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Showing posts by: Stacey Agdern click to see Stacey Agdern's profile
Nov 18 2013 10:00pm

Fresh Meat: Twisted by Laura K. Curtis

Twisted, a novel of romantic suspense by Laura K. CurtisTwisted by Laura K. Curtis is a novel of romantic suspense about a true crime author who returns to her Texas hometown to solve her mother's murder (available November 19, 2013).

Aside from being a tightly-plotted romantic suspense, Twisted by Laura K.Curtis serves as fascinating commentary about small town life.

Lucy Caldwell returns to the small Texas town she grew up in to solve her mother’s murder. No longer is she the daughter of the town prostitute; she’s a rather successful true crime author. But the majority of Dobbs Hollow residents can’t see past her mother’s reputation. And as most of them saw it, like mother, like daughter. One of the very few people in town who'll give Lucy the benefit of the doubt is a young woman cop. As Tara Jean, or TJ for short tells her boss, the Chief of Police:

“Cecile was stabbed to death seventeen years ago. When Lucy was fifteen and Tim was around three. We never saw Lucy or her brother again. Sheriff Pike’s daddy was chief then, and he didn’t give a tinker’s damn about who’d murdered the town whore, so eventually the talk died down and the whole ‘unpleasant incident’ was forgotten."

. . .

TJ took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Small towns are all about family and family names.” She chewed a thumbnail as she spoke. “Mine’s good so it can take a beating. People even forgave me for taking a real job when I should have been home baking cookies and making babies. But the Sadlers couldn’t do anything right.  More than that, no matter what they did, they couldn’t escape their names.”

[In Dobbs Hollow, names aren't all people can't escape...]

Nov 21 2012 10:30am

Detectives, and Spies, and SEALs, Oh My!: The Difference Between a Romantic Thriller and a Romantic Suspense

Breaking Point by Pamela ClareOne of the ongoing debates in most romance reading circles is the specific answer to one question: What differentiates a romantic suspense from a romantic thriller? The answer is different depending on who you ask, but as far as I’m concerned, it boils down to the scope of the story. Romantic thrillers are filled with what happens as larger-than-life events take over the lives of people who mostly live their lives on or over the edge. Romantic suspense is personal, encompassing the trouble that happens in someone’s own backyard, whether it’s in their town or in their house.

Pamela Clare’s Breaking Point is a lovely example of a romantic thriller. Our heroine is a journalist who gets kidnapped by representatives of a Mexican drug cartel, one of many women this particular cartel has kidnapped for all sorts of purposes. Our hero turns out to be *spoiler* an undercover federal marshal. The goal is to free our heroine and stop the cartel. Global problems, larger scale: romantic thriller.

[Very important distinction!]