After waiting a year, my siblings and I finally headed to Nevada. No spouses. No kids. Just the four of us. My favorite spot was Red Rock Canyon. Absolutely beautiful. We had a fun time, and I’m happy to report we have remained friends after a week of living together.
Here are my TEN REASONS why you should read/reread The Chemical Attraction Series:
#10 – The Re-release of the Series
One of the reasons for the second edition release is to put the Series in chronological order. The newest novel, The Kindred Code, is the sequel to Their Rigid Rules. (Saying the sequel to the prequel was a mouthful.) With the order change, I was able to add more scenes to Chemical Attraction and Chemical Reaction for a smoother transition. I love the result and think you will, too.
#9 – A New Addition
The Kindred Code is divided into three storylines: Matt & Eva’s budding romance, Peter & Joe’s new working relationship, Taylor & Stuart’s engagement struggles.
I love Matt and David’s bond. Matt’s a great dad always putting David first. All of a sudden, he meets Eva, who completely mesmerizes him. They aren’t saving the world, only each other. However, it’s not all wine and roses for Stuart and Taylor. They’re together but miles apart; and it’ll stay that way until they share their pain and fears.
Meanwhile, Joe and Peter work on an unofficial assignment before Joe heads to Quantico for his FBI training. Joe simply has to sweet talk the waitress for information, but they soon uncover a sinister plot. This novel picks up two weeks after Their Rigid Rules.
#8 – Hot Alpha Men
As a history professor and former Marine, STUART MORGAN, a blond, blue-eyed war hero, battles his inner demons. Although he longs for mental peace from an empathetic woman, his rigid rules prevent it.
Ruggedly handsome with a calm demeanor, Officer MATT CONNOR recovers from a gunshot wound obtained while on duty. As a single parent, he pushes any romantic life aside and focuses on raising his eight-year-old son, David.
Charismatic yet brooding, JOE ROBERTS is a womanizer on the surface. Deep down, he’s searching for an instant chemistry with his soulmate, the one person who will love him for his faults not in spite of them.
#7 – Strong Sexy Women
TAYLOR VALENTINE, a natural beauty, embraces her vanilla tendencies. Her plan for her life reinforces those traits. Kindhearted, she doesn’t apologize for giving people the benefit of the doubt.
EVA O’SULLIVAN, a petite Irish spitfire with auburn spiral curls, has big opinions, and you know them whether you want to or not. Masking her vulnerability, she wears her willfulness like armor.
Akin to Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom, MADELINE PIERCE, a dedicated scientist, has pain in her heart from an abusive relationship. With her Ice Queen persona set, she hides within the realm of her research.
#6 – More Romance
I consider my Series to be equal parts romance and thriller. I think the romance and action feed off each other creating the suspense. Now, there’s more romance as I delve deeper into Eva and Matt’s and Taylor and Stuart’s relationships. The combo of respect and humor in Joe and Peter’s bromance is also fleshed out in both Their Rigid Rules and The Kindred Code.
In Chemical Attraction, Joe’s player ways hinder his potential relationship with Madeline during the case. I’ve amped up their sexual tension. While finishing the case in Chemical Reaction, Joe cares deeply for Madeline. His actions reflect his love for her, intensifying the decisions and choices he makes to save her from her abductor… some good, some bad. He’s torn between his personal desire and his professional integrity.
#5 – Based on Real Places
I love giving a shout out to Michigan where all four seasons can be felt in a single week. In Their Rigid Rules, I describe autumn at Western Michigan University. In The Kindred Code, winter in Michigan is my main focus. I also mention Allegan’s Regent Theater, the Grill House, Minnie’s Diner, and Marr Haven Wool Yarn Farm.
In Chemical Attraction, I’ve referenced a hot humid summer in Allegan (aka Allenton), its beautiful boardwalk along the Kalamazoo River, Bubba’s bar, the Griswold Auditorium (aka my fictional Hartford Auditorium), and the Delano Mansion Inn (aka Sylvia’s B & B).
Although the external description of the Delano Inn and Sylvia’s B & B is the same, the inside couldn’t be more different. I refer to Sylvia’s as a comfortable farmhouse-style B & B. The Delano has a classy Victorian-style decor. If you get a chance to stay there, do. The owner Marcia Neigebauer goes out of her way to make you feel welcome … much like Sylvia, my fictional owner.
Summer carries over into Chemical Reaction. The focus is back on Allegan, Detroit, and the Great Lakes. Although I’ve lived in Michigan most of my life, I still learned so much more about the Great Lakes and the Welland Canal’s locks between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario that bypasses Niagara Falls.
#4 – Science & Holistic Aspects
What happens when science runs amuck? Who has the courage to stop it?
With a degree in Biology and a diploma in Traditional Chinese Acupuncture, I’m passionate about science as well as holistic health. In Chemical Attraction and Chemical Reaction, a nanotechnology drug designed as a medical cure ends up a bio-weapon. Meanwhile, for Joe and Madeline, the healing power of love is incredibly profound. I love exploring the physical science, the emotional workings of our mind and heart, and the spiritual energy that taps into our passions.
#3 – New Cover Art
Although I like the original cover art, I love the newer versions … simplistic and meaningful to the novels. When Taylor meets Stuart for the first time, her life’s plan goes up in flames in Their Rigid Rules. A single ring in The Kindred Code changes the family dynamic forever. With the recently added scenes to Chemical Attraction, the cell phone in the water fits perfectly within the storyline while the floating beaker in Chemical Reaction represents the chase along the Great Lakes.
