Monthly Archives: March 2016

Abbie Roads: COVER REVEAL, excerpt!

AbbieNo f**king way was he going to die running. He stopped, turned and faced the truck barreling toward them. The tires ate up the ground at an indecent rate. He clutched Isleen tighter to his chest. For her sake, he wanted it to be a quick death. No more lingering. No more pain.

That thought infuriated him. None of this was right. They shouldn’t be on the verge of death. Again.

 The truck kept coming—twenty-five feet.

 Everything slowed, happened as if through the quicksand of time. A white dandelion floaty meandered on the breeze directly between them and the truck. His heart no longer ran a staccato rhythm. Duh…duhm. Pause. Duh…duhm. Pause.

 His life didn’t flash before his eyes. The future did. Isleen’s future. In an ethereal dream beyond time, her skin was gilded by firelight, her eyes void of sadness and fear, her body whole and healthy. She smiled, an expression so full of warmth and tenderness and undiluted joy that it plunked itself down inside his heart and wouldn’t leave.

 He ached to create that kind of smile on her face, but their lives were over and it all could’ve gone so differently if he’d only listened to her, believed in her, found her years before now. 

An excerpt from Race the Darkness

RACE THE DARKNESS—October 4, 2016

Cursed with a terrible gift
Criminal investigator Xander Stone doesn’t have to question you—he can hear your thoughts. Scarred by lightning, burdened with a power that gives him no peace, Xander struggles to maintain his sanity against the voice that haunts him day and night—the voice of a woman begging him to save her.

A gift that threatens to engulf them…
Isleen Walker has long since given up hope of escape from the nightmare of captivity and torture that is draining her life, her mind, and her soul. Except…there is the man in her feverish dreams, the strangely beautiful man who beckons her to freedom and wholeness. And when he comes, if he comes, it will take all their combined fury and faith to overcome a madman bent on fulfilling a deadly prophecy.cover

Jeez-Lousie! What a terrific premise! Welcome, Abbie, how did you come up with this?

My characters made me do it!

I’m a total write-by-the-seat-of-my-pants writer. I NEVER plan what’s going to happen. I’ve tried to plot. And failed. To me plotting takes the fun away. I could plot out a whole book, but then I wouldn’t want to write it because I already know what’s going to happen!

I usually just follow my characters wherever they take me. So far they’ve never let me down. So I’m not exactly sure how I came up with the premise. It’s just something that happens organically as I’m writing the book.

 

A lot of writers insert something (a person’s name, a street they used to live on) into their novel, kind of an ‘in’ joke for the readers who know them best. Did you do this? Can you give us a hint of one?

How did you know I did that? Lol. I guess all of us writers do it!

Here’s my little secret…

At the beginning of all three of my novels I have fictional epigraphs, and I always use my family’s initials and names. Here’s an example:

RACE THE DARKNESS:

Individuals with Auditory Perception Syndrome claim to hear more than sound. They allegedly possess the ability to hear thoughts. These assertions have never been scientifically proven and should be treated as an auditory hallucination.

~~Dr. M. J. Franklin, The Journal of Sound and Mind

M is for my grandma (Marge). J is for my grandpa (Joe). And Franklin was my great father’s name.

 

Full moon

You call this a dark suspense. Define what makes up the ‘dark’ and how difficult was it to write and switch back to your friendly, compassionate, funny self? (Or your other self- a counselor, and switch from listener, problem-solver to your creative side?)

The professions—writer and counselor—aren’t as different as you’d think. Or maybe the lines have blurred a bit for me since I do both.

 The two most important skills I use as a therapist are: Listening and creativity.

I listen to stories all day. As a story-teller I’m enthralled by every client who comes through the door! Everyone’s lives are so different. I listen to my client’s tragedies. I listen to their triumphs. Their stories inspire me. The terrible, awful, horrible things I hear—that’s what comes out in my writing and makes it dark. I didn’t even realize how dark my writing was until a prospective editor called it “romantic horror” and was concerned they would have to put warning labels on it!

The other part of what I do is creative work. I have to figure out how to get a client to buy into making change. I have to figure out how to show them their problem, but from a different perspective. You know that old phrase think outside the box? Every session challenges me to think outside the box because every client is different. There’s no cookie cutter answer for everyone.

 

Is this going to be a series?

Yes!

