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Sharon and Sarah Final in the Golden Heart (and a Thursday winner)!

Sharon, Gwen, and Sarah before the 2013 GH/RITA Awards in Atlanta.

Sharon, Gwen, and Sarah before the 2013 GH/RITA Awards in Atlanta.

Every year around this time, thousands of romance writers are sitting by their phones waiting for “the call.” Not the one from an editor or agent, but from one of the members of the board of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) telling them their manuscript or book finaled in either the Golden Heart® (unpublished) or the RITA® (published) Awards.

These prestigious contests are sort of like the Oscars of romance, complete with a ceremony emceed by an author-celebrity, lots of fancy gowns, and a golden statue for the RITA winners. The only thing missing is the E! reporter.

I can tell you from experience that there is no day so nervewracking as finalist announcement day. (Okay, except the actual awards ceremony.) I’ve been through it twice (2010 and 2011) so far. You think you will distract yourself with writing, but find that you’re constantly checking the RWA web page, Facebook, and Twitter to see if your category is done. And every time the phone rings your heart skips a beat.

Several of us at Kiss and Thrill suffered through the suspense again today, and I’m happy to announce that Sarah Andre and Sharon Wray are both Golden Heart finalists in the Romantic Suspense category!!

We’re so proud and excited and can’t wait to cheer them on this summer in San Antonio!

And now on to today’s winner…

 CONGRATULATIONS msrh0nda!

You’ve won the digital copy of Avery Flynn’s newest release: High-Heeled Wonder.

Please click on the Contact Us key and let us know where to send it.

Thank you ALL for stopping by and adding to our eyesore-fashion list!

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Congratulations also to the 2014 RITA Romantic Suspense nominees:

Toni Anderson: THE KILLING GAME

Carolyn Crane: OFF THE EDGE

(Frequent K&T guest!) Julie Ann Walker: THRILL RIDE

Erica Spindler: JUSTICE FOR SARA

On Tuesday, April 1st, Sarah is posting the first sentence of each of their books! Please stop by and read the lines, see their covers and check out their bios. She’s invited each of the nominees to visit, so please come and congratulate them!

AVERY FLYNN, High-Heeled Wonder!

AFlynnMeet Avery Flynn, a petite fashionista with a larger-than-life attitude. Everywhere I’ve encountered her (workshops, Facebook, online writing chapters) she owns the venue with audacious fearlessness. Naturally, when I heard she had a new release out I jumped at the chance to interview her! Because basically I want to be her. (Too fan-girl-stalkerish? OK. Then let’s get to the interview.)

Welcome, Avery! Tell us how you got started writing?

There was a horrible industrial accident when I was stung by an irradiated spider. Wait. Oh you meant in real life? I got a baby blue typewriter as a totally-inappropriate-for-a-six-year-old gift in first grade. I couldn’t spell let alone write much of a sentence, but I wrote stories about my stuffed animals anyway. It turned out to be one of the best gifts ever.

This story is chalk-full of couture names and designer shoes (most of which, I’m ashamed to admit, were lost on me.) Are you a fashionista?

I have fashionista tastes on a Target budget … so yes and no. 🙂 I do love my shoes though. And purses. And dresses. And ….OK, I’m beginning to see why the Fab Mr. Flynn gives me the side-eye whenever I come home from the mall. Really? Mine gives me the stink-eye.

Are you a lingering window-shopper or do you shop for something specific and go home?

Oh my God. My mom is one of those lingerers. She does a whole slow sweep of a store and then goes around again to start her deliberations. It is mind numbing. I am more of a power shopper. Go in, grab it and beat feet. Meeee too! (My husband calls my focused trek through stores “Mall Walking.” I cannot power-walk that fast in any other part of my life–I’ve tried.)

In researching the back-stabbing, power-hungry and drug infested world of high fashion did you watch reality shows like “Project Runway” or “Americas Next Top Model”?

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I love both of those shows (don’t judge). I’m not! 😉 I also interviewed fashion bloggers, read as much as possible about the industry and watched a ton of documentaries. Then there was the shopping. It was horrid. Ha! How we writers torture ourselves.

 Sylvie is a kick-ass heroine whose childhood was spent in an orphanage before being adopted by her 2 fathers. How did you come up with this fresh premise?

That is one of those muse-inspired, middle of the shower ideas when you get so excited you end up with shampoo in your eyes. I wish I could control it better—at least the timing. Then after I got the idea it was so perfect for Sylvie that it really helped to show how she was a real fighter. Parts of her backstory make me tear up even today.

Sylvie Bissette may be one of Harbor City’s youngest glitterati, but only her best friends know her most closely guarded secret. She’s the woman behind The High-Heeled Wonder, a must-read blog for fashionistas everywhere. Gossip, fashion advice, exposés. Too bad some people can’t take a little criticism. When an internet troll discovers her secret identity and escalates from stalking her to threatening her life, Sylvie turns to security expert Tony Falcon for help. The investigator from the other side of the tracks is the olive oil to her Evian water and aggravates her to no end, but it’s not just her temper he’s inciting…

Tony Falcon wouldn’t know a kitten heel from a tabby cat, but since most of the bad guys he tracks down aren’t wearing stilettos, it’s never been a problem…until he meets Sylvie. When a murder investigation leads him to the same place Sylvie works, he realizes the feisty fashionista may be his best chance at catching the criminals who killed his best friend. It all leads back to the cut-throat fashion world.

What is next in the “Killer Style” series and when can we expect it?

THIS YEAR’S BLACK is Ryder’s story and it comes out at the end of May. Ryder goes head-to-head with one of the big wigs at Harbor City’s most luxurious high-end department store and they have to work together to track down an embezzler who has hightailed it to a tropical island off the coast of Chile. It’s not just the climate that’s making things hot between Ryder and Devin.

In non-Killer Style news I have a fun novella coming out April 14, BETTING THE BILLIONAIRE. It’s all sorts of smexy fun with a car-loving heroine and a bad boy billionaire who is way too used to getting his way. 🙂 Car-loving? Bad boy? I’m pre-ordering!

AFlynnShoesDesigner you’d love to meet? (Hypothetical: can be living or dead.)

There are so many. Alive I’d have to go with Michael Kors, Victoria Beckham and Stella McCartney. Dead I’d have to go with Alexander McQueen and Coco Chanel.

Food you make a pig of yourself for?

Oreos. We can’t have them in the house. I will eat the whole bag.

Favorite movie?

That’s like asking my favorite book. How do I pick? If you force me, I’ll go with Usual Suspects. I love the twist. Love. It.

What question did I NOT ask that you’d like readers to know about you?

Um …. how I survive when my writing partner is a dog who is trying to kill me with poisonous farts? Seriously. It’s a murder just waiting to happen and you, Kiss and Thrill readers, will be the only ones able to solve the case. Just tell the cops, “Gravy did it.”

Snicker! Thank you SO much for visiting Kiss and Thrill today, Avery! ‘See’ you on your Facebook FRIDAY MAN WARS. (Readers: You don’t want to miss Fridays…go ‘like’ her page immediately.) https://www.facebook.com/avery.flynn.7

TWITTER: @AveryFlynn,  WEBSITE: http://www.AveryFlynn.com

Q of the Day: What style, pattern or era of clothing is an eyesore to you?

Comment below for a chance to win a digital copy of HIGH-HEELED WONDER.

(Check back Thursday to see the lucky winner.)

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