Monthly Archives: July 2013
Even in London society–where everyone knows what you did last season–you never know who’s next in line to walk down the aisle…
TRUE LOVE IS OFTEN FOUND
With her whirlwind social life in London, Lady Isabella Wharton has little interest in the customs of the country. But when her godmother asks her to pay a visit to her bachelor grandson in Yorkshire, Isabella can’t refuse. It behooves her to please the old dowager, since she harbors one of Isabella’s most scandalous secrets. So off she goes to see the newly-titled–and notoriously rustic–Duke of Ormond…
WHERE YOU LEAST EXPECT IT
Trevor Carey doesn’t care about what goes on behind ballroom doors. He is content with the simple life–and isn’t ashamed to admit it to a society flirt like Lady Isabella. But the country air brings out a different side of Isabella–one full of longing and passion. Can her sophistication be hiding a desire for love? When a blackmailer from the city arrives to threaten Isabella, Trevor will shield her from harm–even travel to London. Can the duke tackle the ton on Isabella’s behalf …and manage to keep her all to himself?
WHY DUKES SAY I DO is coming to a bookstore near you on July 30th!!
AND THE K&T THURSDAY WINNER IS: JANE!!!
Next Tuesday, Montlake author Juliette Sobanet visits to tell us about MIDNIGHT TRAIN TO PARIS, her newest mystery set in 1930’s France.
More often than not, when you’re reading about Washington DC, you’re likely to find words like dysfunctional, partisan, nuclear option, filibuster, and gridlock. But politics aside, there’s still plenty to love about this town, especially if you’re a fiction writer or a reader. Recognizing that DC is the go-to setting for tons of books from super serious to high octane entertainment, two DC librarians recently started a clever crowdsourcing project to encourage the exploration of the town’s social and geographic history by populating a database of excerpts from novels with DC scenes and mapping them:
DC BY THE BOOK.
I love to read books set in my town so I couldn’t wait to explore the DC By The Book website. Once there, I found out that you can join the project as a contributor by recommending novels with DC settings. Or you can help the librarians map the books that are already listed on the site by finding the excerpts set in the Washington DC neighborhoods, parks, government buildings, museums and so on. There’s also a cool map that shows you the locations where scenes from the books take place.
I couldn’t resist adding a couple of books with scenes set in some of my favorite places in DC to the website.
Allison Leotta opens DISCRETION with a young woman, Caroline, dressed like a K Street lobbyist in an “ivory St. John suit, Manolo heels,” entering the Capitol through the Senate-side for a private, evening appointment with a congressman. Except Caroline is not a lobbyist; she is an expensive prostitute. A staffer walks her through the Capitol to his boss’s personal office. On the way, they pass through the magnificent Brumidi Corridors—“the most beautiful corridor Caroline had ever seen.”
Caroline pauses in the Rotunda—“the ceremonial heart of the Capitol”— to admire Brumidi’s masterpiece on the domed ceiling: “The Apotheosis of Washington, a fresco painting of the first President depicted as a god among angels.”
The staffer ushers Caroline past a sign—“No Visitors Beyond This Point”—and up the stairs to the congressman’s personal office in the Capitol building.
Inside the congressman’s office, Caroline admires the view of the National Mall from the balcony.
You’ll have to read the book if you want to find out how Caroline’s night ends. Or visit DC By The Book to see if the excerpt has been posted and mapped.
A lot of the action in CONCRETE EVIDENCE, by our own Rachel Grant, takes place in DC. One of my favorite scenes is a romantic moonlit walk through the presidential memorials along the Tidal Basin:
Holding hands, Erica and Lee “walked in the darkness around the basin. She managed to drop his hand before they reached the Jefferson Memorial, and he could feel her build a barrier between them until it was as solid as the marble columns surrounding the statue of the nation’s third president.”
Be sure to check out this mash-up of literature, history, geography and technology: DC by the Book
But before you go, dear Reader, share your favorite setting for fiction. And K&T authors, tell us about your favorite places to set the novels you write.
Comment for a chance to win
CONCRETE EVIDENCE (Kindle or Nook).
The lucky winner will be announced on Thursday!
