Good morning from Marta Perry! I've been thinking a lot lately about how we writers use elements of the past in our stories, and in particular in writing romantic suspense. There's a saying that goes: Old sins cast long shadows. That can be so valuable in creating a suspense story, because not only can you delve into the present mystery and danger, you can explore the roots of the crime which may lie buried in the past. Some of my favorite authors have used this element to add depth to their novels--especially the classic romantic suspense or Gothic novels I consumed when I was in high school, like Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt to name only two from a long list. (I should confess that I still have the yellowing, faded paperbacks and return to them from time to time to enjoy living those stories again.)
My June 24th release from HQN, Abandon the Dark, uses a crime that happened twenty years in the past as the catalyst for the danger that stalks the protagonist in the present day. Lainey Colton spent one perfect summer with her Amish great-aunt Rebecca before being whisked away by her mother to a life of constant change with never a place to call home. Now Rebecca is gravely ill, so Lainey has returned to Deer Run to care for her...and to escape her mistakes.
But mistakes have a way of following a person, intruding on Lainey's attempted fresh start. Are the frightening things that happen a remnant of her problems or a result of her great-aunt trusting Lainey with the care of her property? Or do they come from the twenty-year-old accidental drowning of an Amish youth and Lainey's memories of that terrible night?
Lawyer Jake Evans gave up a high-powered career to build a quieter life in Deer Run. So when a beautiful stranger appears on the heels of his client Rebecca's illness to manage her affairs, he questions her motives. Still, he is drawn to Lainey, even though he isn't sure he can trust her. But no amount of attraction will matter if he can't keep her safe from a mysterious threat.