Guest Post + Giveaway: When Romantic Suspense and True Crime Accidentally Meet by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Hi all! Happy Halloween! To help us celebrate this spookiest of holidays, author Rebekah Weatherspoon joins Binge on Books to talk Romantic Suspense and True Crime and also to bring you, a giveaway!


When Romantic Suspense and True Crime Accidentally Meet by Rebekah Weatherspoon

I’ve been a fan of true crime since America’s Most Wanted made me suspicious of every white man over the age of twenty-five. Now-days you could say I’m obsessed. From the old school American Justice and Forensic Files to NBC and CBS’s Dateline and 48 Hours I have a thing for what a friend of mine dubbed “Murder Shows”. Despite this weird interest of mine, I’d never considered writing horror, mystery or romantic suspense. That all changed in 2016. For obvious reasons the world got a little darker. I wanted to write something dark. I wanted to let out a little bit of the anger that was cranking through me. I started drafting HAVEN, which opens with two homicides. When I first picked the location for Shep’s mountain home I didn’t think to google any true crimes in that area. Why would I? I was writing fiction, based on my own imagination.

But, not 24 hours after I started working on HAVEN (I’d written the 2 murders in question and put the heroine and hero through one hell of a meet cute) fellow romance author, HelenKay Dimon tweeted about watching a true crime show on the Keddie Murders. I caught the tweet and just had to google. The Keddie Murders are a horrific, violent crime that resulted in the death of four people back in 1981. It also happened in the same Northern California town where I had set up Shep and his secluded cabin. I couldn’t believe it. Later, when I started listening to the true crime podcast My Favorite Murder, they too, covered the Keddie Murders that are still unsolved to this day. I ended up changing the name of Shep’s mountain because while real life does drive fiction, I didn’t want to link the two that way. The next book in the series, HARBOR, will have an intentional link to the Long Island Serial Killer, an ongoing, unsolved investigation.

 

You can learn more about what happened in Keddie California here or check out episode #13 of My Favorite Murder.

 


Rebekah Weatherspoon is celebrating Halloween with a special HAVEN giveaway! Enter below to win your choice of either an e-copy (international) or paperback (USA) of her bestseller, HAVEN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


About Haven

A week-long getaway…

City girl Claudia Cade’s carefree life is plunged into chaos when a camping trip with her brother in the national forests of Northern California turns into a deadly dash for her survival.

 

 

 

 


Bio: Award-winning author Rebekah Weatherspoon was raised in Southern New Hampshire and now lives in Southern California where she finally found her love for writing romance.
 Most recently her queer paranormal romance, SOUL TO KEEP, Book 3 in the Vampire Sorority Sisters Series won the Lambda Literary Award for Best LGBTQ Erotica. And her coming romantic suspense title, HARBOR hits shelves Spring 2018. Come on by and get to know Rebekah on twitter at @rdotspoon . You can find more stories by Rebekah at rebekahweatherspoon.com

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Sounds Like Halloween: Day 7 with Emma Barry

Emma Barry joins Sounds Like Halloween with a suspenseful scene from Earth Bound.


About Earth Bound by Emma Barry and Genevieve Turner: 

Houston, Texas, 1961
The race to the moon is on, and engineer Eugene Parsons has two enemies: danger and distraction. Nothing is more distracting than his attraction to the brilliant, beautiful computer scientist on his team, but he’s determined to overcome it since he needs her to help America win.
Charlie Eason is used to men underestimating her. It comes with being a woman in engineering, but it’s worth it to join the space race—even if she can’t figure out what’s behind the intense looks one tightly wound engineer keeps sending her. But life isn’t as unemotional or predictable as code, and things soon boil over with the intriguingly demanding Parsons.

With every launch, their secret affair grows thornier. The lines between work and play tangle even as Parsons and Charlie try to keep them separate. But when a mission goes wrong, they’ll have to put aside their pride for the greater good—and discover that matters of the heart have a logic all their own.



About Emma Barry: 

Emma Barry is a novelist, full-time mama, and recovering academic. When she’s not reading or writing, she loves hugs from her twins, her husband’s cooking, her cat’s whiskers, her dog’s tail, and Earl Grey tea.
Connect with Emma: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Learn more about the Sounds Like Halloween audio series, including authors taking part & what you can expect, here.


