Hello, thanks for having me here today!
In writing Hitting Black Ice, I hit upon an evil protagonist, a corrupted FBI agent so evil he’s willing to frame an innocent for the murder of his partner. Dangerously hot and sexy, he’s ready to sacrifice more innocents to get the job done. He’s also snarky as hell.
At a third of the way through the novel I wrote a problematic scene that had the story veering off in a completely wrong-headed direction, so I put it away for a time. The problem, I knew, was Nick, but not why.
It wasn’t until I finally submitted the story, that my editors pointed out the real issue.
Nick was too snarky, which actually made him too likable to be the bad guy I’d portrayed him as. My choice was to either tone down the snark or work out a back story about what had brought him to this point in his life. It didn’t have to be revealed in this story, but it did need to be hinted at, as Nick was going to get a chance to tell his tale of woe, starting in Send Lawyers, Guns, and Roses and ending in His Dark Reflection.
I really didn’t want to kill my lovely lines, and the idea of saving Nick intrigued me.
The editors had suggestions for the kind of man it would take to balance off Nick, for which I’m still grateful, as I really think Hank fits the bill.
I put off writing his story, because, frankly, Nick made me nervous. The things he’d done and why were the stuff of nightmares. Finding his voice and keeping to it through the whole of a novel-length story was a little stressful, but he did finally come through. Even some members of my critique group were surprised with how it all worked out—he really doesn’t appear at all salvageable, even in a recent reread of Hitting Black Ice, but it was a gradual rescue.
It wasn’t only editors who wanted to save Nick—readers really wanted to see more of him, see him get his own story.
Nick Truman wasn’t always a monster, something had happened to get him there, and it takes a strong man like Hank to get him onto the path of redemption.
My eternal thanks to all the fans of this series and their encouraging reviews and comments :D.
Disgraced FBI agent Nick Truman has failed to save his sister, held hostage by a drug cartel until he could give them Alex Crow, who eluded him. His epic downfall lands him in Witness Protection, where he plays by the rules and keeps to himself. But the murder of his neighbor brings danger to his door. He unexpectedly finds himself the champion of innocents and helplessly attracted to the homicide detective in charge of the case.
This can’t end well.
Homicide Detective Hank Axelrod is good at digging out secrets, maybe because he hides a big one of his own. He also suspects his husband has one foot out of the door of their marriage and the specter of single life looms unpleasantly on the horizon.
A murder resembling another brings Nick into his world, a man who claims to be a mystery writer looking for a real life resource. Hank’s instincts say he’s more than that, and he’s rarely wrong.
Torn between the errant soon-to-be-ex husband and the distracting, sexy stranger, Hank needs to focus all his attention on his murder case before he becomes the next victim.
September 12 – Love Bytes
September 14 – Alpha Book Club
September 19 – The Novel Approach
September 20 – Bayou Book Junkie
September 22 – MM Good Book Reviews
September 29 – Gay Media Reviews, The Geekery Book Review, Jim’s Reading Room
October 2 – On Top Down Under Reviews
October 4 – RAM PA Group, Bayou Book Junkie, Xtreme Delusions
Heloise West, when not hunched over the keyboard plotting love and mayhem, dreams about moving to a villa in Tuscany. She loves history, mysteries, and romance of all flavors. She travels and gardens with her partner of 10 years, and their home overflows with books, cats, art, and red wine.
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