Monthly Archives: May 2013


pposterkissandthrillFinal Reminder from KISS AND THRILL:

Tomorrow, May 31st, is the final day of the Brenda Novak Online Auction for Diabetes Research. Please go bid and give to a charity close to our hearts. This is our second year donating to the Brenda Novak Auction and whether you are a published author or a soon-to-be-published author our K&T Package has something for you! The highest bidder wins ALL OF THIS:


Gwen: One signed copy of Scrivener for Dummies;

Free enrollment in an upcoming Scrivener online class.

Carey: Winner’s choice of paperback or digital copy of FIRST DO NO EVIL

Critique of up to 20 pages – any genre

Diana: A video interview that may be used in conjunction with the Kiss and Thrill interview, or on another site (possibly including Video may also be posted on my YouTube channel and will be available to post on your own website. If winner is not an author, it will be reasonably tailored to their needs and used as best suits them. Winner must arrange to be filmed in the DC area or at a conference where we are both attending. Video to match limits of previous work as seen on my YouTube channel. Prize must be used within 18 months of winning bid.

Lena: Signed print copies of all my books that are currently in print;

I will name a secondary character in an upcoming novel after the person who wins our auction item;

Offer to critique a synopsis (up to 10 pages) or a query letter.

Sharon: Critique of the first 5,000 words of a romantic suspense manuscript and a 675 word synopsis for the prestigious Daphne Du Maurier contest sponsored by RWA’s Kiss of Death Chapter.

Manda: An autographed copy of the Ugly Ducklings Trilogy plus coverflats

Sarah: 50 page critique/beta read of your romantic suspense

A $25 Amazon gift card

One Kiss & Thrill t-shirt (size XL, wear as nightshirt)

One Kiss & Thrill badge/lapel pin

Rachel: Autographed copies of CONCRETE EVIDENCE and GRAVE DANGER

Krista: will help Diana host the Kiss and Thrill group blog author interview of you!


* * * * *

Thanks to all of the commenters and viewers who joined us on Tuesday. The winner of Stacy Green’s TIN GOD swag is:

Susan Muller! Congratulations, Susan, click the CONTACT US tab and let us know your address.


Join us next Tuesday, June 4th. Carey Baldwin is hosting Alison alisonstoneplainpursuitStone, author of  the fabulous suspense: PLAIN PURSUIT

Our Global Travesty: Black Market Adoptions

Welcome back from the long weekend, readers! A QUICK REMINDER: Only 4 more days left to bid on fabulous trips, tickets, gift baskets, autographed books, jewelry, (our Kiss and Thrill cornucopia of critiques, gift cards, books and promotional help) and so much more at Brenda Novak’s Online Auction for Diabetes Research. Peruse and bid for a great cause and help make this the highest donating year yet!

And now back to our blog. Today, multi-published author STACY GREEN guest blogs about a topic she extensively researched for her newest release TIN GOD: the horror and prevalence of black market adoptions.

  What if you found out the child you gave up for adoption in the hopes of providing her a better life ended up sold as part of a black market adoption ring?

  Believe it or not, illegal adoption happens. When I researched this horrific crime for my plot in TIN GOD, I started calling family attorneys in the state of Mississippi, where the book is set, as well as several adoption organizations.  

Stacy Green

Stacy Green

Legally, attorneys are not allowed to charge a fee for matching a child to a set of parents. They can only charge a fee for the licensed adoption, and ONLY for the legal work.

  But the black market industry continues to grow. Illegal practices in international adoptions are becoming more and more common and some countries, like Cambodia, Vietnam, and Guatemala, are becoming a type of breeding ground for nefarious acts like buying and selling children as well as kidnapping.

  Switched and stolen babies are sold, as well as voluntarily relinquished children from unsuspecting birth parents to well-meaning adoptive parents. While some, desperate for a child, pay huge sums to brokers, others are taken in by attorneys who raise their legal fees in lieu of a finder’s fee.

