Ashes, Ashes, They All Fall Dead

What do the following have in common?

  • A killer plucks the thorns off a rose one by one while he chants “he kills me”, “he kills me not” in a twisted game to decide whether his victims will live or die
  • A woman believes her stalker may be her husband, but he’s supposed to be dead
  • A serial arsonist with ties to an FBI agent’s forgotten tragic, past taunts her with letters bearing the names of his victims and the words “Ashes, ashes, they all fall dead”

If you guessed they’re from the books in my Nursery Rhyme Series, you’re correct!

The newest installment–Ashes, Ashes, They All Fall Dead–is available for pre-order now and will be released on September 10th.

Here’s the cover copy for “Ashes”:

What she doesn’t remember . . .

One by one the letters arrive at the FBI office in Savannah, Georgia. Inside, each bears a name–a victim of a twisted crime–and the sing-song phrase . . . Ashes, ashes, they all fall dead. Special Agent Tessa James becomes obsessed with finding the killer whose victims are crying out to her for justice.

Will kill her . . .

When sexy, brilliant consultant, Matt Buchanan, is paired with Tessa to discover who’s sending the “Ashes” letters, he discovers a serial arsonist is leaving nothing but murder in his wake. Inexplicably, the clues point to Tessa herself, forcing her to realize if she can’t remember the forgotten years of her past, the name on the next letter will be hers.


What has made writing this series so much fun is that it didn’t start as a series but evolved into one based on reader response to the characters.

HeKillsMeHeKillsMeNot High Res CoverThe first book–He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not–features Police Chief Logan Richards helping the lone victim of a serial killer when the killer comes back to finish his deadly game with her. I wanted a good side-kick character for Logan, so I created Pierce Buchanan, an FBI agent who made a career out of going after serial killers. Readers adored Pierce and asked me to write his story.

So that’s what I did.

SimonSaysDie High Res CoverPierce became the hero of Simon Says Die.  Pierce is from a family of five brothers (some blood-related, some not) and a father who puts family above everything else. I got so much mail asking for more books featuring the rest of the Buchanan family that a light bulb finally went on and I realized I had stumbled into a series.

Ashes, Ashes, They All Fall Dead is the newest book in this series. I absolutely adore Matt Buchanan. And there is so much emotion in this book that I actually cried while writing some of the scenes. That’s my first time ever as an author crying while I wrote, so I figure that’s a good sign.

What’s next? The fourth installment of the Nursery Rhyme Series will come out in 2014 and is tentatively titled Take the Key and Lock Her Up. It features Devlin Buchanan, know as Devil by his brothers. It turns out that Devlin has far more secrets than anyone in his family realizes, and a dark, tortured past that will shock you.

So, what started as a stand-alone serial killer novel became a series following the Buchanan men’s lives and watching them fall in love. I hope you’ll pick up one or more books in the series and that you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them. While they do show the progression of the lives of the recurring characters, they can all be completely enjoyed as stand alone novels and can easily be read out of order as well.

Right now, Ashes, Ashes, They All Fall Dead is price reduced during the pre-order phase to $1.99, but the price will go up in a few days, so don’t wait!

Today I’m giving away two copies of He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not, the first novel in this series. Just leave a comment letting me know what types of tropes you enjoy the most in romantic suspense. Are serial killers your thing? If not, what are your favorite types of stories?

Ashes, Ashes, They All Fall Dead

Amazon | B&N

Simon Says Die
Amazon | B&N

He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not
Amazon | B&N

Posted on September 3, 2013, in Author Spotlight, Lena Diaz and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. Lena, I am almost done and this book is AMAZING! I can’t wait to finish and leave a review, then see your numbers fly on release day.
    Congratulations on what should be a huge bestseller!

    And to be honest, serial killer stories are not my favorite because I get really scared about things that might happen in real life. But your characters are so compelling, they’ve kept me glued to this story. But I cannot read it at night. I can only read when all the kids, dog, and husband are home. I’d insist on the hamster being awake also, but she’s nocturnal and nothing wakes her up during the day. 🙂

  2. Oh LENA! I told you after reading an earlier version of ASHES that I was dying to read a novel about Devlin! Any guy who jumps off the page in the tiny amount of scenes he’s in AND is nicknamed “Devil” is my kind of hero! (Take the Key and Lock ME up!)

