Guest Post: Evelyn Cullet+ Excerpt

You Don’t Want to Just Fall in Love, You Want to Fall in Love Along With the Characters in a Mystery Romance Novel.
When I’m writing mystery romance and romantic suspense novels, I find that writing the romance part means walking a fine line. How much is too much? And how much is not enough? That’s something every author and every reader has to decide. I think a love interest spices up the plot and adds another dimension to the story. While every mystery reader enjoys the puzzle-mystery aspect, the romance makes the reader’s ties to the sleuth even stronger.
Studies show that if a woman meets a man in a dangerous situation (and vice versa) she is more likely to fall in love with him than if she met him in a more mundane setting. And it’s the same for the characters in any mystery that has a romantic subplot. Mystery or “the chase” is a critical element in romantic suspense. It’s sometimes called the “Romeo and Juliet Effect.” A situation with challenges or obstructions is likely to intensify one character’s passion for another.
Timing also significantly influences love. Individuals are more likely to fall in love if they are looking for adventure, feeling lonely, or are displaced in a foreign country, like when they’re on vacation, as is the case in my novel, Masterpiece of Murder.

And one of the greatest predictors of love is proximity. Throw two people together for any length of time and the physical closeness alone can lead to increased emotions. That’s why it’s not unusual to hear stories of secretaries falling in love with their bosses. In my next novel, Love, Lies and Murder, due out in September, you’ll see a good example of this.
The women in novels always fall in love with a partner who has ambition, education, wealth, respect, status, a sense of humor, and who is taller than she is with distinctive cheekbones and/or a strong jawbone. And who wouldn’t fall in love with a guy like that in real life? That’s why I always give those attributes to my male love interests. I think readers appreciate that. At least, I hope they do.

Excerpt from Masterpiece of Murder

Brett stared at the sun coming up over the horizon. “You could be right. He may have killed her. But now that she’s out of the picture, so to speak, I need someone in the house to find out what happened to the painting.”
Charlotte turned to him. Her stomach suddenly tightened with a feeling of dread. “You’re not suggesting I do it?”
“You’re the only person I can trust.”
“Are you insane?” she screamed. “I don’t want to be in that house. I don’t even want to be in this country.” She grabbed the lapels of his jacket and pulled him forward, as the pitch of her voice skyrocketed. “You have got to get me out of here. I could be arrested at any moment, tortured to find out what I know, and thrown into prison. Or Ty could stab me with a pallet knife and dump my body in the lake or push me down the stairs and make my death look like an accident. I’m afraid to be in the same room with him! You’ve got to get me a fake passport. I want to go home. Do you hear me? I want to go home!”
“Now, you want to go home?” Brett said. “Calm down, Charlotte, you’re working yourself into hysterics.”
Charlotte’s eyes went wild. “I can’t calm down. You don’t know what I’ve been through!”
Brett gripped her shoulders. He gazed into her eyes, then his gaze dropped down to her mouth and suddenly he was kissing her.
The intensity stole Charlotte’s breath away. She felt his power, his passion. His mouth was as warm and delicious as she remembered, and an undeniable desire for him rose up from deep inside. It was impossibly exciting!
She would take advantage of every precious moment.
When his intensity waned, she kissed him back—ravenously, passionately, selfishly.
As their lips parted and she opened her eyes, he was gazing at her. All she could think about was how much she loved him. She released her grip on his jacket and went limp.
Brett appeared stunned, as if he hadn’t expected her to respond to his kiss that way. He puffed out a deep, short breath and said, “Feeling calmer now?”
“Yes,” she whispered, even though she felt anything but calm. Damn him! Did he think one passionate kiss was all it would take to control me? She shook her head in shame. I wish he didn’t know me so well.
After a few moments, she was finally able to pull her emotions back in check. “Oh Brett,” she sighed, “what am I going to do?”
He lifted her chin, and his warm, brown eyes touched her heart with a sincere look. “You know I would never put you in any real danger, don’t you?”
She nodded.
“Then will you help me?”
Charlotte sighed in resignation. “All right. If it means that much to you, I’ll help.”

MASTERPIECE OF MURDER is available in print and ebook from:
Amazon –
B & N –

LOVE, LIES AND MURDER – Coming September, 2013

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Samantha
    Aug 15, 2013 @ 15:15:11

    Thanks for being in the tour!


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