Strangers in Parenthood! Heidi Rice Discusses why "One Night, So Pregnant!" is her Perfect Goodbye Book for Presents Extra!

by Heidi Rice, author of One Night, So Pregnant! (Harlequin Presents Extra, December 2012)

Sadly One Night, So Pregnant!, my December Presents Extra, will be my last book for this fabulous line as I’ll be moving to KISS next year… And while I’m super excited about the launch of the new line and my next book Too Close for Comfort (which is tentatively scheduled for June 2013) I’ll really miss writing for Presents. So it seemed only fitting that I should attempt to go out with a Bang (no pun intended!). And I think One Night, So Pregnant! definitely delivers on that score (although of course I would say that as I’m the author). So here’s your chance to be the judge. But seriously, all modesty aside this book was a joy to write for several very good reasons.

1) I Heart Accidental Pregnancies: Because they bring instant conflict to the story, especially if your characters are complete strangers, like Tess and Nate – when a close encounter in a restaurant closet leads to a commitment that is going to instantly change their lives and which neither one of them is remotely prepared for. Suddenly they have to step up to the plate and after several misunderstandings (because let’s face it, these two do not know each other at all – except in the Biblical sense) they have to learn to trust each other… That turns out to be particularly hard for both of them, because they both have issues in their pasts that make trust a toughie. To be honest, like all prospective parents they both have a little bit

of growing up to do too, and ultimately it’s great watching them do that together!

2). I Heart Linked Books: There’s nothing more wonderful than having a character – in this case my heroine Eva’s best friend Tess in The Good, the Bad and the Wild —turn up in a story and instantly be so interesting, so fascinating, so charismatic, so appealing, and so fabulously flawed that you know you are going to have to write their story. One Night is Tess’s story, but it also gave me a fabulous secondary character in Nate’s best friend and illegitimate (and as yet unacknowledged) half-brother Zane Montoya. A Mexican-American private eye with his own firm in Carmel, Zane is pivotal in this story – but he’s also one of those drop-dead gorgeous guys who is so good-looking he can stop traffic – and make women drool. Guess whose story is featured in my first Kiss novel next year?

3). I Heart Hot Love Scenes: Tess and Nate just happened to be two characters whose sexual chemistry burned up the pages. Which is exactly why they ended up in that closet together before the start of the story. And precisely why it was so much fun to force them back together again in several confined spaces…. And then watch the fireworks ignite!

4). I Heart Sassy, Sexy Dialogue: Well, as it turns out both Tess and Nate had quite a lot to be sassy and sexy about (see points 1 & 3) and as a consequence of that, they have a LOT of sassy, sexy and extremely loud conversations… Because as it turned out they didn’t just have a lot to say to each other, they also weren’t remotely shy about saying it! Here’s a little taster from a scene in Nate’s lawyer’s office when he tries to force Tess to except his support, and then realizes that Tess isn’t someone who takes well to being

forced to do anything… Walter Jensen is Nate’s elderly and very sensible attorney (who gets caught in the crossfire):

She directed her gaze at Jensen. ‘My baby and I are not for sale.’

Jensen sent her a level look, his gaze narrowing. ‘So there is still a child? Despite what you told my client a week ago.’

‘Well, I…’ She scrambled for something to say as she heard Graystone’s foot thud against the floor, the tension in the room stretching tight. ‘That’s none of your business.’ She glared at Nate, giving up on her decision to ignore him, and struggling to cling on to the righteous fury. ‘And it’s none of Graystone’s business either,’ she added with a bravado she suddenly didn’t feel.

His brows had lowered in an accusing scowl as his fingers tightened into fists on the arms of the chair.

She turned her gaze back to Jensen, ignoring Nate’s barely leashed show of temper. He could have all the hissy fits he wanted. She’d lied for the right reasons, precisely because she didn’t want to be put in this exact position. She didn’t have anything to feel guilty about.

‘If the child is my client’s,’ the lawyer interrupted. ‘Then I’m afraid it is his business and that also makes it my business.’ Jensen watched her, his voice gentling again. ‘Now why don’t you sit down, Miss Tremaine, so we can all discuss this like rational adults.’

The careful words made Tess feel like an errant child, being censured by her father. The memory had foolish tears prickling the back of her eyelids. She drew in a sharp breath. No matter what, they were not going to see her cry.

‘There’s nothing to discuss,’ she said in as placid a tone as she could manage while her insides were churning. ‘I’ve told you, I don’t need or want Graystone’s money and I…’

Another vicious curse emanated from the corner of the room, ricocheting off the furniture and making everyone jump. Then Nate towered over her, rigid with fury.

‘Stop calling me Graystone, goddamn it. The name’s Nate.’ He grasped her upper arm in long, strong fingers and hauled her towards him. ‘As you damn well know or you wouldn’t have been sobbing it in my ear when I had you on your kitchen counter a week ago.’

