New Beginnings: Guest Author Cathy Perkins

It’s my pleasure this morning to welcome fellow Golden Heart finalist (2008) and Carina Press author, Cathy Perkins as my guest.  Cathy is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. She writes predominantly financial-based mysteries but enjoys exploring the relationship aspect of her characters’ lives. Her suspense writing lurks behind a financial day-job, where she learned firsthand the camouflaged, hide in plain sight, skills employed by her villains. Born and raised in South Carolina, the setting for HONOR CODE and THE PROFESSOR, she now lives in Washington with her husband, children, a 75-pound Lab who thinks she’s still a lap-dog and a German Wirehair puppy. Learn more on her website: http://cperkinswrites.com.


perkins-headshot-233x300Good morning!

February has rolled around. How are you doing with those New Year’s Resolutions? Hopefully one or two is working for you.

A new beginning appeals to us. A clean slate. No baggage dragging us down. A fresh chance to “get it right.” So often with romance, when we mention a new beginning, we think about the thrill of a new relationship, the heart-stopping excitement of connecting with someone new. But what about the depth of an existing relationship? The years of shared experiences and ties that transcend mere attraction?

In my recently released novella, Honor Code, Detective Larry Robbins tries to create a new beginning for his marriage. After twenty years, the kids are grown and launching into their own lives. Larry and Sharon wrestle with a new stage in their relationship, redefining roles and expectations.

This theme appealed to me as my children launch into their adult lives and my husband and I refocus our relationship—on each other. This mature love allows for a deeper intimacy—and the best kinds of romance!

As a set up to the excerpt below, Larry Robbins has been working long hours, deeply involved with yet another case. The old man he’s trying to find has a sixty-year marriage which by all accounts was filled with love. Larry tries not to be envious of their bond and initially blames his wife for the tension in his relationship. But during the investigation, a wise old woman reminds him it takes two to create friction—or a good relationship. So, earlier in the afternoon, Larry has tried to think of things that will make his wife happy and improve his home life.

To celebrate the new beginning for HONOR CODE, I’m giving away one eBook copy. Just leave a comment answering this question:

What have you done recently to improve your current relationship?

I’ll be randomly picking a winner from the comments later on in the day. Good luck and happy reading!

Honor-Code-300 x 450 1027Here’s an excerpt from Honor Code:

Robbins stopped at Grunder’s Café—Sharon’s favorite restaurant. He picked up the to-go dinners he’d ordered earlier that day and placed them on the back seat where they wouldn’t get knocked over. He caught himself smiling and humming a line from some song as he threaded through back streets and cut over past the cemetery. The smile left his face as the graffiti-tagged wall mocked him.

Robbins glared at the offending bricks. People were upset about the vandalism. Spray paint anywhere was a nuisance. Spray painting a cemetery—that was just low. He hoped the judge’s sentence for the offender—and they would catch whoever did this—included scrubbing the wall clean.

Another few turns and he entered his neighborhood, trying to recapture the good mood he started home with. Surprises for his wife. She’d be happy. He might even get lucky.

He pulled into his driveway. The yard guy had done a good job, he noticed. The guy even edged the drive and sidewalk. A smile turned up the corners of his mouth. His plan was coming together. Sharon was home from work—her car was in the garage—but it was too early for her to have started dinner.

He was transferring the meals to plates when Sharon walked into kitchen.

“Larry? What are you doing home?” She eyed the plates and takeout boxes. “What are you doing, period?”

“I want to have dinner with my wife.”

He saw confusion, and maybe a little suspicion, in her face. He dropped the serving spoon into the container, and arms crossed, leaned against the counter. “I know I’m not the easiest guy in the world to be married to. I have unpredictable hours and a stressful job. But I want us to work. Our marriage. For you to be happy.”

Sharon looked at him for a long silent spell. Long enough that he nearly started to sweat.

“I miss the kids. A lot.” She dropped her gaze and he hoped she wouldn’t start crying.

Again.

This wasn’t how he’d envisioned the evening working out.

Finally she raised her head, a smile plastered across her face. She crossed the kitchen and draped her arms around his neck. “You’re a good guy. A good father.”

This was more like it. He wrapped his arms around her waist, took a deep breath, and inhaled her perfume, her body scent.

“It’s going to take more than one dinner to turn you into a good husband.”

“It’s a start.”

