Tuesday, July 12, 2011

NO CHANCE Discussion!

Hi Everyone! Welcome to the discussion of NO CHANCE, Gabe Maddox’s and Skylar James’s story. Wow, can you believe it? We’re halfway through the LCR countdown to SWEET JUSTICE. Yay!

Before we get started, just wanted to warn you that there are some major spoilers in this post. So if you haven't had the chance to read NO CHANCE, you might want to wait to read this blog. But if spoilers don't bother you, then read on. Hopefully it will entice you to read the book!

NO CHANCE was a bit of a departure for me and for LCR stories. For the first time, I had a married couple to write about. What fun! Also, I devoted a lot of the story to one of the victims that LCR was trying to rescue. And, I had an opportunity to write about a young couple falling in love without all the baggage that sometimes inhibits falling in love at an older age.

Though Gabe definitely had plenty of emotional baggage from losing his father and brother, being the lone survivor of a mining accident and then being held captive for over a year in a war torn country. Whew! Just typing that out was exhausting. Poor guy.

I’ve mentioned many times that Gabe irritated me in a couple of books. I didn’t particularly like him in RETURN TO ME and it wasn’t until the end of RUN TO ME that I began to warm up to him. In fact, I even thought he might have been the mole in that book. So glad he wasn’t!

I didn’t know what Gabe’s problem was for a long time. I knew he had issues with closed in spaces and that he didn’t trust women. He revealed both of those in RUN TO ME. When he admitted to Ethan that he was still married, I thought wow, Gabe, you’ve got some secrets you need to be talking to me about, buddy. And then, finally, thankfully, he gave me a significant lead near the end of RUN TO ME with this inner dialogue: ...he’d just as soon eat coal dust as delve back into his own past. That’s when I realized Gabe had a coal mining background. And he had an interesting and heartbreaking story to tell.

Skylar was a little less complicated to get to know but still fascinating, especially eight years after her marriage to Gabe. She’d grown up wealthy, surrounded by the best of everything--a little spoiled, but basically a good person. She’s a young woman who sees the shallowness that surrounds her and accepts that as the way things are…until she meets a man who makes her view the world in a different way.

My first draft of NO CHANCE started when Kendra was taken. The sentence: By the time you read this, I'll be gone had been revolving around in my head for days and that's how I wanted to begin the book. I had planned to do a couple of flashbacks of Gabe and Skye’s first meeting, but hadn’t planned on showing them meeting or falling in love. My editor wanted me to show them at the earlier age. I’m glad she asked for that. It was interesting to see their innocence and excitement of falling in love and then compare that to what they were like eight years later.

Jeremiah James, Skylar’s father, was an intriguing person to write. He loved his daughter. In his own selfish, misguided and elitist way, he believed he was doing the right thing for her. What he did was deceitful and wrong but it wasn’t done out of malice. Even though I despised what he did, I couldn’t really hate him. I would imagine the fear of Skylar learning the truth weighed heavily on his shoulders.

For those who know my writing style, you won’t be surprised to learn that NO CHANCE surprised me throughout the story. For instance, I knew Skylar’s father set up the whole fabricated scenario to keep them apart, however, I didn’t know until Gabe told Skylar that he had tried to see her several times and Jeremiah James’s goons had beaten him up. How hard that must have been for him to admit. LOL Even now I want to hug the poor guy! And I was surprised when I learned that Skylar almost died trying to find Gabe. Now I want to hug her too. (:

I know some people believed that Gabe going without sex for eight years was unbelievable. Which made me doubly glad that I showed what kind of man Gabe was when he was younger. He was an idealist and a dreamer. He believed in a once in a lifetime kind of love and though he became a hardened and bitter man, his core values never changed. He was still married and refused to cheat on his wife. It was that simple. As a romance author and a romantic, I believe that kind of love exists. Is it rare? Maybe, but that doesn’t mean it’s not out there.

