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BRENDA NOVAK returns to Romantic Suspense!

HanoverHouse_800x1200He’d found what he needed. At last. After twenty years of waiting, of planning, of purposely blending in to escape notice, he had the thread that would lead him back to the only woman who’d ever really mattered in his life.

The only woman who’d ever been a challenge.

The only woman who’d ever gotten away.

Once his parents had finally gone to bed, and long after anyone would expect for them to have a visitor, Jasper Moore stared down at the envelope he’d recovered from his father’s desk. Inside was a letter from Evelyn Talbot’s father, pleading with Stanley and Maureen to come forward if they possessed any information on Jasper’s whereabouts. It said that Evelyn had been through enough. That the Moores should finally do the right thing and divulge any information they possessed.

But they never would. They were the ones who’d helped him escape in the first place, all those years ago—and they told everyone they hadn’t seen him since before the murders, even though, in recent years, he risked a furtive visit now and then, if he could do it safely.

Anyway, it wasn’t the letter that concerned Jasper. He didn’t give a shit about the Talbots’ emotional plea for justice and closure.

He was far more interested in the return address on the outside.

Excerpt from HANOVER HOUSE by Brenda Novak

She’s baaaack! That vintage, creepy Brenda-Novak-writing, folks. She’s the kind of suspense writer who grabs you from the first page and sends you on the kind of ride even amusement parks would ban! HANOVER HOUSE, her return to the romantic suspense genre, isn’t the only change we’ve seen from Brenda this year. May, 2015 came and went without the usual author enthusiasm (let’s be honest–hysteria) over Brenda Novak’s Auction Anything for Diabetes Research. That’s right, after 10 successful years and accumulating a total of $2.4 million toward her Diabetes Research charity, Brenda took the year off. Well…not exactly.

For 2015, I came up with another plan to raise money, one I thought readers might like even better. Because…what’s better than getting a great deal on a great book? Getting a steal of a deal on a whole bundle! And what’s better than having all the proceeds go to diabetes research? Well…nothing. Nothing I can think of, anyway. That’s why I’ve curated THREE fabulous box sets filled with BRAND NEW stories from some of today’s most popular authors—so I could launch my fundraising initiative for 2015 and  contribute to the effort of finding a cure for my son (who was diagnosed at five) and all the other people who have to cope with this terrible disease.”

That bears repeating: Brenda ingeniously collected stories from some of today’s top-notch romance authors and developed 3 box-sets that are only available until the end of June. (A week from today, people!) ALL proceeds go toward her Research for Diabetes, and each is priced at $2.99, a staggering special! The kick-off to her romantic suspense series, HANOVER HOUSE is featured in the SWEET DREAMS set. So let’s start with that one. Brenda, who else has contributed to SWEET DREAMS?



SWEET DREAMS. This limited edition set contains thirteen new thrillers. Allison Brennan, Cynthia Eden, JT Ellison, Liliana Hart, Heather Graham, Alex Kava, CJ Lyons, Carla Neggers, Theresa Ragan, Erica Spindler, Tiffany Snow and Jo Robertson have all contributed. I’m in this box, too. I’m including a brand new story that’s nearly 200 pages long—HANOVER HOUSE, the start to the new suspense series I just sold to St. Martin’s Press. And none other than the amazing Lee Child has written the foreword.

Wow, that’s some superstar lineup! I’ve bought it already, but was intrigued with your other sets.

SWEET TALK. This is a limited edition contemporary romance collection featuring



ten brand new stories by such amazing authors as #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Sherryl Woods of Chesapeake Shores series fame. We also have the magnificent Linda Lael Miller, as well as Melody Anne, Violet Duke, Steena Holmes, Gina Maxwell, Molly O’Keefe, Melissa Foster, Rosalind James and Nancy Naigle. Great lineup, right? As a bonus, I’ve thrown in the prequel to my Whiskey Creek series, WHEN WE TOUCH—and megastar Robyn Carr has written the foreword.

So we’ve covered suspense readers, and contemporary romance readers…what would the last box set encompass?



SWEET SEDUCTION. This box is for those who like their romances with some HEAT (a la FIFTY SHADE OF GREY). It features new work from erotica greats Lexi Blake, Nicole Edwards, J. Kenner, Megan Hart, JS Cooper, Karen Erickson, Nina Lane, Roni Loren, Elisabeth Grace, Julia Kent, Mari Carr, Lauren Hawkeye and Avery Aster. Lisa Renee Jones, another popular author in this subgenre, has not only written the foreward, she’s provided one of her full novels as a bonus!

