Friday, February 6, 2015

Dreaming of warmer climes, and smokin' hot heroes.

When I first started looking into getting published, a lot of other writers told me that US editors and publishers don't want to read about American settings. They told tales of 'their friend' who had a book set in small town Canada told to rewrite it setting it in...South Carolina/Texas/Florida/name your state. When I was at one of my publishers' dinners at a convention in New Orleans last year, I took the opportunity to ask one of the marketing people if that was true. She nodded and agreed that sometimes they would ask an author to consider changing her story's location.

The thing is, except for I Need You for Christmas which is set in the Haliburton Highlands of central Ontario, I've never really been excited about setting any of my stories locally. I just don't find it...exciting. it's  Which may explain why my romantic suspense series starts in Arlington Texas, then moves to DC, and why I love writing westerns set in Texas rather than Alberta. Which ends up with me having to bug my friends from south of the border to ask if my character would request a coke, a soda, or a pop, or if pancakes are called pancakes or flapjacks or griddle cakes down there. I think the funniest discovery was learning that while I would have my Texans donning what we would call a toque, Texans would wear a toboggan.

Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE Alberta. And BC. OMG driving through the various mountain ranges from BC to Alberta was one of the best trips I've ever done.  Ontario and Quebec have some spectacular vistas too. From the beauty of Mount Tremblant and the European flavor of Old Quebec City, and all the sparkling lakes of the cottage country of Ontario, the sandy beaches of Sand Banks Provincial Park? They are beautiful.  Yet, when I dream up a story, when a character walks into my head, he rarely lives in the same country.

Lately I've been spending a lot of time writing Texans. Despite the added work, I like writing Texans. I like the romantic idea of it anyway. Mainly I like that their idea of a bad snowstorm is what we'd call a dusting. And how three days later they are taunting me about it being back up into the 60s or 70s. But during January and February, when we're hitting minus thirty degree with the wind chill factored in, and wake up to an extra foot of snow that needs to be shovelled (yes, we spell it with two Ls, not one), it helps to be able to lose myself in my characters' worlds as they curse that damned Texas heat, as one Texan told me she always refers to it.

Then again, I couldn't take the heat they endure all through the summer. Or their nasty brown recluse spiders. Eh, I write fiction--in my world, I can always have my characters be able to retreat to air conditioned vehicles and houses. And have special spider-repelling abilities. Huh, maybe I need to write an anti-Spiderman ;) ...Nah, I think I'll keep writing my hunky firemen and cowboys and let them generate a heat of their own.

By the way, I've got a novella coming out tomorrow -- and yes, it's set in Texas too.


Sometimes your soulmate has been right in front of you their whole life. It shouldn’t take almost losing them to find them.

Volunteer firefighter Zac Buchanan has been carrying a torch for Tabatha Morgan since…well, forever. A promise he made years ago backfired, sending Tabatha into the arms of another man, and him into a decade of heartache. Now Tabatha’s back in town, newly divorced, and the sparks between them are setting them both aflame.

Tabatha would have bet her secret five-alarm chili recipe that her school girl crush on Zac had died out long ago. Except those slumbering embers reignited the moment Zac walked into her diner. Now each time she sees him—hears him, thinks about him—she can’t imagine her life without him again.

But if their new-found love and sizzlin’ hot action in the bedroom—and living room, kitchen and bathroom—is to survive, Tabatha must also accept the smoke, flames and danger of Zac’s job. Or their happy-ever-after will forever be extinguished.

FEEDING THE FLAMES was originally part of the FIVE ALARM ALPHAS bundle.

Pre-order your copy for just 99 cents through:

Normally I'd give you the link to buy through Amazon, but I screwed up when I was loading it and put the wrong price -- now Amazon won't let me fix it until it goes live. But you can buy a Kindle copy through Smashwords if you don't want to wait...

If you want to read more about Feeding the Flames, visit my website

In the meantime, I'm going to stay inside, curled up by the fireplace with the cat on my lap and the dog at my feet, and dream about one day being able to open the windows to enjoy balmy breezes and bird song. And better yet, to be able to walk across the floor and touch something without the resulting ZAP of static electricity from all this dry heat. Which isn't that far in the distant future at least.  

Oh and yes, the toque in the photograph is my latest knitting project.  It's not blocked yet, but I'm pleased with how it turned out. 

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post, Leah. I have only a few titles left where they take place OUTSIDE of Canada. I love writing it in my stories, and know a few other authors who write only CDN Locales.
    I just had one release that was set in a very cold cold CDN winter, and was wishing I was on the beach somewhere! LOL Now I'm outlining one that will be on a beautiful Island.
    I love my job! :o)