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Later I’ll be giving away books, and updating you on our team, THE BODICE RIPPERS, and the upcoming Avon Breast Cancer Walk. But First things first!

Courtney, Tessa, Leigh, and I want to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to our wonderful honor roll donors! These are folks who have made a direct donation to team Bodice Rippers. With only a month left until the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, We’d love to add you to our honor roll. Please consider making a direct contribution. We love big donations of course, but small donations add up. If you can spare the price of a movie, we’re grateful! I never post amounts unless specifically requested. You can donate to our team here.

We are so very grateful for each one of you who has purchased THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER, helped us spread the word, or made a direct donation.

The Avon walk for breast cancer takes place September 22, 2012. We’ll be putting our tootsies where our mouths are and walking nearly forty miles for a cause close to our hearts. We’d love to reach our goal of $10,000.

Here’s how things are breaking down so far:

From THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER: Royalties received as of August 16th, 2012 $1,655.01 Remember, ALL PROFITS from TWAAM go to the walk.

From Private Donations- $835.00

Actual funds in hand and applied to Avon Breast Cancer Walk=$2,490.01

However, we also are due (but have not yet been paid) estimated royalties from TWAAM-$3,500

Including these royalties our total fundraising efforts as of August 20, 2012= $5,990.01

On the personal side, Team Bodice Rippers has had a wild year.

Courtney has continued to blaze a trail for independent authors everywhere with her New York Times and USA Today best-selling books, and she’s relocated across the country and purchased her first home!

Leigh released her debut novel to critical acclaim. But the big news is she has been blessed with a soon-to-be blessed event! She’ll be cheering us on from the nursery with her newborn bundle of joy! We will miss her terribly on the Avon Walk, but she will be there in spirit and is an integral part of our team. We’re pretty sure delivering her new little guy will be harder than walking forty miles, and we are sending her every wish for a safe and happy delivery.

Tessa…she just won a RITA!!! Can you hear our collective heels clicking in glee? Oh, yes, and she also hit the USA today list and the New York Times list!

Carey released her debut novel to critical acclaim, but her big news is she married the man of her dreams and became a “new mom” again to a fifteen-year-old sweetie-pie!

Where does the money for the specific Avon Santa Barbara Walk go? We think you’ll be as impressed as we are. Check out this link for more info on where the money goes.

If you’d like to help us meet our goal, you can purchase THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER here,  or you can make a direct donation here.

Thank you all for being part of our journey. We cherish our community.

What’s your favorite way to stay healthy? Or just say “Hello”. I’ll be giving away one e-copy of THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER  and one e-copy of FIRST DO NO EVIL to one commenter today. 

Carey Baldwin – First Do No Evil Debut – Giftcard Winner!

Thank you everyone who stopped by this week to meet Carey Baldwin and learn about her debut romantic thriller, FIRST DO NO EVIL. The lucky commenter who has won a $25 gift card is Rachel Kall (June 26, 7:30pm post)! Congratulations! Please use the Kiss and Thrill contact page on this website to tell us the email address to send your gift card, and whether you prefer Amazon or Barnes&Noble.

Check back with us on Tuesday for a special Kiss and Thrill blog post!

One Killer is in her Blood. The other is in her House.

That’s the first line on the back of Carey Baldwin’s debut medical thriller, FIRST DO NO EVIL. That line gave me chills, and I knew I had to read more. Carey was kind enough to let me read an ARC (advance reader copy) of her novel. The story did not disappoint! The back cover blurb appears below.

One killer is in her blood. The other is in her house.

There’s a killer lurking in Dr. Skylar Novak’s family tree: the gene for breast cancer. That’s why her brilliant brother invented the Bella vaccine. But even if the miracle drug protects her from the cancer that took her mother’s life, it can’t save Sky from the flesh and bone evil stalking her in secret.

When the killer strikes, detective Daniel Benson finds himself in the wrong place at the right time. The bold detective manages to save Sky’s life…just in time for her to return the favor. Survival leads to seduction, and Danny risks everything–his career, even his life, to keep Sky safe. But will the buried sins they uncover cost him her heart?

Danny’s strong arms may hold her close, but only Sky can stop the terror that’s coming next…

Warning: Contents include: One heart-melting hero–good luck getting this delicious detective out of your head. One reluctant heroine–wielding a Glock was never on her to-do list. One crazed villain–an entire flock of baa baa black sheep won’t be enough to put you to sleep. And a lifesaving vaccine with one deadly side effect–murder.

FIRST DO NO EVIL was an absolute joy to read. Why? What makes this story so incredibly, amazingly good? It’s not the plot – although the plot is very good with just the right amount of twists and turns that I like in romantic thrillers. It’s not the characters – although the hero is an awesome blend of sexy alpha AND beta in one delicious package. And the heroine is smart and sassy and independent, the perfect match for the hero. So why did I enjoy this book so much? It’s that special spark, that nearly indefinable star quality, that buzz word editors throw around but is so hard to understand . . . until you see it. What is it? VOICE. What makes FIRST DO NO EVIL so special is Carey Baldwin’s unique voice–her writing style, the way she strings her words together, the very words she uses when building her story.

An interview with Carey Baldwin,

Lena: Tell us a bit about yourself – where did you grow up? Are there experiences in your past, such as places you’ve visited, that inspire and find their way into your writing?

Carey: I grew up in Ft. Worth, Texas. Lots of great characters in Texas. I was originally going to locate my novella from THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER, Solomon’s Wisdom, in an actual small Texas town near Ft. Worth. But then, with all the murder and mayhem, I realized that might not be well received! So I invented Tangleheart, Texas.

