Metaphors. Do They Add To or Kill a Story?

Her mood was as bright as the sun. Ugh. So obvious.

Subliminal metaphors, however, can bring readers into a story without being overtly noticeable. Each of the characters in a novel has their own special interests or occupations. I find it helpful to the big picture of a story to subtly develop my character’s growth using metaphors that pertain to the main characters’ personal interests.

Black Creek Burning is a romantic suspense set to release this Monday, September 24th. The title in itself is a metaphor as a number of dark scenes happen in and around the Black Creek that flows between the main characters’ homes.

Brie Chapman is a teacher and a landscape designer. She watched the murder of her parents…a murder that had been meant for her. She uses her careers to bury her guilt and to keep her heart too occupied to be vulnerable. There are no suspects in the cold case but six years later, she inadvertently sparks the killer’s need to finish the job. I begin this story in the dead of winter on purpose. As Brie slowly learns to open her heart and allow the friends and family who love her to help her find the killer, so do the seasons develop and grow. One example is when she is uncovering some new, spring shoots as she realizes her own life is taking on new beginnings.

Nathan Reed is a woodworking artist. He inherits his two young nephews after the death of his brother and sister-in-law. After a few years, he realizes he is doing a less than acceptable job as a parent. Determined to keep his promise to his brother and to his nephews, he sells his famed woodworking studio and moves back to upstate New York to be closer to the boys’ only other living relatives, their grandparents. He finds a rundown, historic farmhouse and moves the three of them in with the intention of rebuilding the home in conjunction with building lasting memories between him and his nephews. Behind the house is Black Creek and beyond the creek is a classic Victorian owned by Brie. Her quirky lifestyle is intriguing and her habits fascinate him. He soon finds himself in the midst of falling in love and obsessed with solving a murder. Metaphors are subliminally scattered through the story representing the growth of Nathan as a father, the bond between him and Brie and as he gets closer to catching a killer.

Black Creek Burning is book one in the Black Creek romantic suspense trilogy. As with this novel, the others in the trilogy include the same subliminal metaphors that you, as readers, hopefully don’t see as obvious. To Fly in the Shadows is book two and is about a conservation biologist who specializes in the rehabilitation and banding of eagles. She was given the flight she needed to make her dreams come true…dreams that lived under a metaphorical shadow for a very long time. Book three is Dark Vengeance, a story of an artist who uses his talents to see clues in murder cases. So fun.

Ladies in Red is #8 on a 10 Blog Book Release Tour. A $40 giftcard drawing will be held the day after the September 24th release of Black Creek Burning. Each blog commented on enters a visitor in the drawing. A full list of still-active blogs is located on

“A top-rate romantic suspense from a talented promising new author.  I hear rumors that this is the first book of a series, and I gleefully await the sequel!”

-Laurie Larsen,
–Author of Preacher Man, 2010 EPIC Award Winner

You can read Chapter One of Black Creek Burning on the site along as find links to FB, Twitter, Goodreads and more. Each of the characters in my trilogy has a drop down link with everything from gardening tips to woodworking photos…from pictures of a character’s puppy to a link to Treecylce. I’d love to have you over.

Click HERE for the Amazon Pre-Order page.

Thank you for stopping by!

-R.T. Wolfe



  1. Welcome to the Ladies in the Red page. We’re glad you came!
    -R.T. Wolfe

  2. RT – I love your descriptors of Nathan – I’m a sucker for a strong hero. Good luck with release on Monday.

  3. Thank you, Lynn. Best of luck with your Bull Rider’s series!

  4. Oh I’ve totally noticed a good metaphor can make or break a whole book. If they are overused or stupid – forget I might as well put the whole book down. Now on the other hand, if they are well thought out, interesting and vividly bring me to a description of the action, I love them! I’m sure, R.T. yours are wonderful!! I can’t wait to read.

  5. Thank you, Eryn. I’m looking forward to checking out Beneath the Wall, too! Congratulations.

  6. As a former English teacher, I love metaphors! Especially if they are particularly fresh or apt. I love the comparisons in “Black Creek Burning” between the changes of the seasons and the awakening and growth of Brie and Nathan. I think Nathan’s role as a woodworker also is metaphorical as he tries to whittle away the boys’ defenses (particularly, Duncan’s) and shape them into young men. Thanks for sharing, R.T.!

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