Author Archives: Carey Baldwin

Debra Webb’s Winner!

vicious-dwdotcomThanks so much to the awesome Debra Webb for joining us this week! The lucky winner of  Debra’s Faces of Evil tote bag and a copy of Vicious is….Michelle Larson!

Michelle, please contact us here with your snail mail and email address to claim your prize. 

Next up: The lovely Diana Belchase and one of her trademark video interviews. She’ll put Ellen Byerrum in the hot seat and discuss fashion, murder and lifetime movies.  Don’t miss this one!eb_website_november_28_2013001023

Debra Webb and The Faces of Evil

debra webbToday I’m thrilled to welcome USA Today Best Selling author Debra Webb. We’ve got a fascinating interview followed by a giveaway for you, but first I’d like to turn my spotlight on Vicious, the latest in Debra’s Faces of Evil series. I LOVED Vicious! So often we talk about a book that you just can’t put down, but in reality, those books are hard to find. Vicious grabbed me from the first page and I found myself putting off many other things, like say…eating and bathing…because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. This story weaves a fascinating, dark tale involving a very strange definition of art. Find out what’s really on this serial killer’s canvas in Vicious. Here’s the official blurb below, followed by the interview I promised you.

Serial killer Eric Spears is far from done. He has chosen his next victim and Deputy Chief Jess Harris knows it’s only a matter of time until he comes for her.

The murders are vicious, the killer relentless. Has Birmingham’s major crimes team run into its most baffling and deadly case yet?

Carey: Debra first, thank you so much for joining us today. It’s such an honor to have you with us. Your Faces of Evil series is an amazing journey for readers. What inspired the series?

Debra: Thank you! It’s great to be here! The Faces of Evil was inspired by a study I watched several years ago about the scale of evil by Dr. Michael Stone. I was so enthralled. I couldn’t get the concept out of my mind. I decided to write a series where the same heroine solves cases that climb the scale of evil! I started with Obsession and Vicious is the most recent release. Vile is coming in March, Heinous in July and Depraved in December!

Carey: You have two protagonists who appear throughout the series, Jess Harris and Dan Burnett.  Please tell us what makes these two tick.

Debra: Jess and Dan have a long history. They were high school sweethearts with big dreams who went off to college together. But not all dreams come true and four years later Dan returned to Birmingham while Jess went on to become a celebrated profiler with the FBI. (You can read interviews with both Jess and Dan at Faces of Evil) Her return to Birmingham, along with an obsessed serial killer determined to haunt her, has turned both Jess and Dan’s lives upside down. No matter, the fact that they have always loved each other continues to triumph. I’ve really enjoyed watching their relationship evolve over the past seven books.

Carey: Is there something you can tell us about Jess that she’d never want Dan to learn, and vice versa?

Debra: We’ve been through some of that in the first six books! Jess is very independent and determined. I think she wouldn’t want Dan to know how much it really bothers her that his mother dislikes her. She doesn’t like anyone to see her weaknesses. Dan is the epitome of a good guy. But he has a few secrets of his own. A couple of those secrets are about to start haunting him and he would rather not have Jess learn about them.

Carey: Okay, you’ve got me determined to find out what Dan’s secrets are! I can’t wait to find out. Which of the Faces of Evil series was the most difficult book for you to write and why?

Debra: Ruthless, definitely. A serial killer known as the Man in the Moon abducted and murdered many, many children before he was caught. The abductions took place in the past so I didn’t have to put any of that on the page, which made it a little easier. I cried all the way through the scene where the remains were found. It was a very emotional story for me.

Carey: I can imagine how difficult that must’ve been. Sometimes the most powerful subjects are the hardest to write (and read) about. What’s up next for you?

Debra: I’m working on a follow up book to BONE DEEP. The story was so well-received, I decided to write BONE COLD which revolves around Special Agent Tom Cuddahy, a secondary character from BONE DEEP. Don’t miss my Faces of Evil short story in the My Evil Valentine thriller collection available now!

Carey: Has anyone ever given you a great piece of advice? What was it?

Debra: As long as you love what you do it will show in the work.

Carey: Your passion for storytelling certainly comes through in your books, so I’d say that was good advice. I’m sure many authors have inspired and supported you along the way. Can you tell us about one of them?

Debra: There are so very many! How about I name a few instead of one.

Vicki Hinze for her undying determination and sage words.

Peggy Webb for her incredible insights into life and invaluable friendship.

CJ Lyons, Cindy Gerard, Toni Magee Causey and Allison Brennan for being the best cheerleaders!

