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Julie Ann Walker Celebrates Romantic Suspense!

Julie Ann Walker

Today I am thrilled to welcome Julie Ann Walker back to Kiss and Thrill! The eagerly anticipated 5th book in Julie’s Black Knights, Inc. series released Tuesday, and I’m pretty sure her wonderful fans have already devoured it and are deluging her with requests for the next book. Fortunately for all of us at Kiss and Thrill, Julie has compiled a list of favorite authors to tide us over until book 6!

If you haven’t read Julie’s series yet, but don’t want to start with book 5, here is your chance to get caught up – she’s is giving away print copies of books 1-4 to one lucky commenter!

And now, I’m delighted to hand the blog over to the fabulous and talented Julie Ann Walker!

Let’s Celebrate Romantic Suspense!

AKA: The Authors Who Inspired Me to Write in the Genre

I’ve been wanting to do a shout-out to my fellow romantic suspense authors for quite some time now.  And what better place to do that than here on Kiss and Thrill, the blog dedicated to, run by, and specializing in the RS genre.  (Hi, ladies!  *waves*  Thanks for having me back!)  Because, truly, those of us who write romantic suspense first started out reading romantic suspense.  We fell in love with the action, the mystery, the mayhem, the thrill and chills and, of course, the sexy times.  *wink*  And while I adore the work of all the ladies here on the Kiss and Thrill site – seriously, if you haven’t picked up their books, you’re truly missing out – I wanted to dedicate this particular blog to some of the authors who pioneered the way for us, those wonderful writers who’ve been plugging away in the genre for years, sometimes decades.  I thought I’d do that by listing my top five favorite romantic suspense authors – in no particular order – adding why I love their writing and how they inspired my own.

So, without further ado…

1.)  Sandra Brown

Sandra has been writing romantic suspense since before romantic suspense was even considered a sub-genre.  (Not to give away her age or anything.  It’s obvious she started writing as a fetus.  *winces*  Hi, Sandra!)  But, the thing that always intrigues me about Sandra’s books are her intensely flawed heroes.  I adore them.  They’re unique.  They’re angst-y.  And above all else, they’re real.

2.)  Elizabeth Lowell

Can you say delicious prose, boys and girls?  Because Elizabeth does it like no other.  Rich descriptions, tasty metaphors, scrumptious word choices.  I fall in love with her sentence structures.  Plus, Elizabeth’s books are always a like mini college classes in 400 pages or less.  Her research is phenomenal.  And to read one of her books is to get a crash course in everything from the emerald trade to the collection of old tintypes.  So. Much. Fun!

3.)  Linda Howard

Talk about a pioneer.  Linda’s  first single title was published in 1982!  Her books are always filled to the brim with adventure, intrigue, daring heroes, dauntless heroines, and intensely despicable villains. I like to say Linda writes romantic suspense in its purest, most distilled form. Her books epitomize the genre. I suppose that’s why she’s so long-lasting, eh?  Go, Linda!

4.)  Suzanne Brockmann

Oh, be still my heart.  Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooter series is the entire reason I started reading the genre.  And the thing that most inspires me about Suzanne is that she’s a rule-breaker.  She writes from multiple points of view – something not done until recently.  One of her heroes is gay – something still frowned upon in some circles.  Her books usually have two love stories – something that editors will tell you is a no-no.  The list of ways she’s pushed the envelope goes on and on.  But my point is, not only does she break the rules, but she does it beautifully, eloquently, masterfully.

5.)  Lora Leigh

Oh, Lora, Lora, Lora!  *fans self*  Does she know how to write one smokin’ hot book, or what?  If you’re a Shades of Grey fan, but like some hard-core action between your titillating sex scenes, then Lora is the gal for you!  She takes romantic suspense to the next level on the heat scale.  Her characters’ chemistry practically sets the pages on fire.  Be sure to set the screen level brightness on your eReader to dim, or else the words might just burn out your retinas.  LOL!

So, thanks ladies, for not only giving me great books to read, but also for giving me the inspiration to pen my own works!  You all rock!

And with that, I’m outa here!  A resounding huzzah to the gals at Kiss and Thrill for having me back.  It’s always such a treat!

One lovely commenter will win print copies of the first four books in my Black Knights Inc. series!  Just answer the following question:  Who is your all-time favorite romantic suspense writer and what is it that you love about their books?

Born-Wild-Book-CoverNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julie Ann Walker dives back into action with the red-hot romantic suspense Black Knights Inc. series!  They claim they’re bad-boy bikers who own custom motorcycle shop, but these special-ops guys–a mix of Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, Marines, FBI and more–handle the jobs too tough for the government to tackle.

