We are thrilled to have an exciting new voice in the Romantic Suspense genre. Please welcome V.R. Marks!
As an author of fast-paced romantic suspense it’s great to be zooming through the fast lane in the convertible! Thanks, Cindy, for letting me hop into the passenger seat today.
Why, with all the beauty of Maine at my fingertips, did I create Haleswood, South Carolina? That was usually the first question I heard when The Thief was in production.
Well, it started with a road trip south to visit family and friends in the Florence area. That led to a tour of nearby Hartsville and the residential high school where a friend’s nephew is in attendance.
You can’t get from point A to point B in that part of South Carolina without passing thick stands of tall loblolly pines, wide lakes, and acres and acres of cotton. But when you reach the charming gem that is Hartsville, you realize your journey was worth the time.
While Haleswood is fiction, Hartsville is real.
Some might call it a quaint throw back to an earlier era. The pace is calm, but not exactly slow. With the top academic high school in the state and the wonderful resources of a college campus like Coker, you might find yourself in an interesting discussion with locals over science, economics, or social issues at any given moment while sipping on the coffee treat of your choice at the Midnight Rooster.
There is a strong community pride and deep-seated integrity in Hartsville that became the core inspiration for the setting of The Thief. Both Ross Carpenter and Allie Williams (and their supporting cast) see the pros and cons of small town life very differently.
Allie is on the run and sees the close-knit community of Haleswood as a safety net. For Ross, that same community feels judgmental and nosy. It’s not uncommon that what comforts one person often grates against the nerves of another.
I enjoy exploring new places and Hartsville was an unexpected treat along the journey of bringing The Thief to readers. I hope you’ll enjoy the infusion of small town South Carolina charm that creates the backdrop for this fast-paced romantic suspense novel.
For a chance to win one of three kindle editions of The Thief, leave a comment and let me know your take on small town life. Does it strike you as idyllic or would it induce an attack of claustrophobia?
Excerpt from The Thief:
The sound of her panicked breath didn’t quite drown out the newscaster’s voice saying her name.
It was the distraction Allie needed. When the shooter glanced up toward the TV, she surged forward, staying low and driving her shoulder through his knees.
She heard the boom of another shot, but didn’t feel any pain. She had him on the floor, belatedly realizing the tang of copper in the air was his blood, not hers, where it seeped out of his body. For a few more seconds she couldn’t move. When her instincts kicked in, she reached out to check his pulse. Nothing. The man was dead. Nothing in her public relations experience trained her to put a positive spin on being shot at or dealing with a dead intruder.
She stared down at the shooter, dressed in black with a black ski mask over his face. Working up the courage, she reached for the mask. She only knew of one man who might want her dead. Her boss, Bradley Roberts. She couldn’t picture him getting his hands dirty behind a loaded weapon. Then again, desperation was a mighty motivator. As she reached for the mask again, a shadow blocked the light. She looked up into a face she never thought to see again.
“Time to go.”
“Ross?” Her stomach pitched as her eyes roamed over the face that had once been so dear to her. She must be hallucinating, not even her luck could be this bad.
“The same.” His voice was deeper and all too real. “Pack a bag while I call this in.”
Over a dead body had to be the worst place to run into an old flame.
VR Marks website: http://www.vrmarks.com
on Twitter: @VR_Marks
The Thief on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Thief-ebook/dp/B009KELVNW
The Thief blurb:
Allie Williams is on the run with incriminating evidence proving her company’s new wonder-drug is lethal. In a last ditch effort to save lives, she races to the safety of her hometown, hiding in plain sight among the close knit community where she’ll definitely be innocent until proven guilty.
Ross Carpenter has a reputation for resolving situations people prefer to keep off the police record. When a new client accuses his former high school sweetheart of theft and worse, he’s compelled to take the case. Even if it means returning to the hometown he left behind and the woman who stole his heart.
V.R. Marks bio:
According to Alfred Hitchcock, “There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.” V.R. Marks feels the same way about writing romantic suspense. Marks combines a passion for suspense films with a passion for writing to create adventurous romantic suspense novels. Marks now resides in Portland, Maine where two cats provide regularly scheduled breaks from the keyboard.
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