Thursday, March 1, 2012

Setting as Character

Some settings speak to me, building an image that resonates and stays with me even when I’ve finished reading or writing the book. I like working with a setting that inspires immediate recognition and gut reaction. Whether it’s a warm sense of coming home to a Texas homestead, struggling through knee-deep snow in a storm-socked town in the frozen north, or a fog-encased stretch of coastline, breeding an aura of gloom and terror, I like to immerse in the world and get to know it, intimately.

In DEADLY RECKONING, my first book with Harlequin Romantic Suspense, I knew the setting before I knew the characters. I wanted to build a story around Oregon’s rocky coastline. Add a recurring fog, labeled by the locals as the Devil’s Shroud and all sorts of horrible things can happen. I sank into the setting and the story unfolded, the place providing beauty and danger, at times giving the antagonist sanctuary and blocking the hero from finding the killer. A place with interesting characteristics and weather phenomena that makes it come as alive as a character--a setting ripe for a murder mystery.

Feel like taking a stroll along a rocky coastline, afraid of the dark and the fog, looking for a hero to save the day? Join me in Oregon with a spine-tingling suspense in a spooky world that will stay with you even after you finish the book.

"You win for now, but it isn't over."

Trouble has followed pregnant artist Kayla Davies to a picturesque Oregon town where she hopes to paint away memories of a brutal attack. Instead she finds herself again gripped by fear when a woman's murder and an eerily familiar stalker coincide with her arrival. Someone is watching her...and disappearing into the dreaded fog called The Devil's Shroud.

Shaken, Kayla finds comfort in the arms of Gabe McGregor, the hard-bodied town sheriff and single dad. Though he and Kayla share a powerful attraction, neither wants anything beyond an earthshaking fling. Too many lies and secrets have come between them--until another vicious attack on Kayla changes everything.

Copyright 2012 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher
Cover Art used by arrangement with


  1. Sounds terrific, Elle !!
    Just love your books!

  2. Oh, wow. Sounds like something I want to read! Love a setting and setup like that!

  3. Elle, I LIVE in Oregon so I know I would love this book! Our coastlines are fantastic so the setting must make the book even better! Can't wait to read the book that's set in my own backyard!

  4. Thanks, Angi and Morgan. And Valri, I hope you like the book. I'm working on the proposal for the next on in the series. If you read the book, look for the nurse named Emma. It'll be her story.

  5. Beetween the setting and the blurb, you have me! I love a setting that I picture instantly in my head. If I have traveled there in person the place in my head is even more vivid. If the place is real and I have not been there it can make me want to go! I'll HAVE to read this book!

  6. I've never been to Oregon, but your description makes it sound like a great story setting.

  7. Sounds like a good book. Have to pick it up.

  8. Great blurb...looking forward to reading it!

  9. I can't wait to read! I love settings. I haven't gone out of my comfort zone though. Most of my settings are places I've been.

  10. Read this book and it was great. I can see Emma getting her own book and what about the real estate lady?