I think it’s always fun to go behind a book. How did the author come up with the names and the idea? In my new eKensington release The Tycoon and the Texan coming out next week, the story and names developed in a very personal way. I’d like to share the story behind the book then let my hero, Nicodemus Dartmouth, tell you a little bit about the him and the story.
My husband and I have friends who we’ve known for over forty years and vacationed with since their boys and our girls were young.
In 2002, my DH and I were on our way to meet them in Florida when we received a call, thank goodness for cell phones, that Harry had emergency heart surgery. He was in a coma, and the future was uncertain. We immediately turned our car north and headed for Dartmouth Medical Center where he laid critically ill for weeks. We were determined not to leave until he and Pat were safely home under their own roof. And, that we did.
One day while sitting in the waiting room, my attention was drawn to a show on TV, you know the ones up in the corner of the room you have to crane your neck to see and can barely hear, that pertained to a foundation’s auction of bachelors for charity. That seeded the idea for a story about a strong, multi-millionaire who ends up buying an ugly duckling at his own foundation’s charity ball. Of course, she had to be from Texas and the hero’s name had to be as strong and willful as my character, so Nicodemus Dartmouth was born.
Now nearly ten years and many vacations together later, my story The Tycoon and the Texan is due to be released soon and needless to say I dedicated it to our dearest friends.
Let’s get on with learning more about Nicodamus Dartmouth. I’m gonna let him tell you about himself first, and then he’ll answer some questions.
Nick: I don’t really like being referred to as a tycoon because I see myself as just another hardworking man in his 30’s. I have to admit being a product of a wealthy, widowed mother, who I don’t always see eye-to-eye with, did have its benefits. I worked my fingers to the bone to establish one of the largest construction firms on the west coast, while being CEO of Mother’s charity … the Elliott-Dartmouth Foundation. I own a Double A baseball farm team and love to workout with my players. Mother is pretty well appalled when I show up at the office with bloody road rash showing through a tear in my baseball pants. By the way, Josie, the Foundation Director and mother hen, thinks I belong in the dog pound. I have one supporter in the organization, well most of the time, and that’s McCall Johnson, who used to be my secretary at the construction company until I transferred her over to the foundation when I found myself crawling up twenty stories of red iron thinking about her.
Now back to the charity auction that Phyliss mentioned. Mother thought it was a grand idea to auction off bachelorettes, while I told her from the start is was a bad, really bad idea. She called me into the office to go over the final arrangements, including the table decorations. I need to be out at the construction company offices arranging for a shipment of material we don’t need to be shipped to Habitat for Humanity, but no I’m standing here looking at a bunch of flowers stuffed in a vase. I won’t even tell you what I think about them because Mother sure didn’t approve of my description.
The auction was a nightmare, just as I had predicted, although it raised a lot of money for the foundation … a good bit coming from me.
The jinx I apparently put on the event began when one of the bachelorettes called in sick and our resident Texan McCall Johnson was forced to step in. In an unexpected turn of events, and I have to admit a bit of jealousy on my part to boot, I ended up paying what McCall called “a vulgar” amount for a week long date with her.
That began our adventures … seven days to Texas.
I wanted so badly to show her that our lives weren’t that much different, but at every turn, I hit a roadblock. From nearly cutting my finger off trying to prepare dinner on my private boat for her to seeing a ghost on Harris Grade coming out of Lompoc, California, something got in my way of showing her that I don’t get everything I want, although she thinks I do.
It took me the full seven days, plus some while visiting her Granny’s ranch in Texas, but I finally succeeded at showing the independent, spirited, uprooted Texan that our lives aren’t as different as it might seem, only to find that we are more alike than I ever dreamed … including our secrets.
I hope you’ll go buy The Tycoon and the Texan by native Texan, Phyliss Miranda, so you can learn more about me and Miss McCall Johnson.
Two celebrate the release, I will give two lucky winners an eBook of “Tycoon”, if you leave a comment. If you don’t have an eReader, I’ll send you a copy of our award winning anthology, A Texas Christmas. I hope everyone who buys my new contemporary release enjoys the journey Nick and McCall take on their Seven Days to Texas!