One of the things I enjoy about the first book in a back-to-back trilogy is the chance to introduce the characters for upcoming stories. I loved having readers get to know Cole Mathison better. And through his amusement at watching Gabe and Skylar, we learned what kind of husband Cole might have been. I think we can all agree he was a good one. And I got to introduce McKenna Sloan, one of the most intriguing characters I’ve ever written. Once I finished, I was so excited to get back to Cole’s story and I couldn’t wait to find out more about McKenna. Such a fascinating young woman!

I had a love/hate relationship with Kendra. I hated what happened to her. She paid a high price for her poor judgment and desire to be famous. I hurt for her and wanted her to be able to get retribution against William. Having her get a little of her own vengeance against him near the end was fun. I sincerely hope I can write her story someday. I already have her storyline in my mind, so we’ll see.

And William? What can we say about him but that he was a pervert, rapist and all around evil person? The contrast between him as a doting father and what he did to women somehow freaked me out even more.

I thoroughly enjoyed writing NO CHANCE—the characters came alive in my mind and sometimes I couldn’t write fast enough to keep up with them. Gabe and Skye’s heartbreak felt so real, as did their powerful love for one another.

So what about you? What did you think about NO CHANCE? Any issues you want to discuss? Would you have made Skylar’s father suffer more? Was Skylar too forgiving of her family? Did it make you mad when Gabe left at the end? And what about Kendra? Do you think her goals and values changed after what she went through? What questions do you have for me or the characters?

One random commenter will win a $25 gift card to the bookstore of your choice and a signed copy of NO CHANCE.

I’ll come back at noon and post a short NO CHANCE trivia contest. You'll have until noon tomorrow to answer the questions. Random winner of the contest will receive a signed copy of the entire 2010 LCR trilogy, NO CHANCE, SECOND CHANCE and LAST CHANCE.

Both winners will be announced at two o’clock tomorrow.

Okay, let’s chat!


Hope said...

Like all of the LCR books, these two were a wonderful couple. I liked seeing them falling in love the first time and I loved watching love blossom when they were reunited. I do feel that she forgave her dad a little to fast, I mean, come on, he had her husband beaten and kept him from her for 8 freaking years. What would have happened if she wanted to remarry?

One of the things I love about the LCR books is meeting new people. I love getting to know the operatives and their backgrounds. So wounded but yet so selfless when it comes to victims.

Do your characters ever change names? (meaning do they start off as a Bob, then you decide they really are more like a Dylan by the end of the story???)

Christy Reece said...

Commenting to get emailed responses.

Christy Reece said...

Hey Hope! Yes, I've changed names many times. Let's see: In RESCUE ME, Jordan was originally Dane. In RETURN TO ME, Noah's real name was Micah, not Michael. Skylar's maiden name was supposed to have been McKenzie but my copy editor felt I had to many people in the book whose last names begin with 'M'. LOL I have a tendency to get stuck on a letter and have to force myself to use different ones.

Oh, and in SWEET JUSTICE, Seth Cavanaugh was supposed to be Zach Tanner but when I discovered there were a slew of Zach's in romantic suspense this year, I changed it. I hope to use Zach Tanner again someday. Really like that name!

Crystal said...

Shoot! I am racing out the door to go look at a few more possible places to live and get my husbands paper work ect done for his job. I will check back in later this afternoon and make my comments, because I can't pass up the opportunity to discuss all things Gabe. He is so sigh worthy!

Christy Reece said...

No worries, Crystal, I'll be here. Hope you find something spectacular!

oklanannie said...

Right off the bat, I want to ask a question I've thought about a long time but keep forgetting to ask. Is "Victor in "Run to Me" (Rosemount's righthand man) the same as Victor Lymes? I'm pretty sure he is.

From the first moment Gabe came on scene I was drawn to him. Maybe it was his name, then again, it could have been his coldness. I felt the same way about Jared Livingston when he first appeared. As we got to know Gabe and learned more of his early history, I saw the hurt and rejections he felt, my heart opened more to him and he is now one of my all-time favorite LCR operatives.

