Category Archives: Winners

12 Authors, $100, Free Books!

Dana-Marton-Giveaway

 

How would you like to win a $100 gift card from Amazon or Barnes and Noble? Plus, have a chance to win a book from one of your favorite authors? THIS IS YOUR CHANCE!

There may be a chill in the air, but your favorite romance authors can take that away by Warming Up Your Winter–from the inside out! I’ve teamed up with some fantastic writers to give you the chance to win a $100 gift card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble…and to introduce you to books you’re going to love!

 

Participating authors include:

Julia London

Maureen Child

Debra Webb

Lena Diaz (Hey, that’s me!)

Sharon Hamilton

Jill Sanders

Dana Marton

Kendra Elliot

Melinda Leigh

Cristin Harber

B. J. Daniels

Jean Brashear

 

Enter right away at www.PrizesforReaders.com.

 And GOOD LUCK!

Quirky Q&A with Cathy Perkins: So About the Money

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Left-brain meets right-brain. Add in heart. Award-winning author Cathy Perkins skillfully blends all three in her newest mystery with a financial twist and a dash of romance: SO ABOUT THE MONEY.

When Holly Price trips over a friend’s dead body, her life takes a nosedive into a world of intrigue and danger. With an infinitely sexy cop—Holly’s pissed-off, jilted ex-fiancé—threatening to arrest her for the murder, the intrepid accountant must protect her future, her business…and her heart…by using her investigative skills to follow the money, before the killer decides CPA stands for Certified Pain in the Ass…and the next dead body is Holly’s.

How does Cathy do it? That’s what I wanted to know so I asked her a few quirky questions which she gamely answered for her third visit to K&T. Join me in welcoming the mastermind behind the Holly Price amateur sleuth romantic mystery series. (And be sure to read to the end to find out who won the Lark Brennan DANGEROUSLY YOURS give-away!)

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Krista passed along five sentences openers for me to complete for this guest post. Panic! My mind raced along with my heart. I have to be profound. Funny. Introspective. Yikes!

Wait a minute. I just have to be “me.” Whew. I know how to do that. So here we go. So-About-the-Money-2-200x300

1) I do my best thinking when… I’m moving. “Moving” can mean running, hiking or driving—anything that lets my mind relax. It may be getting into that zone that lets my subconscious toss out ideas that have churned around down there. Aside – the idea for So About the Money came while I was hiking with my husband along the Snake River in eastern Washington. As we pushed through some tangled foliage at the water’s edge, I peered over my shoulder and said, “Wouldn’t this be a great place to find a body?” Yes, mystery/suspense authors think things like that.

2) I’m addicted to… coffee. Seriously, I don’t function without it. My husband is either an enabler or the best husband ever (my personal choice) because he always starts the machine when he gets up.

first-coffee

3) In my spare time… Wait, you have spare time? Can you lend me some? I’m still rocking the day job while writing. Oh, and there’s the tree farm. And building the new house. And… But soon—really, really soon—I want to get back to the other creative outlets I adore—fused glass, watercolor, hand-sewing little girl dresses.

4) Smart women are… everywhere. “Smart” comes in so many varieties—I hope all of us can appreciate what everyone else has to offer. Book smarts, people skills; natural leaders and nurturers. Life is so much better when we focus on what women do well and help each other succeed.

5) Traveling… is my favorite thing. I love exploring new cultures and new places. My personal bucket list includes items big and small, local as well as international. Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Soap Lake’s mineral springs, and seeing Qin Shi Huang Di’s terra-cotta army in Xi’an, China.

What about you? Is there a place you’d love to visit?

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So About the Money by Cathy Perkins

Holly Price never expected to be back in Richland, Washington. She bolted out of the small town in eastern Washington for college—with no intention of returning. She also never expected her father to have a mid-life brain-fart and run off with his yoga instructor. His defection stranded Holly’s mother both personally and professionally. Without Holly’s CPA license, her mother would have to close the family accounting practice.

And absolutely the last thing Holly expected was for a hike with Alex Montoya to turn into the date from hell, but when he’d invited her to Big Flats, she’d heard “hike,” while he meant “hunt.”

Excerpt:

She peered forward and behind. “Alex,” she called, louder this time. “Where are you?”

