Author Archives: Diana Belchase

Lena Diaz Sweeps 2017 Nominations!

Romantic Suspense author, Lena Diaz lenapichas swept nearly every major published book award this year. This comes as no surprise. The author of more than 18 books, Lena has always been a favorite among judges of great literature, and most of her books have been nominated or been winners.

But this year her nominations are exceptional. Look at this incredible list:

DeepCoverDetectiveDeep Cover Detective is a finalist in the 2017 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense.

NoExitNo Exit is a finalist for the 2017 Holt Medallion award.

HostageNegotiationHostage Negotiation is a finalist in the Romantic Suspense Category of the 2017 Carolyn Readers Choice Award.

ArrestingDevelopmentsArresting Developments is a finalist in the Series Action Adventure Category of the 2017 Carolyn Readers Choice award.

DeepCoverDetectiveDeep Cover Detective is a finalist in the Series Action Adventure Category of the 2017 Carolyn Readers Choice award.

A total of four books up for five national book awards! In the book biz this is something that gives all of us the vapors, as Southern girls like to say. 😉

A former Navy Brat, Lena’s books have authenticity, action, and heat. They have been translated in to German, Turkish, Japanese, and Norwegian and have been sold in many countries including the USA, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, France, Australia, Holland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Iceland, Mexico, Turkey, and Italy.

More than the awards listed here, and the dozens of awards Lena has won over the years (for a partial list click HERE), is the role she plays in the writing community. She is always there with a supportive word, a can do spirit, and she’ll go out of her way to help everyone, even newcomers. There are few like her and I’m so very proud to know her.

Congratulations to Lena Diaz from everyone here at Kiss and Thrill!

Rolling Thunder in D.C.!

TOP SECRET WASHINGTON

Every Memorial Day weekend, the forecast is Rolling Thunder in the D.C. area. No, not the weather — though we’ve had some storms of late — but a huge motorcycle rally.

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This was the 30th year this group roared onto the D.C. Mall — all in tribute to vets and for a great cause — MIAs, POWs, and repatriated remains. For those of you too young to know this terminology, it stands for those still Missing In Action, Prisoners of War, and allowing the dead, who are in hostile territory, to be brought home for a decent burial.

I think there are few greater causes on this Memorial Day and I salute the men and women who gave their lives and their service. I also salute folks like those in Rolling Thunder who remind us of these important veterans’ causes and force us to remember how lucky the rest of us…

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Jo Beverley’s Last Interview

by Diana Belchase

Book Smart TV

Today marks a special event in 9780399583537literary history: Jo Beverley’s last book, Merely a Marriage, is being released to the public.  

Anyone who has read Jo Beverley’s books knows that it is a singular pleasure. She masterfully merged meticulous detail, lovely characters, and compelling plots. Her heroines inspired, her heroes were manly and believable, bodices never ripped, and in the process, the reader felt transported to another age and time where manners ruled and life, even for the privileged, was far from simple. Along the way, lessons in history were intricately woven into stories making characters of the Regency and medieval periods come alive.

Merely a Marriage is simply one of Jo’s best. In it we are thrust into a time shortly after Princess Charlotte died in childbirth and the consequent effect her death had, not only on the royal line, but on the every day life of the subjects…

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Buy a Piece of Tom Clancy

Take a peek at Tom Clancy’s home in this special, Top Secret glimpse!

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Thriller writer Tom Clancy passed in 2013, but he’ll always be an indelible part of the top secret D.C. landscape. He knew his subject inside out, and if authenticity is what thrills you, no one did it better.

Now his estate is going up at auction and you can bid to own a piece of Clancy, either in person or online. Or, if you’re a fan like me, you can take a virtual nose around and pretend you’re sipping coffee and discussing fictional spies with a literary master.

For more details, read the write up below. Enjoy!

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Bid on Items from Spy Novelist Tom Clancy (Photos)

by Michelle Basch for WTOP.com

WASHINGTON — An eclectic batch of items from American novelist Tom Clancy is being sold by an Alexandria, Virginia, auction house.

Clancy, who was a Maryland native, died in 2013 at age 66, and much of the on-sale belongings…

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Once You’ve Flashed Your Podiatrist … You Can’t Help but Become a Writer

Book Smart TV

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Diana Belchase here: Today I’m super excited to welcome guest blogger Chris Campillo to BookSmart! Chris is the kind of person everyone loves — she’s the girl next door, a gal who always has your back, a phenomenal writer with a great sense of humor, and a stand up comic. When this Texas mom isn’t taking care of her kids, her home, and working (with her hubby) to make ends meets, she’s using the honesty of her daily life to imbue humor into her books. Her comedy will have you keeling over howling with laughter.

This is the thing about Chris: She says the things we’re all thinking — the average day-to-day horrors we’ll never talk about. There is something so cathartic about reading her stuff. It’s like therapy between the covers of great fiction. I promise you’ll come out entertained and…

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How Not to be a Victim: Survival Tips for Women

Thank you Kiss and Thrill for letting me repost this from my other website. I hope that all women out there get the skills to remain safe.

