TIERNEY JAMES

Lipstick & Danger

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An Unlikely Hero – The truth behind the book

When I moved to Grass Valley, California in the 1996 I was not prepared for how much my life would begin to change. I had two teenagers along with a husband who worked in a gold mine. I had a lot of time on my hands. I toyed with writing by taking a class. But the real-life experiences I encountered were far better than the classes. For some reason, no matter where I went in that small town, I was mistaken for a woman  named Melanie.

They would stop me on the street, the grocery store and the county fair and start talking to me. Suddenly they would pause and say, “You’re not Melanie, are you?” Even when I went to the DMV to get new license plates, I was pulled aside and questioned about who I was really. Apparently, someone else had my name and information in Santa Barbara, California. My son was convinced a person had been placed in the witness protection program with my identity.

After a while I began to wonder who this Melanie person might be. I thought of her all the time. Was she in trouble. Did she have a dark secret? Where was her family? Was I in danger too? My kids would sometimes make fun of the situation and call me Melanie. They really didn’t believe I had a double, until one day it happened with them at my side. After that I got a little respect.

Fast forward to 2011. My kids were grown and had lives of their own. I still thought about Melanie, even when I took a trip to China. I started to envision her traveling all over the world getting into trouble with terrorists, Homeland Security, sketchy bad guys that might be the good guys, when I decided Melanie needed a voice. In the Enigma Series her name is Tessa Scott. At one point in this first book the hero, Captain Chase Hunter, calls her Melanie so the suspects won’t know her real identity. In the later books, she is rarely called Melanie. It’s her secret name.

My first book, An Unlikely Hero, was published in March of 2013. It was only going to be one book. I’m now working on books nine and ten of the series. At the end of the month, I will have published a total of twenty books with a few more in the wings, begging to get finished. Tessa has gone to Afghanistan, Russia, Syria, Turkey, Botswana, Washington DC, and gotten into plenty of trouble at home in Grass Valley, California. She hasn’t made it back to China yet where I first saw her in my imagination. Look for that one in book eleven.

Why do I say the Enigma Series are domestic thrillers? Tessa is a character like you and me. Goes to church, runs out of gas, late for work, burns the toast, laundry piles up, and thinks her kids can do no wrong. Ordinary people with ordinary lives are in thrillers that we can identify with. In Tessa’s case I tried to take parts of me and fuse them with her. I used things from every day life to solve problems. Did you know you could take out a terrorist from what you’ve got under the kitchen sink? Or how about giving someone a heart attack with what you have growing in the garden? That’s what makes writing domestic thrillers so fun. The people live in our neighborhoods. (Tessa’s house in the book was exactly like my house.)

Sunday (March 5, 2023) you can start the journey with Tessa for free. Just download the eBook and get started on your adventure. An Unlikely Hero   http://amzn.to/1KbFRgY     (#1)

You’d be surprised at what a wife & mother can do with a little imagination when confronted with a terrorist. Some heroes wear high heels & smell like chocolate chip cookies. Her name is Tessa. Action-Adventure, Romantic Thriller, Geopolitical Conflict

Right after I finished the first book, the phone rang one night. My husband answered it. I could hear him clear his throat and say, “No. You’ve got the wrong number.” I walked in from the kitchen and asked who was on the phone. He looked concerned and said, “They wanted to speak to Melanie.”

 

8 Responses

  1. Do do do do do do… I love that story. I wonder if you could find Melanie on the internet. Although a last name would probably help. Great story. And great job creating Tessa Scott from that memory. Love those books.

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