How to Electrocute Your Husband Without Getting Caught

If you follow Elisabeth Naughton or me on Twitter, you might have noticed we are friends (although it’s entirely possible you’ve assumed we are enemies, because there might be just a tiny amount of snark in someone’s Twitter stream…) and after reading her post, I want to make it clear, I adore Elisabeth.  Really.  I think she’s great.  And brilliant.  And I’m not saying that because I want to stay on her good side (but I really want to stay on her good side…).

Seriously, I’m delighted to be hosting Elisabeth today, a fabulous writer who keeps me on the edge of my seat with her Eternal Guardians series, and I’m anxiously awaiting the coming ebook release of her romantic suspense Stolen series.

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A former junior high science teacher, Elisabeth Naughton traded in her red pen and test tube set for a laptop and research books. She now writes sexy romantic adventure and paranormal novels full time from her home in western Oregon where she lives with her husband and three children. Her work has been nominated for numerous awards including the prestigious RITA® awards by Romance Writers of America, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, The Golden Leaf and the Golden Heart. When not writing, Elisabeth can be found running, hanging out at the ballpark or dreaming up new and exciting adventures. Visit her at www.elisabethnaughton.com to learn more about her and her books.

***

If you post a comment today, check back on Thursday to see if you’ve won a copy of Elisabeth’s latest release, WAIT FOR ME.

And now, I’m handing over the blog to Elisabeth, for a tutorial on how to electrocute your husband without getting caught…

Thanks so much to Rachel and the crew at Kiss and Thrill for inviting me to stop by today!

When talking with a friend about what I should discuss today, she gave me five words of advice: Stick to What You Know. (Ya think she knows I can go off on tangents or what?) We’ve all heard this. Heck, writers are told this when they start writing. If you write what you know you’re more inclined to get it right. But does that mean if a writer writes about murder they’re really a serial killer? (If so, Thomas Harris is in big trouble.) Or what about me? I have a series about Greek mythology. Does that mean I’m really a secret goddess? (I lean toward saying yes. Rachel…don’t answer that one…)

These days, my mantra is: Stick To What You WANT to know. I’m more inclined to read—and write—books about things I want to know versus what I already know. My masters degree is in education. Do I read or write books about teachers? No. Why? Because I’ve lived that life. It’s boring to me. What does interest me? Murder, mayhem, mythology, history, sometimes paranormal abilities, and lots and lots of romance.

Of course, the wanting to know thing can get a person into trouble. Especially one who is a writer. When I was researching STOLEN SEDUCTION, the third book in my Stolen Series, I needed to know how to kill someone without making it look like murder. I contacted an ME via email (one I’d met before and who had spoken at my local writer’s meeting) who never responded to my questions. After brainstorming with my husband—who works for a pharmaceutical company—he decided to ask a doctor he had a good relationship with. Because he wasn’t scheduled to see this doctor for a few more weeks and I needed the info ASAP for my book deadline, he sent the doctor an email. In it he explained that his wife was a writer and was working on a new book and needed to know how to kill someone medically without it looking like murder. The doctor emailed back. Three words: GET A LAWYER.

Yes, I hear you chuckling, but that response reminded me what sorts of trouble I could get myself into. I’m sure I’m on some national watch lists for the things I research on the Internet. After that, I decided not to email research questions anymore. Paper trail! (I’m pretty sure my hubby upped his life insurance too but we won’t go there.) But a writer still has to get their questions answered, right? So I decided face to face is better.

