Author Archives: Krista Hall
CONGRATULATIONS, QUANTUM and JDH2690! You’re each the winner of BROKEN PLACES!
To claim your prize contact us with your email address and preferred ebook format within 10 days.
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CONGRATULATIONS TO 2014 RITA & GOLDEN HEART FINALISTS!
This year the winners in the romantic suspense category are:
RITA winner Carolyn Crane for OFF THE EDGE
And GOLDEN HEART winner Denny S. Bryce for CHASING DAMN
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Tune in tomorrow when Manda gives a sneak peek into the final installment of her Wicked Widows trilogy, Perdita and Archer’s story, WHY LORDS LOSE THEIR HEARTS…
Sometimes in my dreams I’m back in Charleston, West Virginia, wandering the wooded ridgelines of Sherwood Forest where I lived for six years as a child. The hills and hollows, the switchback roads, the heavy humidity, and the acrid scent of chemicals when the wind blew in from the southwest. The wild beauty of the hills co-existed with hulking chemical plants along the banks of the Kanawha River and grinding poverty in the hollows. Contrasts with razor sharp edges that pierce your soul, even when you’re just a kid.
And that probably explains why I was drawn to Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and West Virginia native, Julia Keller’s Bell Elkins books—a fairly new mystery series set in fictional Acker’s Gap, “a shabby afterthought of a town tucked in the notch between two peaks of the Appalachian Mountains, like the last letter stuck in a mail slot after the post office has closed down for keeps.”
This mystery series begins with a dream too. County prosecutor Bell Elkins is haunted by her early years in a trailer on the banks of a West Virginia creek and the dark tragedy that changed the course of her life. “You could smell the creek, a damp rotting smell that was somehow also sweet, even before you could see it. The woods around it made a tight screen, as if the branches were gripping hands in a game of Red Rover. Daring you to break through.”
In A KILLING IN THE HILLS, Julia Keller’s debut book, three old men in a crowded restaurant are gunned down in broad daylight: “Pock Pock Pock.” Bell Elkins and the local sheriff Nick Fogelsong suspect that the horrific crime is tied to the illegal prescription drug trafficking that is “roaring across the state like a wildfire in a high wind,” but they are baffled by the shooter’s deliberate targeting of the three old friends. “One shot per head.” This is not a random act of violence. And even worse, Bell’s teenage daughter witnessed the murders.
What I like best about the series is Bell Elkins. She’s a fierce crusader with a shadowy past that both propels her and hinders her in her roles as prosecutor, mother, friend, sister, ex-wife, and child of Acker’s Gap. “To know and not to do is not to know,” is the driving force behind Bell Elkins’s return to the small mountain town from which she had once thought she’d made a clean break. She has an unshakable conviction that she must do what she can to beat back the poverty, hopelessness, and crime that is ravaging her homeland. In this way, she reminds me of the heroine of my own book, BROKEN PLACES, who also wrestles with the same question: What is our responsibility to act in the face of the suffering we witness?
Reading the Bell Elkins books reawakened a lot of memories for me (West Virginia luggage—a paper bag, riding my bike up and down the steep roads of my hilltop neighborhood, the scent of the woods in the summer), but you don’t need to have lived in West Virginia to thoroughly enjoy this excellent crime fiction series. Author Julia Keller explores universal themes of loss, redemption, forgiveness, and personal responsibility that resonate powerfully while her skillful crafting of engrossing mysteries will keep you guessing to the end. Good stuff, as my AP English teacher used to say!
What book have you read recently that struck a personal chord? I’m giving away BROKEN PLACES (ebook) to one randomly selected commenter! Be sure to return to K&T on Monday, July 28th, to see if you’re the winner. I’ll also be posting the names of the 2014 Romance Writers of America Rita® and Golden Heart® Romantic Suspense Winners!
CONGRATULATIONS, JACQUI NELSON!
You’re the Murder Down Under winner of The Profiler ebook!
To claim your prize contact us with your email address and preferred format within 10 days.
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And don’t miss Carey Baldwin’s Andy Rooney style blog next Tuesday!
A Starbucks gift card is up for grabs!
I’m so excited to share the cover of my debut romantic suspense novel BROKEN PLACES, winner of the 2013 Golden Heart® Award!
She’s on a mission to change lives
When one of her students becomes the latest victim of a D.C. gang-slaying, sociology professor Trevy Barlow is determined to protect the other girls in her literacy class for at-risk teens—even if it means compromising her own safety.
He’s on a short clock to find a killer
FBI gang task force agent Cruz Larsen isn’t about to let Trevy endanger herself or sidetrack his investigation with her do-gooder meddling. But when a key witness refuses to talk to anyone except her, Cruz has to find a way to earn her trust so that she’ll play by his rules.
Now a sadistic predator is after them
For Cruz, keeping Trevy safe has become more than a duty—his heart is involved too. But all of his leads have flatlined. And he’s beginning to suspect that a hidden third party has rekindled the gang rivalry for reasons far beyond a D.C. turf war. Caught in the crossfire, Trevy will have to risk it all to give them a fighting chance to survive.
BROKEN PLACES will be available next week! I hope you’ll come back to K&T on Tuesday for the release day celebration!
Tomorrow Shelley Coriell visits K&T to tell us about the first book in The Apostles, her debut romantic suspense series.
In the meantime, tell us about your favorite romantic suspense covers. What covers are too compelling to resist?
Congratulations, Maureen! Erica Monroe is giving you an e-copy of A DANGEROUS INVITATION!! Be sure to contact K&T in the next 10 days with your email address and the format you prefer. For more information: K&T’s prize winner policies. Happy reading!
Next Tuesday, the fabulously talented Debra Webb joins us to talk about her new release.