Monthly Archives: June 2012

Carey Baldwin – First Do No Evil Debut – Giftcard Winner!

Thank you everyone who stopped by this week to meet Carey Baldwin and learn about her debut romantic thriller, FIRST DO NO EVIL. The lucky commenter who has won a $25 gift card is Rachel Kall (June 26, 7:30pm post)! Congratulations! Please use the Kiss and Thrill contact page on this website to tell us the email address to send your gift card, and whether you prefer Amazon or Barnes&Noble.

Check back with us on Tuesday for a special Kiss and Thrill blog post!

One Killer is in her Blood. The other is in her House.

That’s the first line on the back of Carey Baldwin’s debut medical thriller, FIRST DO NO EVIL. That line gave me chills, and I knew I had to read more. Carey was kind enough to let me read an ARC (advance reader copy) of her novel. The story did not disappoint! The back cover blurb appears below.

One killer is in her blood. The other is in her house.

There’s a killer lurking in Dr. Skylar Novak’s family tree: the gene for breast cancer. That’s why her brilliant brother invented the Bella vaccine. But even if the miracle drug protects her from the cancer that took her mother’s life, it can’t save Sky from the flesh and bone evil stalking her in secret.

When the killer strikes, detective Daniel Benson finds himself in the wrong place at the right time. The bold detective manages to save Sky’s life…just in time for her to return the favor. Survival leads to seduction, and Danny risks everything–his career, even his life, to keep Sky safe. But will the buried sins they uncover cost him her heart?

Danny’s strong arms may hold her close, but only Sky can stop the terror that’s coming next…

Warning: Contents include: One heart-melting hero–good luck getting this delicious detective out of your head. One reluctant heroine–wielding a Glock was never on her to-do list. One crazed villain–an entire flock of baa baa black sheep won’t be enough to put you to sleep. And a lifesaving vaccine with one deadly side effect–murder.

FIRST DO NO EVIL was an absolute joy to read. Why? What makes this story so incredibly, amazingly good? It’s not the plot – although the plot is very good with just the right amount of twists and turns that I like in romantic thrillers. It’s not the characters – although the hero is an awesome blend of sexy alpha AND beta in one delicious package. And the heroine is smart and sassy and independent, the perfect match for the hero. So why did I enjoy this book so much? It’s that special spark, that nearly indefinable star quality, that buzz word editors throw around but is so hard to understand . . . until you see it. What is it? VOICE. What makes FIRST DO NO EVIL so special is Carey Baldwin’s unique voice–her writing style, the way she strings her words together, the very words she uses when building her story.

An interview with Carey Baldwin, www.careybaldwin.com

Lena: Tell us a bit about yourself – where did you grow up? Are there experiences in your past, such as places you’ve visited, that inspire and find their way into your writing?

Carey: I grew up in Ft. Worth, Texas. Lots of great characters in Texas. I was originally going to locate my novella from THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER, Solomon’s Wisdom, in an actual small Texas town near Ft. Worth. But then, with all the murder and mayhem, I realized that might not be well received! So I invented Tangleheart, Texas.

I also lived in Flagstaff, Arizona for a number of years and taught at the university. I adored the town and set FIRST DO NO EVIL there.

Lena: What else about you might surprise readers?

Carey: I’m left-handed, and I’m terrified of crickets.

Lena: Oh my gosh! I’m picturing a horror movie now, with swarms of crickets chasing people down main street. 🙂 What was your inspiration for writing FIRST DO NO EVIL? And how did you come up with such an awesome title?

Carey: In medical school we were taught the principle “Primum non nocere”, which translates “First do no harm.” This is medical ethics 101. It’s meant to remind physicians that our treatments have side effects, and we should always be mindful of the potential to unintentionally cause injury. At least that’s my interpretation.

In this case, I twisted the phrase to reflect the fact that it’s possible for human beings to intentionally inflict harm on one another. It would be great if everyone could abide by the principle of non-maleficence, wouldn’t it?

As for the inspiration for FIRST DO NO EVIL, I was thrilled when the HPV vaccination against cervical cancer came out. It’s the only vaccine available that can prevent cancer. It also stirred a lot of controversy and tapped into people’s fears. I wondered which cancer vaccine would come next, and how it might be received.

