By: Wynter Daniels
Congratulations to "Kara C." the winner of Wynter's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated.
My husband and I were taking our morning walk a few days ago when he suddenly grabbed my arm and dragged me to a stop.
“Snake,” he explained. Not a common occurrence in our suburban Central Florida neighborhood. But as we looked, we realized the shiny black thing in the grass wasn’t a coiled snake, but merely a broken fast food container. I would have sworn it was a snake because it shivered in the breeze and the shiny plastic looked very much like wet snakeskin.
When I got home, I started thinking about how that experience was similar to the devices used by those of us who write suspense. Things are rarely as they seem. If the villain is exposed early on or the solution to the mystery is laid out in the beginning, what keeps us reading?
So many suspense and mystery stories use a red herring, or fake-out to lull the reader down a certain path of belief. As a reader, I expect that, I look for it. Yet I still step onto that path where the author wants me. As a writer of romantic suspense, I try to make my readers think they saw a snake when it really wasn’t that at all.
Have you ever been sure you were seeing one thing, something really frightening, only to get closer and have it be something completely different?
In my romantic suspense, Burning Touch, Devon—a quirky massage therapist and the neighborhood cat rescuer—appears to be the only common thread between several murder victims. At least, that’s how it appears to the police, which is, of course, very bad news for Devon.
Here’s a snippet from Burning Touch:
Stay calm. I had nothing to do with either murder.
She fished her lip-gloss out of her pocket with a shaky hand and smoothed it over
Finally that same stocky, middle-aged detective wearing an ill-fitting gray suit
approached. He bent to see in the window. “We meet again, Miss Wise.”
“I’m sorry, I’ve forgotten your name, Detective.”
He opened the car door. “Underwood. Come on out. I have a few questions for you.”
That turned out to be the understatement of the decade. In stark contrast to the few questions he’d asked her at York’s house, this time he asked her dozens of questions and even had a member of the forensics team spray her hands with a chemical to detect gunpowder residue. Of course, there were no traces on her skin.
He made her change into a pair of oversize sweatpants and a big T-shirt so she could give him her clothes, which he put into a plastic bag. They took her fingerprints and even yanked out a few hairs from her scalp for a sample.
She was doing okay until he asked her how she’d gotten inside when she returned to search for her phone. Panic flooded through her, made her dizzy. Instead of answering, she took a big sip of the water bottle one of the cops had given her.
“So the door was unlocked when you arrived?” he prodded.
Gulping, she slid her gaze to the window. What if he didn’t believe her about the dog? And oh God, she’d forgotten about the letter opener. They were going to find her fingerprints on it. Would he think it was her who’d killed Kendall Thorpe? And what about John York? Unfortunately, she had no alibi for the day he’d been killed. She’d been home alone. This was turning into a huge nightmare. Everything was
running together so she didn’t know what she’d said. She nodded mutely.
Tell him the truth.
His eyes narrowed on her. “You’re sure?”
Her heart felt like it would come right through her chest. She could barely breathe.
Please comment to win a download of Burning Touch.
Wynter Daniels lives in Central Florida with her husband of more than twenty years and their two college age children. They are all the slaves of a very demanding cat. After careers in marketing and the salon industry, Wynter’s wicked prose begged to be set free. She writes for several publishers including Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id and Red Sage.
Find Wynter on the web at http://www.wynterdaniels.com/
Visit her blog at http://wynterdaniels.blogspot.com/
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