Hello, everyone and happy Friday! I don’t know about all of you but it’s finally feeling like fall here in Ohio and I’m loving it! The trees are turning gorgeous colors, the air is crisp, Halloween decorations are everywhere. Yeap, definitely fall. And the holidays just around the corner. Sigh. My favorite time of the year.
Let me introduce myself. I am Sharon Cullen, author of romantic suspense, paranormal romance and contemporary romance. This week my seventh novel was released and to my excitement shot straight to #3 on MBaM’s bestseller list (Whoo hoo!). Redemption is the second story in my ‘Love on the Edge’ series and is about a man who is so tortured he’s given up on life until a woman literally crashes into his front yard and turns it all around.
The main character, John Callahan, was introduced in Deception (the first book in the series but you don’t have to read them in order). As soon as John popped onto the page I knew he would somehow have his own story, yet I didn’t know what that story would be. All I knew about John was that he was the Sheriff of the small town of Catawba Lake, he had served with Luke (the hero of Deception), and he didn’t touch women. Why he didn’t touch women I didn’t know and it was my job to find out. Of course I’m not going to tell you here ’cause I want you to read the story (evil grin).
So when it came time to write John’s story I had a hard time picking a heroine for him. Obviously, since he didn’t touch women, she would have to be a woman who needed to be touched. And because he avoided women at all costs, I decided to up his conflict and make his heroine pregnant. Yup, John’s woman is pregnant and running for her life to the only man who can save her and her baby. To a man who has given up on life.
I had my conflict. I had my villain (the same villain from Deception. Two hot heroes and one evil villain. Have I hooked you yet?)
I’m a write-by-the-seat-of-my-pants writer so as I’m writing I’m discovering the story just like a reader would–as it develops. I wrote the entire first few chapters not knowing the heroine’s name. I had no idea what to name her and since she didn’t have any memory (did I forget to mention that? A pregnant heroine, running for her life, with no memory), it didn’t really matter what her name was.
Side note: When it came time for my edits, my editor told me I did a great job of writing those first chapters without revealing the heroine’s name. I didn’t tell her it was because I didn’t know her name.
So my first few chapters are written and I have a vague idea where this story is going, but no name for my heroine. I’m lying in bed one night and I say, “Okay, John. I need to know her name. What’s her name?” And he says to me plain as day, “She is my hope.” (yeah, my my characters and I hold conversations).
And that was it.
I had my heroine’s name. Ironic, isn’t it, how things turn out? Here is a man, who at the beginning of the book had lost all hope, was ready to end everything, and he is given hope. Literally.
There’s a lot of action after that. A really evil, nasty villain, the return of Luke and Kate from Deception and another recurring character, Eric, who will get his own story soon.
And that is how Redemption came to be what it is today. It’s a story of h(H)ope and survival. And love.
If you want to know more about John, he’ll be blogging at Sandra Barkevich’s blog this Saturday, October 25th.
If you want to know more about Redemption, here is the blurb:
Running for her life…to a man who’d given up on it.
“Go to Callahan.”
Pregnant, alone—and with no memory of who she is—these words are the only thing Hope can hang onto as she drives through a blizzard, searching for the reclusive Callahan. And when she finds him, she’s not sure which of them is more in need of help and healing.
Haunted by the brutal murder of the woman he loved, the last thing John Callahan needs on his hands is an injured pregnant woman. But with the storm bearing down, he has no choice. Opening his home to her, though, turns out to be far from simple. Her unconditional acceptance of him, scars and all, opens windows to his soul he thought were forever sealed.
Then he discovers Hope’s true identity, and realizes his past—and a powerful enemy—has come back to haunt them both. Even as he races against time to save her, John has to wonder…
Is Hope his redemption? Or his downfall?