I know, I know. It’s a writer’s cliché, asking “what if?” But for me, it was only applied to its fullest extent in the writing of my newest story, His Fantasy Maid, which debuted May 20 from Crimson Romance. While I’d been schooled in “what if?” by countless authors over the years, the most notable of whom was Carl Hiaasen, the genesis of my stories had always been more a matter of serendipity or epiphany than taking a real-life situation and twisting it in a fictional way.
Until… on a trip to Orlando in December 2012, I found a pink notice taped to the front of my townhouse door, which read “Bikini Maid Services, 20 percent OFF.” After removing the notice from the door (and wondering how long it had been there), I tucked it into my purse to share with friends. Surely, only in Orlando would there be a service like this. Up here in the mountains of North Carolina where I live most of the year, it’s too dang cold to wear a bikini. However, after a Google search, I found out there are fantasy maid services all across the U.S. Who knew?
And then I recalled something Carl Hiaasen had said (I’ve seen him speak three times). He writes about some pretty bizarre characters, like an ex-governor of Florida who hangs out in the Everglades and eats road kill. I doubt that character was based on a REAL ex-governor, but nonetheless, Mr. Hiaasen’s contention is, “You can’t make this stuff up.” As a reporter for the Miami Herald, he should know.
This is where I started applying “what if…” to that little pink notice. What if…a brilliant medical student moonlights as a fantasy maid to pay the expenses of medical school? What if…a handsome, yet nerdy, young lawyer is poised to marry a social-climbing bitch? What if…as the preamble to the lawyer’s bachelor party, his best man surprises him with a fantasy maid? What if…this fantasy maid has him re-thinking his marriage plans?
I’m not one to outline my stories, but for this one, I had to do some research on emergency rooms, cracked ribs, and hospital policy. I had the help of a lovely friend (and nurse), Mary Everett, who provided a medical perspective.
And while His Fantasy Maid is a spicy romance (kudos to my editor, Therese Daly Ramin), it also highlights women’s friendships as my heroine, Amy, and her best friend, Ellen, navigate through the hospital and through their love lives.
I hope you enjoy His Fantasy Maid. Here’s a blurb…
Dr. Amy Maitland is a first-year resident physician, but she leads a double life. To meet the expenses of medical school, she’s also a fantasy maid. Attired in a bikini or French maid outfit, she provides light housekeeping services. While this may be an odd job for a doctor, it pays well and includes the flexible hours she requires. When she’s hired as the preamble to a lawyer’s bachelor party, she finds herself deeply attracted to the compelling Jake Sinclair, Esq. He’s gorgeous and smart, with a self-deprecating sense of humor. But fraternizing is against the rules of the cleaning service. Besides, this guy is engaged, so there’s no future there for her. She pushes him from her thoughts until he winds up in the emergency room with cracked ribs, the victim of a car crash, and she’s the doctor on call.