Every one of us has experienced grief and depression, especially when someone we care about dies. These feelings settle on us at unexpected moments and can turn our mood from cheerful to despondent. Anger and frustration surface erratically and sometimes we wonder whether we’d ever feel “normal” again. Then when we’re calmly enjoying ourselves we might experience a sudden pang of guilt, like “how dare you have fun when your loved one is lying in the dirt? Have you forgotten so quickly?”
The main characters in Broken Build live under the cloud of a horrible secret. Jennifer Cruz Jones has a past she runs away from. Dave Jewell spent time in a mental care facility, unable to come to grips with the life he lost. The premise for Broken Buildcame from a problem I’ve often thought about. What would you do when you find the person who ruined your life is the one you’ve fallen in love with?
In order to portray my two characters, I relived every death I had experience among my family and friends. I pictured myself at the funeral, remembered the pain and wallowed in the guilt. What I didn’t expect was that between my second and third revision, I experienced another personal tragedy. A friend of mine and a fellow church member was gunned down at her work.
All the feelings of rage, helplessness, the fantasies of turning the clock back, the what if’s and the anger at the villain boil over. The unreality of it and numbness alternate with severe sadness. And catching yourself enjoying something turns into another bout of guilt.
Here are the sensations I jotted down:
“The dull agony, not really there, no energy to go forward, just going through the motions. Thinking about the departed, extra sleepy and prone to tears. The feeling of not really existing and not wanting to do anything but get by. The back of my head feels like exploding, like it’s a ticking time bomb, tick, tick, tick, and I want to lash out. Want to turn the time back.”
The following weeks were filled commiseration among friends, a memorial service and then the graveside ceremony. How desperately we cling to the memory of our dear departed while convincing ourselves everything is “okay.”
I don’t know why this happened, and I certainly don’t mean to imply it was for me to improve my book. Never! But all I can say is that Dave and Jen’s feelings became more real to me, and I believe there is an authenticity to my descriptions of their behavior.
Broken Build (Silicon Valley Romantic Suspense) was released September 11, 2012. Introductory price of 99c and a best seller in its category.
Synopsis: When a woman wrongs a man… can a man forgive and love? Jen Jones hides a horrible secret behind her new degree, toned body, and exciting job at Silicon Valley’s hottest startup—until a man linked to her past is killed in a hit-and-run. CEO and founder Dave Jewell is about to land a huge deal. He doesn't need blood on his car, threatening phone calls, and Jen wrapped in broken code and blackmail.
A gang of thugs hunts Jen, and she takes refuge in Dave’s protective arms. Together, they must thwart a killer and rescue an innocent victim from their past. Love blossoms, but a damaging revelation points straight at Jen, threatening to tear them apart forever.
Content advisory: language, sexual situations
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING
“Broken Build is an exciting story full of twists and turns, murder and deception, with a steamy romance.”
“A smart & fascinating read with vivid writing and a very likeable main character...”