GUEST POST: THE ART OF SUBLIMINAL MESSAGING

I’d like to thank author Juanita Keys for contributing this guest post about subliminal messaging. Juanita graduated from the Australian College QED, Bondi with a diploma in Proofreading, Editing and Publishing, and achieved her dream of becoming a published author in 2012 with the release of her debut romantic suspense, Fly Away Peta. Under the Hood followed in 2013 as one of the first releases from Harlequin’s digital pioneer, Escape Publishing. Juanita works as a freelance editor assisting authors in polishing their work for submission. She escapes the real world to write stories starring spirited heroines who give the hero a run for his money before giving in. When she’s not writing, editing or proofreading, Juanita is the cleaning fairy and mother to three boys (hubby included, his toys are just a little more expensive). Her not-so-miniature Daschund, Sam is her critique partner and keeps her company while writing. You can keep up with Juanita at her website, on Facebook and on Twitter. Her book Under Cover of Dark is released today.

Coming August 1 from Harlequin Escape Publishing

For years man has used art to convey subliminal messages or to record history and events. What better way to communicate a secret than to hide it in an elaborate collection of graffiti or a work of art.

Over 500 years ago, Leonardo Da Vinci was doing it. Long before our famous artists, the Egyptians told stories and traded secrets using hieroglyphics. Going back even further, to pre-historic times, the first humans to walk the earth recorded their lives on cave walls. Little has changed in modern day art. Graffiti artists are still recording events and emotions on walls. Hidden messages and symbols are popular in tattoos, and prison inmates use coded messages and signals to communicate past prison guards.

When I started writing Under the Hood, Book 1 in the Tag Raiders Series, Prison Break and Sons of Anarchy were all the rage, highlighting the secrets behinds tattoos and encoded messages. This got me thinking. How would a teenager involved in a street gang run by drug dealers record events to protect himself? Research showed that juvenile offenders and adult inmates keep coded diaries, have tattoos or sketch pictures that tell the story of their offenses or the reasons behind them. So it made sense that a teenager would use graffiti to do the same.

Teenage gang leader, Tiny Watts can’t afford to be caught telling his story on graffitied walls—the man behind the drug ring will kill him. Instead, Tiny keeps a diary filled with graffiti sketches that contain clues to the drops, ringleaders and their crimes. In Book 2, Under Cover of Dark, deciphering his diary becomes a job for the sexy Detective Mark Johnson when Tiny is murdered and the case becomes a whole lot more complicated.

Here’s the blurb for Under Cover of Dark:

Detective Mark Johnson continues his investigation into the murder of Tiny Watts and the involvement of the teenage gang, the Tag Raiders, with sleazy lawyer, Gino Bennetti, the last thing he expects is to be interviewing Gino’s widow. And she’s in a world of trouble. With her husband’s blood on her hands, Lily Bennetti has her son to protect, and secrets that run deeper than the scars she bears. Mark Johnson is the last person she wants uncovering those secrets. Especially the truth about her son Luke’s involvement in Tiny Watts’ murder. As the investigation continues and Lily’s scars heal, she finds the gorgeous detective easy to trust and the friendship between them blossoms into more. But the secret Lily holds is placing them in very real danger. She stands to lose her son, the man she loves, her freedom and her life.

You met him in Fly Away Peta. He starts a murder investigation in Under the Hood. When will Detective Mark Johnson have his chance at happiness and what’s next for the bad guys? Find out over at Romance Book Haven.