Lamb, Well-Done (Joyce Lamb!)

There has been a bit of strife here at Kiss and Thrill.  Lena Diaz and Diana Belchase have been engaging in an all out war.

It started innocently enough,

Lena lobbed a cyber spitball. Diana retaliated with an e-eraser. But when the poisoned quills began splaying terse notes across electronic desktops it really became too much.  Someone had to win the honor of interviewing Joyce Lamb and it wasn’t going to be pretty.

In the ultimate battle, the two authors initially went separate ways. Lena interviewed Joyce on paper. Diana mounted a sneak attack and did a video interview.  Finally, in a shocking revelation, they realized, that like chocolate and peanut butter (okay you have to be my age to get that joke), they work much better together than apart.

Whew.  It was getting scary there for a while folks!

So, here we present our Kiss and Thrill threesome — er — Joyce Lamb well-done — okay, a joint interview of Joyce Lamb by Diana and Lena doing what they both do best — together!

Lena: Thanks Diana! I forgive you for the e-eraser throwing (rubs bruise on side of head.) And welcome, Joyce Lamb, to the Kiss and Thrill blog today. It was so fun meeting you at RWA nationals in Anaheim this year.

Diana: Yes, Welcome Joyce!  

Joyce: Thanks so much for having me, Lena and Diana!

Diana: We’re so glad you could be here today.  I’ll let Lena run with the questions in print since we did the video below.  See you in a sec!

Lena: I guess the most obvious question is – Who is Joyce Lamb?

Joyce: Well, that would be me and about a hundred old ladies living in the South. I have a Google alert set up for my name, and it’s shocking how many times I get an e-mail saying I’m mentioned somewhere, and it’s in an obit for a Joyce Lamb who lived/lives in the South. I’ve died a lot lately!

Lena: Yikes! I think I’d turn off my Google alerts if I was seeing my name pop up in obituaries (shiver). How long have you been writing?

Joyce: I wrote my first novel at 17 on my dad’s old electric typewriter. I’d graduated from high school early and immediately started college but with only a few classes at first. I got really bored really fast. So I entertained myself by writing. So, hmm, let’s do the math … I’ve been entertaining myself for 29 years. I suppose all that’s changed is the technology.

Lena: What genre(s) do you write?

Joyce: Romantic suspense. I love action/adventure movies and TV shows. So I write what I love to watch and read.

Lena: Me too! Give me some Die Hard or Criminal Minds any day. Love it. What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

Joyce: They might be surprised to learn that I’m a full-time copy editor at USA Today in the Money section. As far from romance fiction as you can get! I do the Happy Ever After blog in addition to the copy editing, which can be a real handful. But I love it. And if anyone needs me to explain credit-default swaps, I can do that.

Lena: Thanks for the fun offer to talk credit-default swaps, but we need to get back to the interview. Please tell us about the USA Today HEA blog – how it came to be, your role in it.

Joyce: It was all about timing. True Vision (True #1) won a Daphne du Maurier award last summer, right about the time USA Today hired a digital books editor. When he introduced himself and congratulated me, I grabbed my moment and pitched the idea for a romance novels blog that would be the first ever on a mainstream newspaper’s platform. We already had a very popular video-games blog, so I pitched it as “romance novels are to women what video games are to men.” He loved the idea and here we are.

Lena: Congrats on the Daphne win! And I absolutely love the USA Today HEA blog. Can you tell us about your current release?

Joyce: Flash Heat came out in e-book format in June. It’s about a newspaper photographer who has in her possession an incriminating photo that someone is desperate to keep secret. The very hunky star reporter helps her figure out who, what, where, why and how, and along the way they have some pretty funny conversations and some steamy sex. Cole and Bailey are among my favorite couples that I’ve created. Their banter is a lot of fun.

Lena: Sounds like a lot of fun. Let’s get a little more personal for a moment. I’m going to insert some pictures of your kitty-cats, just because they’re so cute I can’t help it. And you can go ahead and tell us about your biggest fear.

Joyce: Dying in a plane crash. I’m not afraid of flying, though. Nervous, sure, but not fearful. I’m just afraid of the plane going down. Once when I fell asleep on a plane, I awoke to that intense sense of falling, like you get when you plunge down that first steep incline on a roller coaster. The plane had hit an air pocket and lost about a thousand feet in altitude all it once. Freaked me out big-time. So now I’m afraid of that sense of falling.

