Thank you for coming back for What to Read Wednesday! Please help me welcome author Dixie Lee Brown to the blog. Dixie is talking about writing suspense combined with romance. I enjoyed her post and think you will too! Afterward, check out her final book in the Trust No One series titled Tempt the Night.
Also, she has a wonderful giveaway. Click on the link at the end of the post to enter 🙂
Take it away Dixie…
It’s wonderful to be here! Thanks for having me and for showcasing TEMPT THE NIGHT, the 5th and final novel in the Trust No One series.
As you may know, the books in this series are romantic suspense. My heroes are all alphas, former military, law enforcement or ex-cops, mercenaries banded together to do what government agencies can’t or won’t do themselves, but are willing to hire done. The story lines deal with life and death situations.
Why do I mention that? Because it’s not always easy to blend romance with suspense. Life and death scenes, if done right, get a person’s adrenaline flowing. Those scenes that build sexual tension between the hero and heroine…well, they’ll get some juices flowing too! But they’re oftentimes on opposite ends of the spectrum.
Which is more important? Neither. In this genre, the romance and suspense are of equal importance. Both must blend together to form the whole. The protagonists meet and are forced together because of whatever suspenseful situation has occurred. This heightens the tension of both elements. Emotions are on DEFCON 2.
The relationship between hero and heroine evolves a little differently in a romantic suspense novel than, say, a contemporary romance. The timeline is shorter. They don’t have weeks or months to date and fall in love. People’s lives are at stake, sooner rather than later. The reactions of the protagonists to each other are practically instantaneous and definitely strong. That’s not to say they have to like each other. They might hate each other on sight.
The premise of a romantic suspense novel is that something bad has happened, the hero and heroine meet and fall in love, and they put the kibosh on whatever is causing the suspense. The world, as far as what happens in between, is wide open. My job, as a writer, is to make others want to read from A to B.
The action, the fear, the running for their lives, etc. add an undercurrent of danger that increases the conflict and makes the romance more explosive. The romance itself also adds a layer of tension, because suddenly the characters are worried about each other. It’s a balancing act, and each element has to build to the next. The last thing a writer would want is the reader skimming over the action packed scenes to get to the romance or vice versa.
The novel’s success in the genre depends on each element being equal. The romantic relationship impacts each decision the protagonists make, as does the impending danger. Each increases the tension and propels the story forward. The proof of a good romantic suspense novel? Readers can’t put it down!
Tempt the Night
Trust No One # 5
By: Dixie Lee Brown
Releasing February 24th, 2015
Dixie Lee Brown concludes her thrilling Trust No One series with the fast-paced tale of a damaged hero and the sexy fugitive he can’t help falling for.
Samantha “Mac” McCallister barely believes her own tale of dirty cops and murder that landed her in the hands of the sexy Jim Brady. One minute she was enjoying a ride-along in her best friend’s cruiser, the next he’s dead and she’s wanted for his murder. Mac never expected to be hiding out from the law, but with Jim by her side, maybe she can survive long enough to clear her name. The question is, can she survive the way Jim makes her feel?
Former Navy Seal Jim Brady works best under pressure. At least he used to. Now, fighting flashbacks from his time in Iraq, he has given up everything he knows in order to protect the innocent … from himself. So working with a woman on the run from the law? Not in his plans for this lifetime. Still, something about the blue-eyed beauty tells him she’s not the source of the danger—she’s running from it. Deep down he knows he’ll protect her no matter what. But his heart? That’s another story.
She couldn’t even think about Paddy. His death was a sorrow that would incapacitate her, and she couldn’t give in to it now. Where could she go and be safe? It would be too dangerous to return home. Simpson and Gallagher would surely search for her there. Were there other dirty cops in on whatever had gone down tonight? How could she trust any of them after what she’d seen? The backup they’d requested had never arrived…or the ambulance. Did that make her friend and co-worker, Lucas, suspect too? No…she’d never believe that, but whoever she went to for help, she’d likely be putting them in danger as well.
On impulse, she pulled out the card Paddy had forced into her hand and shone her flashlight on the lettering. It was one of his business cards, but when she flipped it over, neat handwriting that she didn’t recognize was centered on the back.
Meeting Brady Friday, midnight, 110 Gardner Street.
Thanks for watching my back! M.
No clue what that meant, but if Paddy thought it important enough to hand her moments before he died, you’d better believe she was going to be at that meeting and find out why.
That didn’t help her now, though. She shivered in her light fleece jacket. The dim glow of her watch revealed the time—3:45 am. First light wasn’t far off, but she had eighteen hours to kill before the midnight meeting. Covered with blood, people would be suspicious of her at best. At the worst, they’d call the cops and, with her luck, Gallagher and Simpson would respond. She had to get out of sight before someone spotted her.
Uncle Benji’s fishing boat. It was docked at the marina, and he was in Anchorage for the month. No one would think to look for her there, but she needed to go back to Paddy’s car for her purse. She’d eventually need money and her ID.
Mac made her way back to the shadow of the packing plant. Then she took a wide detour and approached Paddy’s car from the opposite side. Gallagher and Simpson’s cruiser was gone, but they might double back to try and spot her, and she wasn’t taking any chances. Quickly, she grabbed her purse and left the car behind.
The first gray hues of dawn were spreading on the eastern horizon as she hoofed it to the marina, staying in the shadows as much as possible. She found Uncle Benji’s boat and climbed below deck. Then she slid to the floor, hugged her knees to her chest, and finally gave in to the waves of grief that rolled over her.
Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2015/01/tempt-night-trust-no-one-5-by-dixie-lee.html
Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/106408-trust-no-one
DIXIE LEE BROWN lives and writes in Central Oregon, inspired by what she believes is the most gorgeous scenery anywhere. She resides with two dogs and a cat, who make sure she never takes herself too seriously. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, movies, and trips to the beach.
Avon is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway of Ten Ebook copies of TEMPT THE NIGHT by Dixie Lee Brown