Enter the husband again. (He’s fodder for my research.) My hubby has chronic back pain and in one attempt to fix it he had a neuro-stimulator implanted into his back. The device sends electrical impulses to the area of pain and in theory is supposed to take your mind off the pain you’re experiencing. Pretty cool idea. He was given a trial device to see if it would work for him. Electrical leads were placed into his spinal column for a week. The leads came out of his back and attached to a device—about the size of a pager—that was battery charged and clipped to his waistband. The writer in me pondered this for quite some time. (You see where this is going, don’t you?) There were electrical WIRES sticking out of his spinal column. Long wires. All one would have to do to commit murder would be detach the device when he’s asleep, plug them into an electrical outlet, then reattach the device when the deed was done. It would look like he was killed by an electrical malfunction of the neuro-stimulator. A brilliant solution to a character one must off in a story. But would it work? I needed to have the hubby ask his doctor for verification. So I convinced him to do so at his next appointment. And the doctor (after laughing his ass off) said yes. In theory that would work. Then he sobered and told my husband to keep one eye open when he was sleeping during the rest of the week-long trial.

Hm…on second thought…maybe I do write about what I know. But I digress…

The same is true for what you read. Do you read what you already know? Probably not. I’m guessing you read what you want to know more of. SEALs and detectives and knights and ladies and wizards and…gasp…sometimes even prostitutes. Does that mean you are a SEAL or a detective or a knight or a lady or a wizard or a prostitute? Well, maybe, but my bet is no.  If we all read (and wrote) about only what we already know, how boring would the fiction world be?

So where does that leave me? Continuing to read and research things that interest me. I’m not saying I’ll never write a book about a teacher—I did once, and you guessed it, there was murder involved (when I started asking the DH questions about erotic asphyxiation during the research of that book he told me point blank he wasn’t getting involved in THAT research question). But if I only stuck with what I already know, I—and my readers—would be missing out on a whole lot of good stuff.

I’ve got a copy of my latest book—WAIT FOR ME—a contemporary romantic suspense that includes all kinds of murder and mayhem (and yes, lots and lotsa romance!) to give away to one lucky commenter today. To be entered in the drawing, just for fun, tell me what your training/background/profession is and what your favorite genre to read is. Really curious if the rest of you are like me and read more what you want to know versus what you already do know.

***

WFM

A woman without a past…

After a tragic accident left her with no memory, Kate Alexander struggled to fit in with a husband and world that didn’t feel right. She’s had no reason to question what friends and family have told her, not until her husband is suddenly killed and she finds a photo of a young girl in his office. A girl who can’t be anyone but a daughter Kate didn’t know she had.

A man desperate for a reason to live…

Ryan Harrison lost his wife in a plane crash five years ago. To cope with the pain of her loss, he dedicated himself to his job and to raising their daughter. Now a successful pharmaceutical executive, Ryan has everything a man could want—money, fame and power—but he’d give it all up in a heartbeat for just one more day with the woman he still loves.

Two lives about to converge.

As Kate begins to dig into a past she doesn’t remember, evidence leads her to San Francisco and puts her on the path toward Ryan, a man who sees in her the woman he loved and lost. Kate feels a draw to Ryan, one she can’t explain, but is that feeling enough to convince her this is where she’s supposed to be? As Ryan and Kate search for answers, they uncover lies long buried, a passion hotter than either expected and a danger that threatens…even now…when the second chance they’ve both been searching for is finally within reach.

“Full of twists and turns, lies and deception, and the ultimate revenge, WAIT FOR ME is a great romantic suspense read.”

Night Owl Reviews, Top Pick

About Rachel Grant

Former archaeologist & four-time Golden Heart® finalist, I write romantic suspense where archaeology, politics, and war collide.

Posted on January 17, 2012, in Guest blog, Rachel Grant and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 54 Comments.

  1. Too funny, Elisabeth! I know what you mean about being on watch lists. I sometimes wonder if I should do Internet searches from the library instead. 😉

    I’m a programmer and manufacturing engineer by training, but if I focus too much on that world, my story goes flat. It’s much more fun to learn about undercover DEA agents, private military contractors, and pararescue jumpers. And to write about them.

    Thanks for being with us today!

    • Thanks for having me here today, Gwen!

      I think my husband’s pretty safe. Aside from the fact I love him dearly and he’s an amazing husband and father, I’d never get away with killing him because there’s way too much evidence pointing my direction should something ever happen to him. Especially after a blog title like this. Rachel? Are you trying to get me arrested?

