His Secret Past

One Night Changed His Life Forever     (May 2008)

Mason Star spent his teens living the fast life on the road with his band. Tragedy struck one night when his tour bus crashed and a young fan was killed. Fifteen years later, Mason is struggling with his own teenage son who wants to quit high school and with the zoning board that wants to take his home.

Anna Walsh may be able to save his bacon but she just might ruin his life in the process.

His Secret Past Meets Sexiest Man Alive

Excerpt: His Secret Past

He went back toward where he’d parked his black Pontiac Firebird. It was the last thing remaining of his rough living Jersey boy days—he’d never been able to trade it in for a Subaru. He rested the poster display on the hood while he leaned on the car, patting the pockets of the suit jacket he’d worn in the hopes it would make him seem trustworthy. He might as well have worn camo.

Click to read a longer excerpt.

Top Ten Nine Facts

  1. I wrote the first scene parked on the shoulder of Interstate 81. I scribbled notes while my kids slept in the backseat.

  2. The book is set in New Jersey. I know. Not your first choice for romance. But I saw footage of an old Bruce Springsteen show and I wanted the myth of a shore band. Besides, I was a newlywed in Hoboken, so, you know, it’s romantic to me.

  3. My mom does the exact same thing with her eyebrow that Mason is doing on the cover. The EXACT same thing. The woman on the cover of Wanted Man was a perfect double for my sister. (She looked nothing like Rhian, either.) Yo, Harlequin art department. Back away from my family. This is getting creepy.

  4. Conventional wisdom says romances about musicians don’t sell. Come on, people. Let’s own our great American love affair with rock and roll. I’m not the only one out there harboring a hidden (or not so hidden) crush on Bon Jovi or Bono or Adam Levine or Jordan Knight or Rick Springfield…hee.

  5. I got intrigued by the possibility of a documentary film when I watched the movie, Some Kind of Monster about Metallica. No, Metallica is not my favorite band, but you have to see this movie. The human story behind the making of an album and the breaking and remaking of an iconic band is very affecting. I recommend both the movie and the book about making the movie.

  6. Anna gave me fits. I finally got her—who she was and why she was both scary and attractive to Mason—when I wrote a scene when they danced together. I'd love to hear if that scene works for you!

  7. Terri and Anna were sisters in the first draft. My real life sister called foul on that because my first book also used a dead sister. She claimed I had issues. Tried to take me to sister therapy. Eventually she agreed I could leave the sister in, but only if I named her after our brother. Heh. Jerry-->Terri…get it? Siblings...

  8. The first word of the book is ‘gnocchi.’ What’s a nice Irish girl doing rhapsodizing about Italian food? Blame it on my friend, Stephanie, and her grandmother. The two of them make the world’s greatest gnocchi, followed closely by the Lincoln Inn. Exit 178B (Avoca) off 81 South near Scranton.

  9. The stuffed polar bear, Peek, in this book is modeled on my son's bear. In Wanted Man, I used a stuffed cat named Nester modeled on my other son's cat. The kids get a kick out of seeing their real lives in print!

Photos and Inspiration

I really do love New Jersey. The gritty parts appeal to my coal town heart. (Have you ever seen a photo of Scranton? Gritty doesn't even start to tell the story.) On my last trip to Jersey, I grabbed some photos to give you a hint at the flavor of the landscape and towns that inspired the setting and my cousin sent me some extra views of Hoboken!

If you want to read more about this unique landscape, check out The Meadowlands by Robert Sullivan. In this book, the author explores the swampy wetlands just outside NYC on foot and by canoe. Fascinating and quirky stuff.