There's Trouble...Trouble in the Pacific Ocean
Updated: Nov 1, 2018
Starts with S and ends with E, and I mean Stranded With The Billionaire.
And... if you don't know the musical The Music Man, you think I've lost my mind. Nope. I just love that musical, but really, it has nothing to do with my book. Yes, they're in trouble but there's no con man involved in getting them there.
Well, except maybe her parents, but I'll leave that to the story.
Stranded With The Billionaire is the 3rd book in the Billionaire Club series. They are all complete standalone books, and to date unrelated, though that may not stay true for long. I have some characters in the wings just waiting, characters you may meet in in book 1 or 3.
Sooooo... As with Grave Destiny (yesterday's post), I'm going to give you five peeks into the background of Stranded With The Billionaire.
1. This book took me approximately a year to write. That's extremely long for me, as I usually can do a book this length in less than two months. But...I had a lot of writer anxiety about it because of writing a place I knew ZERO about.
2. I did a ton of research. I generally do some research for all my books, but with this one, I had to do a bunch on Micronesia and the South Pacific. I have a stack of Micronesia books on my shelf now, did a bit of internet research and watched documentaries. BBC's South Pacific documentary is ah-maz-ing! Bonus: narration by Benedict Cumberbatch. Oh such painful research, LOL! Gosh, sucks to be me.
3. I couldn't help but be haunted by the movie Blue Lagoon while writing. In fact, there is a reference to it. That said, I did my best to shy away from anything Blue Lagoon. That's fiction; this is fiction, but that is way different fiction.
4. The Army issued books mentioned while they're stranded on the island are a real thing! I actually found out about them by accident when I was researching books that were popular during World War II. Anyone who knows me knows I am a history junky. Why I don't write historicals is beyond me. Actually, the first three book I ever wrote were medieval romances. The Middle Ages, that's my bag, baby. I love history and that time period. But that has nothing to do with this book. Get me started on history and I will digress like nobody's business.
5. I used the snowflake method to plot the book. In it you start with premise and then expand from there. The third level of this plotting method is basically a character study for each protagonist. Man... When I look back, I stayed true to my plot, I wrote Lily just as I'd planned but BOY, did I leave the plantation with Silas. I mean, I might as well have forgotten everything I planned other than he was a charismatic, determined, alpha, financial wizard billionaire with brown hair who plows forward into getting whatever he wants. One reader described him this way: "Great Dane puppy in person form. Enthusiastic, determined, overwhelming, and super lovable." Accurate. Very accurate. So I guess the things I ignored didn't matter because the important stuff came through anyway.
Here's look at the book!
It’s paradise…until you shipwreck there!
Shipwrecking seems like something out of a movie-of-the-week or a TV show. I never thought it would happen to me. But it did—with Silas, the hottest man I’ve ever seen. It’s not ideal, but things could be worse, right? I could be alone, or with a pervy jerk, or my billionaire boss…
Turns out Silas really is my boss. And off-limits. I really should have researched better, but what can I say? I was running from trouble. Out of the frying pan and into the fire…
From the moment I saw her, I knew. Lily is mine, and I need her at my side. I offered her a teaching job to get her to my tropical island—hey, I had ulterior motives, but it’s a real job!
I didn’t know about her troubles. Doesn’t matter. She’s with me now. I’ll do anything for her. I’ll do anything to protect her.
Unfortunately, not everything is in my control. Mother Nature had other plans. When a freak storm hit, our boat capsized and we fought for our lives in the deadly waves. Thank God, we survived. Thank God, we found land.
Not so great: the island’s deserted. It’s just me and my woman.
Could be worse. We have each other. We’ll make it work.
“Lily?” a deep voice asked before I could power it up. A shiver thrilled down my spine.
Relieved, I shoved my phone in my purse and craned around. My eyes widened at the muscular man standing there, and a zing of electricity went through me as his blue eyes bored into mine, seeming to devour me. Was that my imagination? Me being way overtired? His gaze was ocean blue, his dark-brown hair sun-streaked and his skin golden from hours outside. This had to be my escort, Silas. It certainly wasn’t Mr. Rutherford. And why would Jeff Rutherford be here, anyway? David had never indicated his boss might meet me; the billionaire had just monopolized my thoughts for the last day as I’d wondered about him.
