I-Team Reading Challenge — Checking in

    Happy Friday, everyone!

    So, how is your read through the I-Team stories going?

    Some of you have checked in via Facebook or on the original blog post to tell me how you’re doing, and I know a number of you are already done. That amazes me. I sat down to “re-read” Surrender right before Christmas — for research purposes for Defiant — and I haven’t made it 50 pages into the book yet.

    I thought it might be fun to start with Extreme Exposure and have an informal chat about the story. I can answer questions — for example, “I heard that the scene in the Rio really happened. Do you really talk like that when you’re hammered?” — and you can share favorite scenes and quotes.

    I’ll start...

    So, as some of you already know, the stories in the I-Team series are fictionalized versions of investigations I really did. Extreme Exposure is close to me — and Kara, the heroine — because I am a single mom just like she is. Trying to balance work and motherhood when you have a high-impact job isn’t easy. My kids spent a portion of their lives coming to the newspaper after work, doing homework and eating TV dinners in a special kids room (complete with VCR), while I finished putting the paper to bed. I’m sure I’ll be able to make up for it by paying their therapy bills later...

    Particularly precious in this novel for me are the scenes with Kara’s son, some of which grew out of my own experience of being a mother to two boys and being asked silly-sweet questions like, “Mommy, what does frog poop smell like?”

    One of my favorite scenes is when Reece talks Connor into coming out from under the bed. I think it shows the kind of man Reece is. The woman he loves is in bad shape in the next room, but he’s focusing on her son, showing Connor strength and offering him security and comfort.

    And I’ll just confess right now... “Jiggle stick” is a word my older son made up.

    Yes, that really happened. More than being embarrassed, I found it funny and shared it with everyone in the newsroom. It became part of a running joke that lasted for years.

    Now I’ll get on with writing the other Connor’s book and leave the conversation to you. Is there anything you want to ask? What are your favorite scenes? And, for those of you re-reading the book, did anything strike you differently in Extreme Exposure this time around?

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