She smiled for real. “It’s a start.”

Honor Code is available for Kindle and in print at Amazon.

About Amy Atwell

Amy Atwell is a storyteller at heart. After fifteen years in professional theater, she turned from the stage to the page to write contemporary capers and historical tales that combine romance and adventure. Her books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. When not writing, she runs the online author communities WritingGIAM and Author E.M.S.
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14 Responses to New Beginnings: Guest Author Cathy Perkins

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    Cathy, thanks for being a guest at MM. It’s a pleasure to read this excerpt. Love Robbins already. I’m going to check out your book right now.

  2. Misty Evans says:

    Congrats on the release of Honor Code, Cathy. Do you classify this story as romantic suspense or more women’s fiction?

    Thanks for joining us here today. My hubs bought me a car (used, but just what I wanted) and an iPhone for Valentine’s Day. He knows how to keep me happy! But even without the gifts, he’s a big romantic who’s always doing little things for me. We have a special bond that many people don’t understand. After nearly 24 years of marriage, we’ve weathered the hard times and are still together.

    • That’s wonderful Misty!

      I agree, the big gestures (and gifts!) are lovely but the little things seem to cement a relationship. Call it what you like: playing attention to the other person; awareness of them and their needs. Here’s wishing you another 24 years together.

      As for Honor Code, I really see it as a mystery with a big relationship subplot. Now that I think about it, if I had to categorize that subplot, I’d consider it more women’s fiction than romance. That part of the story looks at different characters’ family relationships and the impact it has on their decisions – good and bad – in life.
      Cathy Perkins`s last blog was …Wild Fire

  3. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Cathy!

    Welcome to my other home! So nice to have you come and visit :) Love the sound of Honor Code. And mystery mixed with women’s fiction sounds like a winner. I love subplots – even big relationship ones that tend to overtake the story. Layers, layers and more layers. Good stuff!
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Garden of Sorrow Barrage!

    • Cathy Perkins says:

      Hi Dale
      Isn’t it interesting how the characters and subplots can take on a life? I liked the layers it adds to a story
      Hmm replying by cellphone is a challenge!

  4. Amy Atwell says:

    My husband and I stayed in for our own Super Bowl Party with candles and champagne. Yes, it was a bit different than the local sports bar. DH cooked a wonderful vegetarian dinner. Tonight we’re headed to a Leon Redbone concert. Yeah, nothing like Redbone to spark romance after 23 years… LOL

    Great post, Cathy, and I love the tone of the book and that the main character is male. Really intrigued to get to know him better!
    Amy Atwell`s last blog was …Favorite Christmas Stories

    • Cathy Perkins says:

      Amy –
      Love it :) Your evenings (both of them!) reflect what works for you. Oh and jealous you get Leon Redbone concerts!

  5. DT Krippene says:

    Instead watching the news or reading the paper, I put on some music between five and six, make drinks, and we sit at our little table … just talking. After three decades of travel and never being there, we never seem to run out things to talk about. The key for us, is to never stop doing it. BTW, its exciting to see Honor Code doing so well. It’s a great story. Robbins is a character I can connect with.
    DT Krippene`s last blog was …Expiration Date – Never

    • That’s wonderful DT!
      Establishing rituals for just the two of you, setting aside time to (yay!) talk, is such a terrific idea for keeping you connected.
      And thanks, I’m so happy you enjoyed Honor Code :)
      Cathy Perkins`s last blog was …Wild Fire

  6. Liz Kreger says:

    Love the idea of revamping the marriage once the kids are out of the house. I know my bosses are having a hard time (they’re a husband/wife team) now that the three kids are out of the house, but they manage to make it work.

    John and I? Don’t know. He’s really not one to do romantic gestures. He might surprise me with flowers ‘pon occasion, but its the things he does around the house (without being asked) that I truly appreciate. And I let him know.

    • Hi Liz

      Like any relationship, the people involved have to figure out what works for them. Glad your bosses are figuring out a new phase that works.

      I’ve so excited to see all these long term relationships in the comments. Like you said, Liz, the ‘big’ gestures are nice but the small things are often what matters most. I do think they are the cumulative, the ones that make the best ties because they take require awareness of the other person.
      Cathy Perkins`s last blog was …Wild Fire

  7. Enjoyed reading your excerpt, Cathy. Love the male pov.

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