August 2011

Hello Readers,

Heartwishes started when I was thinking of that age-old question of, If I had one wish, what would it be?

But that idea made me think how wishes are relative to time and place.  When I was fourteen what I most wanted was curly hair.  When I hit my thirties I wanted to eat anything and not gain weight.

All in all, they were superficial wishes and I’m glad that magic wasn’t wasted on them.  I thought there should be a governing body to decide what was worthy of being granted and what was frivolous.  But who could do that?

It came to me that our hearts, our inner beings, might know what was best for us.  How about a wish that would come true only if it came from deep inside our hearts?

The book seemed to name itself.  Heartwishes.

After I got the basic idea of the novel, I thought about things people would deeply want.  For my heroine, Gemma, I knew she wanted to belong somewhere—and to someone.  To solve that problem I’d send her to Edilean where the residents would envelope her.

But as soon as I had Gemma’s wish and her background figured out, I began to wonder about other people’s wishes.  I knew the Heartwishes were given only to one family, the Fraziers.  I’d felt bad ever since Days of Gold that Shamus had been given such a raw deal.  Back in the eighteenth century in Scotland he’d been looked down on, but I knew he’d had a brutal father, so there were extenuating circumstances to his life.  It seemed appropriate that I’d give the Frazier family the Heartwishes Stone.

But what caused complications were the other Fraziers, the extended family.  And what about people who were marrying into the family?  If they were Fraziers did they also get a wish?

The more I thought about these questions, the more complicated it all became—and the funnier.  I’d already established in Scarlet Nights that Alea Frazier wanted grandchildren.  Surely, that was a wish that came from her heart.  But Gemma had just met the hero, Colin.  Too early for grandchildren, wasn’t it?

I plotted everything out before I started writing, but Gemma caused me lots of problems.  In some books the hero and heroine can’t stand each other from the first moment.  Those books are great!  Easy to write.  I laugh through the whole novel.

But Gemma and Colin looked into each other’s eyes and knew they were made for each other.  If it had been up to the two of them, they would have eloped that first afternoon.

It took the complications of beautiful Jean and her uncle, of gorgeous Dr. Tristan, and Colin’s autocratic mother to keep them apart.

I really liked getting to know the Frazier family.  My favorite scene was when the Frazier men were sitting in the kitchen licking spoonfuls of mashed potatoes.  It seemed so very homey and it made Gemma feel that she did belong somewhere.

I loved seeing the characters from the other Edilean books, especially at the barbecue at Mike and Sara’s house.  It was a place I wanted to be, people I wanted to share time with.

I hope you like Heartwishes.  Watch Dr. Tris as he’s the hero of my next book, Moonlight in the Morning.  His wish is for someone to love him and not just his pretty face.  That wish wasn’t easy to grant in novel form, but I hope I pulled I off.

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Jude Deveraux