Lena: That would have terrified me! Let’s lighten things up a bit. What would your dream vacation be?

Joyce: Two weeks in a fancy beach house with my closest friends and family.

Lena: I’m more of a mountain girl myself, but then again, I live near the beach so maybe I’m jaded. Do you believe romance books present an unrealistic view of love and relationships?

Joyce: I think romance books present a “fictional” view of love and relationships, for the most part. Just as spy novels and movies present a fictional version of spying. It’s fantasy. Entertainment. And we all know the difference!

Lena: Okay, let’s go with something a bit deeper. What’s your opinion of the current trend to take classic literary works and write new books using those characters? Example – Jane Austen Fan Fiction?

Joyce: I’m torn on this. I find it fun, but I also think fan fiction shouldn’t come with a price tag. It’s OK to enjoy playing with the story and the characters. Share it with your friends and online, but making money off of it turns me off. I don’t imagine that if Jane Austen were still around she would be all that pleased to know that writers are not only making money off of something she worked really hard on but are also denying her the control she should have over the world and characters she created. If a writer bought “fan fiction rights,” if there was such a thing, then fine. Then the author has a say on who and what other writers can do. Mind you, fan fiction in general is a-OK with me! I enjoy a lot of it. What’s not OK with me is making money on it.

Diana:  Okay, I can’t wait any more.  You all must see this interview Joyce and I did in California just a few weeks ago!  Joyce was up for the Rita with not one but two books — against Nora Roberts and Cherry Adair (who btw only had one book each) — how’s that for making it big time!

Lena: Ahem. Gee, thanks for cutting me off there Diana. What, my PRINT interview wasn’t good enough for you? Hm?

Diana:  Actually your interview was great, Lena!

Lena: (blushes) Oh, okay. Sorry about that snarky comment there. Um, back to our wonderful guest. Actually, I thought it might be fun to show a sneak peek from Joyce’s latest release – FLASH HEAT. Below is an excerpt from chapter one that gives a really fun look at the interaction between the hero and heroine – AND – introduces the villain! Enjoy!

“Would you come on?” he called over his shoulder.

“I’m coming,” she replied, irritated at how breathless she sounded. She was in excellent shape. She played tennis every other day, and it wasn’t just hitting the ball around. It was cutthroat, I’m-serious-about-this-crap tennis. On days when she didn’t play, she rode her bike at least twenty miles, up hills and everything. Her muscles were toned, her body trim. But trailing a good twenty feet behind Cole—who moved fast and silently—made her feel out of shape and clumsy.

Of course, it did give her the opportunity to admire one of his better features. The man might be an ass, but he also had a damn fine one. Add to that long legs, a flat stomach—she was sure that a work of sculpted art lurked beneath the crisp shirts he usually wore—and he was indeed a very well-constructed man.

Dark good looks went with the fantastic body. His short, almost black hair always looked as if he’d just gotten out of bed, but rather than looking messy, it was sexy as all hell. Long thick lashes framed blue eyes the color of the water in the Caribbean—and showed just as many shadows.

He rounded the street corner ahead of her, bypassing the barricades blocking vehicle access to the closed street, and Bailey kicked her pace up to a jog. She imagined him standing next to the senator, both already in hard hats and each tapping a foot while they waited. She was just a few steps from the intersection, glancing into the front window of an indie bookstore she’d always meant to visit, when the strap of her camera bag caught on something.

Off-balanced, Bailey spun, more startled than afraid. But then she saw the man in motorcycle leathers and shiny black helmet. He seized the strap of her bag and dragged her back several feet into an alley that separated the bookstore from a hair salon.

“Hey!” she yelled, struggling against his strength.

He slammed her hard against the peach stucco, and a gloved hand that smelled of cigarettes cut off her next scream.

She could do no more than slap at his jacket and helmet until he trapped her between his body and the unyielding wall and held her immobile. Terror nearly choked her. Oh God oh God oh God …

He tugged at the camera bag, but the way she’d put it over her head made it impossible for him to simply tear it away from her and run.

She clasped the strap to her, instinctively protecting the expensive equipment, but then she heard a snick and saw morning sunlight reflect off a blade. White noise began to roar in her head.

