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Goodreads asked Susan Mallery:

Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

Susan Mallery Hi! Thanks so much, Goodreads, for hosting this Q&A for me today. I'm having a great time!

My most recent book, UNTIL WE TOUCH, started with an opening scene that came to me pretty much fully formed.

"You know why I'm here."

Mrs. Nancy Owens made the statement with a firm voice and an unyielding stare. All of which were impressive.

Unfortunately for Jack McGarry, he didn't have a clue as to what she was talking about.

He knew a lot of things. He knew the LA Stallions wouldn't get to the Super Bowl this year, that his right shoulder ached when it was going to rain, that were was a saucy merlot waiting in his kitchen and that while every part of his being wanted to bolt right now rather than have this conversation, he couldn't. Because Mrs. Owens was Larissa's mother and even if she wasn't, she was old enough to be his mother and he'd been raised better.

"Ma'am?"

Mrs. Owens sighed. "I'm talking about my daughter."

Right. But the woman had three. "Larissa?"

"Of course Larissa. Who else? You moved your business to this God-forsaken town and my daughter moved with you and now she's here."

An excellent recap, he thought, struggling to find the point.

"You don't like Fool's Gold," he said, stating was what probably the obvious.

"I neither like nor dislike the town." Her tone implied he was an idiot. "It's not the point. Larissa is here."

He knew that, what with signing her paycheck—figuratively rather than literally—and seeing her every day. But Mrs. Owens already knew that, too.

"She is here, with you." Mrs. Owens sighed heavily. "She loves her job."

Ok, fine. He was willing to admit it. He was just an average guy. Maybe a little taller, with a used-to-be better throwing arm and a strong desire to win, but at his heart, he was pretty much like every other beer-drinking, truck-driving man in America. Ignoring, of course, the merlot in his refrigerator and the Mercedes in his garage.

Nancy Owens, an attractive woman in her early fifties, smacked her hands palm down on the table and groaned. "Do I have to spell it out for you?"

"Apparently so, ma'am."

"Larissa is twenty-eight years old, you moron. I want her to get married and give me grandchildren. That is never going to happen while she's working for you. Especially not after moving here. I want you to fire her. That way she'll move back to Los Angeles, find someone decent to marry and settle down."

"Why can't she do that here?"

Mrs. Owens sighed the sigh of those blessed with intelligence and insight most could only aspire to.

"Because, Mr. McGarry, I'm reasonably confident my daughter is in love with you."
Susan Mallery
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