Seeing the younger Skylar and Gabe romance bloom enriched the story for me. Both were so young and from such different backgrounds. I like seeing the path romances take as they mature. I despised Papa James and his plot to keep Skylar and Gabe apart, although I can certainly understand a parent not being happy with their young daughter choosing a husband after only a few days. He just carried it way over the line and I'm not sure I would have been quite as quick to forgive. I admired Skylar's loyalty to family, her friends, charities and her work with the less privileged. I certainly hope we get to see an older, more wiser and matured Kendra in a book of her own. We left her in such bad shape after such an ordeal. It would be nice to find that she recovered and gets a HEA of her own. I think Skylar would be very happy to see that happen as well.

Hope brought the subject of names up -- and I just pray you never name one of the LCR hunks something like "Virgil." So far, each of our guys have been blessed with great names!

The "Godfather" villain made my stomach turn. It was clever. He truly was a self-centered pig of a man. And I believe that his snooty wife really knew his perverse behavior, she just chose to turn aside and enjoy the wealthy lifestyle he provided which makes me equally repulsed by her.

Gabe's self-imposed celibacy for 8 years only endeared him to me. I know some might find it unbelievable, but I truly believe for some there's only one trur love in our lifetime.

I'm rambling but I've got a five-year old here trying to get my attention. I hope to be back later.

Christy Reece said...

Hey Anne! I fear my penchant for favoring certain names and letters has misled more than one person. Victor from RUN TO ME is not Victor Lymes. So sorry about the confusion. LOL I definitely needed an LCR bible to keep me straight!

Gabe was a cold one, wasn't he? He didn't endear himself to me until near the end of RUN TO ME, but he did intrigue me from the beginning. I so wanted to know more about him.

And it's funny how Jared caught your attention so early. When you read SWEET JUSTICE, I think you'll be even more interested in him. (:

I agree. I think Skylar forgave her family way too easily. If it had been me, I doubt I would have talked to either parent for a very long time, if ever.

LOL Don't ever see myself writing a hero named Virgil. However, I could definitely see a Virgil villain.

Yes, I think William's wife did know or at least suspect what her husband was doing. However, she was comfortable with her wealth and chose to ignore how her husband made much of his living. Despicable woman!

I so agree about the celibacy thing. I truly believe love like that does exist.

Enjoy your time with your grandson. Hope to see you back for more discussion!

Angela said...

NO CHANCE was my absolute favorite in the LCR 2010 series. I could not put it down once I started reading it. The characters were so emotional, and I was very drawn to them. I especially loved the tension between Skylar and Gabe. You can obviously see they deeply love each other but due to other people's interferences and misunderstandings, it's so hard to see the couple argue and fight.

Skylar is such a strong woman. After going through all of those experiences, I'm so glad she and Gabe had a happy ending . She had a lot of courage to stand up against her family and even Gabe (at certain times when he wouldn't listen).

I have wondered about Kendra. I feel so sorry about what had happened to her. Will you have a story about her and how she would overcome her past? The story would be interesting.

Thanks again for writing great books and I can't wait for SWEET JUSTICE. September seems to be so far way :)

Elke said...

I really liked the story of Gabe and Skye because we got to see the development in their characters troughout the eight years they were separated. I thought about what would have happened when Skyes father wouldn´t have interfered and I think both wouldn´t be the persons they are eight years later. Gabe probably would´t work for LCR and Skye maybe would not have chosen to mentoring troubled girls and do charity work.

So because of the horrible interference of Skyes father all the later events were set in motion.
(Does that make sense - it is a bit difficult for me to put it in the right English words )

Anyway ,when I learned about the horrible lies Jeremiah had told his daughter I really wanted to strangle him, especially when he told Skye repeatedly he did it for her own good.

And I was very pleased when he learned that he had very poor judgement and reconsidered his opinion of a lot of things.

Christy, what gave you the idea for Jeremiahs actions ?

One of my favourite scenes in NO CHANCE is Skyes outbirst to that pesky reporter -throwing his rude questions right back at him.

I hope Christy you will write Kendras story - I always wondered how she would go on after that horrible exsperience .

