Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Thrills And Chills!


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.

March

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!

AUTHOR BIO:

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.

Find out more at her website, Facebook, or Twitter.

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 maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. 

30 comments:

  1. The scarier the better! I spend my days in lab playing around with (nonpathogenic) bacteria & getting slapped in the face by science... anything that releases some adrenaline is cause for celebration :P

    stalkers00(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Cris, we have to talk! The third book in this series features a villain named "Toxin" because he injects his victims...well, I won't go into why or with what here, but you working with bacteria and science got me thinking about that. :)

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  2. I love dark, scary books, throw romance in and it is perfect. Just downloaded Fear, sounds like a good read. Love to win a copy of your latest. Gator_Trish at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Trish. I'm so glad to hear people like dark & scary like me!

      Delete
  3. I'm a wimp when it comes to Steven King, but loved your excerpt. Not sure if you'de give me nightmares, but I love romantic suspense and this book sounds amazing. One I have to read . Thanks for sharing. Lynda lyndakayefrazier@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was shocked when people told me I was scary. I'm not sure I'm on the level of Stephen King (so few are!), but I do like to get the adrenaline pumping. Hope you enjoy!

      Delete
  4. I love romantic suspense...would love to win this...lsscarchuk@att.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting today, LS.

      Delete
  5. I loved Only Fear and I am looking forward to reading Avenging Angel! jaclynlavigne@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Hope you enjoy the second book in the series. I'm working on #3 now. :)

      Delete
  6. I like reading/writing scenes from the villain's pov as well. It's fun to get into their heads and see what drives them. :) Off to check out your books! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I have so much fun in the villain's head. Gives me a chance to explore my...ahem, I mean his/her... dark side. My background is psychology/counseling so I have a passion for understanding what makes all kinds of people tick.

      Delete
  7. Chill level... hmmm, I do not mind scary at all in my reading. I am not a fan of gory though. Thanks for sharing with us today... I will have to pick up one of your books to read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Colleen, I agree. Gore is a different matter. For instance, I don't like when television shows increase the gore factor thinking it will make the show more thrilling. They're not equivalent. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  8. I don't mind how scary it is.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love the chill factor when I have to take a break but I don't want to put the book down because I want to know what happen next.

    kmccandle(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely, Kai. Love reading those page-turners. :)

      Delete
  10. Scary is good - I read many genres and like to mix it up.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting, Mary. It's funny because I write psychological thrillers but when it comes to my choice of entertainment, I often lean toward comedy or action. I read in my genre, too, but I can only take so much tension. ;)

      Delete
  11. thanks for a great post! I love scary... when I'm reading... just can't "watch" it :)

    efender1(at)gmail(dot)C0m

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe it's the scary music that builds the tension when you watch something scary? The ones I can't watch are the horror films like "The Ring" - that jerky camera thing scares the bejeezus out of me.

      Delete
  12. I love scary! Thanks for the giveaway.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love scary, as long as it didn't involved ghost thing (I am freaking scare with those thing).

    akakage_sora@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, adis - ghosts are a different level of scary, aren't they? I still remember seeing Poltergeist as a kid - yikes...

      Delete
  14. I'm okay with scary in the romantic suspense books I read because I know there will be a happy ending for the hero and heroine.

    stephaniejs @ me . com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such a great point, Stephanie. And the romantic moments can break up the suspense which helps the reader have a breather.

      Delete
  15. I see that we have a lot in common Anne Marie.
    Same books in our youth & what I like too is the psychological aspects. I look forward to reading your books.
    Jan

    janet_kerr(at)msn.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by, Janet. Hope you enjoy them.

      Delete