She might be the commitment-phobe in this relationship, but surely Alex wouldn’t leave her out here. Everywhere she looked, dangling leaves and dried canes blocked her path. The sharp staccato of a dog’s excited bark broke the silence. Duke—ahead and to the right. The dog must have found the wounded pheasant.

She edged past a mushy spot. A harsher tang that reminded her of the dead fish they’d passed earlier grew stronger with each step. Nose covered with her hand, she rehearsed choice phrases to unleash on Alex when she finally found him, starting with a sarcastic, “Thanks for your concern,” before descending rapidly to “asshole.”

Something big rustled in the dense undergrowth behind her. Heart pounding, she spun around and peered into the thicket. They had coyotes out here. And drug grower/dealer guys. The only person they’d seen between the gravel parking area and this jungle was an Aryan Nation skinhead dude. Her heart stutter stepped. Oh, crap. What if this was his territory?

The noise from something plunging through the brush grew louder, closer. Blindly, she turned and crashed through the tangled foliage.

The rushes ended at a mound of dirt. She staggered into the clearing, her gaze zeroing in on Alex. Leaning over something on the ground, he tugged at Duke’s collar. The dog struggled, twisting his body in a muscular objection.

“Alex. Thank God.” Her knees felt weaker than she wanted to admit. “I heard something in the bushes back there.”

“Probably a deer. Stay back.” He wrestled the dog to the side.

His brusque tone shattered her mini-panic.

Well, don’t I feel silly.

A quick glance around registered the details. A drooping cottonwood canopied the clearing. Sunlit water lapped at the muddy shore. Gulls whirled overhead in a protesting flurry, lingering in a swirling complaint of dirty white feathers. The clearing looked like a teenagers’ party spot. Tattered food wrappers and empty beer bottles littered the ground. Filthy, torn clothing formed a soggy heap at the water’s edge.

The wind gusted off the inlet, carrying a stench across the clearing.

“Phew.” As bad as it smelled, she wondered if a dead fish was caught in the trash. A few birds remained near the river, their wings raised high, voices screeching defiance.

The pile of clothes had female-shaped contours. Eyes narrowed, Holly gave it a closer look. A pale, mud-streaked foot extended toward her. “Is that a woman?”

***

Visit Cathy Perkins on Facebook, Twitter, and Cathy’s website.

For more Cathy Perkins K&T interviews:

The Two (Suspenseful) Sides of Cathy Perkins & A New Kind of Mile High Club with Cathy Perkins

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Congratulations to DARCY WOODS for winning the $25 Amazon gift card from Lark Brennan! And a special thanks to all of you who helped us celebrate Lark’s debut DANGEROUSLY YOURS last week. DANGEROUSLY YOURS debuts today!

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Meet the Real Angi Morgan

Think You Know Harlequin Intrigue Author, Angi Morgan? Think Again.

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I met Angi Morgan in 2010. She and I were both Romance Writers of America Golden Heart© finalists in different categories–which is why we’re still friends–she won, I didn’t. Okay, I would have still been her friend even if we’d been competing against each other. Why? Because once you meet Angi Morgan, there’s no way to NOT like her. I’m pretty sure that she doesn’t know what the word stranger even means. And she is one of the most welcoming, genuinely caring people I have ever met. She’s also a devoted animal lover who is a foster mom for dog rescue.dogs

Angi with Meg Cabot

As an author, Angi selflessly promotes her fellow authors, whether she gets any promotion benefit out of it or not. Why? Because she cares about people, cares about her friends, and wants them all to do well. As a person, she goes out of her way to ensure that everyone is doing okay. When I saw her in Texas at conference last year, she took one look at me and decided I was dehydrated and took me up to her room and made me drink a bottle of water. She was right. I felt much better after that bottle of water. Angi’s like that – always looking out for others. And perhaps her most admirable quality is that she can make anyone smile. The gift of laughter, of making others feel happier just by walking into the room, is Angi’s superpower.

But don’t just take my word for it. Take theirs

Diana Belchase: Angi presented me with my Golden Heart. I think she was just as nervous as I was — and so sweet. She had been a prior winner and had a two book contract and I kept thinking and hoping that would be me, too. Sigh, alas and alack it isn’t, but I remember that night with Angi, as she fumbled for her glasses, posed with me for the official photo, and gave me a great big hug, vividly.


