Tis the Season…for romantic suspense!
As a romantic suspense author, I am always in search of new ideas and concepts that I can weave into my stories and plots. What might sound like homework to some is more like a challenging scavenger hunt to me. The idea is to collect a variety of random ideas and then figure out how to assemble them into a compelling tale of intrigue.
For A Christmas Code, Book 2 of the Regency romantic suspense series, the Code Breakers, I combined elements from the winter holiday season to craft a story that features an attempted poisoning set against the elegant backdrop of the Regency Ton. In this story, the hero Ash is poisoned by a dose of ground up holly berries meant for the Prince Regent.
A popular accent used in Christmas decorations, holly is an evergreen shrub that can grow to be a tree, and there are more than 400 different varieties of the plant. The fruit and leaves contain a mix of caffeine-like alkaloid theobromine, caffeine and glycosides (theobromine is also found in chocolate and cocoa).
People and pets avoid the prickly leaves, but children may be attracted to the bright red berries. As few as 20 can be lethal if consumed, and eating just three berries can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. More severe symptoms include drowsiness, slowed breathing and heart rate, coma and death.
Ash catches a lucky break, because, while holly berries are toxic, people rarely die from ingesting this type of poison. Nowadays modern medicine can treat individuals who consume holly berries, but that wasn’t always the case.
I recently released the audiobook version of A Christmas Code, which is narrated by the talented Pearl Hewitt, who also narrated two other books in this series: A Code of Love and A Code of the Heart. You can listen to an audio sample here: http://bit.ly/1ToZIx9
Comment on this blog for a chance to win a digital or audiobook of A Christmas Code.
Fans of holiday romance are in for an added treat from Jacki Delecki. A holiday edition of Marriage Under Fire, Book 4 of the Grayce Walters contemporary romantic suspense, is available. This edition features more than 9,000 words of exclusive content, including Maddy and Hunter’s romantic Christmas wedding with Grayce, Davis, Hollie, James and the entire Grayce Walters crew. The holiday edition of Marriage Under Fire is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo and Google Play for a limited time. Readers who have already purchased the book can enjoy the new scenes for free by accessing the updated ebook.
About the Author
Jacki Delecki is a bestselling romantic suspense writer. Delecki’s Grayce Walters Series, which chronicles the adventures of a Seattle animal acupuncturist, was an editor’s selection by USA Today. Delecki’s Romantic Regency The Code Breaker Series hit number one on Amazon. Both acclaimed series are available for purchase at http://www.JackiDelecki.com. To learn more about Jacki and her books and to be the first to hear about giveaways join her newsletter found on her website. Follow her on FB—Jacki Delecki; Twitter @jackidelecki.