When Indigo was 10 years old, the boy who lived down the street, Michelangelo Moore, bullied her. Or that was how she saw it. He used to lay in ambush for her after school. To help her combat the bullying, Indie took boxing lessons from her father, despite her twin Vanilla’s vehement objections. It made no difference – Michelangelo still ambushed her and did things, horrible things like push her into a ditch. Driven to take extreme measures, she snuck into school one night and spray-painted an insult on the class block wall: Moore is a toilet face. Enraged, Michelangelo hunts her down and tries to force her to call him by his first name but Indie hurled insults at him instead. It all came to an end when she jumped all over his mountain bike, destroying it. Ever after, they took steps to ignore each other.
Twenty-two years later, Indie and Vanilla are close and loyal despite something catastrophic that happened when they were 17, something involving Michelangelo Moore. Indie is organized, career-driven and dates boring men, whereas Vanilla overspends, lies about her age and dates gangsters. Indie will do anything to protect Vanilla from hurt, even keeping the guilty secret of what happened between her and Michelangelo Moore when they were 17.
When they witness a Mafia murder at the nightclub where Vanilla works as a cocktail waitress, the sisters go on the run. They hide out at a writers’ conference where Vanilla hopes to win a book deal for her romance. But Michelangelo, now an FBI agent, follows them, planning to take them into witness protection – and finish what he and Indie started all those years ago. Indie desperately wants to escape him before Vanilla discovers her guilty secret. But Vanilla refuses to leave until she’s met the editor who’s read her romance. Meanwhile, Michelangelo threatens to tell Vanilla all about what happened on that hot summer night 15 years ago …
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I love romantic comedies from the 1930’s through to the 1950’s. I also adore The Sopranos. So when Indie and Vanilla came to life in my imagination, it seemed natural that I would blend the gangster genre with Some Like It Hot.
I always wanted a sister as well. I grew up with three brothers who insisted that I could be a boy too if I really TRIED. Having a sister seemed like a good way to combat the testosterone in my family, and especially that belief that gender is a matter of choice. I never did get a sister – for some reason, my brothers all partnered women who had plenty of sisters of their own and didn’t need another – so it seems natural and right to me that I should right about them.
I find families fascinating. Family relationships are so complex, and are hard to break – even when you want to! My family was full of tension but despite that, and their dissatisfaction with my girly-ness, my brothers liked me and I liked them. We could be cruel to each other, could say and do unforgivable things to each other, and yet we went on liking each other. Affection was squeezed between other feelings like resentment and exasperation.
So here I am, writing romances that involve family relationships. After many years of trying to figure out the kind of fiction I wanted to write, I’ve finally found it.