People are always asking authors where we get our ideas. Basically anything, anywhere is up for grabs when it comes to inspiration. It might be something as simple as a TV show which starts the creative juices flowing. Several years ago I was watching Extreme Home Makeover, on ABC when one of the featured families was a blended family of siblings. The parents had passed away—I’ve forgotten the details—and the older siblings abandoned whatever plans they had, got jobs and took care of the younger siblings.
I thought what if the eldest of the siblings was in law school and had to drop out in order to run the family business, a P.I. agency founded by his late father? I envisioned a series of six books, one for each sibling. LOVE ME IF YOU CAN is Scott’s story ten years after the parents’ death. He meets and tangles with Metro Nashville Homicide Detective Tess O’Malley when she comes to investigate him as part of a cold case which rapidly heats up.
Nashville, TN, has been my home town for the last forty years so it was a joy to set this story here. As familiar as I am with the city, I still had to do some “drive-around” research to keep it up-to-date. Obviously it was written and already edited before the 2010 spring flood, but Tess’ building and Scott’s office building would’ve incurred some damage as both are located right down town in historic buildings along First Avenue. The flooding will be addressed in one of the sequels.
Tess took another bite of pizza, her silver gaze never leaving his. “You going to help me out or not? Forbes is your client, after all.” Her voice rose and, again, heads turned in their direction.
“Calm down. I’d like to live long enough to walk you home…and maybe get a good-night kiss.”
Taking a deep breath, she leaned back and signaled everything was cool. “You want to walk me home and kiss me good-night? How sweet.”
Her soft tone mocked him, but he didn’t care.
“Like we’re high school sweethearts.” She wrinkled her nose, but her eyes shone with moderate good humor.
“Would you rather I said what I was really thinking?”
Her lashes fluttered briefly, then she eyeballed him directly. “Maybe. Depends on what you were really thinking.”
He lowered his tone a notch. “About pressing you up against the wall and having my way with you.”
For a second, her gray eyes flashed silver.
Damn. He was a goner—as in, he’d gone too far. Said too much. Too soon.
She leaned forward. “I’ll have you know I don’t engage in up-against-the-wall, wild animal sex on the first date, not that this is even a date.”
Her tone was matter-of-fact, but her cheeks flushed a pretty pink. Maybe he could still pull his nuts out of the fire before they went up in smoke.
“A guy can always hope,” he said, without a chance in the world she wouldn’t kick him to the curb. Or have one of her fellow officers do the honors.
“A guy can hold his breath…until he turns purple.”
“I can see I’ve put my foot in it. I’m sorry… But damn, the sight of your mouth. Your skin. Your eyes. Dammit. You’re driving me up a wall.”
“Another reference to the wall? Would that be the same wall?”
“Bad choice of words.”