Liz and Angi GH

Lizbeth Selvig: I met Angi Morgan in 2010 when she and I both finaled in RWA’s Golden Heart contest and then we each won our respective categories. We didn’t become fast friends right away, but we sure bonded–we know how to make each other laugh! Two years later I joined the group blog Angi started with several of our other GH sisters (Get Lost in a Story) and she also invited me to join a private chat room she’d started for a handful of authors who wanted a place to get together online and write. Since then I can honestly say Angi has never stopped encouraging me to push forward through the times when writing seems like a slog or when I’m at that point in a book when I’m sure I’ve lost any talent I ever had. I hope I do the same for her–because otherwise I’m getting all the perks of our friendship! Over the past four years I’ve come to realize that Angi encourages everyone she knows–she’s a wonderful friend. She also cares passionately about promoting her friends’ books, her books, and all romance reads in general. She’s one author who’s also an amazingly cool person!


 

Robin Perini: You can’t choose your relatives, right? Many a family reunion makes that truth all too real. Angi and I, though, that’s another story.

How can you be cousins, but not cousins? Well, when my uncle married Angie’s aunt, we became sort of cousins…kind of. Cousin-by-marriage? I guess that’s a title. Angi and I didn’t know each other. Our families tried to connect us, and of course, me being shy (and there is that thing about oh my gosh, I have to meet a pseudo-relative who also writes…can this be any more lame?). I reluctantly agreed to look her up.

We ended up standing in line practically next to each other during registration for a writing conference. I won’t even mention what I was saying—it was probably something like, “I have to find this chick whose aunt married my uncle and I don’t even know who she is….and there Angi was! LOL

Angi_Robin_GH

We became acquaintances first, like you do sometimes with people you see only at a conference every other year or so. it’s an obligation, in a way. Though I will admit, every time we were able to get together, we talked our heads off. Then over time we discovered the truth: our paths are eerily similar and we have an amazing connection. How else does it happen that:

1) We both write romantic suspense
2) We both have the same agent (purely by accident, by the way)
3) We both won Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award in the same category one year apart
4) We both sold our first Harlequin Intrigue to the same editor …

There’s even more, but the best part is, that initial meeting fell away into memories. I’m blessed that my pseudo-relative became so much more. Not to mention that Angi shared one of the best writing tools that I use. Sprints. That’s another story, of course. The truth is you may not be able to choose your relatives, but you can definitely choose your friends…and sometimes not-exactly-cousins are the best gifts ever!


And now, for a brief interview…

Lena: When did you start writing for publication?
Angi: Oooo…trick question. I thought everything I wrote would be published. LOL I began learning the business in 1999. Ten years later when all the kiddos graduated, I concentrated on getting my story in front of the right people. And sold. So I began writing for publishers in 2010.

Lena: Any info you want to share about your Intrigue call story?
Angi: Other than it was awesome? And I was by myself? When my husband got home from traveling he took me to THE MELTING POT. He didn’t tell me he’d made a reservation OR that he’d told the staff I’d just sold. Flowers were delivered to the table and with them…a charm that represented his favorite thing in the book. Yes, my husband reads my books and actually enjoys them. It was a magical evening.

Lena: People you’ve met along the way who have been an inspiration?
Angi: Sharon Mignery, Patricia Vermiere, Tara Waldie, Amy Atwell, Robin Perini, Jan Schliesman, my Golden Heart class of 2010, my Intrigue sisters. I gain inspiration from so many people, it’s hard to name them all. But the daily instant messages I receive from fans…keep me going with my writing.


 

Lastly, I just want to share an amazing PARTIAL list of awards and finals for Angi’s books…

  • Twice ranked on the top 25 of Publisher’s Weekly Trade paperback listangi-morgan-thecattleman
  • Romantic Times Magazine Top Pick
  • Romantic Times First Series Book Final
  • Booksellers’ Best First Book Final
  • Booksellers’ Best Series Romantic Suspense Final
  • Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Final
  • Carolyn Readers Choice Award Final
  • Daphne du Maurier award WINNER
  • May 2011 Booksellers’ Best First Book Award Nominee
  • May 2011 Booksellers’ Best Short Contemporary Award Nominee
  • November 2010 Romantic Times Best Series First Book Nominee
  • July 2010 RWA Golden Heart® WINNER
  • Great Expectations romantic suspense WINNER
  • Romancing the Tome series WINNER
  • Barclay Sterling long contemporary WINNER

 

And did I mention dog rescue? Here’s some information about the work that Angi does.

