Hello, GLIAS readers! It’s my release day, and I thought you might be interested in how my romantic suspense, BURIED AGENDAS came to be.
I’ve been married for 32 years, and in addition to marrying my husband because he was cute and made me laugh, I married him for his smarts. My DH is a chemical engineer, and, as such, he spent much of our marriage traveling to power plants, chemical plants, government laboratories, manufacturing facilities--wherever his business acumen took him. He worked hard.
I was also intrigued, especially when some of the places he visited required him to have clearance and jump through the proverbial hoops to enter. I also had a germ of an idea about a story I wanted to write about a chemical company. But the poor guy was less than enthused, and his standard response was, “When I come home from work the last thing I want is to talk to my wife about is chemicals or my job.”
What was I supposed to do? I was itching to get started. Fortunately, while my husband wasn’t thrilled about sharing, plenty of his co-workers and customers were. Several were excited and happy to talk to me about their jobs and my “what if” scenarios.
To write this book I talked to plant chemists, plant managers and an underground tank expert. I contacted Region V’s Environmental Protection Agency, and upon my asking, a very generous agent sent me volumes of material which, fascinated, I read. From this point BURIED AGENDAS was born. Since I write around the theme SUSPENSE TOO CLOSE TO HOME, and was familiar with El Paso, Texas, I created a fictitious setting called Diamond and set it close to El Paso and the Mexican border.
Recently my husband read a final draft. When he closed the pages, he smiled and said, “That’s about right.” But the story isn’t just about chemicals, trust me. It’s got suspense, and drama and it’s all about two people who should have ended up together. And while I take the characters on a conflicted ride, it's well known that I live for the happily ever after. Here’s a little about BURIED AGENDAS.
Following is a blurb about the book and an excerpt.
BURIED AGENDAS by Donnell Ann Bell
A devastating secret drove her from her lover’s arms. Will a secret equally as deadly lead her back to him?
Diana Reid is an investigative reporter skilled at uncovering other people’s secrets. It’s her own that she works to keep buried. Eight years earlier, she promised to leave her fiancé and hometown of Diamond, Texas forever. That pledge vanishes when she receives a letter stating people are going to die, implicating her hometown’s largest employer, and making a veiled threat against her mother. With no other choice, Diana will return to Diamond, albeit in disguise, to discover the anonymous author.
Brad Jordan moved on with his life after Diana walked out on him. Needless to say, she’s an unwelcome topic. Just as he rebuilt his life, as the newly elected mayor of Diamond, he plans to rebuild his struggling hometown. Those plans are threatened when an El Paso physician notifies Brad that she believes his family’s company, Jordan Industries, is conducting illegal practices and sacrificing the public’s health.
When the doctor suggests bringing in Diana to uncover the wrongdoing, Brad is opposed to the idea. Still, when she appears in Diamond in spite of his wishes, he is forced to accept that a woman he vowed to forget may be his only option to get to the truth.
Together Diana Reid and Brad Jordan face a dangerous adversary—one whose only intent is keeping a deadly agenda buried.
IN STUNNED DISBELIEF, Brad watched Diana pull into a space in front of the Drifter’s Inn, the area’s seediest hotel. Located on the outskirts of Diamond, the name drifter said it all. Prostitution ran rampant here, high school boys brought their one-night stands here, crimes of passion were committed here. What the hell was she doing here?
He could just imagine voter speculation or Susan’s ire if someone saw the city’s new mayor parked in front of this dive. Unwilling to take the risk, he circled the hotel and parked the Navigator between a long-abandoned building and a copse of trees.
He doubled back, finding the door to room 111 ajar. He pushed it open. Her suitcase lay on the bed, and she’d taken off the wig. Facing the mirror, she swiped at tears in between tugging at pins.
Brad’s throat went dry as she shook her head and her jet-black hair tumbled free. And for a moment he was bombarded by anger, memories, and a host of conflicted feelings.
Why couldn’t she have gained fifty pounds or gone hopelessly gray? Even disheveled, Diana set hearts on fire. He clenched his jaw. She was also a viper, he reminded himself, closing the door behind him. “Finish that later.”
She set down the brush. “I didn’t come to Diamond to hurt you, Brad. In truth, I hoped I wouldn’t see you.”
So much for brutal honesty.
He removed his tie, then delaying the inevitable, walked farther inside, taking in the motel room’s ladder-back chair, a faded nightstand, and a water-ringed dresser. There wasn’t a TV. People who registered at the Drifter’s Inn preferred more active forms of entertainment. He circled the room. At least the room had air conditioning. He switched on the unit next to the bed, then shook his head in dismay. The unit worked, just barely, doing nothing to rid the place of tobacco smells and cheap perfume.
“I’m waiting,” he said at last. “Why are you here?”
GLIAS Readers: I’m running a contest and kick off party for commenters on my FB page on Monday, November 10th https://www.facebook.com/pages/Donnell-Ann-Bell/285286321485019?ref=hl I hope you’ll stop by. But for readers who comment today, I’ll be doing a drawing and giving away one copy of Buried Agendas for people who answer either of my two questions: Does your spouse talk to you about his work? And do you like reunion stories? I hope you'll like this one ;)