The shocked silence reverberated around the room as Tess wrestled her arm free. ‘You bastard.’ She shoved him hard in the middle of his starched white shirt as the hot blood of mortification pounded in her head and turned the tips of her ears vermillion.

How could he have mentioned that here? In front of a room full of his minions?

She rubbed her arm where the touch of his fingers still burned through the silk blouse she’d worn to the meeting so she’d look chic and sophisticated. Thanks to Nate Graystone, she now looked like a cheap little tart instead.

‘Don’t think that because you… You seduced me…’ She blurted out, soldiering on when he gave a harsh incredulous laugh. ‘That gives you the right to manipulate me into doing…’

‘You have got to be kidding me,’ he roared, bearing down on her again, his blue eyes sparking with fury. ‘I’m manipulating you? Don’t make me laugh. Exactly who was it who was wrapped so tight around me one minute I could hardly breathe, then was lying their head off to me the next? You’re like a child who needs a damn good spanking.’

That did it.

‘You reckon?’ She shoved her chin out, folded her arms over her heaving chest and stepped into his space. ‘Why don’t you try it, big guy?’

But as he grasped her upper arms, something other than fury arched between them — the molten heat in her belly matching the pulse of fire in his eyes.

Thanks for having me at I Heart Presents and have no fear I’ll be back here from time to time, because although I won’t be writing Presents books anymore, I’ll definitely be reading them!

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Comments ( 17 )
  1. Amy
    December 10, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Heidi, we’ll sure miss having you blog here at IHP but I’m sure you’ve found a fabulous new home at Harlequin KISS! Hope to see you around soon 🙂

  2. Heidi Rice
    December 10, 2012 at 11:06 am

    KISS is so exciting, but I’ll miss Presents – it’s been a ball writing for them (and reading them – which I’ll still be doing, obvioulsy!)

  3. Sharon Kendrick
    December 10, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Heidi, this book not just looks sizzling – it IS sizzling – and I should know because I have a copy in my hot little hand (hot cos it sizzles, obviously!).

    You write page-turners with punch and I, for one – can’t wait to read the gorgeous Zane’s story.

  4. Heidi Rice
    December 10, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Oooh, Sharon, you’re so sweet to me… Zane’s story is coming out as a KISS in June seemed kinda appropriate to start of my KISS life with a thoroughly good kisser as a hero!

  5. Mira Lyn Kelly
    December 10, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Ooh I heart everything you write, Heidi, and will follow you everywhere!!! (Not in a stalker way…not really) Couldn’t agree more about the awesomeness of writing for Presents Extra and the excitement of KISS. And of course, being the die hard reader of all the incredible Presents titles!

  6. Kimberly Lang
    December 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I (heart) Heidi and I do follow her around in kind of a stalkerish way. I even set off the alarm in her house!

    But this story is a good way to say goodbye to Presents, and I shall stalk you over at KISS!

  7. Amy Andrews
    December 10, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Ooh, I love sass and sex! Count me in as a stalker too!

  8. Fiona Marsden
    December 10, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Hmm. I hardly dare to raise my head amidst such distinguished company. But can I stalk Heidi too? I loved One Night, so Pregnant and like the look of Zane very much.

  9. Melanie Milburne
    December 10, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Hi Heidi,
    I’m fanning myself after reading that little bit! They sound like fabulous characters, but then all of your characters are.

    Good luck with Kiss.

  10. Heidi Rice
    December 11, 2012 at 5:35 am

    Thanks guys.. And feel free to stalk away (as long as I can stalk you back!)

    And Fiona, so glad you like the sound of Zane… One thing I can say for him, he’s a real good kisser (appropriately).

  11. anna cleary
    December 11, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Loved all your Riva/Presents books, Heidi, and I know I’m going to love this one too just as soon as I get my feverishly hot little hands upon it. As indeed I shall love your Kisses. (I mean the BOOKS, for goodness’ sake.)

    Love how your marvellous characters can pop up again in the next book!


  12. Sarah Morgan
    December 11, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Can’t wait to read One Night So Pregnant and can’t wait to read your first Harlequin KISS. Yay!!

  13. robyn grady
    December 12, 2012 at 7:36 am

    I love a heroine who gives as good (and better!) as she gets. Would love to see him try to spank her. 8)
    Looking forward to your first KISS, too, Heidi!

  14. Jamie
    December 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I loved this book! Any chance Zane will share his story in KISS, or is that not possible?

  15. Heidi Rice
    December 13, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Ha Robyn, he would have lost his hand I think!!

    And Jamie, so glad you enjoyed the story… And yes Zane’s story will be appearing in Kiss in June 2013 titled Too Close for Comfort.

  16. Jennifer Drogell
    December 13, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Heidi – I now must immediately go buy this one as I am hooked! Sounds amazing. And looking forward to your Kiss books!

  17. Ally Blake
    December 14, 2012 at 5:03 am

    Feisty, fiery, fabulous!

    I’m in!

    Can’t wait to read your first KISS either Heidi, I’m sure it’ll be a scorcher!