Have you ever planted a seed?
What does planting a seed have to do with writing or a story called ‘IN THE PRESENCE OF EVIL’ you ask? Stay with me. I promise you’ll get it.
Planting a seed…. You take this little, tiny thing, something so small that it could be a speck of dust you normally wouldn’t even notice and carefully place it in the soil you’ve prepared and then cover it. Every day you water it and watch, waiting for the moment the seedling sprouts through the ground and turns its head toward the sun. The sense of joy you feel is hard to contain, right? Sure it is. Admit it. You what to jump up and down and shout to the world, “See what I did.” No one will think you a whuz for saying so, so go ahead and admit it.
As the sprout grows, you feed it, protect it from harm and hoe away all the nasty weeds that take away its nutrients. You watch it grow bigger and stronger until it is the prettiest thing. (Darn, I wish you could hear me say that in my mock southern twang) You can’t express how proud you feel showing off what you have created, but you show it by sticking your chest out and wearing a grin the size of the Grand Canyon. And it started all start with a tiny seed.
Writing a book mirrors the process and authors feel the same sense of pride when their books hit the cyber and hard shelves? IN THE PRESENCE OF EVIL, my new release from The Wild Rose Press, started with an idea, based on an actual personal experience. I can only tell you a bit. A request for a bank wire transfer from my work somehow got intercepted and was requested to be routed to a Russian bank account. This happened after Evil’s Witness was released, so needless to say, eyes turned toward me. “Me, come on.” I laughed until the FBI entered the investigation. I’m a country girl, born Army brat, who never wanted to be rich and bleeds red, white and blue. Please believe me.
Anyway, I wondered ‘what if’ a woman stumbles into a hornet’s nest where the Mafia is laundering money by controlling wire transfers from a small private owned bank. How would she stop them and who could she ask to help her? Okay the answers to that question is easy the FBI, CIA, or police. But we can’t have easy when writing a book. Easy is the weed that takes away from a good story. What if she didn’t know what was going on, until it was too late and her life was put into danger?
Again easy. Once she found out what the bad guys were after, our heroine being the heroine we’d all aspire to be would die for her country, thus screwing the bad guys. Yeah, Gina. So I fed the story and added in a cast of secondary characters that love Gina and who she loves, including one yummy marine hero, Cole Hanson. Yup that’s him. SIGH.
I played ‘what if again’ and asked what you do if the lives of those you love were to hang on the whether you help to commit a crime? Would you do anything asked of you? Or would you try to be a hero?
Like nurturing a seed from a dominate state into something to enjoyed, a great deal of time goes into writing a story that whisks you away to another world.
Excerpt from IN THE PRESENCE OF EVIL:
Rusty’s gaze shifted beyond Cole’s shoulder and an uneasy feeling crept up his back.
He turned. A beautiful woman walked toward them.
“I thought you had to get back to the hardware store, Rusty.” Her gaze locked with Cole’s, and she stopped cold.
Cole’s heartbeat echoed in his ears like the sharp, piercing, rapid fire that had ended his career. Those eyes. He remembered them whenever loneliness slipped past his guard and grabbed him by the throat. “Gina?”
A slight, hesitant smile formed on her face.
Rusty went up on his toes. “Look who’s here.”
“Son-of-a-bitch,” Gina said.
She took the words right out of his mouth. Cole took in every inch of her, starting at the leather boots she wore which added a few inches to her five-foot-five height, and worked his way up. Gina had changed. She wasn’t the lanky sixteen year-old girl he remembered. She had the curves of a woman.
Her rust-colored dress brought out the red highlights in her mass of long curls.
Curls he knew coiled tighter when wet after a late afternoon skinny-dip in Harvey’s Lake.
Gina crossed the short distance between them, holding his stare until she looked at Rusty. “You didn’t tell me Cole was coming.”
His name carried a quiver.
“I wanted to surprise you.” It was evident Rusty was enjoying the scene. The guy was practically hoppin’ in place.
“Well, you did that.”
Cole saw the rise of her breasts with an intake of air. Then, with the stark determination he remembered she met his gaze head on.
“So what brings you back to Mountain Pine? I know small town is not your lifestyle of choice.”
“That’s true. Rusty invited me for the holidays.”
Gina’s dark lashes did little to hide a flash of the storm seething inside her, and he wondered why she thought she had the right to be angry.
“Is that how you greet an old friend? Go ahead, hug the guy.” Rusty grabbed her elbow and urged her closer.
“Right.” She took a step and stuck out her hand. “It’s been a long time.”
From behind, Rusty gave her a swift nudge, and Gina fell against him.
Cole stiffened and fought to keep his breathing normal. At one time, they’d been friends. Close friends. First-time lovers.
“I’m going to kill him.”
Her warm whisper tickled Cole’s cheek. His eyes drifted shut as he leaned into her, wrapping her in his arms. Her hair smelled the same as it did years ago, like a summer field of wildflowers. Her body fit perfectly against his, just as it always had, and he felt the years slip away.
If you’d like to learn more about Autumn Jordon and her novels, visit www.autumnjordon.com