Saturday, June 2, 2012

Romantic Suspense "Light"

Congratulations to Janette, the winner of Tori's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated.

Today is my birthday. Yay! I love birthdays. It's also the birth of a new book, Blue Moon Over Texas, the second in the Lone Star Cowboys series, released just two weeks ago.

When I first started writing, I wrote straight romance. I thought that was what you were supposed to do. That first book, Lean on Me, finaled in the RWA Golden Heart contest. And while I liked it, I knew that in the next book I wanted something more. So I wrote a romantic comedy, Double Exposure. I sold that one to Red Sage, but while I loved it, I wanted to write something "more."

It wasn't until I stopped to analyze my reading habits that I finally figured out what that "something more" was. I read mostly romantic suspense and thrillers. Authors like Allison Brennan, TR Ragan, Lisa Gardner, Lisa Jackson. That's also what I watched on television. NCIS, CSI:NY, 24, and now my favorite, Flashpoint. While they're predominately crime shows, there's almost always a side romance going on somewhere.

Then I noticed that most of my started-but-never-finished manuscripts had an element of suspense in them. In some, it was a subplot to the romance, others were mostly suspense with a little romance, but in almost all of them it was a combination of both. So I set out to read, read, read. To study. To learn.

It scared me half to death to take the leap and write my first romantic suspense Lone Star Justice. But I loved it. I was hooked. I still had those unfinished manuscripts to finally finish and though some are predominately romance, they all have at least some suspense to them. The newest, Blue Moon Over Texas, started out as a western romance. But I couldn't write a straight romance. I tried, believe me. Though it's primarily a romance, I ended up with the heroine in jeopardy and the hero off to try and save her. It's what I call Romantic Suspense Light.
Here's a short excerpt...

From there Carol moved on to the dairy section, where she loaded up on milk, orange juice, butter, and sour cream. She'd just moved into the bakery when she felt someone move up behind her. Way too close behind her. She started to turn around, but a deep voice whispered in her ear.

"You can't stay glued to Reilly forever, you know. One day, when you least expect it, I'll be waiting, and you and I will finish what we started."

"We never started anything, you jerk."

Dalton's hand closed around her hair and tugged her head backwards. "You didn't dance like it was nothin'," he said. "Or were you just tryin' to make Reilly jealous? I don't take too kindly to bein' used."

"It was just a dance," she hissed. "Now let go of me and get out of here before Jake sees you. I don't want a fight in the middle of the store." She wanted so badly to tell him she knew he was behind the thefts, but Tommy had told her not to say anything about it if she saw Dalton again. If the man didn't know already that he was a suspect, then that gave them a little more advantage.

"What's he going to do to me with that bum leg of his? He can barely stand up."

"He gets that cast off on…" she almost said Monday, but caught herself just in time. "Tuesday morning, and then you'll see just how much damage he can do."

Dalton chuckled and gave her hair another sharp tug. "You'll lose on that bet, and soon."

They heard the whir of the motor coming down the aisle and Dalton released her and took off in the opposite direction. By the time Jake joined her, Dalton was long gone. But at least she'd had the chance to let him know they'd be gone on Tuesday. If he heard it from anyone else, that would be confirmation of what he already knew and he'd assume it was the truth. Still, she was shaking from both anger and a bit of fear when she turned to Jake.

He knew as soon as he saw her face that something had happened. She filled him in as calmly as she could, but he was on the phone to the sheriff before she'd finished. 

"It's too late, Jake. He's gone."

"It won't hurt for Tommy to see if he can intercept him on the road."

She shook her head. "He's had too much head start. I'm beginning to think he's following us. How else would he know we were here? We don't normally shop on Sunday morning."

"I don't know. That's bothering me, too. Let's finish up here and get back to the ranch. I don't want to be gone too much longer now that he knows we aren't there."

Carol hadn't been afraid up to this point, but she was now. But fear would make her more cautious, and watchful. Hopefully that would work in her favor. She didn't want that man touching her, ever again.

If you'd like to read more, you can find Blue Moon Over Texas on Amazon, B & N, and Smashwords. And I'll give away a copy of both Blue Moon Over Texas and Blame it on Texas (the first book in the series), drawn from those who comment on this post and/or answer the question "What is your favorite occupation for a romantic suspense hero or heroine?"

Giveaway ends 9pm EST June 3rd. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


  1. TORI
    my favorite would have to be p.i. there just something so interesting about an private investigator lol. thanks for the chance at winning one of your books .tammy

  2. Don't know if I can narrow my favorite hero down to just one occupation but if I really concentrate on it I would have to choose rancher/law enforcement....oops guess that's really two occupations.(:

  3. Hi

    I love reading romantic suspense stories (any romance is good) but a story with some suspense seems to engage me more. My favorite occupation for a hero is to be in law enforcement.

    Thanks for the chance.

  4. I love RS in all its forms-- light or otherwise! I try to balance it out with the occasional foray into straight romance, but I always return to RS. I have to go with former military-- ultimate hotness! As for the heroine, anything not TSTL will do :P.