Lena: I love when real life, even indirectly, inspires an author’s stories. What about the character names in FDNE? Or in any of your stories. How do you come up with character names?

Carey: I do enjoy playing with character names. In the case of Skylar Novak, I had an idea that she would be natural and a lover of nature- so “Sky” seemed to fit her personality. The hero, Danny, was stuck with his “little brother” name from my first manuscript. Danny is the baby brother of my very first hero, Christian Benson. I’ve also named a villain in one of my stories-not saying which one-after a guy who dumped me! I have that in common with Taylor Swift 🙂 .

Lena: 🙂 I’ve always wondered how Taylor ever gets boyfriends when they have to be worried they’ll end up in a song. And I’m so with you on the ‘stuck with a name’ thing. We really have to be careful how we name secondary characters. You never know when they’ll have their own story. Speaking of stories . . . FDNE is a medical thriller and really does have a lot of medical spice sprinkled in, which I loved. Have you always wanted to write medical thrillers?

Carey: I didn’t want to write a typical medical thriller, but once I read THE SURGEON by Tess Gerritsen I had an aha moment. I realized I wanted to write a book like that! A wonderful thriller with strong romance and medical elements coming into play. My next book is only medical in the sense that the heroine is a psychiatrist- and her practice of psychiatric medicine is a key element in the plot.

Lena: You recently got married (Congrats!) and inherited a teenager. Was your new daughter an inspiration for the father/daughter relationship in your debut novel?

Carey: Yikes! No. Troubled Katie was already written before I ever met my bonus daughter! But I totally have a thing for single dads, and that’s part of why I love my new husband. There’s nothing sexier (to me) than a great father.

Lena: Dogs or cats?

Carey: Both. Until recently I had a dog and four cats, all rescue. But last year I lost my fifteen- year-old puppy and one of our cats. So now we are a kitty only family. However, the addition of the teenage daughter keeps me from being lonely!

Lena: Ah, that’s so sweet. Favorite movies?

Carey: Notting Hill, To Kill a Mockingbird, Splendor in the Grass, The Hunger Games, One True Thing, and, drum roll please…The Way We Were.

Lena: I love Notting Hill! And there are some oldie-goldies in that list. Moving on . . . One of the things that impressed me most about FIRST DO NO EVIL is how you portrayed the hero, Danny. Instead of being all tough all the time, he has a deep respect for human life and abhors violences, even though he’s an alpha hero. Did you do any research to help you delve into how a policeman feels about his work? Or did you pull upon your background as a psychologist? In other words – what’s your secret for being so great at characterization????

Carey: Lena, Lena, Lena! That’s a lot of questions disguised as one! But thank you for the compliment!

I did interview a homicide detective several times. I also tried to take a homicide-investigation training seminar, but the instructor didn’t want a writer to be privy to real cases and confidential information. Ironically, I was told that if I stated that I needed the information for use in my medical practice, I would be allowed to attend. But lying to the police didn’t seem like a good plan! So I settled for reading the instructor’s classic homicide text instead. I also ordered and read a number of police training manuals known as training keys. I got them from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and I highly recommend these real training manuals.

FIRST DO NO EVIL is not a police procedural. With all the medical details, I thought that adding police procedures would be too much. However, since Danny is a cop, I wanted to be sure I had a bead on how a true detective would react in certain scenarios. I was especially interested in the use of force continuum and how police make decisions about using deadly force.

Lena: I am SO going to have to look into those training manuals. Thanks for the tip! Can you share your call story? It can be the call when you got an agent, or the call (or email?) when you made your first sale.

Carey: Ha! Well I was thrilled when my agent called and offered me representation, but she warned me at the time that romantic suspense was not selling. What a wonderful, and rare, agent to take me on at a time like that. Thank you, Nalini Akolekar!

When Nalini called to tell me Lindsey Faber loved my book and wanted to aquire it for Samhain, I was over the moon. I remember asking Nalini over and over on the phone…”Is Lindsey going to be my editor? Lindsey herself?” Thank you, Lindsey Faber!

