Disaster Crimes Series
How the Series came to be…
The Disaster Crimes Series started with the desire to write just one story. Years ago, I read a book set during a blizzard. When I finished reading it, I realized how many winter stories I’ve read, but I had never read one about weather I knew…hurricane weather. Right away, I set off to write that story. I knew I wanted it to be a romantic-suspense. Except, I didn’t want it to be typical. What better way to do that than by making my heroine’s counterpart a suspected murderer? That’s how the crime aspect came about.
It wasn’t until after I published Hurricane Crimes and heard from two readers when a series became my next goal. One reader wished Hurricane Crimes had been longer. The other reader wanted to know what happened with Donovan before Hurricane Crimes started. Then I realized a pretty big flaw…there was still a killer at loose!
Immediately, I knew I wanted to carry the disaster and crime features over into the sequel. But which disaster do I write about? There’s so many! That’s how I got the idea to write a series. I created a list of the disasters I wanted to write about and soon had the titles picked out. I actually had the titles for books 2-5 before I even had a clue about their plots! When you get an idea, you don’t hop, you jump. And that’s exactly what I did. I jumped all in.
With the unfolding story from Hurricane Crimes, and the story I set up in Seismic Crimes, I was about to connect each book with criminals and crimes.
I struggled with the title for Hurricane Crimes. I knew I wanted “hurricane” in it, but I couldn’t figure out a way to tie in everything else that happens in the story. The first title I thought of was Hurricane Criminal or The Hurricane Criminal, because Donovan is a suspected murderer. But that wasn’t right, so I kept searching. Finally, the solution bonked me on the head. I thought, if I don’t like “criminal” then I can short it to “crime.” But not just one crime happens, though. Several do. Big and small. Tack on an “s,” and VOILA! Hurricane Crimes.
When I got the idea to write a series, I wanted each story to be linked, not only with their continuing story lines, but with their titles. I felt that Hurricane Crimes was a title with impact, and I wanted each story after it to have that same force. Therefore, I decided to use the name of a disaster (or a word to describe the disaster) and pair it with “crimes” for each title. The fact that each story is full of all sorts of criminal activity helps, too.
Hurricane Crimes was strongly based on my experience with Hurricane Francis and Tropical Storm Fay. Hurricane Francis was one of three hurricanes that struck Florida, one right after the other, in 2004. As a matter of fact, while writing Hurricane Crimes, I imagined Beth’s house was the house I was living in when those hurricanes hit. Unlike Beth’s house, mine survived. The only damaged was to parts of the porch and the garage door, which was knocked down.
The flooding in Hurricane Crimes was based on the floods from Tropical Storm Fay. She made landfall on Florida four times. Many places flooded. Where I was living, the streets flooded so much that it looked like my house was floating in the middle of a lake.
Thankfully, I have not experienced an earthquake or tsunami, but Book 4 (which I will be editing soon) is about wildfires, and I have experienced those. The fire in that story, which threatens Beth and Donovan’s home, is taken directly from my childhood memories. Every part of it: my best friend’s dad saying the fire looked like it was right next to my house, the moment when I see a crowd of gawkers at the end of the street and I yell at them, my dad on the roof with a hose, the firefighter who got burned, the brush truck that got stuck in the fiery woods…everything.
Even real-life random moments were used fictitiously, such as my mom coming out of the house with a bag of potatoes, and one of my cats running toward the fire. She survived, but another one of my cats, Angel, had also run toward the flames. She came home that night. Burned. She died a few days later on my twelfth birthday.
I fully believe in using our experiences in our stories, and that’s what I do.
(Novella – 41 pages)
After her car breaks down, Beth Kennedy is forced to stay in Florida, the target of Hurricane Sabrina. She stocks up supplies, boards up windows, and hunkers down to wait out the storm, but her plan unravels when she witnesses a car accident. Risking her life, she braves the winds to save the driver. Just when she believes they are safe, she finds out the man she saved could possibly be more dangerous than the severe weather.
Donovan Goldwyn only wanted to hide from the police, but the hurricane shoved his car into a tree. Now he’s trapped with a beautiful woman while the evidence that can prove his innocence to a brutal crime is out there for anyone to find.
As Hurricane Sabrina wreaks havoc, Beth has no other choice but to trust Donovan to stay alive. But will she survive, or will she become another hurricane crime?
(Novel – 288 pages)
An Internal Affairs Investigator was murdered and his brother, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed. Now Donovan is desperate to prove his innocence. And the one person who can do that is the woman who saved him from a deadly hurricane—Beth Kennedy. From the moment their fates intertwined, passion consumed him. He wants her in his arms. More, he wants her by his side in his darkest moments.
Beth Kennedy may not know everything about Donovan, but she can’t deny what she feels for him. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a criminal’s crosshairs.
When a tip reveals the killer’s location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them. As aftershocks roll the land, Beth and Donovan have to endure dangerous conditions while trying to find their way back to one another. Will they reunite and find the killer, or will they lose everything?
(SHORT STORY – 22 Pages)
A freak lightning storm unleashes its energy on Central Florida. Bolts of lightning crash to the ground. Torrential rain soaks everything within seconds. And the power goes out, casting Beth and Donovan’s apartment into darkness. Beth is already on edge after receiving a menacing phone call several months ago, and this storm doesn’t help with her nerves.
Donovan tries to distract her from Mother Nature’s tantrum, but someone else has other plans. When they find the front door to their apartment wide open, they soon realize it isn’t an accident. Someone is in their apartment with them.
What crime can happen as fast as lightning?
(Novel – 272 Pages)
Beth and Donovan have come a long way from Hurricane Sabrina and the San Francisco earthquake. Now they are approaching their wedding day and anxiously waiting to promise each other a lifetime of love. The journey down the aisle isn’t smooth, though, as they receive threats from the followers of the notorious criminal, Jackson Storm. They think they’ll be safe in Hawaii, but distance can’t stop these killers. Not even a tsunami can.
This monstrous wave is the most devastating disaster Beth has ever faced. It leaves her beaten, frightened. Is she a widow on her honeymoon? As she struggles to hold herself together and find Donovan, she’s kidnapped by Jackson’s men.
Fearing her dead, Donovan searches the rubble and shelters with no luck. The thought of her being swept out to sea is almost too much for him to bear, but the reality is much worse. She’s being used as bait to get him to fall into a deadly trap.
If they live through this disaster, they may never be the same again.