Thursday, April 11, 2019

Finding New Suspense

The search for a new author to read or a new book series often takes me to many different locations. I'm just  back from a trip to British Columbia for the Left Coast Crime writers/readers' convention where I had the opportunity to meet many new authors and say hello to some of my favorite writers from around the country and Canada.

But this week's guest in My Writing Corner is an author who comes from a closer location--Pennsylvania. C. Becker earned a B.S. degree in Medical Technology and MT (ASCP) certification. She has worked in clinical settings analyzing body fluids and testing drugs of abuse. As an author, C. Becker has published  multiple stories in various genres.  

Her latest book is Finding Euphoria from The Wild Rose Press, and today she joins us to  tell us about it:  

Six years ago, the idea of writing a novel percolated in my head. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had a mystery/suspense story to tell and I wanted to tell it. As I wrote, I researched, and as I researched, ideas formed in my mind. Thus the Euphoria trilogy evolved. The series centers around Bixa aparra, a shrub that originated in the Amazon and was smuggled into the U.S. in the late 70s. Current day, the shrub is nearly extinct because of the deforestation of the rainforest. Each book uses this shrub in its plot. 
The first book Finding Euphoria centers on Hailey Langley, a mother who put her baby up for adoption. Seventeen years later, the adoptive father contacts Hailey when her now teenage son falls into a coma after trying an illicit drug—you guessed it—a drug called Euphoria, formed from the bark and leaf of the shrub. 
That sounds like a book readers will enjoy. How about a blurb?
Hailey Langley refuses to be a victim and has moved on from her traumatic past. But her marriage problems worsen when a deadly illicit drug threatens to draw her into the life she left behind.
Mark Langley has allowed his job to interfere with his marriage but he never suspected the secrets in Hailey's past might hold the key to solving both of his current investigations.
Together, they must unravel the mystery of the drug called Euphoria and find a way to save not only their marriage but countless lives before it's too late. 
The second book focuses on the mind-altering chemical harvested from the root of the Bixa appara, and the third book focuses on the shrub's flowers. As I plotted out the science, I structured the books so that each title reflected Hailey's emotional state. The fun (and hard) part was sprinkling the clues of the second and third books into the first novel. The Euporhia trilogy is not your ordinary romance. Life is never a bed of roses and this is especially true for Hailey. In each adventure, she runs from her emotions and struggles to hold her family together. The reader who follows the trilogy will see that Hailey's a fighter and pushes on, growing mentally stronger as she fights to keep her family together. 
Thank you for giving us a look at your books. Let's get an excerpt from Finding Euphoria:
            He turned the bottle around in his hand and set it on the end table. “Don’t put me in this position. You know what would happen. Grace is his mother. She’s the one who needs to stay with him.”
Regret tugged at her heart. “I wouldn’t take any time away from her.”
Parker groaned. “Just you being there would make her feel uncomfortable.”
“You know why.”
“But I’ve stayed away for seventeen years,” she whispered.
“That was the adoption arrangement.”
She bit her lip. “I can’t stay away any longer.”
“You agreed to those terms in the contract. You terminated all parental rights.” Parker stood and paced to the kitchen.
“But it’s not fair!” She put down her water and began wringing her hands.
Straightening his arms, he leaned against the bar. “Hailey, please don’t start. I know how you feel…”
“You couldn’t possibly know how I feel. I need to see him.” She fought to control the bitterness in her voice.
She rose, knocking over the water bottle. “He’s my son!”
“Not anymore, he isn’t.”
The rebuke stung. “He’ll always be my son!”
“When you gave him up, you promised to keep your distance.”
“I have.”
            The reminder lanced her heart. "You're being unfair. He's dying."
             He slammed his fist on the bar. "Don't say that. He can't die." Parker pushed himself up and stomped near the window, raising his hands to rest on top of his head as he faced the curtain.
            A muscle twitched in her hand. Her knees buckled. She sat on the edge of the couch, wringing her hands. "I was young. I couldn't give Justin the life he deserved. I"m not asking to take him back. I only want to see him."
            Rubbing his jaw, he walked back to the couch and sat. The hard lines on his face softened.
           “The adoption papers were clear. No contact.” He placed his hands on top of hers and stilled them. “If the decision was mine, I would allow it, but Grace would lose it if she found out you’re Justin’s biological mother.”
                  Her hands squeezed into tight fists. The urge was unbearable. “I wouldn’t tell her.”
                  Parker ran a hand through his hair. “Argh! Don’t you understand? She’d take one look at your face and know the truth. Don’t forget, you’re the one who wanted us to protect him.”
                  She stood. “Well, you did a hell of a fine job, didn’t you? You divorced Grace and deserted him. Parenting takes sacrifice, Parker. You were too busy changing careers, and now he’s messed up with drugs. How did that protect him?”
                  Standing, he reached for her.
                  “No. You stay away from me.” She extended her hands and backed up a step. “Justin’s dying! Dying, Parker! And I don’t know him…You won’t let me see my own son.”
                   He wrapped his arms around her.
                   She pushed him, pummeling her fists against his chest with all her strength.
                   He silently took his beating.

Thank you for that excerpt. Here are the buy links:


Romancing the Rails

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