When I started out to write Secrets of a Mayan Moon, I wanted a genius young woman who, while being brilliant with book smarts, kind of floundered in the real world. This started as a "fish out of water" story. Only as the story progressed I learned that my fish out of water was quickly(she is a genius after all) coming to realize her strengths.
And I started out with a Latino man who reveled in being the smarter and stronger sex, only to have him learn that sometimes it was okay to have a woman know more or outwit you.
Then I tossed in all the villains and outside conflict I could without making the story over the top and shook my computer and my first action adventure with romantic elements came out.
What makes a book an action adventure for you? Villains, unusual setting, fast paced?
She deposited her backpack on the floor at her feet. The horn handle of a twelve inch Guatemalan blade protruded from the side pocket. Tino’s curiosity spiked another notch.
“I have a reservation. Dr. Isabella Mumphrey.”
Tino snapped the paper down and stared even harder at the woman. This was the frumpy, old anthropologist he was to guide? His gaze scanned the length of her one more time while tuning in the conversation.
“Ahh, Dr. Mumphrey, Dr. Martin said you were to get the finest room, no?” The clerk acted like a simpering fool giving the doctor her key and expounding on all the wonders of the hotel.
“Gracias. May I borrow a paper and pencil? I need to make a list for the taxi driver.”
The clerk handed her the items. She stepped to the side of the counter and began writing.
Why would she make a list for a taxi driver? Curious, Tino folded the paper and strolled to a spot beside her. So intent on her list, she didn’t even acknowledge his presence as he leaned, reading the items. Army knife, candle, braided fishing line, hooks, swivels, 24 gauge snare wire…
“You are planning a trip into the jungle, no?”
She started at his voice. Deep green eyes rimmed in gold stared at him from behind wire-rimmed lenses. She blinked, focused on him, and narrowed her eyes.
“Didn’t your mother teach you manners? You don’t look over people’s shoulders to see what they’re doing.” She picked up her list and held it to her damp shirt.
“Mi mamá did teach me manners, no? I am Tino Kosta, your guide to the dig at Ch’ujuña.” He held out his hand waiting for her to shake.
Her gaze traveled from his extended hand up his arm to his face. She squinted her eyes and glared at him.
“You’re not of Mesoamerican descent, so you can’t possibly be my guide. Are you in cahoots with the disgusting little man who stole my property?” She bent toward her backpack, giving him a good view down the front of her blouse.
Si, she didn’t wear a bra. The nipples peaking through her clingy shirt sat atop a palm-sized mound. Now, being a man who liked his hands filled to overflowing when it came to handling a woman—
“¡Carajo!” The pointed end of the large knife that had been tucked in the doctor’s backpack waved inches from his nose. “What is this about?” A woman who ran around without undergarments shouldn’t be offended by a man viewing her body.