  But it doesn’t just happen overseas. Fraudulent adoption happens right here in the United States. The story that inspired the idea for TIN GOD comes from a family law attorney in Jackson, Mississippi. A woman spent months posing as a social worker from various adoption agencies throughout the cities. She convinced couples to pay for her services by preying on their need to adopt and assuring them she could expedite the process. While most of them DID end up with an adopted child, this woman not only posed as a worker of an adoption agency, but scammed thousands out of innocent couples.

  Like Jaymee’s daughter in TIN GOD, these children’s records are often falsified or just plain don’t exist.

  There have been other types of cases where the mother simply didn’t inform the birth father, denying him the decision to decide whether to retain his rights.

  Georgia Tann operated one of the United States most notorious illegal adoption scams. She operated the Tennessee Children’s Home Society in Memphis and used the place as an unlicensed front for her black market sales from the 1920s until 1950. Tann used various manipulations to take children from birth parents – mostly poor, unwed mothers – and sell them to wealthy clients.

  And then there are the Cole babies. From the 1930s to the 1960, Dr. Katherine Cole is said to have placed more than 1,000 babies without legal documentation. Known as the “Cole babies,” most had a difficult time piecing together their identities, and for many, the truth was discovered after noticing that Cole listed the adoptive parents as the birth parents on the birth certificate.

  She was eventually arrested.

  The horror of black market adoptions is the backbone of my newest release TIN GOD. Tin_Gods_cover_smallOriginally, Jaymee was mourning the death of a child, but that was darker than what I wanted to write. So my critique partner and I put our heads together, and she suggested looking into illegal adoption. I didn’t realize it was so prevalent in this country, but when I started researching, I realized this would be a great plot for a book.


TIN GOD (A Delta Crossroads Mystery)

Getting pregnant as a teenager and being coerced into giving her baby up for adoption left a festering scar on Jaymee Ballard’s life. Trapped by poverty and without many allies, Jaymee nearly gives up hope of getting her daughter back after her best friend is murdered. Now, four years later, a wealthy woman with legal connections hires her as a housekeeper, and Jaymee gathers the courage to seek her help. But Jaymee’s last chance ends up in a puddle of blood in one of the historic antebellum mansions in Roselea, Mississippi.

I just murdered your wife…again.

 An unsigned letter consisting of six horrifying words turns Nick Samuels stagnant life upside down. Stuck in emotional purgatory since his wife’s unsolved murder four years ago, Nick is about to self-destruct. The arrival of the letter claiming credit for his wife’s murder and boasting of a new kill sends Nick to Roselea, where he and Jaymee’s worlds collide.

 Jaymee and Nick realize exposing the truth about her daughter’s adoption is the only way to solve the murders. Up against years of deception, they rush to identify the killer before the evidence–and Jaymee’s daughter–are lost.

 But the truth doesn’t always set the guilt-ridden free. Sometimes, it destroys them.

What to do if you suspect you or someone you know is a victim of black market adoption: If a parent or adoptive family believes they have been a victim of an illegal adoption, they can call their social worker, local police or FBI, or attorney general’s office.






About the author

Born in Indiana and raised in Iowa, Stacy Green earned degrees in journalism and sociology from Drake University. After a successful advertising career, Stacy became a proud stay-at-home mom to her miracle child. Now a full-time author, Stacy juggles her time between her demanding characters and supportive family. She loves reading, cooking, and the occasional gardening excursion. Stacy lives in Marion, Iowa with her husband Rob, their daughter Grace, and the family’s three obnoxious but lovable canine children.


Website:  intothedark333x500BLOGS

Amazon Author Page

Facebook Stacy Green, Author

Twitter @StacyGreen26


Thank you for being here today, Stacy and sharing your research on such a tragic crime.

READERS: Stacy is giving away swag for one lucky commenter.  Check back on Thursday to see if you won a TIN GOD pin, bookmark and book charm!

(Snail Mail and only in the US please.)

