VW lime green van

Favorite Character


or the past few months I’ve had the joy of taking part in a daily hashtag game on Instagram. Today’s post is “favorite character.”

I could seriously go on and on about my characters, as I’m sure most authors could. Their voices are so real to me. Funny thing is, the one character that is my favorite I didn’t create.

Ok, that’s not entirely true. Let me backtrack.

For anyone that hasn’t read my blog yet, a little history. My husband and I started writing snippets of sexy stuff back and forth to each other while he was on military orders. This is what spawned my entire novel. (A decision that I’m certain he regrets now.)

I immediately regret this decision - Anchorman snippet

Anyhow, one day I asked him for help on a scene and he sent me a scene where my hero and heroine are waiting at Miami International to be picked up by a SEAL buddy of the hero. The only thing that I kept from the original scene he sent was the following:

“You brought me a hottie! You shouldn’t have.” He swept Tori off her feet, which caused her to squeal in unexpected amusement. 

“Watch out for her, she’s trouble!” Scott hollered.

Although caught off guard, Tori couldn’t help but giggle at his silliness. “I wouldn’t harm a fly,” she purred.

What was most interesting to me is that this beach bum was so completely different from my straight laced hero, in fact, you would probably never even guess the man was former military.

I started writing more about this character, and honestly he jumped off the page and took on a complete life of his own. I would have never guessed that this SC, Blaze, would become so near and dear to my heart.

Disclaimer: Blaze was a silly placeholder that I put in my first book until I could figure out what this guys name was. Well, the damn name just stuck. I realize, it’s absolutely ridiculous. I even state HOW ridiculous it is in the story:

Blaze was obviously a nickname, and Tori could only speculate how he acquired such a ridiculous name. 

So, now that I’ve bored you with all the mundane backstory (like I’ve said before brevity is not my strong suit), I will tell you a little about Blaze.

Blaze (a.k.a. Ian Hodges) is a former Navy SEAL and military buddy of Scott Harris. They served shoulder to shoulder in Afghanistan together. The men have been through hell and back together and are brothers. They trust each other with their lives.

Blaze is quite different than my hero. He’s a bit of a mess. He’s a weed smoking, VW driving, houseboat living beach bum who pisses off every woman he sleeps with. He’s honestly a damn son of a bitch.

houseboat, man smoking joint and green VW van

“Good to see you too…” he gave me a devilish sideways smirk, “Blaze.”

I let out a hearty laugh. “So is that what they are calling me now?”

“That among other things.” Harris snickered. “Chief still calls you that damn son of a bitch.”

Without divulging too many spoilers Blaze has been through some serious trauma. He’s rough around the edges. A LOT like my MC/heroine Tori. Thus, they become immediate friends. They can relate to each other in a way that even my hero can’t relate to his girl. Blaze becomes the brother that Tori never had.

Once you look past all his filthy, disgusting comments, (believe me, there are several) and get a peek into his heart, you will realize that Blaze, like Tori, deep down is a softie who is just been hurt and jaded by his past wounds.

Blaze is also amazing comedic relief. My inspiration for him was a mix of Sterling Archer, Barney Stinson, and Matthew McConaughey.

Alright, Alright, Alright

Blaze says things like…

“Harris is such a heartbreaker. I’m better looking than him, I promise. You into beach bums? Wanna get some sand up in your crawl?”


What was her name?” 

Blaze scratched his temple. “Honestly I don’t even know. I called her Dolly because she had bleach blonde hair and tits like-”

Oh and there is also…

“I just enjoy knowing where this thing has been.” He pulled the garter to his nose and took a big whiff.

Pairing Blaze up with Tori in scenes became wildly entertaining to write. I never intended for him to become such a larger than life SC. He became so big in fact, that he would even spawn a spinoff of his own that is a current WIP.

So yes, (future reader base that I hope to obtain). You will get a Blaze novel. Why because everyone, (even a damn son of a bitch like Blaze), deserves a happily ever after.

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washington monument in dreamscape

IGWriters Oct – Day 9


ay nine for IGWriters October was “Adventures in Writing.”

On one of my writing forums I recently saw the question asked “Have you ever visited any of the towns/locations that you write about.”

Most were divided on this. Many authors make up imaginary towns (can you say “Forks”) where there story takes place. I prefer to keep my stories grounded in the real world, to really give a feel for the setting.

I decided to have my series take place in Washington, DC. When I started writing my first novel, I’d never been to DC, but it was on my bucket list of places to visit. I have always been fascinated by the history of our Nations Capitol and I also wanted a city that had close public transportation. (My heroine is blind but I wanted to make sure she was fierce and independent).

I spent a LOT of time doing research. I embedded myself in Google maps. I read about local bars, restaurants. I looked up homes, apartment buildings. I even went so far as to research liquor store hours on a Sunday make sure that the store would be open at the time my hero went to grab a bottle of whiskey.

Ok, so maybe I take it a BIT too far at times. 

Anyhow, my point is that I want it to be as real as possible. I don’t want someone who lives in the city I’m writing about to think I didn’t at least try and do my research.

Finally at long last I was able to go to DC. I went solo, and trolled all over the city by myself and I had a blast. I had lunch with a homeless man at a hot dog cart. I got escorted out of the Smithsonian by security due to the length of my shank. (What can I say, I’m a rebel with a pocketknife, don’t mess with me).  I navigated the public transportation system solo, met and chatted with strangers, who pretty much loved my delightfulness. I got lost on the subway and wound up with a dead cell phone in the less privileged areas of DC. I wasn’t too worried though, because I was too busy giggling with two old black ladies who were just the best, and saw the cutest little six year old selling chocolate bars to buy a bike, so I of course pitched in a few bucks.

I took my heroine’s metro to Arlington, had coffee at the Starbucks in her neighborhood, and stood outside the complex that I’d consider her apartment.

I went to a bar in Georgetown that I wrote about in my first novel and listened to live music.

I went to Arlington cemetery and saw the changing of the guards. It was sobering yet beautiful. I went off the beaten path and saw Washington National Cathedral. I walked the mall. Twice. In one day (along with the tidal basin). Then I walked through Chinatown and back down past the White House. I googled it and it was something like thirteen miles. My feet hated me.

Many people were shocked that I traveled solo. I’m a bit shocked that everyone was so shocked.

Be brave, be bold, you only get this one life to live and there is SO much beauty to see in this world!

(I’m pretty sure that’s me channeling my inner “Tori”).

I loved that city, with all that is in me. I can’t wait to go back.

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