Thursday, 20 June 2013

Theme Tune!

Recently I was asked if music played a part in my writing, in particular if my latest release Breathe You In had a soundtrack. The answer was a big YES, and most definitely one song was with me the entire time I was writing this story...

With Or Without You by U2

Breathe You In had been lurking in my mind for years. Before I became an author of erotic romance I worked in London as a nurse. As part of a post graduation course I got to spend time observing cardiac surgery, which, looking back, was when this story was born. Because it wasn’t just the surgeries that fascinated me but also caring for these patients after life-saving and life-changing operations.

Seeing a chest wide open, a heart beating, being repaired or even transplanted held something magical for me, so much more so than a hip replacement or a bowel operation. I remember chatting to a woman in the post-op ward about her operation and she was completely fascinated that I’d observed her surgery and actually seen her heart. In fact, she called me over to speak to her husband about it when he visited that evening. He looked at me as though I’d told him I’d seen a fairy at the bottom of the garden. I’ll never forget that look on his face.

Why? Because the heart is the foundation for our lives, not just the chemical, electrical and engineering qualities it possesses, but also the way we refer to it when we love someone. It’s more than that even, we say it breaks when someone leaves us, pines for a lover we are separated from or beats more quickly when we’re held, kissed, made love to.

The heart is an organ referred to more than any other in our day-to-day lives. When I started outlining the plot of Breathe You In it was these thoughts that kept playing with the threads of the storyline. I became fascinated by the thought of a girl obsessing over the recipient of her dead husband’s heart. She wanted to see him, to know where the heart that loved her so much was when she went to sleep at night. It’s the one piece of him that she cannot stop thinking about. I guess that’s where that haunting U2 song, With Or Without You comes into play. The words, not being able to live with someone or without them worked for the situation my heroine found herself in. She’s torn up with grief but also fascinated to find the one part of her husband that is still alive, still breathing, beating. I even managed to add the songs references to thorns into her thoughts at the end of the first chapter.

In the UK donor families and recipients can communicate and even meet, but it has to be mutually agreed and coordinated through a liaison officer and can take years. In my story, Katie, can’t wait, she has to see the recipient  but that’s it, just see him from a distance, and she hires a private detective to seek him out. But when Ruben Strong turns out to be not only fit and healthy but gorgeous and charming things start to get complicated, not least because she doesn’t tell him what he has inside of his chest used to belong to her husband.

It was this complex tangle of emotions that, for me as a writer, were so much fun to play with, and satisfying too, because I didn’t want this to be a sad story, I wanted it to be about overcoming tragedy, trauma, getting out of the lowest point of your life and finding love and happiness, passion and laughter once more. It’s an emotional tale that is fun and sexy too, my very favorite sort to read and write, and I even managed to get the song With Or Without You into the novel because U2 (like me) were her husband’s favourite band and that leant itself to a mention.

One other song features in the book, The Police, Every Breath You take. That worked so well for my hero and heroine’s first dance, in fact my beta reader wrote a comment when checking through the manuscript that she was crying with joy at that point and had to walk away and compose herself before she could carry on reading – which I took as a compliment!

Reviews so far are very positive, much to my delight, and out of my 30 novels and short novels that I’ve published, this one is certainly a story that tugged my heartstrings when writing it – pun intended.

Thanks so much for reading about the special songs which inspired several scenes within this story and have a wonderful day.


Soul-aching desire was just the beginning!

If the road to Heaven starts in Hell then I was ready to start climbing my way out and Ruben Strong was the man to accompany me. With his devastating good looks, seductively sexy charm and lust for adrenaline he was sure to make it a sensual and erotic experience as well as one to re-awake the passionate, throw-caution-to-the-wind woman I’d once been.

I’d given Ruben something, though, without him realizing, and that gift had come from the man I’d loved before. But I couldn’t tell Ruben. I had to keep that a tight secret even as our naked bodies wound together, sought out pleasure and hit the dizzy heights of ecstasy as one. Because Ruben had my husband’s heart, literally, and that heart was still in love with me, so it seemed, and now I was in love with Ruben.

Emotions tangled with bliss, and fears were locked away as I surrendered to the touch of Ruben’s hands, the taste of his skin and the sounds of his pleasure. I couldn’t deny that Ruben had brought me back to life the same way I had him and there was no way I was giving up that feeling, not for anyone.

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