A woman who has everything meets a man who can offer her nothing but trouble. They bring each other to a height of desire neither thought possible, but is it enough to overcome the differences that tear them apart?
Kate Champion, a forty-two-year-old, married mother of two, leads an enviable upper class life of luxury. Her comfortable path takes an unexpected detour after a chance encounter at a neighborhood playground.
Jaylee Inoa is a twenty-two-year-old, second generation New York Dominican with close ties to the Heights and the gangs that run them.
Her life of privilege is no match for the code of the streets he navigates with ease. When a crime of the heart leads to a crime in the flesh, how far will she go to redeem him? Can she risk all in her life that is golden for the love of her golden-eyed man?
INTERVIEW WITH MARA WHITE:
What inspired the story behind this book?
So many things that’s it’s difficult to mention them all! Definitely living in the Caribbean as a teenager and experiencing street culture there. As a young adult I lived in Mexico City, which has a staggering class divide and I certainly pulled inspiration from there as well. Living in Washington Heights in the midst of the radical wave of gentrification that’s been accelerating over the last few years was my main source of inspiration. I’ve always been fascinated with the history of the neighborhood and it’s deep entrenchment in drug trafficking throughout the eighties and nineties. Watching the interactions of the ‘new residents’ in the Heights vs the already established community here has been an endless source of fascination to me and is what, ultimately, got me thinking about the rich possibilities therein.
What made you gravitate toward writing a Dominican character?
Again, my neighborhood is the catalyst. I always tend to write about what’s around me. I’m very drawn to dialects and vernacular and I love listening to Dominican’s speak. I also respect language as a living thing – so the Spanglish that is spoken by many second and third generation Spanish speakers, to me is captivating.
Speaking of Dominican, do you have anyone in mind for Jaylee?
In real life or for casting a movie, lol? Unfortunately, Dominicans are grossly underrepresented in popular American culture. Victor Rasuk, who was cast in the FSOG movie would make a great Jaylee in my opinion. I love Romeo Santos, but desafortunadamente, he’s maybe too old. I love reader’s ideas so if anyone has suggestions for casting I absolutely welcome them!!
Why do you think Kate is actually a sympathetic character to some readers (us included)?
Well, because some readers (very progressive ones ; ) are able to see past subscribed gender roles and not hold Kate Champion to the socially constructed ideas of what it means to be ‘a good woman.’ We are all flawed creatures and many can relate to falling out of love in marriage or perhaps, more terrifyingly, falling in love with someone else while married. Heights of Desire, to me, is about sacrifice. If readers are able to deconstruct value opinions behind what is or is not acceptable to sacrifice, then some will be able to see the profound beauty in the sacrifice itself.
The Prologue in Heights of Desire is one of the most memorable ones we have ever read. No question there, just a compliment!
Hey thanks!! I feel like since now days readers are able to read a sample of any book before they purchase – as a writer, you really have to pack a punch, so to speak, in your first fourteen pages. No easy, subtle approaches or you lose your opportunity to grab a reader. It’s both sort of a sad development and also an exciting one – so I’m not sure how I feel about it. Also, Kate Champion is a Comp-Lit PhD specializing in Romance languages so I figured her voice would be, if anything, a seasoned one!
Will there be more books in this series?
¡Claro que sí! Fear of Heights, the sequel to the Heightsbound Series will be released later this year!
Many thanks, Mara, for taking the time to answer our questions today!
Click here to read an excerpt from Mara’s next book in the Heightsbound Series!
I’m a reader, a writer, and a lover of all things romantic. I’m also a coffee, hot sauce, ink, telenovela and Bikram Yoga enthusiast. I live in New York City with my husband and two children, and I spend a lot of time on the playground.
Author Website: marawhite.com
Author GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7372906.Mara_White