Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Birth of a Book

Congratulations to "Linda S.", the winner in Margo's giveaway. Please contact JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE to claim your prize.

Did you ever wonder how some books are born? Here’s a look at the way my latest series, Brothers In Blue, came to be…

Flouncing into the living room from my home office down the hall, I plopped on the couch, arms crossed over my chest in true body language style, to protect myself and shut down any argument. “Nothing is working for me anymore. I quit.”

Across the room in his favorite recliner, my husband glanced up. “You know you don't mean that.”

Obviously, he hadn't received the body language interpretation memo.

“This time I do.” I held myself tighter.

He didn't seem to notice. “Really?”

“Yes. Really.”

“Okay, I'll bite. Why?”

“Nothing's working.” I hate when I have to repeat myself with him. “My contemporary romance series about women millionaires is going nowhere. I'm not excited about it.”

For the next few moments he sat there, quietly letting me fume. Then... “How about this? I see a woman in her apartment, alone and confused. She's just lost her job and doesn't know what to do next. Enter an undercover cop who needs to run surveillance on a resident across the street, and her place is the perfect vantage point.”

That was all I needed to hear...

Because I already had something else going on. What had started as a short story about an old, abandoned colonial house had morphed into a full-length romantic suspense novel, which I’d recently put aside. Fleshing that one out, I got the idea for a four book Brothers In Blue series, four heroes who met at the police academy to become life-long friends.

Brothers In Blue Book 1, ON THE SURFACE features a police officer turned bounty hunter hero and an unsuspecting and wrongly accused ex-con heroine out on probation. My hero had a friend still on the force, who helped him out now and then with ‘inside’ information. This guy was just itching for a book of his own.

From there, I went on to the unemployed heroine and undercover officer idea from my dear husband and Brothers In Blue Book 2, ON THE FORCE was born.

Here’s a peek at the blurb along with an excerpt.

Losing her job and reputation is nothing compared to the prospect of losing her life

Top notch CFO Sydney Raines is devastated when her coveted job working for a high-profile conglomerate is yanked out from under her. Determined to restore a mangled reputation, she finds her second chance when the owner of an upscale art gallery hires her as his personal assistant. Straight arrow cop Vince Miller is assigned to crack an international art theft ring. Working undercover, he never counted on meeting Sydney Raines, let alone falling in love with her. Then an unexpected twist in the case reveals the identity of a serial killer, along with the shattering realization that Sydney could be the psycho’s next victim.


Before she could get her bearings, tape squealed from the roll he ripped free to wrap around her ankles, then he pushed off on her as he stood. Grabbing her up, he propelled her over to the car and into the driver’s seat. The bottom of the dash raked against her knees. She twisted and fought in vain as more tape squealed and her hands were bound to the steering wheel.
“We don’t need this anymore.” He grabbed one edge of the tape over her mouth and yanked. “It’ll probably do you good to scream some.”
Hot pain tingled over her lips, as the adhesive tore at her skin, but she refused to make any utterance of protest. She gingerly moved her jaw from side to side to make sure it was still working as he wadded the tape he’d removed in his fist. Then he shut the door and left. Footsteps crunched and rustled as he walked away.
Silence followed.
After a moment the rustling returned. With her head twisted to one side, she caught sight of Randall piling dried twigs, branches, and other debris against the car. Jaw tight with effort, she yanked and pulled against the bindings until her wrists throbbed. If she had to, she’d sacrifice a limb to avoid dying like this. Frenzied physical effort pushed her closer and closer to exhaustion as one scream after the other burst from her lips. Blood surged to pound in her temples, while tears of frustration blurred her vision. She ignored a dry, raw aching throat as she continued to shriek. Someone, somewhere had to hear her. They had to. Please let Vince somehow know I’ll always love him. She sent the message into the universe then closed both eyes tight, thrust her head back, and screamed some more.

He sought vengeance only to discover love.

Reader’s Choice Giveaway: I’m pleased to offer one commenter a format of choice, e-book or print copy, of Brothers In Blue Book 1, ON THE SURFACE. Please share what has inspired you to buy, or even write, a book?

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Bio: Award winning author Margo Hoornstra writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense, always providing that happily ever after for her characters. Wife to one, mother to four and grandmother to four so far, Margo is a Detroit native who couldn’t be happier now living in rural Mid-Michigan.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST November 9th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway. US residents only for print.


  1. Good morning. Nice to be here. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share with readers.

  2. Loved reading about your book process...I on the other hand love to read. You are new to me so I would love to win...just saying...I didn't read for years after having children. Once they were older I slowly got back into it. I love the quiet time with a good book...Thank you for the chance

    1. Hi Linda. You're welcome. Good luck. Quiet time with a good book is the best, isn't it? Reading was my first love, that led me to writing.

  3. Husbands can be helpful. Sounds like yours knows you well. Your book sounds great. Best of luck with it!

    1. Thank you, Diane. Here's hoping. My husband seems to have a good handle on plotting for me. Now if he could only learn to type a little faster...

  4. Replies
    1. That makes sense, bn100 Thanks for the feedback.

  5. If I am not familiar with the author, the cover will attract my attention, but it's the blurb that is the selling point.


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