Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Inspiration Behind Hostage Heart

In 2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated areas of the Gulf Coast. There were more than 1800 fatalities from Katrina alone and the majority of New Orleans was underwater when the levees broke. It was a total nightmare as horror scenes of destruction and tales of families torn apart were broadcast over all of the news channels.

Many viewers felt helpless as we watched and prayed for all of the victims. Collections of money and resources were started to try to help in the recovery. So many emergency responders went to the devastation and worked around the clock rescuing survivors, digging victims out of the flooded rubble, and eventually helping to rebuild. The Army Corps of Engineers worked on restoring the levees.

My husband was a part of a federal medical team, his team spent tours of three weeks in the various areas — he went twice to the New Orleans area and environs to provide medical assistance. When he finally came home to stay he told us about the wonderful people he met, people whose spirits should have been trampled, but instead they cared about each other, they were looking forward to rebuilding, and they even brought vats of Louisiana home cooking as a thank you to the folks who were bandaging and tending to their medical needs.

The spirit of the people in Louisiana was both admirable and amazing. Those stories remained with me and grew into the heroine's sweet mother and father. And of course being a New Yorker myself I threw the streets of the city into the mix... added a crime, a sexy stranger and Hostage Heart was born. I had a lot of fun studying the contrast of New York-ese and the Cajun dialect. Hostage Heart begins in New York and travels to Baton Rouge and Little Rock, Arkansas. (I love researching new destinations for my stories!)
Life was hard after the hurricanes swept through, destroying her parents' home and livelihood...Deanna did the only thing she could do. She moved to New York City, found a job, worked hard, scrimped and saved to send what little she could manage back home to Louisiana to her parents.

An errand for her boss - a chance encounter with a crew of bank robbers - a kind man who tried to help her and deserved her courageous help in return...

But he wasn't the man she thought he, he was so very much more!

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