Category Archives: Winners

Heather Ashby’s Never Forget: A Suzanne Brockmann Recommendation

I am so excited to welcome back one of my favorite Golden Heart sisters Heather Ashby. Today we’re talking about her newest release  Never Forget and the most amazing author endorsement ever!!!

“A must-read for fans of military romantic suspense. This book is part of a series, but it stands very much alone. If you enjoy my Troubleshooters, Heather’s definitely an author to check out! Amazing book, amazing author, amazing series.”

                                                                                             – Suzanne Brockmann

NeverForget

HA: Thanks for inviting me today, Sharon. It’s always exciting to visit “Kiss and Thrill.” I’m thrilled to share Book #3 in my “Love in the Fleet” series with your readers.

 Never Forget

 With 7.5 tons of World Trade Center steel melted into her bow, what if there are more souls aboard the USS New York than the sailors and Marines stationed there? And what if those souls can help the troops defeat al-Qaeda this time?

When Royal Navy officer Gwyn Pritchard reports for exchange duty aboard USS New York, she’s the only one who sees 9/11 spirits roaming the decks. The daughter of a famous Welsh psychic, Gwyn learns the spirits must complete a mission in order to pass to the other side.

The sole survivor of an IED blast in Afghanistan, Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Adam Connor has his own issues. But when he discovers that the British officer sees ghosts aboard their ship, he becomes her confidant—and lover.

Passions rise to fever pitch when New York rushes to liberate British and American hostages in North Africa before al-Qaeda’s deadline. Can the spirits gather the right intelligence to help the Marines save the prisoners? Can Gwyn help the ghosts move on to the light? And can Adam and Gwyn find the love they’ve searched the world over for?

NF banner

SW: For my first question I just have to ask, “How did you get Suzanne Brockmann to give you a cover quote?”

HA: I asked Suzanne in person when she presented at our chapter meeting, so I had the opportunity to see her jaw drop when I told her about the USS New York and the 9/11 spirits on board. (Yes, there really IS 7.5 tons of WTC steel in the New York’s bow.) However, since Suzanne is well-known for supporting the troops, I’m sure the deciding factor was that I donate half my royalties to Fisher House Foundation in thanksgiving for my son’s safe return from war. BTW, getting her quote and endorsement on Facebook was a dream come true. It was her Troubleshooters books that got me through my son’s deployments (along with vast amounts of prayer and chardonnay!) And while reading her books, I was inspired to try my hand at military romance.

SW: You are so brave. I don’t know if I would have the courage to ask. When you first came up with the idea of the ghosts aboard USS New York, did you have any concerns or worries?

NYBanner

HA: I sat on the idea for several weeks, questioning if it was okay to write about them. My concern was for the 9/11 families. Then it came to me that if I didn’t write this story, somebody else would, and I wanted to ensure it was written with the respect it deserved. I am a Navy veteran, Marine Corps daughter, Navy wife, and mother of an Iraq and Afghanistan combat Army vet. I felt I was qualified—and with the victims’ families always foremost in my mind—I jumped in with both feet and wrote straight from the heart.

I realized that if I could give the spirits a voice and empower them with some control over the ship, the crisis, and their destiny, it would allow them to move from victim to victor. Just so you know, I worked on this book for two years and I still get goose bumps. Thus far my favorite reader review is this one on Facebook: “As a member of a 9/11 family, this book is truly inspiring. I’m filled with gratitude for this very special remembrance of my son.”

SW: What a wonderful review! How many people did you share your premise with while you were writing this? Or did you keep it to yourself?

HA: I shared with very few, highly-trusted individuals. For me to keep a secret like this for two years was a big deal, but I felt the story was too special to allow it to be stolen and sensationalized.

SW: How did you come up with your heroine? Why Welsh and the Royal Navy? She’s fascinating and so different from other heroines.

HA: Several years ago my husband and I entertained Royal Navy officers from the HMS Ocean. One delightful Sub-Left-tenant, suggested I write a romance about a Naval officer exchange program between the U.S. and the U.K., which meant two love story threads. In Never Forget, the love story on the British ship, HMS Atlantic, is the link to the first two books in “Love in the Fleet.” The other thread is detailed above in the blurb. Then I needed a reason why only Gwyn could see the spirits, and thought of a country that might have “faeries,” so I made her Welsh. She grew up with a mum who dabbled in “all kinds of woo-woo stuff,” so Gwyn rebelled by becoming a Royal Naval engineer, a profession which uses science and logic. She is therefore mortified when she reports for duty aboard New York and sees ghosts—meaning she has inherited the family “gift.”