Regan Black for always having my back.

Kathy Carmichael and Rita Herron for always being happy to just listen.

Carey: A wonderful list! Ready for the lightning round? It’s easy- just name your favorite:

Fast Food Joint - Sonic

Vacation Spot – Anywhere in New England

Television Show – Rehab Addict

Song on your iPod (what’s the most played?) – Make a Memory by Bon Jovi

Valentine’s Day Gift - Roses

What’s the last book you read on your e-reader? Down and Dead in Dixie by Vicki Hinze

Carey: Ha! Debra, believe it or not Make a Memory by Bon Jovi is the second most played song on my iPod!

Connect with Debra: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Mailing List.

Readers do you have a question or comment for Debra? She’s giving away a Faces of Evil tote bag and a copy of Vicious to one lucky commenter. Fire away and good luck!

Winner of Tennessee Takedown

I’d like to thank Lena Diaz again for being a good sport and answering all our questions in between sneezes! It was a blast to interview her. And thanks to all our readers and commenters for a fun discussion of dark heroes.81aLrChZQqL._SL1500_

The winner of a signed copy of Tennessee Takedown is: Sherry Gladden. Sherry please email us here with your snail mail address to claim your autographed print copy of Tennessee Takedown! 

What’s up next?

Lovely Diana Belchase interviews also lovely Manda Collins. Manda’s Why-Earls-Fall-In-Love-by-Manda-Collins300x490newest release Why Earls Fall in Love releases Jan. 28th. She’ll be right here to share the release day excitement with us. And Psst: Guess who got her first ever review from Publishers Weekly! Manda! And it was awesome. Among other things, PW said that Why Earls Fall in Love is “sparkling” and “delicious”! Not too shabby for a first timer, eh? Check it out here: Publishers Weekly review.

Kiss and Thrill Takedown

Lena DiazToday it’s my very great pleasure to take down…I mean interview…Kiss and Thrill’s very own Lena Diaz. Lena is a master story-teller whose stories will rev your heart and melt it at the same time. If you haven’t tried one of her books what are you waiting for? Her latest release, TENNESSEE TAKEDOWN is one of my personal favorites. The story opens with an electrifying office shooting and then never lets up. It’s a thrill a minute coupled with a luscious love story. I adored TENNESSEE TAKEDOWN. Please don’t miss it! (Print release is Jan 21st! Ebook release is Feb 1st!) And now for the interview. Don’t forget there’ll be a giveaway for commenters. More on that later, but now here’s Lena:

Carey: What’s your favorite way to kill a character?

Lena: My favorite method is whatever works but doesn’t leave many clues for the police. Wait, CHARACTER? Sorry, Um. Okay, I admit I’m quite the fan of a good gunfight. There’s just something sexy about the hero diving to avoid a bullet and doing that mid-air maneuver where he twists around and returns fire before he even hits the ground. (shiver) I’ve also used poison, knives, even fire. And in one of the stories I’m writing right now the hero is very dark with a tortured past. His weapon of choice? His hands.

Carey: Shivering back! Let’s talk hunks- who would you want to play Dillon in Tennessee Takedown, the movie? And who for Ashley?

Lena: A younger version of Jeffrey Dean Morgan would be the PERFECT Dillon. (swoon) He’s the actor who played Denny in Grey’s Anatomy. I love his physique–solid, without being a body-builder type. And he has that sexy stubble I love so much, with a voice that could melt butter and eyes that invite you to try him on for size. LOVE him. And since I’m on a Grey’s Anatomy thread here, Chyler Leigh (Lexie Grey) would be a great foil for Dillon. She’s smart, funny, and has that all-American girl-next-door appeal.

Fun Fact Alert regarding TENNESSEE TAKEDOWN: The fictional town of Destiny, Tennessee is one county over from fellow Intrigue author Paula Graves’s fictional town of Bitterwood. And the hero even mentions the Bitterwood sheriff in my book.

Carey: What’s your secret ingredient for an unputdownable book?

Lena: I wish I knew! If I did, I’d bottle it and sell it and make a blasted fortune! I do think the hero is the most important part of a love story, so I put a lot of work into making my heroes smart, funny, sexy and super-alpha. And when it comes to plotting my stories, I constantly ask myself what would most likely make sense to happen next at the end of a scene–and try to do something else. I like to be surprised when I read, so that’s what I try to give my readers.

Carey: Oh I love that twist of the scene! You’re so good at it. Do you prefer writing an action scene or a love scene…and why :-)?

