Unbreak My Heart was originally released in 2013 by Amber Quill Press. When Amber went out of business, I was lucky enough to have Dreamspinner Press take it under their wing. It was re-edited with some added content then republished in 2016.
Brett & JT’s story didn’t end with Unbreak My Heart. I published two novellas and two short stories starring Brett, JT, Millie, and Ray with my original publisher, and I’m happy to announce that the second book, Unbroken Hearts, in the Unbreak series has been accepted by Dreamspinner for release early fall 2017. This novel will include two of the original stories, plus 20,000 words of original material.
Now, here’s 10 strange or just plain facts about Unbreak My Heart. So here we go…
- Unbreak didn’t have a title until the first draft was written, beta’ed, and ready for submission. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those authors who knows a title before the book begins, but generally it pops into my head at some point. This one definitely did not do that. It was difficult just like Brett Taylor can be.
- The title did in fact come from the 1996 song of the same name by Toni Braxton. I was in Colorado visiting my BFF, and we were toying with titles with a play on ranches or barns or guitar cases, but nothing worked. Our next big idea was using the word heart because the story really revolves around Brett Taylor’s damaged heart. Song titles came to mind, and poof, that one finally fit. Silly random fact – more often than not when I read or type the title, I involuntarily start humming the song. I’ve also heard others say the same thing, and hey, I admit having readers remember the name of my book is definitely not a bad thing.
- Almost everything about Brett Taylor was inspired by a favorite actor/singer of mine–Christian Kane. I borrowed Christian’s physical appearance, voice, love for music, and even his devotion to his mama. Brett’s original name was Eliot (named for Christian’s character in Leverage) but eventually that made me a little uncomfortable so Eliot became Brett and I can’t imagine any other name fir him now. And as an added bonus, I got to meet my Brett…I mean, Christian at Wizard World last August. I told him he was my inspiration and he signed a copy for me. I was so excited!
- My high school boyfriend’s name was Bret but with one “t” not like my fictional Brett. But some family members and childhood friends insist I named the character after the original. I also have a cousin named Brett and my baby boy’s gf is…you guessed it, Brett.
- One of my favorite things about writing this book and this series is that I got to pull out poetry-Klee. I love poetry and I actually write a lot of poems that I usually just keep to myself. The things that Brett writes are my first public forms of poetry, but in Brett’s voice not mine.
- There were a couple scenes—particularly one—which I had to stop writing because I couldn’t see the computer screen through my tears. Same thing happened during my original edits, galley proofs, and now in rereads and re-edits. Verdict: it’s very hard to see the screen of my laptop when I’m crying.
- My secondary characters, Millie Taylor-Montgomery-Allan and Ray Durant, were a blast to write. I actually laughed out loud a few times because they both know Brett so well and never let him forget exactly that. I definitely love Ray and Millie and they place prominent roles in the rest of the series as well. Quickie fact: the only other character in Unbreak My Heart is a brief appearance by a sheriff.
- I listened to nothing but Christian Kane for most of Unbreak’s writing until I got to the sex scenes–which I left mostly until last—then Backstreet Boys made their way onto the playlist. Random – I have vastly differing tastes in music that includes a not-so-secret love for The Backstreet Boys, as well as Christian Kane, Seether, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Three Days Grace, One Direction, City & Colour, Skid Row, Hedley, Pearl Jam, Queen, & so many more. The song I most see as Brett & JT’s is a lesser known song by Christian called Dusty Rose.
- When I was writing and editing Unbreak My Heart (both times), I found myself thinking or even talking with Brett’s Southern accent. Luckily, my family has always known I’m a special snowflake. When I’ve done readings from the book, I’ve always been careful to not include a dialogue scene so I don’t completely embarrass myself.
- Out of all my characters, Brett Taylor is the one I tormented (psychologically) the most, and he’s also the one I fell most in love with. Even now, three years later, he still visits to tell me what his and JT’s next adventure should be. When I’m not writing them, I miss them.
Brett Taylor’s world collapsed three years ago when he lost the love of his life. Almost as bad as the grief is the advice he’s starting to get from everyone and their brother, telling him it’s time to move on. They’re flat-out wrong. He left his career as a musician and escaped to his ranch because he needs the peace and quiet, and he’s doing just fine. He doesn’t want anyone invading his memory-filled, booze-fueled solitude.
JT Campbell’s world has been defined by his parents’ money, status, and his own empty relationships, until he’s desperately sick of it. A quest to find something meaningful leads him to Brett’s failing ranch. It’s supposed to be a brief stay. JT never wanted to be anyone’s savior or compete with the ghosts of lovers past. Still, he can’t help wanting this gruff and grieving man.
JT’s mind knows it’s a bad idea, but his heart keeps pushing him to find out what lies beneath Brett’s rough and broken exterior. Brett’s not going to make it easy. JT can only be patient, keep his sense of humor, and hope for the day he may be allowed far enough into Brett’s world to unbreak his heart.
K-lee Klein loves guys with long hair and tattoos, and you’ll often find her front and center at her favorite rock concerts. She has bounced around Western Canada all her life, but will always consider the solitude and beauty of the British Columbian mountains home. Her life is blessed as the proud mother of three now-grown but still spoiled kids, the servant of two bossy felines, and the wife of a truly patient husband.
Her writing muse is terribly temperamental, so to keep him close by and in check, she had him inked on her left calf. The gorgeous, long-haired, mostly naked, kneeling angel that resulted is truly a work of art, although he’s still a handful and hopelessly uncontrollable. She writes on his schedule and inspiration.
K-lee tends to fall easily into obsessions. When something grabs her attention, she jumps into it headfirst with complete abandon. Actors, musicians, superheroes, fictional characters, and brainwashed assassins all hold spots on her cannot-get-enough list. She once followed Thirty Seconds to Mars around the United States and Canada and saw them perform fourteen times that year. Obsession sometimes leads to ideas for her kneeling angel to turn into stories.
Although an introvert in person, she’s extroverted online and has met many wonderful friends there, sometimes with the added fun of meeting them in person at gay romance conferences. She’s grateful for all the people in her life who accept her as she is and support her through her ups and downs as mom, wife, and joyfully obsessed writer.
Places to find K-lee.
Website – kleeklein.com
Blog – http://chaosinthemoonlight.blogspot.ca
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Klee_Klein
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kleemoon
Facebook author/reader group https://www.facebook.com/groups/812548795471921/