Introduction of the Villain/Antagonist in “Detours of the Heart” — and a GIVEAWAY!
I live a double life.
There, I’ve said it.
I love to read–and write–gentle stories that don’t shock, scare, or alarm.
Some of the times.
Then there’s my alter ego who loves to read–and write–mysteries. Think Agatha Christie, Jessica Fletcher and Murder, She Wrote, Ngaio Marsh. Cozy mysteries where there is no blood and gore on the page, but where a deep mystery needs to be solved.
As a result, I always struggle writing historical romance. I want some mystery. I need some mystery. Some suspense. Something to figure out.
But there isn’t much room–literally or figuratively–in historical romance for mystery. The romance should take up the majority of the story, hence the name of the genre. And when you’re dealing with a novella, there’s even less room.
How to satisfy me and my alter ego?
A small mystery. A little bit of danger. A few unanswered questions.
And an antagonist to keep our main characters from figuring out all the answers too soon.
In Detours of the Heart, I decided to go with a real-life situation–counterfeiting Acoma jewelry–that did happen, although not exactly as portrayed in the book. Mr. Fred Harvey Senior, founder of the Harvey House Hotels, did support local artisans, and did discover several instances of counterfeiting as a result. He and his son, Fred Harvey Junior, were instrumental in maintaining customer confidence in native-made products by revealing these crooked schemes often.
In this story, I used a partnership that involved a hotel manager, his love interest, a local native who was more concerned with his own welfare than the welfare of his people, and a couple of travelers who saw a chance to make a quick buck. The antagonist (no spoilers here), however, was the kingpin who controlled all the rest, and as such, was able to put my hero and heroine in danger.
I also had to keep in mind the expectations of readers accustomed to this kind of novella collection. They don’t want to read about blood and gore, no direct violence, no seat-gripping suspense. Historical romance readers typically want a gentle story, and it was my job to deliver that for them.
As a result, while there are threats and incidents in the story, there’s no actual harm done any character, not even the antagonist when finally captured. At least, no harm on the page.
I will give away five print copies (US only, please) of the book by dropping the names of all who leave a comment on my missAdventure blog posts on my own blog or on this blog post between today and December 16th into a basket and pulling out five winners. One entry per blog post, please, and one prize per person. If you leave a comment every day on the 15 different blog posts, you could have 15 entries to win. Drawing closes midnight December 16th MDT.
In addition, if you don’t already subscribe to my newsletter, and you choose to subscribe at www.HiStoryThroughTheAges.com , I’ll pop in another entry for you. So you could have up to 16 chances to win!
Blogs/Facebook pages of other authors in collection:
Kathleen Kovach — hosting Heroes http://kathleenekovach.blogspot.com/
Kimberley Woodhouse — hosting the History http://kimandkaylawoodhouse.com/blog/
Debby Lee — hosting the Villains/Antagonists https://www.facebook.com/booksbydebbylee or follow her newsletter: http://booksbydebbylee.com/contact.html#newsletter
Marjorie Vawter — Hosting the Take-Aways http://marjorievawter.blogspot.com
Cynthia Hickey — Hosting the Settings https://www.facebook.com/Cynthia-Hickey-151333448227549/
Mary Davis — hosting the Heroines https://marydavis1.blogspot.com
About the collection: These seven daring damsels don’t let the norms of their eras hold them back from adventure.
About Detours of the Heart: (Albuquerque, NM, 1925)
A tour guide who wants to move on, a playboy who’s never had a place to call home—can they overcome their own plans and allow God to make their path straight, or will they take yet another detour?
Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters In Crime; facilitates a critique group, and teaches writing classes. Donna ghostwrites, edits, and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.
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