Writing is a funny occupation. You research things you would have whined about having to do in high school or college if you were writing a paper. For example, in my latest release The Christmas Promise, I researched cocoa production, cocoa plantations, Ecuador, rainforests, spiders, snakes, and prosthetics. Why did this California girl choose such topics? My hero is a wounded warrior and the premise of this romantic comedy is a mash-up of the movies Runaway Bride and Romancing the Stone. The trick as an author is to trickle in the details as you spin a good story, rather than boring them with what you learned.
Here’s the opening scene with my socialite heroine as a fish-out-of-water:
It was raining. Again.
Tiffany Bonander tried humming a few bars of White Christmas. It was, after all, December 23. Cheer was called for.
But the incessant beat of fat raindrops on the tangled foliage of the Ecuadorian rainforest and on her pink rain slicker, drowned out her cheer.
Or maybe she was just drowning under the pressure of heavy responsibilities.
Ankle-deep water rushed down the steep, muddy road toward Tiff and her precious cargo–thirty pounds of cocoa beans. She couldn’t lose the beans. They were the answer to all her troubles.
Thunder boomed. And boomed again. The downpour increased to a deluge.
Tightening her grip on the wheelbarrow handles, Tiff tried to find purchase with her rain boots, tried to make it to the next rise before the road turned into a river. Tried…and failed. Somewhere above her the river had risen high enough to crest a bank. Water surged toward her.
Tiff’s father claimed they’d abandoned this cocoa plantation years ago for drainage reasons. He should have used the F-word: flood.
Tiff stumbled to her knees, and water rushed into her boots–cute, pink-flowered plastic ones which quickly filled with water and felt as heavy as cement shoes. If not for her grip on the wheelbarrow, she might have been swept downhill. Just last week, she’d heard about a woman who’d been carried away by the cresting river and smashed into a tree. Smashed as in: to pieces. Dead.
That would be worse than being broke and the laughing-stock of the civilized world.
This was karma, plain and simple. She shouldn’t have jilted Chad at their engagement party or left Malcolm at the altar.
Melinda Curtis is an award winning, USA Today recommended, Amazon best selling author. She writes the Harmony Valley series of sweet and emotional romances for the Harlequin Heartwarming line (book 4 coming 3/2015). Brenda Novak says: “Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf”. Melinda also writes independently published, steamy and fun romances as Mel Curtis (a new novella out 10/22). Jayne Ann Krentz says of Blue Rules: “Sharp, sassy, modern version of a screwball comedy from Hollywood’s Golden Age except a lot hotter.”
The Christmas Promise is available in the Sweet Christmas Kisses anthology (14 sweet holiday stories for 99¢ available now!).
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