Tuesday, 9 June 2009

A Thick Black Line - a story within a story...

A big South African wave to everyone at the Pink Blog! Phew, it’s been a while since I was last here, and with the current wave of cyber-darkness my end of the world I wasn’t sure I’d even get here today! But, here I am, and I’m celebrating – not just being able to use the internet, yay!! – but also the release today of my romantic suspense, A Thick Black Line.

Looking back on the writing of it, I’m amazed at how many details from my own experience managed to morph into the storyline… Nope, this is not true confession time, nor am I squeezing an “autobiography” between the pages of a romance novel! But it was an interesting journey. On the Classic Romance Revival blog, I mentioned the “what if” process that is my writer’s “go” button, and while that can largely be applied to the unexpected discovery of the setting all in a day’s work, it seems have been part of A Thick Black Line in a far broader context as well.

While re-reading during edits, I was astonished how a single, particularly awful blip on the radar screen of my life grew from a single tiny seed, took on a whole new personality, gathered in a couple of other characters, and transformed itself into a sinister background against which Bo and Nic discover one another and explore the emotions they confront along their own particular journey. It was a fascinating study into how events and situations can shape and mould us, or confront us and become a catalyst that launches a process of discovery. Most interesting of all, I discovered that, having experienced something similar, I was able to understand Bo and really explore the emotions and reactions precipitated by the plot. It really was a fun ride!

You can find A Thick Black Line at: http://www.bookstrand.com/product-athickblackline-13953-330.html In the meantime, here’s the blurb and a very short excerpt for you:

Bo Carmichael has drawn a thick black line around her heart, and with good reason. She has worked hard to overcome the anguish of betrayal and the devastation it wreaked in her family's lives, and she's now close to realizing her dreams. There simply isn't place in this equation for emotional entanglements, especially not with Nic Sinclaire, the only man who has the ability to breach her defenses.
From their first encounter, an impossible chemistry rages between them – a crackling heat that threatens to melt the ice surrounding her.
A bizarre twist makes Nic a constant companion and self-appointed protector. As Bo's barriers shift and crumble, she can no longer ignore the powerful emotions his proximity evokes…


“You really have no clue, do you?” He leaned forward, elbows on the table, and once again shrunk the space between them. “I wish you could see yourself—the energy, the aliveness, like someone has hit a switch and you’re instantly powered-up. It’s fascinating, intriguing, irresistible, contagious. And just plain downright, unbelievably, sexy.”
Now that hit like a curved ball! Bo hadn’t even seen it coming. Why in the world did every conversation they had end up like this?
“Handbrake!” She reinforced her protest with both hands raised in a defensive, this-far-and-no-further gesture. Infuriatingly, wholly unperturbed, he simply laughed the challenge out loud.
“Why don’t you want to see that side of you?” he asked, stepping boldly into forbidden territory and ignoring both the voice in his head and her warning expression. “It’s who you are, passionate, dynamic, all-or-nothing. I’ll bet that you’re never really satisfied, always searching, always on the hunt for that unknown something to fill the hunger that you’re always working so hard to ignore.”
“So now you’re a shrink, too?” Cold, dispassionate. A definite, back-off kind of closed-ness that was command and warning and, oddly, a kind of plea. She gathered her things, slammed her file closed like it was some kind of security gate. “Let me give you some advice. Stick to your day job. This one doesn’t work too well.”
Before he could respond, because she wasn’t going to give him that chance, she had gone. Stiff and unyielding, angry in an ice-cold, controlled, even frightening kind of way that seemed to envelop her as she crossed the room to the door.
“A bit chilly here, huh?” Caro leaned across to take the plates, surprising Nic into wondering how much she’d heard.
“You think?” At least he had the grace to laugh. That earned him a good few points, and she flashed him a hugely sympathetic smile.
“And you’re still standing. Impressive. I know how lethal those icicles can be. But let me guess—something you said upset the Ice Queen.”
“Yep. I guess I overstepped that thick black line.”
“She’ll get over it. Even winter doesn’t last forever. Just a long time, and especially for her.” She had his attention now, took and deep breath and the opportunity she’d manage to wangle. “She wasn’t always like this, you know. There’s quite a story behind it, but it’s not mine to tell.”
“So you’re not going to help me out?”
Caro shook her head. “She’d have my guts for garters. But I can say that she’s about the most courageous and selfless person I know, and the way she is now is the way she needed to be to survive. The problem is that she’s been this person so long that she can’t see that she doesn’t need to be it anymore.”
“You’re not really helping.” It had a sardonic dryness that made her laugh again.
“I guess not. But it’s the best I can do. Except this, maybe…how do you melt an iceberg?”
Nic looked at her. Quizzical, speculative, very thoughtful. “A lot of heat?”
“Bright boy!” Caro slapped him cheerfully on the shoulder and left him to his musing with just enough to get him interested and not enough to get herself into hot water.

Just for fun, because I’m in the mood to celebrate, I’m going to add an ARC of A Thick Black Line to the Classic Romance Revival subscriber’s weekly draw for the last week of June (i.e. the short “two-day” week, 29th and 30th June) making it a double prize – A Thick Black Line and The Look.

To enter, simply go to the CRR blog at http://www.classicromancerevival.com/blog/. Enter your email in the Subscribe2 block in the sidebar and click send. You’ll receive a short story free read, and automatically go into the draw.

Oh, and don't forget the CRR Blog Carnival while you're there - dozens of prizes, and a lot of blog fun. You need to check it out!

See you all again soon. I’m off to celebrate!


Lindsay Townsend said...

Many congratulations on your new release, Judah! I love the vibrant cover and the whole romantic suspense idea. I loved your blurb and excerpt so much I've rushed over to Bookstrand and bought my copy!

And now with your addition to the prize pile at CRR there's an added incentive to read and comment on Danielle's super 'Creating an Island' blog, immediately below this one.

Celia Yeary said...

Judah--finally, I learned what the thick black line was. How interesting, clever, very creative. Congratulations on your release and the excerpt was superb! Celia

Savanna Kougar said...

Jude, another grab-by-the-collar excerpt. Loved it!

Savanna Kougar said...

Oh, that's ~ grab-you-by-the-collar ~

Jane Richardson, writer said...

this sounds wonderful! And I love what you said about the effect your own experience had on the book. I'm willing to bet that's super-charged it big style. Congrats on the release, and I know it'll be a big success! :)

Jane x