Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I thought I'd bring you a bit of the story behind the story of Falling For Mr. Dark and Dangerous today.

When I wrote Hired By The Cowboy, I knew right away I wanted to write Mike and Grace's story. Which I did in Marriage at Circle M. But then I started wondering about Maggie - even though she never appeared on-screen. Who was Mike's cousin, that became his foster parent at such a young age? Where was she now?

I knew Maggie was a widow, and she had a daughter. Beyond that...well, I had to get to know her a lot better. And once I did, I had the job of matching her with a hero. She definitely needed someone she would consider all wrong for her.

At the same time, my husband was chatting a lot to some friends in Florida that he games with online. A couple of them were US Marshals, and I thought that was really neat. I love a man in uniform. Soldiers, firemen, cops. I asked him if he thought they would give me a hand with information. Sure enough...Mark Graham stepped up and said fire away.

Would Maggie want a cop? No way. She doesn't want anyone, but a cop in particular would be a no go. So I knew that the fit would work. Maggie's also forty-two with a teenage daughter. Nate is in his early thirties...oh no! Older woman, younger man! I was liking it already. He also lived very far away...definitely out of her comfort zone. Yep, all wrong!

So why would she fall in love with him?

Why, for all those exact reasons, of course! He's hot. He's young. He's principled. He's caring, and steady, and strong. And he's into her too. Makes it kind of hard to resist.

I sent lots of e-mails to Mark asking information about how and why a Marshal would end up in Alberta. I visited the Bergen General Store. I had casting pictures. I sent more questions to Mark. At this point I'm sure he was sick and tired of me.

And then I wrote it, sent it to my editor, did some revisions and boom! It was on the schedule.

I sent a copy to Mark when the author copies arrived on my doorstep, and honestly it was nerve wracking to think of him reading it. Would he think it too sappy? Would my "case" ring true? Mark is the first to say he's not a hero. He claims his wife would agree. I don't. Over the course of chatting I know some of the jobs he's been on. He was a marine before joining the Marshals, and when my book arrived he was just back from five months in Iraq. He'd sent pictures of Baghdad and I know my husband repeated "Keep your helmet on" a lot. I don't care who you are, when your job is to rid the world of dirtbags one at a time, that's pretty damned heroic to me.

There was lots that got this book going, but the true "Behind the Book" force was Mark himself. I really really hope that when we're in Florida next year, we have a chance to meet up for a two-family barbeque. We have girls and he has boys. I'm not sure if I should be worried about that or not. :-)

He did read it, by the way, and asked if there would be a sequel.

I don't know...what do you think of this????


  1. That's such a great story. :) I have to read this book, D. I'm sorry I'm so behind on your releases!! :(

  2. Anonymous2:21 p.m.

    Oh, that's a great story, Donna! Fantastic! I can't wait to read the book. Who did you end up casting for the parts?