HUNT THE DAWN—December 6, 2016

Lathan Montgomery has a unique ability to solve cold cases. When he links a group of unsolved murders and discovers an active serial killer, the mind-hunters at the FBI refuse to open an investigation. Lathan is determined to find the killer himself, but his search gets stalled when he rescues a woman from an attacker. The more he gets to know her, the more devotion, tenderness, and passion overwhelm him in a way he’s never experienced. But the killer is on the offensive and kidnaps Lathan’s only love. And he never keeps his victims alive for long…

 

Untitled Series: STAIN OF MERCY (temporary title)—2017

The son of a serial killer falls for his father’s only surviving victim. Will she be able to see the man he truly is and not how much he resembles his father? Or will the past become the present and destroy them both?

 

Your career sounds formidably busy and mentally taxing. When do you find the time to write?

I write for an hour before I go to work in the mornings. If I have a cancellation or a no-show at work that’s bonus writing time for me! Whoot! Whoot! Then I spend two to four hours in the evening writing before I have to go to bed and do it all over again.

On my days off, I spend all morning and afternoon writing. I’ll take a break for supper and then write in the evenings until bedtime. I live a very boring life. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world! I love being a writer!

 

When did you know you just had to write novels?

When I turned thirty-five I realized I wasn’t happy with my life. I had a great husband. A great job. Two awesome and ornery dogs. So why wasn’t I happy?

I thought I needed a hobby. So tried painting and sewing. I made necklaces, candles, and soap. All in the name of avoiding doing the one thing that really wanted to do.

Write a romance novel.

Why was I avoiding it?

I didn’t know how to do it. I didn’t know how to begin. And I was worried everyone would think I was stupid for wanting to be something more than a mental health counselor.

I started taking on-line classes. I went to workshops. I attended conferences. I read books on writing. For nearly two years, I kept my writing a secret from every except my husband.

From the day I sat down and started writing my first chapter, writing has fed my soul. I can’t imagine life without it.

 

Favorite movie and why?Mohicansposter

When I was eighteen-ish. The Last of the Mohicans starring Daniel Day-Lewis came out. Never in my life have I seen a movie in the theatre as many times as I saw that one! ME TOO! I think it was an epic 16 times before it left the theater.

I fell in love with the history. With the love story. With Daniel Day-Lewis. I loved how he protected his woman—even when she didn’t understand he was protecting her. I loved that he would kill to keep her safe. What could be more romantic? J

And seriously—have you seen a picture of Daniel Day-Lewis from that movie? <swoon> I ended up with the biggest crush on him!

Until…

I saw him in Gangs of New York. That cured my crush.  😦 Me too.

 

A food you can’t say NO to is—

My mom makes this candy called Butter Crunch. It’s a melt in your mouth toffee that she ices on both sides with chocolate. OMG! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I could eat Butter Crunch all day, every day, for the rest of my life. I would weigh 800 pounds, but I could eat it forever.

When she makes it for me I can’t stop myself—I have to eat it all! I can’t even meter it out over a number of days. Nope. I’m an eating machine when it comes to Butter Crunch. Mom has strict instructions to NOT make it for me. But sometimes she does anyway.

 

Novel you’ve read that had the greatest impact and why?

What? Only one? No way. I can’t do it.

Will you settle for a series? J.R. Ward’s ‘The Black Dagger Brotherhood’ series.

Wrath, Rhage and Zsadist are my FAVORITE Brothers! But I love them all.

I love that the books are romance novels, but they are heavy heavy heavy in male point of view. I love that! It gave me permission to do same in my books! Those were my favs too (it’s like we’re twins, only you’re so much younger!)

Thanks so much for visiting us today, Abbie, and we wish you all the best on debut day!

 

Race the Darkness will be available on October 4th
Amazon: http://amzn.to/22nGnVk
B&N: http://bit.ly/1pwghOK
BAM: http://bit.ly/1RmOgoN

About Abbie:
Abbie Roads is a mental health counselor known for her blunt, honest style of therapy. By night she writes dark, emotional novels, always giving her characters the happy ending she wishes for all her clients. Her novels have finaled in RWA contests including the Golden Heart. Race the Darkness is the first book in the Fatal Dreams series of dark, gritty romantic suspense with a psychological twist.

**Sign up for Abbie Roads NEWSLETTER for exclusive content and giveaways!**

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Pintip Dunn Enters the Thriller Market!

The Darkest Lie, by Pintip Dunn

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Excerpt

It’s time to view the body. Family first.

