I’ve been trying to think of something new for my blog. Some of my online friends have a different theme for their blogs for certain days, like Tarot Tuesday or Folklore Thursday. I liked the idea but couldn’t think of anything until I threw ideas around with HH this morning. He’s really good at goading me until I think of something. A mixed blessing. But this morning, it worked. I’ve decided to try to write Mystery Musings for every Tuesday, which means I’ll probably be writing it on Monday night. The title gives me a lot of leeway, since I can rattle on about books, TV shows, or movies, even newspaper headlines that interest me.
For today, I chose to write about Jenna Bennett’s Savannah Martin series. I just finished reading the 18th book in the series. And Savannah and Rafe have lost none of their charm for me. I’ll be the first to admit that I never would have expected to enjoy this series so much. Savannah is the type of heroine, if done in the usual manner, who would annoy me. She’s an attractive blond Southern belle who married a rich businessman like every southern belle was taught to do and who tried to always look good, never gain weight, and always be a lady. She eats more salads than most herbivores. But her marriage went bust. Her husband played around and dumped her for the other woman. In comes Rafe, the bad boy of Sweetwater who got thrown in prison after a brutal bar fight and ended up working undercover and eventually going into law enforcement. Did I mention he’s sexy hot? And he wants Savannah. Their chemistry worked in book one, and even after they get married and have a baby, it worked in book 18. All the action is off-camera, but we know they sizzle. Throw in a dead body, and it all works. Maybe because Rafe is the voice of experience and reason, and Savannah is . . . Savannah. She leaps before she thinks. She shows lots more enthusiasm than finesse.
One of the big reasons I wanted to mention this series, though, is because Savannah Martin is a pretty blonde and so was Rafe’s mother, but his father was black. I’ve wanted to write about a white heroine and a black love interest in a mystery for a while, but I was always afraid I’d get it wrong. My daughter is a pretty blonde who lived with a wonderful chef for quite a few years, who happened to be black. And that was just never an issue. I talked to one of my good writer friends about how nervous it made me to put it in my book, and she shook her head. “They’re just people,” she said. “Just make them real.” So that’s what I tried to do. I decided not to make it an issue in my books either. It just is.
I still have a way to go to finish NEW FRIENDS, OLD HABITS, and I’m not sure if I can find a publisher since I originally intended to self-publish it and plotted it shorter than usual. A lot of publishers want 70,000 words for a mystery, and this one won’t stretch that far. But whatever I do with it, I’m glad I wrote it. And if you decide to take a chance and read a Savannah Martin mystery, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.