Angi: People ask how I can foster pups and give them away. I won’t tell you it’s easy. But it is by far one of the best things I’ve done. Seeing a discarded dog find a home and become a part of a family brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. There just isn’t anything like the unconditional love of a pet. They’re there for you all the time…no matter what. I foster because there’s a family that needs the dog I’m training to love them.

What else does Angi do as a volunteer?

Angi:  I served as a volunteer and on volunteer organization boards of numerous school organizations for 20 years (PTA, athletics, boosters, band, orchestra, choir, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts). Girls Fastpitch Softball for 22 years. Local writing organizations the past 14. We began volunteering as a foster family for Labrador retrievers in 2013.

What about volunteering for RWA?

Angi: National level: Regional Director, served on numerous committees. I was also the Literacy for Life book signing chair from 2004 through 2007. Local Level: President, President-Elect, Treasurer, Newsletter, Contest (just about every year) and lots and lots of other volunteer stuff

I’m extremely grateful that I met Angi all those years ago. And I’m honored and humbled to call her friend.


 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Website Facebook FB Fan Page
Twitter @AngiMorganAuthr
Book Trailers on YouTube Book Buy Links
Check out A Picture A Day or #WhateverYoureInto

Here’s a Rafflecopter giveaway !

From last week’s blog post, the winner of an ebook copy of EASY TARGET by Kay Thomas is Kathleen Bylsma! And the winner of an ebook copy of EXIT STRATEGY by Lena Diaz is Cris! Congratulations! Please send your email address (and Nook or Kindle preference) via our Contact page.

Join us next Tuesday for another new post!

Thank You! and Winner Announcement

Fallen high resThanks to all of you for helping me celebrate the release of FALLEN! You made it a great release week for me! And now…drum roll…

The winner of the $10 Starbucks gift card is Julie Oest! Julie please contact me to claim your prize.

Tune in tomorrow when our very own Sarah Andre shares a very special release post for her debut novel LOCKED LOADED AND LYING. Take my word for it, you are going to love this book! LockedAndLoadedFinal cover

What makes the EXIT Inc. Series Unique?

On June 30, EXIT STRATEGY, the first book in my new romantic suspense EXIT Inc. series, will be released by Avon (an imprint of HarperCollins.) Readers have asked me just what is this EXIT Inc. anyway? Obviously, I hope you’ll read the books to find out. But for our KaT readers, I’m giving an exclusive sneak peek into the world of EXIT and explaining what sets this series apart from other series in RomanceLandia.

Exit Strategy High Rez Final

What is EXIT Inc.?

EXIT is an acronym for “EXtreme International Tours”. EXIT Incorporated is a privately owned company that offers guided outdoor tours all over the world. Or at least, that’s what EXIT wants you to believe. In reality, the tour side of the company is a front for the government sanctioned clandestine organization of highly trained operatives, called Enforcers, who will do whatever it takes–legal or not–to protect the United States and its citizens from terrorists and other criminals. Enforcers are often placed in the role of assassins and preemptively eliminate the bad guys before they can hurt or kill more people.

What makes this series different from other series?

There are a lot of brotherhood, assassin, or secret protector types of series out there, like Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series or Julie Ann Walker’s Black Knights Inc. series–which are both fantastic! But two main things set EXIT apart from the others.

One – The moral dilemma of assassins preemptively killing bad guys before they can strike again is explored in depth, pitting the heroes and heroines of these stories against each other and giving poignant glimpses into the hearts and minds of each character and why they make the choices they make.

Two – Where other series cast the brotherhood organizations as the force of good, EXIT Inc. turns that completely around. The Enforcers come to realize that the company they’ve devoted their lives to may have been using them all along, and that EXIT Inc. may actually be a force of evil. Seeing how the heroes and heroines come to this realization and what they do about it is what makes this series so fun and exciting.

Is this series related to your Deadly Games series? Yes and no. The Deadly Games series has law-enforcement heroes and heroines primarily focused on hunting down serial killers. It’s very family-centric, with the heroes of each book being either a Buchanan brother or a close friend (such as Logan Richards in the first book) and is set in Florida and Georgia.

