Tap, the eleventh Love Story, is out today.
Two of my favorite characters fall in love in the last of the McNaughton brother stories. Sistine works hard for her piece of Petaluma, as does Cade. Their personal lives differ a bit, but underneath those funny T-shirts and cardigans, they are much more alike than they realize.
I think the last time I wrote a secret was Candidate and I’m not sure I’ve ever written a secret that I kept from the reader as I did for a good part of Tap. It’s certainly not Special Ops type of stuff, but secrets are tricky. When and what to tell, the breadcrumbs, felt like setting up a scavenger hunt.
After a book is finished, I usually end up loving the hero or the heroine a bit more. That was not the case with Tap. I love these two equally, and while their story was a struggle bus to write, it wasn’t their fault. They are fantastic people, and I think the story gives them the HEA they deserve. I hope readers agree.
Best: Every moment with The Blue Hairs and the naughty talk. I rarely get to type “threesome” in my books. It was fun, and I was sad to see my internet search history return to things like, “Why aren’t my tomatoes growing?” Oh, and Sistine’s unwavering belief that the cardigans and the tiny dresses could and should get along was another best part.
Hardest: I don’t like secrets or lying so the biggest challenge was the balance between what Sistine had to do for herself and how much she might end up hurting others. Her motives and stakes needed to be strong to keep her from turning into a manipulator, or worse, a lousy friend.
Worst: Keeping everyone, from eye colors to babies, straight. Since Cade is the last brother, the entire McNaughton clan was present and growing like crazy. I was super forgetful during the writing of this story.
Fun Fact: In the first draft, Cade’s mom was the first one to see and comment on his Instagram picture. Tap initially opened during the book club meeting. I’m not sure why the scene played out that way for me, but my editor Katie told me it was “cringy” and “awkward” for his mom to be discussing his… parts. I try to avoid cringy and awkward with varying degrees of success. Ha! I rewrote the scene for the second draft, and it is so much more fun. Not at all cringy, maybe still a little awkward.
I hope you enjoy this love story. Happy Reading!