    I wonder if I can pre-order for 2014…

    Early-congrats on your Sept 10th release. I know readers will snap this up–the twists are amazing and the romance is smokin’ hot! Best of luck on sales. Off to share this with everyone I know.

    • Thanks Sarah. I ADORE Devlin. He’s a total bad boy hero and his story is totally different than the other Buchanan men. His family is going to be shocked when they learn about his REAL life and the secrets he’s hiding.

  3. Oh, I really need to dig into Ashes. Can’t wait! Maybe now that the kids are back in school…

    I’m like Sharon, I don’t seek out serial killer books because they freak me out, but yours are hard to put down because the characters and suspense are so well done.

    I have a thing for military/paramilitary heroes (like private security or black ops groups). I tend to like stories where the H/H already know each other, especially younger sister/best friend books. Probably because I always wanted an older brother who could bring his cute friends home. 😉

    I hope Ashes burns up the charts!

  4. Erm I’m with Sarah! I love a character nick-named Devil. And I don’t love serial killers but I sure love the stories about the men and women who stop them. I’m warped that way. I’m planning to read Ashes Ashes on the plane -writers’ police academy this weekend. I can’t wait after the little tidbits you’ve teased me with earlier! Congratulations on an amazing series!

    • Thanks Carey! And take good notes at WPA! One of these days I want to go. Sounds so amazing.

    • CAREY! You will LOVE it. It’s soooo much info in so short a time but every one of those hottie alpha guys gives you their card for any follow up questions. Arson investigators, Police, Sheriff, Highway Police on motorcycles, Firefighters, SWAT, HazMat, Forensic Path…other famous thriller authors…do NOT skip the FATS training. Best event of the whole weekend (scariest.)

      Tell Lee Loughlin I said hi (like he’ll know 1 attendee out of thousands.) I went in 2010.

  5. Devil Cynster, anyone? Excuse me while I swooooon! :D. I’m thrilled to discover Devlin’s book is next! I’m with Sara: Ready to pre-order! 🙂

    I read/devoured, Ashes, Ashes and loved everything about it. Thank you, Carey for the recommendation! I “gushed” a tiny bit about it on Goodreads, lol, but my full reviews will be on the major sites September 10th and on The Reading Cafe on the 13th! 😉

    I’m going to read the Nursery Rhyme series in its entirety. Congratulations on Ashes, Ashes — such an amazing book!

  6. Lena, what an awesome line up of stories! I cannot wait to read Ashes,Ashes! I pre-ordered it this spring 🙂 I’m a huge fan of linked series that spotlight different protagonists in each novel. Now hurry up and finish Devlin’s book!

  7. I love a good thriller whether paranormal, suspense, or a serial killer mystery that needs to be solved before someone dies. I think the latter may be my favorite. Can’t wait to read ASHES, ASHES … Lena, you do great edge of seat! 🙂

    • Amy, I love that! I’m going to treasure that comment about doing “great edge of seat” forever! Because that is EXACTLY what RS is all about. Hope you enjoy Ashes!

  8. I like serial killers. It is easier to keep track of if there is only one killer.

    • Deborah, your comment made me laugh. I was sitting in a cafe with my editor in Atlanta and we both said the same thing–that we like serial killers. You can imagine the looks on peoples’ faces sitting near us. I rushed to add “in books” at the end of my statement. LOL. Thanks for stopping by today.

  9. Lena, I can’t wait to read Ashes and love reading about how this series came to be!

  10. {Jumping up & down waving} Yoohoo, Hi Lena! So happy for you (and me!) on the soon to be released Ashes, Ashes They All Fall Dead. I have never been so excited for a book release as this one. I’m sure I’ll say the same for the next…. and the next…

    You do more than write great books though. You taught me that authors are “real” people, not just names on books. For that I thank you. Between Carey B. and you, I have become a kinder, gentler reader that understands it takes more than just sitting down and writing to make a great book happen. As always, thank you.

    P.S. I don’t need to be entered in the giveaway. I’ve read He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not three times already. I’m already a crazed fan… lol

    • Julie, hi! Great to see you here. You are always so sweet. I LOVE having a crazed fan, as long as your name isn’t Kathy Bates in the Misery movie! (grin) I can’t wait to see what you think of Ashes. Please do let me know! Take care.

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