One of the things authors are asked over and over again is, "Where do you get your ideas?" And our response is always the same, "Everywhere."
Let me give you an example of everywhere. Four years ago I was sitting in the spring sunshine, outside a smart French café, chilling out and people watching with my daughters. I have two daughters of marriageable age. They're beautiful (they'd kill me if they read that, but I'm their mother so I get to say it) independent, career-oriented, super-smart... and ruthlessly... single.
And as a contemporary romance writer having my girls and their life-long besties in my life is literary 'gold-dust'. You would not believe the dramas about body issues, clothes, the heartbreaks, the falling madly in love with the wrong man, I've witnessed over the years. Anyway, we were revelling in the vibe; listening to a language spoken faster than a speeding bullet, savouring chocolate pastries, drinking coffee shots, eyeing immaculately turned out women, beautifully dressed man candy - when my eldest daughter decided to spill all about a blind date. To say we were surprised is an understatement, because she tends to keep pretty tight-lipped about this sort of thing (probably because her mother writes romance).
Apparently, one of her work colleagues had 'the perfect man' for her and set-up a date. Now my daughter is nobody's fool. She knew nothing about him, but he sounded, in her own words, 'normal', so she thought she'd give him a chance. However, she also decided on the venue and the time, just in case the whole thing went pear-shaped.
Meanwhile, her sister and I were sitting wide-eyed listening to the tale. I was wondering if they'd put something in her coffee because she never, ever, discusses boyfriends with me. Can't think why.
So after work, at the appointed time on the appointed day, she arrived at the busy bar of an upmarket hotel to meet her date. First impressions were not great, apparently his hair was at least one day overdue for a wash and his fingernails were not exactly clean and bitten to the quick (she has a thing about nice hands). But she soldiered on, deciding to have one drink before she let him down gently and left. He very kindly bought her a drink, a soft drink because she was driving.
And then he sat back, gave her the once-over, his eyes lingering on her breasts, and said,
"Dontcha think the rooms in this place are too expensive for a quickie?"
She blinked, opened her mouth to speak, but he beat her to it.
"You're obviously gagging for it, love. Why don't we drink up and find somewhere cheaper."
It's not often my daughter is rendered speechless, she takes after me in that respect. But she kept her cool, placed her drink on the table, and excused herself to visit the restrooms.
Once there, she took off her shoes, used a stool to step onto a big glass sink to open the window, tossed out her shoes, her handbag, climbed out (she's bendy, she does yoga and pilates), ran to her car, and left.
By this time her sister and I, visualising the creep waiting and waiting for her to return and maybe even asking bar staff to check the toilet, were howling with laughter.
Wiping my eyes, I said, 'Good for you, baby.'
Then, looking at us with big blue eyes, she gave us the kicker.
"That's the second time I've done it. I always meet my first dates there. Last time the bar staff let me leave through the kitchens in case I broke my neck climbing out of the window."
And right there Reckless Nights In Rome was born - download it free at stores listed below.
Now it's your turn to spill the beans.
What's the worst/best/funniest first date you or your bestie have had.
The world demands to know.
And the lovely Lee, thank you for having me.
Leave a comment for a chance to win an eBook copy of my latest release, Desert Orchid.
CC was fourteen when she read her first romance - 'The Grand Sophy' by Georgette Heyer. And right there her future as a romance author was born. Of course, it took a while. Writing romance, she was told by her teachers, does not an income make. In order to write about the lives of others, she needed to live a very full one of her own. And she did.
Fast forward a few decades later: a husband and three children and a couple of careers, she found her fourteen year old self again. And decided to follow her dream and write a contemporary romance. Five years later and Reckless Nights In Rome, book one of The Ludlow Hall series, was published. CC loves to write about deliciously handsome men and strong women. Since then Reckless has been downloaded over 450,000 times and hit the best seller lists across thirty countries. There are now five books in the series published with two more coming very soon.
CC is also working on a paranormal romance series, The Vampyre Legal Chronicles. She loves those suckers, so watch this space!
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***Christine's winner is Liz Flaherty! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing details!***