Friday, December 3, 2010

Why the Congo?

Blood Diamond released this week. Wednesday, in fact. As I’ve shared here before, it’s my romantic suspense novella set in the Congo jungle.

Why did I choose such an exotic locale?

Well, it mostly had to do with the parameters of the call. I wrote Blood Diamond in response to call for romantic suspense stories for the Jewels of the Night series at The Wild Rose Press. The rules were simple: high suspense, romance, include a blue diamond.

At first, I was at a loss as to a story line. Up to that point, I’d concentrated on paranormal type story lines. So I put it to the back of my mind for a while.

I was watching a rerun of Bones, the pilot episode where she’s at Dulles airport with a skull in her bag and Booth has her detained. It got me thinking about how a forensic anthropologist works in some interesting, out of the way places. It started a niggling thought. What other professionals would be in out-of-the-way places. Then I thought about Doctors Without Borders. Now I was getting somewhere.

Next, it was time to research blue diamonds. Where in the world are they mined? I had a thought about using Russia as a backdrop, but there just wasn’t anything there that sparked any ideas. Then I read an article about blood diamonds and how the Republic of the Congo or Congo Brazzaville (there’s another country in Africa called the Democratic Republic of the Congo) had been sanctioned by the Kimberly Process in 2004. There had been a large number of diamonds exported when there were no registered mines there.

This really got me thinking and that story, combined with my heroine who was a part of Doctors Without Borders gave me the bare bones for a story. With the help of a critique partner, Rachel Lynne, who was also writing a story for Jewels of the Night (her book, Ring of Lies, comes out December 22), I was able to iron out my plot.

So that’s the story behind why I set my story in the Congo. I know I shared my blurb and excerpt a couple of weeks ago, so I chose a new, never-before-seen excerpt for today.

As if he read her mind, he pulled the cup of her bra down and sucked the puckered tip into the wet warmth of his mouth. The pulls on the tender bud shot red-hot need directly to her core, wetting her panties. A moan broke free from her throat as she grabbed his head, but she didn’t know whether it was to push him away or to hold him in place. 

“Mack.” Her plea broke on a gasp as one of his hands slid past the barrier of her pants to stroke plump lips moist with her desire.

His whisper cut through her haze. “Do you want me to stop, Jillian?”

His assertion earlier that he didn’t go where he wasn’t invited floated through her mind and she knew what he wanted. He might not trust her, but she was learning to trust him. Though, it might be a huge mistake, one she would pay dearly for later, she couldn’t deny that she wanted him now.


Her mind made up, she rubbed his erection through his pants. “No. Don’t stop.”

In celebration of the release, I’m giving away a copy of Blood Diamond to a commenter. I’ll announce the winner on Monday.

Do exotic locales make a book more exciting for you? Are you drawn to certain settings?

Make sure to leave a comment for a chance at the giveaway. Everyone have a great weekend.


Rachel Firasek said...

Riley, we had so much fun yesterday on the blog. Thanks for sharing yourself and your story with all of my peeps. The Congo...hmmm...such a dangerous place. Promises for some great conflict and I can't wait to delve into the story.

Riley Quinn said...

Thanks for having me. I had fun too! Let me know how you like it.

Autumn Shelley said...

Woo-Woo! Congratulations to my girl with the weird thing for anthropologists!!!! So what's next???

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