#2 – More Humor
Throughout the Series, Joe, Taylor, and Eva needle each other with playful sibling banter. In The Kindred Code, Joe’s joking nature tests his and Peter’s new working friendship while Taylor’s and Eva’s first impressions with their future mothers-in-law go awry then increasingly worse. With the additional scenes to Chemical Attraction, Joe’s Fun Phone wreaks havoc in his pursuit of Madeline, who isn’t falling for his lame pickup lines.
#1 – My Best has gotten Better
I had the opportunity to improve the stories with everything I’ve learned over the last few years. These characters have been in my head for over a decade. Now, I’m able to share more of their backstory. A special thanks to my publisher, Juanita Samborski. I’m grateful for her faith in the Series and in me. I’m proud of how far I’ve come and what I’ve accomplished.
Mark your calendars for the release of The Kindred Code on Wednesday, July 19th. In the meantime, enjoy the excerpt between Joe and Eva, who are siblings by choice. They tease, harass, deflect, and know each other so well…
Excerpt from The Kindred Code
“Joey, focus! You missed the street,” Eva said.
Joe backtracked and finally found Matt’s house, a plain, well-kept country blue ranch with a two-car attached garage and a chain link fence in back half buried in the snow. In the neatly shoveled driveway, Matt’s old Bronco had also been cleared. Joe stopped beside it then blew out a breath in relief, glad to be done with the long drive on the slippery back roads.
“Crap,” Eva said, searching through her brown leather purse. “He gave me a key and I forgot it.”
“Damn it, Eva. I’m not going back,” he replied, flexing his fingers to ease the ache from his tight grip of the steering wheel. “Maybe he has one hidden somewhere.”
She laughed. “Here,” she said, holding it out for him. “You’re the one who needs to lighten up.”
He ripped it from her hand. She continued to laugh as he walked around the car to help her out. She handed him her purse and mittens then struggled to stand on her own, despite the walking boot cast on her right foot. Stubborn as always. With a sigh, he filled his arms with her crutches and suitcase from the back seat.
Taking the crutches, she started hopping toward the front door. Matt had shoveled the walkway bare, too, and rock salt covered every cement surface. Matt was definitely a responsible guy. Joe chuckled as he followed her.
Eva held out her hand for the key. “Just drop my purse and suitcase inside then you can leave,” she said, unlocking the door.
“No way. What kind of brother would I be if I didn’t look around and make sure he’s not some psycho?” he asked.
Inside, Eva turned and glared at him. “He’s a cop and a wonderful father who owns his own home.”
“You do need to lighten up. I was kidding, except for the snooping part.”
In the living room, Joe set her suitcase, purse, and mangled mittens beside the worn yet comfortable looking sofa. Under one end table, he spotted a wicker basket with yarn and a partially crocheted blanket.
“How domestic do you want to be with this guy? Crocheting? Really?” Joe said with a chuckle.
“Aren’t you going to be late?” Eva replied.
“Nope. I’ve got time.” He walked toward the kitchen on the right.
The plain white kitchen had enough room for a square wooden table and four chairs. David’s school paintings on the refrigerator added the only color to the room. To annoy Eva, Joe opened a cupboard above the bare countertop.
“Joe, stop,” she said, leaning on the back of one of the chairs.
“Do you really want to get tied down with a kid?”
Opening the fridge, he found it overflowing with Tupperware containers. He pulled out the closest, lifting the lid to see what was inside. His mouth watered at the macaroni salad. He quickly found a spoon in the drawer. After taking a huge bite, he moaned and held out a spoonful for Eva.
“This is so good,” he mumbled with another mouthful.
“I think his mom made it. His parents live across the street.” She hopped to the lid on the counter and held it out for him to cover the bowl. Instead, he walked around the table, making her hop after him.
“Sounds like Everybody Loves Raymond,” he said, before taking another bite.
“Have you talked to Taylor today?”
“No,” he replied, taking the lid she thrust in his face. “She’s not my problem anymore.” He shoved the container with its lid back into the refrigerator.
“Not your problem? She’s your family.”
“You know what I mean. She’s with Stuart now.” Leaving the kitchen, he headed down the hallway and glanced in David’s dinosaur-themed bedroom. In the guest room next to David’s, six boxes of toys and books rested on the bed beside two police uniforms lying across an ironing board.
“Do you want to talk about her?” she asked at his heels to keep him from snooping too thoroughly.
“This place is void of a female touch. Are you gonna decorate right away or wait until you’re living here?”
“Peter’s going to make you wear a suit everyday with the FBI.”
“Not if I can help it,” he replied.
Before Joe could add another retort, he and Eva heard a bang then a rattling from the basement. Joe whispered for Eva to go into the bathroom and lock the door. Rolling her eyes, she shook her head while Joe opened the basement door. The rattling vibrated the steps as Joe carefully descended. Eva hopped down behind him.
Beside neatly packed boxes on metal shelves that lined the perimeter of the small clean basement, an old furnace shook. At closer inspection, Joe found a large wrench sitting on the water heater and a slight dent in the furnace beside it. He banged the wrench into the dent and the rattling stopped. The heat popped on.
Joe grinned. “Owning a home is easy. I’m a pro already.”
Eva snorted and hopped back up the stairs huffing as she went. When his cell rang, Joe checked the caller ID. He let Taylor’s call go to his voicemail. Eva watched him.
“You need to work through your feelings for her,” Eva said.
“And, on that note, I’m out of here.” She was right, but he wouldn’t openly admit it.
Using her crutch, Eva poked him in the back, stopping him. “I love you, Joey.”
“Stay out of trouble,” he replied, giving her a hug, “although nothing ever happens in these farming towns.”
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