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It was 2007. I was attending my very first Romantic Times Convention, this one at the Hyatt in Houston. I was so green I made healthy pass look brown. I was barely published and looking for ways to establish myself. I was barely published at Ellora’s Cave but author Marilyn Campbell had just been hired by EC to create a line featuring psychic abilities and built around The Lotus Circle, an ancient organization of women with special powers, who co idl also enhance each other and interpret visions. Man, it it AMAZING what you can find on the Internet.
The first psychic ability that came to my mind was mental telepathy, maybe because its been so commercialized.
What is Mental Telepathy?
Imagine if you could send a message to anyone you wanted regardless of how far away they are and do it without a written letter or cell phone; no texting, no recorded messages, no penciled thought, no actual words whatever. If you could, you would be using mental telepathy—the process of transferring your thoughts from your mind to someone else’s. This form of communication has always been thought to be outside the mainstream of science. It has always been thought to be in the realm of science fiction or the paranormal. But, there is proof to the contrary. And there is reams of information a bout it on the Internet.
I was also inspired by a song written by the late great Townes Van Zandt called If You Needed Me.
If I needed you would you come to me
Would you come to me for to ease my pain
If you needed me I would come to you
I would swim the seas for to ease your pain.
There had also been a lot of media hustle a but politicians taking payoffs to leak information about Special Ops missions to enemies of ours. My sister ad I used to play the What If game and that’s what I did. What if my hero (Mark) and heroine ( Faith) have known each other for years, flirted with a romance, even made one one time, the. night of her senior prom. What If he was so committed to his career as a Delta Force team leader that he
believed he had no room in his life for a relationship. What If as teenagers they had discovered they connect ted though mental telepathy. And What If a dirty politician took money to leak a mission for Mark’s Delta Force Team in Peru and they were all killed except for Mark (and one other member that no one knew about yet.)And what if Mark is taken prisoner, tortured, and the only way he can get a word out is through his mental connection with Faith? And what if she can’t get anyone to listen because there is a lid on everything but she learns of this very dark civilian secret ops agency that (at that time) didn’t even have an office, just a phone number. And What If she sees in them the ONLY chance to save Mark.
Then I was off to the races. The book practically wrote itself. And Josh Felker, my handgun instructor and former Army Ranger was a fountain of knowledge which he willingly shared with me.
I learned all about terrorists in Peru, dirty politics in Washington and the total dedication of the men in all branches of Special Ops. And that was how Jungle Fever (originally titled Always On My Mind) came to be born. It was so successful, EC asked me to build a series, using the four partners of Phoenix as heroes. And Mark Halloran, rescued in Jungle Fever, left the military and became the fifth partner.