When selecting a location for my book, Secrets of the Red Box, I wanted it to be a place I knew, a place I was familiar with. That ended up being Omaha, Nebraska. Now you might think, why Omaha? I actually wondered that myself, not that I have anything against Omaha - I lived there for nearly three years. What I liked about Omaha was that it represented a lifestyle reflected in the characters my protagonist, Bonnie, finds so unlike her own upbringing. One of the things about living in the heartland of America is how genuine the people are. I also knew I could add authentic touches about the weather, from the thick humidity of summer to the blizzard potential of winter. I could describe the landscape and know every detail.
The book takes place from 1945 to 1950, so even though I remembered a lot about Omaha, I wasn't around during that time period (despite how old I feel some mornings). I use the internet for a tremendous amount of my research, and am a stickler for historical detail. I came across the most fabulous item I think I've ever found - someone had scanned the entire Checker Cab Directory to Omaha, dated 1950. It listed all the addresses of every major office building, hospitals, schools, parks, and business you could imagine, not to mention apartment buildings and residential streets! So, not only could I validate what existed where during the time period, much of it still existed when I lived there. The guide also influenced where my characters went: Comento's Steak House, Chez Paree, Hotel Fontenelle, Brandies Department Store, and the Omaha Stork Club. This was such a valuable resource that I wish I could find a Checker Cab directory for every city!
Although I don't always select a place I've lived to set my stories, this one was particularly fun for me. I know that anyone who's ever lived in Omaha or Helena will recognize the authenticity of the location. And for those who've never even visited Omaha, I hope they'll appreciate the flavor of the setting.
Bonnie has secrets to keep - secrets with the potential to destroy lives, including her own. Running from her destructive and pain filled past, she recreates herself, believing she has escaped the damning evidence hidden in the red box. When her former life is revealed by a cruel twist of fate, Bonnie faces losing everything, including Glen, the only man she’s ever loved. But is Bonnie the woman he thinks she is? Set against the backdrop of the 1940s, Secrets of the Red Box is filled with intrigue and suspense - sure to keep you guessing to the very end!
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A strand of her hair came loose from her comb and fell over her face. Glen casually reached over and tucked the curling lock behind her ear, as if he’d done so a hundred times. She touched the back of her ear where he’d placed the hair and smiled softly at him. Why had that felt so natural? She should have recoiled or pushed his hand away. That’s what she should have done—but she didn’t.
Bonnie paused beside an ancient oak, the afternoon sun elongating its shadow over the sidewalk and spilling into the street. “Maybe we should go back.” She was afraid of him, afraid of how easy it was to talk to him, how comfortable she suddenly was with him. She wanted to go back before she was forced to start lying to him.
Vickie is a native of Utah, but growing up, lived in the states of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Nebraska. When she's not writing, she's composing music, or shopping with her sister. She loves animals of all kinds and camping with her family. Her favorite pastime is watching old movies on TCM, and unashamedly has a crush on Cary Grant.
Links: Blog * Website * Facebook * Goodreads
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