When Masquerade on the Net was being written, Crystal Sharpe introduced several devices and plot points to build a sense of danger and suspense. One was a backpack-sized drone released by a shadowy and menacing figure to follow and spy on Sandra Troux and other characters from above. We (Virginia Cornue and Linda Lombri, the authors behind our C.S. pen name) laughed at the absurdity of it all – until an NPR report detailed a story about small drones used in the military and for civilian use. Now Amazon plans to use drones for delivery and there have been lawsuits over neighbors spying on each other via small drones flying overhead!
Some of the action drew inspiration from real-time news stories – like allegations of Russian government corruption during the building of the Sochi Olympic site and a resurgence of Nigeria-based email scams to the U.S. and Europe. Others were conjured up from our imaginations. We thought our over arching plot line of deadly Russian Bratva criminals...
We had two major events in June. The first was the BooksNJ Festival at the Paramus Library, where we introduced our newest book, Secrets at Abbott House. We then joined a panel of writers to discuss the topic: I Am Woman: Creating Strong Women Characters.
On June 28th, we gave a book talk on Secrets at the Montclair Historical Society. We had a lot of secrets to share about the history of the Underground Railroad in Essex County and Montclair in particular.
We had great fun speaking to more than 60 members of the Little Falls, New Jersey Women's Club on Wednesday, October 29th at their annual scholarship luncheon for Passaic Valley High School graduates. Our audience wanted to know the genesis of SANDRA TROUX MYSTERIES and how we collaborate to create our books. After reading selected passages from The Mystery of the Ming Connection, Masquerade on the Net and Secrets at Abbott House, we gaveour audience short previews of Books 4 and 5, Peril at the Pelota and The Haunted Spa Down Under, and a glimmer of the developing plot of Book 6, Intrigue in Istanbul.
In November, we hit the book club circuit as guest speakers at the Wayne Valley High School Faculty Book Club in Wayne, New Jersey.