All About Ellery Mountain...

In September 2012 I attended a writers retreat thingamy for a publisher I used to be with in a beautiful place in Tennessee. There I met Amber Kell and Carol Lynne for the first time, and Tennessee became the place where they encouraged me to spread my wings.

Anyway, armed with encouragement—and not a small amount of excitement—I sat down and imagined a series of six books, six couples with lives that interconnected. I knew I wanted to write the first book about two first responders who in one way or another saved each other. Also I wanted to set the whole series in the mountains of Tennessee.

Book 1 was The Fireman and the Cop, at just over 30,000 words it was a new departure for me, a series each one 30-35k where I decided they would be delivered pretty regularly (one a month). Book 1 flowed, book 2 flowed and became The Teacher and The Soldier, Book 3 was The Carpenter and The Actor, followed by The Doctor and the Bad Boy, and it was all still flowing even to The Paramedic and the Writer. I loved my Ellery books, but book 6 was a hard one to write. Writing my SEAL with PTSD was the kind of story that rips you inside when you write it. I found myself in tears so many times when I was writing the pain that the character was going through.

Who could a man with PTSD talk to if he struggled talking to friends and counsellors? I threw it open to my group of FB friends and they suggested that he may talk to someone who listens without judgement – a barman. Perfect. I had my foil for the tortured hero. Avery, my barman, listened and said things in the right places, and most of all he told Travis he loved him but that he would under no circumstances back down or leave.

The Agent and the Model. Book 7, is Mikey’s story and came completely out of the blue.

See, this was supposed to be just six books. But… Mikey was hurt so badly in book 5, and I sent him off to the City for a wonderful new life, but what if memories of the horrific hate crime he was a victim of made his new life one that was fragile and open to hurt? When Alex, the man he loves, proves to Mikey that all he is seen as is a helpless victim he decides he needs to go home to Ellery and confront ghosts and make peace.

Which is very difficult when Alex follows him.

And then... I got all the books back from a new publisher and suddenly I realized I want to write a book 8...

The Sinner and the Saint will be out late spring... :)

I love my Ellery boys...

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