Author's Notes for Dead By Midnight
When I started the I-Team series 10 years ago, I had no idea where it would go or how popular it would become. What started out as my agent's idea has become an internationally best-selling series available in 11 languages. More than that, it has fostered friendships among people from around the globe, bringing them together on Facebook for one of the most diverse and unique groups on Facebook.
Dead by Midnight: An I-Team Christmas is a "farewell for now" to the I-Team couples we've all come to love. I couldn't think about that when I sat down to write the story, however, because the very thought of saying goodbye to these characters was absolutely painful.
This isn't a cozy Christmas story. It's a fight for life—Die Hard meets the I-Team. All of the couples are involved in one way or another. For added fun, I collaborated with New York Times bestselling author Kaylea Cross by bringing the hot alphas from her Hostage Rescue Team series into the story. I love Kaylea's writing, and it was great to be able to cross over with her.
When it came to the action and suspense, I pulled out all the stops. Doing that enabled me to put in all the feels—the bromance, the humor, the suspense. The story is a wild ride from beginning to end. Dead by Midnight brings our I-Team world to what felt to me to be the perfect resting place—for now.
As I was finishing the last chapter on Nov. 13, I got word of the terrorist attacks in Paris. Anyone who knows me knows how very much I love that city. I spent a month visiting in 2014. My son lived there for a year, teaching English to immigrant students—most of them Muslim—in the banlieue. I was heartbroken for Paris and for all those who lost their lives, were injured, and terrorized.
If felt strange to be putting the finishing touches on a novel that involves terrorism—albeit narcoterrorism—on a day when terrorism had just devastated so many lives. I never take the topics of my story lightly, but I was especially aware of the nearness of the reality of my story to world headlines. I dedicated the story to victims of terrorism around the world—and to the men and women who fight it.
So how does it feel to be done with a series that has been a part of my life for a decade? In a word, bittersweet. But I feel really great about the place I left them. That's where Reece and Kara, Julian and Tessa, Marc and Sophie, Kat and Gabe, Zach and Natalie, Javier and Laura, Nate and Megan, Jack and Janet, and all the others will stay...for now.
Thanks for giving my characters space in your hearts.
Nov. 18, 2015
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