Muscles

SW: Why were the prisoners in North Africa? Was there any significance in that choice? (It seems so eerily appropriate now)

HA: I chose North Africa because I needed both the American and British ships (with both sets of lovers) to be close enough to rush to the crisis. The USS New York would be on a routine Med cruise and the HMS Atlantic could race from Plymouth, England to join her in trying to free British and American hostages. My USMC advisor and I decided Tangiers was the perfect spot for the crisis because it was the espionage crossroads of the world in the 1940s and 1950s which plays into the story.

SW: Did you have any surprises while writing this book?

HA: The spirits were a total surprise. My stories are “homeported” at Naval Station Mayport, FL. In 2012 I learned that Mayport would be receiving three amphibious assault ships in 2014, so I decided to write about an amphib. While researching the new ships, I read about the World Trade Center steel melted into the bow of USS New York. I literally flew out of my chair, hands to open mouth with “OMG!OMG!OMG!” screaming in my brain!

Next I surprised myself by making one of the two heroes a Marine. I knew nothing about Marines and could just as easily have made him a Naval officer. But something spoke to me. My late father was a WWII Marine. He had some sad issues from his childhood and I decided to work them out through Adam Connor, my Marine hero. Then I was led to a fabulous newly-retired Marine, Christopher Bergeron, who was interested in helping. He said, “I spent my career writing amphibious assault training scenarios and never got to use half of them. I know exactly how to go into your fictional consulate and free those hostages!” Like I could turn THAT down! The fact that Chris doubled as the cover art photographer was beyond awesome!

There are several surprises in the crisis – which is a series of black moments. One scared the living daylights out of me! My brain kept saying, “Play it safe. This is too risky. You can’t do this.” But my ADHD gut said, “Go for it! This is the kind of thing that makes for blockbuster books and movies.” I figured if it was too risky, my editor would slap me on the wrist and make me revise. But she loved it! (It scared her too J)

Although Chris is new to writing fiction, he added in a few surprises that literally had me screaming out “OMG! I didn’t know that!” At first he just gave me Marine Corps “sand,” general information that I could turn into “sand castles.” But his confidence has gone through the roof as he realizes what a brilliant and creative writer he is (my words, not his J) We are exploring the very real possibility of co-authoring book four, Unforgettable.

IMG_3708

SW: Speaking of your covers, Heather, I see they’ve changed. Can you shed a little light on that.

HA: I changed publishers over the summer and am now working with the amazing Teresa Medeiros at Amber House Books. Since it was imperative that this book have a respectful cover, we decided to go with military uniforms for the entire series. My hero son agreed to pose for the covers and Chris shot the photos. My retired Navy husband meticulously researched the ribbons and devices (A.K.A. “fruit salad”) to ensure that the uniforms reflected the age and experience of the hero in each book. It was a true family affair; even my daughter helped out. She suggested a key spy character – “The Lynx” – right before Never Forget went to press.

I feel like I’ve come full circle, Sharon. At 9:04 on 9/11, I knew my son would be going to war. It was one of the most frightening realizations I’ve ever had. I’ve been blessed to have him return safe and whole from combat. Now he helps out as we publish “Love in the Fleet” and donate to causes that support families who have not fared as well as ours in the War on Terror.

Now I’d like to leave a question with your readers: What were you doing when you learned of 9/11 and what was your initial reaction?

 

SW: One lucky commenter will win a copy of Never Forget by Heather Ashby!

HA: Thanks for inviting me today, Sharon. It’s always a pleasure to interact with your readers.

SW: You’re so welcome, Heather. It’s always a pleasure to have you here.

USSNYHeather Ashby is a Navy veteran who taught school and raised a family while accompanying her Navy husband around the United States, Japan, and the Middle East. She now writes military romance novels in the series, “Love in the Fleet.” Her debut novel, Forgive & Forget was voted “Best of 2013” by Suspense Magazine. Forget Me Not is currently a finalist in the Military Writers Society of America’s annual contest. She publishes with Amber House Books, who released Never Forget on September 9th. Heather lives in Atlantic Beach, Florida with her husband and two rescue cats.

