Monday, October 13, 2014

The Shed VBT

As a Certified Mental Health Therapist, Scott Reid has his share of interesting experiences, though nothing compares with the time he spends with the psychic, Alex Elson. Plagued by terrifying images and dreams, Alex turns to Doctor Reid in the hopes of learning to control his visions. Instead, Scott is pulled into Alex’s world, where dreams and reality mix and nightmares are real.

Two young men, brothers, have been abducted from the lake outside of Oakton without a trace of who took them. That is, until Alex receives a silver pocket watch in the mail belonging to the elder brother, a taunt from the kidnapper for Alex to come find them. Alex’s visions turn at once into nightmares. Images flash in his mind of an abandoned well and a terrified, lonely boy slowly dying at the bottom. The shed looms close by, holding a horrifying secret, a dark place Alex’s frightened mind refuses to go.

With the help of Scott Reid, Alex endeavors to control his visions and find the brutalized victims before death claims them. But the watch is ticking away and time’s running out.

“Hey Alex…” Justin’s voice trailed off, and he put the coffee pot on the warmer and went over to him when the man didn’t respond. Scott joined them, leaving his computer on the table as he passed. Alex’s eyes were wide, unfocused as he stared out the window. His breath came quickly and sweat beaded his forehead.

“What do you see?” Scott asked, voice mild, placid.

“It’s hot here. Grass is dry.” Alex’s whispered words sent a shiver through Scott. He sounded…detached. “The forest is dark across the way. Crows circle above the trees.”

“Alex, where are you right now?” Scott made the question a demand.

A shudder ran Alex’s lean frame. “I’m in your office, Dr. Reid. I see the garden through the window. But I’m also here, in this empty field. Talk to me! I want to come away from here.”

Scott touched his hand. “Come home, Alex.”

“It’s hard. Something’s drawing me to the forest. God! I don’t want to go in there.”

“Jane would want you to come home,” Scott said firmly, using the ace up his sleeve. For a second he didn’t think even the deep love Alex had for his wife could draw him back, but then he blinked his eyes into focus, and gave Scott a slight smile.

“Thank you. That’s a terrible place.”

“Is it a real place, do you think?”

Alex’s expression turned bleak. “Yes,” he whispered.

Research: It's Actually Fun!

Did you know you can learn how to hypnotize someone online? It's true! In THE SHED my hero Scott needs to hypnotize Alex in order to understand the visions he's been having, maybe find clues to the kidnapper's identity. But what did I know about hypnosis except for the TV shows where they make people cluck like chickens?

It was fascinating to read about all the different methods that are used and pick the one that would work best with Alex's condition.

Have you ever heard the phrase 'The Devil's in the Details'? It's true! Whatever genre you're writing, it's those details that will trip you up if you're not careful. The reader will find the one flaw in your plot and not be shy about broadcasting it to all and sundry.

I was fortunate when writing my newest release THE SHED. It's the sequel to my psychological thriller novel ALEX. In ALEX there were a lot of police and rescue procedures I didn't know too much about. That's where the research came in. I was also extremely fortunate that my editor's husband was a member of the police force for twenty years and she could go over the details of a crime scene with me, or ask him if she wasn't sure about it.

I was able to use these same procedures when I wrote THE SHED. Again, there were crime scenes and official statements and several rescues, but these were also all new situations and had to be handled accordingly. My stories take place in Colorado and I needed to find out the laws pertaining to each situation and how they are handled.

Then there's the fact that my MC is a mental health specialist with a private practice and also works at a clinic where he sees several patients. You see how important research is! Knowing almost nothing about this medical field, I needed to find out what his education would be, roughly how old this would make him.

Good thing I enjoy research for its own sake! So many details to get right so my readers aren't pulled from a scene, thinking it's unbelievable. It's that whole 'suspending disbelief' quality we need to keep in our stories. If a reader is pulled out of a scene, even for a moment, by something he doesn't find plausible or simply knows is untrue, then we've lost them. Even if they finish the story, this scene is the one they'll remember and talk about. And we don't want that, do we?

So, whether you find research tedious or as exciting as I do—side note, I also write m/m erotic romance so much of my research is very exciting!—take the time to do it and get your scene right. Once you've lost a reader they are very hard to get back. But if they believe in you, you've won them over for life.

Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!

October 13: Full Moon Dreaming
October 13: Sharing Links and Wisdom
October 14: Unabridged Andra's
October 15: Louise Lyndon Blog
October 16: The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat - review
October 16: Wickedly Wanton Tales
October 17: SBM Book Obsession
October 20: Dawn's Reading Nook
October 21: Prism Book Alliance
October 22: Nephy's World - review
October 22: A. Literary Mafia
October 23: Undercover Book Reviews - review
October 23: BookSkater - review
October 24: Booklover Sue review

Author Bio and Links:
Dianne grew up in one of the older houses in the middle of Los Angeles, a place of hardwood floors and secret closets and back staircases. It’s where her love of the mysterious and wonderful came from. Dianne now lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon with her incredibly patient husband, who puts up with the endless hours she spends hunched over the keyboard letting her characters play.

She says Oregon’s raindrops are the perfect setting in which to write. There’s something about being cooped up in the house while it pours rain outside, a fire crackles on the hearth inside, and a cup of hot coffee warms her hands which kindles her imagination.

Currently, Dianne works as a floral designer in a locally-owned gift shop. Which is the perfect job for her. When not writing, she can express herself through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage.

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THE SHED Buy Links:
Amazon     |      Barnes and Noble     |     Solstice Publishing


  1. Thanks so much for having me as your guest today! As I said, I enjoy doing the research for my stories. I'm curious what exciting things everyone else might have discovered while playing on the internet. :)

  2. I'll see you soon on Unabridged andra's but wanted to stop by and wish you a happy tour! I look forward to all the excerpts and posts!

    1. Hi Andre! So happy you stopped by. Book tours are always so much fun.

  3. I really, really loved this excerpt. This sounds like an exciting an excellent book.

    1. I'm so glad you liked it, MomJane! Thanks for dropping in! :)

  4. Thanks Rita! Glad you liked it and thanks for stopping in!

  5. I love stories that have psychics in it as I find that fascinating .I enjoyed the excerpt and you thoughts on doing research

    1. Thanks Stacey! I've always been fascinated by the thought of psychic ability. It was intriguing and fun learning as much as I can about it. :)

  6. Interesting blurb, added to my TBR list. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Glad you liked it, Serena! Thanks for coming by. :)

  7. I loved the excerpt!