    Congrats on the new release! Another couple of books to add to my epic TBR queue... :)


  5. Happy Birthday! I started off just reading straight romance, but then when I got my hands on some romantic suspense I realized what I was missing! I love romance but I love that there is some suspense to go along with it. As for my favorite occupation of a hero? Wow, that is tough. I would probably say some military dude - CIA, FBI, SEALs, Special Ops, etc. However, I have read some about ranchers that I loved as well as PI's, detectives, etc. I don't really have a preference as it is the overall story that I look for. Anyone can be a hero if they act like it and man up, right? I haven't read any of your books yet but plan to go check them out. Thanks for the post!

    amy at remus dot net

  6. Romantic suspense is my favorite!_ the best of all worlds a HEA with tense suspense moments. I guess I like the alpha occupations, police, military, firefighters. Thanks for the giveaway. Gator_trish at msn dot com

  7. Thanks for stopping by everyone! I'm having a great day so far. So it seems like everyone has a different favorite occupation, but when you look closely, it seems to boil down to those where men live by a code of honor. Military, law enforcement, cowboy...all of those have a code they live by. And that code often leads them to act in ways that put themselves in danger in order to save/rescue/help others. The basis of a good romantic suspense, right?

  8. Happy Birthday. Tori.

    I really like all occupations. But, Law Enforcement is one of my favorites.

    yenastone at aol dot com

  9. Happy Birthday to you!
    I think since RS is my favorite genre to read, I like most enjoy the law enforcement/PI/firefighter and military type heroes...just cuz they are so alpha. How about an author doing research who stumbles across a story that puts them in jeopardy? Or just an everyday guy or gal who stumbles into an unlikely situation that causes them to wear the hero crown?


  10. Great thoughts Judi.

    I'm going to be scarce for the next few hours until the majority of my family goes home, but I'll check back in when I can.



  11. Happy Birthday! I read Blame it on Texas and loved it. I like cowboys/ranchers in my books. Thanks

  12. My favorite hero usually have a military or law enforcement background. When he is not in the military, he has a job in security.

    Happy Birthday and Congrats on your new book release.


  13. Happy birthday! I enjoyed the excerpt. I like heroes with bodyguard jobs.


  14. Happy B-Day!

    Color me weird but I don't give a darn what the character's occupation is. As long as they do it with passion.

  15. Happy Birthday! I don't choose books based on occupation, so I would have to say it would be the occupation of the hero or heroine in the book I was reading.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  16. I'm so glad you all stopped by today and thank you for the birthday wishes! It's been a great day. Don't forget, the giveaway ends tomorrow night, and we'll notify the winner by email.

    Have a good night!


  17. Hi Tori,

    Wishing you a very Happy Birthday. Wish I was excited about birthdays as you. I have a milestone this year I just can't hide from.

    I used to read just straight romance but when I found romantic suspense I found my favorite genre. You said it perfect- there is just more!

    I am a sucker for the 'code of honor' like you mentioned above. Anything military, law enforcement, body guard, cowboy just does it for me. I love an Alpha Male with his own rules but he answers to someone else in his professional life. My absolute favorite is Roxanne St. Claire's Space in His Heart. Deke is an astronaut at the top of his game. Love it!

    I've been wanting to read the Lone Star Cowboys series for a while. Thanks for the giveaway!

  18. Happy Birthday!!!!

    Thanks for a great post and giveaway! I like law enforcement/military for both hero and heroine. They seem more focused and have lots of skills :)


  19. We had a comment emailed in...

    I dont care what occupation my hero or heroine have, as long as they are strong ,sexy characters.For me, its the person not just the job. My name is Ann Quin. Happy Birthday.

  20. Hey Tori, wishing you a belated Happy Birthday and a Happy New Launch as well!

    Sounds like we have very similar reading tastes. Romantic suspense is my favorite genre as well. I like paranormal romance equally, but even then the paranormal has to have some suspense mixed in. My favorite heroes are either military (special ops) or law enforcement (mostly homicide detectives.)

  21. Happy Belated B-day! :)
    Those are truly wonderful book covers you have! Thank you for sharing with us... fav occupation for a hero or heroine... I am not sure... I love to see the many different occupations... see how and what brings the characters together...

  22. You can add me to the list of RS readers who enjoy law enforcement heroes (and ex-military/security/bodyguard). As someone else mentioned, they have skills that are likely to be called upon in an RS, so it makes them very likely candidates. But frankly, I find competence sexy, maybe because it goes with confidence. If he's got mad skills, he can be a hacker or a thief or a reporter or a trauma surgeon.

    Oh, and happy birthday, Tori!

  23. Thanks everyone for sharing your favorite hero/heroine occupations! I think one thing that draws us to romantic suspense is that the heroes are heroes both in their jobs and their relationships. I know I love reading about men who are honorable all the way to the core.

    I'm off to go watch Fiddler on the Roof. My daughter is the stage manager (first time) so Mom has to go show support. Won't be home until midnight, but if I can get wifi I'll check in before then. Y'all enjoy the rest of your weekend and check back to see who won the Lone Star Cowboys books.


  24. Happy Birthday! I would love the opportunity to read your new books. Usually when I read a new author I find out that I like their work and wind up getting more. I would like to win one of yours too! Janette908123 at ymail dot com

  25. Congrats Janette! Looks like you're the winner. Watch for an email from me.

    And thanks again to everyone who joined us on the blog today.



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