I love romantic suspense – J.D. Robb, Nora Roberts, and the old classics like Mary Stewart - but up until a couple of years ago it had never crossed my mind to have a try at writing in this genre. One day, though, I saw a call for submissions for a romantic suspense anthology. My mind began working subconsciously in that “What if…?” kind of way and shortly after seeing the call an idea for a story popped into my head, and I really wanted to write it down.The story I dreamed up was a classic doppelgänger suspense, with a princess vanished in mysterious circumstances and a heroine who looks enough like her to play her part. Added to that was a handsome bodyguard, a housekeeper as creepy as Mrs. Danvers, and a dramatic twist that surprised the heroine – and almost ruined everything for her.
To cut a long story short (pardon the pun!) the anthology didn’t go ahead, but the agent who had intended to put it together emailed me to tell me how much she’d loved my short story, and how she thought I should expand it into a novella.
I’d loved my characters, too, and I loved the idea of making the story longer, and especially of getting to know my bodyguard hero better. And that’s how my novella Palace of Deception came about.
I released Palace of Deception last year as an eBook, and it will be published in large print next year. (At the moment, I’m offering all new subscribers to my newsletter a FREE copy of Palace of Deception. You can subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/bRQtsT)
I thought Palace of Deception would be the end of my foray into romantic suspense but Lizzie and Léon – my Mediterranean bodyguard and Scottish heroine – refused to bow out so easily.
Palace of Deception is set in Montverrier – a fictional Mediterranean principality – and I couldn’t help wondering what would happen to Léon when he travelled with Lizzie to her home in Edinburgh at the end of the story. How would a hot-blooded Mediterranean bodyguard fit in in this dark, chilly city in the north? Would their relationship survive the move? And then what if danger followed them…?
The Scottish Diamond follows the fortunes of Lizzie and Léon in Scotland. Edinburgh has been at the centre of some thrilling and dramatic events in history, from the siege of Edinburgh Castle in the fourteenth century, to the brutal murder of Mary Queen of Scots’ private secretary in her rooms at Holyrood Palace, to the capture and imprisonment of Highland rebels in the Jacobite revolution. This beautiful and unique city lends itself perfectly to mystery and romance.
The Scottish Diamond of the title of my novella belonged to the fictional aristocratic Falmire family. In 1745, Lord Falmire fought in the Jacobite revolution, and was forced to flee to my fictional Mediterranean country of Montverrier, taking the diamond with him. While in Montverrier, he played cards with the Montverrian prince, and… Well, you’ll have to read the rest of the story to find out what happens to the diamond in the present day!
The Scottish Diamond was great fun to write, and the Edinburgh setting added enormously to the mystery and romance of the tale.
I’ve now released both novellas – Palace of Deception and The Scottish Diamond, in one boxed set along with a short story that provides an epilogue to Lizzie and Léon’s story. The collection is called A Year of Light and Shadows.
About the books : A Year of Light and Shadows contains three romantic mysteries in one volume.
Palace of Deception
From the heat of the Mediterranean....
When the Princess of Montverrier goes missing, Lizzie Smith takes on the acting job of her life. Alone and surrounded by intrigue in the Royal Palace, she relies on her quiet bodyguard, Léon. But who is he really protecting? Lizzie... or the Princess?
The Scottish Diamond
To the heart of Scotland...
Home in Scotland, Lizzie begins rehearsals for Macbeth, and finds danger stalking her through the streets of Edinburgh. She turns to her former bodyguard, Léon, for help - and discovers a secret he'd do anything not to reveal...
A Question by Torchlight
A story of mystery and romance...
The approach of Hogmanay in Edinburgh means a new year and new resolutions. Lizzie and Léon have put their year of danger behind them. But something is still troubling Léon, and Lizzie fears the worst...
BUY LINKS: A Year of Light and Shadows is available on pre-order on Amazon: http://mybook.to/lightandshadows
and on Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/a-year-of-light-and-shadows
and other major e-tailers. The print version is coming soon.
About the author : Helena Fairfax writes engaging contemporary romances with sympathetic heroines and heroes she's secretly in love with. Her novels have been shortlisted for several awards, including the Exeter Novel Prize, the Global EBook Awards, the I Heart Indie Awards, and the UK's Romantic Novelists' Association New Writers' Scheme Award.
Helena is a British author who was born in Uganda and came to England as a child. She's grown used to the cold now, and these days she lives in an old Victorian mill town in the north of England, right next door to the windswept Yorkshire moors. She walks this romantic landscape every day with her rescue dog, finding it the perfect place to dream up her heroes and her happy endings.
Follow Helena :If you’d like to get in touch, or find out more about my books, writing, and photos of my settings or the Yorkshire moors where I live, please follow my newsletter by subscribing here: http://eepurl.com/bRQtsT
All new subscribers to my newsletter will receive a FREE copy of Palace of Deception – the first book in the collection A Year of Light and Shadows
You can also visit me on my website at www.helenafairfax.com, or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HelenaFairfax/, or Twitter https://twitter.com/HelenaFairfax