TICK…TICK…

“Wild” Bill Reichert knows a thing or two about explosives. The ex-Navy SEAL can practically rig a bomb blindfolded. But there’s no way to diffuse the inevitable fireworks the day Eve Edens walks back into his life, asking for help…

BOOM!

Eve doesn’t know what to do when the Chicago police won’t believe someone is out to hurt her. The only place to turn is Black Knights Inc—after all, no one is better at protection than the covert special-ops team. Yet there’s also no one better at getting her all turned on than Billy Reichert. She has a feeling this is one blast from the past that could backfire big time…

PRAISE FOR BORN WILD:

One heck of a riveting plotline… Born Wild is definitely not to be missed!” —RT Book Reviews, 4 ½ Stars

A wild roller coaster ride of a story… Nonstop action.” —Fresh Fiction

“Drama, danger and sexual tension… Romantic suspense at its best.” —Night Owl Reviews, 5/5 Stars, Reviewer Top Pick

Julie Ann Walker is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Black Knights Inc. romantic suspense series. She is prone to spouting movie quotes and song lyrics, and prefers impromptu travel over the scheduled kind. You can find her on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission. For more information, please visit www.julieannwalker.com or follow her on Facebook, www.facebook.com/jawalkerauthor, and Twitter, @JAWalkerAuthor

To Purchase Born Wild:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Discover a New Love | iBooks | Indigo/Chapters | IndieBound | Sourcebooks

Thrill Ride Winner!

Coming up next week on the blog, Carey Baldwin interviews… me. 🙂 My debut romantic suspense, CONCRETE EVIDENCE, will be available in print and ebook, and, well, since I have this opportunity for a shameless plug…

FrontCover-Final-72dpi

A year ago she lost everything.  Now she wants revenge…

Accused of stealing artifacts from a five-hundred-year-old shipwreck, underwater archaeologist Erica Kesling is determined to clear her name. She’s concealed her past and taken a job certain to give her access to the buyer of the missing antiquities. She’s finally closing in on her goal when she’s distracted by a sexy, charismatic intern who makes her want something other than revenge.

But Lee Scott is no intern. He’s looking for the lead conspirator in an international artifact smuggling scheme, and Erica is his prime suspect.  He’ll do whatever it takes to win her trust and get her to reveal her secrets, even seduce her.

As Erica and Lee struggle to conceal their real agendas, the one thing they can’t hide is the attraction that burns hot between them. When Erica’s quest puts her life in jeopardy, Lee must choose between old loyalties and a woman he never expected to fall for.

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Thank you to Julie Ann Walker for a great interview on Tuesday, and thank you to all her fabulous fans for stopping by!

The winner of THRILL RIDE is…

Erin johnson!!

Congratulations! To claim your prize, please email us your U.S. mailing address within 10 days.

Stepping Inside the Actors Studio with Julie Ann Walker

Julie Ann Walker

Julie Ann Walker

This week I am thrilled to welcome Julie Ann Walker back to Kiss and Thrill! Julie’s latest book, THRILL RIDE, released April 2nd and to celebrate this eagerly awaited sequel, I decided to put Julie in the hot seat, James Lipton-style. Lipton (photo below courtesy of Wikimedia Commons) is the host of the Bravo TV series Inside the Actors Studio, and he always wraps up the interview by asking the subject the same ten questions.

James Lipton by David Shankbone

James Lipton by David Shankbone

Since this is Julie, and I know she won’t mind, I’m going to sit back and enjoy a cocktail while James does all the work.

1.) What is your favorite word?

It’s too dirty. I can’t share it here. LOL! Just kidding. I love the word “flibbertigibbet.” I mean, come on! It sounds made up, completely nonsensical, like something a drunk man in a bar would come up and say to woman. “Ya wanna head back to m’place and play with my flibbertigibbet?” *hiccup*

2.) What is your least favorite word?

Now, you’ll probably think I’m crazy, but I loathe, despise, and abhor the word “slurp.” It’s like the words slim, slug, and burp got together and had a threesome and the child born of the unholy union was slurp. Slurp is supposed to denote both an action and a sound effect, and both things are repugnant. :-/

3.) What turns you on?

Oooh, that’s easy. A good wine. Give me a nice bottle of wine, a warm night with a soft breeze, and I’m a sure thing. (Believe me when I say my husband considers this information when planning vacations. *wink, wink*)

4.) What turns you off?