He’s going to kill me.

Lena: (shiver) Wasn’t that great???? Here’s the cover for Flash Heat. 

Diana:  Well you have to admit, any way you get Joyce Lamb, on video, in a print interview, in her USA Today blog, or especially in her books True Shot, True Colors, True Vision, Flash Heat and so many others, she is fantastic!

Lena tell them about the prize!

Lena:  Joyce has graciously agreed to give away one digital copy of her novel, FLASH HEAT, to one lucky commenter. Joyce would love to answer any questions you have. And she’d like to know what would YOUR dream vacation be?

Lena:  Thanks again Joyce! You’ve been a wonderful guest.

Commenters: Don’t forget to stop by Thursday and find out if you are a winner! One lucky commenter wins an ebook copy of  FLASH HEAT (via gift certificate) from Joyce Lamb!

You can learn more about author Joyce Lamb at her website, or check out the Happy Ever After USAToday blog!

About Diana Belchase

I am an author, who won the Golden Heart for my suspense novel "The Spy in the Mirror" and was a Golden Heart finalist, once again, for my second novel, "The Spy in the Harem." I am also a triple Daphne Du Maurier finalist for three other books. Please follow me at my website:, or friend/follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter or on my YouTube Channel: See you there!

Posted on September 4, 2012, in Author Interview, Diana Belchase, Lena Diaz and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 59 Comments.

  1. Thanks for being such a trooper, Joyce, with Diana and me fighting over you. The interview was a lot of fun. Readers–be sure to post your questions for Joyce. She’ll be joining us around noonish today and then will be popping in and out today and tomorrow to answer your questions.

  2. Great interview. I.checked this blog first today, just hoping for the Joyce Lamb post. I found Joyce by accident last year when I checked out one of her books from the local library. LOVED it and immediately checked out or bought everything I could find!! My dream vacation would also be a beach house!! Love to walk on the beach at sunrise, the most peaceful thing ever. Love to win a digital copy of Flash Heat.

    • Hi, TrishJ! How cool that you discovered my books at the library!!! I LOVE the library — libraries are among the most underappreciated places on the planet. Now if we could combine libraries and the beach … how amazing would THAT be?!?! (OK, I think I’m using up my quota exclamation points here. Must. Calm. Down.)
      Thanks so much for stopping by AND for checking out my books! : )

  3. Joyce, I loved Flash Heat and can’t wait to read more of your books. I think it’s awesome that you seized the opportunity to pitch your blog idea and that it’s turned out so well. You’ve made quite a name for yourself in such a short period of time, and we love having someone “on our side” talking about romance. 😉

    Loved the interviews, Lena and Diana!

    Oh, and my dream vacation is a river cruise from Norway to Hungary.

    • Hi, Gwen! Ohhhh, I love that dream vacation idea. I’ve actually never been on a cruise (other than a three-hour gambling cruise in Florida many years ago. Where I won … nothing).
      Thanks on the blog — HEA has been quite the whirlwind. And I’m thrilled that USA Today lets me be so inclusive. No genre is left out and self-published books are covered, too. I feared that when the BDSM craze started taking off someone at USAT would say, “Yeah, let’s not talk about that icky stuff.” But, nope. I feel very lucky!

  4. What a great tag-team interview. Flash Heat sounds exciting! Thank you for sharing the excerpt.

    I read Joyce’s USA Today column and love seeing books I adore on the site.

    My dream vacation is a house with its own private library overlooking the Atlantic. It doesn’t matter what time of year. (Any month is a good month to be near the ocean.)

  5. Wonderful excerpt of Flash Heat….will definitely check it out. Congrats on so many “wins”–the Daphne (I rememer when I was a finalist-sigh!), getting another book pubbed, the HEA blog. My dream vacay is coming up–2 weeks in Florence, Italy! Woo-hoo…And now for my question: how do you pick your subjects for your HEA blog?

