Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Teaser Tuesday - What I'm Working on Now

Just started a new book, it's a stand alone Presents (that means it isn't one of my Royal Brides or connected to another book ::g::). I've been doing tons of research on this one - things like different phobias, adult piano lessons, Greek language and food, etc.

Rather than give you an excerpt tease - I thought I'd share a little of the story idea? Sound good?

Cassandra is an accomplished pianist who had the musical world at her feet until her inability to cope with crowds and the sense of being unsafe outside her home destroyed her ability to perform. A shy, but lovely woman, she has been teaching piano while composing on the side. Her students adore her, both the proteges and those with little talent, but tons of enthusiasm. She has more friends than she realizes, seeing herself as something of a freak and definitely a failure.

Neo grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in Athens - a Greek bad boy who once ran with a gang, he is now a powerful American business tycoon. He is so driven, in fact, that his best friend - the other Greek youth who left their shared dark past behind with him and became a doctor - buys piano lessons for Neo as a birthday gift. They argue, but Neo's friend wins and he starts taking classes from the housebound, but brilliant musician.

Neo's immediately attracted to Cass, but shockingly not just in a sexual sense. He's never had a female friend before. And he finds that he likes it. He wants to help Cass break the hold her phobia has over her and with the help of his friend comes up with treatment options he talks Cass into trying. Sublimating his sexual desire for the shy pianist, Neo pursues the friendship with the same zeal he does his business.

This is an HP, so we know it can't all be smooth sailing. Mix in Cass' own feelings of desire for Neo and her fear of being rejected because of her failure and her "best" friend's jealous streak along with Neo's own phobia - the one about making commitments and getting married and you've got a recipe for a truly dark black moment and deeply emotional journey to the HB (happy beginning). :)

What do you all think? Is it too different? Do you like that Neo, the big macho business tycoon is going to try to learn to play the piano? Do you think his friend is going to end up needing his own book? I'm so leaning that way already. LOL

What makes HPs work for you, or my books for that matter? What bothers you - pushes your hot buttons?



Stacy~ said...

Sounds fabulous Lucy! I can't wait to get this one.

Overall, I love HPs, especially yours, because the storylines are usually more glamourous, and exotic, what with billionaire heroes and model heroines. The heroes are seriously alpha, with heroines that definitely are up to the challenge.

What I don't like are unforgivable heroes who come across as almost abusive (whether physically or emotionally) and heroines who are meek and/or TSTL. I want a heroine who I can potentially look up to if not exactly relate to, not a dishrag who cowers in the hero's presence. A few HPs - not as many as in the past - still follow this recipe and it is a huge pet peeve. I also think the overly naive virgin is unrealistic and rather silly. These are my hot buttons.

Cryna said...

Lucy this book sounds great. I think it will be a wonderful read and yes the doctor friend will have to have his own book. I mean both have come a long way from their roots and their stories should be told.....**smiling**

I dislike heroes that are to the point of being abusive they are one thing push my hot button. There is no excuse for it. I really like stories where you have an heroine who can give the hero a run for his money and stand up to him. So strong heroes and heroines are great. I know there are a few things that push my hot buttons, but that is just me........lol. But that is the biggest one.

flchen1 said...

Ooh, I like this summary--it's a little different, but definitely still an HP!

I like HPs when I'm in the mood for a certain style of romance--as Stacy said, wealth, glamour, and very alpha heroes. A smidge of the fantasy in the settings and some circumstances that I don't imagine come just everyone's way in reality.

I agree with Stacy and Cryna's hot buttons--overly aggressive heroes and wishy-washy heroines are horrible. I also truly dislike many variations on the secret baby theme, where the heroine decides to withhold information from the hero. I've read a few that have been well done, but often they make me grit my teeth and set down the book. Oh, and I prefer to have enough info about how the relationship progresses to the HEA so that it makes sense; some of the ones I've read in the past have hinged more on a radical change of heart that sometimes seems out of the blue--that irritates me and seems contrived.

limecello said...

Ahhh Lucy- I love the premise of this story!!! I also wish I was better at the piano...
I really enjoy reading HPs - the story line, the drama... but sometimes they can get a bit over dramatic. I also don't like the TSTL or heroine trying to overcompensate for not being a man. I also hate it when the entire conflict of the book revolves around a simple thing caused by lack of communication that easily could have been taken care of.
:X I guess I have a few HP hot buttons too.

Amy said...

It sounds like a great book Lucy. I like the phobia idea because I went Thur a period of time a few years ago with panic attacks. I could not drive anywhere or get into a car without having a panic attack, so I can relate to Cassandra.

What makes any book work for me is the chemistry between the characters and the authors ability to make me feel the emotions the characters are feeling when I read a book.

Lucy, one of the things that make me love your books so much is your ability to pull me into the characters lives and make me feel the emotions the characters are experiencing.

What pushes my hot button? Interesting secondary characters who never get books. LOL

Brandy said...

So the heroine is agoraphobic? Sounds like a good and interesting premise. I'm looking forward to it.

Lucy Monroe said...

Thanks, ladies!!! I'm so glad you like the story idea. And Amy, I too had a time of panic attacks and inability/unwillingness to leave the house. I'm so blessed to have my kids and Hubcap who helped me thrue without judging me.

Man, do I hear you all on the borderline abusive or all out abusive hero. I sew the seeds of my heroe's "heroism" from the beginning, so he isn't some nasty dude I and my readers want to kick in the groin. LOL

I read a book a few years ago by an author I usually enjoy, but the heroine was the card-carrying Queen of Codependency and I wanted to shake her. Her indability to stand up for herself made the hero look way worse than he was.


Kelley Nyrae said...

It sounds wonderful, Lucy! This is the one we chatted about in Ohio, isn't it? I can't wait to read it.

Judy F said...

I love it Lucy. SOunds wonderful I too used to suffer from Panic Attacks. Still sometimes its a challenge for me to do new things. Esp meeting people.

I am with the group. I don't care for overly aggressive males and TSTL females. Yes there can be Alpha males but its not all the guy brings to the relationship. On the woman needing help is one thing needy is another.

It was awesome meeting you...

lidia said...


You know my "hot buttons" so I won't post them here.

I like the premise of your book -- it is totally different. I especially like the fact that you are willing to tackle "issues" that face many people but that we rarely read about. You did that before with the heroine that had issues with (I don't remember the medical term) with sexual intercourse and the hero was so understanding and even purchased "rings" to help her.

Anywy, I hope that you continue with this story. I am ready to read it.

As for the friend, yes, he deserves his own story. Either a separate book or a shortened version as part of anthology.

Kate Davies said...

Love it! Can't wait to read it. And I'll just have to "ditto" everyone else's hot buttons. :)

Lucy Monroe said...

Thanks! I remember a promoter once asking me if I wanted to be labeled an issues writer with a sneer that implied that was the worse thing ever. I smiled at her and said, "Yes! That's what I am - after all love and family are issues. LOL"