OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK is from Wyatt’s point of view. After a romantic weekend in Vermont, Jain disappeared — and now Wyatt’s the prime suspect in her disappearance. Determined to find her, he learns how to navigate the integrated world of the so-called “normal” and the paranormal — dealing with two rebellious, paranormally-gifted teens, shape-shifters, a cranky mermaid, discovering disturbing things in Jain’s past, and facing some of the (metaphorical) demons in his own past.
The first book, HEX BREAKER, is from Jain’s POV. I considered using first person for it, and finally settled on third person, after doing some chapters in each. But it was pretty clear early on that we would be living that adventure through her eyes.
When I decided there was more to explore in these characters and decided this would be a series instead of a one-off, I wanted to explore Wyatt in more depth. I knew I didn’t want to present all the details of his story in this book, all the nuances around the deaths of his family members, anymore than I wanted all of Jain’s past revealed. Both Jain and Wyatt play it close to the vest — they are deeply connected, falling in love, but they’re not the type of people who sit down and have long, drawn-out conversations about their past. To both of them, the past is just that — past.
But the past doesn’t allow itself to be locked away, for either one of them. In this book, I wanted to explore what happens in a relationship when that depth of feeling is there, it’s growing into love, but there’s still an awful lot they don’t know about each other.
So often, characters meet and it’s as though they didn’t have actual lives before they met each other. The past is more of an abstract than a reality, and the focus is on the present and the future. I wanted to see what would happen if the past started to come alive again, and how these two strong, independent individuals, who are living rich, full lives until they meet, try to align those lives into their relationship.
That’s the emotional layer under the urban fantasy plot.
I also wanted to explore Wyatt’s capabilities. He’s a solid, practical detective. He’s grown from thinking the paranormal is ridiculous to accepting it exists. He still believes he’s as psychic as a doorknob. But, if one holds the belief that all humans have some psychic ability, what happens when a latent talent is awakened? Wyatt’s always had strong intuition. It’s part of what makes him an excellent detective, and has saved his life more than once. He’s not going to turn into someone who uses magic; however, that intuitive sense gets more and more honed as the books progress, and he learns how to use as an additional tool in his work.
The funny thing is that Wyatt wasn’t supposed to be central to HEX BREAKER, much less have his own book or become Jain’s partner in the series. When I started HEX BREAKER, I originally envisioned Nick as Jain’s partner, and planned to keep it much more oriented in my world of production. Billy started taking more page time (although I knew, early on, that he’d be far more magically talented than anyone thought). And then Wyatt sauntered in and Jain and I both fell hard for him. Their chemistry sizzled from their first words. A Jain-and-Nick pairing would have a very different dynamic and lead to very different adventures than the Jain-and-Wyatt pairing.
In the third book, the upcoming CRAVE THE HUNT, the main focus in on Billy and how he comes into his own power. Wyatt and Jain return to the forefront of the series in Book 4, LOVE AND FURY, which will go even more in depth into the parts of their past they’re trying not to revisit.
OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK is up at the Solstice website, and on Amazon Kindle.
Here’s an excerpt:
The desk was a beautiful, antique wooden one. Wyatt smiled. He remembered how, as a boy, he always wanted to find a secret compartment in a desk. He opened a drawer and ran his fingers under it, remembering the hours he spent at his grandparents’ house, fervently wishing one of their enormous old antiques would yield a secret.
His fingers found a switch. He pressed it, almost without thinking.
A panel slid out of the side of the desk, revealing an extra drawer. Wyatt pulled out the contents. There were several manila folders and a passport. He placed the folders on the desk and opened them. They were credit cards bills, but they were under the names of Ally Jensen, Beth Paige, and Carole Colley. Each credit card was paid off in full, with nearly $20,000 in open credit. There was also a passport. He flipped it open. The name on it was Beth Paige. The photo was Jain.
HEX BREAKER is available, both in print and digital versions. Visit the Jain Lazarus Website for excerpts, short story tie-ins, buy links, and more!
Devon Ellington is a full-time writer, publishing under half a dozen names in fiction and non-fiction. Her work include the Jain Lazarus Adventures, The Nina Bell Mysteries, the romantic suspense ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT (as Annabel Aidan), the YA horse racing mystery DIXIE DUST RUMORS (as Jenny Storm). As Ava Dunne, she writes romantic comic mystery and fantasy (such as “Just Jump in and Fly”). She is featured in anthologies including DEATH SPARKLES, PERFECTLY PLUM, ARDEUR, SIMPLE PLEASURES OF THE KITCHEN, GHOST STORIES OF THE MOGOLLON RIM, and FULL CIRCLE. Her plays are produced in New York, Massachusetts, London, Edinburgh, and Australia. She also provides business writing and editing services for an international client base. She teaches workshops online and in-person all over the world. Visit her blog on the writing life, Ink in My Coffee, and her main website, www.devonellingtonwork.com.