Hugs,

Diana Belchase

 

TOP SECRET WASHINGTON

The theme of this blog is Top Secret Washington because of all the special things I get to do behind the scenes in D.C., but it’s also called this because of my spy series. I love empowered women who can take care of themselves — something I’ve always wanted to be, but don’t always achieve. Part of that takes skills — survival being the dominant skill set we all need, primarily as young women.

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Here are some tips:

  • Don’t walk and talk or text on your cell phone. Pay attention to your surroundings. Same goes for music on earbuds. Don’t get lost in the melody and forget where you are. Paying attention can save your life!
  • Notice if anyone is watching you. Scan the area. Be vigilant.
  • Walk with purpose, carry keys splayed between your fingers as a weapon. Don’t be so overloaded with packages you cannot defend yourself if…

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A Writer / Reader Conference Not to be Missed!

Austin Camacho is incredible. Not only is he former military and the author of ten gripping books, he is also the force behind the C3 Conference. C3 is short for Creatures, Crimes and Creativity — and the event is geared at writers, from those yet to pick up a pen to bestsellers, as well as fans of genre fiction. Whether you love horror, mystery, thriller, science fiction, or fantasy, this con has something for everyone. Loads of international bestselling authors, innovative workshops, and best of all — lunch! Because, I don’t know about you, but I can’t be creative on an empty stomach. Here are the details:

September 30 – October 2, 2016

at the Sheraton Columbia Town Center in Columbia, MD.

For more details, please go to creaturescrimesandcreativity.com

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Author Austin Camacho is director of the C3 Conference

And if that isn’t enough reason for you to register, here is C3 founder, Austin Camacho on the top 10 reasons you should attend. I particularly like #1 all the way at the bottom.

Top 10 Reasons to Attend the Creatures, Crimes and Creativity Con

by Austin Camacho

I want to thank Diana for giving me this opportunity to tell everyone why they want to attend The Creatures, Crimes & Creativity (C3) Con this year. The C3 Con is the Mid-Atlantic’s book lover event of the year. And this year, we have two international bestselling authors as keynote speakers. But that’s only the beginning.

 

We draw readers AND writers of genre fiction: horror, mystery, thriller, suspense, science fiction, fantasy and paranormal authors will gather in Columbia MD, Sep. 30-Oct 2. Before the Con our little community hangs out at:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/452670518248659

So let’s count down the top ten reasons for attending the C3 Con:

#10 – FELLOWSHIP: Imagine being surrounded by avid readers and excellent writers for an entire 3-day weekend!

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#9 – REED FARREL COLEMAN: Author of the heralded Moe Prager series and Jesse Stone novels, he’s been called our noir poet laureate. He’ll give a keynote address at dinner and teach a class.

#8 – ALEXANDRA SOKOLOFF: Known for her Huntress/FBI thrillers, her smooth blend of paranormal and crime fiction is some of the most original and unnerving work around. She will give the other dinner keynote talk and offer a one-woman class.

CONTINUE READING HERE

 

What Readers Want in Female Protagonists

Jess Lourey and Shannon Baker are thriller and mystery writers who have, between them, published 19 books. When they realized Jess’s thriller, Salem’s Cipher, and Shannon’s mystery, Stripped Bare, were set to launch on the same day, September 6, they joined forces for the Lourey/Baker Double Booked Tour.  Doesn’t that sound delicious?

Today this phenomenal duo are discussing whether female sleuths need to be alpha-heroes for today’s readers or if the old-fashioned, Ms. Marple-type character still works? We hope you readers will chime in and let us know what you think, too! Take it away Shannon:

Jess and Shannon are giving away a copy of Salem’s Cipher and Stripped Bare. For a chance to win tell us your favorite women protagonist or leave a comment.

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Shannon: Thanks, Diana, for letting us drop by. I hear a lot about the “kick-ass” woman detective or sleuth when people talk about women protagonists in crime fiction — and while I’m glad the crime writing world has progressed far beyond the idea of women protagonists only knitting and sipping tea — I’m not sure all women crime fighters need to be tough, gun-toting mamas. So today Jess and I are going to answer the question about our women protagonists—Miss Marple or V.I Warshawski?

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Shannon and Jess

When I started writing about Kate Fox, the star of my new series, I didn’t set out to write a tough crime fighter in the Nebraska Sandhills. In fact, Kate walked right into my life, and like meeting a new friend, I’ve been getting to know who she is. Kate is a person, who happens to be a woman and accidently falls into a new career. One she never expected, or wanted.

For me, writing a character is a lot like raising a child. You give them guidance and discipline, love them and nurture them, and maybe prod them along, but they come out of the womb already loaded with who they are. I can push Kate into situations that test her mettle, but she’s going to react according to who she is, with very little help from me. (I know, writers are crazy, and explaining how would take much longer than we have space for in this blog.)

Diana: I love that Shannon! How would you characterize your heroine, Kate?

Shannon: I don’t think of Kate as kick-ass. She doesn’t go looking for trouble. In fact, she goes to great lengths to avoid it. She’s smack in the middle of eight brothers and sisters, so there’s always some crisis brewing. Her MO is to duck and weave.

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But she doesn’t run from a problem. She might clench her teeth and bow her neck and barrel in reluctantly, but … READ THE REST OF THE POST BY CLICKING HERE

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