Thursday, January 17, 2019

Adding Local Flavor to a Story

With: Angi Morgan

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

I love to work local landmarks into my books. I’ve had several fans say they learn something about the Texas city where the story takes place each time they read. Dallas’ Pioneer Plaza is one of my favorite places to take friends and family. I’ve been several times and end up taking photographs each time because I always see more details. One of my favorites is pointed out in the video (and in my photos below): the horsefly.

In DANGEROUS MEMORIES I needed a location that could be slightly public but also add a bit of excitement to a chase scene. On the other side of the Cattle Drive Sculpture is one of thee oldest graveyards in Dallas County. And on the same acreage is the Dallas Convention Center. What better place to add a life and death chase. I actually have my husband to thank for this location. At the time, he’d done a lot of work at the convention center and knew how to get in and out of the underground parking facility.

Below is the chase scene through the statues and gravestones. Levi and Jolene are running from men who had abducted her. You’ll see a reference to Rainbow Man–it’s Jo’s dangerous memory from childhood that’s put her in peril. If you haven’t read Dangerous Memories…I hope you’ll give it a try.

Excerpt from Dangerous Memories:

They headed for the shadows, just out of the spotlight circling a larger-than-life statue of a cowboy wrangling longhorns. They hid in the darkness and tall grass. It wouldn't last long, the shadows were barely large enough for them both and not nearly dark enough to disguise them from someone walking past.
"Where are the cops? Or your friendly FBI? Didn't they want to tag along for the fun?" she asked, untying the sleeves of her shirt, rolling it and making a bandage of sorts under his pants leg. "This looks bad."
"Bad and I wouldn't be able to walk. I'm fine. You're in a chipper mood. You forgetting that you almost died back there?"
"I remember. But once you arrived, I didn't think about dying. By the way, you're getting slow," she whispered with a grin and yanked harder on the sleeves.
The jolt of agony blasted through his entire body.
A bullet pinged off a bronze longhorn. He turned back and discharged his weapon to keep the shooter pinned behind an oak tree.
"Jo." He grabbed her shoulder with his free hand, forcing her to look at him. "You're going to run up that hill, get across the street and call Lanning. He should be close."
"Does Lanning have the GPS info?"
He handed her his cell, whispering as firmly as he could without being overheard. "Just like in the garage. You lead the way. I'll be close behind."
She understood and nodded her head.
"I'll lay down cover and you run." One step backward and his hand dropped. He took a couple of shots and she took off. She didn't let the gunfire slow her down.
Another shot hit a tree trunk just behind him, coming a little too close. He laid down cover fire and got to his feet to follow.
"Watch out for the horn," Jo cautioned.
He faced forward just in time to miss taking a two-foot longhorn across his neck. She waited long enough to see him miss it, then darted between the statues and the rock ledge up the path.
He had less and less feeling in his foot and it was harder to move. They'd made it across the cattle drive sculpture and into a cemetery at the top of the slope. A frickin' cemetery in front of him and an empty convention center to his right, closed businesses across to his left, and the driver of the van on the road behind him.
"Which way?" she asked. "Can you make it to the road?"
"No good, we don't know where the driver is."
"Then we go through the cemetery. We keep moving until George finds us. That's what you said, right?"
He doubted it. But he waved her onward. He had no intention of following the entire distance. He couldn't. The footsteps slogging up the hill were closer. The guy chasing was certain to see them with the multicolored neon lights from the Omni illuminating the place like the Vegas strip.
She darted to the next tombstone, then a tree, her silhouette as plain as if a spotlight shone upon her path.
It was imperative to stop the guy following them before he caught up with Jo. He searched the darkness. Waited for movement. Had the perp skirted the outside of the cemetery? Had he just sent Jo into an ambush?
Hide on the back side of the building and call Lanning, he instructed even knowing she couldn't hear him.
To his right. Next tree. Ten or twelve feet. There's the bastard.
No time for stealth. Levi stepped into the open. "That's far enough."
Taken by surprise, the man turned and fired. Levi dove and hit the damp leaves. Rolled. The man got closer. Levi fired twice. He didn't miss.
The man dropped to the ground covering a gravestone with his still body.
Jo ran to him, tree branch in hand, ready to help as much as she could. He hadn't moved since LuLu's murderer had fallen. She hated to wish anyone dead, but this man had shot her old babysitter without a moment's hesitation.
She could hear sirens approaching. Heard a train whistle in the distance. And oddly, the lights shining through the trees and rippling across the tall hotel were beautiful blues, pinks and purples.
She dropped the stick.
Levi blew a long, forceful breath through his lips as he got to his feet. He limped to the body, kneeling on his good leg to feel for a pulse. Then he shook his head, confirming death. "Was this Rainbow Man?"
"I don't know, but he's the one that shot LuLu."
"What about the other guy?"
From the corner of her eye, something flew from behind a tall tombstone.
"Watch out!"
A knife.
She ducked and knocked Levi off balance, then they were both on the ground. A guttural wrenching cry split the air, as the man leapt for his long blade.
"Get out of here, Jo! Get help."
Easier said than done. The crazed man was still rolling across her legs, pinning her to the ground. Levi had the man by his hands, stopping him from reaching the weapon. In return, the driver straddled Levi, pinning him next to his dead partner.
Jo pulled the phone, wasting precious seconds finding Lanning's number. "We're in a cemetery. Levi needs help."
"We're almost there." Lanning's voice faded as she tossed the phone behind her, hoping they'd be found quickly.
She tripped over a branch. It was the only weapon she could find. She swung at the man, heard a grunt. The man pounded Levi's kidneys. The men struggled for dominance, constantly changing positions. But if she found the gun, she could save Levi.
As bright as she'd thought the neon lit night had been, it barely illuminated the ground. She dropped to her knees, feeling for the cold metal of the weapon. She let her eyes adjust to the darkness again. There it was. She got her hands around the handle and a cold hand pried at her fingers.
If you haven’t read Dangerous Memories…I hope you’ll give it a try.

