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The Secret Truth Behind The Demon You Trust

Wow! What a fantastic opening day for The Demon You Trust yesterday! All the positive feedback I’m getting makes me SO happy that I waited to finish and publish it until I knew what I wanted to do with it! I’ve gotten a few emails from folks who are curious about what I meant when I said the other day that I didn’t have the vision of what I wanted it to be until now. They also asked what I meant when I said that if I’d released it before now, that it wouldn’t be the book it is today. 
 
I LOVE these questions, and I’m super psyched to share the secret history of The Demon You Trust with you.  
 
The basic answer is what had really changed the most is there relationship between the two main protagonists, but you’ll never guess what it was that changed about it. 

To give you a little background, the heroine is Ellie Locke, a sassy, spunky magicless demi-god heroine who has been hunted by her parents since she was a child. She has to stay alive to find and save her missing sister, and she’s her sister’s only hope. She gets murdered, but a nifty guy with magical powers gives her the chance to come back to life if she’ll work for him. She, of course agrees, because who wouldn’t choose working for an elite magical crime-fighting agency over death, right?
 
Except, it’s more complicated than that, as life always is. First, the bad guy she has to fight is waaay more talented than she is. Second, the guy who she is partnered with is an incredibly hot and compelling single dad (widow), who is engaged in a daily battle with his demon side, trying to keep himself from turning into a monster. Jack D’Amore is freaking awesome. Who doesn’t love a badass, dangerous half-demon who is willing to wear princess crowns to have tea with his daughter? He’s so gentle and soft at the same time that he’s an absolute freaking BADASS who is so dangerous that even he fears himself.
 
The chemistry between these two in The Demon You Trust is off the charts. They are both so endearing, so loyal to the ones they love, and so completely overmatched. They literally have no one else to lean on, but in each other they find their first chance at having someone at their back who they can count on.

Watching the trust and bond begin to develop between Jack and Ellie is so heart-warming…and it’s also hilarious. They both have such fun personalities, that even when things are looking dire-as-hell, they have enough spunk to make you laugh out loud, even while you’re holding your breath for them. 
 
In the first (and longest) Super Secret Bonus Scene, I dove right into the growing relationship between Jack and Ellie. It’s an inside look at the developing romance bond between them, and it’s so incredible sweet…and yet shows how much they’re going to both have to develop to grow into the potential between them. There are also a couple other secrets revealed in the SSBS that you’ll need to know for future books, because of course, I needed to make things fun like that, right?
 
But anyway, back to the Jack & Ellie romance. As I said, their relationship with each other and their own journeys are the backbone to The Demon You Trust…but in the original incarnation of this story… 

IT WASN’T A ROMANCE.
 
Can you believe that? Anyone who has read The Demon You Trust and the Super Secret Bonus Scenes probably won’t even believe that, because the sparks between them are so electric. But that’s the truth. When I wrote the story, I wanted to write a series about the magical crime-fighting organization that they join. I had all these grand plans for numerous characters, for different villains and good guys in each installment, and maybe, eventually down-the-line, a romantic triangle or two with Ellie and some of the others.
 
But when I started to write it, Jack came alive. He needed to be more than simply the hero who teams up with her in book 1. He’s conflicted, compelling, hot as hell, and needs her help badly to survive. He’s the PERFECT complement to Ellie, and they need each other so much.
 
And yet, I categorically refused to make them a couple, or to make the story a romance.
 
I had eighteen different versions over the years of The Demon You Trust, and not once did I allow them to become a couple or to even hint at the romance. It was all action and intrigue and dark humor (for my Order of the Blade fans, you’ll like that!). 
 
Until this spring. 
 
Until I opened it up again and started reading what I’d written.
 
As soon as I did that a couple months ago, I fell instantly and completely in love with Jack and Ellie as a romantic pairing, in addition to their awesomeness as an over-matched crime-fighting team. I knew that this story was not simply a high-stakes action adventure with plenty of magic and humor. I knew that THIS story was a deep, beautiful romantic evolution…along with action, adventure, humor, dangerous and magic.  
 
So, I went back into the story and I rewrote it, with my only focus being uncovering the emotional journeys of Jack and Ellie, and allowing that to illuminate the romantic relationship that had been woven through the story so invisibly for the last ten years.
 
Jack and Ellie don’t jump into bed in book one. They can’t. Their relationship is too real, too raw, too honest to do that yet. The trust has to build. Their hearts need to start to open. They need to learn they deserve hope and love…and only then are the clothes going to start flying off.
 
Or maybe we’ll have a moment or two of clothing falling off along the way… Yeah… we might have a little high-emotional-physically-intense moment or two coming along in the next installment or two…
 
Even the title of the story changed this spring. All along, the series had been called The Improbables, because Jack and Ellie are about the least likely people capable of saving the world that you’re going to find, but they get thrust into it anyway. I was thinking of calling each book The Improbables, and the adding the volume number.
 
But then Jack and Ellie fell in love, and my heart was filled with the joy of Jack and Ellie falling in love…which meant we needed a new title. One that reflected them, not simply the organization they were a part of.
 
And so, The Demon You Trust was born. 
 
And, I also changed the origination name from The Improbables to the Magical Elite, because Jack and Ellie deserve it. They may be unskilled, over-matched, and completely unprepared to become secret agents, but they are capable of rising to the challenge. I wanted to honor them in the same way we all need to be honored, and that’s by recognizing the potential for greatness that lies within all of us.
 
The chance of me achieving my dreams, or of you achieving yours? We are not Improbables. We are ALL Magical Elite, capable of becoming more than we believe, every single day. 
 
You. Me. Jack. Ellie.
 
We can all be so much more than the world has tried to convince us we are capable of being, and that is the series that The Demon You Trust launches, with love, laughter, demons, danger, and hope. 
 
I’ve gotten a few more questions about The Demon You Trust and the Super Secret Bonus Scenes that I’ll be answering tomorrow, but right now, I need to back to writing my next story for YOU!
 
Thank you ALL for all your support! I appreciate every email, especially those from the folks who emailed me to tell me that even though they got The Demon You Trust for free through the Rock Your Evil promo, that they went ahead and bought it anyway for the Super Secret Bonus Scenes. Their delight about the bonus scenes and how much they loved them made me SO happy! It was my goal to make them so awesome that even folks who had gotten the book for free, would feel like the bonus scenes were worth their money to buy it this time, and so far, that’s what everyone who has read them is saying. So, YAY for all of us! 
 
YOU GUYS ROCK! I love you all SO MUCH!

SAB/Stephanie 
 
PS If you’ve read the Super Secret Bonus Scenes for The Demon You Trust, click reply and let me know what you think! 

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