  2. “Stick to what you want to know”–great mantra, Elisabeth! As a policy wonk, I LOVE research (maybe a little too much ) One of my favorite Saturday reads is the Creating column in the Wall Street Journal. Last weekend it was about Lee Miller who makes these amazing custom cowboy boots. So many interesting people out there!

    Great intro, Rachel! And Gwen, be careful in the library–they know where you live 😉

  3. I am a restaurant manager and there is no way I would want to read a book about that. I love to read paranormal/urban fiction. I need the escape from reality.

  4. Brandie Nickerson

    Great post! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. This is great! Thanks for the laughs…or the ideas 😉

  6. I always receive the blog via email when it posts – and this morning my husband happened to be looking over my shoulder when I was reading it. He was a little disturbed by seeing my picture next to the headline. 😉

    Thanks so much for joining us today, Elisabeth! My previous day job was as an archaeologist, and while I always have an archaeologist heroine in my books, I add murder, mayhem and adventure to make it interesting. (You’d be stunned to know how boring archaeological field work really is.)

    My reading preferences run across genres, I love science fiction romance (talk about escape from what I know..), historical, paranormal (I love love love your Eternal Guardians!), dystopian YA, and of course, romantic suspense. In RS, I particularly love the more adventurous hero/heroine on the run stories.

    • ROFL, Rachel. I didn’t show this one to my hubby. Afraid he might think I’m seriously out to get him. “No, honey, I didn’t mean for it to come across like THAT!” If he asks, it’s all your fault.

      As boring as you say archaeological work is (I’m sure you’re lying), since I’ve read your book, I know you’ve taken a twist on the mundane and made it exciting. I think that’s the key for writers–and what sets good writers apart from the not-so-good–making things compelling regardless of the subject matter.

  7. Elisabeth, I love amnesia stories, and WAIT FOR ME sounds so emotional and awesome. I can’t wait to get it – am going to order a copy today for sure. Loved your story about your husband’s doctor and his ‘get a lawyer’ comment. Ha! And I’m sure I’m on the same FBI watch lists you’re on! I emailed my local police department about their bomb squad but never heard back. I’m pretty sure they’re watching me now. LOL! I hope your hubby’s back pain is better.

    • Aw, thanks, Lena. I really hope you enjoy WAIT FOR ME!

      And too funny about the bomb squad. I’m pretty sure professionals are wary about giving us information because of the liability issue. Then again it could be because they’re afraid we’re psychos. (Which is probably more accurate.)

  8. Hi Elisabeth – If you weren’t blonde and skinny and a few years younger than me, I’d swear we were twins separated at birth. My doctor (who is a friend, thank God) is used to me calling him up asking him how to cure something…or not. I also have a friend who trains Maytag repair people (no, they’re not all men…) who doesn’t raise an eyebrow when I ask questions like how do you start a fire in a dryer.

    A friend of mine has the neuro-stimulator for her back pain and it works like a charm. I hope it works for your hubby. I might have to give her a call and tell her what you’ve found. All I can say is I’m glad you both seem to have great relationships with your spouses…

    • Thanks for stopping by, Robin! And girlie, I’m emailing you. The hubby did two trials of that neurostimulator and both times the leads fell out after only 3 days so he didn’t get the feel the full effect–was still sore from the procedure (having two holes put in his back…ack!). He’s still trying to decide if he wants to have the permanent device implanted or not

      I might also be asking for your repair guy’s contact info…how to start fires and explosions…that’s right up my alley!

  9. The only problem I see with electrcute you husband is if you reconnect the device and doesn’t show the outage issue…won’t that cause a question or too? Still a very interesting thought….I love it!!!