Why I’m Thankful…A Personal Story about Diabetes


Kiss and Thrill is actively involved in trying to raise money for diabetes this month — so pardon us rerunning a post from last November.  Lena Diaz’s story of her daughter’s struggle with diabetes touched all of our hearts and is one of many reasons we’re participating in the Brenda Novak Auction for the Cure of Diabetes.  We have put together a nifty Kiss and Thrill Gift Basket, Carey Baldwin has donated her Vail, Colorado condo and a copy of her book, and of course there are tons of other wonderful things on the Brenda Novak Auction Homepage.  Please take a look around and you’ll be surprised at the inexpensive goodies up for auction.  And thank you for helping cure diabetes!

Now here is Lena Diaz’s post:

When I think about what I’m thankful for, I can’t ignore the fact that November is Diabetes Awareness month. Eleven years ago, my daughter was diagnosed with this terrible disease, and for that–I am thankful. Not because she has diabetes of course, but because she’s a survivor. Like most people, I wasn’t aware of the symptoms of diabetes, and because of that, I very nearly lost my daughter.

By sharing this personal story about my daughter’s diagnosis, my hope is that people who think they know about diabetes – but have never personally experienced its impact in their lives – will take a moment to read this. You never know. What you learn might save a life.

Most people are familiar with Type II diabetes, which is typically caused, or at least exacerbated, by an unhealthy lifestyle (over-eating, over-weight). People with Type II can lose weight and exercise, and often (but not always) symptoms of the disease will dramatically improve or disappear altogether.

I’m going to tell you about the other type of diabetes, Type 1, which my daughter Jennifer has. The picture above shows her in the hospital a couple of days after she was diagnosed.

Type 1 diabetes is also known as insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes, because it usually strikes children. In this disease, the islet cells in your pancreas stop producing insulin. Most people who get this disease are NOT overweight. And losing weight or eating differently won’t make it go away or make it better. Your body doesn’t produce insulin. Period. And if you don’t have insulin every day, you die. Period.

Most people think they know the symptoms of diabetes. Thirsty all the time. Check. Frequent urination. Check. But there are many other symptoms you may not be aware of. I used to be one of those people who didn’t know the other symptoms, and because of that, I almost lost my daughter. Let’s step back in time to when my daughter, Jennifer, was seven.

Jennifer was thin. Always. No matter what she ate, she didn’t gain much weight (Symptom #1). From the time she could hold a sippy cup, she liked to drink a lot. So, for her, drinking a lot (and therefore going to the bathroom a lot) was normal. (Symptom #2)

Jennifer was relatively healthy, just like any other child her age. But shortly after she started school, she would complain about tummy aches. (Symptom #3) She only complained occasionally. It wasn’t chronic. Kids get tummy aches. A lot. So I really didn’t think that was a problem. I gave her medicine for her tummy, and she always felt better the next day.

I took her for a haircut one day. The hair dresser called me over. I thought she was going to ask me something about the hair cut, but instead she showed me several long strands of my daughter’s hair. The hair dresser told me my daughter’s hair came out too easily (Symptom #4). I have to tell you, I blew that off. I thought that lady was being silly.

A few weeks later, my daughter wasn’t acting like herself. She sat around a lot instead of playing. Her cheeks were also bright red. My husband took her to the pediatrician. I asked my husband to be sure to let the doctor know that the hair dresser said my daughter’s hair was falling out too easily. Because by this time I was thinking the same thing, but I didn’t have a clue what that could mean. Our pediatrician ignored the hair symptom, much like I initially had. And he diagnosed my daughter with Fifth’s Disease, which basically means a red rash and that she is tired a lot and doesn’t feel well. The cure was to give her time to get better. (Being diagnosed with an illness OTHER than diabetes is Symptom #5).

The following weekend, my daughter woke up in the middle of the night. She said her tummy hurt. And she was breathing very fast. (Symptom #6) She threw up and then seemed to feel better. No fever. So I put her to bed with me and she went to sleep.

