Last week I was staring at our topics for the month, waiting for inspiration to strike, and this one began to worm its way into my brain. Fall into the Wrong Hands. I write romantic suspense, so I ought to be able to do something with that, right?
In fact, following my Christmas short story collection, my next project will involve industrial espionage—something falling into the wrong hands. I’ve written most of the first chapter and have a pretty good idea where the story is going, but I would love a little help brainstorming, so put on your plotting caps!
This book, tentatively entitled BOILING POINT, will be the second in the Phoenix, Ltd. female bodyguard series, so I want it to be similar in tone—light, snappy, and suspenseful, with a strong dose of humor.
Here’s the premise:
An eccentric inventor has hired Zoe Hargrove to pose as a personal chef while protecting his pregnant wife without her knowledge. Only one problem – Zoe doesn’t know how to cook. As a cover, the client tells his wife Zoe’s there to help him test his latest invention, a cooking robot known as GRAMPA (Great Robotic Automatic Meal Preparation Assistant.
While a representative of a Japanese Electronics Conglomerate, Mr. Watanabe, has been trying unsuccessfully to buy GRAMPA, several incidents have occurred, including attempted break-ins and an episode of road rage. Fearing for her husband’s life, the inventor’s wife has hired a secret bodyguard of her own to protect her husband—Dominick “Nick” Rosetti, a former police detective. Nick is posing as the family chauffeur.
I anticipate lots of mayhem and mistaken identities as Zoe and Nick try to figure out who’s who and protect both their clients from the real villain.
Question #1: Do you think the premise is fun or over-the-top hokey, with all the secrets the characters are hiding from each other?
Question #2: How do you feel about the idea of GRAMPA? The Japanese are crazy about robots that do domestic chores, so that’s too not unrealistic, but do you think American readers will enjoy it? There’s one planned scene where the inventor orders GRAMPA to scare off the man trying to steal his plans with a small kitchen blowtorch. Fun or dumb?
Question #3: Do these characters and the set-up suggest any fun scenes to you?
Any suggestions are welcome. Let your imaginations run wild!