You can find Heather at: www.heatherashby.comwww.heatherashby.com/Books.htmlhttp://amzn.to/1lFC9Ua, Twitter: @HAshbyAuthor, and www.facebook.com/HeatherAshbyAuthor?ref=

All photos courtesy of Heather Ashby.

Winner Announcement: And the winner of ALL GOOD DEEDS by Stacy Greena as well as ALL GOOD DEEDS swag  is JB Schroeder. Congratulations JB! Please use our contact page to claim your prize and let us know if you prefer an e-book or print on release day. Please include your email and snail mail addy.

 

 

Surprise Cover Reveal

I’m so excited to let those of you on the blog get the first peek at my upcoming release, JUDGMENT.  I just love this cover, and I can’t wait to share Caity and Spense’s story with you.  Here’s the blurb too- the book is now available for preorder on Amazon and Barnes and Noble but I think you’ll be the very first to see the blurb, before it’s even posted on retail sites.

A Cassidy and Spenser Thriller

A Cassidy and Spenser Thriller

Carey Baldwin, author of the thrilling novel, Confession, returns with a new story featuring two of her most beloved characters. Fans of dark psychological suspense will devour this riveting story of rivals caught in a killer’s twisted web.

 

When a coed falls prey to a sadistic killer, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Caitlin Cassidy and Special Agent Atticus Spenser are called in to testify—one for the defense, one for the prosecution. With warring approaches on justice, these two rivals have been butting heads for years—both in the courtroom and out. And at first, this case appears to be no different.

 

But when a brutal attack leaves the accused man dead and Caity in critical condition, petty differences take a backseat to saving lives. As the lone survivor, Caity knows too much and the killer—a madman calling himself the Man in the Maze—is coming back for round two. Now, Caity and Spense must join forces to uncover the killer’s identity before Caity’s time—and luck—runs out.

You can preorder JUDGMENT on: Amazon or Barnes and Noble today!

And now for our Mary Behre winner!

Thank you again to Mary Behre for appearing on Kiss and Thrill this week. The winner of a signed print copy of Mary’s newest release, GUARDED, is jdh2690!Guarded_cover Please see our Contact page for information on how to provide your U.S. Or Canadian mailing address to claim your prize. Please provide your email address as well. Congrats!

Winner of TAKE THE KEY AND LOCK HER UP!

Thank you for celebrating the release of my newest novel, TAKE THE KEY AND LOCK HER UP! On Tuesday I’m posting again so I can celebrate the release of a dear friend of mine, MARY BEHRE (pronounced Merry Berry! I love her name!). Her newest novel, GUARDED, is burning up the Amazon bestseller lists.

And now for this weeks winner! TRISHJ! Please use the Contact page on this website to provide your email address and format preference (Nook or Kindle) and I’ll send you a copy of TAKE THE KEY AND LOCK HER UP.

Thank you all again for making my release day so fun! And thank you to my Kiss and Thrill partners in crime. You ladies are awesome!

 

takethekey

Winners!

CONGRATULATIONS,  QUANTUM and JDH2690! You’re each the winner of  BROKEN PLACES!

BrokenPlaces-FrontCover-Final-72dpi

 To claim your prize contact us with your email address and preferred ebook format within 10 days.

* * *

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

OfftheEdge

And GOLDEN HEART winner Denny S. Bryce for CHASING DAMN

Denny Bryce

* * *

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…

GkUw090gCtcqEfaycQ02GU7T2n1MPsu6V7UNdKad_04

Losing Mary Stewart, Auction for Diabetes and Winner!

Sad news.  The woman who pioneered the genre of Romantic Suspense, Mary Stewart, died this month at the age of 97.  While that’s a ripe old age for most, Mary’s loss to those of us at Kiss and Thrill is immeasurable.  Lady Mary Stewart was one of the first authors to write female-centric novels that involved both mystery and romance.

stewart_writing_07

courtesy MaryStewartNovels.com

She inspired all of us here at Kiss and Thrill and we know she inspired millions of readers and authors worldwide.  If you get a chance to read one of her delightful books, like Madam Will You Talk?, Touch Not the Cat, This Rough Magic, or Nine Coaches Waiting, and the Merlin Chronicles, I believe you’ll find her books not only inspiring but a whole lot of fun.  You can find out more about her life at MaryStewartNovels.com

On another note, please remember that we at Kiss and Thrill have assembled an auction basket for the Brenda Novak Annual Online Auction for Diabetes Research.

