How to Plan the Perfect Crime
Writing about heists makes for an interesting approach to romance novel research. Instead of studying the seating arrangements of England’s nobility in the eighteenth century, I look at blueprints to discover how to quickly get in and out of buildings. Instead of creating detailed worlds based on mythology, I design elaborate escape plans using explosions and sleights of hand.
It’s a lot of fun, to be honest. Like historical romance authors who get to “live” in the time period of their choosing while still enjoying indoor plumbing and Starbucks, I get all the fun of being a criminal without those pesky side effects like going to prison.
Although every break-in my jewel thief heroine undertakes is a little bit different, most of her crimes follow the same basic format.
Step One: Create a Distraction
It doesn’t matter if the distraction is one you create (like the lights going down in a jewelry store) or one you take advantage of (like a crowd gathering to watch a performance)—the most important thing to start your crime off right is a departure from the norm. Anything that throws people off their game is going to give you an advantage.
Step Two: Find a Way In
Penelope Blue is a contortionist, so her way into buildings is often through air ducts, elevator shafts, and other tight spaces. If flexibility isn’t your thing, you’ll need to find another way to access your goal. This might mean explosions, safe-cracking, boring holes through walls, or even simply walking in under the guise of someone else.
Step Three: Secure the Item
Diamonds, money, a hostage in a high-risk scenario—it doesn’t matter what you’re after so long as you have a way to secure it. I tend to gravitate toward stealing jewelry because it’s so much more portable than cash or bricks of gold. You can technically fit a million dollars of U.S. currency inside the average-sized microwave oven, but if you’re fleeing in a hurry, that kind of weight can really drag you down.
Step Four: The Retreat
Of all the tasks to plan, retreat is the most difficult. By this time, there’s a good chance someone has noticed the theft and is on their way to stop you. Not only do you have to get out with the goods, but you have to extract your team and all evidence that might link you to the theft. A fast good getaway driver is a must.
The complexity of the crime can build from there, especially if you want to keep your jewel thief on her toes. I like to throw in bad guys, technological glitches, communication errors…and husbands who work for the FBI. That last one can really throw a wrench in your plans.
Series: Penelope Blue (Book 1)
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (March 7, 2017)
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository
I'm a wanted jewel thief.
What's that saying? Keep your friends close…and your husband closer.
Being married to a federal agent certainly has its perks.
1. I just love the way that man looks in a suit.
2. This way I always know what the enemy is up to.
Spending my days lifting jewels and my nights tracking the Bureau should have been a genius plan. But the closer I get to Grant Emerson, the more dangerous this feels. With two million dollars' worth of diamonds on the line, I can't afford to fall for my own husband.
It turns out that the only thing worse than having a mortal enemy is being married to one. Because in our game of theft and seduction, only one of us will come out on top.
Good thing a cat burglar always lands on her feet.
Thanks to the publisher I have one (1) copy of Stealing Mr. Right to give away.
Giveaway open to residents of the US only.
Giveaway ends on March 31st
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Winner will have 48 hours from the time of notification to confirm their win or another winner will be chosen.
Tamara Morgan is a contemporary comedy romance author. Ninety-nine percent of her information comes from television, movies, books, and all other pop culture activities that limit the amount of time she has to spend in polite company.
Her long-lived affinity for romance novels survived a B.A. degree in English Literature, after which time she discovered it was much more fun to create stories than analyze the life out of them. She lives with her husband and daughter in the Inland Northwest, where the summers are hot, the winters are cold, and coffee is available on every street corner.
Tamara loves to participate in reader conversations, blog tours, and the occasional venture into public, so feel free to drop her an email at tamaramorganwrites (at) gmail (dot) com.