The next morning she was feeling better, but not great. Her tummy didn’t hurt anymore, and she wasn’t throwing up, but she sat around not doing much. And when I looked at her, I could tell there was something wrong, but wasn’t sure what. I can only describe it as saying she didn’t look like Jennifer. Something about her face was ‘off’ but I couldn’t figure out what it was. (Symptom #7 – sunken-in eyes)

That was in September, on a holiday weekend. I was definitely planning to take her back to her doctor after the holiday. But I was so worried about her, that I went ahead and took her to the emergency room. Honestly, I felt silly doing it. She had no fever. Her doctor had already diagnosed her a few days earlier with Fifth’s Disease, which could theoretically explain her not feeling well. But my gut told me to go, so I went.

On the way to the hospital. She complained about being thirsty and I bought her a Gator-ade to drink. She drank a LARGE bottle on the way to the E.R. – all of it. It did nothing to quench her thirst. Her tongue was dry like sandpaper (Symptom #8).

When the nurse triaged my daughter, I told the nurse my daughter didn’t feel well, had just been diagnosed with Fifth’s, and that she drank a bottle of Gator-ade on the way to the hospital and her tongue was dry. I also mentioned her face just didn’t look right to me but I didn’t know why. I hadn’t even finished telling her all of that when the nurse reached for a glucose monitor and checked my daughter’s blood sugar level. That nurse knew with just one look that my daughter was severely dehydrated – which explains the thirst and the sunken-in eyes that made her look ‘off’.

Her sugar level was too high to register on the meter.

My daughter was immediately taken to the Intensive Care Unit. Her blood was drawn and sent to the hospital lab to get an accurate blood sugar level reading, and she was put on an insulin drip. A normal sugar level is around 100. If your sugar gets around 250 or higher, it’s considered really bad and dangerous. My daughter’s sugar was over 1000. Her doctor later told me he had never heard of anyone having sugar that high who survived.

My daughter spent four days in the ICU. I almost lost her. The doctor later told me that when sugar levels get that high, people typically have seizures and die. He also told me that if I had waited until after the weekend, my daughter would have died. He estimated she was literally within an hour or two of seizing and dying.

Think about that for a minute.

How many of you would have taken your child to the emergency room when they had no fever and just seemed ‘off’ and just weren’t very active? Especially since the pediatrician had diagnosed her with a condition just a few days earlier that explained her symptoms? I don’t know for sure why I went to the E.R. that day. My gut just told me something was wrong, so I went. And I thank God that I did.

I’m not saying to assume diabetes every time your child has a tummy ache. I’m saying to trust your gut and be your child’s advocate.

MOST Type 1 diabetics are diagnosed with a different illness shortly before being diagnosed with diabetes. Why? Because Type 1 is an auto-immune disease. Every time a person with Type 1 gets sick — whether it’s a cold or something else — their body attacks the Islet cells in their pancreas, killing more of them. One day, one of those “attacks” kills enough cells so that the diabetic goes into ketoacidosis, which is what happened to my daughter. Her blood was literally turning to acid and killing her.

So what about all of those symptoms I mentioned? Here’s a quick run-down of each symptom, and what it really meant, even though I didn’t know it Jen nowat the time.

  • Can’t gain weight – Your body needs insulin in order to absorb nutrition, so without insulin your body eats all the fat to survive.
  • Thirsty – If your sugar is too high your blood is getting acidic, so your body’s natural reaction is to crave water to dilute the acid.
  • Frequent urination – Drink more, pee more (smile)
  • Hair Falling out – Malnutrition! The body can’t absorb nutrients.
  • Sunken-in Eyes – Dehydration because the body can’t absorb water anymore (acidic blood).
  • Tummy ache – Malnutrition
  • Throwing up – Potassium and electrolytes in the blood are all ‘off’ which throws the entire body out of whack and makes you sick
  • Rapid Breathing – Respiratory distress. This is one of the last systems, along with throwing up. It happens right before the body shuts down. Next symptom – seizure and death.

Okay, enough of the doom and gloom. I’m happy to report that my daughter recovered and is now living a rich fulfilling life in spite of the incredible challenges of living with this horrible disease. (The picture above is a current picture of Jennifer.)

Hopefully by sharing my daughter’s story, I have educated some people about symptoms you may have otherwise overlooked. And if that saves a life, well then, that’s a wonderful thing.

Grave Danger winner

Grave Danger 300dpi

The winner of Grave Danger is Cris! Congratulations!!

Be sure to contact us within ten days with your snail mail address to receive your signed copy of Rachel’s new book. 🙂


Join us Tuesday for author Stacy Green talking about Black Market adoptions, the basis for her new novel TIN GOD. Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

StacyFall1pressBorn in Indiana and raised in Iowa, Stacy Green earned degrees in journalism and sociology from Drake University. After a successful advertising career, Stacy became a proud stay-at-home mom to her miracle child. Now a full-time author, Stacy juggles her time between her demanding characters and supportive family. She loves reading, cooking, and the occasional gardening excursion. Stacy lives in Marion, Iowa with her husband Rob, their daughter Grace, and the family’s three obnoxious but lovable canine children.

Rachel Grant puts herself in Grave Danger

Rachel Grant

I wanted to be an archeologist for at least a year after I discovered Macchu Picchu (Peru) in a sixth grade textbook. I later realized I might not have the patience required for the job, but that didn’t stop my fascination with ancient sites and unearthed artifacts. Which is part of what I love about Rachel Grant’s books. They give the reader a glimpse into the real world of an archeologist. Add in some danger and steamy romance, and her stories have it all.

Rachel’s latest—out today!—Grave Danger, includes a determined archeologist trying to rebuild her reputation, a stalker, an unexpected find in the archaeological site, and a sexy small town cop who’s not sure if he can trust her, but can’t stay away. You won’t want to miss it!

She’s being stalked…

Grave Danger 300dpi

After struggling to recover from a career-crippling mistake, archaeologist Libby Maitland has landed the project of her dreams—a data recovery excavation in a picturesque, historic sawmill town. Tasked with digging up secrets of the town’s founding family, Libby soon learns that nothing in Coho, Washington, is as idyllic as it seems.

She’s barely settled into her new home when suspicious events make her believe she’s being stalked…

Or maybe she’s losing her mind.

Coho Police Chief Mark Colby can’t decide if Libby is crazy or if she has her own twisted agenda, but the deeper he delves into her past, the more intrigued he becomes. Even as he and Libby grow closer, he can’t quite let his initial suspicion go.

When Libby’s life is threatened, they must work together to determine if the truth about her stalker is buried in her past, or if the answers can be found in the layers of the excavation.

Read on for more about Rachel, archeology, and her books. And be sure to answer her question for a chance to win a signed copy of Grave Danger.

Gwen: Clearly your experience as an archeologist provides background for your stories, but was there something in particular that sparked Grave Danger? An incident? An article? A scene idea?

Rachel: The story for GD really flowed from the axiom “write what you know” – and while I’ve never been romanced by a hunky police chief or been stalked, I know a fair amount about prehistoric shell midden sites in the Pacific Northwest. I wanted to write a book about real archaeology, as it’s practiced in the United States, because most books with an archaeological storyline either focus on treasure hunting (which will get a real archaeologist blackballed) or contain other inaccuracies. So I started with the archaeological project, and plotted from there.

Avoiding spoilers, there is a discovery Libby makes during the excavation that is a real concern among archaeologists given the protocols we must follow in similar circumstances.

Is that vague or confusing enough? 😀

Gwen: Hah, now everyone has to read it. 😉 This book was the first you’d ever written. I know you’ve made a lot of changes since the first iteration almost a decade ago, but what is it about this story that kept pulling you back in?

Rachel: I shudder when I think of that first draft.  I set this story aside in 2008 so I could focus on writing Concrete Evidence and other, more suspense-y books, but I never really let this one go. This is my small-town-romantic-mystery, as opposed to my city-set-political-thrillers, and I’d love to write more books in this part of the romance genre. I’ve had the sequel plotted for years and I can’t wait to write it.

