Monthly Archives: February 2012
I’ve always dreamt of being at a grand ball and waltzing.
The image of tall, mysterious men circling a floor to the strains of Strauss, while their partners’ dresses billow behind them, is incredibly romantic – like a music box springing to life.
Too bad it only happens in novels.
So, when the invitation came for a true Viennese Ball at the National Museum for Women in the Arts, I begged my husband to go. It was a wonderful cause and the fairytale event every girl dreams of. Poor guy never stood a chance. Imagine, a beaux art mansion in the middle of D.C., a candle-lit dinner on the mezzanine, overlooking the marble dance floor where a twenty-piece orchestra played.
My imagination has played this scene for so long it morphed into the first chapter of my spy novel. My heroine sneaks into a very fancy, very private ball in modern day Budapest in a mansion overlooking the Danube. (excerpt) The adventure takes her to Hong Kong where she battles traitors and falls in love. So, even if the view was that of
New York Avenue, instead of Strauss’ famed river, last Saturday night really was a fantasy come true.
It’s amazing how plots get inspired by these kinds of settings. While other people worried about dance steps, or romancing their partner, my husband had to deal with me checking out alternative exits, stairwells, and figuring out who might make a good villain in my next book. It’s wonderful when every event takes on the nuances of a Bond film. Too bad it is more exciting in my head than in real life.
And, oh the beautiful people! Everyone wore black tie. Some women went for full ball gowns, and military men, in perfectly fitted dress uniforms, sparkled with medals. There were couples who put Fred and Ginger to shame, and then there were couples like my husband and me – let’s just say my toes will never be quite the same. Still, I wouldn’t have traded him for any other guy in the room.
By the time the evening was over, we’d met some lovely people, got the hang of dancing counter-clockwise, participated in the grand march, and learned the quadrille.
And every now and then, behind billowing ball gowns and marble pillars, I may have seen my hero and heroine laughing, as they danced in the night.
Stop by tomorrow because Roxanne St. Claire will be back with an exciting announcement on behalf of her fellow authors from the MurderSheWrites blog: Their exclusive e-book anthology Guns and Roses. And she’ll be giving away a free copy!
If you left a comment before midnight EST on yesterday’s post be sure to email Debra through her website (www.debrawebb.com) and let her know your preference, Kindle or Nook version, for OBSESSION!
And don’t forget to join Diana on Tuesday when she hosts Montlake and Harlequin Intrigue author, Robin Perini!
Debra Webb joins us today to talk about renewing the thrill of an old relationship. And take note, readers, she’s giving away a free copy of her latest book to EVERYONE who comments before midnight EST tonight!
DEBRA WEBB, born in Alabama, wrote her first story at age nine and her first romance at thirteen. It wasn’t until she spent three years working for the military behind the Iron Curtain—and a five-year stint with NASA—that she realized her true calling. A collision course between suspense and romance was set. Since then she has penned nearly 100 novels. The Faces of Evil is her debut thriller series. Visit Debra at www.debrawebb.com or write to her at PO Box 12485, Huntsville, AL, 35815.
After the Thrill is Gone—or NOT!
The run for your life thrills are very much a part of the romantic suspense and romantic thriller genres. Equally important are the thrills related to the developing or ongoing relationship between the two main protagonists. Sometimes, like in real life, the thrill of the latter can fizzle. One of my favorite themes in romance is reunited lovers. That was the reason I chose to make Special Agent Jess Harris and Chief of Police Dan Burnett high school sweethearts who became lovers and ultimately lost each other somewhere along the way as their lives moved from those turbulent teenage years to the more stable era of adulthood.
