When my son and daughter were young, we spent many a summer at the ball fields. My daughter played fast-pitch softball, and my son baseball. We lived in the bleachers from spring to fall. Suppers were often hot dogs or nachos from the concession stand, flavored with dust from the infield. A bottle of water or a fountain Diet Coke washed it all away--until next time. (I really miss these days but that's another story...)
After I sold my first book, I was eager to sell again. While sitting in the bleachers one evening at my daughter's practice, my son joined me and asked what I was thinking about. I could have said I was concentrating on what his sister was doing on the field, but I didn't. I said, "I'm thinking about the next book I need to write. Brainstorming in my head."
He replied with, "I can brainstorm with you."
Smiling, I thought it was pretty cool that this thirteen-year-old kid would even consider brainstorming a book with his mother. But he did. "I want it to be set in a small town, like ours--but not ours. I need to make up a new one."
"Freedom, Tennessee," he responded without a hitch. I looked at him, surprised.
"Why Freedom. And why Tennessee?"
"Because we live in Kentucky, and if you don't want it set here, Tennessee is close. And Freedom is a cool name."
But why? To take care of his younger brother, we decided. A troubled, teenage younger brother. And from experiences both my son and I have had, we created a loose plot for the book. I even borrowed, generously, from something that one his friend's little brother did--with a BB gun. (You'll have to see the opening of the book, for more on that!)
The Heartbreaker was my second published book by Kensington for their Precious Gems line. (Take a look at that mullet on the cover!) And as exciting was it was to sell that second book, the thing I remember most about writing it, was sitting there with my son that evening plotting away. He's thirty-years-old now, and I doubt he even remembers, but it's something I will never forget.
So, The Heartbreaker, lived a good, long life with Kensington, and enjoyed some foreign sales, but I'm glad to say that the story has been republished under my own imprint now. I hope you'll check it out.
The heartbreaker is back in town…
Lucki Stevenson spends most of her time coaching unruly teenagers and avoiding the unwelcome advances of a co-worker in her Parks Department job. So when all-grown-up, boy-next-door, Dr. Sam Kirk moves back into his childhood home, she doesn’t hesitate welcoming him back into town and her life, as her childhood best friend, of course. Because that’s all they will ever be—best friends.
Sam broke her heart once; she won’t give him a chance to do it again.
Returning home to care for his younger brother J.J., after his mother’s death, Sam is happy to accept Lucki’s expert advice about kids—and even happier that the tomboy he remembers is now a beautiful woman. When Lucki agrees to help him with J.J., Sam is sure he’s on the road to success as an instant parent, and possibly as a husband—but first he’s got to convince Lucki that he’s not the heartbreaker of her past.
In fact, he might have to get the whole town in on the act.