Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
June 1st 2015 by Harlequin
It seems a lifetime ago that Brett Ackerman wanted to share his life with Ella Wales. He really believed he could put his abusive family history behind him…until he realized it would always be part of him. Then he pushed her away. Hard.
Now Ella’s back as part of the High Risk Team at The Lemonade Stand, the unique women’s shelter Brett founded. And she needs his help with a family crisis. But even now, Brett can’t admit he still loves her. Until one night of passion with Ella turns Brett into the one thing he fears the most—a father.
The Food of it All
I’m not a big eater. It’s not because I choose not to be. It’s because when I eat more than a little bit of food at a time, my stomach hurts. I like food. I’m just not often friends with it.
Oddly enough, though, I love to cook. I plot while I cook. I feel creative and successful when I cook. It helps that the man I cook for loves my cooking! Still, for someone who’s not overly fond of eating, food can be an irritant when you’re constantly having to deal with it in your daily work.
Do you have any idea how many times a day characters eat??? Or how many key meets, conversations, dénouement moments happen when people are sitting down at a table with food on it? As I write, I see scenes in my head. I have to describe them so that the reader can see them, too. And so many times, I get slowed down by the food on the table. To me, it’s just blobs. Not important. Means nothing to the scene.
And yet…it does. If the book is going to live and breathe, the reader has to be able to feel as though she’s right there, living and breathing. I don’t have to feed her. But if there’s food on the table, if the characters are living through are eating, she needs to know the taste in their mouths. Or the scent in the air. So I’m back to the food.
In The Good Father I got lucky. Brett Ackerman is a classy guy. He dines in the best places. He just does it alone most of the time so I didn’t have any reason to put those parts of his life in the book. Except that one day, there he was, in his kitchen, having a dénouement moment, and it occurred to me that if wasn’t eating, the book wasn’t going to be realistic. The reader has been with the guy all day. She knows what he’s been up to. There’d been no time for a meal.
Ack!! But I got lucky again. It was right then that Brett told me about his favorite meal. He told me, not to fill in background noise, but because it showed me the conflicted man he was. His favorite meal was a peanut butter and bacon sandwich. He loved them. And as he scarfed one down, he was angry with himself, too. Because his father had introduced him to the delicacy when Brett was a young boy. And Brett, the adult, hates his father with every dark crevice in his being.
Incidentally, after I wrote the scene, I realized something else. Another part of myself had slipped out from inside of me without me consciously be aware of it doing so. Without consciously letting go of it. I love bacon and peanut butter sandwiches, too. My father introduced them to me when I was a young child. But unlike Brett, I’m not conflicted about that. The memory is a good one for me. A comforting one. My father, like Brett, was a good man.
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