Monthly Archives: December 2012

Happy Holidays From All of Us at Kiss and Thrill!

We’re taking a break until after the new year, and hope you are enjoying time off too.

If you are looking for titles to fill up a brand new eReader, you can read this post, or download a compilation of recommendations in this PDF file.  If you have a teen or a tween in your family who is looking for books, we have recommendations here, and a downloadable PDF file.

Firework Spectacular

Firework Spectacular (christmasstockimages.com) / CC BY 3.0

Julie Ann Walker Giveaway Winner

The winner of signed copies of the first three Black Knights Inc. books by Julie Ann Walker is…

REV-IT-UP-final HELL-ON-WHEELS-final1InRidesTrouble_CVR.indd

Deborah D (1:35 pm)

Congratulations! To claim your prize, please email us your U.S. mailing address within 10 days.

Kat Martin Giveaway Winner

And the winner of a signed copy of AGAINST THE ODDS by Kat Martin is…

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Chris Bails!

Congratulations! To claim your prize, please email us your U.S. mailing address within 10 days.

Tomorrow I’ll announce the winner of signed copies of the first three Black Knights Inc. books by Julie Ann Walker.  It’s not too late–leave a comment here before 9PM EST tonight to be entered in the drawing.

Tipping One Back with NYT Bestselling Author Julie Ann Walker

One of the best things about blogging at Kiss and Thrill is having the excuse to get to know authors we’ve met only briefly at writer’sJulie Ann Walker workshops (and when I say “workshop” it’s a euphemism for “bar”).  It’s great fun to meet writers at workshops and talk craft and business, but the drawback is the crowds and the noise (and the pricey drinks).  I picked up met Julie Ann Walker at a workshop a year and a half ago and was thrilled to see her success this fall, when her debut trilogy hit the New York Times bestseller list.

I’m delighted to introduce our readers to Julie, who writes sexy, thrilling suspense centered around Black Knights Inc.–on the surface a tricked-out motorcycle shop, but really the cover for a team of  elite special operatives.

Julie is giving signed copies of the first three Black Knights Inc. books to one lucky commenter.

Rachel:  Julie, welcome to Kiss and Thrill!

HELL-ON-WHEELS-final1Julie: It’s great to be here! And in order to keep the vibe going, I have a full glass of Cabernet in hand. Okay, so you caught me.  It’s my second glass… 😉

R: And I have a pint of my favorite ale.  This feels just like a bar workshop! 😉  So, 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?

J: I have to pick just one?  Geez, don’t make me work for this or anything.  LOL!  But, hmmm, let’s see… *scratches head*  I guess it’s best if I represent our lovely genre – the BEST genre in all of romance… nay, all the literary WORLD – and choose the reigning queen herself, Suzanne Brockmann. I love how she pushed boundaries in her Troubleshooters series.  I love that one of her heroes was gay.  I love that she – gasp – actually wrote a rape scene that was harrowing and graphic and real, and that it didn’t end up cut into a million pieces, lying like sad confetti on the editing-room floor.  I love that her stories were always a twofer, with dual romantic relationships for me to sink my teeth into.  I love that when the situation was dire, she threw in some gallows humor, not to take the edge off, usually, but to subtly accentuate each of the characters’ personalities.  Basically, I just love her.   And if I ever get the chance to meet her – fingers crossed – I’ll probably prostrate myself at her feet, swearing life-long fealty.   So… yeah, you might consider me one of her fangirls.  😉

R: Hmmm.  I wonder if she hangs out at the bar at RWA National?

J: *swoon* Just the thought makes me giddy!

R: 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?

InRidesTrouble_CVR.inddJ: I’ve never written fan fiction.  But if I had to choose a series I was sad to see end, a set of characters I’d like to continue to follow, it would have to be Christine Feehan’s The Drake Sisters series.  I want to see babies being born, dangit!  I want MANY more sexy times between the characters.  I want to see magic and mayhem and what their mystical-power-imbued offspring will get up to.  Did I mention I want more sexy times between the characters???

R: Facebook or Twitter?

J: Oy.  Now this is actually a more difficult question than you might think.  Simply because I LOVE the literary community which, as we all know, is made up of fans, writers, reviewers, bloggers, etc.  So, I adore Facebook for the opportunity it provides me to connect with readers on a daily basis.  But, in the same breath, I adore Twitter because that’s where all my homegirls hang out.  I get to talk shop with other authors who are struggling with characters and plots – just like me.  I get to touch base with bloggers and reviewers who are fundamental in getting the word out about new books.  So… I guess my answer is BOTH.  And, yeah, yeah.  That’s a total copout.  But that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

R:  What is the strangest weapon you’ve used to kill off a character, either on or off-scene?