Lena: You are definitely in great hands with the awesome Nalini Akolekar (Spencerhill Associates, Ltd.) as your agent. Not that I’m biased of course. (wink – Nalini is my agent too.) Now on to a really serious question. Mac or PC?

Carey: Mac.

Lena: Me too! And it has nothing to do with that gorgeous Mac guy on the Mac vs. PC commercials. Really. Ahem. So what do you do for fun?

Carey: I hike, and I chase wildflowers. I used to love to run, but now I am focused on walking. Got that big 40 Mile Avon Breast Cancer walk coming in about 90 days!

Lena: (Do the wildflowers run from you??? 🙂 ) That’s awesome about the Avon Breast Cancer walk. I hope you raise tons of money for that great cause. Can you share your writing process? Do you write every day? Only on weekends? Do you have set word count or page count goals?

Carey: Not a word count girl. I write until I wear out. I write in the middle of the night and on weekends. I would love to have time to write during banker’s hours. Maybe someday…

Lena: What genres do you like to read and who are some of your favorite authors?

Carey: I read broadly, across romance genres and outside of romance as well.

It goes without saying that my fellow Kiss and Thrill authors, and my co-authors of THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER are not only among my favorite authors, they are close to my heart.

Other favorites would certainly include Cindy Gerard, Harlan Coben, Dean Koontz, Julia Quinn, Tess Gerritsen, Stephen King, Eloisa James, Truman Capote, Harper Lee, Somerset Maughn, Allison Brennan, Brenda Novak, Karen Rose, Carla Neggers, Lisa Kleypas, Anne Tyler – see what I mean, the list is getting too long.

Lena: Wow. And I thought I had a long list. All great authors though. We read a lot of the same ones. Now for a burning question. Star Wars or Star Trek?

Carey: Star Trek. I love the pseudoscience!

Lena:  Yes (fist pump). I love Star Trek. What’s your favorite television show?

Carey: I gotta go with “Survivor”. My under-the-bed first manuscript is about old flames who re-encounter one another on the show “Stranded”, based of course on my aforementioned beloved reality show.

Lena: Sounds cool! What future projects are you working on?

Carey: DUTY TO WARN, the second book in the Blood Secrets series. I’m one of those who doesn’t like to spill the premise (I always think I’m so high concept 🙂 ) too far away from completion, but I will tell you it takes place in New Mexico and features “Aunt Faith” from FIRST DO NO EVIL. She’s a psychiatrist and one of her patients turns out to be a serial killer. Of course there’s a fantastic twist!

Lena: White, milk, or dark chocolate?

Carey: Milk chocolate.

Lena: Beer or champagne?

Carey: Champagne. Can I have it with milk chocolate?

Lena: Okay, but only if I get some too! Now for the most fun part of the interview – the infamous free association test. Come on, you know I had to do this. Please say the first word that comes to your mind!

Candy: Cotton
Handsome: Bill
Salad: Waldorf
Big: (Carey’s answer was bleeped out to keep the post family friendly 🙂 )
Sweet: Tarts
Fishnet: Stockings
Music: Country
Hotel: Bliss
Hot: Tamale
Dance: Slow

LenaOkay…I know I’m nowhere near as talented as Carey with the psychological conclusions, but here I go. 

Carey is one hot tamale who secretly wishes she was wearing fishnet stockings while slow dancing to some country music with her handsome hubby Bill after enjoying a romantic, blissful interlude at a hotel where they shared a Waldorf Salad with cotton candy and sweet tarts for dessert!

Carey, thank you so much for being with us today and for putting up with all those questions! Now let’s open things up for questions and comments from our readers. Tell us what you love the most about romantic thrillers!

Commenters: Stop by Thursday and find out if you are a winner! One lucky commenter will win a $25 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice).

Tween and Teen Summer Reading List and our Winner

First I want to thank everyone who suggested books for our tween and teen summer reading list. We ended up with a great selection of books and authors!  Big, huge thanks to Amanda Brice for kicking us off with a wonderful list of MG/YA mysteries.  I can’t wait to hit the library and bookstore with my daughter.  To that end, I’ve taken all your recommendations and compiled them into one pdf which you can download: K&T summer reading list for Teens & Tweens.

And now for our winner  who gets to choose one of the mysteries Amanda recommended in the blog, and will receive a copy of POINTE OF NO RETURN.

