the series Hearts in Hazard & Into Death

the series Hearts in Hazard & Into Death

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1st draft of The Hazard of Secrets (book 10 in the Hearts in Hazard series)
1st draft of Discovering Your Characters (book 5 in the Think like a Pro Writer series)

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Sunday, March 3, 2019

Inspiration for the Newest

Where do stories come from?

Writers get asked that question a lot.  I mean, A LOT!

Even though I'm only one of the many, I can tell you that writers get their inspiration from MANY sources.  Those sources may swirl around for years, seemingly lost in a chaotic vortex.  Then the ideas pop out at the strangest times.

Just released ! is The Key with Hearts, Book 9 in the Hearts in Hazard series of Regency mysteries.  I can point to several things were inspiration for this novel.

And after the months and months that I slaved over The Key for Spies (released last month), I expected the writing to be another slow go.  I was wrong, so wrong.  Writing The Key with Hearts was pure pleasure.  The words just poured out, so rapidly that I could barely keep up.

I don't know if the months of K4Spies allowed my ideas for KwHearts to germinate.  All I know is that I had none of my previous difficulties.

Inspiration for KWHearts

I started reading before first grade.  My sister Diane taught me before I started school.  I used to get in trouble during reading circle.  I didn't want my classmates to sound out and learn words I already knew;  I wanted to get on with the story LOL.

I turned from the reading primers to the Bobbsey Twins then Trixie Belden and on to Nancy Drew.

Then I discovered my mother's books.

In those days, vintage gothic romances were more like today's romantic suspense, with no paranormal elements.  A young woman was in jeopardy, and in the best books--chiefly by Mary Stewart--that young woman often got herself out of the trouble she was in even as she fell in love with an appropriately handsome young man of honor.

In my Hearts in Hazard series--KWH is book 9--I've visited some of those vintage gothics:  smugglers and spies, women in jeopardy, mysteries with murder.

I wrote about these inspirations in a blog earlier this year.  For this blog--since my next book is clamoring to be written--I'll just give you some cover images.  Herewith:  inspirations!


I can remember being terrified while I read this classic gothic but being so young that I didn't quite understand the reason for my terror.


I haven't read this one, but Dorothy Eden was definitely a writer that I enjoyed.  Most of the ones that I read by her were contempories, except for Dark Water.



I came late to Barbara Michaels, picking up her gothics only after I buzzed through her Amelia Peabody series, which she wrote under the pen name of Elizabeth Peters.


This Georgette Heyer isn't a gothic with a young woman in jeopardy.  However, it concerns a convenient marriage, and that's the tagline for my book:  A convenient marriage inconveniently causes murder.  In this book by Heyer, no murder is allowed to disrupt the proper English marriage.

My favorite all-time writer remains Mary Stewart, and these are three of her best--with the very covers I had!








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