Brenda, I am truly amazed at the generosity of these authors giving their works to such a great cause. And my compliments to you for thinking up such an incredible giveaway to continue your ongoing charitable contributions to Diabetes research. Any last words?

“According to the CDC, nearly 10% of the American public has diabetes. That’s an outrageous figure! So let’s do something about it—read and raise money at the same time.” For more information, visit

Here are links to the different online stores that offer the sets:

Amazon: (or click on the covers.)
Barnes and Noble:
Google Play:

And for more information on Brenda-the-author, please visit her at:

Author Facebook




Thank you for being here today, Brenda and we look forward to your new suspense series AND hearing how much you and these generous authors raised this year!






Join us next Tuesday when Lena Diaz and Kay Thomas dish 5 things about

the heroes of their latest books– EXIT Strategy and Easy Target.

BRENDA NOVAK: A Quiet Superwoman

IMG_4444Kiss and Thrill welcomes back one of our favorite authors: Brenda Novak! We’re all gushy fan-girls of her work here. To be perfectly honest, there was quite the squabble over who’d have this chance to interview her. (Luckily those 1990’s Tae Bo videos paid off and I arm wrestled the lot of ’em!)

When Kiss and Thrill started 2 years ago this week (see our anniversary post on Thanksgiving Day!) Brenda was our very second guest. We were honored then, and are honored now that she takes time out of her busy life as writer, mother and organizer-extraordinaire for her annual May charity: Brenda Novak’s Auction for Diabetes Research.

Given her frequent guest appearances and her down-to-earth personality, it’s easy to think you ‘know’ a famous best-selling author. So imagine our surprise when we heard Brenda’s new release was not a romantic suspense and not her Whiskey Creek contemporary series but a historical romantic mystery! Thanks to my arm wrestling skills, I got to find out why:

A shocking betrayal…

Riches. Power. An ancient heritage of pride. The Earl of Druridge wanted only for an heir. So when he learned that his wife was carrying another man’s child, he was filled with a thirst for vengeance.

But he wasn’t the one who caused Katherine’s death. Or was he? To his horror, he remembers nothing of that dreadful night, when their last confrontation ended in scorching flame and cold blood.

A forbidden love…

Rachel McTavish, the beautiful daughter of a coal miner, knows something about the fire that took Lady Katherine’s life. In secret, the strong-willed girl strikes a bargain with the desperate earl: he must send his physician to help her dying mother or he may go to the devil—and the scaffold. He agrees, but she is still unsure that her revelation will be enough to save him when so many wish him dead.

Passionately drawn to the nobleman, despite all the doubt and mystery that shrouds him, Rachel wonders if he can really be a murderer. Or if he is the only man who will ever own her heart… (Excerpt from Through the Smoke by Brenda Novak.)

   First of all, Brenda, WELCOME BACK! Secondly…wow! You’re right in the middle of your successful contemporary Whiskey Creek series. Why did you suddenly decide to write a historical mystery?

  This is a book that I started WAY back when I began writing, before I even knew I would write contemporary romance. My first book, published by HarperCollins, was a historical called OF NOBLE BIRTH. It came out in November of 1999. I expected to follow up with the historical I have since self-published–HONOR BOUND–and this one–THROUGH THE SMOKE–which I sold to Montlake. But that didn’t work out. My editor at the time indicated that we would go to contract when she returned from vacation, but because Harper was merging with Avon and didn’t need as many romance editors as they would ultimately have, she returned to a pink slip. That meant that I was cut from the list (at this point my first book wasn’t even out yet). ThroughTheSmokeCoverHighRes400

   Fortunately, I had already sold my first contemporary to Harlequin only five months previous to this, so all wasn’t lost. I simply segued into writing for Superromance (one of Harlequin’s category lines) instead. Harlequin has kept me so busy through the years that I haven’t had the chance to go back to the historicals, but when I got the rights to OF NOBLE BIRTH reverted, I decided to self-publish it (since that craze was just getting started), and to follow up with the historical I had that was almost finished (HONOR BOUND), as well as this one (THROUGH THE SMOKE), which was only in proposal form. So I actually planned on writing historicals in the beginning, detoured into other genres and am now returning.

   So you began with historicals, are famous for romantic suspense, and now the contemporary Whiskey Creek series. Which genre is hardest for you to write?

    They each have their challenges, but…the historicals might be the hardest because they are historical romantic suspense, so you have to create a credible puzzle while writing a great romance. So you’re doing double duty while throwing on the added stipulation that you have to remain true to a certain historical era. That means you have to do more research than you would with the typical contemporary novel. They are a lot of work, but I really enjoy a great period piece–hence my desire to try and create one.