Here’s what a few people thought

"From the echoing shots in a cemetery straight through the hair-raising conclusion, this story of missing memories and murders will rattle readers from the opening pages, as they guess and guess again who the real culprit is." ~RT Book Reviews

 loved this book! From the very first page to the last, I could not put it down. The first few chapters were compelling, well written, pulled me straight into the plot and never let go. I loved the characters and from the beginning, I could envision them together. The author perfectly matched the two opposing forces so that from the romance angle, it was a delight to see their story unfold. ~Amazon 5 star review

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USA Today Bestselling author ANGI MORGAN writes Intrigues where honor and danger collide with love. Her work is a multiple contest finalist and Publishers Weekly best-seller. She drags her dogs –and husband– around Texas for research road trips so she can write off her camera. They now have a map with highlighted roads they’ve traveled. Every detour somehow makes it into a book.

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by leaving a comment for the $5.00 gift card.

Giveaway on JRS ends at midnight January 18th.  Contestants enter drawing by leaving a comment on Just Romantic Suspense. Don’t forget to check back to see who won!

Do you read everything on an author’s backlist?


  1. Hi Angi, Your photos are fantastic! I search out and read everything on an author's backlist...

  2. With Harlequin Intrigues the answer is yes. I have several favorite authors that write in this line, you among them. I will pick up any of their books to read. It is always a treat to find an older book that I missed.
    Patricia B.

    1. A second comment. I want to thank you for using real places in your book. We have been to the Dallas area twice and I had no idea this park, cemetery, and sculptures were there. I hope we get to go back again so I can visit them. Having read your book prior to going will make these site more enjoyable. Patricia B.

    2. If you get back to my Big D... You let me know and I'll show you around.

  3. Great photos. Never heard of these statues or stories. Love Texas. This story sounds great and need some more of it.

  4. Yes. Whenever I find an author I really like, I do read books on their back list.

  5. I have gone back and read previously released books from authors... if I fit it into my book budget.

  6. I love the location pictures thank you.

    I do try to read everything on an author’s backlist.

  7. I really enjoyed the excerpt and love the local pictures!

    1. Congratulations Angela !!
      Contact JRS as soon as yu can for your $5.00 Gift Card.


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