DIRECT DEPOSIT

Family law attorney Maddie Prescott is driven to succeed. A pawn in her parents’ messy divorce, she devoted her career to representing children in court, and when her husband’s early death makes it seem like she can’t have it all, she’s ready to beat the odds by going to a sperm bank. One advantage to single parenthood is that her child will never be a pawn. That, and she’ll never have to deal with sarcastic ladies’ men or liars.

 

Jack Worth promised to look out for his dying best friend’s wife: a small repayment for someone who once helped an irredeemable bad boy find the path to happiness. So, while Maddie Prescott’s baby plans are questionable, duty and loyalty prompt Jack first to volunteer as the sperm donor…and then to propose a marriage of convenience. And the more he gets to know her, the more this onetime player will see that Maddie is the woman of his dreams, and that the child they will make deserves to be from a direct deposit.

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The Story Behind Direct Deposit

"Seeking Sperm, Not Sex, Online"

 

Online banking has taken on a brave new meaning.

 

This headline from February 2003 appeared on the news site I check daily.  It piqued my curiosity and I clicked through.  The article told of women and couples who bought sperm through online sperm banks either for the purpose of saving money or to streamline the process.

 

Thinking this would be the good basis for a story, I began to wonder what woman would use such a service.  Enter Maddie Prescott, a family law attorney in Atlanta.  A woman who loved her husband dearly and watched him die from lymphoma before they had started a family.  A year after his death, she's ready to have the child she and her late husband never had.  He had not banked his sperm upon learning he was ill, so Maddie, being a busy person, decided to make a withdrawal from an online sperm bank.

 

Initially, I had Maddie's brother being the one who died, and the hero would have been his friend and business partner.  Then my friend (and fabulous author) Roxanne St. Claire asked me one day what I was working on and I gave her a brief overview of the story.  "What if it was her husband who died?" she asked.

 

The angels sang.  The sun emerged from behind the clouds.  And I knew I had the right hero and heroine for my story.  I created their backstories, developed the plot and then took five years to write the book.  Yes, you read that correctly.  FIVE years.  I had several chapters done while I tinkered with the characters and plot, and finally in 2008 I declared in front of my RWA chapter that I was going to participate in NaNoWriMo and finish the damn book.

 

On November 30, 2008, I had written 50,000 words though the story wasn't quite complete.  Playing on the idea of making a withdrawal from a sperm bank, I knew that the hero would eventually offer to make a direct deposit.  And there was my title.

 

December brought Christmas shopping and decorating and visits from family, and Direct Deposit took a back seat to all that.  Then in early 2009 I learned of an online pitch contest for a large romance publisher.  But you had to have a complete manuscript to enter.  I finished the remaining chapters, revised them, wrote a one-page synopsis required for entry purposed and entered the contest.  Color me shocked but pleasantly surprised when I was selected as one of fourteen finalists who would pitch in the publisher's online chat room.  I got a request for the full manuscript, and did another set of revisions before submitting the manuscript by snail mail.  I had set a goal to mail the manuscript by my birthday, which is April 10.  I live in Dixie Tornado Alley, and on April 10 we had storms and tornado warnings.  I spent part of that afternoon under the stairway in my home with the manuscript and a red pen.  Once the warnings had been lifted, I made the changes to the manuscript document, printed the final copy and drove to the nearest post office to send my baby to New York City.

 

Several months later I received a rejection letter.  I wallowed in self-pity because the publication options for short contemporary romances were much more limited in 2009 than now.  Fast forward to 2013 and I entered a novella contest run by Boroughs Publishing Group.  I finalled in the contest, which led to the novella, Better as a Memory, being published.  Because I had garnered the highest popular vote in the preliminary rounds of the contest, I was invited to submit a full-length manuscript to Boroughs.  

 

I sent them Direct Deposit, and as they say, the rest is history.

 

And that's the story behind the story.