Sunday, February 24, 2013
Take Me Now by Nancy Jardine (Plus, a giveaway)
I've enjoyed getting to know her and I'm sure you will too. Here is her bio:
An ex-primary teacher, Nancy Jardine, lives in the fabulous castle country of Aberdeenshire - Scotland. Her husband is a great cook; just as well or they'd starve. Twice weekly she child minds her toddler granddaughter, not good days for any new writing to be done, but seeing the little one grow is precious time spent. Ancestry research is an intermittent hobby; neglecting her large garden in favour of writing is becoming the norm. Activity weekends with her extended family are prized since they give her great fodder for new writing.
A lover of history, it sneaks into most of her writing along with many of the fantastic world locations she has been fortunate to visit. Her published work to date has been two non-fiction history related projects; two contemporary ancesteral mysteries, one light-hearted contemporary romance mystery and a historical novel. She has been published by The Wild Rose Press and Crooked Cat Publishing.
Decisions? How many are too many?
When I started to plan my contemporary Wild Rose Press novel, Take Me Now, I had a couple of intentions in mind. Since the idea stemmed from a fun jaunt in a seaplane to Scottish island haunts I wanted my romance to be fun and light-hearted, but I also wanted it to be a mystery and to have an edge of danger in there. A bit of a mix-up of plot and sub-genres -- I know -- but that's what I was aiming for!
Take Me Now was only my fourth manuscript I'd ever worked on and the second contemporary work. My two Celtic/Roman historical works -- one an adult romance The Beltane Choice, and the other meant for the early teens Dabbling With Time -- were 'derring-do' adventures. They had elements of danger in them but were not mysteries. My first contemporary -- Monogamy Twist published with The Wild Rose Press -- is a very sensual history/mystery romance. So, to break from work with a 'heavy historical' element, my Take Me Now was going to be a challenge to write. No history - just mystery. That was decision 1.
I'm not a natual comedian so I wasn't aiming for a romantic comedy per se but what did I need to add to make it light-hearted?
My tale was definitely going to involve someone flying a floatplane around the Scottish west coast. That was a no brainer, easy decision 2. Floatplane and seaplane flights in the west coat of Scotland are generally flights involving transport to and from the islands so I decided to have my hero, Nairn Malcolm, be someone who flew back and forwards for business reasons to his London base, and to the world beyond. Decision 3. But how to get some light-hearted banter in my dialogue?
Brawny highland heroes who live in castles are quite popular in romance novels but they're usually in historical or time-travel works and I was veering away from those sub-genres. But I'm a bit of a maverick, I suppose, since I decided that I would have my hero be a brawny highland hero -- and at six feet six -- they don't come much bigger! And he would live in a castle on a Scottish island, yet he would be a thoroughly modern man and an achieving alpha who has to learn to laugh at himself. Decisions 4 & 5.
It seemed too pat for him to fly himself around in this mystery I was creating so, although he was my hunky highlander, he was also going to be an incapacitated hero -- and would need help that he wouldn't normally seek. In stepped my gorgeous Vancouverite, Aela Cameron. Her west coast Canadian background, and the skills she'd learned there, would translate beautifully into the paragon that Nairn needs. Decisions? Probably, 6, 7, and at least 8. That many since she would provide the humour I needed to make the whole invalid situation fun and light-hearted!
Take Me Now grew on my pages. Further decisions had to be made. His reason for being an invalid? The most obvious thing that seemed realistic was a mysterious motorbike accident that puts him in crutches. The mystery evolved into what I now call my corporate mystery. Someone was not only sabotaging his health directly by tampering with his motorbike, but they were also causing havoc at his businesses. What was his business? Being such a lively alpha guy before the story begins he just had to be someone involved in daring adventure activities. New decision 9 or 10 or 11? The number of the decision ceased to be relevant. Nairn's company name became Adrenalinn Adventures.
The next series of decisions that took me forward on the number line involved the locations I could squeeze into their whizzing around as Aela transports him world-wide, and eventually finds his saboteur. I love writing about fun cities and the biggest decision of all was how many places? Nairn's a very active businessman and I know from experience how frequently people like that travel, and how fleeting their trips can realistically be.
I wrote about them having scary times in London where Aela finds herself in the firing line, and another where it's only her advanced driving skills that get them out of a deathly attack. Dangerous situations laced with humour -- well, I did intend it to be ultimately a light-hearted story. Paris was fun to write about though their sexploits are perhaps not the traditional lover's tales. I wrote in very eventful trips to Muscat in Oman, and the Caribbean -- but I'm not telling you here what their love life was like. You'll just have to read a copy to find that out!
The manuscript was accepted immediately. I sent it to my editor at The Wild Rose Press, but it was on the proviso that I wrote in even more fun places for them to go in Europe. I was surprised at that decision though gung-ho to add more. Barcelona and Rotterdam and Tallinn in Estonia were really great fun places to add.
So, Take Me Now really does take Nairn and Aela to a LOT of places! Too many decisions? I'll leave it up to the readers now to tell me how many big decisions they think they make during the process of writing a novel.
My Take Me Now cover is currently in the finals of the 'You Gotta Read' - Cover contest for February. Voting closes February 26th, 2013, so there's still time!! If anyone reading this feels inclined to add an extra vote for Take Me Now it will be incredibly appreciated. The link is here: http://yougottaread.com/vote-now-for-the-february-2013-cover-contest
** GIVEAWAY **
I'm offering an e-copy of Take Me Now to one lucky commenter, so please leave me a comment and a way of contacting you (email address) should you be my winner. Best of luck to you!
Thank you, and enjoy Take Me Now whoever you are.
Blurb for Take Me Now:
Nairn Malcolm's looking for the impossible. He needs a highly skilled, enterprising aide who'll be at his beck and call 24/7. No ordinary Jane Doe will do. He doesn't expect the only candidate who drops in at his Scottish castle for an interview to be so competent...or so stunning.
Aela Cameron's got exactly the right mix of talents to satisfy all Nairn Malcolm's needs, and more. She loves the jobs he needs done, adores his castle, and finds his frenetic lifestyle energising. But she's only looking for temporary: not to fall in love with the man.
Can Nairn convince Aela she's tailor-made for him in every way...and not a passing fancy?
Buy details for Take Me Now:
The Wild Rose Press http://bit.ly/WyaGGi
Also available in nook and other formats from Barnes and Noble, and other good e-book stores.
Amazon author page with details of all Nancy's novels and book trailer videos: http://amzn.to/RJZzZz
Thank you so much for hosting me, Jan. It's a pleasure to visit you! My best to you and your readers.