Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Who's Your Daddy? with stories by Caren Crane, Jeanne Adams, and Nancy Northcott

Welcome to the book tour for Who's Your Daddy?, a collection of three stories by authors Caren Crane, Jeanne Adams, and Nancy Northcott. Today, Nancy is telling us all about how her character Jim Dixon came to be and sharing an excerpt from "Worth Waiting For." Let her know what you think in the comments section! And then follow the tour for even more. Be sure to enter the giveaway!


Creating Jim Dixon
By Nancy Northcott

All writers have their own processes for creating characters. Some do it intuitively every step of the way. Others plan everything and even interview their characters before they start writing. I fall somewhere in the middle. I plan the internal conflicts that keep the characters from being happy in chapter one, sketch out a few details like jobs and families, and remain open to ideas that come as I write.

Since Worth the Wait, my story in Who’s Your Daddy?!, is a novella and not a full-length novel, I didn’t need the same depth of internal conflict as in a novel. I also didn’t have the word count to develop an action-adventure plot (in this instance, drug smuggling in the hero’s hometown) and resolve a deep, agonizing emotional conflict. So with all that in mind, I came up with the hero of Worth the Wait, Jim “Dix” Dixon.

I wanted to tie this story in with my Arachnid Files spy series, so I made Dix an operative for Arachnid, the covert multinational organization featured in that series. He specializes in busting up child trafficking rings, and he sees that as his mission in life. Unfortunately, he’s now burning out. His boss sees that and benches him for a month. Having no clue how to do nothing, Dix goes back to his small hometown in North Carolina and putters around his parents’ house.

He reconnects with longtime friends, including Deputy Sheriff Tess Barnhardt. Tess, the sister of his deceased ex-girlfriend, is raising her late sister’s child, Molly. Long ago, there was an attraction between Tess and Dix, but they ignored it because of his prior relationship with her sister. Now years have passed, her sister is long gone, and the attraction is as strong as ever.

Dix still wants to return to his mission of rescuing kids, so he isn’t thinking long-term with Tess. He’s curious, however, as to whether there’s the potential for anything between them. Tess wonders about that too but is reluctant to go all in with Dix because he’ll be leaving. He doesn’t return home very often, and she sees no future for them. Still, neither of them resists what they see as harmless flirtation (because, hey, this is a romance, and flirtation is fun!).

They’re thrown together because the daughter of Dix’s best friend from high school is besties with Tess’s niece, Molly. During group outings, Tess notices disquieting similarities between Dix and Molly. Her sister never named Molly’s dad, and those similarities force Tess to investigate. Dix notices some of the same things but assumes Molly’s mom would’ve told him if he were the child’s father.

Tess’s worries come to a head when the results from a DNA threaten to explode all their lives. She and Dix must decide what future there is for them and what to do about the results of this test.

At this point, everything the reader has been shown about both Dix and Tess support the idea that they would make the choices they do. Sometimes establishing that means cutting or adding in the editing process, but that’s okay. Tweaking and polishing are part of the fun!

I don’t want to say more here because I don’t want to spoil the story. If anyone has any questions about creating characters, writing in a themed anthology, or any other writing topic, I would love to chat about that.

In closing, I’d like to tip my hat to my buddies Caren Crane, who came up with the idea for this anthology, and Jeanne Adams, whose knowledge of genealogy boggles my mind.

For more info about my books, visit my website,

Andi, thanks again for having me!

Presenting three tales of secrets revealed and histories uncovered by DNA testing.

Brown-Eyed Boy by Caren Crane

A carpenter discovers his father isn't actually his father. Coming to terms with the truth reaffirms his place in his family, but it also leads him to love with an old friend's sister and helps him find a path for his life.

Lost in Time by Jeanne Adams

A lawyer learns his grandmother had a secret marriage before his father was born. With the help of a talented genealogist, he tracks down his ancestry. Will he find the truth about his grandmother's secret before whoever's trying to kill him succeeds?

Worth Waiting For by Nancy Northcott

A burned-out spy goes home for a holiday and re-encounters the woman he never dated but never forgot. As he and she grow closer, he learns her niece, his ex-girlfriend's child, bears an uncanny resemblance to him. When the truth comes out, it will alter three lives.

Read an excerpt from Worth Waiting For:
Arachne opened the file on his desk. “You’ve led takedowns on four major drug rings and six sets of human traffickers in the last twenty-one months. In all that time, you’ve taken five days off. You need a break.”

“It was a long day, with a couple of badly messed-up kids in it,” Dix replied. “That guy pushed a button that wouldn’t have mattered on a better day.”

Maybe. He hoped.

“You don’t look like you’re sleeping well, per the medical staff, and your colleagues have noticed you’re on edge a lot.”

“They’re mistaken,” Dix snapped.

Arachne raised one eyebrow.

Shit. Of course he wasn’t sleeping well, not with dead and mutilated and traumatized kids walking in his dreams. Who would sleep with that going on?

Arachne continued, “There’s a reason we provide paid vacation. You have almost three years’ worth accrued.”

“I don’t need a break, sir.” Only the press of work kept the dreams at bay. But he had to offer a compromise or find himself benched—for a long time, judging by the boss’s expression. “Yeah, what those kids went through bothers me. It bothers us all. Goes with the job. A couple of days off, a chance to do some reading, maybe go to a museum, and I’ll be fine.”

“We’re past that, and medical concurs. I’m benching you, Agent Dixon. For a month.”

A month? Panic clawed at his throat. An entire month with nothing to fend off the images that haunted him day and night?

Available on Amazon
(affiliate link)

Caren Crane began writing warm, witty contemporary romance and women's fiction to save herself from the drudgery of life in the office. An electrical engineer by training, she longed to create worlds where things were any color except cube-wall gray. She still works in a cubicle, but gets to hang out with witty, fabulous people whenever she's writing, which greatly encourages butt-in-chair time.

Caren lives in North Carolina with her wonderful husband and semi-feral rescue cat. She has three fiercely intelligent, gorgeous grown children, having neatly side-stepped her mother’s threat that she would have children Just Like Her. You can find info and excerpts at

Jeanne Adams writes award-winning romantic suspense, fantasy/paranormal, Urban Fantasy and space adventure that’s been compared to Jack McDevitt and Robert Heinlein. She also knows all about getting rid of the bodies. Both traditionally and indie published, Jeanne has been featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine. She teaches highly sought after classes on Body Disposal for Writers and Plotting for Pantzers, as well as How to Write a Fight Scene with her pal Nancy Northcott. 

Twitter: @JeanneAdams 

Instagram: @JPAGryphon

Nancy Northcott’s childhood ambition was to grow up and become Wonder Woman. Around fourth grade, she realized it was too late to acquire Amazon genes, but she still loved comic books, history, and genre fiction. A sucker for fast action and wrenching emotion, Nancy combines the romance and high stakes (and sometimes the magic) she loves in the books she writes.

She’s the author of the Light Mage Wars/Protectors paranormal romances, the Lethal Webs and Arachnid Files romantic suspense series, and the historical fantasy trilogy The Boar King’s Honor. With author Jeanne Adams, she co-writes the Outcast Station space opera series. 

The authors will be awarding one copy each of Kick Start by Caren Crane, Dead Run by Jeanne Adams, and Danger's Edge by Nancy Northcott to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hi, Andi! Thanks very much for featuring our book today.

  2. Hi Andi! Thanks so much for featuring Who's Your Daddy on your blog today!


Due to tremendous amounts of spam, all comments are moderated and will be approved and published throughout the day.