   (I can hear Manda Collins, our historical romantic suspense author cheering!) Does your fan base follow you to different genres as far as you can tell?

   I think there is some crossover. I’ve had a lot of reviews for THROUGH THE SMOKE from readers who comment that they don’t typically read the genre but tried it because I had written it. As far as numbers go, however, it’s hard to compare because my two publishers are so different. Since Harlequin has a big print presence, and Montlake has virtually none (but has a huge digital presence), we can’t compare by sales. Even in the digital arena, we don’t know how much to attribute to certain publicity and promotion efforts and how much to attribute to my existing fan base.

   What can we look forward to in 2014-2015 from you?

When Lightning StrikesTake-Me-Home-for-Christmas-Cover-e13751643987252-189x300    I’ll have two more Whiskey Creek novels out–COME HOME TO ME (March 25, 2014) and THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS (November 2014).

I will also have another historical–A MATTER OF GRAVE CONCERN–that will be out October 2014.

   Who are some of your favorite historical authors (doesn’t have to be contemporary.)

    My favorite historical authors are Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, Margaret Mitchell, Kathleen Winsor, Colleen McCullough, Philippa Gregory and Brenda Rickman iVantrease.

 Let’s switch gears and talk about your Diabetes charity. Sum up how much you’ve raised, in how many years and what your goal is for 2014.

 I can’t believe it, but so far we have raised over $2 million. When I first set out to raise funds for diabetes research, I used to daydream of someday breaking $1 million. I’m so grateful that, through the generosity of my donors and shoppers, I’ve been able to double that amount.

   Next year will be our big 10 year anniversary, and we are hoping to do it up bigger and better than ever before. As usual, it will start May 1st, and you can get to it at It would be smart to register now, for those who aren’t already registered so that we can send out various alerts as the time draws closer. Also, we are already starting to gather some great items.

   Is it my imagination or were the 2013 donated items bigger and more elaborate than in years past? (I used to think the majority of items were writer-related and this year it wasn’t so at all! Huge celebrity giveaways.) Is this a word-of-mouth phenomenon or are you expanding your promoting?

   This is a grassroots effort. I haven’t paid for expensive advertising. What advertising I do is donated (thanks to the generosity of Publisher’s Weekly, RT Book Review Magazine, Woman’s World, Writer’s Digest and many, many online places). I think it’s the power of social networking that has helped us grow each year, and the efforts of all the authors, businesses, artists and advocates who contribute.

  Are you accepting donated items already for May, 2014? How can our readers get in touch with someone in your organization if they would like to do that?

   You bet! We are taking things all year. It requires a great deal of time to build such a big event with a skeleton crew. We have four people on “staff,” but three of us are volunteers. We have only one part-time employee (for the sake of continuity from year to year) because I want to keep the overhead as low as possible.

You can donate through (, or the charity’s website ( or email Anna directly at

   When I go on your Auction site, your son is all grown up and looking healthy and happy! How have your family and your son adapted to his diabetes over the years? Do you see improvements in medical treatments since he was first diagnosed?

    I’m not sure I would say we have “adapted.” Like everyone else who has a family member with this terrible disease, we have had no choice but to get along as best we can. I am grateful for all the tools we have that help us to do that–the insulin, the needles, the insulin pump, the testing strips and meters. Improvements are being made–in that these tools are getting better and better at what they are supposed to do. My son will be getting a pump that comes with a continuous glucose monitor, for instance, and that should help control his sugars (because we will get many more readings per day instead of the six we get now by pricking his fingers).

  There is also hope in the cure-based research that has been going on. The DRI, which gets the money I raise, is trying to perfect their new Biohub (it should go into human trials soon). This might turn out to be the answer we have all been working/praying for.

   What advice do you have for people newly diagnosed and in a state of fear and confusion?

   It’s natural to go through a period of mourning. I think I tried to bounce back too soon and couldn’t seem to figure out what was wrong with me (when that wasn’t so easy). The regimen takes a great deal of getting used to, there’s a huge amount of worry (that never goes away) and there’s also a lot of frustration involved (because no matter how hard you try, you’re not going to be able to control human blood sugar all the time with the tools currently available).

   I would say to hang in there, seek out a support group so that you can share information and ask questions and make sure you have a good doctor. (Of course I would also say to get involved in the auction and help me fight back. There is great strength in numbers.)

   Thank you so much for being with us today, Brenda and I wish you and our readers a Happy Thanksgiving!

