I’ve discovered a trend emerging with the books I’ve written to date for Harlequin Romance. My first book hinted at child abuse, my second book revolves around stem-cell technologies and male sterility, my third story features a stalked heroine, my fourth a tattooed, emotionally abused heroine and a hero with PTSD, my fifth relates to substance abuse, my sixth emotional and physical scarring resulting from trauma and my seventh—just recently finished—which was supposed to be my attempt at lightness pits a crusading greenie against the man who thinks she cause his father’s suicide.
Turns out I’m an issues-author. Who knew!
Of course they’re all romances first and foremost and I would hope that the issues are no more prominent than the nature settings which I try to apply with a conservative hand. I meant to be a nature-based author—that’s one hundred percent intentional—but the stories that keep pouring out of me are also touching on some of our most pressing social issues today. And it’s not always conscious. I guess I just find the challenges that people live with and overcome interesting and a naturally fertile place for love stories to grow.
I think I can safely say I won’t be writing a book about the GFC anytime soon or the World Cup or oil spills (at least not for a long, long time). But other than those it seems no topic is off limits to my sub-conscious.
Their Newborn Gift which releases in Aust/NZ this month, revolves around the heroine’s desperate attempt to make a new baby with the hero so that she can harvest the precious stem-cells found in the newborn’s umbilical cord and save the life of her four-year-old daughter.
It was a tricky story to navigate, given people’s views about spare-parts babies but at the end of the day this heroine was delighted to have a sibling for her little girl and was quite prepared to raise it alone and love it every bit as the sister its birth helped to save. It’s just that things don’t quite work out that way for her.
You’ll have to read it to find out why!
Which is why it seems virtually criminal that those precious micrograms of cells are bundled up with the clamped and snipped umbilical cord and tossed into a hospital incinerator when they could do so much good in a donor capacity.
And I guess that brings me full circle back to Lea and Reilly’s dilemma in Their Newborn Gift. What a choice to make, eh?
Do you enjoy reading issues-based books? Are they sometimes too pointed? Are they better because they’re more contemporary or will they date more easily? Have you read my latest book - did I hit the mark?