Well, technically, me first. There was always only three of us in the nuclear unit, and Dad’s been locked in the den for the past seventy-two hours. I’ve only seen him once, when he shuffled upstairs like a pajama-clad zombie and asked me if I’d eaten.

That was it: Did you eat?

Not: I prefer the cherry wood casket. Or: Let me make your grandma’s travel arrangements. Or even: I know this was Mom’s favorite dress, but isn’t the neckline a little…low?

Did I eat?

Yes, Dad. I had soup from the can and microwaved pizza rolls and a bowl of cereal. The food sloshes in my stomach now as I walk down the runner to the casket I picked out because of its mauve tint.

Calla lilies pile in urns around the viewing room, and the air-conditioning wars with the sweat along my hairline. My mom smiles at me from a portrait erected behind the casket. Her eyes are hesitant and a little wary, as if she knew, somehow, some way, she would wind up here. Lifeless. Pumped full of formaldehyde. About to be gawked at by a town full of gossips.

This was only going to end one of two ways—with Tabitha Brooks dead or in jail. I never thought I’d say this, but I’d give anything to see my mother behind bars.

I wade through the dense, chilly air and stop a few feet from the body. Behind me, my grandmother and aunt sit, a box of tissues between them, blowing their noses like it’s a sport.

“Look at our Cecilia,” Gram sniffs. “So brave. Not a single tear shed.”

If she only knew. I’m not brave. Fifteen minutes ago, I was retching into the toilet bowl. Five minutes from now, when the doors open for the visitation, I’ll be long gone, leaving Gram to shake people’s hands and deal with the bit lips, the knowing eyebrows, that inevitable speaking-in-a-funeral-parlor whisper. I can hear the titters: “Is it true? Tabitha’s heart stopped while she was boffing the high school quarterback? Why, she must’ve been twenty years his senior!”

Twenty-three years, to be exact, and a high school English teacher to boot. But she didn’t actually die during sex. Instead, a few days after Tommy Farrow came forward with their affair, my mother took her own life.

What could be a clearer admission of guilt? She might as well have been caught in the act. The investigation was shut down before it even began.

I take a shuddering breath. Two more minutes. A hundred and twenty seconds and then I can leave. I steel my shoulders and walk the final steps to my mother’s body.

Oh god. It’s even worse than I thought.

The room whirls around me, and nausea sprints up my throat. My hands shoot out to grab the casket, stopping short of actually touching the corpse.

This . . . this thing . . . can’t be my mother. She never smiled like that, all serene and peaceful-like. She never wore this much makeup; her red hair was never chopped so closely to her head. My mother was chaos and passion, devastation and joy. Dad used to say you could reach deep into her eyes and pull out a song.

Well, her eyes are closed now, and I’m not sure there’ll be any music in my life, ever again.

ABOUT THE DARKEST LIE

“The mother I knew would never do those things.

But maybe I never knew her after all.”

Clothes, jokes, coded messages…Cecilia Brooks and her mom shared everything. At least, CeCe thought they did. Six months ago, her mom killed herself after accusations of having sex with a student, and CeCe’s been the subject of whispers and taunts ever since. Now, at the start of her high school senior year, between dealing with her grieving, distracted father, and the social nightmare that has become her life, CeCe just wants to fly under the radar. Instead, she’s volunteering at the school’s crisis hotline—the same place her mother worked.

As she counsels troubled strangers, CeCe’s lingering suspicions about her mom’s death surface. With the help of Sam, a new student and newspaper intern, she starts to piece together fragmented clues that point to a twisted secret at the heart of her community. Soon, finding the truth isn’t just a matter of restoring her mother’s reputation, it’s about saving lives—including CeCe’s own…

THE DARKEST LIE: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

ABOUT PINTIP DUNN:

11822298_1620045428234821_2290058133834964307_nPintip Dunn graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. She also published an article in the YALE LAW JOURNAL, entitled, “How Judges Overrule: Speech Act Theory and the Doctrine of Stare Decisis,”

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. She is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist and a 2014 double-finalist. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Washington Romance Writers, YARWA, and The Golden Network.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at www.pintipdunn.com.

 

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

 

 PINTIP

 

2 GIVEAWAYS!

Prize pack including the following 5 books!

