Today we’re celebrating the release of FALLING FOR HER BODYGUARD.
So, Amy, where did you get the idea for this novel?
One of the best things about RWA is getting to hang out with some of my favorite writers and pick their brains for ideas. I think it was in Orlando that I brought up to Carol Ross that I was thinking about doing another Grace Note book. At the time, I was busy writing Book 3 in the series and had added a fun DJ character named Kelly Bonner. I mentioned that maybe I could write her a story to do something different than a musician on the record label. The trouble was I needed a good story for her and a conflict to sell to my editor. Carol tossed out a few ideas - she could fall for a musician, maybe be in a plane crash that lands her and her hero on a deserted island, and finally what about a stalker and the hero could be her bodyguard. Ba-da-boom! FALLING FOR HER BODYGUARD was born.
What is your favorite scene?
I have a bunch of favorites in this book because not only do I love the relationship between Kelly and Donovan, but I also love the one between the two of them and Donovan's niece and nephew. My most favorite is after Kelly makes dinner for the family, she and the kids get in a conversation that sets Donovan off. He doesn't want the kids to get confused about Kelly's role in their lives (only he is a little bit in denial about how he feels about her at this point!) I love that no matter what anyone has to say about it, his seven-year-old niece sees things so clearly! Here's an excerpt:
After successfully cooking dinner, Kelly was given a free pass from having to clean up. She got to sit with her feet up in the family room while Donovan and the kids cleared the table, loaded the dishwasher, and put things away.
"I could get used to this," she said with her hands behind her head. "Can you come over every night and clean up my kitchen, Avery?"
"No! You have to come here," Avery said with a giggle.
Kelly noticed the way Donovan stilled at the kitchen sink where he was hand-washing some pots and pans. He was the king of mixed messages. One minute, he'd seem happy to have her there and the next, it was like he couldn't get her out fast enough.
"I really don't need to sit here like a princess," Kelly said. "I can cook and clean."
"You can switch with me," Graham said, holding out the dish towel he was using dry what Donovan washed. "I'll be a princess."
"Graham!" Avery was exasperated. "You can't be a princess! You're a boy."
"Fine, I'll be a prince then. I'll be whatever gets to sit on the couch and not do chores."
Donovan flicked some suds at him. "You'll finish drying the dishes and accept your fate as faithful servant instead."
"See, I knew you thought of us as slaves. That's probably the only reason you agreed to take us in. Free child labor."
"Really, dude?" Donovan sounded displeased. "Don't go there with me. Especially in front of your sister."
"What's child labor?" Avery asked. Her little face scrunched up.
Kelly felt bad she had unintentionally started this whole conversation. She popped up and took the dishtowel from Graham. "Child labor means kid jobs, like chores. Something lots of kids have to do," she said, looking pointedly at Graham. "It is far from a crime to ask kids to help with chores. My mom called it being a 'contributing member of the family', so Graham is going to help you and I am going to help Uncle Donovan."
"I like that you're part of our family," Avery said, skipping over to the table to grab the drinking glasses.
Kelly opened her mouth and closed it again, unsettled by how it made her feel to be included that way. She liked it, even though it clearly made Donovan uncomfortable. His jaw was clenched so tight, it had to be painful.
"She's not part of our family, Avery. Uncle Donovan works for her. He's her bodyguard."
Avery scowled at her older brother. "She can be part of our family if she wants to."
"That's so sweet, Avery. I am very fortunate to be a friend of your family." She hoped that would put the conversation to rest.
"The only way grown-ups become part of someone else's family is if they get married," Donovan said, snapping out of his stupor. "Kelly and I are not getting married. You have to be in love with someone to marry them. We are not in love. Does that make sense?"
"You could be," Avery said so plainly as if it was that simple.
"No, we can't," Donovan said crisply. "I don't feel in love with her. I like her. She's a nice person. She can be our friend, but I don't love her. I never will. Okay? Is that clear?"
Kelly's stomach was in knots and her face was burning hot. He was crystal clear. He was never going to be in love with her. There was no chance. Not the slightest bit of doubt in his voice. No mixed messages here. Kelly knew exactly where she stood and, if she really thought about it, was glad for it. She wasn't in love with Donovan. Sure, he ticked off a lot of the perfect guy boxes but not all of them.
"I love you," Avery said, wrapping her arms around Kelly's waist and giving her a big hug.
A giant lump of emotion was lodge in her throat. She swallowed it down. "Thank you, sweetheart."
Who was your favorite character and why?
Well, that's easy. It would be Avery. I am totally in love with that little girl. I wanted to write a character who was pure of heart. This little one has not gotten many breaks in life and she still believes in the power of sunshine and rainbows.
What do you plan to work on next?
This has been a super busy year for me. I have a book coming out in January, which is the first in a new series for me called A BRIDESMAID TO REMEMBER. This might be my favorite book I've ever written. I love the plot and I love the characters - even the "bad guys" in the story! After that, I have the second book in the series coming out in 2020 and another Blackwell story in the works! I could not be more thrilled about working with Melinda, Cari, Carol, and Anna again! We did more of that brainstorming at RWA this year and we all feel really good about where the series is headed. Look for my Blackwell book in September 2020.
Last but not least - I invite everyone to check out my book blog tour hosted by Prism Book Tours beginning Monday!
On Tour with Prism Book Tours
Book Tour Launch for
Falling for Her Bodyguard
By Amy Vastine
Falling for Her Bodyguard
(Grace Note Records #4)
By Amy Vastine
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
August 1st 2019 by Harlequin Heartwarming
She needs his protection…
But can he protect his heart?
Radio personality Kelly Bonner isn’t convinced she needs a bodyguard, especially one as intensely good-looking as Detective Donovan Walsh. Yet beneath Donovan’s tough-guy facade is a man struggling to raise his sister’s children. A man Kelly could care about…if he’d let her. Now she’ll have to find a way to convince her big, bad bodyguard that his family—and his heart—are safe in her hands.
Deal Sharing Aunt
Locks, Hooks and Books
It's All About the Romance
Pause for Tales
Thoughts of a Blonde
Nicole's Book Musings
Two Points of Interest
Hearts & Scribbles
Jorie Loves A Story
Teatime and Books
Red Headed Book Lady
Andi's Book Reviews
Reading Is My SuperPower
Other Books in the Series
About the Author
1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card, a Reading is my Superpower custom-made sign, an autographed copy of The Girl He Used to Love and a bookmark (if winner is outside US then they would receive an ebook and egift card only)
Ends August 21, 2019