  10. Someone once lambasted me about writing a divorced character when I’m happily married. “Every good writer knows you’re supposed to write what you know,” she said on my Facebook page. I can understand how that advice came about, but I told her to tell that to the writers who gave us Star Wars, Harry Potter, Snow White, Star Trek, Twilight…etc ad infinitum. Research and imagination are a beautiful match. Keep up the good work, Elisabeth! 🙂

    • Great comeback, Misty. Of course, now I’m wondering if Tolkien really was a hobbit…or a cave troll…or an evil, all-seeing eye…

      Though that brings up a good point about readers. Readers have trouble separating the author from the story. Especially if authors write characters from book to book that are very similar. Thanks for the comment!

  11. Elisabeth,
    Thanks so much for being with us and for a fun blog. It hit a note with many of us suspense writers, I see.

    I once generously shared the plot of my WIP with my fiance, and the next morning he informed me he’d hardly closed his eyes all night…sleeping next to a woman who plots murder all day. Poor sucker is marrying me anyway. I’m still writing about serial killers, so I guess he’ll have to nap during the day!

    • Thanks so much for hosting me today, Carey!

      And too funny about your fiance. As good as my husband is about helping me research the nitty gritty details for my books, when I asked him about the erotic asphyxiation (after explaining the definition), I know I wigged him out. I’m pretty sure he shot me a horrified look and said, “How the heck do you even know what that is?!”

      (This is the part where I bat my eyes innocently and say, “Who me?”)

  12. i really enjoyed your post, Elisabeth. And I can’t wait to read Wait for Me. I loved your paranormals and can’t wait to read this! Thanks for visiting with us today!

    • Aw, thanks, Sharon. I’m so happy to hear you’re enjoying my Eternal Guardians series. I hope you like WAIT FOR ME just as much. I have to admit, of all my books, it ranks right up there as one of my favs.

  13. Awesome post. Really funny. Book sounds cool can’t wait to read it. Thanks fo the chance.

    mythic021@gmail.com

  14. What a HOOT! I watched a show about those neuro-transmitter devices-only implanted further along the spine to help women who’ve never achieved the big O…but I guess that’s another blog.

    I am having the hardest time with research in simply getting people to email back. What’s your Plan B? Change the plot or keep emailing more ppl in hopes that someone will give you an answer or know someone who can give you and answer?

    (And does anyone out there know an Olympic Alpine Skier, the Lead Physician for the Alpine Team, a PI, a CO defense attorney and a supermodel?) Clearly, I do not write what I know.

    Great to have you with us, Elisabeth! I find it hard to believe either you or Rachel could possibly ever be snarky. 🙂

    • Sarah – how interesting about the neuro-transmitter devices. I could see that since they vibrate. LOL

      As for plan B…when all else fails…make it up. It’s fiction! No seriously…call. People are much more apt to talk to you via the phone than on email where it’s all recorded.

  15. Degree in Religion w/psych minor. Worked mainly retail of various kinds. Like to read all genres f romance, although not much into the vampire,werewolf,shape-shifter stuff. Found your blog charming. Assume you have a very trusting husband. Sorry to say, I haven’t read anything of yours yet, but you are officially on the list!

  16. OMG, Elisabeth these stories are hysterical! Your husband’s doctors must live in fear they’ll be called to testify against you one day. Though how do they think writers get their information in the first place? It’s not as if there’s a book called “How to Commit Murder without Getting Caught.” Sheesh!

    I’m so glad to hear you’ve got a new RS book out! I adored your stolen trilogy and was hoping you’d come back to RS one of these days. Can’t wait to read it! And thanks for visiting us!

    • Manda – congrats on your debut release! Your cover is GORGEOUS! I absolutely love it.

      Funny story about doctors…I had to have a minor procedure not long ago and as I was lying on the table and the anesthesiologist was putting the mask on my face, I looked up at him and said, “You’re the same anesthesiologist I had when I had my C-section (at the time, 5 yrs before). The nurses and doctor had all just been talking about my RS books and the anesthesiologist looked down at me and said, “Don’t put me in a book.” Great thought as you’re drifting off to sleep…

      And I’m so glad you enjoyed the Stolen books. RS is and will always be my first love. I have a new series in the works too and hopefully will be able to share news about that soon.

