ESCAPE INTO ROMANCE AND DANGER
Did you ever have one of those days? Or a lot of those days? Days when you thought your head would explode at the monotony of your life? You rise at the same time each day, go through the same morning ritual, then it’s onto your job. Maybe you’re a corporate drone and cubicle dweller as I was. Mind-numbing. Boring.
Many a morning as I drove to work, I’d fantasize about something extraordinary happening to relieve the boredom of my existence. I don’t mean any earth-shattering event, or anyone’s getting hurt. Just something different. Like I’d come upon a bank robbery in progress and be taken hostage by one of the robbers. Oh, wait, I could get hurt. I didn’t want to escape my cubicle-dwelling world that badly. Maybe the robber is really a sexy undercover FBI agent. That led to other kinds of fantasies I won’t go into. But you get my drift. Escape, romance, danger. Romantic suspense stories have them all, and that’s why I decided to write a romantic suspense.
My first published book, “A Catered Affair,” from Avalon Books, is a traditional reunion romance. I love reunion stories and I wanted to write another one. I also love secret baby stories. I came up with a story that combined the reunion with the secret baby. The heroine is a corporate executive with a sexy new temp assistant. But this assistant is also the father of her teenage son. Only he doesn’t know he has a son. Okay, standard secret baby story, which is fine. But like my cubicle escape fantasies, I wanted something a little bit different, something dark, edgy, and dangerous.
Doriana, my heroine in “Logan’s Redemption,” from The Wild Rose Press, works long hours and is a single parent. She’s like many women today. But Doriana has secrets that threaten to explode when her past and present collide. Doriana and Logan were teen-age lovers, but Logan ran off before Doriana could tell him she was pregnant. Now, he’s back, working for her as a temporary assistant. To her anguish, she realizes she still loves him. But there are too many unanswered questions. Why did he leave, and why is he back now? Does he know about his son, and will he leave again?
Logan too has his secrets. Doriana and Logan find their worlds unraveling, their routine lives turned upside down by emotional travails that threaten their hearts, their trust, their very souls. But in a suspense, you need more, much more. I had to up the stakes. Danger. Excitement. Violence.
So, I began the “what-ifs.”
What if someone is sabotaging Doriana’s father’s company, where she’s a vice president? What if Doriana’s son is rebelling, staying out late, hanging out with bad elements, and what if he is asking questions about his father? Now, our heroine has a demanding job, a rebellious son, and worry over her father’s company. And throw into the mix the guy she still loves, the man who abandoned her, who suddenly reappears. But he’s not the guy she once knew. He’s darker, more dangerous. And he’s hiding something.
Doriana needed more trouble. Pile it on her, I thought. What if someone is stalking her and wants to kill her? Is it the same person who is threatening her father’s company? And what if Logan is the only person who can help her, and to protect her he has to move in with her and the son he doesn’t know about? What’s our girl to do? The thing I love about writing suspense is I get to heap problems and dangers onto my characters. It’s kind of an outlet for me, too. I can live vicariously through them.
Doriana may be an ordinary corporate worker, thrust into extraordinary circumstances, but she meets the threats head-on. She’s no damsel in distress waiting for a man to save her. She finds her strength and refuses to show weakness to the person who stalks her. When she’s attacked, she fights back. Like a cornered mother lion, she’ll kill to protect her own.
I love the twists and turns of a good mystery filled with danger, tension, and romance. The love story is central to anything I write, but suspense allows me to think outside the romance, to conceive of plot devices I hope keep the readers turning the pages. In a romantic suspense, the hero and heroine fight danger to their physical selves and to their emotional selves. This gives depth to the characters and the story.
Doriana and Logan fight the villain to save their lives. They fight their past to save their future. That’s romantic suspense.