Well Identity fans, just a few more days until you can download the last in this series, Assumed Calling. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been talking all things Identity series and today I’ll carry on with that and chat a bit about Assumed Identity, the third book in the series. The one which seemed to really set the wheel in motion.
Up until I started to write the third installation, the series was clicking along at a novelette size pace and the common theme was identities. Assumed Identity was the book which turned the corner on all that. As I’d honed my skills and really began wrapping my head around my characters and getting a good feel for them, my writing grew and matured. It was just a few pages into Assumed Identity I realized Julie’s and Mason’s story was much bigger than a novelette size read allowed for. I knew this would be a novel. Little did I know three chapters into it the characters would speak so strongly they would demand more time. As I neared the last chapter, a few characters really tugged at me and they kept telling me, “This story isn’t finished. There’s more.”
More what? I knew Mason and Julie were getting their HEA. What else was there? Then the question struck me right between the eyes, “What happens fifteen years down the road?”
I knew immediately why I’d been avoiding that question. The answer was too painful to think about. You see, I seem to be paving a road in romance which was previously considered a path not fit for a goat drawn cart. The path of the older character. I’m going on tour in a few weeks to promote Assumed Calling and one question I’ve been asked a few times in interviewing is why I was compelled to break the 45 and under rule. Um, what? I’d never heard of this “rule” until it was brought to my attention. It sounds a bit “formulaic” to me and as most of you are aware I’m not one to follow formula.
So, what was I thinking? I don’t know. I don’t make a list of what and how my characters should be then squeeze them into that mold. They tell me who and how they are and I work with it. Mason was old. **shrug** So I went with it. And according to reader feedback I hit on something because people were delighted I was portraying people loving and living an alternative lifestyle well into the retirement years. It works and I think it’s been a long neglected market. It wasn’t intentional but I’m grateful I stumbled over it nonetheless.
So, back to what happens in fifteen years. Imagine my distress when Julie and Dante decided to break my rule of three. You see, I might not adhere to formulas, but the rule of three has stuck with me a long, long time. Series are supposed to come in threes…right? Maybe not.
Assumed Identity was the book which was the turning point and catapulted me into a series which would become more than three and would break conventions of traditional romance insofar as cross-genre labeling. I now have characters of all sexual persuasion and ages playing in the same playground. And isn’t that really how it’s supposed to work? Isn’t that how it works in real life? People mingle and love from all across the board.
Yes, Assumed Identity was the turning point. It was within its walls I found my identity per say. That of a true rebel whose characters know no bounds when it comes to love, life, and relationships.
Innocent childhood games of dress-up and pretend…
Julie Stevens is as straight as they come. Or so she tries to convince herself. But it isn’t easy believing that little white lie when she has the two most sexually eccentric best friends on the planet. One is a bi-sexual Domme who believes if it looks fun, try it. The other is a gay man in the role of slave to his very sexy Master whom Julie often wishes wasn’t gay. Dante’s commanding presence makes her want to do things that set her on fire with need and embarrassment. Given her boring vanilla life, how exactly does she fit into their world? Would they like to have a shinier third wheel?
Are a completely different animal for grownups…
After one wild evening and a bit too much liquid encouragement, Julie discovers a side of herself she’s always tried to ignore. The realization she’s a sub not only scares her, it excites her and she yearns for more. But the process of finding the right man to teach her becomes a real issue, until Mason comes along. He’s everything Julie imagines a Dom should be. Armed with her masque and Renaissance costume, Julie is thrown for a loop when the handsome Master draws more willingness out of her than she ever thought possible. Is it possible she’s more than a submissive? And will the assumptions he’s made about her identity end up tearing them apart?
Julie’s eyes flitted in Blake’s direction and she saw he’d turned ten shades of red and was picking at a thread in the table cloth.
“Blake, what exactly have you told Dante about Shelby and her house?” Julie asked him over a tight smile.
“Everything I asked,” Dante said, blowing steam off his tiny cup. “I already knew about her lifestyle. That’s no secret. We share it and we see her around. I was curious as to whether she practiced it at home."
Julie wanted to disappear under the table.
“Jules, I need to know where you are mentally. Please talk to me.” “Yes, Jules, please talk to him so he’ll stop interrogating me for answers I don’t have,” Blake insisted.
“And what's the point in you knowing these things about me?” Julie demanded, her heart racing.
“Let me explain something to you, my dear. We’re born to this. We’re wired differently than what the world perceives to be normal. It’s something you can’t outrun or change. Sooner or later it'll consume you and you’ll go looking again.” Dante stopped as if assessing whether Julie was going to stay put or jump and run. “I don’t want you getting hurt and neither does Blake. And you can get hurt in this world, Jules. Easily. And not just emotionally. There are freaks out there that take advantage of inexperienced people like you. If I can prevent that from happening, I will.”