Today I’m excited to have Heloise West here to talk about her new release, Hitting Black Ice. I’ve been looking forward to reading a novel by Heloise, having been a fan of the fiction excerpts she posts on her blog, Velvet Panic. When the excerpt is never long enough, you know you’ve found your next favorite writer!
Heloise tells us about her inspiration for the book, followed by a delightful, much too short excerpt:
Alexis asked me what inspired my story “Hitting Black Ice.” Here’s my attempt at an answer 😀
I love mysteries and suspense, romantic or otherwise, and I knew I needed to work on a contemporary story to offset the historical mystery romance I was struggling with at the time.
It’s a little like putting a soup or stew together at first. Or a sketch that needs to be developed because you’ve fallen in love with a line or a shape, a color. I honestly can’t remember who said a story is a juxtaposition of two ideas, but I find that very true. I have to fall in love with that place of juxtaposition first in order to be inspired. I had a winter setting in mind and a character who was trying to talk another out of suicide. I like darker stories, and stories of redemption, so their journey together became important. One of them was on the run from something and living in terror of discovery. The other character had resources. But I needed another layer, the juxtaposition, and that became Nick, the evil FBI agent. I really liked the idea of turning the Romance trope of the enigmatic law enforcement alpha male character on its head.
The story gave me fits, and I abandoned it once or twice, and worked on the historical until that story needed me to step away from it. A glimmer of potential always remains beneath that stagnant pond when the words dry up or I’ve written myself into a corner.
It’s funny how after awhile, the story itself becomes the inspiration to continue writing it.
Hunter opened red wine instead of whiskey and was savoring the first sip when the cell phone dinged with a text message.
Hunter? It’s Shawn.
His heart leaped into his throat. Ok.
“You brilliant asshole,” he told himself, thumbs twitching over the keypad.
The Starbucks across the damn street? U ok?
Y. U want anything? Biscotti? Muffin?
Get up here, muffin man.
He waited a heartbeat.
Fuck, the bed still needed making. Hunter raced into the bedroom, threw sheets and blankets back together, and shoved the body pillow in the space between the bed and the wall. The building buzzer went off. He ran into the living room to answer it and slid in his socks on the hardwood, nearly going down. He limped to the bathroom, combed his hair, washed his face, and sniffed his armpits. He swished cinnamon mouthwash around and managed to spit it out without dribbling on himself. Off came the pajama bottoms. He jumped into the tightest jeans he owned and changed the rumpled sleep T-shirt for a fresh one.
“Get hold of yourself, boy,” he said to the man in the mirror. “It’s not effing prom night.”
He tucked the T-shirt in, trying not to catch his swooning cock in the zipper as the door buzzer went off. He stood in front of the door, counted to three, and jumped when it buzzed again with his hand still on the knob. He yanked the door open.
Shawn stood on the threshold in a black leather jacket, holding a cardboard box with two coffees and a bag of cookies or muffins or damn biscotti perched on top. His eyes were light with hope, though his smile was tentative and sweetly unsure.
ER physician’s assistant Hunter guards his heart carefully, but that doesn’t stop him from falling for Shawn, the front desk clerk. He keeps his distance from relationships for a reason, but just can’t help himself when it comes to Shawn.
Shawn is on the run from the law and love to protect himself and anyone else involved. One man is dead because of him, and his life now is simple and easily thrown into a bag at any hint of danger. Until he meets Hunter, and he no longer wants to run.
Forced into a hostage situation, buried passion explodes in the aftermath, and sex in the supply closet brings their hearts back to life. Tentatively, step by step, they begin to explore a relationship together until the past catches up with Shawn.
FBI agent Nick Truman has finally found his man, but when Shawn escapes, he focuses his attention on Hunter. Shawn returns, even though it means sacrificing himself to save Hunter from the man who framed him for murder.
Title: Hitting Black Ice
Author: Heloise West
Publisher: Loose Id
Publication date: December 2, 2014
Word count: 75,000
Heloise West, when not hunched over the keyboard plotting love and mayhem, dreams about moving to a villa in Tuscany. She loves history, mysteries, and romance of all flavors. She travels and gardens with her partner of 10 years, and their home overflows with books, cats, art, and red wine.