Gwen: I definitely want the sequel! In GD, Libby is an archeologist trying to restore her good name, and Mark is the chief of police of the small town where she’s starting a new project. What do you think makes these two characters perfect for each other?

Rachel: Libby is really attracted to confidence, because she’s lost confidence in herself after a professional and emotional setback, but Mark sees her strength—and the courage in her convictions that she thinks she lacks—from their first meeting. Plus they are both outsiders in a small, closed community, but they each need to understand and become members of that community as part of their respective professions.

To me, the town of Coho was a character—a beautiful, pristine historic gem on the outside, but with a dark and conflicted history that overshadows today.

FrontCover-Final-300dpiGwen: Confidence is definitely sexy. Grave Danger—and your first release Concrete Evidence—both have archeologist characters, but the books aren’t a series. Do you have related stories for either of them in the works?

Rachel: I’ve had the sequel to GD plotted for a long time and look forward to writing it. I have two sequels to CE written and am working on a third. No promises yet on when those books will be released.

Gwen: Ooh, can’t wait for more in both series. Grave Danger takes place in a small sawmill town in Washington State, and Concrete Evidence was set in the big city—Washington, D.C. Do you find it easier to write small town or big city settings?

Rachel: The fictional small town was based on an historic sawmill town not far from where I live. This setting was easier simply because I could adapt the setting to suit my needs, but I loved writing the D.C. book too, because I lived there for two years and know the city well enough to write it with confidence. In CE, every scene (except for the ones set on fictional tribal-owned land) was set in a place I’ve visited at least once. Erica’s apartment in SW D.C. was my own, and the Bethesda office building was (not really) shockingly similar to the building I worked in.

Gwen: I definitely find it easier to write about places I’ve lived or at least visited. What’s the most interesting thing you ever found while working as an archeologist?

Rachel: Oh, that’s a hard one! In the Pacific Northwest, we don’t have pottery, we have woven basketry instead. Woven fibers decompose easily—they are only preserved in ideal conditions, very wet, or very dry—so finding prehistoric basketry is rare. Years ago, I worked on an excavation inside Porcupine Cave in Eastern Washington and caves and rockshelters have wonderfully dry preservation conditions. I found—in the screen, not in situ—a small fragment of a basket. That was really cool, but it was only about an inch across and something that wouldn’t trigger backflips for people who don’t know how rare and unique the find was.

Another exciting find was in SW Idaho, when I found a petroglyph on a rock face on the Owyhee Plateau. The petroglyph itself wasn’t all that exciting – it was a simple circle slightly larger than a softball – but still, it was the first time that particular petroglyph was recorded by an archaeologist and I was thrilled to have spotted it.

On a more bizarre note, I once dug a pit and found a rusted metal bucket and shovel head—evidence the site had been looted about a hundred years before.

Gwen: How cool to be the first to record a petroglyph! And I hadn’t thought of finding looting evidence, but then I guess that’s just another layer of artifact with its own provenance… Okay, one last question, like my experience after reading about Macchu Picchu, was there a particular incident that sparked your interest in archaeology?

Rachel: I was a senior in high school when I discovered Elizabeth Peters’ mysteries, and I (fondly) blame her for my decision to become an archaeologist, which leads me to my question for our readers…

Have you ever read a book that made you reconsider your career choice?

I’m giving a signed copy of Grave Danger to one commenter. Thanks so much for hosting me today, Gwen! I want to thank all the ladies at Kiss and Thrill for the fabulous support you all have given me over the last months.

Gwen: Thanks for sharing your new release with us. I can’t wait for more of your stories!

Pick up one of Rachel’s books today. C’mon, you know you want to.

Concrete Evidence
Amazon | iTunes | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

Grave Danger
Amazon | iTunes | Barnes & Noble

Kendra’s Winner!

BURIED.FINAL.3It was a blast having the awesome Kendra Elliot with us this week. We hope she comes back very soon. As you recall, Kendra has generously offered a signed copy of her latest release BURIED  to one lucky commenter.

