Tuesday, September 29, 2015

M Is For Miriam

Jennifer talks about her heroine, Miriam...

The heroine in my latest book, Miriam’s Surrender, is...wait for it...Miriam! She first appeared as the sister in The Seduction of Esther, and when I wanted to write a sequel, I chose her as the heroine. Never having written a series before, I probably should have planned things out a little better to make it easier to write her, but, live and learn.

In my head, when I first created her in Esther, I pictured a young BeBe Neuwirth--she played Lilith in Cheers--minus the curly hair. Once I realized she was going to be my heroine, I needed to soften her a bit so that a reader could like her more. But I couldn't make her too soft.

She’s super controlled. She doesn’t do anything without a plan and she’s flawless, or at least, she pretends to be. On the outside, her hair is perfect (I’m so jealous), her clothes are exactly right, she never spills or makes a mess or loses control.

But inside? That’s another story. Growing up, she was the sister who was supposed to take care of everyone else. She wasn’t supposed to make mistakes. And the one time she did, well, let’s just say she never let it happen again. That’s a lot of pressure for one person to live under, and it’s had a huge impact on her life.

Which is why ceding control to someone else is such a big deal for her. She’s always been the one everyone else depends on. It’s going to take a really strong man to convince her it’s okay for her to give in, without giving up.


“I’m glad you agreed to have dinner with me. Maybe we’ll do it again?”
“I’d like that.” She looked at Josh and smiled.
He tipped his head and Miriam could feel his breath warm her face. Mere inches apart, she could see silver and black flecks in his irises, stubble on his cheeks, the arch of his eyebrow. Shivers zinged up her spine. Like a magnetic pull, she wanted to lean into him, to feel his body against hers, to press her lips against his. But they worked together, and a kiss would change everything. As if he read her mind, he pulled back, said goodbye and got into the cab and drove away. Miriam covered her lips with her fingers.
What in the world was she supposed to do now? He’d come close to kissing her. She could still feel the electric charge between them; still catch a slight scent of his musky aftershave in the air. His hand had held her arm with enough pressure to keep her against him. Although she’d watched him leave, she could still feel the imprint of his touch. She stroked her hand up and down her arm.
Did she give away how much she wanted to kiss him too? It was so quick, so unexpected, she couldn’t be sure. Her mind shot off in all directions as she entered her building and took the elevator to her fifth floor apartment.
They worked together! How in the world was she supposed to look at him when they next met? Should she acknowledge the kiss that almost happened? Should she pretend it never did? He didn’t plan on discussing it at their next meeting, did he?

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  1. An intriguing excerpt, Jennifer. I love how you've captured the moment when he almost kissed her. Far more tension in this than in an actual kiss. I want to read more.

  2. I agree with Margaret. An 'almost' kiss certainly racks up the tension between the characters :-)

  3. With my new series I plan on planning better as well. :)

    I think, though, that sometimes it's fine to change our characters a bit from book to book. When a secondary character gets a book of their own, we really get to dig deep inside of them past the (maybe) superficial outside we see and really get to know them. Maybe we even get the chance to see why they were the way they were in the first story...

    1. That's true, Debra. We can make changes to them, but I'm afraid of making significant ones that change completely who the character is.

  4. Almost kisses are the ones we think about. They're full of potential and mystery. Great writing!