-year-old daughter, Debbie. Settled in Pine Falls, New York, a sleepy little town filled with friendly people, she believes she’s found it and feels safe enough to sing in an amateur theater revival of Jesus Christ Superstar. She’ll do anything to keep this life even if it is built on lies, because revealing her secret is impossible. When Nick Anthony joins the cast as music director, Misty is attracted to the man who stirs up feelings she thought long dead, but can love grow on a bed of deceit?
A former concert pianist and secret CIA courier, Nick lives in darkness ever since the accident that killed his wife. The doctors say there’s nothing wrong with his vision, so why can’t he see? Hiding from his former life, he reluctantly agrees to help with the musical and is drawn to the young singer with the voice of an angel. When a mysterious fire destroys her home, Nick vows to keep her and her daughter safe. After one suspicious event leads to another, Nick is determined to protect them from an unknown assassin, but in order to do that, he needs to know her secrets. With his money and connections, he’ll do whatever it takes to save the woman he loves, but does she love him enough to reveal the truth?
Sensuality Level: Behind Closed Doors
Nick sat with his back to the keyboard listening to Misty’s footsteps as she hurried out of the theater. What had just happened? His hand pulsed with heat and energy. He hadn’t imagined that jolt of electricity through his body, the flash of lightning that had illuminated his darkness. He’d been struck mute, unable to utter a sound. He’d shaken more than his fair share of hands, and no one had ever affected him that way. Had she felt it, too? She’d sounded flustered before she’d left so abruptly.
Without sight, it was harder to judge someone’s initial reaction, but she’d let him hold her hand a second longer than necessary, and he’d felt her pulse race almost as fast as his. Hell, he was still breathing heavy, and all he’d done was shake her hand. He stared into the black void in front of him as he had every waking moment of his life since the accident. He’d come to hate the blackness that surrounded him, but just for a moment tonight, when he’d touched her, there’d been light.
Her voice! She had a wonderful voice, an angel’s voice, the kind of voice that belonged on Broadway, not in some small-town theater production. She must have had vocal training. He hadn’t been kidding; she could out-sing more than half the so-called divas out there today. He pulled the small hand-held recorder he’d brought with him and rewound it to the track he wanted.
He pressed play, and her powerful, soulful voice filled the room. Nick had recorded all the soloists, but this was the only one that mattered. Micah had raved about her voice, and Nick had recorded her number simply to prove to them both that, while her voice might be good, it wasn’t memorable. Listening to someone on tape often brought his or her vocal flaws to the surface. As the song continued, he had to admit there were no flaws here. He’d been hoisted on his own petard. For the first time in his life, he was glad he’d been in error.
Micah was a car salesman, not a Broadway producer, nor was he a musical director, and though his little group had done well in the past, they’d never attempted anything quite so grand. This time, knowing the intricacies of such a production and the need for it to succeed, Nick had thought Micah had bitten off more than he could chew.
How could he have been so wrong? Not only was the Pine Falls Theater Company more than up to the task, their version of the musical, toned down as it needed to be to meet their production limitations, was original, and they had some real talent in their midst. He replayed the tract, mesmerized by the hypnotic quality of Misty’s voice. He continued to listen to her sing because she touched his soul, that part of him he’d thought as dead and lost as his vision.
He wondered fleetingly what she looked like. Her voice had carried into the hall where he’d been standing with Micah before they’d entered the room. He knew from her quirky comments that she must be short since she didn’t think the pink stripes made her look taller. A smile crossed his face at her sense of humor when he remembered the way she’d compared herself first to a cabana and then a clown; he figured that possibly she was on the more voluptuous side, curvier than Becca had been. He had always liked women with a little meat on their bones, but he’d been mesmerized by Rebecca, and it hadn’t been until much later in their relationship that he’d realized what a cruel, self-centered bitch his wife had been.