 

Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn

Six Months Later by Natalie Richards

Find Me by Romily Bernard

From Where I Watch You by Shannon Grogan

Lies I Told by Michelle Zink

 

Rafflecopter for Prize Pack

Goodreads Giveaway for THE DARKEST LIE

 

 

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The Story Behind the Story: How to Woo a Widow, Vauxhall, and Odds and Ends

Greetings K&T-ers! (Kissers? Thrillers? How to decide?)

Today I’m here with a little peek behind the scenes of my latest novella, How to Woo a Widow. A few years ago I was reading a book about the English Regency–technically the period from 1811 to 1820 when the Prince Regent (nicknamed Prinny) was made Regent of England because of George III’s (his father’s) madness. This is the era of history I set my books in, and it also coincides with the Napoleonic Wars in which the English military played a significant role.vauxhall

Anyway, there I was, reading, and I came across a passage about the 1813 fete to celebrate the Allied win at the Battle of Vitoria that was held at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. This was a subscription fete, which meant you had to have a ticket to enter, and unfortunately the promoters oversold the tickets, so the place was teeming with more people than the gardens could hold. There was lots of traffic surrounding the event, and in general, it was chaotic. Knowing a bit about PTSD from the current era, where we have so many returning veterans, I immediately thought of how difficult it would be for a newly returned soldier to be comfortable at such an event. Not only the crowds, but also Vauxhall’s famous fireworks would make it hellish for someone suffering from PTSD.HowToWooAWidow

Thus, my hero Anthony, Lord Leighton, late of his majesty’s army, was born. The rest of the story followed from there, including, of course, his heroine Portia, who is recently widowed and already knows Tony quite well. There is also, as in all my stories, a bit of a mystery. And some very racy goings-on in Hyde Park. And of course, lots of kissing. (Because, romance!)

So, if you’d like a little taste of my writing, you might want to try this one! How to Woo a Widow is available for Kindle, Nook, iBooks and Kobo.

A GOOD RAKE IS HARD TO FINDOr, if you’d prefer something a bit more substantial, the first book in my Lords of Anarchy trilogy, A Good Rake is Hard to Find, is discounted right now from $7.99 to only $2.99! It’s a great deal, and even if I do say so myself, the hero, Lord Frederick Lisle, is pretty darn dishy. It is available for Kindle, Nook, iBooks and Kobo.

DutchGirl_1In other news, I’ve also been reading. And one of the best things has been marvelous historical fiction (that’s really historical romance with a lot more historical detail) from Donna Thorland called The Dutch Girl. Thorland writes books set during the American Revolution and The Dutch Girl is set on an estate owned by a Dutch poltroon in upstate New York. (A Poltroon was similar, as I understand it, to a plantation owner, only the land was worked not by slaves, but by tenant farmers who paid their rent in crops. And they weren’t treated very well most of the time.) This is one element of our national history that I knew next to nothing about before I read this book and it’s fascinating. And of course there’s a spying and sexytimes and just…you need to read this one, yall! It’s historical romantic suspense at it’s best!

Now, you! What have you been reading that has knocked your socks off? I’m always looking for great books! Tell me all about it in the comments and one commenter will win a copy of BOTH How to Woo a Widow AND A Good Rake is Hard to Find!

Julia Child: A Spy in the Kitchen

TOP SECRET WASHINGTON

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Most people don’t know that Julia Child’s kitchen was painstakingly deconstructed and rebuilt within the sacred halls of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Most people also don’t know that Julia worked for the OSS, the precursor of our present day CIA.

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Julia is a role model for me — not because she was a spy — though I find that fascinating. It’s because she couldn’t even boil water well into her thirties. When she married and followed her OSS husband to Paris, she decided to take some lessons. She revolutionized an industry, became the first person ever to have a hugely successful cooking show on TV (considering her figure, face, grace and voice anyone would say that was a long shot), and reinvented herself, and kept doing so, until her death just before her 92nd birthday.

Note her iconic copper pans on the right wall. These were only recently rejoined…

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Political Thrillers for Super Tuesday!

It’s Super Tuesday! If you live in one of the thirteen U.S. states and one territory* holding primaries today, chances are you will be heading to the ballot box (or a caucus) to cast your vote for the presidential candidate of your choice. Right?

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In celebration of those of you who exercised your right to vote today, K&T has put together this non-partisan, recommended reading list of political thrillers.

What political thrillers would you add to our list?

If you live in a Super Tuesday state, don’t forget to vote today!

*Super Tuesday States and Territories: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wyoming, and American Somoa

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