Lena: Action, action, action! Action scenes are just plain fun because they show off some of the best qualities in an alpha male. They add tension and drama and get the heart racing. Love scenes can (and should) get the heart racing too. But, honestly, they are so incredibly difficult for me to write. I agonize over them, for many reasons. Mainly, they are an important turning point in any love story and have to occur at the right moment(s) to ratchet up the tension and change the conflict. I also don’t want to write anything “crass” that would turn off my readers. I want to treat this important part of a relationship with the dignity and respect it deserves, while drawing out every ounce of emotion that I can. It’s never easy, but when it works, it can elevate the story to an entirely new level.

Carey: I love both your love scenes and your action scenes. Guess that explains why! Can you tell us about the Deadly Game series and give us a sneak peek at Take the Key and Lock Her Up?

Lena: The Deadly Game series has that name because the titles of all the books are twisted versions of real childhood games (He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not; Simon Says Die; Ashes, Ashes, They All Fall Dead; Take the Key and Lock Her Up.) Each story focuses on bringing down a serial killer, and the heroes are all Buchanan brothers, except for Logan who is a best friend of one of the brothers.

“Take the Key” comes out this July and features Devlin, known as “Devil” to his brothers. Whereas the other Buchanan men come from law-enforcement types of backgrounds, Devlin has a dark, secret past that, well, let’s just say he avoids police every chance he gets. He’s a super tortured hero who walks a tightrope between his devil-may-care side he shows his family and the darkness that truly lurks in his soul. He’s definitely a reluctant hero, drawn into helping solve some abductions where women are imprisoned for years before ultimately being killed. This book goes back to my roots with the first book in the series in that it’s much more serious and darker than the other two books. Crossing my fingers my readers will love it as much as I do. Redeeming a seemingly unredeemable hero was a really difficult challenge but so worth it in the end.

Carey: I’m hopping with anticipation, Lena. And for good reason! Please tell us about your upcoming series with Avon.

Lena: I’m so thrilled to have sold a three book print series to Avon! The first book probably won’t be out until late 2015, and I can’t really share much about the series yet. But I will say that I sold it based on the tagline “The Bourne Identity meets The Firm.” And I can tell you that this series is a natural spin-off from Take the Key and Lock Her Up. Devlin’s past is integral to the basis for the entire series. He plays an important cameo role in the first book. And readers shouldn’t be surprised if other Buchanan men show up in these books as well!

Time for Lightning Round questions: 

Name your favorites:

Fast food restaurant - Outback! Love their green beans.

TV show - Law and Order SVU

Christmas gift you received this year - My son graduated from college! Best present ever.

Place to vacation - Gatlinburg, Tennessee. LOVE the Smoky Mountains.

Book of all time – I’ll let you choose one or your top three - Straight suspense-Coffin Dancer by Jeffrey Deaver. Romance-too many to name! Two classics I adore are Ashes in the Wind by Kathleen Woodiwiss and Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard.

Song on your ipod (go to most played and spill the actual song you’ve listened to most)  - Merry Go ‘Round by Kacey Musgraves.

Carey: Lena thanks for being such a good sport! And now I have to check out Kacey Musgraves. She’s new to me.

Lena: Thank you so much for hosting me, Carey!

Readers, for a chance to win TENNESSEE TAKEDOWN please leave a comment. Lena says: What I’d love to know from the readers is this: How dark is too dark for a romantic suspense? Do you enjoy stories where the hero is almost an anti-hero and has to be redeemed by the heroine? Examples of favorite dark heroes or stories would be awesome!  

You can find Lena on the web here: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Join her mailing list.

Walker and Neggers Winners!

Special thanks to our amazing guest bloggers this week. Carla Neggers Neggers_Carla_11_col1-2

Julie Ann WalkerAnd Julie Ann Walker!

The winner of the first four books in the Black Knights series is: Jolene A The winner of the ten dollar Amazon Gift card is Jeanne Dotterweich Please contact us here with your email and snail mail address to claim your prize. 

This week’s featured K and T author is Gwen Hernandez, author of Scrivener for Dummies.

Looking to write the great American novel? You’ll need Scrivener and this book!

ScrivenerFDCoverHere’s what one Amazon reviewer had to say: “This book is a wonderful aid in understanding and navigating the software, and in making good use of its many features. The author is clearly very familiar with the Scrivener program and she writes about it with the confidence and authority of an expert.”
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect book to accompany the software, October 26, 2013
By John M. (New York)

You can read the full review here.