The winner is… Leslie Langtry

To claim your books please email your preferred format (print or ebook) and your selection from Amanda’s list to contact@kissandthrill.com (or go to contact page for details). Remember, we must hear from you within 10 days and you must provide a US or Canadian address to qualify.

Next week at Kiss and Thrill we are excited to celebrate our own Carey Baldwin’s debut release FIRST DO NO EVIL!


Amanda Brice’s Recommended Summer Reads for Teens and Tweens

As the mother of a twelve-year-old voracious reader, I can’t keep up with my daughter’s need for books.  Thankfully, I have friends who are wonderful Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction authors whom I rely on to recommend books.  Thanks to my friends, my daughter and teenaged nieces think I’m a genius for selecting books.

My daughter adores Amanda Brice’s Dani Spevak middle grade mysteries.  After reading the first book, Code Name: Dancer she couldn’t wait for the sequel.  The short story in Eternal Spring helped to tide her over as she waited for Pointe of No Return to be released in Kindle format.  Now she’s devoured Pointe, and is ready for more.

Summer starts in my house tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. and I need help keeping my kid in books for the next ten weeks.  Thankfully, Amanda Brice has come to my rescue.

To thank Amanda for her help, I’m giving a copy of Pointe of No Return and one of the books she recommends below (winner’s choice) to one lucky commenter.

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First I want to say thank you to Rachel and the rest of the Kiss & Thrill ladies for hosting me today. It’s an awesome blog and it’s so much fun to be here to discuss reading suggestions for your tweens and teens.

Now that school is out (or will be shortly), moms and dads across the country are faced with the task of what to do with their kids for the next 2 months or so. I can’t help you with summer camps or childcare or occupying their every waking hour, but in keeping with the suspense theme of this website, I can help provide you with a list of awesome YA and middle grade mysteries.

These books are in no particular order, so don’t try to interpret it as a ranking of preference. But they’re some of my faves – both classic and modern, and I hope they’ll become your kids’ faves, too.

For the tweens:

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

When an eccentric millionaire dies mysteriously, sixteen very unlikely people are gathered together for the reading of the will…and what a will it is!

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run from somewhere she wants to run to somewhere–to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and preferably elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing that her younger brother, Jamie, has money and thus can help her with the serious cash flow problem she invites him along.

Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie, find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at an auction for a bargain price of $250. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Is it? Or isn’t it? Claudia is determined to find out. This quest leads Claudia to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.

Alex Rider: Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

When his guardian dies in suspicious circumstances, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider finds his world turned upside down. Forcibly recruited into MI6, Alex has to take part in grueling SAS training exercises. Then, armed with his own special set of secret gadgets, he’s off on his first mission to Cornwall, where Middle-Eastern multi-billionaire Herod Sayle is producing his state-of-the-art Stormbreaker computers. Sayle has offered to give one free to every school in the country – but there’s more to the gift than meets the eye.

Rush for the Gold: Mystery at the Olympics by John Feinstein

Bestselling sportswriter and Edgar Award winner John Feinstein is back with another sports mystery featuring Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson—this one set at the summer Olympics in London.  In this book, Susan Carol isn’t a reporter—she’s an Olympian, competing as a swimmer at her first Olympic games. Stevie is both proud and envious of her athletic prowess. And he’s worried by the agents and sponsors and media all wanting to get up close and personal with Susan Carol.  But the more disturbing question becomes—how far might they go to ensure that America’s newest Olympic darling wins gold?

Hot Ticket by Tracy Marchini

Hot tickets could be awarded for doing something cool, saying something funny, or sometimes even just wearing something the ticket dispenser liked.  All authentic hot tickets were two inch by six inch rectangles made from this orange cardboard material, with “HOT TICKET” written in big bold letters at the top.  Hot tickets first started becoming popular about a month after school started.  Then there was this rash of copycat tickets on regular paper, but people just tossed those in the trash.  Everybody could figure out it was one of their friends that made it anyway.  But an authentic ticket – that was something you kept.

Some people had their lockers decorated in hot and shame tickets.  Some people kept their hot tickets at home to prevent theft.

