Imagine if all babies gestated for five years. Elephants have the longest gestation of all living creatures (22 months) and all human babies come out effectively undercooked because we’re simply not built to carry them to what should be full-term (ten months). But five years....
Then I got busy (as you do). Really busy. I signed with Harlequin for four books a year and went back to full time work, and my very patient, very understanding Africa book stepped quietly into the shadows. But for the next three years I thought about my wild dogs and my loyal conservationist heroine and my handsome, mysterious hero and I wondered how I would ever find them a home bigger than my top drawer. The book was too much of a hybrid for most publishers, including my own.
Then, along came Entangled Publishing. Their Dead Sexy line was looking for romantic suspense that was different with any mix of suspense and romance (20:80, 50:50...), and I thought ‘boy do I have a story for you!’. Fortunately for me, the senior editor for Dead Sexy, Nina Bruhns, loved the premise and the story and they bought the book in mid 2012.
And so now my baby has been born and Wild Encounter has the title I always wanted and the cover I always imagined but the story is so much more than it originally was under Dead Sexy's encouraging guidance.
It’s set in Africa and my wildlife warrior heroine, Clare, is hijacked (along with a load of unconscious African wild dogs that she’s moving to protected habitat) by wildlife traffickers. Or so she thinks. She fights for survival, trussed up in an abandoned farmhouse in Zambia, and has to trade on the conditional compassion of the dominant member of the traffickers, a man she comes to look to for her emotional survival as much as physical.
I loved this story and these characters from the moment I started writing them. I loved being able to let my darker side off the leash a a little and hurt characters literally as well as emotionally. I loved the ingenuity of my heroine and her willingness to use whatever she has to get herself out of trouble. I loved the intellectual challenge of writing the twists and turns that come with romantic suspense.
And I love my new trailer for Wild Encounter too. I made it myself and am very happy that it captures the gritty tone of the story.
So anyway, it’s a big, long-cooked baby, but it’s my baby and I’m really pleased that I can finally tell you all that it’s available now via Entangled Publishing. And it's very affordable. Hooray!! I hope you all enjoy reading something slightly different from Nikki Logan. Please let me know if you do.