Since I write in quite a few different genres, I alternate between those genres so fans for that particular genre can look forward to a new book. When I was due to write a romantic suspense, I started thinking about this particular book. First, I had to think of a topic. I wanted to write a paranormal about ghosts this time because many readers love ghost stories like my popular paranormal romantic suspense GRAVE FUTURE.
Now I was ready to begin. I like to come up with a title before I start writing. Sometimes that’s impossible, but usually I’m able to think of one that suits the project. To think of a title, I brainstorm, writing down whatever comes to mind. THE WAKEFIELD DISTURBANCE just wormed its way in. I have no idea why Wakefield, because that is the name of a location or also, a last name. Now I had a last name for one of my characters, but which one?
Setting that thought aside for awhile, I deliberated about what kind of a Disturbance could be called The Wakefield Disturbance. I came up with the idea of the heroine having a psychic ability that causes a shimmer around her when she receives communication from the dead. Her last name would be Wakefield. Now I had a heroine, Lara, who can hear messages from the dead. From there I built the story and the hero, private investigator Stuart Manning, around Lara’s needs. That’s about it in a nutshell!
A GIFT... OR A CURSE?
Lara Wakefield receives messages from the dead. Her latest “client” is a murdered young girl who wants to be put to rest. The girl’s killer, however, objects. Can Lara find the girl’s body without becoming the next victim?
MONEY OR LOVE?
Private investigator Stuart Manning wants nothing to do with supernatural phenomena. A retainer of $50,000 overcomes his reluctance. Lara’s innate ability, integrity, and beauty cause him to have second thoughts about psychics, while deadly occurrences cause him to believe the little girl’s murderer is still hanging around. How can Stuart protect Lara when the killer is always one step ahead?
Communicating with the Dead: a gift or a curse??
Psychic Lara Wakefield is tasked by a murdered young girl to find her killer.
A Real Life Tidbit. The locale of the murdered girl’s summer home is based on a popular resort in Montana. This resort also has a petting zoo. Below is a photo of the llama that was the inspiration for an important part of THE WAKEFIELD DISTURBANCE’s mystery. In the book, you’ll find resting on the grass can be very relaxing... or can serve another purpose!
Here’s a passage from THE WAKEFIELD DISTURBANCE that features the llama. Scene Setup: A member of the houseparty has just been found murdered. Lara and her young friend Chrissy take a break from the investigation to lunch outside.
Unseasonably warm sun beat down on Lara's shoulders. Mmmm, she couldn't help but enjoy it. Good thing she and Chrissy had decided to leave the unhealthy atmosphere of the mansion for awhile. Taking a picnic lunch by the petting zoo was an excellent idea.
Sitting on the grass, Lara munched on a sandwich and watched her young friend propped against the fence as she fed the animals. The family of ducks swam to the pond's edge to furiously peck at the bits of food Chrissy threw to them. The three mountain goats moseyed over to graze on animal crackers. Only the llama remained where it was, still resting under the shade of a birch tree.
"Why won't she come over and eat?" Chrissy grumbled. "I want to pet her."
"You're grubby from petting the goats. Maybe the llama wants clean hands," Lara joked. Despite the morning's horrible experience, she actually was having fun, and was glad Chrissy was, too.
Instead of being scared or disgusted by the news of the murder, the girl had been delighted. Her own murder mystery to solve, she had said.
Lara shook her head. Shades of Agatha Christie! What a gruesome reaction.
But she couldn't think about that. It was so peaceful outside, under the wide open sky. The only sounds she could hear were the nibbling of the ducks and the gentle breeze rustling through the trees.
And Chrissy's complaints.
"The llama must be hungry. She hasn't been fed yet. That's what the older lady told me--Rose, Tawnie's mother. So why doesn't the darn beast come here?"
The llama couldn't have been too hungry for it sat with all four legs folded under it, showing no intention of getting up.
Chrissy stomped over to Lara and pouted. "She looks at me but doesn't move!"
"Maybe it wants room-service," Lara offered.
"Maybe you should climb over the fence and bring the food to the llama."
"Cool beans!" The girl rushed to the post-and-lintel fence, then paused. "D'you think I'm allowed to go in?"
"I don't see why not. Just keep your hands away from the llama's mouth, okay?"
"Sure." Chrissy hopped over the fence and slowly walked the distance to the animal. It watched her progress, but didn't budge. Only when Chrissy placed some crackers in front of it, did it bend its wooly neck and chew on the treat.
Another satisfied customer!
To find out more, read The Wakefield Disturbance! I hope you enjoy Lara and Stuart’s story.
Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!