I write Suspense. Some of the stories are Mysteries.
Some are Crime novels. Some are Psychological Thrillers. I even
have Romance elements. (Did I really just admit that?) Well, I'm a bit of a romantic, so that's
that. What all the stories have is suspenseful climax scenes, often with hell's-a-poppin' action.
While we're going on about genre, let me tell you about what you are in for. Bonne Femme is a psychological
thriller with a strong but subdued romance tone. Cold Tears is a mystery that is also a tale of redemption. Canaan Camp is
a straight-out crime thriller story. Secret Song is a mystery. The King Snake is also a mystery, but also a suspense story.
Call Her Sabine is a mystery/suspense story written from outside and inside the mystery. Devilry is a straight-forward investigative
mystery. Road Shrines is a serial killer mystery. Cold Fury is another investigative mystery. The Daughter is an investigative
mystery with a courtroom ending (and a final twist). Journey Man is both a serial killer mystery and a suspense story with
a horrific ending. Devil's Run has Richard, Ron, and Kit racing to find a serial arsonist as something truly evin burns through
Hawthorn County. And The Playpretty is a kidnapping mystery involving a poor, but bright girl trying to rise above her poverty
and family reputation.
Truth in Advertising
I have been honest in classifying each book's genre. Now comes a warning:
do not expect straight linear plots. Nor should you expect bare narration of events. These characters have a setting. They
have lives and relationships. Other things go on while the mystery/suspense is playing itself out. Some of the books are long
(over 100,000 words). So what? Electronic publishing need not worry over pounds of paper and barrels of ink. And the reader?
Does he really want a good story to be over quickly?
Along with the current case that Richard is working on, the Carters
have lives. They have little and big dramas to work through as the main story proceeds. When something happens in a story,
it may be Kafka's gun, a red herring, or simply a slice of life. So be it. The series must be told as well as the current
story. After all, our lives have many chapters. And like ours, some of the Carters' chapters are funny, some tragic, some
A reviewer complained that one book had too many minor characters for her taste. Well, I'm not going to argue with
her. After all, she was good enough to read my book and review it. And in the immortal words of Doctor Hook, "Some folks
like ham hocks, and some folks like pork chops, and some folks like vegetable soup." All I can say is that each character
is there for a purpose, and they are distinct enough to keep straight.
A Note Concerning
Language, Violence, and Sex
These stories are adult themed, and are meant for adult readers. I
studiously avoid explicit sex scenes and graphic violence. I also
limit the profane language to that necessary for realistic dialog. You may be able to handle
rougher stuff than this, but I can't. (My mother might read it.) Seriously, I consider extreme profanity
and overly graphic depiction as crutches. Surely the reader has an imagination sufficient to "get the picture."
Trust me. You will find the action sufficient and the dialog descriptive.
Stop where you are if you have not read Bonne Femme.
Okay. So you're reading
on. The stories begin with the return on Richard Carter, an ex-Marine traumatized by events in Somalia. Throughout the stories,
he refuses to admit what is obvious to everyone around him: he suffers with (and managers to varying degrees) PTSD. For all
his experiences, Richard is naive. Flashbacks and horrible dreams plague him on and off. What really haunts him, however,
is something that happened to him in Africa, something he insists on remembering as something he did, something he cannot
forgive himself for. He is, however, stronger than he thinks.
Jill Belbenoit is a French girl attending
college in Michigan. Her American ex-pat grandfather came from the area. (Her fate is what Bonne Femme is all about.) Jill
is an extremely intelligent woman who is tougher and much more intuitive than Richard. They get married at the end of Bonne
Femme. (I warned you about spoilers.)
The rest of the stories are played out(approximately one a year) as
the Carters develop as life partners and friends. At the end of the third story, Mirabelle is born. Along with each story,
the story of the Carter family grows. As you read about them, remember the yin and yang, the male and female strengths (and
weaknesses). These two need each other.
For More Characters.