Monday, January 16, 2012

Romantic Suspense Can Be DEADLY!

Karen: Vonnie Hughes sets the stage for her intriguing novels with romantic suspense that will keep you at the edge of your seat. She's here today to tell us about her new release, Lethal Refuge. Let's give her a warm welcome. She's running a contest on her website, too. So read on to find out how you may enter. 
Take it away, Vonnie!

Vonnie: I’m a New Zealander living in Australia. I love animals, reading, jog/walking and the gym.
I wrote short stories and poems when I was very young (many of which got published) but did not begin novel writing until about six years ago. I write Regencies and romantic suspense novels, novellas and short stories. 

My earliest book is still available from Robert Hale Ltd. It’s called COMING HOME and is about a soldier and a nurse, thrown together during the Napoleonic wars, who find more danger on their return to England than they ever did on the Iberian Peninsula. This hardback can be purchased from It has just become available as an e-book, too, from my Amazon page

THE SECOND SON, is available as an e-book from Musa Publishing or from my Amazon page. It’s a prequel to COMING HOME. Guilt wracks a man who stands to inherits a marquessate when the brother he’s always loathed dies. He turns to Marguerite Ninian, a young disabled woman for emotional support, and along the way, loneliness turns to love. 

My new release is LETHAL REFUGE. It is a romantic suspense set in New Zealand. Célie Francis has had to be strong-minded and independent ever since she was abused and deserted as a child. But when she witnesses the aftermath of a murder, she is tossed into the witness protection program (the Unit) and must comply with their edicts if she is to survive. Brand Turner, the police psychologist for the Unit, tries to gain her trust, but Célie, helpless and rudderless, cannot quite bring herself to trust him. When the killer seems to anticipate their every move and it becomes apparent he has inside information, who can Célie turn to?

I wrote it because many years ago, the opening scene happened to me when I was out for a jog in the early morning mist over the tops of the cliffs in north Auckland. I will never forget that creepy feeling of being followed by someone you could hear, but couldn’t see through the fog.

Karen: What are your hero and heroine of the story like?

Vonnie: Yes, well, Célie is not exactly sweetness personified. She’s tough because she’s had to be, and no way is she going to let a bunch of policemen tell her how to live. So of course she almost gets caught by the murderer who has already killed her two best friends. Then she has  to rely on Brand Turner to help her, even though at first she writes him off as an ineffective intellectual with no life experience. Oh boy is she wrong. Brand has some very good ideas up his sleeve. He’s good at things that have nothing to do with evading murderers too.

Brand is not quite the opposite of Célie, but almost. He’s not deterred by her snarl and fire because at their first meeting he recognises the fear that has boxed Célie into a corner; not just a fear of the murderer, but also the fear of an independent person forced to rely on others. But he has to be careful. His instincts are to protect her, not something Ms Francis can tolerate. He has already had one woman walk away telling him she “needs space.” But he’s secure enough to ignore Célie’s little jabs, and when they realise that someone is feeding information to the murderer from either the Unit itself or from the police team seconded to the Unit, they team up together and go on the run 

Karen: What do you find most rewarding about writing?

Vonnie: Some days, nothing at all. It’s a long, hard slog just getting the words down. Once the words are done and I slip into edit mode, then I enjoy the writing. That’s when I add the layers that really count. Sometimes it involves twists to the plot; other times it’s a foible of characterisation that makes a character do something unexpected. That’s what I find rewarding.

Karen: What are your current projects?

Vonnie: On January 27 I have another Regency being released by Musa as an e-book. It’s called MR. MONFORT’S MARRIAGE and is hotter than my usual Regencies. Well, they are married so I can really go to town! Here’s the blurb: 

Matthew Monfort has two excellent reasons for loathing members of the ton, but thanks to his father's machinations he finds himself inveigled into offering for Lady Verity Tristan. Anyway it's time he married and she's...well, she's different; in fact she's quite delightful...and intelligent...and sweet...but she needn't think she's going to win him over.

I’m also three-quarters of the way through a Regency novella about two sisters and halfway through another romantic suspense set in New Zealand. This time it’s about one of their Armed Offenders’ Squads (i.e. Swat team). I’ve just completed several articles for various blogs and hey, I think I need a break! 

Karen: Where can the readers find you?

Vonnie: My website is

Email me on

***Contest info: On my blogsite at present there’s a contest to win a free paperback copy of LETHAL REFUGE.

Karen: Remember, if you want to buy any of Vonnie's books just go to her Amazon page: 

Vonnie: Thanks for having me, Karen and everyone.

Karen: Thank you, Vonnie for joining us today. I wish you the best. 


Laurie said... Best Blogger Tips

Very cool post!! Lethal Refuge sounds like a great read! I've added the digital version to my wishlist!

hotcha12 said... Best Blogger Tips



Margaret Tanner said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Vonnie,
Lethal Refuge sounds, well, positively lethal, adding it to my TBR list.
Best of luck with all your publishing ventures.



Susan Macatee said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi, Vonnie! This sounds like a great story. Wish you lots of sales!

LaVerne Clark said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow Vonnie! I didn't realise I had a twin out there!! I too, find the actual part of writing the first draft a long hard slog. My favourite part is the editing. Thats when the magic begins IMHO :)