Please welcome guest author Cathy Perkins to the Cafe!
I’m an avid traveler, but sometimes coming home again is just as sweet. Although we live in the Pacific Northwest now, “Home” for me will always be South Carolina, the place I was born and raised.
Now lots of books have been written about the South and many of them feature small towns with a hundred residents who are all related to each other. While those places exist, that isn’t “my” South. I lived in a city filled with universities, cultural opportunities and innovative companies. Many of the places described in Cypher, my latest release, are real, if slightly modified to protect the innocent. The story’s action shifts between the growing metropolitan area and a small, secluded lake. I learned to ski on Lake Bowen and stayed with friends in a cottage remarkably like the one where Cara retreats to regroup. All those images tumbled through my head as Cypher’s story elements evolved. I knew that was the South I wanted to share with readers.
The companies I mentioned above moved to the front of the line of story themes. Privately held companies occur all over the country but the extension of the family into the company is especially present in the South. I knew I had to feature a company—Cypher—that reflected all the family dynamics—good and bad.
For example, although Caroline (Cara) Wainwright said she was perfectly happy working for the advertising agency, what if she really wanted to work for the family business like her brother, if only to snag her father’s attention? The rest of the “what ifs” about Cypher might give away plot twists, but from the beginning, Cara wondered: since her father had always made the business a higher priority than his family, how far would he go to protect it?
With Cara pulling on family dynamics inside Cypher, Detective Davis Morris could push from the outside, tying together pieces of forensic evidence. He was also falling for Cara, which made him wonder if their attraction was desire, manipulation…or real. Talk about your personal conflict! David was investigating the murder of Cara’s friends—with everyone in her family hiding secrets and on the suspect list, including Cara. Unless they overcame their distrust and worked together, more people would die.
I love it when the stakes are higher because the hero and heroine stand to lose both personally and professionally. And Southerners have been known to add that touch of crazy.
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Greenville, SC Detective David Morris, is unsure if Cara is the suspect or the intended murder victim. Searching for insight into her family, their mounting secrets, and the conflicting evidence from multiple crimes, his attraction to Cara complicates his investigation. Is the lure need, manipulation—or real?
While David pursues forensic evidence, Cara pushes for answers about her father’s possible involvement, for at the center of the mystery stands Cypher—the company her father built and will take any measures to defend.
When the assassin strikes again, Cara and David have to trust each other and work together to stop the killer before he eliminates the entire Wainwright family.
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An award-winning author, Cathy Perkins works in the financial industry, where she’s observed the hide-in-plain-sight skills employed by her villains. She writes predominantly financial-based mysteries but enjoys exploring the relationship aspect of her characters’ lives. A member of Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America (Kiss of Death chapter) and International Thriller Writers, she is a contributing editor for The Big Thrill, handles the blog and social media for the ITW Debut Authors, and coordinated the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense.
When not writing, she can be found doing battle with the beavers over the pond height or setting off on another travel adventure. Born and raised in South Carolina, the setting for CYPHER, HONOR CODE and THE PROFESSOR, she now lives in Washington with her husband, children, several dogs and the resident deer herd.