Be Careful What You Wish For
I’ve been writing stories since I could hold a pencil. I remember getting a 5th grade class assignment during a mythology segment. We were to write a myth. I wrote a story, “How the Leopard Got His Spots.” All I remember now is the main character was up a tree in a jungle, hiding from a leopard prowling around beneath him. The character had a bucket of black paint and was shaking with fear, so much that he dribbled paint on the animal. I got an A+.
Years later, I still wrote but rarely completed a work of fiction. I’d written procedural manuals for work. I’d spent two decades in law enforcement in Northern California, mostly Sonoma County. By 1994, my husband and I were planning our retirement—still years away, in the Eastern Sierras. We were tired of the traffic and congestion of the Bay Area and wanted a more peaceful setting. When my firefighter husband suffered a career-ending injury, we stepped up plans to retire. Until I qualified to retire, I accepted a job as a dispatcher at a small police department. In less than a year in the Sierras I found myself so homesick that even the catastrophic floods of 1996-97 in my old neighborhood made me want to be back in Sonoma County. I’d worked three previous floods and missed helping during the disasters.
One night on a quiet graveyard shift, seeking a bit of consolation, I scratched out a description of a Russian River (Sonoma County) home I saw in a magazine. The seed of a story germinated, and I wrote the story. That tale became By Force or Fear, the Nick and Meredith Mysteries, about a Sheriff’s detective Meredith Ryan (and her partner Nick Reyes) stalked by an influential judge.
Since my husband and I moved back in 2004, I’ve written and published a total of four books—all set mainly in Sonoma County. If I dare simplify my goal for writing these stories, it’s to humanize the people behind the badge. By the time I retired, I had thirty-five years of service as a civilian law enforcement employee. I worked as a Parking Enforcement Officer (yes, meter maid), Dispatcher, Records Supervisor and Community Service Officer. I’d known scores of police officers, male and female, sheriff’s deputies, FBI, ATF and other alphabet soup agencies. My observations over the years varied with the faces that I saw—some decent, dedicated officials who wanted to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Others not so much, but the vast majority came to work every day with commitment. I wanted to write about them and do my part to discourage the “Die Hard” stereotype. Thus, Nick and Meredith were born.
I know I’d have picked up a pencil sooner or later in my life. But I’m darn certain that homesickness played a huge part in jump-starting my writing. Be careful what you wish for—you might get something entirely different and better!
In this fast-paced story, sheriff’s detective Meredith Ryan surprises an intruder leaning over her baby’s crib in the middle of the night. Unable to catch him, she launches a dangerous journey to protect her family. The death of her father the next day leads her to look into his past where she discovers her father was involved in a robbery and homicide many years ago. Working through a web of deceit and mystery, she discovers the robbery and homicide are connected to the mysterious man in her nursery. With Nick, her husband, they unravel her father’s involvement in the robbery/homicide. The loot from the robbery has been long sought by competing crime rivals who are trying to use her family as bargaining chips. Meredith and Nick must find the truth in the next 24 hours before the criminals close in on her family.
Buy links: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08ZJW2YRR
Thonie Hevron’s law enforcement experience is the inspiration for suspense novels based on the lives behind the badge. A Sonoma County resident for over thirty years, she lives in the historic Northern California Town of Petaluma with her husband and two dogs and a cat. Dressage and travel are her real-life passions outside of family and writing.
Her four thrillers, By Force or Fear, Intent to Hold, With Malice Aforethought and newly released Felony Murder Rule are award winners at the Public Safety Writers Association Writers (PSWA) Writers Contest in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020 and 2021. All books are available in bookstores and on Amazon.com.
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