I can't wait until June 7th, when TEST DRIVE releases! It's the first in my Body Shop Bad Boys series with Sourcebooks. And Sept 6th, book #2 will follow with ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE.
I thought I'd share some fun facts about TEST DRIVE with you, then give you the chance to win a print ARC of the book!
- My intention had been to write about the Donnigans following the McCauley Brothers series. But while trying to get my proposal accepted for the McCauley cousins, my editor came up with the fascinating idea of exploring those snarky bad boys in Del's garage. (Del is the heroine of McCauley Brothers #4--What To Do with a Bad Boy)
- Johnny started out in my mind as a major player. A pretty-boy tough-guy who likes--ahem, liked, past tense--to steal cars. He turned out to be so much deeper and more heartfelt than I'd anticipated.
- I spent 2+ hours quizzing the owner of a garage about all kinds of things, and I still don't know that much! One thing I liked--most mechanics have stations where they work, where they keep their own personal tools, and you can tell a lot about a mechanic by his/her workstation. Johnny's is neat but normal looking. Sam's is chaotic. You can eat off of Foley's counters. And Lou goes through messy stages when he's in a particularly artsy frame of mind.
- The idea of ROP--the Rattle of Oppression, came from the idea that Del doesn't want to swear at her wedding. So she's torturing all the guys by making them also not swear. I thought that was funny, especially in a garage environment.
- There is a nod to "second breakfast" in the book, an homage to Tolkien. *grin*
- I really loathe the bad guy in this book. I've never met anyone like him, but I've heard some awful stories. A note to the jerks of the world--annoy me, you become a complete schmuck in my books. [I've got a woman named Patsy getting her roll in a future work. The old lady called me the devil when I was her manager ten plus years ago. I never forget, Patsy. Never! muhuhahaha]
- I've walked in the Queen Anne neighborhood where Johnny and Lara stroll, wishing the same thing, that I could live in one of those big, beautiful houses.
- I wrote this book while I was managing 2 boys on my own (carting them to sports practices, games, and school events), going back to school full-time, and writing. I felt very overwhelmed and tried to push all that stress into Lara's character. She went back to school for nursing, which is totally difficult, while bartending nights and helping to watch her nieces. Go, Lara!
- Before writing this series, I knew what difficulties each character would have to overcome. For someone like Johnny, who seems, on the surface, to have it all, finding flaws and hardships wasn't easy. But sometimes too much of a good thing can be bad ( i.e. too many women does not equal too much love.)
- My previously written characters cross over into this series and back out. You can totally read this book without reading anything else, but if you read the McCauleys, you can keep up with Del's wedding and a few other McCauley tidbits.
And lastly, if you'd like to win a print ARC of TEST DRIVE*, simply answer in a comment on this post. What is your dream car?
*ARC mailed to U.S. and Canada only