REV-IT-UP-finalJ: Well, I wish I could say I’m really creative when it comes to death scenes, but the truth of the matter is, I tend to eighty-six everybody in the usual manner.  Gun shots, stabbings, garrotings.  I will say I’ve been toying with the idea of chopping off a villain’s head with a rotating helicopter blade.  But then the question becomes, do I chop off his head at the neck?  Or do I just nip the tip?  Take off the top three inches or so?  See, these are the types of questions we romantic suspense authors ponder on a daily basis.  Perhaps we all need to go to group therapy.  Obviously we have some not-so-subconscious violent tendencies.  LOL!

R: Tell us about your upcoming release.

Thrill-Ride-CoverJ: THRILL RIDE is the fourth book in the Black Knights Inc. series, and I think it’s the hottest one yet.  Of course, I’m biased.  😀  In a nutshell, it centers around ragin’ Cajun, Richard “Rock” Babineaux, and Vanessa Cordero, the Black Knights’ resident communications specialist.  Set mainly in the jungles of Costa Rica, the book opens with Rock on the run after having been listed as a rogue agent.  When Vanessa goes to find him, she inadvertently leads the men who are hunting him right to his door.  Bullets fly, engines rev, and hearts race.  Plus, you know, sexy times…

Thank you, Kiss and Thrill, for having me on today.  It’s been a blast!

 ~~~

Okay, I have one more question for Julie–and our readers–to answer in the comments: describe your dream motorcycle.  Julie is giving one lucky commenter signed copies of the first three Black Knights Inc. books!  Check back on Thursday to see if you are our winner.  Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address and contact us within ten days to claim the prize.

Kat Martin talks about AGAINST THE ODDS and mining for stories

Kat---Ventura-Star-(275by20I’ve been a Kat Martin fan since I first picked up NOTHING BUT VELVET in 1997.  Her historicals always had a well-crafted suspense element, which must have made it natural for her to switch to writing contemporary romantic suspense.  If you’ve never read one of her suspense novels, you are in for a sexy, fun, thrilling treat!  As a long-time fan, I’m delighted to host Kat on the blog today.

Kat is giving an autographed copy of AGAINST THE ODDS to only lucky commenter.

MINING FOR STORIES

by Kat Martin

Odds-Cover-(300by450)All year long I am searching for a new and interesting story.  Each year, they seem more elusive.  Tomorrow, AGAINST THE ODDS, the seventh book in my Against Series that started with AGAINST THE WIND, will be released.  As I began to conceive the story, I knew that Alex Justice and Sabrina Eckhart would be thrown together in a tale of greed and murder, but I wasn’t exactly certain how the story would play out.

Or who would be the villain!

I first met Sabrina and Alex in AGAINST THE SUN, where they showed up as friends of Jake Cantrell and Sage Dumont, the woman Jake was hired to protect.

I liked Alex and Sabrina right away, but it wasn’t until SUN was well underway that I realized Sabrina and Alex just had to have their own book.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to put them together, but little by little, a plot began to unfold in my head.

Even half way through, I was still finding my way, trying to figure out who the real bad guy was.

I was particularly happy to be able to write both Alex Justice and Ben Slocum’s stories (Ben’s is AGAINST THE EDGE, book eight of the Against series), since I fell in love with them as I was writing AGAINST THE SUN.

As AGAINST THE ODDS begins, Sabrina receives an inheritance from her uncle–an abandoned silver mine in the West Texas desert.  Running out of money, Rina is determined to find the mine and make it productive, even if it means putting up with the cocky jet jockey she is determined to dislike but finds ridiculously attractive.

G.Q. handsome and obscenely wealthy, Alex is a private investigator and an ex-Navy pilot.  Alex is just the man she needs to fly her safely into the desert in search of her late uncle’s property.  It’s a sexy tale of survival, murder, betrayal, and intrigue that kept me writing long after I should have been done for the day.

I hope you’ll watch for Alex and Sabrina in AGAINST THE ODDS, out in time for Christmas on December 18.

Have a wonderful holiday,

Kat

P.S.  What gifts will you be shopping for this Christmas?

~~~

Links:  ExcerptBook Trailer | Kat’s Contest |PW Review

Purchase Links:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Leave a comment for Kat and you’ll have a chance to win a signed copy of AGAINST THE ODDS!  Check back on Wednesday to see if you are our winner.  Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address and contact us within ten days to claim the prize.