The winner of a signed copy of BURIED  is Mary! Mary please contact us here with your snail mail address to claim your prize. 

FrontCover-Final-72dpiDon’t forget to join us next Tuesday when Gwen hosts our very own Rachel Grant. Y’all are loving CONCRETE EVIDENCE, right? 🙂 Then you won’t want to miss our Tuesday blog!

Kendra Elliot: Secrets Hidden Chilled and Buried in Bone

KFELLIOTTWe have a special treat for you guys today: An interview with Kendra Elliot, author of the Bone Secrets series, along with  a giveaway of a signed copy of her latest romantic suspense novel, BURIEDDon’t forget to comment below for a chance to win.

I’ve been hearing wonderful things about Kendra and her books, so I’ve been itching to have her as our guest. Before we get to the interview,  here’s some information about her lastest release, BURIED.

What reviewers are saying about BURIED:

Buried by Kendra Elliot took me by surprise. ‘Engrossed’ is too mild a word for what I felt while reading this amazing romantic suspense novel.” —Morgan Doremus, RT Editor; RT Book Reviews Seal of Excellence Nominee

“Romantic suspense fans, drop everything — cooking, cleaning, even the dog can wait — because you will have your nose buried in Buried for the next 24 hours. Elliot once again proves to be a genius in the genre with her third heart-pounding novel in the Bone Secrets collection. The author knows romance and suspense, reeling readers in instantaneously and wowing them with an extremely surprising finish. Plus, returning characters from her first two stellar stories make a guest appearance with gusto. Elliot’s best by a mile!” —RT Book Reviews Top Pick, 4 1/2 stars

“A page-turning blend of romance, thrills, and danger! HIDDEN is a winning debut from a new star in romantic suspense.” –Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author

MARCH 26, 2013

Reporter Michael Brody is used to getting answers. The one that’s eluded him, though, for twenty long years is learning what happened to his brother Daniel the day his school bus disappeared. When the remains of the other children are discovered—and Daniel’s aren’t among them—a desperate Michael calls upon the sole survivor of the tragedy, Chris Jacobs, hoping he will finally break his silence.

Constant fear of being found by his kidnapper has driven Chris into hiding. The only lead Michael has is Chris’s sister, Jamie. Strong and impenetrable, she’s capable of burrowing deep into Michael’s heart. As they race to find Chris, Michael and Jamie somehow find each other among the decades of wreckage. But locating Chris may not be so easy. Now grown, his scars go far deeper than skin.

In Buried, the next thrilling Bone Secrets novel from bestselling author Kendra Elliot, a damaged hero digs deep into his terrifying past…and unearths a chance at love for the future.

Welcome Kendra! 

Carey: Kendra, you’ve got a smashing success on your hands with your Bone Secrets Series which includes HIDDEN , CHILLED, and your latest release, BURIED. Can you tell us how your background in dentistry influenced the series?

Kendra: Thanks, Carey! I spent 16 years as a dental hygienist. I have a sister who is a hygienist, a sister who is a dentist, and a brother-in-law who is a dentist. My dentist from when I was kid would die laughing to know I went into the field. I was the kid with four cavities each visit. Part of keeping my dental license requires I complete continuing education classes each year. I loved the forensic identification courses and when I was looking for an idea for HIDDEN, I came up with a forensic dentist who identifies remains by their teeth. She loves what she does, but she’s not comfortable working around some of the nastier aspects of the medical examiner’s office.

Carey: What do you see as the unifying theme for the three books?

Kendra: Each book has a different main character that works in a different forensics specialty. HIDDEN has the forensic odontologist, CHILLED has a forensic nurse death investigator, and ALONE (January 2014) has a forensic anthropologist. BURIED features the odontologist and anthropologist as secondary characters.

Carey: I frequently get asked the question, “Where do you get your story ideas?” But what I often wonder is where do certain characters come from. Is there anyone in your real life who has inspired a character in one of your books?

