Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Perfect Spot for Crime

Sometimes story ideas come from strange places. Since I write Romantic Suspense, naturally there must be a crime scene to launch the suspense aspect. I love hands-on research, and when a story in the local paper caught my eye I was off and running.

The title of the article was Bogs Worth Exploring and Protecting by Evelyn Anderson. The article informed me that bogs are among Pennsylvania's most valued habitats. I learned a glacier once covered the northwestern part of the state, the basis and foundation for bogs. The area I was considering for my story's setting was referred to as a fen because of its alkalinity. Yet each bog is unique.

I don't wish to bore readers with technical data about bogs, although personally I found it interesting, but as I read the article, the word swampy grabbed my attention. More details got my imagination churning: floating sphagnum and glacial pools. I tweaked the image with shadows, winding paths, and the lingering odor often associated with a damp, swampy setting.

Hmmm...or a dead body, maybe?

Since my stories are set in places within easy access to the Great Lakes and all the wonderful sights bordering their shores, a crime within this rich, fertile, shadowy environment got me off and running....or, typing.

Here are two excerpts from Deadly Reflection. The first is my hero's encounter in the bog, the second is my heroine's shocking introduction to the shadowy, swampy environment that changes her life forever.

Enter: Nick McGraw: Vacationing police detective.

Perspiration trickled down Nick's spine, and a steady breeze molded his tee shirt to his damp skin. Swirling up from the bog were smells he'd almost forgotten.

         Moisture laden peat, thick as plush carpet, and an underlying hint of decay.

Then the wind shifted, and an all too familiar stench permeated the air around him. The hair on the back of Nick's neck rose and out of habit, he reached for his Walther PPK.

Enter: Cassandra Burke: An innocent bystander, maybe....

She swiped a hand across her eyes, crouched low, and peered into the surrounding shadows.

What is that smell?

Rufus lurched away, disappearing into the gloom.

"That's it." She scrambled after him. As she pushed through dense foliage, the swampy ground gave beneath her feet and seeped between her toes. Finally, frustrated and spitting mad, she caught sight of the retriever's golden coat.

"Rufus, come here."

He spared her the flick of one ear. He'd heard her, but he made no move to obey. Instead, he crept forward, heading straight for a pile of sticks, leaves, and God knows what else. Something reeked to high heaven, and the hum of insects droned in her ears.
            Thanks for stopping by my Blog about the Bog!

Available now:
Deadly Reflection