Sweet Temptation is the book I swore I’d never write. Funny how that happens, eh? I had written several chapters from Sweet Evil and Sweet Peril from Kaidan’s point of view and posted them to my blog as bonus materials. “Extras,” which are still available over there on the side tab. —>
When I completed the Sweet Trilogy, I found myself really missing Kaidan and the other characters. So I approached my agent with the idea to write a Kaidan novella for the HarperImpulse line. As time passed and the third book published and did well, HarperTeen decided they wanted to publish the fantasy I was working on, a 2-book duology called The Great Hunt, but they really preferred doing a 3-book deal, so how would I feel about doing an entire Kaidan novel??? My initial response was to be thrilled beyond belief. I was happy dancing like a Footloose character around the house.
And then it came time to sit down and write his novel in 4-6 weeks.
Freaking whoa. WHOA. What had I been thinking?
When the idea started, the thought in my mind was that I’d write a compilation of Kaidan bonus material, like a collection of scenes from the trilogy from Kai’s point of view similar to the ones I’d already posted. But then I started thinking about all the people who would undoubtedly pick this book up without having read the original trilogy, despite any warnings about this being a companion story and not a stand-alone entity. To a new reader, it would feel disjointed and confusing. I HAD to write it as a novel. The entire trilogy. In one book. From the point of view of the most infuriating character ever.
To say I was intimidated is an understatement. But I accepted the challenge and dove in, right smack in the middle of our family’s huge move to the countryside of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where we’d have no internet for three months. Again, friends, WHOA.
The absolute hardest part of the process was choosing what to show from the original novels, and what to leave out. I had one shot to condense all three books into one novel that 1) made sense, and 2) showcased the emotional roller coaster Kaidan lived behind the scenes. Now I know how movie screenwriters feel when they have to condense a book into a two-hour film. It’s difficult deciding what stays, what goes, and what gets skimmed over briefly. Some scenes I adore didn’t make the cut, because ultimately I could only choose to show the scenes that moved the plot forward. When you condense, there’s no time to frolic in one spot too long. One scene has to catapult us into the next scene. (But don’t worry, many of our favorite scenes are in there!)
The most recent copy of Sweet Temptation, currently in copy edits, is 122,000 words. My longest book yet, and appropriately so. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about what made the cut, and what you can expect to see. It’s all Kai, all his feelings, a little about what his life was like before he met Anna, a lot about his relationship with his father and his own personal “demons,” a lot of sexy thoughts and sexy actions and rough language. I tried to give Kaidan free reign, while still keeping the story upper YA, slightly crossing over in NA territory. The book ends in approximately the same place Sweet Reckoning ends.
I wish I could share the entire story with you now, but alas, we must wait until September 8, 2015. In the meantime, here is a graphic teaser made by the wonderful Jennifer Munswami with a quote from the book. Hope you enjoy!
Add to your Goodreads shelf! Official cover coming this winter – I’ve seen a mock-up and I’m in luuuuuuv!