Christy Reece said...

Hey Angela! I'm so glad you loved NO CHANCE. LOL Gabe and Skylar did have a lot of tension, sexual and otherwise, between them, didn't they?

And their story was emotional. I can only imagine the heartbreak each of them felt after believing they'd found their once in a lifetime love only to have it destroyed in such a seemingly final and cruel way. Makes me mad at Jeremiah James all over again!

I agree. Skylar is a strong woman. Instead of dwelling on her heartache, she chose to help others. I loved that about her.

I do hope to write Kendra's story one day. Her experiences definitely changed her and what she chooses to do with those changes would be interesting to see. And I'd love to give her an HEA, too!

So glad you're looking forward to SWEET JUSTICE. September 6 will be here before we know it!

Christy Reece said...

Elke, I agree. I don't think either Gabe or Skylar would have been the same people if they hadn't had those experiences. I do think they would have been happy though. And I'm not sure Skylar would have mentored troubled girls, but I believe that Gabe and Skylar together would have done something worthwhile. Gabe was already that type of person and Skylar's admiration of what he had accomplished made her realize, even before her heartbreak, that she could make a difference too.

LOL Yeah, her father's 'I did it for you own good' line was a killer, wasn't it? Interfering moron that he was!

I am glad that he finally realized how wrong he had been. He truly didn't believe that kind of love existed. Even though what he did was unforgivable, I forgave him a little. (:

I don't recall where I came up with the idea of her father's elaborate deception. As I mentioned, I'd had "By the time you read this, I'll be gone" whirling around in my mind. And I knew Gabe was still married. I also knew I wanted there to be a good reason for their separation. What better reason could there be than for Skylar to think Gabe was dead? And Gabe, proud man that he was and not quite sure how someone like Skylar could love him, allowed himself to believe the lies.

I also knew that Jeremiah had the money to do anything he wanted to do. And in his opinion, spending money on 'protecting' his daughter was worth every penny.

So, with all of that, the story just grew.

LOL That scene with the reporters is one of my favorites too. And I especially loved it when Gabe announces that he's Skylar James's husband. That scene came to me way before I finished writing the book.

Fingers crossed I can write about Kendra someday!

Jane said...

One of my favorite parts was when Skylar says "I believe in you" to Gabe and letting him know she trusts him.

Alison said...

I LOVE NO CHANCE! It was the first LCR book I found. I didn't realize it was a whole series until I after read it...I was so happy to find out there were more!

I started re-reading No Chance last night and I'm loving it just as much as I did the first time.

My heart is breaking for Skylar and Gabe and what her dad did! I cry everytime during the confrontation between Gabe, Skye and her dad. I can't believe he would lie like that to his own daughter!

I better get back to work! I just had to stop in for a sec to say again much I love No Chance!

Christy Reece said...

Jane, I loved that line too. And I think Gabe needed to hear it. (:

Christy Reece said...

Allison, I'm so glad you found NO CHANCE and liked it so much it made you want to read the rest of the series. That's always my dream when someone picks up one of my books. (:

The confrontation with her dad was emotional, wasn't it? That's when I learned that Skylar had almost died. I could just see a young, heartbroken girl diving again and again, searching for Gabe, knowing there was no hope to save him but wanting to be able to find him anyway. LOL Here I am tearing up just thinking about that. (:

Thanks for stopping by during your work time!

Hope said...

Christy, you often say that your characters take you one a wild ride that you aren't exactly sure where you are going until the story is completed. Have you found yourself arguing with a specific character, thinking they are gonna go one way then they COMPLETELY turn around and change your plans.

Kara C said...

Hey Christy!
Hope I'm not late to the party. Lots to do today and running on fumes. It has taken me awhile to get to the computer.
Let me just say one word to get it out of the way- Cole. :) I liked his observation that watching Gabe and Skylar was going to be interesting, and he was so right.
My favorite NO CHANCE line is Skylar's remark to Gabe, something to the effect of "if you're going with me, please leave that giant chip on your shoulder here. I'm getting damned tired of you lugging it around everywhere you go." LOL! You tell 'em girl.
I also like how some scenes from the past were told at different times in the book from each of their point of view. A coworker of mine just recently read NO CHANCE for the first time. Her conclusion? "That Christy Reece can write!". Indeed. :-)

Tara said...