“Silas?” I breathed.
His windblown hair was close-cut on the sides, longer and quite wild on top, complementing his tanned features. Light stubble covered his angular jaw, and I itched to trace my hands over his cheekbones just to feel the bristles against my skin, feel the sharp cuts of his features. No guy should have such beautiful bone structure. Seriously, he was model perfect. He should be on magazine covers, not ferrying people between islands. Of course, those muscles… He had too many to be a model. I didn’t think they were from a gym. I’d bet these were built from hard work in everyday life. And I swore the guy was a giant—a good foot taller than me. Dark tattoos covered his arms and added to the rugged, bad-boy perfection before me. Mouthwatering…
“Yeah,” he drawled, his amusement clear. Because obviously, I was staring like I’d never seen a man before now. I guess I hadn’t. Not like him, anyway. And yes, damn it, my mouth was open in shock. I snapped it shut and jumped to my feet, stumbling slightly.
His full lips pulled back into a smirk. He took a step forward, his hands reaching out to steady me, but I righted myself before he could have caught me since he’d been a good ten feet away. Now, he’d stood within arm’s length, and I detected the scent of sea and his spicy male musk, the combination almost intoxicating. Had I ever felt such an attraction to a man? No. Sure I’d had crushes, but this immediate, compelling need to know him, to get close to him? It was entirely new.
And I was definitely over-exhausted. I needed sleep before I believed anything I was feeling—or seeing. That stare still ate me up as he ran it along my body, taking me in from head to toe. I guess I was doing the same to him as I watched his thighs clench, his fingers curling at his sides, his chest rising and falling as if he couldn’t get his breath…
Good God, I wanted to fall into him. My legs pressed together as I felt a strange wetness invading my core. Oh wow…this was what they talked about in books.
Get it together, Lily.
I thrust out my hand. “Nice to meet you. Thank you for taking me to the island.” His lips quirked again as he stared at my hand. “My pleasure, sweet Lily,” he replied. His fingers wrapped around mine, and my knees buckled a little. There was that zing again, like the universe confirming a bond.
Yeah…I was overtired and thinking stupid crap.
I pulled my hand away, breaking the connection. My fingers curled at my side as if wanting to hold in the sensation of that touch.
His head jerked forward in a single nod. “That your stuff?” he asked and pointed at the solitary suitcase beside the chair I’d vacated.
I straightened my shoulders and took hold of myself. “Yeah. I shipped most everything else ahead.”
Okay, good. That sounded like my regular, composed voice. Better. Much better.
“There wasn’t very much of that, either,” he growled, making me suspect he’d ferried my things to the island last week. Good to know they’d made it. At least, half of it was my books and the few mementos I’d kept over the years.
I shrugged. “I don’t need a lot. I’m pretty low maintenance, which makes this job a good fit for me.”
He made a sound that came out a bit like a huh and hmm combo of disbelief. Well, what did I care what he thought, anyway?
“I hope you either shipped or packed essentials. It’s not like you can run on over to the mall to pick up shit.”
My back went rigid. I frowned, glaring at him.
Had I thought I was attracted to him? Yeah, he was hot. Maybe, if he didn’t speak I could maintain the illusion of his magnetism.
“I know that. I’m not stupid.”
“Didn’t say you were?”
“Didn’t you?” I sniped.
He sighed. “Look… Do you need to pick up anything from the general store here before we head out?” he asked slowly as if I were indeed lacking in sense.
“Good. Let’s get your shit on the boat and get you where you belong.”
He yanked up my suitcase then pivoted and stalked toward the door, leaving me to stare after him. Realizing I might get left behind if I didn’t move it, I sprinted after him. All the while, my exhaustion-clouded thoughts tumbled over his words: Get you where you belong.
What the hell did that mean?