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What are you thankful for? One commenter will win a copy of “Through the Smoke.”

The lucky winner will be announced on Thursday on our Thanksgiving/2nd Anniversary post!

P.S. Brenda just notified me that her novel WHEN SNOW FALLS just went on sale for $1.99 from now until Sunday! Click on the title to buy this and click on the cover of THROUGH THE SMOKE to buy her historical mystery.


Winners from Brenda Novak and Breast Cancer Posts!

Congratulations to Cris (from August 22nd 6:25AM post), you’ve won the THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER and FIRST DO NO EVIL giveaways in our fight against breast cancer!

Congratulations to Kitty Katz Mom.  You’ve won a Brenda Novak tote with an autographed copy of WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES inside!

Congratulations to C. K. Crouch. You’ve won the audio version of WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES from Brenda Novak!

To claim your prize, please email us here with your preferred email (and snail mail if you are the winner of the tote). Snail mail winner must have a USA address. 

Brenda Novak Attends Conference Sans Panties (and Other Embarrassing Moments in the Life of a Bestseller)

Being a bestseller isn’t all champagne and roses (well, there is champagne, just not all the time). What happens in those frantic moments trying to get to the airport, packing from trip to trip, and living the life of celebrity on tour?  Well, darling Brenda Novak reveals all to her readers in the video interview below!  I wanted to thank Brenda for stopping by and remind everyone that in a few short days, When Lightning Strikes, will finally be out.  I absolutely cannot wait! Please keep the conversation going by posting a comment below.  Once again, Brenda will be stopping by to say hello and answer your questions.  Sending you hugs and hoping Brenda puts the same smile on your face she put on mine. The winner of an autographed copy of When Lightning Strikes in a Brenda Novak tote bag is Kitty Katz Mom  and our second winner of an audio version of When Lightning Strikes is C.K. Crouch.  Enjoy! And see you all here next Tuesday when our very own, BESTSELLING, Gwen Hernandez, talks about writing that massive novel you’re all dreaming of — with the help of a program called Scrivener.  Can’t wait to find out more about it. Once again, Brenda Novak will be stopping by to join in the conversation.  What are some of your most embarrassing moments?  How do you deal with life’s little curve balls? In the meantime, sending all of you hugs!

Brenda Novak Struck by Lightning

Brenda Novak was struck by lightning — but don’t worry she’s okay.  It’s the kind of lightning that wins Rita awards, not the kind that puts you in the hospital!  Her new book, When Lightning Strikes, is coming out in one week, August 28th.  To celebrate, she is here, via video interview, to tell us about it, how she researches her books, and her fantastic work raising money for diabetes.

Even better, two — yes that is right TWO — readers who comment below will win prizes.  The first prize is a Brenda Novak tote with an autographed copy of When Lightning Strikes inside, AND the second prize for another lucky reader is an audio version of the same brand new book!

So don’t be shy, let us know what you think, a great prize may be waiting just for you!

And on Thursday, August 23rd, not only will we be announcing the winners, but posting a fourth video in which Brenda tells us about some of her most embarrassing moments and whether she’s wearing anything under her skirt.  <G>

First up, Brenda tells us about her new book and what success means to her.

Brenda discusses her research method including a trip to a very scary prison cell

Diabetes Research is extremely important to Brenda.  Here, she talks about how she raised over 1.6 million dollars and the son who inspired her to do it. (Click here if you’d like to find out more, and  here if you’d like to make a donation.)

Please leave a comment below to join in the conversation and automatically enter the prize drawing.  Just click on the link that says “Leave a Comment” (below, next to the tags).   Stop by on Thursday to see if you’re one of our two lucky winners  and to find out just what Brenda is wearing under her skirt!  (Winners are chosen randomly and must live in the U.S.  Chances of winning depend upon numbers of entrants.)

See you there!  

BRENDA NOVAK: What I’m Reading

Kiss and Thrill welcomes New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Brenda Novak!

Brenda Novak is one of my all-time favorite romantic suspense authors. Her books grab you by the throat from page one. Her stories consistently deliver a suspenseful, riveting thrill ride with an extremely emotional love story. Her characters are so genuine, you’ll think about them long after you put the book down.

I wanted to spotlight one of her books as my favorite, but I love them ALL! So, without further delay, I present Brenda Novak.

