Chandler and Parker’s story is finally here with the release of the 3rd book in the Bitterthorn,Texas series, ONE HOT SECOND—YESSSSSSS!
It’s been a long haul getting their story from my brain to the page. Research ate up a lot of time, but it was worth it! Chandler and Parker’s story has that sense of realism while still being sexy as hell.
Another thing that hung up ONE HOT SECOND was, of all things, the cover art. I love the close-up of the characters kissing on the cover, and I’ve gotten great feedback on it. But… that’s not how it originally looked.
My publisher, Carina Press, sends these detailed “art fact sheets” for authors to fill out. The more detailed you are when you fill out your art fact sheet, the better the cover artist is going to understand the theme, feel, mood and characters involved. Aside from describing my characters and sending my entire Pinterest storyboard to them, I wrote down no less than four times that it was in Texas, summer, scorching sunshine, and set during a heat wave.
What I got back was… this:
Yes. That is a blanket. They're sharing a blanket.
Maybe that’s a scorching summer heat wave where the artist comes from...?
Remember, though—all Carina covers come from the Harlequin art department, which means they do thousands of book covers every year. Naturally there’s going to be a crossed wire every now and again. It’s up to the author (read: ME) to catch these boo-boos before the covers get finalized.
Unfortunately, I was, err, distracted when I got the first draft for OHS.
Picture it. I’m at Adult Nationals, rinkside with my competitive skaters, and I hear I've got mail. I even remember what was going on at the time—a double salchow was going screwy and my skater had just hit her knee—so I’m leaning over the boards, going, “Your knee is fine, I don’t see any swelling.” Chime sounds. Glance at tablet. “Go on and do a flying camel and see how the landing feels.” Pick up tablet, glance at cover art. Redheaded woman. Dark-haired man. Kissing. Perfect. “…five. Six. Seven… you need to hold that flying camel for EIGHT ROTATIONS. EIGHT, DO YOU HEAR ME???”
I never saw the blanket.
Until now, I’ve been too embarrassed about my major eff-up to talk about it, but there it is. I NEVER SAW THE BLANKET. Dear God, somebody get me bifocals. Or a new brain. Probably both. Yeah, I could really use both.
For those who attended RWA in San Antonio in July, you know how hellishly hot it gets in South Texas. And yes, ONE HOT SECOND takes place just thirty miles south of San Antonio, in the fictional town of Bitterthorn. In the summer. During a heat wave. I totally should have seen the blanket. I KNOW.
But I didn't. I didn't see it because I didn't give the cover art the attention it deserved. I am officially a naughty author.
Ultimately Kingo Ng, a brilliant (and patient!) guy who handled the cover art issue, made it all work and he deserves a medal. Mistakes will happen, and it’s up to the author—whose business is writing and whose books are her products—to make sure everything is as perfect as can be. This mistake was totally on me.
I have learned my lesson. :)
Oh, and just in case you were wondering, there is no blanket in ONE HOT SECOND. If there were a blanket, Chandler and Parker would just have super-hot, extra-sweaty sex on top of it, but that would be pretty much it. ;)
Parker Radclyffe is up against a wall. Thorne Mansion, the mysterious Italianate castle she's come to Texas to restore, isn't the problem. No matter how intriguing the relic is, it's merely an ember compared to the blazing magnetism of its owner, Chandler Thorne.
When his family mansion burned down, Chandler had to watch over a hundred years of proud history go up in smoke. After more than a year, he finally has everything in place to rebuild, including a renowned conservation architect to oversee the restoration. But when he lays eyes on Parker he realizes he's gotten more than he paid for. Maybe more than he can handle.
Parker is a military brat who never sits still long enough to get burned. Chandler is her opposite, a man with deep roots and deeper family secrets. It won't be easy to find the common ground it takes to build a home together, but Chandler is a Thorne in every sense. He plans to stick with Parker until she sees that love is more than worth the risk.