Friday, September 16, 2005


I figure I could use something to rev myself up in the morning when it comes to writing. Maybe this blog will help me get into my work-in-progress faster than usual. Because I'm way too easily distrac-- Hey, what's that sparkly thing over there? Anyway, welcome to my blog. I'm currently terrified that I'm going to sound like a complete idiot on a daily basis, but fear of public humiliation has never stopped me before....
I thought I'd start with a list of my five current favorite romantic suspense books, just for fun. (I'm terrible at blurbing books, so my apologies to the authors):
1) GARDEN OF BEASTS by Jeffrey Deaver. GoB is a stand-alone thriller by the author who writes the Lincoln Rhyme series. (The first book in that series, THE BONE COLLECTOR, was made into a movie starring Denzel Washington and Black Widow Jolie.) It's set in the forties on the cusp of World War II, and centers around a professional assassin who, after being arrested, makes a deal with the government--he'll travel to Germany and take out a prominent Nazi official in exchange for a clean slate. Deaver's characterization in this book is terrific--you'll actually feel more than a bit of sympathy for the Nazi in question. And if you've ever wanted to learn how to deliver twists and turns that are genuinely surprising, this man is the master.

2) MARITAL PRIVILEGE by Ann Voss Peterson. I was inspired to write for Harlequin Intrigue after reading a chilling suspense by Ann called ACCESSORY TO MARRIAGE. MARITAL PRIVILEGE is her latest, and it's one of the most innovative series romantic suspense books I've read--and just as chilling as ACCESSORY. The story centers on Laura, a pregnant restaurant co-owner who thought she knew the man she married--until the Russian mob arrives on her doorstep looking for her husband Alec and ready to kill her and their unborn child. Now, with her employees dead, her restaurant decimated in an explosion, and her husband shocking her with his intimate knowledge of firearms and car-jacking techniques, Laura's on the run ... not to mention ready for a divorce. But Alec isn't going down without a fight--or letting her go without one.

3) MIDNIGHT ISLAND SANCTUARY by Susan Peterson. If you like gothics, you'll love Sue's 2004 Harlequin Intrigue. The heroine, Cora, barely escaped a vicious attack. On the run from a killer who may strike again, she takes a job as a chef with a wealthy family living in the requisite spooky house on a remote island. I haven't yet read it, but Sue's first-person sleuth book, HARD EVIDENCE, also got rave reviews when it was released last July.

4) THE MIDAS TRAP by Sharron McClellan. If you like a healthy dose of action-adventure with your romantic suspense, Sharron's books are the place to go. After publicly humiliating her years ago, archaeologist Simon Owens recruits fellow archeologist Veronica Bright to lsearch for the legendary Midas stone—which reputedly has the power to turn whatever it touches into gold. But others are looking for the stone as well, and they won't stop until they get it ... and until Simon and Veronica are dead.

5) MORTAL SIN by Laurie Breton. I love this book mainly for the rich characters. Sarah's troubled niece has run away from home, and Sarah is terrified she will end up in the wrong hands. She turns to Father Clancy Donovan, a Catholic priest who works with teenage runaways, for help, and is more than troubled by the chemistry between them. I have Breton's newest, LETHAL LIES, on my TBR pile as I write.

(OK, I couldn't stop at five. One more....)

6) THE EIGHT by Katherine Neville. I LOVE this book, which defies description other than to say it's a cross between Indiana Jones (but with a female protagonist) and THE DAVINCI CODE (although Neville made up her own esoteric legend, rather than basing it on existing research/theories a la Dan Brown). From "In the 20th century, Catherine Velis is a computer expert with a flair for music, painting, and chess who, on her way to Algeria at the behest of the accounting firm where she is employed, is invited to take a mysterious moonlighting assignment: recover the pieces of an old chess set missing for centuries. "In the midst of the French Revolution, a young novice discovers that her abbey is the hiding place of a chess set, once owned by the great Charlemagne, which allows those who play it to tap into incredible powers beyond the imagination. She eventually comes into contact with the major historical figures of the day, from Robespierre to Napoleon, each of whom has an agenda."
Word has it that she's working on a sequel, and I'll be first in line to get it.

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Tracy Montoya writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.

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