How did Joci get to where she is now?
All of my characters have a story. Their stories are how they’ve made it to where they are when I write their actual love story.
I focus a lot on mature characters. All of my heroes or heroines are in the thirties, most are in their forties and I have a few who are in their fifties. Why? I got tired of reading about the unicorn twenty something virgin with no substance. You can call mature people names and say we’ve let ourselves go or don’t understand this or that. But you know what we have? Knowledge and experience and that is soooo much more important that anything else.
So, when I set out to write a mature character, I have to know what they’ve been through in their life up to that point. For Joci, she’d had two serious boyfriends in her life before meeting Jeremiah. The first, Gunnar’s dad, cheated on Joci with her best friend. Her. Best. Friend! Ouch. Of course that colored Joci and hurt her in more ways than just being cheated on. Betrayal – by two people she loved. Anger – sooo much anger. Frustration – an amazing amount of frustration. But, Joci was young and had a little boy to raise so she put her nose to the grindstone and put herself through school and started a career.
Then she met up with her second boyfriend, who sadly was in a band and on the road, and you know how that story goes. He cheated on her. At least it wasn’t her friend, but still.
So, when Joci met Jeremiah for the first time he was a magnetic, handsome, smart, hardworking man who she was attracted to. And there was LuAnn pushing Joci away. Remember, in Joci’s experience, Jeremiah meant – cheater. So, she didn’t want to get involved.
But, Gunnar wanted her to help Jeremiah, and the Rolling Thunder crew, work on the Veteran’s Ride. She told herself, that’s all it was. But, Jeremiah wanted more. How does a woman who has been so betrayed in the past get past that fear of being hurt again. She’d tried it once before, remember?
It took a lot of persistence on Jeremiah’s part, that’s for sure. But he knew, he’d wait a lifetime for her if that’s what it took.
An Iraq veteran who sponsors an annual veterans ride to help local vets.
A single mom whose bruised heart is closed to love.
The undeniable attraction neither can ignore and the dangerous person out to stop them.
Jeremiah Sheppard has found healing in helping local veterans each year with his charity ride. Moreover, it’s become a passion to him to keep the demons at bay. His desire to make this year’s ride the best ever, he’s sought outside help in planning.
Joci James is happy to use her graphic design and marketing savvy to help a good cause but charity might not be her only motivator. She cannot deny a mutual attraction to Jeremiah but the past has trained her that love equals heartache.
The tenacious Jeremiah has vowed to make Joci his but he’s failed to see someone on the inside has other plans. Plans that may mean Joci needs to be removed permanently to ensure she’s no longer a threat.