Feb 5, 2017

#MFRWauthor Heating It Up: Where @romanzwrter_grl Elizabeth Harmon Gets Her Story Ideas

Contemporary romance author Elizabeth Harmon loves to read and write romances with a dash of different. A graduate of the University of Illinois, she has worked in advertising, community journalism and as a freelance magazine writer. She feels incredibly blessed to have a career that allows her to spend her days imagining “what if?” and a loving family that keeps her grounded in the real world.  Her debut novel, Pairing Off, the first book in her Red Hot Russians sports romance series, is a 2016 RITA Award Finalist.

Here she talks about where her story idea for her newest book came from...

Heating It Up: A Red Hot Russians Novella, was inspired by a line in Getting It Back, book three in my Red Hot Russians sports romance series.  When heroine Amy asks hero Misha about his family, he tells her that his brother Alexei lives in Antarctica. It was meant to underscore Misha’s loneliness, but the line stuck with me. A few months later, when I needed an idea for a novella, I thought of Alexei, and Heating It Up was born!
The adventure of writing an Antarctic romance meant creating a lovable, relatable couple whose rocky road to HEA could happen anywhere.  Alexei’s been hurt by a previous girlfriend’s secrets, and immerses himself in his work as head of the aging Amity Bay research station.  Architect Nora wants to spend the winter alone in the state of the art guesthouse she designed.  When Alexei discovers the beautiful stowaway, attraction sparks.  But will Nora’s secret that she created the building meant to replace his beloved outpost doom their romance?
It also meant bringing warmth and romance to an isolated setting known for the world’s most extreme climate.  For inspiration, I turned to some of my favorite small-town romances, and to a favorite 1990s TV series, “Northern Exposure.”  Amity Bay has a town watering hole, a fire station, a possibly haunted cabin, and a beautiful bay that’s home to a mysterious sea creature. There’s also a cast of quirky residents, many with fascinating stories of their own.
Writing about a place that few have visited, and portraying it as accurately was a challenge and I’m grateful to the two Ice veterans who fact-checked my manuscript. I hope readers enjoy Nora and Alexei’s story, and their visit to Amity Bay. Cold nights, but warm hearts. What could be better than that?

Heating It Up: A Red Hot Russians Novella
Red Hot Russian Alexei is king of the Ice…Antarctic style

Alexei  Zaikov loves his life in remote Amity Bay, Antarctica, until a new luxury guesthouse threatens the community’s future.  As head of Amity Bay, he’s driven to save it, but first must discover who is hiding out in the supposedly deserted lodge…and why.

Nora Bradford has lost everything; a promising career and the man she loved.  Glacier Ridge Lodge, the architectural masterpiece she designed but was denied credit for, seems like the perfect place to grieve her loss, until a ruggedly handsome Russian arrives on her doorstep, determined to bring her in from the cold.

Desire sparks, leaving them hungry for more. But will the truth about Nora’s role in Amity Bay’s demise, doom their romance?

Praise for Previous Series Titles
RT Book Reviews  |  Library Journal Reviews

EXCERPT
The first thing she noticed was that yesterday's sad vulnerability was gone. Now his ice-blue eyes were flinty and determined as he strode inside. Sending him away wasn't going to be so easy this time.
""You're too late,"" he said. ""Fifteen years ago some New Zealander became first woman to winter-over solo. Maybe you already know that. Or maybe you don't care, because we both know that's not the real reason you're holed up in here.""
He knew she wasn't being honest, but not to what extent. Guilty, and too deflated for battle, she leaned against the door. ""You’re right it isn't.""
""Nora..,” the gentleness in his voice felt like a caress. ""Staying here alone only hurts you. And it hurts me too.""
""How's that?""
""Because to keep you secret, I have to lie, not just to IFAR, but to the people who work for me.  People whose trust I don't take lightly.  Staying up here not only puts you in danger, but also them. Down here, people survive because they depend on each other. If one of the systems failed in bad weather, or you had an accident, someone would have to put themselves at risk, and come to help.""
Most likely, that someone would be him. Even with blizz lines strung, making such a trip could be life-threatening. Fear tightened her throat as she considered how it would feel to mourn another man she cared about.
""I know you’ve lost much,"" he said. ""And while I know losing a fiancĂ© is different, I understand the hurt of missing a person I loved dearly.""
“That woman who lied to you?” she demanded, shocked and angry.
“No,” he said. “Not Natalia. I’m talking about my mother.  For a long time, I felt like she was the only person who understood me. But when I came here to Antarctica, I found a place to belong. In time, the pain was not so bad. Up here all alone, you don't have that.""
""No,"" she whispered.
""Ask yourself if this is what he’d want for you. I don't think it is. I know that if I was gone... and the woman I loved was left behind, this isn’t what I’d want for her.""
Her fingers twitched on the doorknob, and she thought of ordering him out, but in her heart, she knew he was right. Even if she weren't drifting through darkened rooms in a ruined wedding gown, she was teetering dangerously close to Miss Havisham territory. In the process, she was putting others in danger.  The weather was turning, and soon the months of darkness would come.  It was time to decide where she would spend them.
CONNECT with the Author
Website: http://www.romancewriter-girl.com
Blog: https://elizabethharmonauthor.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elizabethharmonauthor?ref=hl
Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/110498452269248625447/110498452269248625447/posts
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23440537-elizabeth-harmon
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/elizabeth-harmon
BookLikes: http://elizabethharmon.booklikes.com
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00RY9SY0S

Interested in Reviewing?
Will be posted to NetGalley after February 1st. Otherwise, reach author directly here.

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