In Runaway Bride, Mark makes Lexie chocolate marshmallow cookies. These cookies were inspired by Shelley and Ed. Ed had offered to make me these cookies if I’d write Runaway Bride. That was a year ago, and at the time, the book wasn’t ready to be written. Some of you will remember that I even contemplated dropping the idea and giving the basic plot (an engaged woman who runs off with another man) to a Regency novel instead.
Then I realized the story would only work as a contemporary, and it pretty much had to be Mark and Lexie from the Across the Stars Series. So I decided to go back to the original cast of characters. This was actually an important lesson for me. Once I set an idea with the characters it’s intended for, I can’t switch that idea to other characters. This is why Mitch’s Win had to be a Montana book instead of a Nebraska one. I don’t know what it is about certain characters making a particular plot work, but it’s pretty much set in stone or the story will never be as satisfying to write.
Anyway, as I was writing Runaway Bride and there was this big thing about Mark wanting to make Lexie something sweet to eat, I knew there was only one kind of dessert that would fit: chocolate marshmallow cookies. That’s how they ended up in the book. To be honest, I hadn’t heard of these cookies before Shelley and Ed mentioned them.
And guess what? They sent me the cookies so I could taste them for myself. 😀 I took some pictures to share.
The cookies were good, by the way. They didn’t last past dinner in my house. LOL
In addition to posting these pictures, I thought it’d be fun to bring Mark and Lexie in for an interview.
Ruth: Hey, guys. Got anything you’d like to say?
Mark: Yes. I would like to thank Shelley and Ed for giving Ruth the swift kick in the behind that she needed in order to write my book. Had it not been for you, I’d probably still be this lonely and sad Pandoran male who was doing an endless search for a life mate.
Ruth: To be fair, you already picked your life mate out, even if she didn’t know you had plans to break up her engagement in order to marry her.
Mark: Gee, you make what I did sound so…so…conniving.
Ruth: Well, you were. You schemed a way to get Lexie to dump Nick.
Mark: I call that rescuing her. You wrote the book. You know she wouldn’t have been happy with him.
Ruth: I could have made her happy with Nick.
Mark: If you had, the story would have bombed. No one would have wanted to read it.
Lexie: Come on, you two. I thought we were here to talk about how nice it was that Shelley and Ed sent cookies out, not to mention how delicious they were when Mark made some for me.
Mark: See? Nick never would have done that. In fact, he wasn’t going to let Lexie have any desserts because he had to make sure she always “looked good enough” for him so he could impress other people. Send Nick to Pandoran where he can get a clue. There’s more to a woman than how she looks. There’s her ability to maintain an intelligent conversation and her kindness. Though I will say Lexie is a total babe.
Ruth: Yeah, I recall how you were drooling over her in Suddenly a Bride.
Lexie: He was?
Ruth: He couldn’t stop staring at you, especially your legs and breasts. He wasn’t exactly interested in your mind or personality at the time.
Mark: That’s not fair. I thought we had a good conversation that day.
Ruth: Here’s a quote from the book: “Mark’s eyes traced the curve of her tanned legs until they settled on her feet which were in sandals. She was hot.”
Lexie: He thought that about me?
Mark: That’s not fair. You didn’t include the sentence after that: “He was finding the more he talked and looked at Lexie, the more excited he got about spending time with her.” And I don’t see any reference to her breasts up in the passage you quoted.
Ruth: “Lexie took a deep breath—something Mark enjoyed more than he thought he should..” That’s an indirect reference to her breasts.
Mark: And yet, I was thinking the more I talked to her, the more I wanted to spend time with her. I was looking at the whole package, not just her body. I know better than to base my decision on choosing a life mate solely on looks.
Lexie: Well, I’m flattered. Maybe I should go read Suddenly a Bride.
Mark: There’s nothing else interesting in it. Just a bunch of stuff about your sister and Chris. Ours is a lot better.
Ruth: I’m sure Caitlyn and Chris would argue that one.
Mark: Since they’re not here, it doesn’t matter what their opinion, does it?
Ruth: I had no idea you were so difficult, Mark. You remind me a lot of Dave Larson. Easy to write on paper but hard to deal with in an interview. And ironically, both of you are married to women who are peacemakers.
Mark: You need to quit writing while you’re ahead. You’re using the same character types over and over. Your writing will go stale. Time to move on to something more productive like lint collecting.
King Blackheart: Mark, speak such nonsense again, and we’ll have a duel. I’ll have you know Ruth’s currently writing her best book yet. She’s writing my story, His Abducted Bride, and I happen to be way better than you.
Mark: Way better? Just because you’re holding… Wait what is that?
King Blackheart: It’s a sword.
Mark: Big whoop. So you play with toys.
King Blackheart: A sword is not a toy. I am a skilled warrior. I have an entire kingdom and army at my beck and call. That’s much more impressive than some whiny “I’m bored on this planet” hero who needs to break up someone else’s engagement in order to get a wife.
Mark: *snorts* And you have to what? Kidnap Sandy in order to secure your wife? Yeah, like that marriage is going to work out.
King Blackheart: I’ll have you know I kidnapped her for a very good reason.
Mark: Because you’re a brute?
King Blackheart: A brute? I’m not a brute. I’m an alpha hero. I see what I want, and I take it.
Mark: So? I did the same thing.
King Blackheart: Well, I’m more alpha than you are. In fact, I am the most alpha Ruth’s ever written.
Mark: That’s debatable.
Ruth: Look, you two can argue this all you want, but this post is getting too long. I need to end it here.
**Mark and King Blackheart continue arguing while the rest of us leave**