Monthly Archives: January 2015

Laura Griffin on her new book Beyond Limits, research, and Navy SEALs

An FBI agent and a Navy SEAL race against time in New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin’s newest Tracers novel.

Beyond Limits book coverLaura Griffin’s latest book, BEYOND LIMITS is out today! To celebrate, she agreed to hang out at Kiss and Thrill and answer a few questions about the new book and her writing process. She’s also giving away a signed copy of SCORCHED—the RITA Award winning book where Derek and Elizabeth first meet—to a lucky commenter.

I’m already counting the hours until I can pull out my iPad at the gym and start reading…

GH: Happy release day! Thanks for joining us on K&T. We appreciate the chance to get into your head a bit. 😉 Your early books were focused on characters working in or around law enforcement. The new books still have that element, but you’ve added Navy SEALs to the mix. What is it about these guys that drew your interest?

LG: Thanks for inviting me, Gwen! My first SEAL character appeared in the novella UNSTOPPABLE, and they keep finding their way back into my stories. What I love about these guys is that they tackle any challenge and they never give up. This tenacity makes them so interesting to write, especially when that never-quit attitude spills over into their personal lives.

GH: Did you discover anything fun, interesting, or surprising in your research for this book?

Laura Griffin headshotLG: In the story Navy SEAL Derek Vaughn is on a rescue mission overseas when he discovers clues of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. While researching the book I learned about the many ways our country is vulnerable. On the other hand, some of the new tools law enforcement has now are truly amazing. For example, the facial recognition techniques they use now are so sophisticated that it boggles the mind.

GH: When you get a new idea for a book, which usually comes to you first, the premise, a compelling scene, or a character? Do you know what sparked your idea for BEYOND LIMITS?

LG: I used to be a newspaper reporter, and often news headlines will spark the idea for a story. With BEYOND LIMITS I wanted to write about what a SEAL would do if he had inside knowledge of a pending attack on U.S. soil. Would he feel compelled to act or would he be able to leave it up to other people to handle? Derek Vaughn makes it his mission to help, even if it means he has to manipulate a woman he cares about to get inside info about the investigation.

GH: Are there any themes you feel like you keep returning to in your writing? Any idea why?

LG: Many of my stories feature women who are survivors of something. I like writing about people who look deep into themselves to find the strength to keep going even when disaster strikes. I’ve been blessed with some strong female role models, and I think about them a lot when I’m creating a story.

GH: What’s next on your plate?

LG: I’m having fun writing a new book in the Tracers series. It’s called SHADOW FALL, and it features some of my favorite Tracers characters: Mark Wolfe, Mia Voss, Kelsey Quinn. The hero of the story is Mark’s brother, Liam Wolfe, who runs a private security firm and finds himself at the center of an FBI murder investigation. SHADOW FALL should be out later this year, and I’ll keep you posted with details!

GH: I can’t wait! For readers who are new to the series, do the Tracers books need to be read in order?

LG: People ask me that a lot. Each story has a stand-alone suspense plot and each focuses on a different romantic couple. So you can pick up the series anywhere!

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Laura Griffin started her career in journalism before venturing into the world of romantic suspense. She is a two-time RITA Award winner as well as the recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award. Laura currently lives in Austin, where she is working on her next book. Visit her at http://www.LauraGriffin.com or on www.Facebook.com/LauraGriffinAuthor.

Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of SCORCHED.

Darynda Jones: Snarky Sayings and Grim (Reaper) Secrets

Darynda Jones is giving one reader who leaves a comment below, here or at KissAndThrill.com, an ARC — yes that’s right — an ADVANCE READER’s COPY of her book number 8!  

Eighth Grave After Dark isn’t out until May, and though you might have to wait a bit to get the ARC, you’ll be in the know with reviewers across the country who get the book months in advance!   So leave us your best bit of snark, or tell us why you love Darynda, or why you want to read her book, and we’ll let you know who won next week. 

And don’t forget to click on the View Original link at the bottom of this post to see the VIDEO interview with Darynda! 

UPDATE: The contest is now closed. Congratulations to Nymerias, winner of Darynda Jone’s ARC for Eighth Grave After Dark. Please contact us within ten days to collect your prize.

DIANA BELCHASE

Darynda Jones has a secret. On paper, her alter ego Charley Davidson is snarky, sex-mad, able to kick paranormal foes DJONES001-2in their paranormal behinds. In real life, Darynda is probably one of the sweetest people you’ve ever met. She has a humble, self-deprecating humor, she’ll tell you all her writing secrets as if they don’t amount to much, and she’s more likely to talk about her kids than her books.

Is it no wonder I love this gal?

Here are some things you might not know about her:

*Awards: Darynda has won 11 awards, including the Daphne du Maurier, the RITA, the Bookie Award (three times!), 2 HOLT Medallions, the Golden Heart, the GOTCHA, The PASIC, and the Rebeca (LERA).

*Genre: Darynda has written in a ton of genres, even though they’re not all published, including historical!

*Education: She’s a Summa cum Laude graduate and has a BA in Sign Language…

View original post 79 more words

Reality or Fiction? For Angi Morgan’s West Texas Watchmen, it’s Both.

(Due to an emergency in Lena’s family, I am helping both Angi and Lena out today by hosting their blog. After all, a girl’s gotta take care of her Golden Heart sisters!)

Thanks for having me today, Lena. I love to be Kissed & Thrilled. Oh wait, I guess I’m the one… Okay awkward moment gone. It’s been a while since Lena hosted me. Huge coincidence that the book we spoke about–PROTECTING THEIR CHILD–was the one that inspired my new series.

