Tuesday, August 23, 2011
LAST CHANCE Discussion
Wow, hard to believe this is the last LCR book of our countdown to the release of SWEET JUSTICE. Only 13 days away now!
Welcome to the LAST CHANCE discussion. Grab a snack and your favorite beverage, sit back and let’s chat about McKenna, Lucas and Damon. Please be aware spoilers that will be revealed!
We first met McKenna Sloan in NO CHANCE. A seemingly tough young woman with a multitude of secrets. She instantly intrigued me. Why would she go to the lengths she did to protect and save a life—even a stranger. Why was she called Ghost? What had brought her to what she had become? Who was she hiding from? Though she was only in a couple of scenes in NO CHANCE, I was so fascinated by her behavior, I had a hard time not finding out her secrets before it was time. She made a brief appearance in SECOND CHANCE and only made me want to know more. Needless to say, when it was time to write LAST CHANCE, I was ready.
LAST CHANCE was a different story for me in many ways. For the first time, I had a British hero. One who had worked for an organization just as intriguing and mysterious as LCR. Also, neither the heroine nor the hero, at the beginning of the book, was employed by LCR. As you’ll remember, McKenna just jumped in to help on a rescue and then slowly began to take the odd LCR job, but she wasn’t an official operative until later.
The chemistry between Lucas and McKenna made their love story one of the easiest and most fun to write. The passion was off the charts, as was the tenderness. The gentle humor between the two often made me smile as I wrote their words. In other books, I’ve had to sit down and explain to my characters that they were destined for each other and they should fall in love before I had to make them do it. Not so with McKenna and Lucas. They fell in love easily and seamlessly—though their story is not an easy one.
Damon Hughes: Oh what a vile and evil man was he. The things he did to McKenna and her family earned him a place in the hottest fires of hell. When McKenna revealed what he had done to her, I cried as I wrote that event. I could only imagine her guilt over inviting the devil into her home. The sheer desperation she went through as he kept her hostage—so desperate at one point that she tried to take her own life. And then, the incredible loneliness and grief she felt in believing she was responsible for her entire family’s death.
Most people understood Lucas’s need to help her, however, I know some had issues with the way he went about it. I totally understood Lucas’s motivation and being ruthless in getting McKenna’s background information went with his personality and training. He knew McKenna was not going to willingly share her past—she was protecting Lucas.
Something not many people know is that I never intended McKenna’s sister to be alive. I wrote the first draft and Jamie Kendrick was a young woman who happened to have an eerie resemblance to McKenna and an unfortunate one since it almost got her killed. My editor believed people would assume Jamie was McKenna’s sister and encouraged me to change the story. I’m very glad she did. Not only was I able to give McKenna back a member of her family, but I got the chance to write Jamie and Dylan’s story in SWEET REVENGE, which has become one of my very favorite LCR books.
LAST CHANCE is special for other reasons, too. As you know, this book won the Romantic Times 2010 Reviewers Choice award for Best Romantic Suspense and was a Red Hot Read in the December issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. I was so thrilled that Lucas and McKenna’s story received these honors. Their love story was a joy to write and I still adore these characters. In fact, you’ll see quite a bit of them in SWEET REVENGE and a little in SWEET REWARD.
So what about you? What questions do you have for McKenna or Lucas? Heck, I’ll even reanimate Damon Hughes for a brief time if you want to ask him some questions. Do you have a favorite scene or quote? Any observations or comments you want to make? Have any questions for the secondary characters who will soon have their own story—Jamie, Dylan or Jared?
A random commenter will receive a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card, a signed copy of LAST CHANCE and a signed copy of the RT magazine featuring the SWEET trilogy.
Later in the day, I’ll post a trivia contest. Winner will receive a signed copy of the 2010 LCR trilogy and a signed copy of the RT magazine.
Okay, let’s chat!
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