Originally from Kentucky, romantic suspense author Lena Diaz also lived in California and Louisiana before settling in Northeast Florida with her husband, two children, and a Shetland Sheepdog named Sparky. A Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® finalist, she's won the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense and has been a finalist for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award. She loves to watch action movies, garden, and hike in the beautiful Tennessee Smoky Mountains.
Why I Write Romantic Suspense
Control. Hope. Satisfaction.
Okay, that was four words, and I can probably think of a dozen more to explain why I write romantic suspense.
It’s a question I get a lot, mostly from readers who don’t read this genre (yes, there are still a few unenlightened among us who don’t love a good thrill--go figure.) My first thought when I hear that question is always--wow, how could anyone not like this stuff? But what exactly is “stuff”? I write stories with evil serial killers in them, or just plain bad people who do terrible things and need to be stopped, or in my new EXIT Inc. series, assassins who may be bad, or may be good (if there is such a thing as a good assassin.) So if you break it down like that--bad things happening--how in the world could anyone love to read that, let alone love to write it?
Let me explain, Lucy.
First, the thrill. Admit it. You get a high from a break-neck pace and unexpected twists and turns. And the tension and sense of danger.
Then there’s the mystery element. Who doesn’t like a good who-dunnit?
And, hey, buff, hot, alpha heroes who want to protect you. Yeah, definitely a perk.
But here’s the thing…there’s more to it than that. We can’t dance around the fact that romantic suspense does have something bad happen as its core plot. So how can that be enjoyable to read?
Because romantic suspense isn’t about the bad.
It’s about the good.
Romantic suspense is about the journey from that dark beginning to the light, and exploring some of the most powerful emotions we can experience, and how the power of love can triumph over anything.
Every day, there’s so much sorrow in this world, so much evil, so many bad things happening to good people. Even as I write this post, a horrible tragedy has just occurred where innocent people were slaughtered by one, lone, ignorant, evil person. When I read about things like that I get a feeling of hopelessness. I feel powerless to stop this kind of evil in the world. I get angry, want-to-break-something angry, but have nowhere to direct it. And I pray and wish there was something I could do to combat that type of evil. I wish I could go back in time, stop it from happening, or keep it from happening in the future to someone else. And then I realize, wait, I can.
Writing about the bad things that can and do happen in this world is cathartic, and helps me deal. Especially because in my books those bad guys really do get what’s coming to them. The good guys win and find true love as their reward.
What were the words I used earlier? Empowerment. Control. Hope. Satisfaction. I write romantic suspense because it gives me a feeling of control over the bad. I feel empowered to stop the bad things, instead of feeling helpless. I get the satisfaction of punishing evil. And I feel hope that good people really do exist, and that if we take a chance on the softer emotions, like love, it can make us stronger, more able to bear the burdens of just living every day. Love is our defense against all of the bad and evil in this world. And nothing illustrates that more beautifully than a powerfully written romantic suspense novel.
That’s why I write romantic suspense.
Lena Diaz launches her thrilling new series featuring the undercover vigilantes of EXIT Inc. with a skilled operative putting his life—and his heart—on the line for a woman in trouble...When Sabrina Hightower awakens to the sound of an intruder, she figures he's there to rob her, murder her— or worse. She doesn't expect to be carried off by a muscle-bound stud with male-model good looks... or that he came to rescue her.Mason Hunt became an enforcer with EXIT Inc. to eliminate the bad guys—terrorists, militia groups, all those who would do America harm. But his latest target is innocent. If EXIT could lie about sultry, strong-willed Sabrina, what darker truths might they be concealing?Going rogue in the rugged North Carolina Mountains, Mason risks everything to keep Sabrina close, especially now that EXIT's lethal assassins are chasing them down. The heat is on... but it's nothing compared to the slow burn of seduction.
Check out the Exit Inc. series:
Mason shook his head as Sabrina Hightower tore off through the trees to escape him. Obviously, telling her that he was supposed to kill her wasn’t the wisest thing he could have said. But not killing someone he’d been sent to terminate was a new experience and he was a bit out of his element.
He’d expected a tiny woman like Sabrina to be docile and scared, easily subdued, especially barefoot, in a nightshirt, and without the glasses that he’d pocketed when he found them on her bedroom floor. Most people in her position would have cowered before him instead of acting like a little warrior, trying to bite through his shirt even though he was twice her size. He’d had to work at not laughing when she’d threatened to kick his balls up to his throat. She definitely had spunk and courage, which—unfortunately—only added to her appeal.
When he’d carried her through her backyard, her sexy, round bottom bouncing so temptingly next to his face, a fog of lust had slammed into him until all he could think about was the feel of her soft thighs beneath his hand. He hadn’t planned on stopping in the clearing. It had been an act of desperation, to put some space between them so he could re-engage his brain. And then she’d ruined that plan by pelting him with questions while her nipples formed mouth-watering, tight peaks against her shirt. Add to that her arrow-straight, no-nonsense black hair that swished half-way down her back, and sassy bangs that framed her defiant blue eyes, and he’d been lost.
He swore viciously. He was a fool to have let her rattle him. The only reason she had was because of the questions his friend from his Army days, Ramsey, had raised about Sabrina’s guilt. Or, more accurately, the concerns of Ramsey’s friends—a former enforcer and his wife who both believed Sabrina’s EXIT order had been faked, even though they were still trying to prove it.
Mason had always been honored to work as an enforcer for EXIT, to bridge the security gap left by the traditional alphabet agencies. Killing, when called upon to do so, wasn’t something he relished or enjoyed. But sacrificing one evil life in exchange for dozens, hundreds, or even one innocent life, was a trade he was compelled, and duty bound, to make. He couldn’t stomach the idea of waiting for a heinous crime to be committed if he could stop it ahead of time. Inaction, allowing people to die when he could have saved them, was inexcusable.
But only if the target, the mark, was truly guilty of the charges listed in the EXIT order.
Mason was betting—hoping—that Ramsey’s friends were frauds and they couldn’t prove their claims. Because, if Sabrina was innocent, if her EXIT order was wrong, then other orders could have been wrong. Which meant that people he’d terminated in the past could have been innocent too. That prospect was too horrible to contemplate.
Check out what's up for grabs.
Up For Grabs:
- 3 Signed copies of Exit Stategy
- Please fill out the Rafflecopter form.
Special thanks to Lena Diaz & Tasty Book Tours for sponsoring this tour-wide giveaway.a Rafflecopter giveaway