Love Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
by Lyndi Alexander
Running away isn’t necessarily the answer.
In her mad rush to escape a failed marriage, Sara Woods takes the first job available and lands in the middle of a mystery. Her first assignment as a news reporter for the Ralston Courier is the investigation of a string of deaths, all young women, all her age.
She becomes a patient at the Goldstone Clinic, a local mecca of healing, to deal with chronic pain from her past. But all is not as it seems at the Goldstone, its doctors and nurses are all the picture of perfect beauty and health. Patients at the clinic first seem to get better, then they deteriorate. Sara enlists the help of Dr. Rick Paulsen, who teaches her how to access her internal power, skills she never knew she had, revealing secrets from her past. Police officer Brendon Zale also takes an interest in Sara, but he acts like a stalker, watching her every move, and he won’t leave her alone.
As she digs deeper into the story, and more young women die without explanation, she tries to choose allies wisely, but not till the last confrontation does she discover the identity of her true enemy.
By then, it’s too late.
How did the idea of the story come about? Did you outline this story, or let the story create itself?
I wrote /Love Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me/ as a NaNoWriMo novel in 2009, though I'd toyed with the story line before. When you write 50,000 words in 30 days, you don't have a lot of time to kick around the plot, but just lay it down fast and dirty. :) Polishing came in the next year.
I'd been a reporter back in south Florida for several years, so I knew what that experience was like. It was fun to come at it from that angle, because writing in first person, following Sara Woods' investigation in her footsteps, the mystery evolved very nicely.
The other experience that I incorporated into this was a course I took from an Eastern-trained healer in the late 1990s, which focused on learning to heal oneself. During that class, I studied up on Reiki, meditation techniques, laying on of hands and much more, so that helped me channel the teacher's voice into Dr. Rick Paulsen as he helps Sara dig into her own hidden past, and the mental blocks that hide secrets deep within her.
Are there any characters in the story you feel greater kinship with? Why?
I'd have to say I feel a kinship with Sara, the heroine. As I said, we've both been newspaper reporters at a small paper, so I knew the limitations and freedoms of that particular position. I particularly like all the reporters in here--a couple of them are drawn on people I worked with and loved back to my old paper. I've also had to begin again after a divorce I didn't really want, stung by a husband's infidelity, so I could definitely connect with her on those feelings, too. She's a strong, stubborn woman--something my current husband would say definitely resonates as well. Especially the stubborn part. :)
If you were in front of a reader for the first time, and asked to summarize why they would love this, what would you say?
Innocence and evil come face to face in this book in what is a classic battle, but it's fought from a slightly different perspective. One of the most important things in this story is the essence of "life force," the energy that runs within each human person, and it's true that nothing external will save Sara or her friends, not garlic, not a mirror, not a cross, not even a bulldozer. Everything she needs to defeat her antagonist she carries within her--the true test is whether she can find that weapon in time to save them and herself. Her journey is one that will win the reader over and leave him/her searching inwardly for those hidden strengths as well.