Congratulations to "LS", the winner of Anne Marie's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated.
I like to include the killer’s point of view in my novels, and he typically has several scenes scattered throughout the book. It’s the villain who drives the suspense, is part of what brings the hero and heroine together, and is often involved in some mysterious plot twist, so it makes sense to give the reader a solid impression of him.
But apparently I shocked people when I released the first book in my Mindhunters series, Only Fear, last September. Many people who knew me told me they never knew how scary I was. In fact, a couple suggested I might have a future writing thrillers or horror (sans romance). Of course, besides romance, I was raised on ghost books, mysteries and Stephen King novels, so I didn’t think I was doing anything particularly scary. Perhaps it was some kind of hidden angst within me coming out, or my dark side showing through. Or maybe it was just the “write what you know” concept.
Plus, writing “scary” is a wonderful stress reliever. There’s something about immersing myself in the gritty stuff that reminds me I have the luxury of living a boring, stable life. (Well, as stable as life can be, anyway.) In these scenes, I avoid the ultra-gory details, but I give a hint of what’s to come, or what has already happened—a teaser that adds to the suspense. My Mindhunter team takes it from there when they analyze the evidence.
It’s easy for me to get into the head of a killer. Hmmm…saying that aloud makes it seem bad. (Did I mention I grew up on a steady diet of Stephen King?) But, really, getting into other people’s heads has always been an interest (and, maybe, a talent) of mine. It came in handy as a counselor, when understanding other people’s pain was key in helping them.
And, well, that’s what romance writers do, too. They understand pain, explore it, and transform it into happy endings. Being a romance writer gives me the best of all worlds. I can use my talent for good (and evil, in the case of my villains) and still make everything come out happy in the end. (Except for the villain, of course. He’s got to pay.)
EXCERPT: The following is the prologue of Avenging Angel.
Grains of sand glistened white in the moonlight, bright against the midnight-black backdrop of her wet hair. With the back of his gloved hand, he brushed a few stray strands off her cheek and to the side, so that it fanned out around her with the rest. He smiled in satisfaction. More sand from the beach sparkled against the pale skin of her face and arms. Blue lips were parted slightly, as if she could take in that last breath she’d been gasping for so recently. Blank indigo eyes stared up at him. He gently closed them. In its wetness, her white sundress clung to every curve, a hint of dark nipples showing through.
She was, in a word, perfection. He’d do her justice.
Taking her limp wrist gingerly in his hand, he lifted it, positioning her arm outward and upward. He repeated the action with her other arm, then tilted her chin up toward the sky.
Sitting back on his haunches, he took in his creation. Even better than I’d imagined. Young. Pure. Ready to embrace what was to come. And she had. She’d done exactly as he’d asked, and he would honor her sacrifice.
He stood and stepped out of the protected cove, the soft sand giving way under his feet. He’d brush away all traces of his footsteps. Nobody would ever know he’d been here.
The tang of salty air hit his nose and cooled his perspiring skin, causing a light dusting of sand to encrust his bare arms and legs. He looked up and down the deserted stretch of beach. Nobody would see them here, hidden in the cove—not that anyone was around at this early hour of the morning. He’d chosen the setting carefully, as always.
He turned back to his victim. She had once been known as Lisa, but with his help, she’d emerged from the frothy waves of the ocean as one of his angels. The Angel of Water. Now she would rise to her eternal reward. Pulling his equipment from the bag he’d stashed behind the rocks earlier, he began his process with a thrill of anticipation for the result. The full moon would begin its descent soon, and his light would be gone. He had to work fast.
Thank you for stopping by! It’s your turn now…What’s your “chill level”? How scary do you like your romantic suspense?
I’ll be giving a digital copy of Avenging Angel to one random commenter. Until then, I wish you many thrills and chills—the good kind!
Anne Marie Becker has always been fascinated by people—inside and out—which led to degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, and Counseling. To date, as a games hostess at Sea World, tutor, waitress, crisis counselor, and high school counselor, she indulged her curiosity through sanctioned professions. Now, as a stay-at-home mom of three young children, her passion for understanding the human race is satisfied by her roles as mother, wife, daughter, sister, and writer. She writes to reclaim her sanity.
Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Aug. 2nd. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.