I've been so excited and anxious for this day. KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS -- the first book I've self-published -- is out in the world TODAY. It's a long time coming; my last book came out in early 2016 and since then I've been reading a ton, finding my writing spark, and also (as you can see from this website), trying to figure out how best I can communicate with readers and other romance novel lovers.
To fill you in a little more, I thought I would talk a little bit about my inspiration behind the book. Taboo romances are tough; Jamie is a Catholic priest and Eva is his step-sister. (Though they aren't privy to this info when they first meet... in a confessional.)
Forbidden romance storylines have always lured me in. The angst, the stolen glances, the heroine's fear that she's going to go to hell in a handbasket if she has just one more impure thought about the hero... I search high and low for these types of books. The moment I picked up Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds, I was hooked. I also cried a lot. Crying, sobbing, nose running… lost it. But as much as that story broke me, I wanted more.
I wanted to read about characters who often lived by Murphy’s Law, characters you wanted to scream at one minute for being so damn clueless and cheer for the next. Penelope Ward's Stepbrother Dearest put me on an emotional rollercoaster that I never thought I would get off of. One minute I was flying high, convinced that the hero had seen the light, only to experience the unhealthy desire to strangle him. But I love the rush. The way I’m emotionally drained after reading one of Ms. Ward’s books. She guts me every time, and I adore her for it.
Since I love to read stories that can twist your stomach into countless knots, I decided to make a go at it and try to write one of my own. I apologized often to my characters as I penned KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS. Watching Jamie and Eva struggle wasn’t easy, but I knew they had to if they were to come off as believable, and more importantly, imperfect.
I grew up in a Catholic household, went to Mass every Sunday and observed the traditions. As a teen, I was intrigued by the idea that priests were forbidden to marry. They were human after all, so the question I always wanted to ask, but didn't, out of fear of sounding blasphemous was: How does one live a celibate life and avoid temptation, especially when it seems to loom around every conceivable corner?
When I became an adult (and grew a little bolder) I had a conversation with a priest and touched on this subject. "Loneliness," he had said. That was what he had struggled with, especially at the holidays.
That word stayed with me as I developed Father Jamie Curran's character. So did the word, "human." It was important to me that he'd be betrayed as such. And that by the end of the story, the reader would understand both the man and the priest.
I truly hope you enjoy it. Many glasses of wine and cups of coffee are to thank for getting me through the writing process.
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More on KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS:
Excerpt at Heroes & Heartbreakers: bit.ly/commandmentsexcerpt