If I got a hot ticket, I would definitely keep it taped on the inside door of my locker.  Right now my locker only had a locker mirror, a picture of Lucy and I from my birthday party at Six Flags and these annoying cat stickers from the person who had my locker before me.

Fifth grade did not prepare me for this at all.

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham

In the small city of Strattenburg, there are many lawyers, and though he’s only thirteen years old, Theo Boone thinks he’s one of them. Theo knows every judge, policeman, court clerk — and a lot about the law. He dreams of a life in the courtroom. But he finds himself in court much sooner than expected. Because he knows so much — maybe too much — he is suddenly dragged into the middle of a sensational murder trial. A cold-blooded killer is about to go free, and only Theo knows the truth. The stakes are high, but Theo won’t stop until justice is served.

For the teens:

Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday

First I find out that my boyfriend is cheating on me. Then he’s pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And now he’s depending on me to clear his name. Seriously?

As much as I wouldn’t mind watching him squirm, I know that he’s innocent. So I’m brushing off my previously untapped detective skills and getting down to business. But I keep tripping over dead bodies and I’m still no closer to figuring out who did it. And what’s worse: all signs seem to point to me as the killer’s next victim.

I really need to pick a better boyfriend next time.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and crush – who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why. Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and learns the truth about himself-a truth he never wanted to face.

Thirteen Reasons Why is the gripping, addictive international bestseller that has changed lives the world over. It’s an unrelenting modern classic.

The Twin’s Daughter by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Lucy Sexton is stunned when her mother’s identical twin sister shows up at the family’s front door one day. Separated at birth, the two women have had dramatically different upbringings, and Lucy’s mother, Aliese, will do anything to make it up to Helen-including taking Helen into their home and turning her into a lady that all of society will admire. Aunt Helen’s transformation is remarkable. But is it just Lucy’s imagination, or does Helen seem to enjoy being mistaken for Lucy’s mother? Then, on New Year’s Day, Lucy is horrified to find her aunt and mother tied to chairs in the parlor. One of them has been brutally murdered-but which twin has died? Surely her daughter will know…

Filled with shocking twists and turns, The Twin’s Daughter is an engrossing gothic novel of betrayals and secrets that will keep readers guessing until the end.

Heist Society by Ally Carter

When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own–scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat’s friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help. For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in history–or at least her family’s (very crooked) history.

Revenge of the Homecoming Queen by Stephanie Hale

I, the flawless Aspen Brooks, was born to be Homecoming Queen. I’ve prepped for it like some kids do the SAT. So can someone please tell me why the crown was given to my evil nemesis?

As if that wasn’t bad enough, somebody seems out to get me. Locker vandalism, a slashed tire, and horrendous lipstick graffiti are just a few of the ways someone is trying to get under my blemish-free skin. (And I’m not even going to mention how the biggest geek in school kissed me, and I didn’t hate it.)

But things start getting serious when girls begin disappearing. I can’t be worrying about tiaras or crushing on a geek when the detective on the case is completely clueless. I have to save the day, all while looking fabulous.

 The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world…and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer…and becoming his prey herself.

Kings & Queens by Courtney Vail

Seventeen-year-old Majesty Alistair wants police to look further into her father’s fatal car wreck, hopes the baseball team she manages can reclaim the state crown, aches for Derek…or, no…maybe Alec…maybe. And she mostly wishes to retract the hateful words she said to her dad right before slamming the door in his face, only to never see him again.

All her desires get sidelined, though, when she overhears two fellow students planning a church massacre. She doubts cops will follow up on her tip since they’re sick of her coming around with notions of possible crimes-in-the-works. And it’s not like she cries wolf. Not really. They’d be freaked too, but they’re not the ones suffering from bloody dreams that hint at disaster like some crazy, street guy forecasting the Apocalypse.

So, she does what any habitual winner with zero cred would do…try to I.D. the nutjobs before they act. But, when their agenda turns out to be far bigger than she ever assumed, and even friends start looking suspect, the truth and her actions threaten to haunt her forever, especially since she’s left with blood on her hands, the blood of someone she loves.

