Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Most Suspenseful Era….

Congratulations to "Debbie O." and "Jonetta A.", the winners in Jeanne's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  I’m so glad we’re all back into reading mode so quickly!  Yay!!  Welcome to Just Romantic Suspense for the beginning of a brand new year!  And Thank You, JRS, for welcoming me today!

At a Holiday Party this year, someone asked me when I was going to write more suspense stories set in World War II I was not only surprised, I was pleased beyond measure.  What a great holiday gift!  Someone wanted more!  Yay!  But me, a contemporary suspense author, writing circa 1939, had a funny beginning…

When my friend Barbara Devlin, a historical writer, contacted me and asked me to be in an anthology with her I was flummoxed.  I’m a suspense writer.  I’m into BOOM! And BANG! And kidnappings and chases and danger.  Not that every period in history doesn’t have all that and more, but…I don’t write it.  I’m a 21st century, contemporary suspense writer.

“Isn’t there an era you’d want to write in?  Any time that appeals?” Barbara asked.

Ahhhh.  Now she had me.  I’ve always been fascinated by World War II – the era, the heroism, the amazing advancements, the sheer scope of the conflict – and so, from there came forth the Holiday Novella, BEHIND ENEMY LINES.  We issued it with a Holiday cover, but really, the holiday is secondary to the suspense, at least in my portion of the book.  The story lines connect in that they follow an heirloom jewel that is supposed to have mystical properties.  Barbara’s is, of course, set in the Age of Sail (late 1790’s) when most of her books are set.  Our colleague, Caitlenn Ainnsley, set hers in present day, and her voice for contemporary comedy is brilliant.

Mine, however, is a suspense, and the jewel plays its part because Hitler himself has heard of this mysterious jewel.  Its present owner, Lady Grace Corvedale, is already secretly passing information for the Crown, and never considers that the Nazis want her for something other than her undercover work.

It’s the winter of 1939 and Britain and France have declared war on Germany for its treaty-breaking invasion of Poland.  Lady Grace’s orders have come through, she’s to abandon her work in France, and head home while she still can…but before she can make the ferry at Calais, she’s captured by the Nazis and taken over the border into Germany!  Her family can’t act overtly to find her, but they bring in an American, Robert “Dix” Dixon, to find her covertly, extricate her, and bring her home.

So what happens when a brash American, an English aristocrat, and a priceless jewel come between Hitler and his plan for world domination?

I’ve added in an excerpt below, and I hope you enjoy it!  I’ll be doing a giveaway to two commentersJust answer me this…WHAT ERA would you like to live in, other than our current one?  And WHAT WOULD you be doing that’s exciting??
I’m giving away two Kindle copies of the Anthology, a copy of my Thanksgiving themed novella Deadly Delivery, and if the winner/commenter reads Paranomal Suspense/Urban Fantasy, I’ll also add in a copy of The Tentacle Affaire, A Slip Traveler Novel, my first Urban Fantasy, along with some other goodies!

Excerpt from BEHIND ENEMY LINES in the Anthology A JEWEL IN TIME

What could Hitler want with her?  With the jewel and the diary?  Grace prayed the books was still in the lodge, and that she could find it.  Though not as ancient as the brooch, it told the stories of those who’d possessed the jewel through the centuries. 

They were fables, just stories.  If it were only that, well, it wouldn’t be so dangerous.  Unfortunately, she’d used it to create a code system.  She had given her father the key to the code.  If she died, Standish must see the book before it was passed on to the next Corvedale daughter.

“Lovely thoughts, Grace,” she chided herself.  She wasn’t dead yet, and the lock on the bedroom door was ridiculously simple.  She could pick it in less than a minute.

The scrape of the key in the lock startled her.  She rose, expecting Frau Shemper.  The manservant was back.  He left the door open and Grace assessed her chances.
“I wouldn’t try it, Lady Corvedale,” the man said, his voice low. 
An American!
“What did you say?”  As she watched he transformed, standing taller, looking leaner as he stood straight.  His shoulders were even bigger when he stood to his full height.

“Don’t try to jump me and I won’t have to hurt you.”

“As if I were considering it?” she bluffed.  “What do you take me for, sir?”

“A smart, dangerous woman.”  He chuckled, a whisper of sound.  “I recognize someone sizing up a target.  Let’s just say Lord Bittebrug won’t get his brandy.” 

It was the code phrase, and yet…

There was a noise from the hall.  “Damn. Not enough time.”

“You’ve come for the tray,” she said loudly, in English.

“Yes, Fräulein,” he said, in a rough German dialect.  He dropped his shoulders and limped to the table.

“Franz?” the guard called to him.

“Ja, I knocked over the stupid English tea,” he groused.

The guard laughed and said something about clumsiness around beautiful women.

“Ja.”  Franz picked up the tray as if it weighed nothing.  “Gute Nacht, Fräulein,” he said.  
While his back blocked the guard’s view, he gave her a saucy wink.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST January 1st. 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. This sounds great! I don't read a lot of historical, but there's some that call for me to read them! Will definitely check this out! :) I'm not sure what era I'd like to live in except for the present...the past and all the history is very intriguing, but if I was who I am today living then it would probably drive me mad (as a woman)...the world war era's would have been interesting...scary, but interesting. Happy New Year!!

    1. Oops! email is

    2. Hi Sue!! Thanks for popping in. I'm with you on the deal of going back in time as a female. We forget just how farrrrrr we've come, right? There were plenty of women spies and all the glory in WWII didn't just go to the men, but...stockings with seams. Girdles. Just sayin, things I wouldn't ever want to have to deal with...Hahaha!! Happy New Year!!

  2. What era?... I love historicals... I was always curious about balls during the Regency period... see the clothes, the dances, etc... it woud be something to see, but I would not want to stay, lol! Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year!

    1. Hi Colleen C! So glad you stopped by! I got sucked into watching football this afternoon. Grins. I'd love to see/dance at a Regency ball as well, but, like you, not stay. Grins. Happy New Year!!

  3. maybe 1920s for the fashion

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    1. Ooooh, 1920s had GREAT fashion, didn't they? Love it!!!

  4. I really wouldn't want to live in any other time but now, but if I absolutely had too, I'd pick the 1940's and I'd try to do what I could to help the Allies :) thanks for the fun post and congrats on your books!

    1. Thanks, Erin! I'm kinda with you there. I like my creature comforts, but if I WERE to go back....1940s. :>

  5. I would love to be in the Regency Era in London, and attending my own presentation ball with the Ton. :D

    brookeb811 at gmail dot com

  6. I would love to live during World War II. This is the period that has fascinated me with all the social, economics, political and technological advancement.


  7. The 1920's - such a time of change & opportunity. I can see myself fighting for women's rights.