Susan Taylor came to me for editing help. Before we could blink, she had the book under contract!
The only sad part about this story is that I didn’t get to work with her more.
Read on, MacDuff!
I actually found this song after Secret Desire was contracted but it couldn’t be more perfect. From the super lyrical quality of writing and sensual feel of the melody, it’s almost like having warm caramel poured over…well you pick a body part.
Lifeboats speaks about dreams and waking to take action, between singer and lover. “Flashed up in my wildest dreams, like red blood streams, stretch out like vast cracked ice.” Claire’s imagination, thoughts, and dreams are bombarded by images of her lost love, Dustin Murray. Images she can’t control. She and Dustin were in love since childhood. Their veins are like great forest trees. Those types of roots forge personalities and life choices.
Secret Desire opens with Claire writing an erotic story alone inside her apartment in Seattle. The kitchen setting is cold, damp, angular. The line from Lifeboats: “Silence eats us from the inside” is pinnacle to the Claire’s Elizabeth Kubler Ross avoidance to conflict. She ran away from love that keeps her pinned, spinning, and fantasizing, and she can’t move forward or back. Her parents are killed, forcing her to deal with her life.
“Wake up wake up dreaming only leads to more and more nightmares” is a great line that frames Claire’s life. It’s exactly what she does as a writer and lover. She succumbs to a man who is the exact opposite of the hero in her stories only making her feel more lost and alone. The proverbial nail in the coffin scene.
“I meant no harm but I only get to say these words too late” speaks the lie existing between Claire and her lost love, Dustin. Backstory or the past inciting incident, occurs when Dustin was tricked by Fran, Claire’s identical twin sister. Fran is competitive to the ninth degree. Dustin tried to enlist her help in gaining Claire’s affection in high school. Unwittingly he threw down a gauntlet, provoking Fran into proving her twin sister was nothing special. This wedge became the reason why Claire left for California to get away from life back home in Mill Spring, NC. But as we know, fleeing trouble never works. Our luggage just becomes heavier as we travel.
“Snap out of it you said it in a way that showed you really cared.” This line speaks to the point when Dustin decides since Fran is coming back to assist Claire with the estate of their parents, he’d better tell Claire the truth of what happened. And he does without sugar coating what type of sister Fran actually is to Claire. This becomes the moment when Claire and Dustin reconnect emotionally and physically.
“Send your lifeboats out for me” is the action required to rescue Claire. Dustin reaches out to her, finally divulging the truth about what happened before she left home. With the truth, Claire is freed from feeling lost in love and in life. She gains the strength to take hold of her life, letting go false expectations, and is ready to say, in essence, “I write erotica…” Her moment of reckoning on her character arc: this is who I am…take me or not.
Be sure you give this a listen, if you haven’t yet. It’s melodic and haunting, all at once.
And look! Susan made a playlist and video, just for the book. She loves music as much as I do, it seems.
Ready for the blurb? I am!
IF YOU PUBLISHED AN EROTIC NOVEL, WOULD YOU USE A PEN NAME OR NOT?
Claire Robertson is a journalist living a vanilla life. Except when she’s alone at night where she wields her writer whip and stilettos within her erotic writing and fantasies. Tragedy blindly strikes when her parents are killed, forcing Claire to return to her hometown, and confront her past. And that past includes Dustin Murray, an old flame she ran away from when things became complicated.
Her life comes apart and she sends her editor the “wrong” story by mistake. One of her hot novels.
Amidst chaos, Claire must decide between returning to her safe life back in Seattle or risk an adventure, ensuring her smoxy fantasies come to life. Dustin has his own plans and isn’t about to let Claire go. Not when he proves he can handle her life and ALL her bedroom fantasies.
Love sparks, igniting the flame within Claire’s heart
forcing her to choose a life stuck on slow-bake or one that SIZZLES
WOW! Having been on the receiving end of the wrong manuscript, I can say it does happen, folks. This isn’t as far-fetched as you’d think.