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Thank you, Amanda for these wonderful recommendations!  This is bound to keep my daughter busy for a few weeks at least. 🙂

And now it’s our readers’ turn to make their own recommendations.  What Middle Grade or Young Adult book do you recommend?  We’re opening up the genres for the question, so you don’t have to recommend mysteries, although I’d love to see more mystery recommendations if you have them!

One lucky commenter will win a copy of one of the books Amanda recommended (winner’s choice) plus a copy of my daughter’s recommendation, Pointe of No Return.  The winner will be announced on Thursday and must provide a U.S. or Canadian address within ten days to claim their prize.

Pointe of No Return by Amanda Brice

Aspiring ballerina Dani Spevak’s visions of sugar plums are dashed when she’s assigned to understudy her nemesis, Hadley Taylor, in the Nutcracker. Pretty, popular, and rich, that girl has all the luck. Or so she thought.

When Hadley mysteriously disappears with opening night just around the corner, Dani can’t sit idly by, even if it means losing the part. Now she’s running all over Phoenix in a race against the clock. From reality TV trophy wives to sleazy real estate developers to a possible drug ring, the cast of suspects begins to add up. Will she find Hadley before the curtain rises?

WINNERS, ANNOUNCEMENTS AND GUESTS, Oh My!

FRIDAY’S WINNER RECEIVES A COPY OF: LOVE IS MURDER 3

CONGRATULATIONS BN100!

  Please go to the Contact Us page and provide us with your snail mail address.

ANNOUNCEMENT: The 9 of us would like to officially thank TK Read, who generously bid a whopping $450 for the K&T Critique Package on Brenda Novak’s 2012 Cure for Diabetes Auction.

TK is a lawyer, mediator, writer and artist, who hails from Georgia. Her work in progress is a Young Adult novel and she’s in the process of submitting to literary agents. TK is also the Critique Group Coordinator for the Southern Breeze region of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI.) In her words:

“I’m an aspiring author, writer of YA and Middle Grade novels. Currently working on a YA Romantic Thriller, and totally thrilled to win the auction. I’m really looking forward to having the ladies at Kiss&Thrill help me make sure my pages are the best they can be before I send them out. You can check out more about me at www.tkread.com.”

Congratulations and thank you SO much, TK! We look forward to reading your pages too.

Brenda Novak’s Diabetes Auction raised a new record this year: $306,000! The cumulative total to date is: $1.6 million. Mark your calendars: her auction will open once again on May 1st, 2013.

 

GUEST: Please join Kiss and Thrill’s Rachel Grant tomorrow as she welcomes YA author              AMANDA BRICE. TOPIC: Developing a mystery/suspense summer reading list for tweens and YA. We would love for you to join in the discussion with your own Tween/YA recommendations!

One lucky commenter will win a copy of Amanda’s new YA release, Pointe of No Return.

 

 

 

 

 

D.P. Lyle and LOVE IS MURDER – Carey aims her spotlight

There’s a Q and A with D.P. Lyle and a chance to win LOVE IS MURDER coming up!

Today, I’m pleased to welcome Dr. D. P. Lyle to Kiss and Thrill. It’s a special pleasure for me to host him today because, like me, Dr. Lyle is a physician/author. In fact he’s written numerous nonfiction guides for writers, and I refer to his HOW DONE IT: FORENSICS text often. I recommend it highly for anyone writing suspense. In a moment, I’ll be spotlighting his contribution to the anthology, LOVE IS MURDER.  But first, check out his amazing bio:

D. P. Lyle, MD is the Macavity Award winning and Edgar Award and Scribe Award nominated author of many non-fiction books (MURDER & MAYHEM; FORENSICS FOR DUMMIES; FORENSICS & FICTION; MORE FORENSICS & FICTION; HOWDUNNIT: FORENSICS; and ABA FUNDAMENTALS: UNDERSTANDING FORENSIC SCIENCE) as well as numerous works of fiction, including the Samantha Cody thriller series (DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND and DOUBLE BLIND); the Dub Walker Thriller series (STRESS FRACTURE; HOT LIGHTS, COLD STEEL, and RUN TO GROUND); and the Royal Pains media tie-in novels (ROYAL PAINS: FIRST, DO NO HARM and ROYAL PAINS: SICK RICH). His essay on Jules Verne’s THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND appears in THRILLERS: 100 MUST READS.

