Ms. Gail’s Chemistry 101

All right, class, settle down. Everyone in their seats? Good. Let me begin this lesson with one remarkably bold statement:

Walter White could have been a romance writer.

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I know, I know. Sounds ridiculous, right? But let’s look at how Walter White viewed chemistry (better click on this, as there might be a quiz on it later):


“Technically, chemistry is the study of matter. But I prefer to see it as the study of change.”


Change is exactly what my perspective is whenever I approach a new book. In the beginning, I have two separate people who’ve got their own problems, their own histories and families, their own lives. They’re comfortable there, even if their lives make them insane. They know what to expect from day to day, month to month, year to year.

But then something extraordinary happens.

Their paths cross.


It’s like magic. A glance that’s captured by a pair of eyes already staring at you, or a velvety baritone you hear in a crowded room that sends a shiver down your spine. An incidental touch that inexplicably lingers, and suddenly your skin tingles as if you’ve been brushed with a live wire. I freaking love that moment. That’s the moment when a humdrum life changes, and suddenly no one knows what’s going to happen next. That’s chemistry, baby.

Isn’t it sexy?

I’m currently halfway through HOUSE OF PAYNE: STEELE, and my two main characters have been locked in separate, self-imposed prisons for years. They’re both so used to their solitary confinement that at first they have a hard time even seeing each other. But their first meeting kicks off that beautiful chain reaction that simply can’t be stopped:

Essie’s heart did a giddy kind of double-bump against the wall of her chest. That disturbance woke her up to the fact that simply locking onto those spectacular eyes had made her forget she needed to breathe. That was odd, but she was too busy drinking him in to make note of it. Not only were the man’s eyes a fascinating color, but they were thickly fringed and slightly tip-tilted, giving him an exotic air she found utterly irresistible. Just looking at him made the crazy side of her yearn to edge closer so she could bask in his dazzling presence.

And that was crazy, at least for her. Until that moment, she hadn’t even been aware that she had a crazy side. Usually the thought of getting close to anyone—especially an overwhelmingly masculine man like this guy—made her blood run cold.

But this man was so beautiful, scars and all, cold was the last thing she felt.

Then she realized those eyes were trained on her.

Right. On. Her.

From this point on, Essie’s life will never be the same. A chemical reaction has begun and no force in the world can stop it. When the going gets rough, there might be a time or two when she wishes her life had remained the uncomplicated, solitary wasteland it had been, but nothing can undo this change. The instantaneous reaction that occurs between Essie and Steele is so powerful it pulls two separate lives together, changing them forever to create one perfect whole.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is chemistry. Class dismissed. :)

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