West Texas Watchmen on white

The West Texas Watchmen series is set in the small town of Marfa about 20 miles across the mountains from Mexico. It’s a vast area with little cell reception. Perfect for smuggling — either in reality or fiction. Marfa may be small, but Presidio County is vast so my sheriff has a lot of land to cover. There’s also a lot of sky. With the McDonald Observatory in the Davis Mountains, there’s also very little light on the horizon.

The Sheriff (West Texas Watchmen) Trailer

All of my Intrigues are based in real Texas towns. I love taking off for a road trip to get research photos. In my stories, I keep my driving times accurate, the terrain or city areas true, and take the liberty of changing the names of businesses. Somehow that anchors me in my stories and I can focus on other things. Do you like fictional towns or real locales? Honestly, when a writer gets things wrong about the Dallas area… Well, I’m very disappointed.

I also love to learn new things that help my characters become real. Last summer it was surf lingo. For the Sheriff, my heroine is working on her PhD in astronomy. I had a fan once tell me that she loves reading my stories because she always learns something–either about my characters’ occupations or Texas. So I thought it would be fun to include that type of scene for you today.

 Here’s a teaser from THE SHERIFF

Angi Morgan-TheSheriff 3D“The commander’s gone to the scene. He said to stay put until he returned. Looks like you’re stuck with me, Sheriff Morrison.”

“Acting sheriff. Why don’t you call me Pete.” Was he insulted? Or too dang excited he didn’t need to dart off to talk shop? Excited.

“I need to show you something.”

“I don’t think that’s appropriate.”

She threw back her head, laughing. He barely heard it as he admired the bend of her neck. “Silly,” she said. “Do you have any gel?”

“Huh?” Silly wasn’t the word filtering through his mind.

“Styling gel.”

“I used it already.”

“Not enough to do anything.” She reached around him, brushing his arm as she squeezed goo into her hands.

Stunned into silence? Choking on his words? Cat got his tongue? He didn’t know which, and if she asked, he couldn’t hear her. He was focused on her hands rubbing together and then her arms lifting to reach his head.

“Get shorter.” She tapped the inside of his bare feet wider apart, leaving enough room between them to breathe without touching.

“So, what is your favorite star?” he asked, closing his eyes and enjoying her fingers lightly massaging his scalp as she liberally put gel on every strand. He couldn’t look.

“Wolf 359. Isn’t that an awesome name for a star?” She took the tube a second time. “Just a bit more. Your hair’s really thick and wavy.”

He was dang lucky he’d put his pants on quickly. If he hadn’t…

“See?”

All he could see was the roundness of each breast under the thin layer of hospital garb.

“All you have to do is squeeze some on your hands and rub it around like this. Then it should stay looking deliberately messed up all day.” She wiped her hands on his towel and admired her handiwork. “That will look much better later when it’s dry.”

She twisted one last piece of hair and placed her hands on his shoulders. It seemed like the most natural gesture in his memory for his fingers to move and span either side of her waist. Drawing her closer to him was just as easy.

They were forehead to forehead. Her slow, warm exhale smelled sweet like the cola she’d insisted on before the officer had arrived. She’d called it her wake-up drink of choice. He, on the other hand, loved coffee and lots of it.

Concentrate on the job. What job? All he had to do was hang around here, keep her in sight till she was someone else’s problem. Maybe even escort her home.

“I’m not a rule breaker, Andrea.”

“Then why are your hands still around me?”

Kissing her was destined as soon as she’d told him they’d never get along. “What’s about to happen probably shouldn’t. But you won’t find me apologizing for it later.”

“You better not, Pete. Bad first kissers don’t get a second chance.”

He liked her. A lot. Too much. Too fast.

He leaned his lips to touch hers for the first time. Soft and wet, they parted just enough to encourage him. His hands spread up her back, noticing the firm muscles.

There wasn’t anything between them now except a thin layer of cotton. He stopped himself from getting the shirt out of his way. This was their first kiss but sure didn’t feel like it.

Their lips slid together, teasing, seeming to know their way without conscious effort. A perfect fit? Practiced. Confident.

He wanted his hands to wander but forced them to stay put. Andrea’s arms encircled his neck, shifting her body next to his. Her tennis shoes snuggled next to his size-thirteen feet. That one layer kept him both sane and drove him crazy at the same time.

He wanted it off. Wanted her bare skin under his flesh. Wanted to forget exactly where they were and remember everything much too late.

The attraction turned to mutual pure hunger and he liked her even more.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Andrea was a very fun character to write. A little of my daughter and her friends. A lot of who I’d like to be. Writing about this area of Texas makes me yearn to find locales that have no “light pollution.” We recently took a trip to southwest Texas and stretched out in the back of the truck under a gazillion stars. There’s nothing like it. I can’t recommend the experience enough. And that might just be why Andrea loves the area as well.

You can see pictures from my adventures (including NYC this week) on my blog, A Picture A Day.

Excerpt & covers provided by Harlequin Enterprises.

Available on Amazon, B&N, iTunes and bookstores

~ ~ ~ ~

AngiMorgan--MountainsANGI MORGAN writes “Intrigues where honor and danger collide with love.” She combines actual Texas settings with characters who are in realistic and dangerous situations. Angi’s work has been a finalist in the Bookseller’s Best Award, Romantic Times Best First Series, Carolyn Readers Choice, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the Daphne du Maurier.

Website, Facebook & FB Fan Page, Twitter @AngiMorganAuthr , and Book Trailers on YouTube

Monthly Giveaway on Rafflecopter, check out A Picture A Day for the link

Previous K&T interview about Protecting Their Child

Leave a comment for me and you’re eligible for a copy of THE CATTLEMAN (book 2 in the West Texas Watchmen). I’d love to hear if you like to learn something while reading.

%d bloggers like this: