Today’s #TalkTuesday interview is also our #TeaserTuesday and First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, all of which feature Surrender by Joan Johnston. A joint effort by Elise and I! Enjoy!
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Surrender by Joan Johnston is a romantic western. The main characters, Brian and Taylor have a history, they dated in high school. Playing on the Hatfield/McCoy feud, Johnston has the fathers hate each other. The plot begins with the protagonists forced to land the plane in the middle of a wildfire. With disaster looming, they must struggle to survive. Injured and starving, the threat of imminent death reignites something deep and powerful between them. Feelings they thought long dead rise from the ashes, suddenly making them more than just allies in a life-or-death struggle against nature’s fury. A still greater challenge awaits after they are rescued and puts their rekindled love to its ultimate test. This book is all about second chances.
Elise Cooper: How did you get the idea for Surrender?
Joan Johnston: I’ve been working on a series of King’s Brats books (SINFUL SHAMELESS, SURRENDER, and my current work, SULLIVAN’S PROMISE), all part of my ongoing Bitter Creek series. Two wealthy families, the Grayhawks and the Flynns, are feuding, fighting, and marrying. Taylor Grayhawk and Brian Flynn were lost in the middle of a raging forest fire–she was flying the plane that went down, and he was a smoke jumper on the plane. They’re presumed dead, but their antagonistic families agree to join forces to search for them. That gave me the starting point to figure out: What happened to Taylor and Brian? How did they survive? What are the consequences of their adventure in the wild?
EC: In your dedication you gave a shout out to wildland firefighters. What
JJ: The dedication was a suggestion from one of the several firefighters and
smoke jumpers I spoke with during my research for this story in Jackson
Hole, Wyoming. Having done so much research, I have a great respect for
the danger these courageous men and women face when they go out to fight
EC: Tell us more about your research on smoke jumping.
JJ: I spent a week in Jackson Hole talking with the local fire chief. I was surprised and delighted to learn the chief was a woman, Kathy Clark. I also spoke with a couple of smoke jumpers she recommended to me. The smoke jumpers (who both work for the U.S. Forest Service) acted as a continuous resource for me as I worked through the novel. I know you can find out a lot of things on the Internet, but I prefer going directly to the source.
EC: How did you make the smoke jumping scene so realistic?
JJ: I’m a good writer! Okay, so here’s the skinny. The smoke jumpers recommended several good resource books to me. Anyone who wants to know what smoke jumping is really like should read Jumping Fire, by Murray A. Taylor. A lot of what I know about the dangers of smoke jumping, and its addictiveness to those who do it, came from this book.
EC: What prompted you to choose the title, Surrender?
JJ: Both characters, at some point, have to surrender their very lives to the control of the other individual. That part is easy. It’s the emotional surrender, the willingness to love and be loved, that turns out to be difficult for them.
EC: What is the theme of this novel?
JJ: Someone pointed out to me at about book 25 (I’m on book 61) that the theme of everything I write is ‘abandoned and neglected children . . . healed by love.’ In this case, Taylor and Brian are two people who knew each other as teenagers, and then find themselves lost together in the wilderness as adults. Both of them were ‘abandoned and neglected children’ who are finding their way to happiness through love as adults.
EC: What characters will be back in your next book, Sullivan’s Promise?
JJ: There’s a great teaser in the back of Surrender that gives you some idea what happens between Victoria Grayhawk and Ryan Sullivan. Of course, there’s a secret baby, but he’s the one who ends up with the baby, and she’s the one who’s trying to become a part of her son’s life. Just a little twist on a very old meme.
EC: Anything you’d like to add?
JJ: I love to hear from readers, both their questions and their suggestions for new books. Readers can find out more about me at my website, www.joanjohnston.com, contact me on Facebook at facebook.com/joanjohnstonauthor or Tweet me @joanjohnston. Anyone who would like to receive my monthly newsletter, which often features the dinner table settings for the monthly dinner-for-eight I host for friends and informs readers when books will be available, can sign up at my website.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Surrender (Bitter Creek #11)
A sizzling contemporary Western romance, where power, money, and rivalries rule–and love is the best revenge.
Taylor Grayhawk and Brian Flynn are two old flames forced together under perilous circumstances. Taylor, a corporate pilot, has been burned by men – including Brian – in the past, and has given up on the possibility of any kind of happily-ever-after. Brian, a firefighter, is a recent divorcee, so heart sore and gun-shy that he is unlikely to ever fall in love again. But when this pilot and this smoke jumper are caught fighting a raging wildfire arm-in-arm, they’re forced to leap headfirst into the flames, and hopefully make it out with their hearts still intact.
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday
First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros
I’m also taking part in First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros
Every Tuesday Vicki @ I’d Rather Be at the Beach now hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where readers share the first paragraph of a book that they are reading or plan to read soon.
Looking forward to visiting your blogs and seeing what your Teaser Tuesday and First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, are this week!
Luv Sassy x