The EXIT Inc. series has bad-boy heroes, definitely not law enforcement, whose prey are hard core terrorists and deadly criminals far more dangerous than serial killers. While the Enforcers in these stories form a brotherhood, they aren’t a true family. And the books are set in the two places where EXIT Inc. maintains headquarters–North Carolina and Colorado.

The connection between the two series is that the last Deadly Games book–TAKE THE KEY AND LOCK HER UP–features Devlin Buchanan, who is an assassin for EXIT Incorporated. The book can be considered as a prequel for the EXIT series as it introduces the company and some of the primary players. The EXIT series is actually a natural spin-off that happened organically while I was writing Devlin’s story. And for fun, I feature many of the Buchanans in cameo roles in this new series. But you can read and enjoy the EXIT books without having ever read the Deadly Games books.

How many books will be in this new series? Currently there are three books planned: EXIT Strategy, No EXIT, and Final EXIT.

How often will these books be released? Unless the schedule changes, they will come out about every six months, beginning with the first book on June 30, 2015.

How can I buy the EXIT books? This series is in print and ebook. You should be able to buy these books in Walmart, Barnes and Noble, and many other “brick and mortar” physical book stores beginning June 30, 2015. You can also order print or ebook formats online pretty much anywhere–like Amazon, B&N, iBooks, and Kobo. AND YOU CAN PRE-ORDER RIGHT NOW!

* * *

I hope that answers some of your questions about this new series. Please let me know if you have more questions! EXIT STRATEGY is available for pre-order now. The description and buy links appear below.


EXIT STRATEGY

Lena Diaz launches her thrilling new series featuring the undercover vigilantes of EXIT Inc. with a skilled operative putting his life—and his heart—on the line for a woman in trouble

When Sabrina Hightower awakens to the sound of an intruder, she figures he’s there to rob her, murder her— or worse. She doesn’t expect to be carried off by a muscle-bound stud with male-model good looks . . . or that he came to rescue her.

Mason Hunt became an enforcer with EXIT Inc. to eliminate the bad guys—terrorists, militia groups, all those who would do America harm. But his latest target is innocent. If EXIT could lie about sultry, strong-willed Sabrina, what darker truths might they be concealing?

Going rogue in the rugged North Carolina mountains, Mason risks everything to keep Sabrina close, especially now that EXIT’s lethal assassins are chasing them down. The heat is on . . . but it’s nothing compared to the slow burn of seduction.


 

What other authors are saying about EXIT STRATEGY…

“Sexy romance and edge-of-your-seat suspense…EXIT STRATEGY is a book not to be missed!” –NYT and USA Today Bestselling author Cynthia Eden

“Taut, compelling… kept me hooked to the last page.” -NYT Bestselling author Mary Burton

“EXIT STRATEGY is a tension-packed read, an addicting mix of suspense and romance.” – Kendra Elliot

“EXIT STRATEGY starts out with a bang and never lets up. Perfect pacing, smart and sexy, this is exactly what you want in a romantic suspense.” – Award winning author HelenKay Dimon

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Lena Diaz
Lena Diaz
 is a country girl at heart who has planted her Kentucky roots deep into the sandy soil of north Florida where she lives with her hubby and a shetland sheepdog. FSU-grad-son and college-daughter visit when they can. Lena is an action movie and crime-TV junkie. She also loves gardening, and hiking in the beautiful Smoky Mountains in Tennessee whenever she can get away. EXIT STRATEGY is Lena’s 10th published novel.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

And the winner of a $10 Amazon gift card from last week’s post, courtesy of Heather Ashby and Chris Bergeron, is Nancy Stillings! Congratulations!!!!

The Nine-Year-Long Rollercoaster Ride

Over here at Kiss and Thrill, it’s no secret that we loooove romantic suspense. We began this blog in 2011 specifically to share other authors, books and plots with you. Back then, only three of our members were under contract. Now, due to the myriad of publishing options, we’re all carving out a path that’s right for us. And after nine years of writing, I too will achieve that coveted title: published author. My debut, LOCKED, LOADED and LYING will be available on JUNE 16th!

