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I cannot begin to explain the excitement and relief–tinged with terror–when I finally finished writing my eighth romance novel, Kane, and sent it off to the editor and then off to copy edits. Tule Publishing first started crafting this series last year at RWA in San Diego, and I was so fired up to be part of the series. The seven other talented authors who’d signed on to the series awed and inspired me. My hero, Kane, came to me, almost instantly. Obviously he had to be hard-core confident, sexy, physical, fearless, and intensely focused on winning. In my mind, he was perfect physically, emotionally and mentally. Naturally I wanted to mess up all that masculine perfection to toss him off the broad, thrashing back of his cocky, I-got-the-world-in-one-hand, swagger. Didn’t take me long to decide to combine my two favorite romance tropes—second chance romance and secret baby.
Let the fun begin.
But who would walk away from a man they’d been friends with and crushed on since childhood? Who would hide an unexpected but wanted pregnancy from a man they loved on a deep, soul mate level? And why? Enter Sky Gordon. She’s the younger sister of Kane’s best friend who died riding a bull when he was barely out of his teens. This created a deeper bond between them that over the years morphed, briefly during one summer break in college, from friends to lovers. Not sharing a pregnancy is not cool by anyone’s standard so of course I had to write Sky to try and enough of a motivation and back-story that her actions, though wrong, make sense to her at the time. And how would my hero, Kane a man who’s back story is as complicated as his reasons for living a nomadic life and risking his life most Friday and Saturday nights, react to the discovery of Sky’s lie and his child? How does someone accept and then forgive the unforgivable? I had to get him to try.
I love how the complications, the nosiness and drama central to spinning a story, churn like filthy and familiar laundry in the wash. I have a built-in excuse for thinking and dreaming and not always paying attention to the mundane. My family and friends have now realized that my characters, while not “real,” they run a really close, breathing down your neck second. I also (confession former writing and history teacher) love researching. Researching bull riding was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I attended a PBR performance in Portland, OR last year with Jane Porter who loves the events and actually travels to different cities to fangirl watch. She was a wealth of information and successfully kept her eyes opened the whole performance, whereas I was so keyed up and nervous I couldn’t even chow down my kettle corn. I watched a documentary Fearless as well as a lot of “how-to” videos. Watching the rides was thrilling and nearly impossible. So many times I had to jump off the treadmill at the gym because I kept squeezing my eyes shut as a bull hurtled out of the chute.
Not possible to close your eyes and write about a man determined to seize control and win at any cost whether it’s on the back or a bull or by swooping up the one woman he’d let in his heart but let go and the child he they made and tucking them into his truck while he races the clock to get to the final round of his next event a six hour drive away. Talk about tension. Talk about intense. Talk about fraught ride humming with sexual tension, unresolved conflict and two people who don’t know how to forgive or trust but have to make a life together for their three year old daughter happily singing and enjoying her new adventure in the back seat.
Sinclair lives in Oregon’s wine country where she and her family own a small vineyard of Pinot Noir and where she dreams of being able to write at a desk like Jane Austen instead of in parking lots waiting for her kids to finish one of their 12,000 extracurricular activities.