Without a doubt, that would be feet. Feet are usually ugly, sometimes smelly, and oftentimes either obscenely dry or disgustingly sweaty. Feet have always grossed me out. And some of that might stem from having my older sister shove her big toe in my mouth if she caught me sticking my tongue out at her, or if she caught be yawning, or sneezing… She was a sadistic child, and now I’m scarred. For life.

Thrill-Ride-Cover

5.) What sound or noise do you love?

I should say it’s the smooth, guttural rumble of a V-twin engine, right? Considering badass custom motorcyclists are kind of my shtick? And I do adore that sound. It’s visceral and exciting. But more than anything else I love the soft resonance of waves shushing against the shoreline. Perhaps it’s because I grew up on a lake and currently live on one, but something about that noise is so soothing, so comforting… feels like home.

6.) What sound or noise do you hate?

The alarm clock. Of course, this could have something to do with the fact that I’m not, repeat not, a morning person. The instant that meep, meep, meep wakes me out of a deep sleep I want to cut someone. Seriously… cut them.

7.) What is your favorite curse word?

Hands down, that would be “asshat.” The word is so concise and at the same time so definitive, summing up a person who has their head stuck up their butt in just two syllables. I’m a sucker for brevity when it’s wielded with precision. LOL! Perhaps it’s the writer in me!

8.) What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

I think it would be fun to be a foreign correspondent for a big news agency. I imagine myself exposing corrupt politicians, interviewing leaders of state, slinking across unfriendly borders in the middle of the night to get the next big scoop… Then again, like anything else, the idea of foreign correspondence is probably far more romantic than the reality.

9.) What profession would you not like to do?

Anything that has to do with garbage or human waste. I have a weak stomach. And smells can get to me quicker than anything else. The aroma of chicken skin left in the trashcan for a couple of days has been known to make me to blow chunks into the kitchen sink. Just sayin’…

10.) If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

Whew! Didn’t expect to see you here! 😉

Today Julie wants our readers to answer question 3: What turns you on? We will randomly choose from the comments a winner who will receive a signed copy of THRILL RIDE!

THRILL RIDE BY JULIE ANN WALKER

He’s Gone Rogue…

Ex-navy SEAL Rock Babineaux is as Cajun as they come—spicy, sexy, and more than a bit wicked. But would he actually betray his country? Even his best friends on the special-ops Black Knights team aren’t sure they can trust him. Now the target of a massive manhunt, Rock knows the only way to protect the team—especially his partner, Vanessa—is to run…

She Won’t Back Down…

Rock might think he can outmaneuver them all, but he hasn’t counted on how stubborn Vanessa Cordero can be. And she refuses to cut him loose. Sure, her partner has his secrets, but there’s no one in the world she’d rather have by her side in a tight spot. Which is good because she and Rock are about to get very tight…

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Julie Ann Walker is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Black Knights Inc. romantic suspense series.  Look for the first four books in her fast-paced series: Hell On Wheels (August 2012) In Rides Trouble (September 2012) Rev It Up (October 2012) and Thrill Ride (April 2013). For more information, please visit www.julieannwalker.com or follow her on Facebook www.facebook.com/jawalkerauthor and/or Twitter @JAWalkerAuthor.

To Purchase THRILL RIDE:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound | Target | Sourcebooks | Discover a New Love

Julie Ann Walker Giveaway Winner

The winner of signed copies of the first three Black Knights Inc. books by Julie Ann Walker is…

REV-IT-UP-final HELL-ON-WHEELS-final1InRidesTrouble_CVR.indd

Deborah D (1:35 pm)

Congratulations! To claim your prize, please email us your U.S. mailing address within 10 days.

Tipping One Back with NYT Bestselling Author Julie Ann Walker

One of the best things about blogging at Kiss and Thrill is having the excuse to get to know authors we’ve met only briefly at writer’sJulie Ann Walker workshops (and when I say “workshop” it’s a euphemism for “bar”).  It’s great fun to meet writers at workshops and talk craft and business, but the drawback is the crowds and the noise (and the pricey drinks).  I picked up met Julie Ann Walker at a workshop a year and a half ago and was thrilled to see her success this fall, when her debut trilogy hit the New York Times bestseller list.

I’m delighted to introduce our readers to Julie, who writes sexy, thrilling suspense centered around Black Knights Inc.–on the surface a tricked-out motorcycle shop, but really the cover for a team of  elite special operatives.

