What Is The Most Precious Part of Writing?


The release of Down & Dirty brings to an end my Men of Haven series.

“Wait!” you say. “What the heck do you mean brings to an end? You can’t end now! We have more brothers to visit! The mothers! Sergei and his guys!”

Okay, okay. You have a point.

Let me clarify…

I mean the end of the six original brothers.

Feel a little better? :)

Of course, I’m noodling plans for Danny and Ivan…plus another new brother you may or may not have met yet. (That’s a hint to hurry up and read Down & Dirty.)

You definitely don’t need to worry about Sergei or his partners in crime, Kir and Roman, since I’ve already got book one for their series—NOLA Knights—in the pipeline with two more books scheduled. I’ve also got a plan for Ninette—which means Sylvie has to get a book, too, because she’d never leave me alone if her bestie got an HEA and she didn’t.

So, yeah. Lots and lots more Haven and Russian badasses are on the horizon!

But the release of Axel’s book still brings a certain closure for me. Or maybe it’s more of a moment to pause and appreciate all the wonderful places Jace, Zeke, Trevor, Knox, Beckett and Axel have taken us to.

And let me tell you—as it is when I’m writing many stories—there were some delightful surprises along this journey.

Jace ambled into my life on a cold winter night with an unapologetic swagger I still haven’t forgotten. I knew the second I “saw” him in my head that he’d bring a brotherhood with him. A family built on choice.

What I didn’t anticipate was how different each of the men would be.

When I started chapter one of Rough & Tumble, I had zero idea of who the other five men were. They literally came into being as the words appeared on the screen. It was only after I’d gotten through those initial words that I realized the universe had given me a veritable buffet of diverse, yet equally badass heroes.

  • A biker type with a law degree who won’t take no for an answer.
  • A thrill-seeking emergency room doc with an unexpectedly tender touch.
  • A cowboy you’d be thrilled to take home to momma. (So long as momma never finds out how quickly he makes you melt behind closed doors.)
  • A hacker with a rock star persona, a tender heart and wicked skills in the bedroom.
  • A muscled-up personal security expert who brings a whole new meaning to the term teddy bear.
  • A naughty, well-dressed Scot with raw determination in the business he conducts and a Dominant streak a mile wide.

Another surprise was the varied story lines. In the space of six books, the guys tackled—or at least touched on—substance abuse, political intrigue, white-collar crime, the Russian mafia, smuggling, the pharmaceutical black market, the music industry, cybercrime and some good old-fashioned backstabbing. Every book brought a fresh new spin to the table while keeping me anchored in the family I’d grown to know and love.

But the best developments—the ones that still awe me—were the deeply personal topics that some characters brought to light:

  • Social condemnation or judgment based solely on appearance.
  • Emotional abuse.
  • Social anxiety.
  • Sensory Processing Disorder.

Some of these topics were deeply personal to me. Others gifted me with new knowledge and empathy. Even more wonderful was when readers reached out to me after reading and said, “Yes! I’ve been there, too!”

That is the most precious part of writing—connecting with other people on a deeply personal level. Realizing that, despite our differences, we are also very much the same.

As I said above, this isn’t really the end. Just a mile marker. A slight shift in direction to allow things at the Haven ranch to percolate (and maybe give the brothers time to plan a house expansion) while we let Sergei, Kir and Roman entertain us with their adventures in New Orleans.

Will you see the brothers or their wives in the NOLA Knights series? Well, yeah! They are family, after all…and you know how things work once you’re part of the Haven family.

What about you? What were some of your favorite parts of the Men of Haven series? Who was your favorite hero and/or secondary character?


About Down & Dirty:

Down & Dirty by Rhenna MorganThe Men of Haven: fierce passion, unyielding loyalty.

Especially when it comes to their women.

A powerful man

Axel McKee abandoned his musical career years ago in favor of becoming a power player on the music scene. His dreams of the spotlight are over—and he’s better off for it. Working with his Haven brothers and building their empire is enough for him.

One who commanded attention with nothing more than a look

And then came Lizzy. A dynamic, beautiful powerhouse of a performer unlike any he’s seen or heard before. Her presence leaps off stage and into the heart of anyone who watches her sing. Axel wants her. Wants to help her and collaborate with her… But more than anything, he wants to be with her.

And every ounce of his attention was locked on her

Two things are immediately obvious: Lizzy’s been burned before, and earning her trust will be Axel’s biggest challenge yet. If he can get this fierce, stubborn, talented woman to see the passion and care that he’s offering, he might get a chance at a new dream—sharing the spotlight with the woman he loves.

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