Tuesday, January 11, 2022

10 Things That Inspired Me to Write DEADLY INTENT

This post about my first romantic suspense novel, Deadly Intent, was originally posted on another website. However, the post is now lost in an internet black hole because the website was taken down. So I decided to repost it here on my blog.

DEADLY INTENT back cover blurb:


The Grant family’s exclusive Sonoma spa is a place for rest and relaxation—not murder! Then Naomi Grant finds her client Jessica Ortiz bleeding to death in her massage room, and everything falls apart. The salon’s reputation is at stake...and so is Naomi’s freedom when she discovers that she is one of the main suspects! Her only solace is found with the other suspect—Dr. Devon Knightley, the victim’s ex-husband. But Devon is hiding secrets of his own. When they come to light, where can Naomi turn...and whom can she trust?

Ten Things That Inspired Me to Write Deadly Intent:

10) It's set in a spa. Can we say, research???

9) The heroine is a massage therapist. Again, research???

I also really love massage—I think it’s not just a luxury but something that can do a lot of good for people physically, mentally, and emotionally as an occasional indulgence. Sometimes it’s just good to take an hour for a massage that relaxes and realigns the muscles and skeleton and enables a person to recharge their spirits and mind.

8) After tearing the ACL in my knee TWICE, it was a moral imperative to use my experiences in my books, if only to make up for the pain and suffering I endured. Hence, I borrowed my orthopedic surgeon's background for the hero. But the miserable married life, difficult parents, and fun sister of my hero, Devon, are NOT borrowed from my orthopedic surgeon, Dr. King.

7) The Cathcart family at my church is one of the funnest families. Even though they've had their share of struggles, they are always cheerful and devoted to the Lord. I couldn't use the father and son's name in the book (not enough characters), but I was able to use the Cathcart women's names.

I stole borrowed their names partly because I was writing the synopsis and had to think of four women's names really quick. Honestly, I SUCK at coming up with character names, so I stole borrowed with impunity.

When I was still working as a youth group staff member, three of the Cathcart girls came to youth group when they were in Junior High and High School: the three sisters were Naomi, Rachel, and Rebecca. Their mother’s name is Monica.

For the three sisters in Deadly Intent, I didn’t want two of them to have names that started with the same letter, and Aunt Becca sounded better than Aunt Monica, so I switched Rebecca for Monica.

But just to warn you, the character personalities aren't based on the real people—I made those up to fit the purposes of the story.

6) I love Sonoma, California. My husband and I (er, rather, it's mostly ME, and hubby comes along as the chauffeur) always visit wineries up there when my parents visit us, and I just knew I had to set a story in that gorgeous place. Plus, the fact it's a tourist hub—lots of people in and out—makes for good conflict and a natural setting for murder, don't you think?

5) I think I have a violent streak, but after writing light-hearted contemporary romance in my Sushi series, I was REALLY eager to write about a murder. Scarily eager. You may not want to be my friend.

4) It's really refreshing to write a shorter book as opposed to my Sushi series. It mixes things up a bit for me.

3) I love Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. What better place to indulge my fantasies than writing about a posh spa? Much cheaper than going to one myself, anyway. But I still drool over the exotic spa getaways featured in those style magazines and imagine having enough money one day to hop on my private jet to have a massage in Thailand.

2) I admit I watched all the CSI: Miami reruns and got completely hooked. I like how Horatio Caine is a mix of compassion and "I can kick your butt to next Tuesday with my pinky finger." So in writing the book, I didn't have to even think twice about who to base Detective Horatio Carter off of.

1) I have read Steeple Hill books forever (it seems like) and so when I had a chance to submit a proposal to them, I jumped at it! Love Inspired Suspense novels rock!

I hope you enjoy Deadly Intent!

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