Monthly Archives: September 2013

Crash and Burn winner

Firework Spectacular

Happy Friday! The winner of CRASH AND BURN by Allison Brennan and Laura Griffin is…

donnas1.

Congratulations!

Contact us within ten days to claim your book.

Please join us next week when Sharon Wray interviews award-winning author Cathy Perkins about her latest release, For Love or Money, a mystery with a financial twist.

Have a thrilling weekend! 🙂

Winner of a Nursery Rhyme book…

toast

Thank you all so much for stopping by on Tuesday to help me celebrate that my next nursery rhyme book will be released on September 10th. I’m so excited about Ashes, Ashes, They All Fall Dead!

And now (drum roll please) the winners of ebook copies of the first nursery rhyme book–He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not–are…

Carmen -and- Amy Valentini!

(If you already have a copy of He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not, just visit my author website http://www.LenaDiaz.com and let me know which of my books you don’t have and I’ll be happy to substitute! )

Congratulations! Please follow instructions on the “Contact Us” page to claim your prize.

Please join us tomorrow when Gwen Hernandez will announce the winner of a copy of Crash and Burn, by Allison Brennan and Laura Griffin.

Cover-AshesAshesTheyAllFallDead-highrez

This book won’t Crash and Burn

AllisonBrennanLauraGriffin_CrashandBurn2500 (2)At K&T, we’re big (really, really big) fans of Allison Brennan and Laura Griffin. So what’s better than a book by either of them? How about one by both of them together?

Allison and Laura have co-authored a new book called Crash and Burn. Part anthology, part collaborative work, Crash and Burn combines two stories starring former cops Scarlet Moreno and Krista Hart who are now partners in a private investigations firm.

Allison Brennan’s Crash has Scarlet Moreno hot on the trail of a killer, while trying to avoid a hunky police detective who wants her off the case. Burn, written by Laura Griffin, follows Krista Hart as she hunts down a missing defense witness and fends off a playboy PI competing for the same fee.

Danger, intrigue, and a few hot kisses ensue.

If you like mysteries with intelligent, kick-ass female leads, you’ll love this book. I know I did! I tracked down Laura and Allison to learn more about the genesis of Crash and Burn.

Laura Griffin

Laura Griffin

Gwen: How did the idea to collaborate on a book come about?

Laura: Allison and I had been talking for years about how fun it would be to write a book together. When we came up with the concept of Moreno & Hart Investigations, the ideas really started flowing back and forth. I knew we’d found our characters.

Gwen: The two of you are good friends. Did your friendship survive the book? 😉 Seriously, though, was working together on the book tricky? What was your process?

Allison: Amazingly, the process was painless. Laura and I knew we wanted to write about two female PIs who bonded over something in their past. We picked Orange County as the setting because it’s a place that has a lot of natural potential for stories, it’s familiar, and we both know the area. We each created our own character—Laura developed Krista, and I developed Scarlet. We each wrote our own novellas and incorporated each other’s character, then read everything and edited where our characters came in so that it was consistent. Then we hired an editor to go through both stories looking for any inconsistencies we missed, in addition to standard editing issues.

Gwen: Crash and Burn has some light romantic elements, but it’s a bit different from your usual thriller/romantic suspense titles. Was there a specific spark that drew you toward mystery?

Laura: From the beginning we wanted this to be a series, so I don’t think we were in a hurry to resolve each heroine’s love story right away. Both Scarlet and Krista have a romantic interest, but it is something that will develop over time.

Allison: I love mysteries where there’s a love interest, but the love story isn’t the focal point of the book. In a true romantic suspense, like Laura and I generally write, we spend more time with the hero and heroine working together. As a writer, I like to stretch and write new and different things, while sticking with my core suspense foundation.

Allison Brennan

Allison Brennan

Gwen: Allison, your character Scarlet Moreno reminded me of a modern day Kinsey Millhone (from Sue Grafton’s alphabet series): loner, former cop turned PI, not looking for commitment with a man, can’t walk away from a mystery. Was Moreno inspired by any other authors you read or shows you watch?

Allison: What a great question that makes me think! I watch a lot of television and read a lot of books, and can’t really point to one character who inspired Scarlet. When Laura and I were first talking about this series, we thought of a female Elvis Cole and Joe Pike from Robert Crais’s fantastic series. But Scarlet and Krista are definitely different from the guys ☺ … I think with any lead character, there are elements that get pulled from the author’s current reading and viewing habits. I watch a lot of crime drama, from Justified to Longmire to Person of Interest. Outside of Castle and Rizzoli & Isles and Bones, there aren’t a lot of really strong female leading roles. I hope there will be more in the future!

Gwen: Me too! Tell us about Moreno and Hart. What makes them tick, and why do they work well together?

Laura: These two women are both strong and independent, but after the harrowing incident at the beginning of the book they are bonded together by loyalty. They are determined to make their business work, to uncover the truth in their investigations, and to tackle the obstacles in their path. Despite their different personalities, their loyalty runs deep and no matter what happens, they have each other’s backs.

Gwen: You definitely left me wanting more of this duo. When can we expect to see more from Moreno and Hart?

Allison and Laura: We’re thrilled you enjoyed the book! We hope to write another Moreno and Hart mystery (or two or three!)—whenever we can fit it into our schedule. Hopefully sooner rather than later!

Thanks so much for being with us today, ladies!

Laura and Allison are giving away an e-book of Crash and Burn to one lucky commenter. Tell us about one of your favorite strong female characters for a chance to win.

More about Crash and Burn:

Trial by Fire …
Three years ago LAPD Detective Scarlet Moreno and rookie cop Krista Hart were nearly killed during a botched sting operation. Now, they’re best friends and partners in the Orange County private investigation firm of Moreno & Hart. But their routine assignments are anything but safe …

Crash …
Scarlet Moreno has her hands full with a cheating spouse case when the bartender at her favorite pub becomes a murder suspect. Worse, the detective in charge of the investigation threatens to arrest Scarlet for obstruction—even when she tries to give him valuable information. Scarlet risks her PI license and her life to find out the truth, absolve her friend, and track down a killer—with or without the help of the arrogant, mysterious Detective Alex Bishop.

And Burn …
Krista Hart is burned out on catching deadbeat dads and philandering husbands when a big-time criminal defense attorney hires her for a choice assignment: find the sole witness to murder the day before the trial. The case could be a boon for Moreno & Hart, but the witness is in hiding, someone is following Krista, and her own client is withholding information. The last person she wants help from is sexy investigator R.J. Flynn, but he claims he’s willing to share intel—for a price. If she can solve this case, it’ll elevate Moreno & Hart above being divorce voyeurs, but first she has to survive, with her life and heart intact.

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.

Cover-AshesAshesTheyAllFallDead-highrez

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

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