Category Archives: DC By The Book

Merry Christmas and Happy 2017!

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Merry Christmas

and Happy Holidays

from all of us at

Kiss And Thrill

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Eat, drink and be merry —

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and

read lots of suspense.

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With Love,

from the

Kiss and Thrill women:

Carey, Diana, Gwen, Krista, Lena, Manda, Rachel, Sarah, and Sharon.

img_4714And may 2017 be a wonderful, healthy, happy year for you and yours!

Sneak Peek at the African American History Museum!

Mission Thailand

Ever wonder where ideas for spy stories come from? Well mine often come from visits to Washington, D.C. embassies. See if you can get a few ideas of your own after reading about my latest covert exploit.

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Living in Washington is wonderful.  The city is a museum, culture is everywhere, and politics often makes sleeping pill prescriptions totally unnecessary.  Sometimes I lose sight of how interesting and different our city is, but events like the one I attended on Friday night shake out complacency.

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Yes, I was a guest at the Royal Thai embassy in Georgetown.  The food was sumptuous, the Ambassador and his staff gracious, and the entertainment divine.  I had such a good time, two days later my cheeks still hurt from smiling so much. Here’s a snippet of the entertainment for you to enjoy.

The cherry on the cake truly was the Thai Masked Dance Khon Troupe from Bangkok.  For over an hour they danced, fought, joked, clowned, and displayed aspects of the Thai heritage.  The men wore brilliant golden costumes, the women dripped dozens of orchids from their hair.  Each movement — practiced over decades — seemed effortless, yet I couldn’t fathom getting my fingers into the artistic backward curving gestures or moving with such precise grace.

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I’d like to thank His Excellency, Ambassador Vijavat Isarabhakdi for his kind generosity during the evening.  He reminded me of my husband’s and my trip to Bangkok a few years ago — and a place and people so lovely, I cannot wait to visit there again.

 

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Garland

Merry Christmas

from all of us at

Kiss And Thrill

Detail from First Lady's Christmas Tree

Detail from First Lady’s Christmas Tree 2012

In the meantime,

eat, drink and be merry —

and

read lots of suspense.

Love,

from all the

Kiss and Thrill girls:

Krista, Carey, Lena, Rachel, Gwen, Sharon, Sarah, Manda, and Diana

White House Christmas Tree 2012

White House Christmas Tree 2012 (Yes, I know it’s last year, but I didn’t get invited this year. LOL)

Remember to join us on Tuesday, December 31st for a very special New Year’s Eve interview with author Elizabeth Heiter on her debut release day!

Why Karna Small Bodman Scares Me

Okay, I admit it, Karna Small Bodman intimidates the heck out of me.

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She’s had more high profile jobs than anyone ranking under Secretary of State.  And to be honest, there are a few Sec’s that she’s run rings around.  This is a woman who knows first hand how the White House and National Security really works.  She’s been thrust into emergency situations and the assassination attempt against a President.  She’s met with Cold War leaders, popes, and prime ministers and anchored TV news.

You’d probably be intimidated, too.

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Aboard Air Force One with President Reagan
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With Gorbachev

So, if my voice starts out a little shaky on this interview, please forgive me.  Just trying to remember this lovely woman’s bio, and the alphabet soup of Federal agencies she’s served with takes the talent of someone more experienced than I.

Karna has taken all that real world knowledge and used it in her thrillers.  It’s so accurate, her book, Castle Bravo, had me shaking in my boots.  Funny thing is, this amazing woman, who writes such scary, fact-based fiction is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.  She’s  smart, articulate, and kind.

So, forgive me as I trip over my words and her accomplishments and join me as I interview Karna Small Bodman.  This is one interview, you won’t want to miss.

LEAVE A COMMENT and WIN a digital copy of Karna’s newest short, The Agent!  Leave a comment at DianaBelchase.com, too, and get entered to win TWICE!

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DC By The Book: A mash-up of literature, history, geography and technology

Capitol at nightMore often than not, when you’re reading about Washington DC, you’re likely to find words like dysfunctional, partisan, nuclear option, filibuster, and gridlock. But politics aside, there’s still plenty to love about this town, especially if you’re a fiction writer or a reader. Recognizing that DC is the go-to setting for tons of books from super serious to high octane entertainment, two DC librarians recently started a clever crowdsourcing project to encourage the exploration of the town’s social and geographic history by populating a database of excerpts from novels with DC scenes and mapping them:

DC BY THE BOOK.

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I love to read books set in my town so I couldn’t wait to explore the DC By The Book website. Once there, I found out that you can join the project as a contributor by recommending  novels with DC settings. Or you can help the librarians map the books that are already listed on the site by finding the excerpts set in the Washington DC neighborhoods, parks, government buildings, museums and so on. There’s also a cool map that shows you the locations where scenes from the books take place.

I couldn’t resist adding a couple of books with scenes set in some of my favorite places in DC to the website.

Allison Leotta opens DISCRETION Discretion-paperback-cvr-thumbwith a young woman, Caroline, dressed like a K Street lobbyist in an “ivory St. John suit, Manolo heels,” entering the Capitol through the Senate-side for a private, evening appointment with a congressman. Except Caroline is not a lobbyist; she is an expensive prostitute. A staffer walks her through the Capitol to his boss’s personal office. On the way, they pass through the magnificent Brumidi Corridors—“the most beautiful corridor Caroline had ever seen.”

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Caroline pauses in the Rotunda—“the ceremonial heart of the Capitol”— to admire Brumidi’s masterpiece on the domed ceiling:  “The Apotheosis of Washington, a fresco painting of the first President depicted as a god among angels.”

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The staffer ushers Caroline past a sign—“No Visitors Beyond This Point”—and up the stairs to the congressman’s personal office in the Capitol building.

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Inside the congressman’s office, Caroline admires the view of the National Mall from the balcony.

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You’ll have to read the book if you want to find out how Caroline’s night ends. Or visit DC By The Book to see if the excerpt has been posted and mapped.

FrontCover-Final-300dpiA lot of the action in CONCRETE EVIDENCE, by our own Rachel Grant, takes place in DC. One of my favorite scenes is a romantic moonlit walk through the presidential memorials along the Tidal Basin:

Holding hands, Erica and Lee “walked in the darkness around the basin. She managed to drop his hand before they reached the Jefferson Memorial, and he could feel her build a barrier between them until it was as solid as the marble columns surrounding the statue of the nation’s third president.”

Carol M. Highsmith

Carol M. Highsmith

Be sure to check out this mash-up of literature, history, geography and technology: DC by the Book

But before you go, dear Reader, share your favorite setting for fiction. And K&T authors, tell us about your favorite places to set the novels you write.

Comment for a chance to win

CONCRETE EVIDENCE (Kindle or Nook).

The lucky winner will be announced on Thursday!

Happy exploring!

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