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Blood Red

The Color of Passion is Blood Red

Here’s where to find out more about book four in the Freddie and Kathy series, Blood Red, and all the places to buy it, in paperback for $15.99 and ebook for $3.99. The novel runs about 330 pages.

Blood Red Synopsis

For Freddie Little, blood red is not only the color of the family heirloom ruby necklace, it is the color of his deep love for his wife, Kathy Briscow Little. When Kathy wears the gem to a gala party, relatives and friends start seeing red. But only one is angry enough to kill Freddie’s father.

Freddie remains oddly reluctant to search for his father’s killer, and Kathy gets worried that perhaps the killer is far closer to them than they thought. Freddie’s mother, Gloria, takes up the chase, aided and abetted by his sister Honoria. Freddie feels all too relieved when the police arrest a couple of former laborers at the family business.

But then his Uncle Stephen is killed and the police have good reason to believe that the shooter was the same person who killed Freddie’s father. Worse yet, Kathy’s younger brother is kidnapped, and then there is the daring burglary of Freddie’s apartment while everyone is asleep inside. Already feeling the weight of his new role as family patriarch, Freddie works to squeeze in investigation among all the other demands on his time.

There’s help from Honoria and her friend Ivy. Freddie’s dear friend Lowell provides disturbing evidence about Freddie’s father. But it’s Freddie’s demons that get the better of him and it takes almost losing Kathy to bring him to his senses and a renewed sense of purpose. With luck, it will be in time to save all that he holds dear.

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How I Wrote It

The fun thing about Blood Red was that it actually had two different incarnations – the way I originally wrote it and the one you see here. There was a decided problem with the original, but I couldn’t figure out what it was. It took my good friend and wonderful editor, Carol Louise Wilde, to call me on the problem.

I had intended that Freddie would be reluctant to investigate the death of his father. Turns out, I focused on that and left out a bunch of investigating that should have happened. While fixing that, I realized that my original villain just didn’t make sense. Argh! See if you can guess who my original villain was.

There was other fun, though. The storyline involving Miles and Lovey Johnson was based loosely on the infamous marriage between 16-year-old Peaches and 51-year-old Daddy Browning, which captivated the tabloids of the day. Then there was Gloria Derby Little, Freddie’s mother.

The senior Mrs. Little

She started out in the first books as a stiff Society matriarch, but darn her, in The Last Witnesses, she started speaking up in a very surprising way. Suddenly, here was a woman who loved to read in an era when all she was expected to do was gossip and run charity events. But then, Freddie’s love of books and attraction to intellectual Kathy had to come from somewhere. Why not his mother?

But as I wrote Blood Red, Gloria grew on me some more. The next thing I knew, she had some proficiency in chemistry and a chauffeur with, shall we say, an interesting past. And if Van Schuyler in his less refined moments sounds like a Damon Runyan character, well, that was almost intentional. I figured Runyan had heard characters like that and it was great fun writing Van Schuyler’s dialog.

We’ve seen hints of Freddie’s drinking problem in the earlier books. With this book, I had to deal with it straight on. Not to mention all the issues of getting the new publishing company up and running, not to mention Honoria and Ivy’s involvement. I had so much fun with Ivy in The Last Witnesses, I had to keep her around. It’s also a relationship that’s going to continue.