Saturday, November 10, 2012


Today, the Killer Fiction authors are thrilled to welcome Nancy Northcott to the blog! Nancy is the author of RENEGADE, a fantastic new release filled with dark magic, danger, and romance.  The cover is pretty darn yummy, too!

LOVE IN DANGER by Nancy Northcott

Nothing sucks me into a story as quickly as danger, especially if I care about somebody who’s involved in it.  Will that character live or die?  If the hero or heroine and the villain are involved, who will survive?  How do the characters react to the danger and its aftermath? Life and death hit at a much more visceral level than, say, whether a character will close a business deal.

This is one reason I enjoy romantic suspense, mysteries, and thrillers.  There’s always an element of danger, and the life of a main character is almost always endangered.  Jon Land’s series about Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong and ex-hit man Cort Wesley Masters is rife with action and danger.  When we meet Cort Wesley in the first book, Strong Enough to Die, he’s about to be released from prison.  Caitlin is the officer who put him there.  He has committed a great many crimes but not the one he was imprisoned for.  When he goes looking for Caitlin, the reader doesn’t know what to expect.  They meet during a gun battle in a hospital (lots of action, with Caitlin badly outnumbered), and the story takes an unexpected twist that eventually leads to romance.

Karen Rose writes serial killers that are truly creepy.  They generally bring the heroine, and sometimes the hero, into their sights.  The jeopardy raises the stakes and makes the book harder to put down, at least for me. Rose’s heroes and heroines fall in love while confronting these menaces, and the dangers they face intensify my investment in their relationships.

The USA Network series Burn Notice started a new run Thursday night.  It stars Geoffrey Donovan as CIA agent Michael Westin, who started the series “burned” by the CIA.  To survive, he picked up odd jobs helping friends and neighbors out of trouble.  Bullets flying and/or things blowing up were usually involved, something his return to the CIA hasn’t changed.  His girlfriend, Fiona, is an expert on munitions but sometimes wonders if Michael will ever settle enough for their relationship to grow.  The series is well written and the characters are engaging, but without the risk Michael and his friends run, it would be less compelling.

In the movie The Peacemaker, George Clooney and Nicole Kidman are trying to recover stolen nuclear warheads.  They don’t know who has them or where they’re headed, but they fear someone is going to set off a nuclear explosion.  As the trail  narrows and we learn what the man with the warhead plans, millions of people are in danger.  Clooney’s and Kidman’s characters risk their lives to stop him.  They also become strongly attracted to each other.

A more romantic example from the Avert A Nuclear Explosion genre is Broken Arrow, starring Christian Slater, John Travolta, and Samantha Mathis.  Slater is an air force officer who is initially believed to have stolen a nuclear warhead.  Travolta is a superb villain as the officer who actually did steal it and plans to hold a major city hostage.  Mathis plays a park ranger who finds Slater in trouble and is sucked into his quest.  The movie has lots of action, which I especially like because Mathis’s character is so brave and smart.  Slater’s character seems to like that about her, too, and the relationship between them grows closer without obviously romantic scenes.

I incorporated a lot of action in my debut paranormal romance, Renegade, in which fugitive mages (if that word’s unfamiliar, think of wizards) must uncover a traitor before they’re captured and executed.   The story opens with the heroine, Valeria Banning, a prisoner of the mages’ enemies, the ghouls, who can siphon magic or life energy and use mages and normal humans as breeders or, occasionally, as snacks.  The hero, Griffin Dare, is the mage world’s most wanted criminal.  He hears her magical cry for help and reluctantly rescues her. 

Although she is initially skeptical of his claim that there’s a traitor on the mage council, she becomes suspicious enough to investigate.  Her actions alert the wrong person, and she and the hero must flee for their lives.  They end up fighting ghouls and other mages in their quest to unmask the traitor.  The danger not only draws the Griff and Val together but complicates their relationship.

Do you like the combination of  danger, and romance, or do you like stories that are bit a quieter?  What’s your favorite of either type?


Diane Kelly said...

Loving this book! Renegade has a strong heroine with a subtle sense of humor and lots of determination, along with oodles of action and suspense.

catslady said...

Oh, I'm looking forward to this one. Give me the danger or mystery or times in the past. I get enough of quiet or the problems of today lol.

Nancy Northcott said...

Diane, I'm glad you're enjoying it. Thanks for having me on today.

Nancy Northcott said...

Hi, Catslady--

My life is pretty quiet. I think that's one reason I opt for the boom. :-)

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, huge congratulations on the release of RENEGADE! And everyone, if you haven't checked out Nancy's Renegade trailer, do it now - it's brilliant! One of the things I love about romance fiction is that there's such a range available. If I want to be on the edge of my seat and chewing my fingernails, there's a book that will do it. If I want a really sweet read (I had a cold a couple of weeks ago and I just wanted something gentle), I can find that too. And then there's everything in between.

Nancy Northcott said...

Anna, thank you! I do love that trailer.

I agree about the range available in romance. When I'm tired and want to rekax, I don't go for the boom.