Thursday Winner!

intothedark333x500BLOGS CONGRATULATIONS TO JACQUIE BIGGAR

YOU WIN A COPY OF STACY GREEN’S NOVEL:

INTO THE DARK

Please click on the Contact Us tab above and let us know if you would like a paperback version (mailing address) or digital copy (email address.) Please respond within 10 days.

And a special thank you to all the K&T readers who commented on Tuesday!

Next Week we have TWO exciting blogs hosted by Rachel Grant. What does that mean for you? Double the chance of winning HUGE GIVEAWAYS! Pay attention to the days of interviews/prizes!

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Monday, Dec. 17th
Kat Martin is guest blogging.  She will give away a signed copy of AGAINST THE ODDS to one lucky commenter!
Winner to be announced on Wednesday, Dec 19th.
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Tuesday, Dec. 18th
Rachel interviews Julie Ann Walker.  Julie will give one lucky winner signed copies of the first three Black Knights Inc. books,  HELL ON WHEELS,  IN RIDES TROUBLE,  REV IT UP.
Winner to be announced on Thursday, Dec 20th.
See you all next week!

Welcome Stacy Green

StacyFall1pressKiss and Thrill readers: please help me welcome romantic suspense debut author STACY GREEN. Her first novel INTO THE DARK released on November 30th. And, like it’s apt title, this story is dark and gritty!

IT’S THE MOMENTS FROM OUR PAST THAT BIND US.

Branch Manager Emilie Davis is having a day like any other–until two masked men storm into WestOne Bank demanding cash.  Her hopes of a quick end to her terror are dashed when she realizes one of the men has no interest in the bank’s money. Emilie is his prize, and he’s come to claim her.

 When hostage negotiator Nathan Madigan and Las Vegas SWAT enter the bank on a rescue mission, Emilie’s captor makes a shocking escape into the abyss that lies beneath the city: the Las Vegas storm drains, a refuge for the downtrodden and the desperate.

 HOW WILL IT END?

 Who is the man the media has dubbed the “Taker?” Why is he after Emilie, and what is the connection he’s convinced they share?

 Emilie can’t run from the Taker, and she can’t escape her own past. As her life closes in on her, she has nowhere to turn but to Nathan. The lines of professionalism blur as Nathan becomes determined to save Emilie. Together they venture into the depths beneath Las Vegas and discover a shocking piece of the puzzle.

But the Taker remains one step ahead. Desperate for the threat to emerge from the shadows, Emilie makes a bold move to reclaim her life, and it may cost her everything.intothedark333x500BLOGS

Readers, she had me at “Storm Drains.”

Evidently there are a couple hundred miles of tunnels underneath Las Vegas. Stinky, sludge-sewage, rat infested, black-as-night tunnels that snake in a giant maze underneath Sin City.

Could any of you think up a creepier hiding place? Or imagine being the kidnapped victim dragged through that hole? I read INTO THE DARK with perpetual goosebumps!

Stacy! (By the way, welcome to Kiss and Thrill.) How did you think up this idea?

When I came up with the idea of an escape route, I Googled “Las Vegas Tunnels,” thinking that since Vegas was essentially built by the mob, there had to be some stories about underground tunnels. I had no idea about the storm drains or the homeless living in them, but when I found out and started researching, INTO THE DARK gained a whole new layer.

Did it automatically trigger the nightmarish plot for INTO THE DARK?

Yes and no. I already knew Emilie had a stalker, but when I discovered the drains, I realized how terrifying I could make the book. The idea of being taken down there against your own will is horrifying, and it was easy to play up the suspense from that angle.

Yeah. Horrifying. (Quite the understatement!) One character describes the rich history of the tunnels. Is this true? And do some old buildings have foundations that empty into them?

The Weber case mentioned in the book is a real case from 2002. A man murdered his girlfriend and her kids and escaped down there. There are numerous legends–including the one about the troll–that are told by the locals. As for the foundations, that’s something I made up in the effort to find a way make the escape route work.

Your description of the tunnels: the stench, graffiti, homeless people and their belongings is vivid. Did you actually go down there to ‘visit?’

No, I didn’t. But I did read Matthew O’Brien’s fabulous book, Beneath The Neon: Life and Death in the Las Vegas Tunnels. He was a reporter for Las Vegas CityLife and spent several months exploring the drains, getting to know the people living in them. He does such a great job of describing the smell and feel of the place it was easy to imagine being down there.