    • Hi, PM! OMG, I love love LOVE Italy! I hope you’ll get the chance to spend some time in Venice. That’s my favorite city in the whole world. And if you happen to go to the San Lorenzo street market in Florence and see Carmen (who sells leather coats), tell him Joyce says hi! : )
      Congrats on the Daphne final! I looked like such an idiot when I won. I was standing on stage with my idols — Cindy Gerard, Laura Griffin, Brenda Novak — completely starstruck. So when my name was called as the winner of that category, I didn’t even realize at first. And then it was really amazing. : )
      As for how I pick the subjects at HEA: I kinda just go with the flow. Authors have really good ideas and know what’s going on in the industry. So I let them lead me, for the most part. The only thing I really require is that the authors involved have a recent release (in the past couple of months, though that’s not necessarily a hard-and-fast rule if a really good idea is involved).

  6. Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by. I guess Lena and I can go back to being friends again since there was enough “Lamb” to go around. Okay, really bad pun. LOL. Joyce, you were a real sport to let us carve you up this way. Great job on the questions, Lena!

    My dream vacation? Somewhere not too hot, not too warm, where the phone NEVER rings.


    • Hi, Diana! Oh, the Lamb jokes!!! So many options. I always say my goal is to marry a guy whose last name is Borghini, so I can be Joyce Lamb-Borghini. Heeee. OK, I know that’s baaaad. : )
      Thanks again for doing the video interview with me! : )

  7. Awesome threesome! Joyce, congrats on the Daphne win and the Rita nominations. My dream vacation is a month Down Under (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa)…

    • Hi, Krista!
      Ohhhhh, that’s one of my dream vacations, too. No vegemite sandwiches for me, though. (Yep, showing my age — and, hey, I got the peanut butter and chocolate joke, too!)
      Thanks on the congrats! All big thrills. : )

  8. Welcome, Joyce. I’m so thrilled about your double Rita final this year. It was well deserved! I also want to thank you again for speaking at this year’s WRW Retreat in Westminster, MD. Your talk was one of the highlights of the weekend!
    And Diana and Lena, great job on the joint interview. It’s awesome!

    • Hi, Sharon! Thanks so much!!! Funny on the talk at the retreat — I didn’t make it to the end, so I learned something: Either talk faster or have less to say. I’m thinking the latter. : ) What was so awesome about that, too, was the back-and-forth. Such good questions and suggestions from everyone!
      And, I’m with you: Diana and Lena did an awesome job!

  9. What a great way to feature Joyce and HEA Blog!!! You guys are fun!!!

  10. Too bad all tug-o-wars aren’t like this one. Everybody won! And I’m glad Joyce had the presence of mind to take advantage of that pitch opportunity – so the rest of us win, too, by having a terrific forum that showcases all forms of Romance in such a positive way. Thanks, Joyce. I’m looking forward to reading Flash Heat.

  11. Lena and Diana, well done! Loved the dual/duel (!) interview. Joyce, you are just an unstoppable force. I loved this interview and the snippet from Flash Heat. My question for you is how you work your writing around your other job. Do you plan time in the morning? At night? Do tell!

    • Hi, Elisabeth! LOL. I’m glad there wasn’t an actual duel — that could have gotten bloody. : )
      As for writing/blogging/editing … it all makes me a little schizophrenic sometimes. I’ve been doing a lot of my writing on weekends. I also try to work some in before I go to work at 4 in the afternoon, so I do have a little time before then where I can concentrate. The trick is not letting the blog monopolize my time. Because I love doing it so much, I tend to start obsessing about it rather than my current WIP. Doh!! But I’m learning to balance things better nowadays.

    • It’s fun to cyber-squabble ebarrettwrites, no one gets hurt. LOL. Besides, Joyce is fun to fight over.

  12. Hi Joyce! Thanks so much for being here and refereeing between Diana and Lena! And thanks for creating the HEA blog. It’s a great read, and I love that USA today is showing the romance genre some love.
    I had already downloaded Flash Heat, and it just moved to the top of my TBR pile! I loved the description of the hero’s eyes- As an amateur photographer I appreciate the mention of the shadows. Sex appeal, action and mystery all in one excerpt. Wow. I’m taking notes!

    My dream vacation is anywhere out of cell phone reach.

    • Hi, Carey! Thanks for the download of Flash Heat! I had so much fun writing that couple. The villain gets pretty entertaining by the end, too.
      I love that USAT has acknowledged the romance genre, too. We’ve earned the mainstream recognition, dang it!
      A vacation out of cell phone reach — I don’t know. It would take me a couple of days just to adjust to that. And not so much that I couldn’t make or take calls, but that I’d be unable to check!!! I’m such a weather whore — mostly because I lived in Florida for a while, and the weather is the end-all and be-all of existence there. I might need an intervention. : )

      • LOL. My son is a weather geek too. He’s grown now, but I lived with the weather channel 24/7 his entire childhood. Once when he was 5 he was watching the rain out the window. He turned to me and asked, “Why didn’t I know about this?”
        He’s in Alaska now predicting avalanches.

    • Carey, we’re so alike! I said the same thing. LOL.

  13. I love, love, LOVE the HEA blog– I read it every evening when I get home from lab! It’s great to see a mainstream US newspaper (finally) give romance its due.

    Loved the TRUE series, and stoked to read FLASH HEAT!

    Dream vacation? I love travelling, so I try to do as much of it as my poor little postgrad student self can afford… and was incredibly lucky to have travel-loving parents growing up. I’m also an avid scuba diver, so I tend to favour beach destinations. Currently in the planning stages: a month in southern Africa after finishing my doctorate– scuba diving with great white sharks & a safari in South Africa, visiting Victoria Falls in Zambia/Zimbabwe, more diving in Mozambique, and (contingent on political unrest) playing with the lemurs in Madagascar!

    On behalf of our remaining (quiet) K&T colleagues, I apologize for the UFC beatdown over you and, of course, the Lamb puns. (Do NOT, however, marry a guy whose last name is Stew…for the love of God.)

    I am in awe over your right brain/left brain talent. I can’t name another soul who is as creative as you and yet have such a command over financial information. WOW. (I’d ask you to explain credit default swaps, but my eyes would glaze over in the first sentence of your answer.. no offense, I’m hardwired to fall into a coma coming across stuff like that.)

    I think we must have been twins in another life: Fear of falling…check. (So I went tandem sky-diving, thinking it would force me to get over it…uh, no.) I’m insane about vacations on or near the ocean, wrote stories in school to overcome the boredom (teachers must have thought I had an OCD about note-taking!) and…

    I LOVE ALL THINGS ITALY! (Country, food, people, sites, art…)Absolutely a life-changing experience for me…there must be something in the air over there. I went for 7 weeks in 2004 and 3 weeks in 2005, mostly Tuscany, but traveled everywhere.

    I did not meet Carmen in Florence, but did you meet Caesar in Montepulciano? (Small coppersmith who welcomes tourists inside as he hammers the most beautiful pots and pans!) Huge flirt…can’t miss him.

    I have the Rosetta Stone Italian program (bucket list #2), but as yet, have not taken the plastic wrap off (intensity of the program looks formidable.) My car’s license plate is “BACI’ (Kisses.) Bucket List #1: retire in a charming villa in Portofino. sigh.

    FLASH HEAT sounds sensational, Joyce! Great voice and pacing! I hope your sales soar today as a result of this fight…er blog.

    Congratulations on the RITA nominations and your HEA blog! I’ll run over and subscribe as soon as I buy FH.

    Thanks for joining us!

  15. Oh, don’t compliment L & D,…that just eggs them on.

  16. I enjoyed the interview. I’d like to travel around the world.

  17. Thanks so much for joining us Joyce! Sorry I didn’t say hi yesterday – we were getting ready for the first day of school in my house. (Which is today! Joy!!)

    Love the excerpt! Looking forward to reading the book.

    I think I just took my dream vacation this summer – four days white water rafting on a class II/III river with my husband and kids. It was amazing. Now that the river trip is done, I suppose it’s time to save up for something bigger. I’d love to go to Egypt, but think it will be a while before the region is safe for tourists.

    Joyce, I also have to thank you for the blog, because thanks to your posting of the RITA/GH finalists this year, I met Elizabeth Essex, who went to grad school with my husband. Another grad school friend put two and two together when he saw both of our names on the list. I feel like I found my long lost sister!

    • Hi, Rachel!
      How COOL that HEA helped you connect with a friend!!! That’s awesome!!
      Your vacations sound too fun. I’ve never been rafting, though I love the water. Wait, does a ride at Busch Gardens count? If so, then I’ve been rafting A LOT. : ) I would love to visit Egypt some day, too.
      Enjoy your weekend!

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