Chelle de Notte’s latest release is a contemporary romance in her Hearts on Fire novella series, a collection of steamy firefighter romances brought to you by Evernight Publishing.
I had the pleasure of reading I Don’t Want to Wake Up when it was still in beta, and am so excited this week to get to share it with you.
But first, here’s the author herself to tell us more about it…
An interview with Chelle de Notte
JL PERIDOT: Chelle, tell us about your new book, I Don’t Want to Wake Up. Why will readers love Kat and Mike?
CHELLE DE NOTTE: These two characters get together thinking they’ve hit the jackpot — she’s sleeping with a hot firefighter, and he’s with a gorgeous masseuse who knows how to use her hands everywhere!
But as the relationship deepens, the realities and dangers of each other’s jobs set in. If they’re going to be together, they have to figure out how to handle that, especially in light of exes who were less than supportive of their professions.
JL: Your previous book in the Hearts on Fire series was a firefighter (and day spa) romance too. What inspired you to connect these two professions in your series?
CHELLE: The firefighters originated with a secondary character in An Especially Hot Summer, a female firefighter who works a tough job in a mostly male environment, but lets her feminine side out in full force off duty. As for the day spa, a professional massage is an incredibly intimate experience, and it was interesting to see the characters interact after experiencing that together.
JL: So, what inspired this book?
CHELLE: At the end of Never So Grateful, there’s a mention of two side characters exchanging smiles across the Thanksgiving dinner table. This story brings them into the spotlight and gives them a romance. I hope it gives readers of the previous book a sense of reuniting with friends, and I hope new readers will connect to the camaraderie, sense of place, and steam of the story.
JL: What kind of research did you have to do to write this story?
CHELLE: Because I don’t want to readers to wonder how my characters can afford their New York apartments, I had to do some research on which Brooklyn neighborhoods they could conceivably afford. From there, I found myself studying subway maps to see how they’d get from Manhattan to home and how they could have somewhat easy access to each other.
When I’m writing about New York characters in general, I like to visit their neighborhoods to get an idea of their everyday lives. And sometimes when I mention a certain food, I’ll buy or make it, then eat it more mindfully than usual so I can describe the flavors better.
One regret about writing these stories during a pandemic was that I couldn’t go for a spa treatment in the name of research. 😂
JL: And of course, you’ll have had plenty of research into the holidays for the Christmas elements in this novella. What are some of your favourite holiday tropes?
CHELLE: Some of my favorite fictional holiday tropes are snowed in together (this drives me stir crazy in real life!) and people taking chances/doing things they normally wouldn’t because “tis the season.”
It also warms my heart to see characters get gifts with special meanings, whether inside jokes or marks of how well they understand each other, and I try to be a thoughtful gift giver to my loved ones.
JL: Finally, what’s next in the world of Chelle de Notte?
CHELLE: Jake’s story is next – not only does he get a romance, but we learn why he had glitter on his face. While I wait for my first round of edits on that, I’ve started notes for future Hearts on Fire novellas.
I Don’t Want to Wake Up by Chelle de Notte
He’s a hot firefighter…
Between the demands of his job and his own work ethic, it takes a lot to get Lieutenant Mike Devierse to loosen up and relax. One woman managed it, and Kat’s at his firehouse’s Thanksgiving dinner.
She’s a beautiful masseuse…
In Kat Kominsky’s work at a spa, all the people she meets and massages tend to blur together. There are some standouts, though, and she’s excited to see Mike outside a professional capacity.
As Kat and Mike grow closer, their time together is right out of a fantasy. But will they be able to handle the moment when the reality of each other’s jobs sets in?
About Chelle de Notte
As a kid, Chelle de Notte had a reputation for turning in 30-page creative writing assignments. As an adult, she balances her passion for fiction with a day job in real estate.
Because she is already a creator, Chelle doesn’t feel the need to give birth. She doesn’t smoke and hardly ever drinks, but can’t turn down a dirty chai with almond milk. When she’s not writing, she’s active in the local barre scene.