252

 

This is a cause near and dear to our hearts.  So many of our family and friends here at Kiss and Thrill have been affected by this terrible disease.  So please go and bid on something — from jewelry to books to exciting vacations, there is something for everyone.

Our own gift basket features $125 in gift cards (including cards for jewelry, books, and starbucks), two items of clothing, two audio and seven print/digital books from Kiss and Thrill authors, a character naming, and a wonderful tote to carry everything in.  You can find our basket HERE.  

Finally, saving the best for last, the winner of  Don and Renee Bain’s novel, Close -up on Murder is Bella!  Congratulations.  I know you will enjoy it very much.

911JAgrZfUL._SL1500_

 

Join us next Tuesday when our own Gwen Hernandez will be writing about military romance and special forces.  Gwen’s book, Blind Fury, is fabulous, and being married to a military man, this is something she knows a lot about.  I can’t wait to hear what she says.

Until then, have a super Memorial Day weekend! See you Tuesday!

 

DSC01383

Diana Miller Winner!

We’ve had a fun, busy week at Kiss and Thrill! First I want to thank Diana Miller and Shelley Coriell for joining us, and say to Krista Hall how much we all enjoyed being part of her cover reveal!

Before we get to our winner, here is a Golden Heart® Fun Fact – between the 3 women featured this week at Kiss and Thrill, they share 14 Golden Heart finals and 2 wins!

Diana MillerKrista HallShelley_Coriell_HR_Link_Photo

The winner of a $25 Amazon gift card from Diana Miller is:

bbbaddict 

To claim your prize, please contact us within ten days.

Rosie 7The excitement continues next week here at Kiss and Thrill, when Sarah Andre interviews Krista Hall for her debut release BROKEN PLACES. Fingers crossed there will be more puppy pictures!

BrokenPlaces-FrontCover-Final-310dpi

 

Broken Trust Winner!

Thanks to Shannon Baker, author of Broken Trust, for visiting with us this past Tuesday.  Now, without further delay, the winner of Shannon’s book is:

 Carl R Scott

Thanks everyone for your comments.  Don’t forget to go out and buy Shannon’s wonderful books!

unnamedBroken Trust:

Hoping for a new beginning, Nora Abbott takes a job at Loving Earth Trust in Boulder, Colorado. But the trust is rife with deceit and corruption and the body count is climbing. With the help of her mother and a Hopi kachina that technically doesn’t exist, Nora races to stop a deadly plot to decimate one of the planet’s greatest natural resources.

 

unnamed-1Tainted Mountain:

A young ski area owner in Flagstaff, AZ is determined to use man-made snow, an energy tycoon has his own reasons for promoting it, enviros and tribes may use any means to stop it. But the spirits of the mountain just might have the last say.

 

 

 

 UP NEXT:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

89e6aefa60650ad8956edb.L._V176312349_SX200_Join us on Tuesday, April 29th, when Rolynn Anderson guest blogs on a 1932 crime she ‘solved.’

As a writer, Rolynn delights in creating imperfect characters faced with extraordinary, transforming challenges. Her hope: You’ll devour her ‘makeover’ suspense novels in the wee hours of the morning, because her stories, settings and characters, capture your imagination and your heart.

THE BODYGUARD Winners!

TheBodyguard Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Thank you for helping me celebrate the release of my newest book, THE BODYGUARD.
And now, the TWO winners of print copies of THE BODYGUARD are…rolynnanderson and Kim H. Please check out our “Contact Us” page to claim your prize!

Join us again on Tuesday for an exciting new post by Diana Belchase!

And if you want to see my other books, please check out http://www.LenaDiaz.com! Below are some covers for your viewing pleasure.

Cover Tennessee Takedown - Lena Diaz


HeKillsMeHeKillsMeNot High Res Cover

Cover Undercover Twin - Lena DiazExplosiveAttractionsml
Cover-The Marshal's Witness - Lena DiazCover-AshesAshesTheyAllFallDead-highrez

SimonSaysDie High Res Cover

%d bloggers like this: