Seizing the Moment With Romantic Suspense Author Melinda Di Lorenzo

Back in 2013, I entered a romance writing competition being run by Harlequin and Wattpad, in which six winners would have their stories published. The six winners turned out to be quite a global group – an Aussie (me), two Brits, an American, a South African and a Canadian. The Canadian, Melinda Di Lorenzo, is my guest today. Melinda has gone on to great success since being one of those six winners, publishing with Tule, Harlequin Intrigue, and most recently, Harlequin Romantic Suspense, as well as self-publishing a number of titles. Her latest romantic suspense, Worth the Risk, came out just a few days ago and I've already finished it!

About Melinda 

Amazon bestselling author Melinda Di Lorenzo writes in her spare time - at soccer practices, when she should be doing laundry, and in place of sleep. She lives on the beautiful west coast of British Columbia, Canada, with her handsome husband and her noisy kids. When she's not writing, she can be found curled up with (someone else's) good book. 

Connect with Melinda via Facebook and Twitter.

PI Sam Potter is dedicated to his job, and willing to do whatever it takes to meet his clients’ needs so long as he doesn’t break his number one rule and get involved on a personal level. His emotional detachment is working just fine until he meets Meredith Jamison.  She’s beautiful, brainy, and gutsy. She’s also his suspected kidnapping victim’s sister, and strictly off limits.

Meredith Jamison isn’t expecting to wake to a frightened call from her normally unflappable sister, Tamara.  She isn’t expecting to find a handsome, pushy stranger on her doorstep asking questions about the phone call, either.  But most of all, she isn’t expecting to be fighting a growing attraction to PI Sam Potter as they work together to chase down every possible lead in a dangerous kidnapping.

Racing against time, Sam and Meredith must risk their lives—and their hearts—to save Tamara.

Read a Little, Buy the Book 

He met her gaze. “Methodically. If I’m scared, I face the fear so I can move forward. When following leads, I make note of every single detail in hopes that one of them will go somewhere. Because all I need is one. And the emotional detachment…I fight every natural urge.”

“Does it work?”

The question hung between them, weighted and dangerous. Sam knew that if he answered with a reference to his past, he’d be giving something away. If he answered in the moment, well… He might give away even more.

“Not always,” he said, carefully neutral.

Meredith didn’t let him get away with it. “And what would happen if it didn’t work?”

“It would make the job harder. Riskier. Because hearts are at stake as well as lives.”

“Has it happened to you?”

Those green eyes of hers held him, and he knew he couldn’t lie, even if he wanted to.

Once before.” He reached up to smooth back a strand of her blond hair. “And now once again.”

A blush crept up her throat. “Is it worth it? Risking your heart?”

“You tell me.” 

Available via Amazon. 

Let's Talk

AVRIL: How often do you get lost in a story? 
MELINDA: I always set aside time for reading! It’s my little reward to myself after I finish writing. I always have at least one book on the go, and though I don’t get as much time as I’d like to get lost, I read about two books every month. More if I don’t have a manuscript due. 

AVRIL: How challenging is it to wrap romance and suspense together in the one story? 
MELINDA: It’s always about balance. Sometimes, that comes chapter to chapter. One will focus on the developing love story while the next drives the plot forward. But I really think that the suspense heightens the romance. It makes it that much more important that the hero and heroine fall in love – they’re not sure if they’re going to come out alive, so seizing the moment is key. 

AVRIL: What would you say is your writing trademark? 
MELINDA: A quick pace, in both dialogue and plot. I want both to be immediate and real, so that my readers can really live inside those moments. 

AVRIL: You’re working on a new romantic suspense series. What can you tell us about it? 
MELINDA: The series is tentatively called Undercover Justice, and it’s a 4-book series for the Harlequin Romantic Suspense line. The plot follows four detectives who’ve been friends since they were children. They’re chasing down the man responsible for their fathers’ deaths, and they’ve finally caught up to him in a small town called Whispering Woods. Each story has its own mystery to solve, and each has its own steamy romance. The four books build off one another, with the solved cases ultimately guiding them towards their goal. 

AVRIL: What’s a typical day for you?
MELINDA: Well. Don’t laugh, but I start out the morning by making my husband breakfast before he leaves for work. Once my own, personal, handsome hero is off to work, I dig into my few minutes of quiet writing-time before getting the two younger kids up and ready for school. Three days a week, I clear my head with a run. The other two, I dive into writing immediately. I usually get in two solid hours of writing a day, and the rest in interrupted by my teen, whom I home school, by housework, by forgotten lunches or replacement clothes or field trips…My evenings are dedicated to soccer, softball, dance – all of the activities the kids are involved in. Then I fall into bed, exhausted! Exciting and glamorous, right? 

AVRIL: You’re quite a versatile writer – some rom com, intrigue, intrigue noir, and your fabulous fantasy romance, Long Way from Home also springs to mind. What’s your favourite kind of story to write? 
MELINDA: I have to say…I just like to write. I almost always have a romantic suspense on the go, but I have to temper it with something lighter, so there’s usually a contemporary romance open on my computer, too. I’m dying to write a young adult dystopian. Do I have a favourite? Maybe not… 

AVRIL: As a romance reader, what’s your pet hate? 
MELINDA: Bad dialogue. Plain and simple. I don’t like it when characters sound phony. 

A question from Melinda... 
What’s your favourite kind of “bad guy” in a romantic suspense novel? I have a strong preference for the one you never see coming…

Please tell us in the comments! 


  1. My favorite bad guy is the same as Melinda's--the one you never suspect. I like to be surprised! LOVE the excerpt and description of this book. I will definitely read it, and look for Melinda's other books. Thanks for another interesting interview, Avril. I'm awaiting YOUR next book, too.

    1. It's always the best when they sneak up on you! (And I'm waiting for Avril's next book, too!)

    2. Thank you for the kind endorsement!

  2. I have been a longtime fan of Melinda's books. Sometimes I'm afraid to start one because I know I will just keep reading until the wee hours of the night because I just can't break away from it. I really loved this new book - it might even be my new favourite! Thanks for the interview. It's nice to get to know one of my favourite authors a little better.

    1. I've read just about every one of Melinda's books too, and am looking forward to the Whispering Woods series! I love her strong heroines, in particular.

    2. Thanks Lisa! Always happy to share. ;)

  3. Bad dialogue is my pet peeve too and there's never bad dialogue in either of your books! Thanks for the excerpt, and I'll be reading it soon.

    1. Thank you! Yes, bad dialogue can really ruin a story.

    2. Good dialogue, on the other hand, is the BEST part of most stories. <3