Kendra: My younger sister was a big part of the inspiration of Lacey, the forensic odontologist in HIDDEN. My sister is a dentist and was a NCAA gymnastics champion. I based a lot of Lacey’s background on my sister’s experiences. I had already written the scene where Lacey’s home is broken into and some jewelry stolen, when my sister’s house was broken into and they took her jewelry. It was freaky.

Carey: Erm..That really is freaky! Michael Brody and Jamie Jacobs are the protagonists in BURIED. What quirks, if any do these two have that make them unique?

Kendra: Michael is an investigative reporter who is freakishly intelligent, but can’t live by the rules. He likes to take short cuts to get what he wants and usually breaks the law while doing so. The heroine, Jamie, is an elementary school principal. Her life is based on rules and order; it’s how she keeps her sanity. These two butt heads like crazy but of course can’t get past their attraction. 😉

Carey: Michael and Jamie have the common goal of locating Jamie’s brother Chris. What else draws them together?

Kendra: Outside of animal attraction?  Michael’s brother vanished in the same incident as Chris two decades ago. Chris didn’t return for two years. Both of them lost their siblings as children and have strong empathy for the other’s experience.

chilled-cover-250Carey: Kendra, you’ve received glowing reviews for your trilogy, and are consistently praised for your in-depth forensic knowledge. What types of research have you done in order to deliver such authentic accounts?

Kendra: Blushing here…I read a lot. I have shelves full of forensic manuals and devour other authors’ works who write in the same specialty that I do. I have access to a medical examiner, but I try not to bug him with questions too often. Amazingly, Facebook opens up access to a whole bunch of experts. I refuse to be a pest and dig hard to find the answers to questions before I bug a friend. As a hygienist, I had a patient who was a chemist for the Oregon State Forensics Lab…talk about a boring job. It was not CSI.

Carey: Let’s get personal. Which character in your stories is most like you, and in what way?

hidden-cover-250Kendra: Hmm. There’s a little of me in all my female characters. I’m a bit introverted and hide my emotions like Victoria Peres, seek the best in people like Lacey, and I’m a tiny bit OCD like Jamie in BURIED. (Ask my family about recycling and the proper way to load the dishwasher.) Sometimes I wonder if the people who really know me are nodding their heads as they read my books, saying, “That’s exactly what Kendra would do.”

Carey: LOL about the proper way to load the dishwasher. If anyone needs lessons see either Kendra or me! What books are on your keeper shelf?

Kendra: Everything by Lee Child, Robert Crais, Tami Hoag, Lisa Gardner, Karen Rose, Allison Brennan, and Michael Connelly.

Carey: What can readers expect from you in the future? Will there be more Bone Secrets books, or is there a new series on the horizon?

Kendra: ALONE comes out January 2014. The forensic anthropologist, Victoria Peres from HIDDEN and BURIED will finally have her chance at happily ever after. I didn’t want to write about her, because she intimidates the hell out of me and comes across as a cold b%tch. But my editor loved her in BURIED and pushed for me to write her story. She was right, of course. I’m contracted for two more Bone Secrets novels after ALONE. There is the possibility of a Lacey Campbell (my HIDDEN heroine) short story this summer…I’m waiting on the details! Facebook   Twitter  Blog

Kendra, Thanks so much for joining us today and for your generous giveaway! Please come back soon! Readers don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win a signed copy of BURIED

And the Winners Are…

slideFirstDoNoEvil300 (1)Thank you all so much for sharing my print release day with me! I couldn’t ask for a more wonderful group of blog mates and readers! I love having the chance to share my journey with you all!

The winner of a signed copy of FIRST DO NO EVIL is Brenda Rumsey

What a treat it was to have the awesome Elisabeth Naughton with us on Monday! Thank you Elisabeth and please come back soon!

The winner of BOUND is Beth HaneyBoundFINALNYTtag

Winners please contact us here with your snail mail addresses so that we can send out your books! Congrats and happy reading! 

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