Please welcome Tracey Alvarez to the Author Corner! Tracey is another author that I met on twitter. We’ve been chatting for a while and I was so excited when her book came out! In Too Deep is the first book in the Due South series. I’ve been fortunate that I have had the opportunity to read this novel. Tracey is a fantastic author and writes a remarkable story. Full of heart warming characters, steamy scenes, and a plot that pulls the reader along from page one.
She vowed never to return.
To save her brother from financial ruin, Piper Harland must do the one thing she swore she’d never do—return to the tiny island hometown where Ryan “West” Westlake crushed her heart. Piper is tough, resilient and a little wild—much like the remote and beautiful Stewart Island where she grew up. As a cop who’s part of the elite New Zealand Police National Dive Squad, bringing the dead back to their families still doesn’t stop the guilt she feels over her father’s drowning death. Now nine years later she’s obligated to return to a hostile community as the outsider, and forced to work with the man who was once her best friend and first lover.
She’s a risk he can’t take.
West is an Island man, through and through. As owner of the local pub, he lives and breathes the local community, and sure as hell can’t imagine living anywhere else. But most of all he refuses to ever fall for a woman like his flighty mother. He lost Piper once to give her the chance to fulfil her dreams of becoming a cop. But now she’s back for an unexpected six week visit to help her brother—his best mate. Maybe West wants her a little bit, maybe he can’t resist the temptation to tease and touch her, but can he fall in love with such a flight risk?
Saying goodbye the second time might just destroy them both.
I asked Tracey what inspired her to write In Too Deep:
On Writing IN TOO DEEP
When people ask what I do and I reply, “I’m an author—a romance author,” I usually get one of two responses. Person A will smile politely, say, “Oh, really?” and quickly change the subject. Person B, (who doesn’t think romance authors are smut peddlers or a writer who can’t get published in anything but that tacky genre), will say, “Oh, that’s so cool. Where do you get your ideas?” (I like ‘B’ people, BTW). Odds are, if you’ve read other author interviews you’ll know the often quoted answer to that question is, “Everywhere.”
And it happens to be true.
Ideas are everywhere, but it’s turning those darting glimmers of inspiration into a 90,000 words plus novel that’s the tricky part. For some writers, ideas constantly hit them like a barrage of mini-grenades. For me? Not so much. I struggle to come up with ideas, but when I eventually find one, luckily it’s often damn good.
The idea for the first book in my Due South series had very humble beginnings and I can thank my addiction to charity shops for it. It was as simple (and as complicated) as spotting a book on rescue divers. Standing in the charity shop, I had a conversation with my muse that went like this:
Me: Hey, rescue divers. They’re heroic, I could write about a diver.
Muse: Rescue divers are cool, but remember that article you read about police divers—they’re even cooler.
Me: True. A hunky police diver, hmm.
Muse: Wait a sec! Let’s twist this up a little. What if it was a female police diver!
Me: Even better. You’re so awesome.
Muse: I know, right? And you know what else is cool?
Me: Divers…divers…Shut up a second, I’m remembering a YouTube clip I saw a while back on free-divers. You know, those crazy-brave nutters who dive down to like a hundred meters on one breath of air? Now they’re cool.
Muse: Yeah, yeah. We’ll use the free-diver too—maybe as the hero. Because a police diver is gonna be frustrated as hell with someone taking those sorts of risks.
Me: Told ya. Nothing trumps a police diver AND a free-diver.
Muse: Except if they dive with Great White sharks.
Muse: That article we read last week about a woman who had a juvenile Great White shark wedge its head in the cage she was diving in? She said being up-close-and-personal with the shark wouldn’t stop her diving with them again. Now that woman has big balls. She’d be an awesome heroine.
Me: Fantabulous! Heroine—female police diver who dives with Great Whites, check! Hero—slightly crazy dude who free-dives to dangerous depths, check! But we’ll have to set the book somewhere where there’s a population of Great Whites.
Muse: Well, duh. Quick, ask Mr. Google.
Me: Aha! The Chatham Islands have shark cage dives with Great Whites.
Muse: Meh. The Chatham’s aren’t ringing any of my bells, sunshine.
Me: Okay, okay. What about Stewart Island in New Zealand? We live in New Zealand, and we’re proud to be a Kiwi romance author.
Muse: I love Stewart Island. All those birds, and trees, and sharks, and hot Kiwi men. Lucky us—we can set a whole series of books there!
Me: *Victory punch* Yes!
Note: All of the above took place in my head as I clutched the tattered book with a goofy grin on my face. No, I’m not crazy.
So, thanks to a little charity shop book, I wrote the first contemporary romance in the Due South series and published it on January 20th this year. And yes, it is set on Stewart Island, New Zealand. It does feature a heroine who is female police diver, a hero who competitively free-dives in his spare time, a couple of Great White sharks, and some seriously hot Kiwi men.
For more on Tracey you can find her at any of these lovely location:
Trust me, you want this book!