Julie is giving signed copies of the first three Black Knights Inc. books to one lucky commenter.

Rachel:  Julie, welcome to Kiss and Thrill!

HELL-ON-WHEELS-final1Julie: It’s great to be here! And in order to keep the vibe going, I have a full glass of Cabernet in hand. Okay, so you caught me.  It’s my second glass… 😉

R: And I have a pint of my favorite ale.  This feels just like a bar workshop! 😉  So, what published author (any genre) turns you into a total fangirl? Is there a particular book or is this based on their entire body of work?

J: I have to pick just one?  Geez, don’t make me work for this or anything.  LOL!  But, hmmm, let’s see… *scratches head*  I guess it’s best if I represent our lovely genre – the BEST genre in all of romance… nay, all the literary WORLD – and choose the reigning queen herself, Suzanne Brockmann. I love how she pushed boundaries in her Troubleshooters series.  I love that one of her heroes was gay.  I love that she – gasp – actually wrote a rape scene that was harrowing and graphic and real, and that it didn’t end up cut into a million pieces, lying like sad confetti on the editing-room floor.  I love that her stories were always a twofer, with dual romantic relationships for me to sink my teeth into.  I love that when the situation was dire, she threw in some gallows humor, not to take the edge off, usually, but to subtly accentuate each of the characters’ personalities.  Basically, I just love her.   And if I ever get the chance to meet her – fingers crossed – I’ll probably prostrate myself at her feet, swearing life-long fealty.   So… yeah, you might consider me one of her fangirls.  😉

R: Hmmm.  I wonder if she hangs out at the bar at RWA National?

J: *swoon* Just the thought makes me giddy!

R: Have you ever written fan fiction, and if so, what work was it based on?  If you haven’t, what would you be tempted to write fan fiction about?

InRidesTrouble_CVR.inddJ: I’ve never written fan fiction.  But if I had to choose a series I was sad to see end, a set of characters I’d like to continue to follow, it would have to be Christine Feehan’s The Drake Sisters series.  I want to see babies being born, dangit!  I want MANY more sexy times between the characters.  I want to see magic and mayhem and what their mystical-power-imbued offspring will get up to.  Did I mention I want more sexy times between the characters???

R: Facebook or Twitter?

J: Oy.  Now this is actually a more difficult question than you might think.  Simply because I LOVE the literary community which, as we all know, is made up of fans, writers, reviewers, bloggers, etc.  So, I adore Facebook for the opportunity it provides me to connect with readers on a daily basis.  But, in the same breath, I adore Twitter because that’s where all my homegirls hang out.  I get to talk shop with other authors who are struggling with characters and plots – just like me.  I get to touch base with bloggers and reviewers who are fundamental in getting the word out about new books.  So… I guess my answer is BOTH.  And, yeah, yeah.  That’s a total copout.  But that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

R:  What is the strangest weapon you’ve used to kill off a character, either on or off-scene?

REV-IT-UP-finalJ: Well, I wish I could say I’m really creative when it comes to death scenes, but the truth of the matter is, I tend to eighty-six everybody in the usual manner.  Gun shots, stabbings, garrotings.  I will say I’ve been toying with the idea of chopping off a villain’s head with a rotating helicopter blade.  But then the question becomes, do I chop off his head at the neck?  Or do I just nip the tip?  Take off the top three inches or so?  See, these are the types of questions we romantic suspense authors ponder on a daily basis.  Perhaps we all need to go to group therapy.  Obviously we have some not-so-subconscious violent tendencies.  LOL!

R: Tell us about your upcoming release.

Thrill-Ride-CoverJ: THRILL RIDE is the fourth book in the Black Knights Inc. series, and I think it’s the hottest one yet.  Of course, I’m biased.  😀  In a nutshell, it centers around ragin’ Cajun, Richard “Rock” Babineaux, and Vanessa Cordero, the Black Knights’ resident communications specialist.  Set mainly in the jungles of Costa Rica, the book opens with Rock on the run after having been listed as a rogue agent.  When Vanessa goes to find him, she inadvertently leads the men who are hunting him right to his door.  Bullets fly, engines rev, and hearts race.  Plus, you know, sexy times…

Thank you, Kiss and Thrill, for having me on today.  It’s been a blast!

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Okay, I have one more question for Julie–and our readers–to answer in the comments: describe your dream motorcycle.  Julie is giving one lucky commenter signed copies of the first three Black Knights Inc. books!  Check back on Thursday to see if you are our winner.  Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address and contact us within ten days to claim the prize.

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