Jess’s parents died when she was a kid and a carousel of foster homes greatly changed her outlook on life in general. Dan, on the other hand, grew up in a wealthy Birmingham family with his future mapped out with financial and family security. I know from personal experience that uncertainty fuels a different kind of determination in a person. Nothing in life is taken for granted, least of all the idea of financial security, when everything has been lost. Jess’s determination to ensure her future, financially and otherwise, became a kind of obsession for her—one she didn’t recognize until she was past forty. Dan, on the other hand, as one whose financial and relationship foundations were rock solid, soldiered forth taking the usual risks and making the normal assumptions. He, too, recognized as he passed that forty mark that his somewhat blasé attitude was off somehow. As her professional life unravels Jess must face the fact that she has sacrificed her personal life to attain a certain goal and that change is necessary. Dan becomes aware of the same only for completely different reasons. Owning the need for change is a challenge for these two driven characters.
OBSESSION, the debut in my Faces of Evil series, focuses on exactly that—obsession: that unrelenting compulsion to have or to accomplish a goal. The theme resonates through every level of the story. Dan and Jess are brought together again as aspects of both their personal and professional lives are coming apart in different ways and to different degrees. The thrill of that innate connection that once held them has fizzled but the spark remains, smoldering and threatening to ignite. It was and is too real to be lost or gone forever. But how will they find a way to reconnect fully and how can I possibly resolve the issues two decades in the making over the course of a twelve-book series? The dilemma I face as a writer is a bit like the Texas Two-Step. Two quick steps forward, then two slower steps forward. The problem is, when a couple does the two-step, one is moving forward while the other moves backward. The dance will at times be difficult for this determined couple but it’s the pull of that tiny spark—that smoldering thrill that never was completely gone—that will draw them through the steps like music.
With that in mind, I decided that each story in the series will resume where the last left off not only in terms of the development of the relationships between the characters but also time wise. IMPULSE, book two, starts right where OBSESSION ended. POWER, book three and my current work in progress, begins forty-eight hours after the ending of IMPULSE. My goal is to show the day-to-day evolution of the lives of these characters in real time. Can they ignite the fire that once burned between them and stoke it to a full blaze ultimately bonding their relationship? Only time and the triumph over obstacles along the way will tell!
What about you, have you experienced a reboot in an old thrill—whether related to a relationship or to a career?
Share your experience or just leave a comment and win a free copy, Kindle or Nook version—your choice, of OBSESSION!
Thanks for joining us Debra!
Carla, thank you so much for being with us at Kiss and Thrill! Please let us know anytime you’d like to return. We loved having you, and next time I will leave out the word “favorite”. Sheesh, I guess I’ll have to wait for Heron’s Cove to find out about the bean-hole supper 🙂 Congratulations on all your success. I hear SECRETS OF THE LOST SUMMER recently hit the NYTimes list! And thanks for your generosity to our commenters!
And the winners are (please contact us within ten days):
Na S. You have won an e-copy of SECRETS OF THE LOST SUMMER and SAINT’S GATE
please contact us with your preferred email and your preference for Kindle or Nook.
Smartmouthtexan You have won an autographed copy of SECRETS OF THE LOST SUMMER, SAINT’S GATE, and a T-shirt! Please contact uswith your preferred email and your snail mail address.
I want to thank the lovely Nina Bruhns for such a wonderful interview yesterday and to thank her for offering one of our readers a copy of one of her books. The lucky commenter will choose from Warrior’s Bride, Catch Me if You Can, or Sweet Revenge — all terrific reads.
And, don’t forget to buy Nina’s newest books, White Hot and the French Detective’s Woman!
So, without further ado, the Winner is >>>> Chavie!!!!
AND from Tuesday’s blog with Dawn Brown, the winner of two of Dawn’s books is >>>>> Trish J! Trish will receive e- copies of Blood and Bone and The Curse of Culcraig!
(Note: Only commenters with a U.S. mailing address are eligible, so if anyone announced below does not provide a U.S. mailing address, we will choose another winner.)
CONGRATULATIONS! To redeem your free book – please email your snail mail address and preferred email address to firstname.lastname@example.org (or go to contact page for details). Remember, we must hear from you within 10 days. Chances of winning depend upon number of qualified comment entries.