What I’m reading…

I gained my enthusiasm for reading when I was in the fourth grade and discovered an entire row of classics in the Liberty School library. Previous to this point, I hadn’t liked reading at all. Maybe it was that boring Dick, Jane and Spot stuff, because THE SECRET GARDEN, OLIVER TWIST, REBECCA, JANE EYRE and GONE WITH THE WIND showed me the real possibilities. Knowing my mother would set me to some task if she saw me, I used to hide from her so that I could read one glorious story after another without being disturbed. I’ll never forget how disappointed I was when I finished everything on the classics shelf and started on the next shelf down only to discover that not all books are created equal.

In junior high, I began reading John Jakes and his fabulous revolutionary war series (and then I went on to NORTH AND SOUTH). In high school, I discovered romance and devoured everything by Kathleen Woodiwiss, Jane Austen and Jude Devereaux. I also found my first Sidney Sheldon novel when I was a sophomore, which served as my initiation to mystery and suspense.

Today, I’m an eclectic reader. I love true crime (Ann Rule), straight historicals (Philippa Gregory, Brenda Rickman Vantrease), legal thrillers (John Lescroart, John Grisham), romance (Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Susan Mallery, Jayne Ann Krentz, Jennifer Crusie), mystery (Janet Evanovich, Elizabeth Peters), popular fiction (Elizabeth Gilbert and Jodi Piccoult) and romantic suspense (Karen Rose, Roxanne St. Claire, Allison Brennan, Linda Howard, Sharon Sala and more). The only thing I don’t read is science fiction/fantasy. My reading “diet” is so varied that it’s difficult to restrict a list of favorites to any one genre, but here are a few books I’m either reading or have read recently:

1. KILL FOR ME by M. William Phelps. This is a true crime book I picked up at Bouchercon last year and am only now getting to. It’s about a man who had someone murder a woman about to testify against him in a rape case. I have yet to find out who actually committed the deed, but I’m hoping the guilty party pays for their crime. I always find it fascinating to read about how criminal cases really go. It certainly isn’t like the movies. It’s actually a bit depressing. The criminal has everything stacked in his favor. Very sad/difficult for the victim.

2. FALL FROM PRIDE by Karen Harper. I’ve been hearing that Amish romances are the new hot thing so I wanted to try one. After reading CHILL FACTOR by Sandra Brown (excellent plotting and interesting characters and situations) and KILL FOR ME (the true crime book above), this story is VERY tame, but it’s supposed to be.

3. A WALK ACROSS THE SUN by Corban Addison. This book is by a debut author, an attorney down south. It was recommended to me by my agent, and I really enjoyed it. It deals with the international sex trade as seen through the eyes of two orphaned sisters.

4. ADRENALIN by Jeff Abbott. Abbot has a lean writing style, engaging characters and a very quick pace. I’m only one-third in but definitely plan to finish.

5. THE GIRL WHO DISAPPEARED TWICE. Just started a mini-book club with a friend who wanted to bone up on thrillers. He suggested this book be first up, since we both owned it. Again, I’ve just begun, but I’ve been promised that I will love the story. Can’t wait to see for myself….

New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Brenda Novak has a brand new small-town contemporary series starting in 2012. Come meet the long-time friends who have made Whiskey Creek the “Heart of Gold Country,” with WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES, to be released in September. Also, don’t miss her latest romantic suspense trilogy available now–INSIDE, IN SECONDS, & IN CLOSE. Brenda is a three-time Rita nominee. Her books have won many awards, including the National Reader’s Choice, the Bookseller’s Best, the Book Buyer’s Best, the Holt Medallion and many others. She also runs an annual on-line auction for diabetes research every May at To date, she’s raised over $1.3 million. Brenda considers herself lucky to be a mother of five and married to the love of her life. 

Available Now!

Available Now!

Do any of you have questions, comments or want to share your favorite Brenda Novak novel with the rest of us? 

***All commenters with a U.S. mailing address are eligible for the Thurday, 12/8 drawing!  Brenda is giving away one copy of each of the following: The Perfect Couple, The Perfect Liar, and The Perfect Murder.  Check back to see if you’re the winner!

BRENDA NOVAK is here: Tuesday, December 6th!

Kiss and Thrill is honored to host New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Brenda Novak!

Stop by Tuesday, December 6th for a chance to meet Brenda, ask her questions and hopefully win one of her books:

The Perfect Couple

The Perfect Liar

The Perfect Murder

Drawing for the prizes will be held Thursday, December 8th. Brenda will be hosted by Lena Diaz (that’s her captivating novel on the right!–>)

(If I were you I’d click the upper right corner and sign up to receive our blog notifications. We have a HUGE line up of terrific authors!)

Have a great weekend, everybody. Thanks for making our first week so special!

Question of the Day: Which Romantic Suspense Author would YOU like to see Guest Blog here?

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