Pay It Forward · Writing

Origin Story: Courage in the Kiss

This is a new feature, where I tell you the story of where my novels originally came from. From the first germ of an idea, to the first “written” inception and how it became what it is today, in it’s print form.


Courage in the Kiss, in it’s published form, is actually a combination of three separate stories I had planned to write.


This is the first 1/3 of the final book. Where Hadley and Maxx are always having ‘moments’ and fights. In the original version, when they make love, the night of the part, Maxx confesses his love and the second half of the book is about family matters and ironing over misunderstandings (such as Hadley’s trip to Paris and her relationship with Jackson). This book was probably only around 70K words, in total.

Cut and Run

This story started as family members who returned home, after their father¬†became ill. The ‘Hadley’ character was the maid of one of the daughters. She and Maxx had a one off encounter, he was callous and she was upset. The rest of the story had the surprise pregnancy of CITK, but in Cut and Run, Maxx never learned to love her and didn’t discover the pregnancy until until she’s had a miscarriage. Eventually, through the heartache, Maxx sees the light and they end up together, leaving his family behind, to travel and get married. They return and she’s pregnant again.

Cut and Run #2

This story was identical to the one above, except that ‘Hadley’ runs away after the miscarriage. What happens next was supposed to be a book 2, where she moved into a small village, 2 years later. Healed and rejuvenated, she falls for someone new, but when she goes to visit him in London, Maxx shows up and opens old wounds. Then they find themselves back where they started, except that Maxx now loves her.


I don’t regret ever writing those stories, even though they will now never be published. The same thing happened with ‘Runaway Girl’. It was originally 5 separate stories, until I brought them together to make one better story. I hope that’s what I’ve done with Courage in the Kiss.




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