Monthly Archives: October 2013
To celebrate Halloween we thought we’d share pictures showing how some of us here at Kiss and Thrill dress up our homes for trick-or-treaters.
The first two photos show Sarah Andre’s romance-themed decorations.
Next up is Sharon Wray’s graveyard for the undead.
My husband just finished making the coffin, which is on the other side of the front door. Inside are eyes that will light up, make noise, and shake the box when you make a noise.
This week’s featured Kiss and Thrill title is Manda Collins’ WHY DUKES SAY I DO.
“I’ve been a Manda Collins fan since I first read her work, but I think Why Dukes Say I Do is the best thing she’s written yet.”
Read the full review here.
To claim your prizes please use the contact us page within 10 days and be sure to include your US mailing address.
I recently attended a ghost tour of the historic logging town Port Gamble, Washington. The town was the inspiration for the setting of my book, Grave Danger, and I was particularly excited that as part of the tour, we were able to enter the Walker-Ames house, which was my model for the Montgomery Mansion. This was my second tour of the house, but the first late at night, with a group of people hoping to run into a ghost or two. Sadly (or thankfully, depending on your point of view) we didn’t meet any specters, but I was able to take some pictures of the interior of the gorgeous old house.
The house was pitch-dark during the tour (since we were looking for ghosts) so I couldn’t actually see what I was taking a picture of–had no idea how bright the wallpaper was, and objects will be off-center in some shots. The daylight shots of the exterior were taken at another time.
In the book Libby stands on the porch and looks over the town, imagining how Lyle felt when living there. Later, Mark has a conversation with Jason on the porch.
Next is the entry hall, with center hearth. The stairway shot following is to the right of the hearth. In Grave Danger, this is the first room Libby enters and is disappointed to take in the cold, empty room, which could be warm and inviting, given the stained-glass windows above the stairs and rich woodwork of the staircase.
The house is utterly gorgeous and it would be wonderful to see it fixed up in all its glory, except then people would live there and I wouldn’t get to go on ghost tours and take pictures, and be inspired.
So, tell me, have you ever been on a ghost tour? Or is there a particular tour you’d like to go on? I’m giving away a print copy of Grave Danger and a magnet with a picture of the Walker-Ames house to one commenter.
Thank you, Heather, for spending the day with us!
And now…the winner of an ebook copy of Forgive & Forget is Carmen Pacheco! Please refer to the contact page on this website for information on how to claim your prize.
Coming up on Tuesday, Rachel blogs about the Walker-Ames House in Port Gamble, Washington. Purported to be haunted, the house was also Rachel’s inspiration for the Montgomery Mansion in her book, Grave Danger. We hope to see you all there!
On Tuesday, I mentioned some of the places I’ve been. Here are a few places I’d like to read about and then visit (or vice versa).
Chicago: Home to the V.I. Warshawski mysteries by Sarah Paretsky that I used to devour. Current home to Julie Ann Walker’s awesome Black Knights Inc. series. I’ve driven and flown through Chicago, but never really stopped for the full tour.
Alaska: I recently read Nerd Gone Wild By Vicki Lewis Thompson, but really, I just want to go to Alaska.Australia and NZ: I don’t care if any books have ever been set in these countries—though I know plenty have—they’ve been on my list forever. Gorgeous scenery, interesting history and architecture, fabulous accents, and rugby players. Need I say more? Peru: Several of fabulous romantic suspense author Cindy Gerard’s books are set here. And I’ve wanted to visit Macchu Picchu since I was ten. I could go on all day, but I won’t. 😉 Feel free to share your own wish list. And even more importantly…
Please join us next Thursday when we welcome Navy veteran Heather Ashby, author of the best-selling debut novel Forgive & Forget about star-crossed Navy lovers protecting those they love from an al-Qaeda operative.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Have a great weekend!
Reading a book is, for me, like taking a mini-vacation. Even when life is good, who couldn’t use a little escape from days filled with writing deadlines, appointments, carpool, kids’ homework, grocery shopping, and cleaning (assuming I were inclined to clean)?
What I like even better is to combine reading with travel. I don’t just mean reading on the beach—though, don’t get me wrong, I’m fully on board for that any time—I mean reading about places you’ve been and visiting places you’ve read about.
It’s fun when an author sets a book in a town or region you’ve lived in or visited, and you can clearly “see” every location the characters move through. One of the many reasons I love to travel is for that extra layer of familiarity with a book or movie’s setting that makes you feel like an insider. And nothing beats visiting a place you’ve read about dozens of times and finally seeing it with your own eyes.
There’s a reason why people flock to Harry Potter-themed tours of London and DaVinci Code tours of Paris and London. We love to connect with the books we read, and setting helps us do that.
Now that I’ve been to New York City, I can picture the financial district, Central Park, and Brooklyn and understand where they all are in relation to each other.
I’ve lived in the Washington, D.C. suburbs twice now, which is a great place for fans of thrillers to live or visit. Just about everything Vince Flynn or David Baldacci has ever written is centered in and around D.C., not to mention our very own Rachel Grant’s book Concrete Evidence.
Sue Grafton’s alphabet mysteries became even more enjoyable after I lived on California’s central coast. Once I’d spent some time in Santa Barbara, I understood how her fictional town of Santa Theresa could be so small (by my suburban girl standards anyway) and yet have so many wealthy residents and so much crime. And I loved it when Q Is For Quarry took lead character Kinsey Millhone to Lompoc, and up my way to Santa Maria.
It’s rare to read a romantic suspense with Navy SEALs without getting some San Diego highlights. I lived there for two years in college and have visited several times since. I can picture most of its beaches, imagine walking by the famous Hotel Del Coronado, and—thanks to my Navy dad and Air Force husband, even remember strolling on the sands of Naval Air Station North Island.
I did not, unfortunately, encounter any Navy SEALs. Sadly, I didn’t even know they existed when I lived there. 😉I’m a firm believer that it’s not a great year unless I’ve used my passport, so I get a special thrill out of reading books with foreign settings that I’ve visited. And this summer was especially fun because I’m such an avid reader of Regency historical romances set in England.
Not only was it my second visit to London, but this time we did a whole UK tour. Ever wondered what Gretna Green—where lovers often eloped in the early 19th century—looks like?
Or the fashionable Mayfair district where all good families seem to reside during “the Season”?
Just after returning home from our trip in August, I read The Arrangement by Mary Balogh. In the very beginning, the hero “hides out” from his family for several weeks in the Lake District, specifically Lake Windemere. Hey, I was just there! Maybe you can imagine my excitement.
When Regency ladies take leave from their country estates to visit the milliner in York, or dowager aunts head off to Bath to “take the waters”, I can picture the narrow streets where they shopped and the yellow stone of the quaint city along the Avon.
And speaking of the UK, fans of Alexander McCall Smith’s Isabel Dalhousie series should take a trip to Edinburgh. I couldn’t have imagined what a fabulous mixture of ancient and modern, urban and wilderness this seaside town would be.
Reading books about places I haven’t been opens new worlds to me. Reading about places I have been enriches the experience and the memories, taking me down new streets and giving me a deeper understanding of the city or landscape.
I’d love to hear your own experiences of favorite trips that enriched your reading, or books that made you feel like an insider.