How MYSTERY DATE Was Born by Crystal Green

Mystery Date

As writers, we get a lot of great questions from readers. One of those is “How do you come up with your book ideas?” So I thought that it might be fun to chat with you all about how my latest Blaze, MYSTERY DATE, was born!

Back when I was brainstorming stories for more Blazes, I looked in my “idea drawer” to see if there was anything there that would catch my eye. (Naturally, this drawer is a place where I keep ideas that I’ve scrawled on cocktail napkins, scraps of paper I’ve found in my purse in a pinch, and those order forms that always fall out of magazines at the most inopportune moments. I love my idea drawer because it makes me feel like I’ll never lack for something to write about…but I digress!)

This time, when I peered in there, I drew out a paper that said something about auction baskets. You know what I’m talking about… Have you ever read, say, a historical Western in which the heroine goes to a town social and all the single girls bring a picnic lunch basket that has a different colored ribbon tied to it? And that ribbon is a signal to the guy she’s sweet on that this is her basket and he must bid on it?

Well, I put my Blaze hat on and thought, “What if there was a sexy basket auction, and each basket held the promise of an exotic, erotic date instead of just a picnic?”

A Blaze two-book miniseries was born. 🙂

I wanted the first book, LEAD ME ON (July, 2013), to center around what happens when the heroine’s naughty basket, meant for an ex-boyfriend, is unexpectedly auctioned off to her nemesis from college. As you can guess if you’ve ever read a Blaze, much hot sex and a dramatic love story ensued. <G>

Besides the main story, though, LEAD ME ON introduced what would be the second book’s central premise—What happens when an anonymous bidder wins the next heroine’s basket? And what if that bidder insists on keeping his identity a secret throughout the first date…and the next…and from that point on?

Why would he want to remain a mystery?

And does the heroine actually know him?

MYSTERY DATE (September, 2013) was a real fun write. I loved the cat-and-mouse games that the hero played with the heroine and vice-versa, and writing all those very sexy love scenes wasn’t so bad, either. <G> Not to give too much away (part of the fun of this story is not knowing what to expect going into it!), but creating this broody yet charming hero was a highlight for me, too.

So that’s how a concept that I’d just jotted down in a hurry one day turned into a two-book deal. 🙂


Another basket is up for auction! 

This one is filled with sweets…and a whole lot of spice! 

Stunner TV chef Leigh Vaughn has crafted a basket that includes a home-cooked dinner for one lucky bidder. Who could resist this sexy sauciere? It’ll be a dish—and an evening—to savor…. 

But there’s a very enigmatic millionaire who won’t be outbid on Leigh’s offering. He’s anonymous. He stays in the shadows, where no one can see his face. Yet his rich, sensual voice is tantalizing—and capable of seducing the clothes from a woman’s body, before beckoning her into a world filled with erotic mystery and sweet, sinful taboo. 

Bon appétit….


Crystal Green is a RITA nominated romantic fiction author who tries her best to avoid international incidents whenever she takes a break from her first love, writing, and cheats on it with her other true love—traveling. She has an alter ego named Chris Marie Green, who writes the urban fantasy Vampire Babylon series, the upcoming Ghost for Hire series, and the New Adult Single Girl/Geek Lit hybrid The She Code.

Crystal would love to see you again online at,, and at her blog!
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About RWA San Diego

The Romance Writers of America's San Diego chapter promotes excellence in romantic fiction, helps writers become published and establish careers in their writing field, and provides continuing support for writers within the romance publishing industry. Contact us for more information about RWASD.

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