  17. I really enjoyed the interview. I, myself, am not a writer but am truly fascinated with how their mind works! I was in the medical field for a few years and read a lot of murder mystery and suspense. Now I read mostly paranormal romance or any romance really. Absolutely LOVE your work, Elisabeth!!
    I already own Wait For Me, so please don’t enter me into the contest. The book was very intriguing! And to follow their story was wonderful! Thank you! 🙂

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Tina! And I’m so glad you enjoyed WAIT FOR ME!

      My critique partner works at a major medical research hospital and I’m always picking her brain about ways to kill people. Between her and my hubby, I figured I’ve got lots of resources. LOL

  18. I love escapist reading! Working with middle school kids all day I don’t want to read about what I know. LOL!

    • LOL, Susan! I used to teach middle school. I balked at writing about kids for a long time, but now I have a YA idea that’s percolating (and my middle school daughter is DYING for me to write something she can read). Of course, it won’t be typical YA…it’ll have plenty of adventure.

      Thanks for the comment!

  19. Great blog Elisabeth! I will have to keep this idea just in case my husband makes me mad one day. 🙂

    I loved your stolen series!

  20. Hi Elisabeth, congrats on the release of your debut indie! I sort of like all genres but really like historical and a close second is romantic suspense -or a historical romantic suspense! I tend to graviate towards war settings. I like doctors, veternarians profressions because they not only help people but can have some handy skills for rescue.

  21. Great post, Elizabeth. I gravitate toward historicals and time travels, but read all romantic suspense. My profession? Well, had a degree in history but I’ve stayed home to raise the kiddos…ended up a professional volunteer before I could concnetrate on my writing.

    Best of luck with the new series !!
    ~Angi

  22. Love it. Had to share on Twitter too.

  23. Love this, LOL. I’m probably on a few watch lists myself. Um, I do research in the library–on MY laptop. Maybe I should stop doing that. Oh, and maybe some of the strange looks I get…

    In other news, I now have a new author I must read. What a long list. What fun I’m going to have getting through said long list 🙂

    Thanks for sharing to both Rachel and Elisabeth!

  24. My name is Sandra Ana from uk. I never believed in love spells or magic until i met this spell caster once when i went to Africa in February this year on a business summit. I meant a man who’s name is DR.EHOHO he is really powerful and could help cast spells to bring back one’s gone, lost, misbehaving lover and magic money spell or spell for a good job or luck spell .I’m now happy & a living testimony cos the man i had wanted to marry left me 3 weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down cos our relationship has been on for 3years. I really loved him, but his mother was against us and he had no good paying job. So when i met this spell caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of things to him. At first i was undecided, skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave it a try. And in 7 days when i returned to Canada, my boyfriend (now husband) called me by himself and come to me apologizing that everything had been settled with his mom and family and he got a new job interview so we should get married. I didn’t believe it cos the spell caster only asked for my name and my boyfriends name and all i wanted him to do. Well we are happily married now and we are expecting our little kid, and my husband also got the new job and our lives became much better. His email is doctorehoho@hotmail.com

  25. I had a very hard time believing in love magic spells so i felt strange even clicking on any spell site. The term love spells seemed silly to me normally but after seeing Priest Ajigar’s e-mail on a trusted blog, it made a great deal of sense. I literally thought there was no way I could have my lover back. Well, after contacting Priest Ajigar he gave me a lot of confidence and told me he would help me bring back the man I thought I had lost forever in just 48 hours. It was very surprising how my lover started calling me to tell me how much he missed and can’t live without me after Priest Ajigar had helped me cast a very powerful spell. I count myself very lucky to have ever found Priest Ajigar’s email and to have even had the courage of contacting him for help.Priest Ajigar didn’t tell me exactly what I wanted to hear like 99% of other spell casters will do. He was very sincere with me, this was what really shocked me and made me believe he was real. Thank you so much Priest Ajigar for your marvelous work. His e-mail is(priestajigarspells@live.com) just so maybe you need a good and sincere spell caster.

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