He has worked with many novelists and with the writers of popular television shows such as Law & Order, CSI: Miami, Diagnosis Murder, Monk, Judging Amy, Peacemakers, Cold Case, House, Medium, Women’s Murder Club, 1-800-Missing, The Glades, and Pretty Little Liars.

LOVE IS MURDER

This is an anthology comprised of the writings of an amazing group of suspense/romantic suspense authors. The list of contributing authors is long and drool worthy. If you’re a romantic suspense fan (and really, why else would you be hanging around :-)?) I promise you’ll find many of your favorite authors. But even better, you’ll get a chance to discover other fantastic ones you’ve never read before. This is your opportunity to broaden your horizons while being guaranteed a dizzying infusion of surefire favorites.  And I have to add, of course, that anyone who has been going through Black Ops withdrawal, like me, will be excited to read Cindy Gerard’s contribution to the anthology, which just happens to follow D.P. Lyle’s. Seriously, how good can this get?

Dr. Lyle’s story is called EVEN STEVEN, and believe me, this short story will suck you in, rev the wheels on your bus, and leave you wondering where the line is between the good guys and the bad guys. The story may be short, but it packs a wallop. I love a story that isn’t afraid of tackling tough subjects and raising as many questions as it answers. A story that not only entertains but makes you think is rare. One thing you won’t feel after reading EVEN STEVEN is complacent.

Check out this Excerpt from EVEN STEVEN: 

“I can still smell him.” Martha Foster inhaled deeply and closed her eyes.

Tim stood just inside the doorway and looked down at his wife. She sat on the edge of their son’s bed, eyes moist, chin trembling, as were the fingers that clutched the navy blue Tommy Hilfiger sweatshirt to her chest.

Behind her, a dozen photos of Steven lay scattered across the blue comforter. A proud Steven in his first baseball uniform. A seven-year-old Steven, grinning, upper left front tooth missing, soft freckles over his nose, buzz-cut hair, a blue swimming ribbon dangling around his neck. A playful Steven, sitting next to Martha at the backyard picnic table, face screwed into a goofy expression, smoke from the Weber BBQ rising behind them. Tim remembered the day he snapped the picture. Labor day weekend. Just six months before…that day. He squeezed back his own tears and swallowed hard.

Questions and Answers with D.P. Lyle

Carey Says:

For the record, your honor, Dr. Lyle was kind enough to provide the Q and A, so I can’t take credit for the great interview.

What is your guilty pleasure?

There are so many. A good book, a lap cat, and/or a chocolate milkshake for starters. But I don’t feel guilty about any of them.

Describe your favorite meal.

This one is easy. The one meal each year that never changes, and hasn’t since I was a kid, is ribs, coleslaw, and cornbread, consumed every year on New Year’s Day while watching college football. It doesn’t get much better than that.

If you were not a writer, what would be your career?

Exactly what I am, a cardiologist. I can’t imagine doing anything else for a living. I not only knew by age 10 that I wanted to go to medical school but also that I would deal with hearts. I remember watching a documentary on the at that time new blue baby surgery and was absolutely fascinated. I decided then exactly what I wanted to do. During medical school, and even before, I knew which direction I was going. The good news is that I could focus on that goal while the bad news was that I did not consider any other subspecialties of medicine. But I think sticking with cardiology was the right choice. The last few decades have seen incredible progress in the field.

If you could time travel, which year would be your destination?

I would say that I would have two destinations: back to around 1500 so I could have lunch with Leonardo da Vinci or forward to say around 2300 to see where all this is going.

What inspired your contribution to LOVE IS MURDER?

I had never written a short story, wasn’t sure that I could, and wasn’t sure that I even wanted to. But then this anthology came along and a story idea came to me and I decided to give it a try. The story seemed to blossom and almost write itself and I literally completed it over a weekend. Over the next couple of weeks I did some rewrites and polishing but for the most part it was done after couple of days. I was pleasantly surprised when it was accepted for this anthology. I can’t wait to see the final product.

