Putting Some Mystery into Romance
I’ve always enjoyed reading mysteries and romantic suspense novels. My favorite current authors are Nora Roberts and Mary Higgins Clark. When I was younger, I enjoyed the gothic suspense novels of Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt, and Barbara Michaels. I also like to read new authors and different genres, but I prefer a little romance with my mysteries.
When I first started writing, A STONE’S THROW (Limitless Publishing 2015), I knew I wanted to include both romance and mystery in the book. Everyone likes a nice love story, but adding an element of danger or suspense can make a plot more gripping. Likewise, adding some romance to a mystery can create more relatable characters.
It’s interesting to note that even though a book may be categorized and marketed as either a mystery or a romance, most books include both in varying degrees. A STONE’S THROW is more of a mystery, but I believe the romance that develops between Alicia Fairmont, the widowed librarian main character and the small town newspaper publisher, John McKinney, increases the appeal of the book.
During February, bookstores and libraries tend to display romance novels for those seeking a romantic read for Valentine’s Day. As a librarian as well as an author, I’ve followed this trend and was happy to learn that my library decided this year to participate in a book selection program that other libraries have already offered in February. The program known as “Blind Date with a Book” or another similar term, involves putting out a display of gift-wrapped books for patrons to choose from without knowing what book they are selecting. Since the wrappers are barcoded, patrons can check out the books and open them at home. This allows them the surprise of a book they may not have ever heard about let alone selected to read on their own.
By adding a touch of mystery to a patron’s book selection, “Blind Date with A book” can introduce a reader to a new author, series, or genre for them to consider reading in the future. A patron can also rate their date if the library provides a card or form in with the book. This can be used by the library for user feedback statistics.
The “Blind Date with a Book” concept is another perfect example of combining romance with mystery. People who love to read and are willing to take a chance, will appreciate the opportunity to “date” an unknown book during the romantic month of February.
My own romantic mystery will be 99 cents on Sunday, Februray 14th. Order it here: http://amzn.to/1Ta6zfe