Last week was an exciting one for all of us at Kiss and Thrill, so you’ll have to excuse me for a moment while I pause to brag a bit about my brilliant blogmates.
First up, huge congrats the the amazing and talented Sharon Wray, who not only won the Single Title Romantic Mystery/ Suspense Daphne award for her manuscript ROGUE’S ESCAPE, but also won the overall unpublished Daphne for having the highest score!
Second, we are all thrilled and delighted that Krista Hall won the Golden Heart® for best Romantic Suspense for her fabulous manuscript BROKEN PLACES! Congrats Krista!!!
Last, because Krista couldn’t make it to RWA in Atlanta this year, special thanks go to Sarah Andre, who accepted the award
on Krista’s behalf. Sarah was stunning and wonderful as she delivered Krista’s touching speech. (And thank you to Lena Diaz, who recorded the speech so I could watch the excitement at home.)
While several of my Kiss and Thrill sisters are off having a blast in Atlanta at the national conference of Romance Writers of America®, I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight this year’s finalists in the romantic suspense category of the Golden Heart.
From RWA’s website:
The purpose of the Golden Heart contest is to promote excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding romance manuscripts.
Approximately 1,200 romance manuscripts are entered in the Golden Heart each year by writers who have not accepted a publishing offer for a work of original fictional narrative prose of 20,000 words or more (by the contest entry deadline).
The contest is near and dear to all our hearts here at Kiss and Thrill, and this year we are especially excited to have two of our own among the finalists, Krista with BROKEN PLACES, and Sharon with two manuscripts, JULIET’S ROGUE and ROGUE’S REDEMPTION! To celebrate all the finalists’ achievement, we are sharing with our readers the finaling manuscripts’ first lines.
Huge congrats to all the finalists! All of us at Kiss and Thrill hope you have a wonderful time at the awards ceremony on Saturday night!
And now for Tuesday’s winner of the print ARC of BODY OF EVIDENCE: TrishJ
To collect your prize, within ten days please use the contact page and be sure to provide your U.S. mailing address.
BODY OF EVIDENCE is the second book in my series of romantic thrillers that explores the intersection of archaeology, politics, and war, and today I’m excited to share with our Kiss and Thrill readers an excerpt.
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)
“Rise, Mara Garrett.”
Mara understood only a handful of Korean words, but she’d learned that phrase early in this farce of a trial and was on her feet before the interpreter finished speaking. Tremors radiated from her belly. This is just a formality. I’m one step closer to getting home. Her token lawyer had warned her she would probably be sentenced to ten years’ hard labor; then the real negotiation for her release would begin. With her conviction and harsh sentence, North Korea would be in a stronger bargaining position.
Of course, North Korea, the most secretive and unpredictable regime on earth, wasn’t known for negotiating. They would make demands, and the US would either meet them or not.
She’d traveled the world for her job with the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command, conducting excavations to retrieve the remains of American servicemen who’d died in wars fought by the United States in the last century. Her work for JPAC was hazardous. She’d faced down poisonous insects, dug up unexploded ordnance, and suffered third-world diseases. But never, not even in her wildest imagination, did she think her work could lead to being arrested in North Korea.
But that was what happened when she ended up alone on the edge of the Demilitarized Zone.
She looked to her lawyer for some sort of reassurance and caught the glint of a camera lens. Cameras hadn’t been permitted in the courtroom during the trial; the presence of one now filled Mara with a foreboding chill. It seemed the North Koreans expected a dramatic, newsworthy reaction.
She stood straight with her head high so the camera wouldn’t see her clenched hands behind the table. She refused to give them the spectacle they wanted.
The judge spoke. She forgot to breathe while waiting for the translator. Finally, the man said, “Mara Garrett, you have been convicted of spying. The penalty is death by firing squad. The sentence will be carried out in twenty-four hours.”
The room tilted. A shriek built in her throat, while her bones turned to jelly. Sheer will kept her face blank while she battled dizziness. She’d been alone when she was arrested but had spent the last two months worrying her coworkers had been detained as well. For their sake, she needed to take the blame. If they were being tried in another courtroom, her admission of guilt could prevent them from receiving the same sentence. She pressed her nails into her skin and fixed her gaze on the lens. “This is my fault. My JPAC team is blameless.”