Most authors will tell you: the whole writing-publishing experience is like a rollercoaster ride. The highs are true adrenalin rushes, the kind where you throw your arms in the air and shriek until you’re hoarse. Could be over winning writing awards or having a literary agent call and gush for twenty minutes about your novel before offering to represent you. There’s no other job or achievement (for me) that surpasses the thrill of creating characters and conflict, and sharing ‘my baby’ with the world. 

Along with the rush of those highs come the lows, which are just as powerful. Harsh judge comments on a contest entry, reading all those agent/editor rejections sure do emulate the G-forces of a rollercoaster. As in: it sucks the breath right out of you, leaves you stunned and glued in place (usually a fetal position on the floor.)

Nine-whole-years of crazy ups and downs, folks. 🙂snowy river

But the rollercoaster has click-clacked back to the loading platform, I’ve gotten off, and am shakily standing in line for a whole new ride. When I had absolutely NO topic for today’s blog, Sharon Wray suggested I write about the ‘standing in line’ part. The transition between signing a contract and actually selling a book on Amazon, B&N, etc.

It began with a phone call from my agent. “Entangled Publishing just sent over a contract for your book.” (See rollercoaster high symptoms above.) Then came months of pins and needles waiting while she negotiated my terms, and I suffered the torture of keeping this secret to myself. Which, of course, I didn’t. 😉

When I finally did sign the contract, oh boy, did I blurt the news! Unfortunately, the editor who’d loved my story, and initially sent over the contract to work with me was no longer there, so I was assigned to another editor. Yikes! I’d heard horror stories of writers changing editors and the new one did not like the plot, the voice or the writing.

Youth Olympic Games 2012Wasted energy! My new editor, Anya Kagan, was insightful, patient and saw the big picture–whereas I obsessed on a word or scene level. It became a team effort to spit-shine that manuscript. There were 1st edits (major revisions that instantly drew the reader’s sympathy to my hero’s plight, and upped the stakes he faced.) I returned those in a month and within 10 days 2nd edits were in my Inbox. Less changes, but a suggestion to delete an entire chapter that ‘explained’ my heroine, and wasn’t very interesting. Why not feed snippets of her secrets within the first 100 pages? Brilliant!cabin

3rd edits consisted of changing one sentence. (Yay me!) Then on to Copy Edits, where another editor, who specializes in fact-checking, read through the story and made suggestions. Could my hero (a US Olympic Alpine Skier) have competed in the 2006 Torino games? (Sure that was a long time ago, but Torino is also a major subplot. And don’t forget, I’d written the story back then!) Turns out, Bode Miller competed there, and he’s already competed this year, with a DNF (did not finish.) Case closed, I got to keep the Torino Olympics in the book. Whew!

Hooded man hiding gun behind his backOff the story went to be formatted into a book, and then we were Proofreading the Advanced Reader Copy (ARC.) Any changes here meant catching spelling errors, a word that was supposed to be italicized, etc., not to revise. I seriously had to reign in my inner editor (who’s still criticizing each paragraph, even after all these years!) By this time, if you’ve kept count, I’d reread this entire novel 5 times in 3 months. So to proofread it that slowly and with such care, made me honest-to-God hate the plot, the characters, every $@&# word on every page, and OMG-why did I ever think I could write?!  🙂 I hear that’s normal…

Next was creating my dedication and acknowledgements pages. After nine years I had a lot of people to acknowledge, because in the publishing industry it DOES take a village! Thanking all these people who’d done so much for me, in a page the whole world could read, warmed my heart. AND it was one more step toward authenticity…what a rush! Interestingly, I put much more time into it than I expected. I wanted to get the words absolutely right, the tone perfect. ASPEN road sign

I have one more step to look forward to: seeing what the Entangled graphic artist creates for a cover, which will happen in early May. Once I have the cover I can decorate my Facebook and Twitter pages, set up an Amazon Author page , update my website and invest in ‘swag.’ (Fun giveaways.)

You’ll notice I didn’t tell you much about LOCKED, LOADED and LYING. Why? Because there’s plenty of time and many blogs where my cover, official back-cover blurb, and plot points will be broadcast.

Love coupleFor now I leave you with 2 clues 1) these pictures are all broad hints: An heiress is murdered in Aspen and all evidence points to her boyfriend, my insanely hot hero, Lock Roane. He was too drunk to remember anything that night, but given his past history of blackout violence, it’s not a big leap for him to believe he did kill her.