Being kidnapped and lost down there would rank high on my fear-o-meter! What frightens you the most?

Something terrible happening to my daughter. The idea of someone taking her, of not knowing what happened to her, is paralyzing. I’m also fairly claustrophobic, and being locked in small places is an awful experience.

I noticed your next work is set in the Deep South. What’s a nice girl from Iowa doing writing so authentically about these sultry settings?

Well, I love history and I’ve always been fascinated by the Deep South. My dream vacation would be a month spent exploring the old plantations. So it was pretty easy for me to set the next book in Mississippi. I’m a research nerd, and writing about places I’d love to visit is my way of virtual traveling.

Favorite romantic suspense author(s)?

Lisa Gardner, Tami Hoag, Tess Gerritsen, Greg Iles (although he is more of a thriller author).

Thriller writers are welcome here! 🙂 Your bio mentions your avid interest in suspense, even as a child. What book or movie do you revisit that still manages to grip you like the first time?

The movie would have to be Psycho (the original). I watched it when I was way too young, and it scared the hell out of me. Still does, and it’s still a masterful work of suspense. As for books, I’d have to say The Silence of The Lambs. I’ve read it a few times over the years, and it still keeps me turning the pages.

If you could do any profession in the world (automatically experienced at it) what would you do/be?

Honestly, I’m doing it. This is my dream.

Cool for you! Favorite food item?

Anything Italian! Sausage casserole is one of my favorites. I have a recipe that’s so easy and tastes amazing.

Hey, maybe we need a Kiss and Thrill Blog Recipe Day! Sausage casserole? That sounds great! Favorite holiday and why?

Christmas, because my daughter still believes in Santa, and I love watching her Christmas morning. I also love buying things for my family, love giving gifts. I always have.

Aw! Kids make it so magical. And the toys that are available these days…I don’t have any kids but can’t stop buying these cool things! (Toys for Tots loves to see me drive up.)

To know us is to know we love authors who give back in some way or are passionate about a cause. Tell us about your INTO THE DARK Charity Raffle.

The homeless living in the storm drains of Las Vegas played a vital part in INTO THE DARK, and I want to give back. From November 1st until February 28th, participants will have several options to enter the raffle, including donating to HELP of Southern Nevada. The grand prize will be a $100 donation from me in the winner’s name to the homeless shelter of their choice.

Here’s additional information on how to find Stacy and her novel:

INTO THE DARK is available in all digital formats and paperbacks. Buy Into The Dark on Amazon, Coffeetime Romance, Bookstrand
All other digital formats at MuseItUp Publishing, Buy the paperback

Sign up for Stacy’s newsletter for exclusive excerpts and information!

Website: www.stacygreen.net

Follow Stacy online at her blog, www.stacygreenauthor.com

Twitter @StacyGreen26
Facebook Stacy Green, Author

Win a digital or paperback copy of INTO THE DARK by Stacy Green! Leave a comment, question or answer this

Where’s the scariest place a kidnapper could stash you? (Las Vegas Storm Drains is taken…think of some place else!)

One lucky winner will be announced Thursday, December 13th. Check back!

Thursday’s Winner

Ice_Cold3dCongratulations to Sarah Wolf, winner of Cherry Adair’s newest release: ICE COLD!

Sarah, please click on the Contact Us tab within the next 10 days and let us know where to mail your prize.

Thank you to ALL commenters Tuesday and Wednesday. It turns out Cherry was traveling and ended up having no internet access. We look forward to hosting her again with her next release!

OKAY! On Tuesday, December 11th, please help us welcome debut-author, Stacy Green, who will discuss her Nov 30th Romantic Suspense release: INTO THE DARK.

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Stacy Green is fascinated by the workings of the criminal mind and explores true crime on her popular Thriller Thursday posts at her blog, Turning the Page

After earning her degree in journalism, Stacy worked in advertising before becoming a stay-at-home mom to her miracle child. She rediscovered her love of writing and wrote several articles for Women’s Edition Magazine of Cedar Rapids, profiling local businesses, before penning her first novel. 

Her debut novel, Into The Dark, is set in Las Vegas and features a heroine on the edge of disaster, a tormented villain, and the city’s infamous storm drains that house hundreds of homeless. 

You read that right! Hundreds of miles of underground tunnels in Vegas…sure would be a good setting to stash a body, kidnap someone, murder…

Sounds creepy, huh? Don’t miss Stacy next Tuesday!

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