Everyone always asks me how I come up with the idea for my stories. I’ll try to explain. For Stranger on the Shore- well, I love the beach, always have. I don’t spend as much time there as I’d like to, but for several years, when my children were younger, we rented a cottage every summer in Lakeside, OH. Unfortunately not on the beach, but we often walked along the beach and looked and dreamed about the cottages that lined the shoreline.
Of course, I wondered what it would be like to be there during a storm, especially a winter storm. Lake Erie is known for unexpected storms kicking up and Lake Effect snow. Since I’m no stranger to the crippling results of some of those snow storms, an idea developed.
Once my writer’s imagination took over, there was no turning back. I learned a long time ago not to ignore my muse. So, I pictured being alone in a house by the lake. It was only natural for my heroine to be a writer. I often dreamed of a quiet place to write with no one to interrupt and Lakeside inspired me for some reason.
Being a romance writer, besides a heroine, I needed a hero and what a better way to introduce one than to have him wash up on the shore, unconscious.
As I do with all my stories, after an idea forms, I know the beginning and the end, what happens in the middle is as much a surprise to me as it is to the readers.
Stranger on the Shore will be released March 1st from Muse It Up Publishing - http://bit.ly/dM2bHA
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Excerpt from Strange on the Shore:
“Darn, it’s getting cold.” Jordan shivered and zipped her sweat shirt. She hated storms, hated thunder and lightning most of all. Grabbing at some papers that flew across the deck as the wind picked up, a movement caught the corner of her eye. Something washed up on the shore. Something big. A body?
Jordan jumped off the deck and raced toward the craggy shoreline. Dark clouds hovered across the lake. Cold water splashed against her as waves crashed against the rocks like angry arms hurling water at an invisible enemy. The crash of thunder echoed across the lake. Ducking her head as lightening streaked across the sky and the air crackled with electricity, she thought she must be nuts. Probably just a bunch of old clothes washed up. Still, she had to see for herself.
Surely, no one in their right mind would be in the water this time of year? There had been storm warnings on the radio all morning. No one would be stupid enough to ignore the forecast. Would they? Heavy rain and strong winds then turning to snow, with a drastic drop in temperature, and blizzard-like conditions weren’t anything to ignore. Jordan winced as lightning flashed again, back-lighting the dark clouds. Darn it, she wanted to be inside cuddling by the fire not out here in a storm. For two cents, she’d turn around and go back. But something drew her forward.
A man’s body against the rocks.
Oh, Lord, please don’t let him be dead. She had planned for a quiet weekend, writing. A weekend with a corpse wasn’t on her list of quiet. But she couldn’t leave him out here either.
Jordan came closer and stooped down next to him. Lifting his head out of the water, above the crashing waves, she felt for a pulse. Thank God, he’s alive. Now how to get him out of here? She grabbed his arm, rolled him over and tried to pull him from the fury of the lake. Wave after wave pounced on him, their foamy peaks trying to reclaim him. Lord, if she ever needed help, now was the time. Struggling to roll him to higher ground, she lost her breath. His long, muscular frame outweighed her slender five foot two body and felt like dead weight.
“You’re going to have to help me.” Jordan grunted and gasped for breath when the full force of icy waves pulled her down and washed over both of them.
“Damn it. I can’t do this alone.”
Still no response.
Great, how was she going to pull him to safety? “I hate to do this, but I see no alternative.” Jordan took a deep breath and pushed him over, rolling him like a barrel and trying to avoid cutting him on the sharp rocks. It wasn’t easy, but at least he moved.
“Come on!” Jordan tried to encourage some life from his limp body. Once he was far enough away from the waves, she stared at him for a moment, before leaning down to give him mouth to mouth. His long straight nose, eyes set wide with bushy eyebrows and the grin on his lips, even in his unconscious state, sent a ripple of excitement through her body.
Not a handsome man, but something about him caused heat deep inside her. Shrugging off the urge to run her fingers through his curly black hair, she began mouth to mouth. When her mouth touched his lips, opened them slightly, something familiar tugged on her heart. She hadn’t touched a man's lips in, what, three years. This wasn’t exactly the way she imagined touching them again. Not that she ever imagined it. Never even thought about it. She’d had enough of men to last her a lifetime.