 

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Guest Post: Found Family in Romance by Pene Henson


My love, there’s only you in my life. —Lionel Richie, Endless Love

Over and over, fiction tells us romantic love is our primary goal. It’s the highest height, the most powerful salve to loneliness. There’s something compelling about that story – a story that pits lovers against the universe, a story about love over everything else. It’s epic, fated, star-crossed romance, with a beautiful soundtrack.

But real life tells a different story. One in three Americans over 45 are lonely, regardless of whether these people are happily in a relationship or not. In real life we need broader relationships as old and as deep as romantic love.

It felt like a family reunion for the family I’d never really known, a homecoming at the place where I was always meant to be but hadn’t known how to find. —David Levithan, Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story

When I fell in love with my wife, Robbie, I inherited a dirt bike, a yellow and white vintage trailer, a dinghy, two pets, and four best friends.

Robbie’s friendship with these women has survived heartbreak, coming out, illicit substances, dance parties, softball teams, double beds. They have thousands of memories I’ll never share. They have twenty-year-old nicknames, thirty-year-old schemes, almost forty-year-old stories. They say “mate” the same way. They talk about dogs and building projects and boats. They give Robbie room to be frustrated or thrilled, tired or caring, and always herself.

I come with my own mismatched collection of essential humans—people I turn to with a new plot or anxieties at work, people I trust to read bad reviews and admire photos of my kids. These people type ALSO I LOVE YOU in all caps, send heart eyes emojis, and celebrate a book birthday by telling everyone they know. They remember my poor decisions; they tell me I’m strong. These are the people I open a third bottle of champagne with, even though these days we have to wake up at 6 a.m.

Together, these people form our family of choice.

We all look for a haven at the end of the day. Many people, especially queer folk, don’t have that home with their family of origin. Found families aren’t bound together by blood or awkward rules about being nice to your aunty. They don’t mean you leave your principles at the door. They do mean you’re committed even when it’s tough.  

I thought about my found family when I wrote my first novel, and threw a group of twenty-two-year-olds into a rundown beach house, and when I wrote my second novel and gave Lien a layered queer community in Sydney.

We read to know we are not alone. —William Nicholson, Shadowlands

There’s a thrill in opening a new book. Who are these characters? Who do they love? What breaks them? What puts them back together?

I love stories where the main characters have a chosen family already in place. I love the fondness and knowledge and teasing, the ferocious kindness. I love watching them fight for and sometimes with one another.

There are narrative benefits. Found family adds strength and breadth to the romance—the delight when a family of choice accepts and values a love interest. Found family gives the characters support and safety in their worst times—in heartbreak the character’s found family is there with food or fighting words and that understanding that years of knowing someone brings. Found family can build conflict—it’s terrible to see a character pulled between romance and a family they’ve chosen.

Found families flourish among all kinds of fictional people: a ragtag group of survivors, a circus troupe, a werewolf pack, hockey players, surfers sharing a beach house. These crucial relationships deepen a love story and stay with us long after the book is over.

Mr. Maclay: You people have no right to interfere with Tara’s affairs. We are her blood kin! Who the hell are you?
Buffy: We’re family. —
Joss Whedon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Family

How about some recs… These are books I’ve read and loved. But tell me your own!


In Michelle Osgood’s Canadian werewolf series THE BETTER TO KISS YOU WITH, romantic relationships are intertwined with vibrant found family relationships that reflect real life queer communities. Human Deanna turns to her BFF Nathan for a tension-releasing laugh or to hold her hand when the whole werewolf thing is too much. Alpha Kira has her brother Cole and right hand Jamie for fierce and unconditional support. In turn she must look out for them.


ROGUE WOLF’s band of space pirates are family from the first page. Elliot Cooper depicts the intimacy between five people who share living space, working space and fighting space. The characters know one another like they know their ship, they anticipate one another’s needs almost without thinking. It makes any secrets between them tougher to handle.


