The Wranglers are happy to welcome author Alison Henderson back to the writers' ranch.
I’m thrilled to be back at Word Wranglers to share my excitement about my new book BOILING POINT. Thanks for the invite, Liz!
BOILING POINT is the second installment in my Phoenix, Ltd. female bodyguard series, and I hope everyone will find it as much fun to read as I did to write. It features hidden identities, a hockey-playing detective hero, and a cooking robot. Here’s the blurb:
Zoe Hargrove’s first solo assignment as a bodyguard is off to a rocky start. On the way to her client’s lakeside estate, a pair of kamikaze bikers nearly runs her off the road. Upon arrival, she learns she’ll be working undercover as a personal chef—a potential disaster since she can barely burn water—while secretly protecting the client’s pregnant wife from a potential assailant. To top things off, her culinary assistant will be the client’s latest invention—a robotic sous chef named GRAMPA.
And if that isn’t enough, the couple’s dangerously handsome chauffeur, who looks more like a prize fighter than a car jockey, glowers at her as if she’s about to steal the silver. Zoe soon suspects he’s hiding secrets of his own, but can she uncover them in time to stop the escaped criminal who threatens them all?
Many writers choose models or actors as physical inspiration for their characters, but I’ve never done that. My characters have always originated strictly in my imagination. For this book, however, I thought it might be fun to consider who I would cast in the lead roles if BOILING POINT were ever made into a movie, and you can play along.
We’ll begin with the character’s descriptions, as seen through each other’s eyes, the first time they meet.
“Now that she was here, he had to admit the new chef was a stunner—tall and lithe, with the long, lean muscles of a dancer beneath her form-fitting gray suit. And those legs. She had to know what spiky heels did to her legs, not to mention a man’s libido. Normally, he went for long-haired blondes, but Zoë Hargrove’s chin-length dark hair formed the perfect frame for a pair of big, heavily-lashed, green eyes. All in all, a very nice package.”
For the role of Zoë, I chose Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Many of you may know her from her early scream queen roles in horror movies, but I pictured her as she appeared in this summer’s biting political satire TV series, “BrainDead.” Here’s a photo of her looking exactly like my bodyguard heroine.
Dominic “Nick” Rosetti:
“She was tall, especially in the burgundy stilettos she’d chosen that morning to compliment her charcoal suit, but this man was several inches taller and heavily built, like a professional athlete just past his prime. He wore a black suit with a white shirt and black tie, and a black-brimmed cap dangled from the fingers of one hand. Black hair curled above a strong, square forehead and prominent nose that listed to the right, as if it had been broken a time or two. But it was the intense expression in his dark eyes that made her stomach clench. She was used to masculine appreciation, but this was different. This man wasn’t undressing her with his eyes; he meant to flay her open to discover her secrets. And the lines between his brows suggested he didn’t like what he saw.”
Nick was easy. He’s Gerard Butler. He just is. See what I mean?
These two spend the first part of the book dancing around each other like a pair of fencers, but when they get together, sparks fly. Here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite:
Nick hesitated, as if weighing what she’d told him, then dropped his hands. “I should go.”
She knew then she didn’t want him to leave. He was so big and solid. So safe. “No, stay.”
“Are you sure?”
She nodded and reached for his hands, placing them on her waist.
His touch remained light, almost reluctant. “I guess we could go into the living room and watch TV if you want.”
“I don’t want to watch TV.” She leaned forward and lifted her face.
His hands slid behind her back and pulled her against his chest as his mouth descended. Gone was the tentative, gentle lover who’d touched her cheek so softly only moments before. In his place was a powerful, hungry man, eager to taste all she was willing to give.
Zoë could do little more than hold on while his lips forged a hot trail down the side of her face, past her ear, and along her jaw before settling firmly on her mouth. Her brain switched to auto-pilot, and sensation took over. Like a match to kindling, tiny flames of desire spread until they threatened to envelop her. After a few minutes—or hours—Nick ended the kiss with a series of seductive little nips that did nothing to cool her off.
If that was a pre-date kiss, she might incinerate if they ever went on an official date.
When he loosened his grip, she eased back until she could see his face. A pair of deep lines creased his brow and disappeared beneath his bandage. He looked worried. Or angry. Not exactly the reaction a woman wanted from a man who had just singed every nerve ending in her body.
She crossed her arms in front of her chest, putting a few more inches between them. “Don’t tell me how we’re not going to do this again. That line’s getting old.”
He pulled her back into his arms and dropped a quick kiss on her forehead. “I wasn’t going to. I was going to say we’d better wrap this case up fast, because I don’t know how I’m going to survive until we do.”
“Good.” Her voice was muffled against his chest.
His laugh rumbled in her ear. “You want to see me suffer?”
“I should have known. Bloodthirsty as well as beautiful.”
Thanks for playing along with me today. BOILING POINT is available exclusively from Amazon, for Kindle and in paperback, as well as FREE for Kindle Unlimited members, at http://amzn.to/2cw9hPX.