On the eve of his felony murder trial he saves the life of a young woman in a blizzard, not knowing she’s his biggest media nemesis. And when Jordan Sinclair regains consciousness she will lie through her teeth to keep it that way (you’ll find out why.) As she recuperates she gets to know the personality he doesn’t show the camera and begins falling for him, but her tangled lies hamper their growing attraction. And sizzling sexual tension wreaks havoc in their frantic attempts to uncover the grisly events of what exactly happened on that fateful night.

And 2) “An impressive debut! This book has everything readers crave: believable, endearing characters, an intriguing conflict and plenty of heart. Don’t miss LOCKED, LOADED & LYING.” Brenda Novak

So that’s my standing-in-line story. Off to buckle up for the next ride!

WHAT WERE YOU DOING NINE YEARS AGO? COMMENT FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD! WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED NEXT TUESDAY.

 The winner of a $10 gift card and e-copy of BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO WEEP  goes to Julie Oest!

Winners!

Many thanks to the awesome Nancy Allen for joining us for a fun Friday! Please come back anytime, and guys don’t forget to check out A Killing at the Creek!

9780062325969The winner of a ten dollar Starbucks gift card and choice of Nook or Kindle copy of A Killing at the Creek is: Patti Straight. Congrats to Patti! Please use the contact form to let us know your preference for Kindle or Nook and your preferred email for receipt of prizes. 

Also, thanks to everyone who stopped by last Tuesday to celebrate the release of Gwen Hernandez’s new book, Blind Ambition!

GwenHernandez_BlindAmbition_200pxThe winner of an electronic copy of Blind Ambition is kimk. Congratulations! Please use the Contact Us link above to send us your preference for Kindle, Nook, iBooks, or Kobo and include your preferred email.

Next up our very own Rachel Grant previews her new release: Incriminating Evidence and talks Second Book Syndrome. Don’t miss it!IE-frontCover-Final-r2-72dpi

Nobody’s Valentine

The year is only two months old and already I found myself in Books-A-Million making an impulse purchase. London journalist Paula Hawkins’s 2015 debut blockbuster and New York Times #1 bestseller THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN grabbed me from the moment I stepped up to the display of current bestsellers vying for attention.

Maybe it was the arresting cover (designed by Gretchen Achilles) that had me pulling the book off the shelf to get a closer look even though I have nine books on my must-read-before-I-buy-anything-else list. Or the cover quote by Tess Gerritsen: “So thrilling and tense and wildly unpredictable.” Wow!

The_Girl_on_the_Train

Or maybe it was the title. The Girl on the Train. For a whole year back in my mid-twenties, I was a girl on a train, commuting from my home in Connecticut to my job in New York City. Paula Hawkins stated in an NPR interview that the idea for the book came from her own experience commuting by train to London during her college years.

Or maybe it was the book description inside the jacket.

THERE SHE SITS, THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN. WHAT SHE SEES, GAZING OUT THE WINDOW, WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING.

Pretty intriguing, right? I’m sure you can understand why I had my wallet out in a flash to buy the book. I hurried home and immersed myself in the dark, twisty tale that unfolds in a series of mornings and evenings that coincide with the rhythm of the train commuter during that stretch of time when she is the outsider, the daytripper, the person watching the action like a theater-goer at a live performance.

The unreliable narrator of the novel is nobody’s Valentine. Alone, divorced, and unemployed, Rachel spends her days commuting to London to pass the time. On the train, she cracks open a can (or two) of gin and tonic and spins stories about a young couple who live in a house along the tracks. She imagines their perfect, golden life, a fairy tale of love and devotion that comforts her. Until she discovers that the young wife has disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

Did Rachel see something from the train that will help the police solve the case? Or is she an unreliable witness who will cause more harm than good? You won’t stop turning the pages until you find out.

Fun fact: The Girl on the Train is not the author’s only book. Paula Hawkins previously published three chick lit books under the pseudonym Amy Silver. So if you are looking for a happier read for Valentines Day, you might be able to get your hands on one of her paperback titles: Confessions of a Reluctant Recessionista, All I Want for Christmas, and One Minute to Midnight.

What was the last impulse buy you made at the bookstore?

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The Kennedy Connection–Maureen

The Midnight Hour–Patti Straight

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