I go way back with UPS! Since I have lived much of my adult life in rural areas or small towns, I've done a lot of shopping first by catalog and later on line when I became active with computers. Of course some packages get delivered to the Post Office but some firms will not ship to a PO Box or an RFD address so that's where UPS comes in. Most of the drivers that were on my regular routes were great and most even became friends with the various dogs I had over the years.
Back when I lived outside of Huachuca City, AZ from 1984-2008 the UPS guys knew our address very well. For a number of years, our regular driver was a guy named Ken. He was a good looking hunk of a chap, too, and very personable and pleasant. My daughter had a crush on him for awhile before she went off and got married. Since she has grown kids now you can guess this was quite awhile back! But Ken stayed in my mind as a great hero model. I even met a Mr Romance contestant at one Romantic Times Convention who was a UPS driver and offered to be a tech advisor when I mentioned the idea I'd had. So do not laugh!!
You see, I always thought it would be cool to have a hero in a romance tale who was a UPS delivery man! Somehow it just never came together and the idea went dormant for a long time, back there in the bundle of scraps with scribbles or the file draw stuffed with ideas, partials and stray notes. Right now I cannot recall if it was for an Amber PAX collection or not but I visualized first a delivery driver and then decided he needed to have another profession and was just working this under cover. So that meant he had a crime to solve or a bad guy to track down. Then the what ifs kick in. I actually 'met' Monte before I got a good look at Jeff. I really liked Monte, a slightly nerdy guy who got daring and went after his dream of owning his own business, a sporting goods store. It would be in a small town and I decided to create a place a bit like China Lake and Mojave, California. The part of that huge state inside the barrier of the Sierras is a whole different world and a place I could live if I were not allowed to be in Arizona or New Mexico so that came easily. That's where I set my fictitious town, near a military base.
Then Jeff popped up and the bad guy appeared and the story began to unwind. Of course as an agent working to break a case, Jeff had no business falling for a guy who just might be one of the black hats. He didn't want to believe it but the evidence kept piling up and finally he has to make an arrest--and it's at the worst possible time for Monte and his new business. I can't tell you much more except to say it does end well with the problems solved and the bad guys busted. I do believe in happy endings and every one of my tales ends with a HFN (happy for now) if not a real HEA (happy ever after) for the couple involved or in a few cases the menage. That is the whole reason I write romance instead of something else and I neither write nor read much literary fiction which like real life often ends quite badly! I think fiction should be for fun and escape since reality and the news offer us more than enough grim, dysfunctional people and downright brutal and horrific events to last 'til doomsday! So hang on for an excerpt or two tomorrow and of course a peek at the cover of Special Delivery. Guarantee it's yummy!