Purchase on Amazon here.

 

Carla Neggers: The Joys of Research

Today I’m delighted to introduce a guest post from one of my favorite authors, New York Times and USA Today bestseller, Carla Neggers. At the end of the post, look for a chance to win a ten dollar Amazon gift certificate from Kiss and Thrill. And now without further ado, here’s Carla’s wonderful guest post. Enjoy!

Neggers_Carla_11_col1-2Writing my Sharpe & Donovan series featuring FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan has allowed me to indulge my interests in art, whiskey, Ireland, the Maine coast, “my” city of Boston, sheep farming, ancient history — and food. Even FBI agents have to eat, right?

In Declan’s Cross, the third book in the series, Emma and Colin are taking a break in Ireland when Julianne Maroney, the ex-flame of Colin’s brother Andy, arrives on the south Irish coast to help set up a marine science field station. Julianne is, after all, a marine biologist. Only problem: the village Julianne has chosen is also the site of a celebrated unsolved art theft, the first of a serial art thief who for the past decade has eluded Emma, an art crimes expert, and her grandfather, art detective Wendell Sharpe. Emma and Colin are on high alert. Of all the quaint Irish villages, why did Julianne pick tiny Declan’s Cross? It can’t be a coincidence.

I love Ireland and have visited many times. My idea of “hands on” research! In fact, as I type this note, I’m tucked in a cottage on the southwest Irish coast working onHarbor Island, my next Sharpe & Donovan novel. In the name of research, I’ve sampled not only a wide variety of Irish whiskey but also many different versions of Irish rhubarb crumble. So good! I haven’t had a rhubarb crumble I don’t like. I’ve tried making it at home and, after some trial-and-error, devised my own recipe. I thought I’d share that with you.DeclansCross_188

Rhubarb Crumble

You will need:
About 4 cups of rhubarb cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/8 tsp salt
12 to 14 T. butter
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a glass or ceramic baking dish and add the cut-up rhubarb. 
Sprinkle to taste with 1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar (as much as 2 cups if you have a sweet tooth!). 
Combine remaining sugar, flour, oats and salt. (You can use just flour or any combination of oats and flours to make about 2 cups). 
Cut in butter until you have a coarse meal (you’ll still have small pieces of butter). 
Sprinkle over the rhubarb-sugar mixture and bake for about an hour or until the rhubarb is fully cooked and the “crumble” is brown. 
Serve warm or at room temperature, plain or with whipped cream.

FYI, I prefer my rhubarb crumble with unsweetened whipped cream with a touch of pure vanilla extract. I might have to have some tonight! (I also walk a lot in Ireland!)

Enjoy, and thanks for your time. For more information on Declan’s Cross and all my other books, please drop by my website — www.carlaneggers.com — and be sure to sign up for my newsletter. Last month I included the recipe for an easy apple-spice cake. All things in moderation, but rhubarb crumble and apple-spice cake are tough to resist. Fortunately, they freeze well.
Happy reading!

 

You can also follow Carla on Facebook and Twitter
Thanks to Carla for her lovely post. We hope you’re having a wonderful time in Ireland with your ‘research’ :-) !
Readers, since we’re on the subject of food, please tell us if you have a favorite comfort food- mine’s cherry pie, because my mom used to make it for me from scratch, and I remember the special fun of learning to bake with her. One lucky commenter will win a ten dollar gift certificate to Amazon. 

Body of Evidence Winner!

Rachel, thanks so much for giving us the low down on your newest release! I loved the book and can’t wait for other readers to discover it!

Congratulations to Heather Ashby for winning a copy of  Body of Evidence!

Be sure to contact us with your email address and your ebook preference–kindle or nook–within 10 days

BoE_NEW_72dpi

Be sure to join us on Tuesday, when our very own Manda Collins is up with an interview about her newest Regency romance Why Dukes Say I Do. This is the first book in her newest series that’s filled with romance, gothic suspense, and the lovely prose Manda is known for.

Why Dukes Say I Do (5)

Go Ahead, Judge a Book By Its Cover: Rachel Grant’s Body of Evidence

That’s one awesome cover, right? And it captures the essence of the book so well. Smart. Sexy. Desperate. Political.

Body of Evidence is a fantastic read that will challenge you, inspire you, terrify you, and lift you up in the end. I always learn so much when I read a Rachel Grant book, but I’m entertained in the process and don’t notice. This is an unputdownable, intense romantic thrill ride that cements Rachel Grant’s place in the vanguard of new romantic thriller authors.