Hi All! Super busy at work today, so not much time to post. But had to stop by to say I too loved No Chance! On of my LCR favs.

I enjoyed the history of Skyler and Gabe, and was so torn up by what her father did, Uggh! I too thought she forgave him too quickly for what he had done.

And Anne, I agree about one true love and Gabe remaining celibate for 8 years. He and Skyler have something amazing.

Like all LCR books, I enjoying getting to know all the characters a little better.

I feel a need to go back and read this again.

Sorry so short, back to work. Great comments and observations everyone. Have a great night.

Christy Reece said...

Hope, yes, I have argued with my characters many many times. Most of the time they win. Actually I've found that they usually know what's best (they know themselves so much better than I do) so eventually I shut up and let them tell me their story. My biggest problem with this upcoming trilogy were three heroes who didn't want to talk at all. Stubborn men! Finally they opened up and I have to give them credit, when they finally started talking, I fell in love with them.

Gabe was a little like that too. I think it's a good thing that he appeared in the three books before I wrote his story. By that time, he felt somewhat comfortable talking to me. (:

Christy Reece said...

Kara, you're never too late to chime in!

LOL Yes, I think I've heard you say a couple (thousand) times that you like Cole. (:

His observations were funny, weren't they? I think his experiences gave him insight into both Gabe and Skylar. And he knew exactly what love looked like because he had experienced it himself.

LOL I love that line too. Skylar didn't let Gabe get away with a lot.

And please tell your co-worker thank you!!!

Christy Reece said...

Hey Tara! Thanks for taking the time to stop by!

So glad NO CHANCE is one of your favorites. Skylar and Gabe's history is an emotional roller coaster. Half the time when I didn't want to hit Gabe for being so stubborn, I wanted to hug him...and Skylar too. (:

Crystal said...

Okay I am back from my running. I think we have found the future home of the Scott clan!! Yay. Unfortunately we can't move in until Saturday. :( Good thing my kids are use to motel living.
Gabe caught my eye right from the start. I've mentioned this to you before Christy, but when the Chile miners were trapped I kept thinking of poor Gabe! Each time he appeared in a book I wondered what made him the callous man that he was. After reading his story I completely understood. I think finding out about Skylar and her fathers interference was the last straw to break the young innocent man he once was. (did that make any sense?) When he was locked in the vault my heart broke for him! I can't imagine!
I loved Skylar from the beginning. I knew when she kept her true situation from him would cause all hell to raise, but I understood why she wanted to be normal for once. Then through out the book I loved her even more. She used her publicity and popularity for good! I wish there were more real life Skylars out there.

Christy Reece said...

Yay, congrats on finding a place to live! Hope your move is easy peasy!

And I totally agree about Gabe being locked in the vault. I can't imagine having to face your biggest fear but knowing if you didn't overcome that fear, the person you loved most in the world would die. Sigh...I put that poor guy through the wringer. (:

I'm so glad you loved Skylar. I did too. And I totally understood her wanting to be treated like a normal girl. I would imagine any person with that kind of wealth is treated differently.

I wish there were more people like Skylar too. (:

Christy Reece said...

Thanks again to everyone who commented! Revisiting NO CHANCE was such fun!

Congrats to Allison, for winning a $25 gift card and a signed copy of NO CHANCE. And congrats to Angela for winning the trivia contest. She wins a signed copy of the 2010 LCR trilogy! Ladies, please email your mailing addresses to christy@christyreece.com.

See everyone back here for Recommend Monday. And don't forget, the SECOND CHANCE discussion is scheduled for July 26.

Thanks again all!

Mary G said...

Oh no. I can't believe I missed this. I love reunited lovers so this book did it for me. Sorry I missed a great chat.