All blogs are property of authors and copying is not permitted.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

"Saving Sophia" and the Joy of Romantic Suspense by Suz deMello (@naughtyliterati #romanticsuspense #romance #boxset)

It's winter, so there's a new, seasonally themed anthology from the Naughty Literati--Naughty Flames. Read how supermodel Sophie Fortune and Detective Inspector Nick Wendell burn up the (digital) pages!

Here's what my story's about:

"It doesn’t matter” is cynical Sophie Fortune’s motto. Then her best friend is killed and Sophie herself is attacked. Can Detective Inspector Nick Wendell keep her safe and heal her heart?

Here's a review:

 “I loved the sexual tension between Nick and Sophia...”
--Rebecca A, Amazon reader

Yes, I know that this isn't much information, so here's a snippet of text to pique your interest: 

...After word had got out that supermodel Sophia Fortune was working at Out of the Closet, the charity shop was inundated with customers, which was fine with her. She wanted to honor Tink by donating her time, and better yet, she was kept too busy to mourn more than was healthy. She had cried a river at the funeral and the inquest, which had concluded that her dear friend Belle Tinker had been murdered by “a person or persons unknown” when she’d closed up the shop late one winter evening.

Sophie adored the shop, a quiet retreat from the bustle of Marylebone High Street outside. Carpeted in cream pile, lined by racks of designer clothing and smelling of Chanel No. 5, the long room calmed her the moment she entered, regardless of the number of customers. The chime of the bell above the door and soft Diana Krall piano were equally soothing. No wonder Tink had loved this place.

Tink had mattered. Out of the Closet mattered.

That Sophie’s service, if it lasted a year, would fulfill the conditions of her parents’ odd will was a side-benefit that did not matter. She had more than enough money, given that she’d been modeling since she was thirteen.

Even the warnings of the detective investigating Tink’s murder didn’t pierce
Sophie finds that there's something
about a sharp-dressed man...
her serenity. A tall, well-built fellow in a sombre suit, he’d gathered everyone who worked at the shop together to warn them. We believe that Ms. Tinker was attacked because of her association with this shop... When you leave at night, be sure you’re not alone...

Though he had a pleasant North Country accent like Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, she’d barely heard what he’d said—she’d been too occupied imagining him naked. He looks far too young to be a Detective Inspector. Hazel eyes, dark hair...yum. And what a body!

That freaks targeted LGBTQ folks bothered Sophie, but she didn’t think she was in danger.  Not only was she straight, but she’d been dealing with paparazzi all her life—she knew how to get rid of unwanted attention. And because no additional attacks had occurred, she figured Tink’s murder was a one-off.

So one Friday evening, when the assistant manager wanted to leave early to attend her daughter’s violin recital, Sophie said, “Sure, go ahead,” without a thought to her personal safety.

At six p.m., she locked the front entrance, then set the alarm before leaving via the side door, which opened into an alley alongside. Night fell early in January, leaving the little side-street dark, cold and deserted. She pulled the door closed behind her, double-bolting it. With the shop’s interior lights off, the alley was completely cast in shadow except for one light above Out of the Closet’s door.

But it didn’t matter. The High Street, with open shops and taxis galore, was just a few steps away. After fumbling in her satchel to find her e-cig, she hitched the bag onto her shoulder and sucked in a pleasurable drag, then turned toward light and people.

A blaze of pain shot through her head and she dropped to her knees. “Ow! Shite!” She reached up, and something whacked her hand, then hit the back of her skull again. She screamed before falling forward, forehead to the pavement.


She awakened in a hospital bed, with three concerned faces peering down at her. One she recognized—her brother Peter. “They must have rung you,” she said faintly. The woman was a mystery; a doctor, perhaps, judging by her atrocious garb. And the third was...Detective Inspector Dreamboat.

Like what you read? Buy it here:

But why write a story like this one? Why romantic suspense?

There are two answers to that question.

First, as a reader, I love romantic suspense because of the thrills, chills and spills. If I jump out of chair from surprise, if I squirm in my seat from heat-inducing romance, if I’m too tense to ever read another word—them I know I’m reading a great book.

As a writer, I love romantic suspense because of the, yep, you got it—the thrills, chills and spills. But it’s different. Duh—few surprises because I’m the writer and I generally (though not always) know what’s going on and what’s going to happen. I say “generally” because I have written books which, when I started them I had no solid ideas about how the book would end.

Because I write romance, I know that the hero and the heroine (or sometimes the two heroes and the very lucky, very sated heroine) will end up together. However, because of the suspense elements and the vagaries of character development (I never know what one will do—they’re full of surprises) I may not quite know the end of the mystery when I start.

I’ve been known to change the identity of the villain in mid-stream because I felt that the book was boring, or perhaps I was giving too many clues to the reader. Characters shift and change.

For example, when I started writing Saving Sophia, I had no idea that the hero, Detective Inspector Nick Wendell, hailed from Yorkshire. I didn't know that Sophie, the heroine, hoped to...

Never mind. That’s too much to tell.

As a writer, I also like my characters to have something to do while they’re falling in love, at least a little more than drinking coffees at Starbucks. Unraveling a mystery together is a perfect opportunity for the characters to experience both intimacy and conflict.

Either way, their roles keep the characters busy while they’re falling for each other.


About me:

Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello has written nineteen books and has co-authored over ten more. Her genres include nonfiction, romance, erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense. She has also written numerous short stories and articles on writing. Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.

A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing the next story in the Fortune saga and planning her next trip.

Find her books at
For editing services, email her at
Befriend her on Facebook:
She tweets @suzdemello
Her current blog is


Judy Baker said...

Hi Suz, I enjoy reading romantic suspense too and your story drew me in. Best of luck and enjoy a holiday of reading, like me.

jean hart stewart said...

Great column and lots of suspense for your story! Happy Holidays to you and your readers..

Melissa Keir said...

Wonderful post! I love the snippet. I wish you all the best!

Suz said...

Thanks for your kind comments :)

Share buttons