The judge spoke again, yelling now, and the translator matched his tone. “You are guilty and have been sentenced!”
“It was a mistake,” she said, desperation building in her voice. “I was separated from my team by accident.” But that wasn’t true, and she feared they saw through the lie.
Panic threatened as a guard grabbed her arm and tugged her toward the door. He wasn’t taking her to the firing squad. He couldn’t be. Hadn’t they given her twenty-four hours?
They’d almost reached the exit when the door swung open and slammed against the wall. The guard jerked to a stop. Framed in the opening was a portly, highly decorated military man.
A rapid-fire exchange between the judge and the newcomer ensued. Mara twisted in the guard’s grip and watched in horror as the judge angrily ejected the cameraman from the room.
Panic morphed into bone-melting fear. What the hell was happening?
The military official waved a magazine in the air. In a haze, she recognized the Asian edition of TIME magazine from the bold font and familiar red border.
At last the man looked away from the judge and addressed her, causing the translator to jump to his feet and race to her side to voice his words. “Our leader, in his infinite wisdom, has decided to grant you amnesty on one condition.”
Hope flared but was soon tempered with the fear that this interruption was a stress-induced fantasy, like the ones Mara had suffered years ago after her father’s death. Each time the fantasy faded, hope went with it, and she was slapped with grief as fresh and intense as the day he’d died.
Hope would break her, making it her captors’ ally. She knew that better than anyone.
“Our beloved Dear Leader once got your President Clinton to come groveling.”
No. Not again. This wasn’t a pathetic fantasy. It was an all too real nightmare. Cold sweat dripped from her brow. The idea of a rescue mission headed by a former president terrified her. She wasn’t a reporter dipping her toes in the Tumen River. She was the niece of a former vice president of the United States, and as such could be seen as a valuable bargaining chip.
The North Koreans knew exactly who she was. Because of her family connections, it was especially important she downplay her significance. A presidential envoy would open the door to other outrageous demands, and she was horrified by the thought that the unpredictable dictator could gain the upper hand with the US because of her.
Her situation wasn’t helped by the fact that her uncle was facing trial on ridiculous corruption charges. She could only assume her arrest had added to the ongoing media frenzy in the United States, further convincing her captors of her importance. She’d repeatedly begged her interrogators to tap a low-level politician as envoy, but each time her pleas were met with disdain.
“Our leader wants to meet the man on the cover.” The translator pointed to the magazine. “If he comes to P’yŏngyang before your execution, we will allow him to take you home.”
The man stood too far away; she couldn’t see the face on the cover. She had no idea who had been selected. But even more important, was twenty-four hours enough time for an envoy to fly to North Korea?
The official waved the magazine as if it offered hope, but there was no such thing as hope. She was going to die.
Want to know what happens next? I hope so, because I’m excited to announce this book will be published soon! Very soon. I can’t give an exact date, but if you sign up for my new release mailing list at www.Rachel-Grant.net you’ll receive an email the day the book is available and you’ll be entered in my drawing to win a pack of Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management Program playing cards.
When archaeologist Mara Garrett traveled to North Korea with JPAC, the organization that retrieves the remains of GIs lost in combat, she never imagined she’d be betrayed, convicted of spying, and sentenced to death by firing squad. Her only hope is Curt Dominick, the powerful and ambitious U.S. attorney prosecuting her beloved uncle, a former Vice President of the United States.
With betrayal around every corner, Curt and Mara have little reason to trust each other, but the sparks between them blaze hotter than the Hawaiian sun, and fighting their growing passion tests both their will power and their loyalties.
What starts off as a rescue mission quickly morphs into a race across the Pacific. It’s not just Mara’s safety on the line anymore. They’ve stumbled into a conspiracy that threatens not only their lives, but national security of the United States.
I have a very special prize today to celebrate the coming release of BODY OF EVIDENCE. I’m giving one commenter a print Advance Reader’s Copy. This is your chance to read BoE in print before it’s available online. Check back on Thursday to see if you are the winner. Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address.