I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. Here’s the low down on

BODY OF EVIDENCE

“Top-notch page turner! The perfect mix of suspense and romance.”~ Jill Barnett, New York Times Bestselling Author

And she thought facing a firing squad was bad…

When archaeologist Mara Garrett traveled to North Korea to retrieve the remains of GIs lost in combat, she never imagined she’d be arrested, convicted of spying, and sentenced to death. Her only hope is Curt Dominick, the powerful, ambitious, and infuriatingly sexy US attorney prosecuting her uncle, a former vice president of the United States.Diamond Head

What starts off as a rescue mission quickly morphs into a race across the Pacific. Someone is after Mara, and they’ll risk everything to stop her from reaching Washington DC. With betrayal around every corner, Curt and Mara have little reason to trust each other and every reason to deny the sparks between them that blaze hotter than the Hawaiian sun. Still, desire clashes with loyalty when they discover a conspiracy that threatens not only their lives but the national security of the United States.

Turnabout is Fair Play.

Now let’s ask Rachel some of the same questions she likes to ask her victims, er, I mean the authors she interviews.

Carey: What published author (any genre) turns you into a total fangirl?  Is there a particular book or is this based on their entire body of work?

Rachel: I think I could meet most if not all of the authors I discovered as an adult and keep my cool, but there are three authors I discovered in my teens, who, if I were to meet them in person, would turn me into a blithering, dumbstruck fool:

Dean Koontz – I read WHISPERS at age 12 or 13 (1983, I think) and was blown away. From that moment forward, I was done reading kids books.

Elizabeth Peters – it’s her fault I became an archaeologist. The first book I read by her was THE CAMELOT CAPER. Pure pleasure.

Mary Higgins Clark – I discovered her at the same time I discovered Dean Koontz, and started with THE CRADLE WILL FALL. Dean Koontz made me a reader, Elizabeth Peters made me want to be an archaeologist, Mary Higgins Clark made me want to be a writer.

Carey: Have you ever written fan fiction, and if so, what work was it based on?  If you haven’t, what would you be tempted to write fan fiction about?

Rachel: I’ve never written fan fiction, but I think my writing developed from the desire to take the kinds of books I enjoy—romance, mysteries, and thrillers—and write the kind of book I want to read—a suspense heavy romance, or a romance heavy thriller.

I’ve read my share of thrillers that I thought would have been better with the emotional impact of a romance, and plenty of romance that I would have loved if there were more focus on the suspense.

Carey: I’m with you on that front! Facebook or Twitter?

Rachel: Twitter.

Carey: Once again, I’m with  you! I love the instant interaction of Twitter. What is the strangest weapon you’ve used to kill off a character, either on or off-scene?

Rachel: I haven’t gotten creative in this area, although, in Concrete Evidence, my heroine does defend herself with a sharp Marshalltown trowel. Does that count?

(And yes, archaeologists do speak about trowels by brand name—as long as the brand is Marshalltown [Goldblatt isn’t worth mentioning in my opinion]. Also, I’ve been to the Marshalltown trowel company’s headquarters in Marshalltown, Iowa. Yeah, archaeologists, we’re that cool.)

After reading this to my husband he pointed out that in CONCRETE EVIDENCE a character is killed with a refrigerator.

Carey: LOL. Tell us about Body of Evidence.

Rachel: BODY OF EVIDENCE was a gift. From the moment the concept hit me—an archaeologist working for JPAC in North Korea sentenced to death by firing squad, her only hope for rescue, a US Attorney on the verge of prosecuting the biggest case of his career—I knew I HAD to write it. But the year following the initial inspiration was a difficult one on a personal level, and my writing was derailed for about ten months. Finally, when I got back to the story, writing was a way to process grief and move forward. I wrote the last half of the book (50k words) in 15 days, and found my voice again as a writer.

Writing this book was exactly what I needed. I got to escape into Mara and Curt’s problems. I got to write my favorite kind of hero and heroine—smart people who get caught up in an extraordinary situation—and give them the happy ending I wish we all could have.

I loved writing Mara’s understandable but conflicted hero worship of Curt, and Curt’s legendary control slowly crumbling. I wish every couple, every conflict, came to me this clearly.

Carey: Thanks so much Rachel. I loved this book and I know our readers will too!

Body of Evidence opens in North Korea and then races across the Pacific. What settings, exotic or otherwise are your favorites for romantic suspense? One lucky commenter will win a digital copy of BODY OF EVIDENCE!

Connect with Rachel!

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 Books by Rachel Grant

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