It is a truth universally acknowledged that I am a huge fan of culinary romances, so it is with great pleasure that we welcome back to Book Lovers Inc. culinary romance author Kimberly Kincaid, who stops by to tell you a behind the scenes secret about her brand new release Outside the Line! So please give her a warm welcome and if you answer the question at the end, you could even win a copy of her book!
The Story That Almost Wasn’t
by Kimberly Kincaid
Each book has a story, a wonderful tale of evolution about how it went from the glimmer of an idea to a swirling of thoughts to a cohesive map of characters and events and arcs. The process never fails to astound me, since the simplest things can serve to inspire entire books (case in point: my first novella, Love On The Line, all came about from a photo in Cosmopolitan magazine). But there’s nothing quite so exciting for me as a story that was never meant to happen.
Outside The Lines is that story.
When I sat down to write the “line” novellas, they were meant to be a pair. That is, I had the rough, gruff Detective Noah Blackwell (Love On The Line) and his wise-cracking partner, Detective Jason Morgan (Drawing The Line). But something about the pair of novellas didn’t feel entirely “done” to me, even as I typed “The End” on Jason’s story.
“Don’t be silly,” I said to myself, still sitting in front of the screen. “There’s only the two of them! Look—clearly, they’re done. I even typed The End, right there!”
“Nope,” a tiny, insistent, nagging voice whispered back. “Blake wants a book.”
“What, the ER doctor?” I asked. Dr. Blake Fisher had been in both of the other novellas, not quite as a walk-on, but not quite enough to be a full-on secondary character. But come on, how could he need a whole book, all to himself? He wasn’t a cop. He wasn’t even all that terribly close with any of the other characters. How the heck was I going to tie him into the series?
But my inner voice was insistent. “Yes. That guy. That sexy, serious, broody doctor. He has a story to tell. He needs a book.”
One of the cardinal rules of being an author is not to ignore the inner voice (even when said voice seems to be riding the crazy train)… so even though I had no plans for a third novella in this series, I took a good, long look at Dr. Blake Fisher in the other two books. Okay, so he was pretty sexy (point of fact: when Blake was first introduced in Love On The Line, my critique partner wrote in the margin, “That is a hot guy name! You need to give him a book!”) And yeah, maybe he was a little serious in that way where lots of intensity lurks under a calm, in-control demeanor. Ruffling characters like that—really knocking them for a loop—is one of my favorite ways to lead to happily-ever-after. And Blake didn’t look too happy…
Yup. This guy needed a book.
Tying him into the series was a bit tricky, despite the fact that readers “knew” him already. So I figured the best way to do that was to give him a heroine readers also knew, which meant I had exactly one option: Jules, the manager at Mac’s Diner. It took some doing (shuffling and deleting and re-writing a pivotal scene in Drawing The Line to keep them apart until their own book rolled around), but as soon as I got them on the page, I knew my inner voice (and my critique partner) was right.
Blake and Jules needed a book—the book—that would cap off this series. And as I typed “The End” on this one, my inner voice smiled and said, “That’s more like it.”
I hope yours does, too.
As an ivy-league ER doctor who eats double shifts for breakfast (and lunch…and dinner), Blake Fisher has little appetite for anything other than work. Being on the staff at Brenstville Hospital means taking care of people, a need Blake understands all too well from losing his brother to cystic fibrosis eight years ago. When he’s asked to coordinate a carnival fundraiser for the cause, he jumps at the chance to help others with the disease…until it lands him side by side with the one woman he never thought he’d see again: his ex-fiancée.
Streetwise and rough around the edges, Jules Shaw is no stranger to earning a living through hard work. But when her job as the restaurant manager of Mac’s Diner puts her shoulder to really broad shoulder with Blake Fisher, she nearly balks. She’d rather dodge and deflect than admit the real reason she broke things off, but the catering contract for the carnival means big business for Mac’s, and feeding people is Jules’s lifeblood.
As Blake and Jules join reluctant forces, they quickly rediscover the spark between them. But the possibility of a future together hinges on coming clean about the past, with potentially devastating consequences. Can Blake and Jules overcome their drastically different backgrounds and learn to love again, or will they always be outside the lines?
Blake’s eyes flashed, the same stormy green as the ocean in a thunderstorm, and he pinned her in place with his stare. “I don’t want you to say you’re sorry, Jules.”
“Oh.” The word collapsed from her lips in more of a throaty sigh than the stubborn affirmation she’d intended, and she swallowed hard. “You don’t?”
“No.” Blake lowered his attention to their hands, the calluses on his thumb sliding roughly over her knuckles as he blanked his expression and let her fingers go. “I didn’t come here for that. In fact, I’m here for something that has nothing to do with you and me.”
“Okay,” Jules said, extending the word by several syllables to form a question as she belatedly recovered her wits. “What’s that?”
“The Brentsville Hospital Carnival For A Cure.” He pulled a crisp, dark blue folder from the laptop bag he’d propped over the bar stool next to him. “I’m the event coordinator, and Mac’s is the catering restaurant. I came to see your boss so she and I can get a tentative schedule set since it looks like I’ll be working pretty closely with her for the next six weeks.”
Jules white-knuckled the edge of the apron around her waist, her heart doing its level best to vault clean out of her ribcage. She was so far past this-can’t-be-happening, and yet…“You…you’re the event coordinator for the Carnival For A Cure?”
“Yeah.” Now it was Blake’s turn to draw the word into a question. “Why?”
“Because I wrote that proposal. I’m in charge of all the catering and planning for that event on our end.”
Jules shifted her weight to stand as tall as her five-foot-nine frame would allow, her palms going slick with realization as she finished, “You won’t be working with Serenity for the next six weeks, Blake. You’ll be working with me.”
Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she’s not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as “The Pleather Bomber”, she can be found practicing obscene mounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to éclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a 2011 RWA Golden Heart® finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. She is thrilled to have collaborated on a Christmas anthology with Donna Kauffman and Kate Angell, titled The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap, to kick off her Pine Mountain foodie series with Kensington this October. Her first full-length novel, Turn Up the Heat, will follow in February 2014. Kimberly resides in northern Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters. Visit her any time at her website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads.
Kimberly has generously offered an ebook copy of Outside the Lines to a lucky commenter!
All you have to do is leave a comment and tell us:
Sexy dangerous cop or serious brooding doctor? Which hero would you pick? Or someone entirely different? A contractor? Firefighter? Businessman? Tell us!
(You can read our full giveaway policy here)
Please be sure to include a valid email address in the comment form (need not be in the actual body of the comment).
Giveaway ends on 24 August 2013 and we will announce the winner on Sunday.