Please welcome V.R. Marks!

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:

on Twitter: @VR_Marks


The Thief on Amazon:

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.


Please comment for a chance to win 1 of 3 freed e-book copies of THE THIEF


About cindygerard

Cindy Gerard is a New York Times best-selling author of action packed romantic suspense novels. Learn more about Cindy at
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Please welcome V.R. Marks!

  1. Stonehawk says:

    well there’s good things with the small town I live in that has a local communicty college. also the bad thing is my friends from there aren’t around in the summer time leaving me bored to tears and not much people to talk to or not much to do at the local college other than using their computer internet and maybe taking a summer class.

    • V.R. says:

      Stonehawk, I imagine it’s similar in Hartsville when the schools are out – although the college and the high school run summer programs – those students make up a big portion of the population.

  2. Kathy J says:

    I have always lived in a fairly large city, but my mother retired to a very small town. I have discovered through her that everyone does know what is going on with you and that can be good, when she was sick there were plenty of people to help.

    • V.R. says:

      Kathy, I think that close-knit, caring community aspect is a big benefit of small town life and especially helpful during tough times like illness.

  3. TrishJ says:

    I grew up in a small town (we only had 2 stoplights). There were good points .. you felt incredibly safe .. and bad points .. my mom knew everything I did BEFORE I got home, no secrets. To me it is the perfect place to live. But for book writing it can make for a great story. Because you feel so safe, you never suspect anyone would commit a crime or that your next door neighbor would be serial killer. ;-). Congrats on the book. Love to win a copy.

    • V.R. says:

      Trish, had to laugh at the no-secrets thing. I had a friend in high school who could fool the office by impersonating anyone’s mom and she’d call us in sick on some days. We never would have gotten away with that in a small town.

  4. Willa says:

    Oooh love me some Romantic Suspense . . 😀

    I live in a small town – one of the smallest in England and mentioned in the Doomsday book. It is definitely a one horse town with no hitching rails – we have no stoplights, you just motor on through! It is just big enough that you can get on with your business and nobody notices . . and yet small enough that people are friendly and do say hello and stop and chat.

    Good luck with your release.

    • V.R. says:

      Glad to hear you’re a romantic suspense fan, Willa. 🙂 Your town sounds like the perfect place to live. And good luck to you as well in the giveaway!

  5. Catherine C says:

    Love the idea of looking up from a dead body and seeing the old flame!! Sounds great. Good Luck with the new release!!

  6. kris says:

    I grew up in a big city, so the concept of small town life eludes me. It is so sweetly portrayed in books though, having people watch your back, etc. The book sounds intriguing. Many congrats on the release!

    • V.R. says:

      I understand that perspective, Kris. Hartsville was a bit of culture shock for me when I visited, though the people are terrific there and full of that renowned southern hospitality.

  7. Allyce Capps says:

    i would love to read it!

  8. Crystal W Smith says:

    I LOVE LOVE finding new authors! Romantic suspense is one of my favorite genres!

  9. Oooo, I love the setup–heroine has evidence showing her company’s new drug is lethal. Can’t wait to read this one, VR!

    Oh, and welcome to the ‘vert. I was hooked right into the premise, almost forgot my manners.

  10. scarlet673 says:

    I love visiting small towns and reading about them, but not sure I could live in one. I also love finding new authors! Romantic suspense is my favorite genre and this book sounds great!

    • V.R. says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Scarlet and thanks for the enthusiasm too. I thoroughly enjoyed writing this book and getting into these characters.

  11. Cathy P says:

    You are a new author for me, V.R. The Thief sounds like a wonderful read.

    I have always lived in a large city. My grandmothers, and later my parents, lived on our family farm in a small town. I spent school vacations and my summers there growing up, and loved it. Of course, everyone knows everyone else’s business in a small town, but it can be a great place to live and raise a family. Unfortunately, I don’t think I could live in one anymore after living in a large city for decades. I love reading romances that take place in small towns.

    • V.R. says:

      I hope you’ll enjoy the adventure and romance in The Thief, Cathy. My grandparents lived in a small town and I used to enjoy visiting them as well.

  12. Nikki H says:

    I grew up in a small town, and wouldn’t mind living in one again, as long as I can get to a Target in 15-20 minutes. I really love reading small town romances–they’re my favorite type of contemporary romance. And the “old flame over the dead body” sounds intriguing! Throw in the suspense and I’m hooked. Good luck!

  13. suzey49 says:

    I grew up in a small town and hated it – your business is everyones business. Now that I’m older I understand the value of knowing people who will help in time of need. I love reading books based in small towns (Virgin River). I like your “hide in plain site” concept & romantic suspense is my favorite, Good Luck!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s