CLAIMING HIS CHILD…AT ANY COST
A shocking fertility clinic mix-up has resulted in Luca Moretti fathering a child with a woman he's never met. There's no way the CEO will walk away from his baby girl. But he has thirty days to convince her distractingly beautiful mother to do exactly what he wants.
Widow Claire Douglas is still reeling from the loss of her husband when she discovers a stranger has fathered her child. And the rich bachelor will stop at nothing to gain joint custody. How can she possibly fight a man with such money and power…and a charm she can't resist?
I was asked to create the ultimate bachelor by taking three of my favorite famous guys and combining them into one perfect guy. It took me a while to determine what pieces I wanted. There are so many great choices out there and I'm sure as soon as someone mentions another great actor, I'll think - oh, can I squeeze in a 4th or 5th guy? But here's my final result:
- First, we're going to harvest all the best parts of sexy Brit Tom Hiddleston. I want the smooth voice, the British accent, the artistic soul, the ability to recite Shakespearean sonnets and make a girl melt, the romantic at heart, and the accomplished ballroom dancer. Honestly, Tom is practically perfect on his own.
- Second, we're going to add in a dash of Chris Pratt. Tom is tall and handsome, but I like a little more meat on my men. I'm all about Chris's height and build, so we'll take the body, but also, his great sense of humor, overall goodness and undying devotion to the woman in his life. I mean the guy dresses up as Starlord and visits kids in the hospital. I'll take one of those, please! Even before the six-pack, he was a catch.
- Finally, we'll need a little Matt Bomer. I swear, is there a prettier man? To quote Lady Gaga in American Horror Story, "your boy has jawline for days!" Indeed, he does. So, definitely need the face, the dreamy blue eyes, and the sense of style. He's also a dedicated family man, so gotta love that.
There! I can't think of a more perfect Frankenbachelor than this one. Romantic, talented, handsome, tall, caring, and thoughtful with an accent. Yes! Let's start mass producing these, Dr. Frankenstein!
Movie Star Cast
Whenever I start a new book, I begin with a Pinterest board. I hunt down inspirations for the characters, the settings and future cover ideas. You can check them out here - there's one for every book. It really helps me visualize the book as I write it and hopefully it does the same for the readers as well. It also helps me because I always have an answer when I'm asked who would star in the movie about the book!
For Claire Douglas, I chose Jennifer Lawrence. She had the beauty, the potential to be both buttoned-up and passionate, and has the fire that a protective mother like Claire needs.
For Luca Moretti, I chose a model instead of an actor, but I’m sure he can pull it off – Raoul Bova. He’s just got something about him that makes you say – yes! That is my hunky Italian restaurateur. If I found out he was the father of my child, I’d have a hard time resisting making another one the old fashioned way.
Admittedly, this playlist is a little all over the place. I listen to a lot of different genres of music and it all comes together into a crazy playlist. Luca and Claire have a complicated and untraditional relationship, and not one that I think has been captured in the perfect song. I tried to find songs that represent their hurt in the past, their willingness to move forward, and finally to fall in love.
· Better Love – Foxes
· The Woman Before Me – Trisha Yearwood
· Broken - Seether
· Believe – Cher
· Bring Me to Life – Evanescence
· Demons – Imagine Dragons
· With Arms Wide Open - Creed
· I’m Ready – Bryan Adams
· I’m A Believer - Monkees
Bon Appetit and a Book
The hero of the book THE CEO'S UNEXPECTED CHILD is the owner of a large family-style Italian restaurant chain called Moretti’s Italian Kitchen. One of the featured dishes at the restaurant is cheesecake, which makes a special appearance in the epilogue. I've personally made a lot of cheesecakes in my day and this is one of my favorite recipes. There are fancier ones, and more complicated ones, but this has always turned out for me. It’s a pretty simple one, although the top is prone to crack. I haven’t had any luck with waterbaths because my springform pans always leak. So, if the top cracks – put on a layer of chocolate ganache or fruit topping. Problem solved!
- 1-3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup margarine or butter, melted
- 1-1/4 cups sugar, divided
- 3 pkg. (8 oz. each) brick cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling or other topping of choice
- Preheat oven to 350°F if using a silver 8- or 9-inch springform pan (or to 325°F if using a dark nonstick 8- or 9-inch springform pan). Mix graham cracker crumbs, margarine and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Press firmly onto bottom and 2-1/2 inches up side of pan; set aside.
- Beat cream cheese and the remaining 1 cup sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour into crust.
- Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 min. or until center is almost set. Turn oven off. Open oven door slightly. Let cheesecake set in oven 1 hour. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Loosen cheesecake from rim of pan; remove rim. Top cheesecake with pie filling just before serving. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.
How-To Tips for Aspiring Writers
There’s a lot of advice out there for writers that are hoping to achieve publication. I’ve heard my share, followed some, ignored others. It isn’t a custom fit to every writer. What I would suggest is that you do two things: read and write. Read as many different types of books as you can. Find out what you like, what kind of stories you’d like to tell, and what kind of themes work in that genre. Then, write like the wind. You probably won’t sell your first book. Deal with it. Write another one. And another one. And another one. I wrote 10 books and sold the 11th. I learned something important with every book and when I did finally get published, the learning curve wasn’t quite as steep. I was able to take off running and I’ve never looked back.
Love Lessons Learned
In THE CEO’S UNEXPECTED CHILD, both the hero and heroine have a good reason to keep other’s at a distance. Luca feels damaged and doesn’t want a woman to fall in love with him and sacrifice an important part of her future to be with him. Claire has been betrayed and abandoned by her husband in the worst possible way. She’s fought her way through it, but her baby is what keeps her moving forward. Both characters need to learn to trust their hearts and their instincts. Luca has so much to offer, but he doesn’t believe that he’ll ever have real happiness, so he pushes women away. Claire can’t bear to get hurt again. As they grow to know, and eventually, to love each other, they have to trust one another to make the right decisions and choose love instead of fear.
I am lucky in that I have my very own office. I have a great desk setup, a table to put together prizes and baskets, and bookshelves overflowing with books (mine and other people’s). In my previous home, my office doubled as the guest room, so it was harder to get things done. You’ll see my office is filled with all of my favorite things. I have toys, posters from my favorite films, stationary stuff, books, research materials... I’ll admit it’s normally not this clean. It gets a little chaotic, so sometimes, I end up moving downstairs to work in my favorite chair. Many of my books were written in that big, oversized blue chair. Not the best for the posture and most certainly not ergonomically correct, but it works for me.