Hi Katherine and thanks for hosting me. Today, I’m sharing my inspiration for my contemporary romance, Untangle My Heart. The idea for Untangle My Heart came about while writing my first novel. Kate was BFFs with the heroine from that story, Meghan Sullivan, who appears in Untangle My Heart and is married to the twin brother of the UMH’s hero, Edward Weston. While writing Meghan’s story, I created Kate and fell in love with her feistiness. I hadn’t developed all the DiFrancesco family characters yet, but knew they were going to be a loud-talking, hand-gesturing Italian family. I also hinted at a tragedy in Kate’s past, which we’ll learn about in UMH. This tragedy is what pulled Kate away from her family and caused her to build a wall around her heart. In UMH, she’ll need to work to overcome this event from her past and risk opening her heart to love.
Why twins? I love the hero from my first book. Charles Weston was a sexy executive who wore both a power suit and a bathing suit well. He was reserved, proper, traditional, and maybe a tad too stuffy. I gave him a twin because I wanted to create a wilder version of him. Enter the hero of Untangle My Heart. Edward Weston is the second born twin and has unsuccessfully spent his life trying to live up to his family’s expectations. Having abandoned all pretenses of trying to be the perfect son, he went in the completely opposite direction of his brother. Edward didn’t take school as seriously and had quite a wild reputation with the ladies. When we meet Edward in his brother’s story, he’s just gone into remission from a lymphoma, which has caused his view of life to change. He’s struggling between wanting to return to his old playboy ways but finds it not as alluring as it once was. Edward meets Kate in Meghan and Charles’s story and they have a one-night stand that lasts for three weeks while Edward is visiting from London. Their story-line is intentionally left unsettled and is the start for Untangle My Heart.
While technically Untangle My Heart is the second book I wrote, it’s the first in the DiFrancesco family series and is a standalone story. The rest of the books I’ve planned in the Tangled Hearts series focus on the other DiFrancesco siblings. Sadly, the first book requires re-work before making it publishable. At some point, I’d like to revamp Meghan and Charles’s story but the DiFrancesco family excites me and I’m planning on finishing their stories.
I’ll forever be grateful for Meghan and Charles’s story, though, because it was through them that I found the DiFrancesco’s. I was able to channel my own background and family traditions into the storyline and it really helped me to establish a closeness with the characters. I hope you’ll get as connected to the characters as I was in writing them. From Mama Carmen to Kate’s sister, Vicky, and her yummy older brother, Nick. As you read Untangle My Heart, notice the events happening around Vicky and Nick as their stories are next on my radar.
Thanks for stopping by. I’d love to hear from you. What helps you to connect with the characters in a book? Who are some of your favorite secondary characters?
UNTANGLE MY HEART
When her marriage ended in tragedy, Kate DiFrancesco rebuilt her life, but has never gotten over the pain of what she lost. Seeking the help of an ex-lover ignites feelings she’s promised never to have again. She’ll need to untangle herself from dangers in her past in order to break the hard shell around her heart.
Edward Weston has a lot to prove, both to his stuffy upper-crust British family, and to himself. Working alongside Kate, a woman he had a casual relationship with, stirs unexpected feelings. Helping her family makes him realize what he’s missing. For the first time, he wants more than a one-night stand.
When Kate is threatened, Edward must overcome feeling unworthy to protect the woman he loves and fight for the family he never thought he’d have.
“Good morning,” he said. “Ready to go?”
“I’m all set.” She swung her laptop bag over one shoulder and grabbed the handle of her suitcase with her opposite hand.
“I’ll take that,” Edward said, reaching for the suitcase.
“I have it,” she snapped and held firmly onto the handle. His old-fashioned ways sometimes annoyed her and today was one of those days. Why was he always trying to be nice to her? It would be easier to maintain her distance if he wasn’t so damned considerate. Damned British manners. “I don’t need your help.”
He raised an eyebrow at her outburst but let go of his hold on the suitcase. “Fine. I see someone didn’t get her coffee this morning.”
“Wrong. I had two cups.” And a restless night of sleep with alternating dreams of Edward and Lucas. Frustrated from tossing and turning all night, she’d gotten up at four and started baking.
“I made biscotti if you’d like some.” She handed him a white bakery bag, hoping her offering of food would compensate for her irritable mood.
He opened the bag and pulled one out. “Are they safe to eat or did you use arsenic instead of sugar?”
Rather than dignify him with an answer, she leaned forward and took a bite. It was still warm and the chocolate chips melted in her mouth. Edward’s gaze studied her mouth as she chewed and for a minute Kate thought he may take a nibble out of her.
“Perfectly safe. I swear,” she said after swallowing.
He popped the other half in his mouth. “Not bad.”
“Not bad, my ass,” Kate said.
“That’s pretty fine, too.”
ABOUT MARIA K. ALEXANDER
A romantic at heart, Maria K. Alexander spent hours as a young girl getting lost in and wishing to be one of the heroines in the stories she read. Books gave her the ability to go to another world where she loved meeting new characters, learning about their problems, and watching them fall in love.
Maria blogs and shares her writing journey with her critique partners at: http://thevioletfemmes.com.
When not writing, Maria loves to read, bake, downhill ski, visit the beach, and watch romantic comedies. Maria lives in New Jersey with her husband and children, and writes in her “spare” time between juggling a full-time job and her kids’ busy schedules.
You can keep in touch with her at: http://mariakalexander.com.
The Violet Femmes Blog: http://thevioletfemmes.com
Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.com/B00GVKRLOG
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