HEELS OVER HEAD by Elyse Springer is a diving romance and it doesn’t start with a found family. Instead it starts with very distinct and quite prickly personalities. But through training in close quarters the characters learn one another’s physicality like they know their own; they learn to have hopes and dreams for one another. They become family.


The upcoming OLYMPIA KNIFE by Alysia Constantine is an extraordinary book where a circus troupe is home and family to queer women and people with little safety elsewhere.


Avon Gale’s SCORING CHANCES series is interlinked stories of love and hockey. Many of the books focus on the hockey family surrounding and supporting these men and the close, sometimes prickly, sometimes invaluable relationships with teammates and coaches.  


In DARK HORSE by A L Brooks, Sadie’s made a home with her best friend and her grandmother. The three of them have an irreverent relationship which rings true to the Australian setting. The book deals with Sadie’s abandonment issues and the impact that has on her chosen family, even while she rebuilds a connection with her mother and falls in love.


Cheyenne Blue’s GIRL MEETS GIRL series of interlinked romances about Australian women living in the outback is enriched by the ways queer women build family over the world.


Pene Henson has gone from British boarding schools to New York City law firms. She now lives in Sydney, Australia, where she is an intellectual property lawyer and published poet who is deeply immersed in the city’s LGBTQIA community. She spends her spare time enjoying the outdoors and gazing at the ocean with her wife and two unexpectedly exceptional sons. Her first novel Into the Blue (Interlude Press, 2016) received a Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Romance. Her second novel, Storm Season, was published by Interlude Press in 2017.

Connect with Pene: www.penehenson.com or @penehenson on twitter.


 

 

 

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Historical Paranormal Romance review: Spectred Isle by KJ Charles

Spectred Isle by KJ Charles

Published by: KJC Books

Format: eARC

Genre: Historical paranormal romance

Order at: Amazon

Reviewed by: Erin

What to Expect: A terrifying adventure in 1920s England featuring found families, finding meaning of life after the horrors of war, and a sweet love story.

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Contemporary Romance Review: Haven by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Haven by Rebekah Weatherspoon (Beards and Bondage 1)

Published by: Self-Published

Format: mobi ARC

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Order at: Amazon

Reviewed by: Erin

What to Expect:

This book represents everything I love about romance as a genre. It explores something profoundly true about the human condition, all while the characters bone down in increasingly hot and creative ways. What else could anyone want?

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Historical Romance Review: A Gathering Storm by Joanna Chambers

A Gathering Storm by Joanna Chambers

Published by: Riptide

Format: mobi ARC

Genre: Historical Romance

Order at: Amazon

Reviewed by: Erin

What to Expect: Compelling, beautifully written historical romance with a complicated relationship developing at its center.

 

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Contemporary Romance Review: Wait for It by M O’Keefe

Wait for It by M O’Keefe

Published by: Loveswept

Format: e-ARC

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance

Order at: Amazon

Reviewed by: Erin

What to Expect: An impeccably written erotic thriller, with terrific, complex characters and great female friendships.

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Historical Romance Review: An Unseen Attraction by KJ Charles

unseen

An Unseen Attraction by KJ Charles

Published by: Loveswept

Format: e-ARC

Genre: Historical Romance

Order at: Amazon

Reviewed by: Erin

What to Expect: An exciting mystery, a sweet romance, and all the Victorian taxidermy you could ever ask for!

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Romantic Suspense Review: Guarding Mr. Fine by HelenKay Dimon

guarding

Guarding Mr. Fine by HelenKay Dimon (Tough Love #3)

Published by: Loveswept

Format: e-ARC

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Order at: Amazon

Reviewed by: Erin

What to Expect: Car chases, explosions, an exciting mystery, and men who would rather cut off a limb than have a feeling.

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Contemporary Romance Review: Hard Wired by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

hard wired

Hard Wired by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell (Cyberlove #3)

Published by: Megtino Press

Format: e-ARC

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Order at: Amazon

Reviewed by: Erin

What to Expect: An exploration of the intersection of our online identities and our physical lives, the realities of the modern economy, and the awesome power of fandom, all wrapped up in lots and lots of explicit sex. A smart and hot love letter to the digital age.

 

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