Another positive thing that came out of this experience was that after the story was completed I sent it to my older sister who read it and asked, “What happens next?” I replied, “Whatever you want to happen.” She laughed and said that she only wanted to make sure that I intended the ending to be ambiguous, which I did. Over the next few weeks I mulled over that question: What does happen next? The answer to that is my next Dub Walker thriller, RUN TO GROUND, which will be out this August.

Carey says: I’m also anxious to find out what happens next. I’ll definitely be looking out for RUN TO GROUND. In fact I’m looking out for our readers as well because I’m delighted to announce that Dr. Lyle will be back with us on August 14th with a guest blog and the low down on RUN TO GROUND.  So mark your calendars!

Now I’ll open it up for comments. Remember, one lucky commenter will win a copy of LOVE IS MURDER!

And the Winner is…

EMILY

Congratulations! You’re the winner of a $10 gift certificate from Amazon! Just send your contact info to the CONTACT US page.

Be sure to come back tomorrow when Carey Baldwin will spotlight D.P. Lyle’s contribution to the LOVE IS MURDER anthology–a short story called “Even Steven.” D.P. Lyle himself will stop by to chat with commenters, and he’ll be giving away a paper copy of LOVE IS MURDER. (The usual contest rules will apply.)

Cynthia Eden Talks Elite Ops and Shadow Agents!

Greetings, K&T-ers! The very first book Cynthia Eden book I read was her first one from Kensington, Hotter After Midnight. What I loved most about it was that it was a police procedural romantic suspense set in a paranormal world! Two great tastes that taste great together! So when she released her Deadly trilogy of straight romantic suspense, I knew it would be good. And I wasn’t the only one who thought so: she was nominated for a RITA for DEADLY FEAR. So without further ado, it’s my honor to introduce my friend and RWA chapter-mate, Cynthia Eden!

Hi, everyone! It is such a pleasure to be at Kiss & Thrill today—thanks for having me over!

I love the thrills and chills that can be found within the pages of romantic suspense novels. I love the danger. The intrigue. The tense, adrenaline filled life-or-death moments. Whenever I read a romantic suspense book, I fly through those pages, staying up late into the night, and imaging all sorts of scary killers.

Ah…what fun. 😉

I love romantic suspense novels because no matter how dark or dangerous things may seem, I know that my hero and heroine will prevail. They *will* survive and defeat the bad guy.  That’s the guarantee with romance novels. Happy endings will be on the last pages.  In real life? No, those endings aren’t guaranteed. And in real life…well, I’ve always said that real life is far more frightening than anything that I could ever dream up for my romantic suspense novels.

Because not only am I am extreme romantic suspense reader, I’m also a romantic suspense writer. I published three dark and sexy romantic suspense books with Grand Central (DEADLY FEAR, DEADLY HEAT, and DEADLY LIES), and, in 2013, I’ll be launching a four-book romantic suspense series with Harlequin Intrigue. While my Deadly books focused on FBI agents who tracked and apprehended serial killers, my Harlequin Intrigue novels will focus on a group that called Shadow Agents—my Shadow Agents work for a division of the government called the EOD (Elite Ops Division), and the agents are all ex-military: Rangers, SEALs, Delta Force.  The Shadow Agents specialize in hostage rescue and unconventional warfare.

Whenever I prepare to write a romantic suspense novel, I always begin with the research aspect. And, it’s with the research that the whole “Real life is far more frightening!” aspect comes around and hits me in the face.  Because as I research, I read first-hand accounts of some truly horrifying experiences.  When I was researching serial killers, I read stories that had me triple checking every lock and window in my house. When I researched my military heroes, I felt such sorrow for the losses that many families have faced—and continue to face.

In the books, I can give and get happy endings. In real life, well, let’ s just say that I wish real life could end the same way.  But that is why I think romantic suspense novels are so appealing to readers. You can get the danger, you can get the fear, you can get the adventure, and you KNOW that you’re safe. You know that the ending will have the bad guy being punished and the good guys and gals riding off into their sunset. Happy endings, guaranteed.

Do you have a favorite romantic suspense book that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear about it!  I’ll pick one commenter to win a $10 Amazon.com gift certificate.

Have a great day!

Cynthia Eden
www.cynthiaeden.com
ANGEL BETRAYED—Available 6/26/12
When you betray an angel, there’s all hell to pay…

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