When I wrote Always and Forever Love, a romantic suspense, I wanted to explore the dynamics of two sisters, Sterling and Lacey Aegar, working together. The sisters, each a private investigator, are unlike in appearance and personality, but what they share is a love for each other. That love is a quality that contributes to their strength.
In my lifetime, I have witnessed changes for girls and women that include everything from clothing to how we interact with others to sports and career choices. I’ve been a part of those changes in finding my voice, my self-expression, and my inner strength. While women have always had strengths, it seems as though right now we’ve moved beyond claiming our rights as individuals to realizing our power. But in life and in fiction, there is a variety of ways women express strength and having heart is one of the them.
In writing my heroine, Lacey Aegar, in Always and Forever Love, I wanted her to have to find her way out of being stuck after the death of her husband. While she’s wrapped herself in the structure of the life she’s known, her spirit husband wants much for her and asks her to open her heart to possibilities. From the outside, she appears strong physically; she’s fit and can do well in a physical fight. She has depth. She has strength of character and values. And while she’s also mentally strong—she can assess clues and piece together the solutions to her work problems—she lets her heart lead her. It keeps her grounded and ultimately she needs it to help her face a new life.
Here’s the blurb for Always and Forever Love:
The presence of a ghost in her life doesn't alarm Lacy Aegar, in fact it makes her happy. Two and a half years ago when her dead husband Nicholas reappeared in her life as a full-bodied spirit, she questioned her sanity. But with Nicholas' explanation that there are things about life that are not as she's always believed, she settled into a pleasant routine of working with her sister at their private investigation business and enjoying home life with her now 10-year-old son – with Nicholas never very far away.
Lacey's complacency and sense of stability is sent topsy-turvy when she runs into Jackson Carter, the son of powerful and influential business tycoon, William Carter. Typical of the Carter reputation, Jackson's slick new private investigating business is siphoning off clients from the Aegar sisters' business, creating financial difficulty. It's a recurring nightmare for Lacey, who has already seen damage done by the Carter family, and when she encounters Jackson, she wants nothing to do with him.
But things are not what they seem when it comes to Jackson Carter, either. Unbeknownst to Lacey and her sister, Jackson is fighting a battle to preserve his business, too, and his integrity. For him, it's a fight for his soul, and he enlists Lacey's help because of her unique investigative skills and open heart. When she uncovers a mole in his business, she also discovers that one of his clients' drug trials has been given the green light to go to the next phase based on falsified data. As they work together to save both their businesses, Jackson and Lacey not only face death, they must come to grips with their feelings about love and life.
Do you believe “heart” is important and if so, how do you express it? Do you have some favorite characters who demonstrate “heart?”
Always and Forever Love is on sale at Amazon during the month of February for $1.99.