I love the element of suspense in books. As a reader, I like to bite my nails, follow twists, see the red herring, and discover after all the threat of danger or capture by a villain, the hero or heroine solve the problem. In my case as a writer, not only do my characters face triumph over life-threatening situations and defeat the villain, he or she finds true love.
Give me a Magnum PI, Sheriff Longmire, or Elena Michaels story and I’ll happily get caught up in the drama and suspense. But my interest in writing suspense actually has its roots in books such as The Secret if the Old Clock and The Whispering Statue, stories that followed investigations led by intrepid girl detective, Nancy Drew. There were so many Nancy Drew books, I could finish one and go right on with the next one. In fact, my mom gave me an entire collection of those books. Even though some were written in the late 1950s, I related to Nancy, a young girl with curiosity and keen instincts for puzzling out mysterious situations.
My daughter, Gwen Smith, also enjoyed the Nancy Drew books and the mysteries the character took readers through.
“I loved exploring new situations. You never knew where Nancy was going to take you with her investigations! She was always so smart, and knew things. It made figuring things out fun,” Gwen said.
I agree with Gwen that suspense stories are fun. With this background from my childhood, when I started writing fiction it was natural for me to write romantic suspense. In Always and Forever Love, I wanted to team two sisters with completely different personalities to work on uncovering truth and in the process face personal issues. Lacey Aegar, the heroine in the story, her client, Jackson Carter, must work with her archenemy, and she must work with him to uncover the truth that will save his business and free her from the unbearable loss of her husband, who has shown up in her life as an embodied spirit.
I don’t expect to discover a real-life plot to release a dangerous drug into the world. But let’s be honest, life is suspenseful. When we’re young, we don’t know what we’ll do for a living or where we’ll end up living. We each have personal challenges to discover and learn to manage. And if we want true love, we have to figure out what kind of person that would be, then we have to search for our love. It’s all a mystery.
How has your life been suspenseful?
Five hunky detectives, five fabulouts love stories, five unforgettable heriones in one amazing bundle.
Excerpt of Always and Forever Love Walking into the master bath, Lacey stopped short. “Geez! Now, that’s a bathtub,” she exclaimed. Her voice echoed slightly against the marble tile walls and gray slate floor. Jason waited patiently at the doorway while her gaze moved from one opulent element to another. A large white and gold marble whirlpool tub, deep enough to disappear in, was framed on three sides by frosted glass windows and a small garden of palms and feathery ferns. On another wall stood a shower stall sporting a gold rain-head showerhead and etched glass doors.
“Hi, Uncle Jake.”
Jason’s greeting jolted Lacey out of her skin. Retreat was impossible. She turned to face the square shoulders, tall frame, and solid jaw of a dark-haired man. “Uncle Jake, I presume?” She wasn’t doing anything wrong, so why did she feel her as though Brad Pitt had just caught her picking her nose?
“I know who I am. Who are you and what are you doing in my bathroom?” The man’s voice was clipped velvet. His arm circled Jason protectively.
She stuck out her hand. “I’m Lacey Aegar. And as for what I’m doing here…”
“I hired her, Uncle Jake. She’s going to find Snickers.”
She looked from Jason’s cherubic face and up into the glistening brown eyes of his uncle and felt her composure melt into the cold slate beneath her feet. “Umm…I’m a private investigator. And your nephew has asked me to…”
“I think you’ve seen enough, Ms. Private Investigator or gossip columnist or whoever you are.” The man grabbed Lacey’s elbow and began to usher her briskly out of the room.
“But Uncle Jake—”
“If you’ll just hold on a minute I can explain.” Lacey’s face burned at the man’s insinuation. With Jason at his heels, the man swept Lacey down the stairs and was heading toward the front door, where she spread out her hands and planted them against the hard wood. “Stop,” she demanded, whirling around to face him head-on. “I’m not leaving until I finish what I came here for, and that’s to help Jason find his dog.”
Bio Lynn Crandall lives in the Midwest and writes in the company of her two cats. She has been a reader and a writer all her life. Her background is in journalism, but whether writing a magazine or newspaper story or creating a romance, she loves the power stories hold to transport, inspire, and uplift. In her romances, she focuses on vulnerable, embraceable characters who don’t back down.