I also lived in Flagstaff, Arizona for a number of years and taught at the university. I adored the town and set FIRST DO NO EVIL there.

Lena: What else about you might surprise readers?

Carey: I’m left-handed, and I’m terrified of crickets.

Lena: Oh my gosh! I’m picturing a horror movie now, with swarms of crickets chasing people down main street. 🙂 What was your inspiration for writing FIRST DO NO EVIL? And how did you come up with such an awesome title?

Carey: In medical school we were taught the principle “Primum non nocere”, which translates “First do no harm.” This is medical ethics 101. It’s meant to remind physicians that our treatments have side effects, and we should always be mindful of the potential to unintentionally cause injury. At least that’s my interpretation.

In this case, I twisted the phrase to reflect the fact that it’s possible for human beings to intentionally inflict harm on one another. It would be great if everyone could abide by the principle of non-maleficence, wouldn’t it?

As for the inspiration for FIRST DO NO EVIL, I was thrilled when the HPV vaccination against cervical cancer came out. It’s the only vaccine available that can prevent cancer. It also stirred a lot of controversy and tapped into people’s fears. I wondered which cancer vaccine would come next, and how it might be received.

Lena: I love when real life, even indirectly, inspires an author’s stories. What about the character names in FDNE? Or in any of your stories. How do you come up with character names?

Carey: I do enjoy playing with character names. In the case of Skylar Novak, I had an idea that she would be natural and a lover of nature- so “Sky” seemed to fit her personality. The hero, Danny, was stuck with his “little brother” name from my first manuscript. Danny is the baby brother of my very first hero, Christian Benson. I’ve also named a villain in one of my stories-not saying which one-after a guy who dumped me! I have that in common with Taylor Swift 🙂 .

Lena: 🙂 I’ve always wondered how Taylor ever gets boyfriends when they have to be worried they’ll end up in a song. And I’m so with you on the ‘stuck with a name’ thing. We really have to be careful how we name secondary characters. You never know when they’ll have their own story. Speaking of stories . . . FDNE is a medical thriller and really does have a lot of medical spice sprinkled in, which I loved. Have you always wanted to write medical thrillers?

Carey: I didn’t want to write a typical medical thriller, but once I read THE SURGEON by Tess Gerritsen I had an aha moment. I realized I wanted to write a book like that! A wonderful thriller with strong romance and medical elements coming into play. My next book is only medical in the sense that the heroine is a psychiatrist- and her practice of psychiatric medicine is a key element in the plot.

Lena: You recently got married (Congrats!) and inherited a teenager. Was your new daughter an inspiration for the father/daughter relationship in your debut novel?

Carey: Yikes! No. Troubled Katie was already written before I ever met my bonus daughter! But I totally have a thing for single dads, and that’s part of why I love my new husband. There’s nothing sexier (to me) than a great father.

Lena: Dogs or cats?

Carey: Both. Until recently I had a dog and four cats, all rescue. But last year I lost my fifteen- year-old puppy and one of our cats. So now we are a kitty only family. However, the addition of the teenage daughter keeps me from being lonely!

Lena: Ah, that’s so sweet. Favorite movies?

Carey: Notting Hill, To Kill a Mockingbird, Splendor in the Grass, The Hunger Games, One True Thing, and, drum roll please…The Way We Were.

Lena: I love Notting Hill! And there are some oldie-goldies in that list. Moving on . . . One of the things that impressed me most about FIRST DO NO EVIL is how you portrayed the hero, Danny. Instead of being all tough all the time, he has a deep respect for human life and abhors violences, even though he’s an alpha hero. Did you do any research to help you delve into how a policeman feels about his work? Or did you pull upon your background as a psychologist? In other words – what’s your secret for being so great at characterization????

Carey: Lena, Lena, Lena! That’s a lot of questions disguised as one! But thank you for the compliment!

I did interview a homicide detective several times. I also tried to take a homicide-investigation training seminar, but the instructor didn’t want a writer to be privy to real cases and confidential information. Ironically, I was told that if I stated that I needed the information for use in my medical practice, I would be allowed to attend. But lying to the police didn’t seem like a good plan! So I settled for reading the instructor’s classic homicide text instead. I also ordered and read a number of police training manuals known as training keys. I got them from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and I highly recommend these real training manuals.

FIRST DO NO EVIL is not a police procedural. With all the medical details, I thought that adding police procedures would be too much. However, since Danny is a cop, I wanted to be sure I had a bead on how a true detective would react in certain scenarios. I was especially interested in the use of force continuum and how police make decisions about using deadly force.

Lena: I am SO going to have to look into those training manuals. Thanks for the tip! Can you share your call story? It can be the call when you got an agent, or the call (or email?) when you made your first sale.

Carey: Ha! Well I was thrilled when my agent called and offered me representation, but she warned me at the time that romantic suspense was not selling. What a wonderful, and rare, agent to take me on at a time like that. Thank you, Nalini Akolekar!

When Nalini called to tell me Lindsey Faber loved my book and wanted to aquire it for Samhain, I was over the moon. I remember asking Nalini over and over on the phone…”Is Lindsey going to be my editor? Lindsey herself?” Thank you, Lindsey Faber!

Lena: You are definitely in great hands with the awesome Nalini Akolekar (Spencerhill Associates, Ltd.) as your agent. Not that I’m biased of course. (wink – Nalini is my agent too.) Now on to a really serious question. Mac or PC?

Carey: Mac.

Lena: Me too! And it has nothing to do with that gorgeous Mac guy on the Mac vs. PC commercials. Really. Ahem. So what do you do for fun?

Carey: I hike, and I chase wildflowers. I used to love to run, but now I am focused on walking. Got that big 40 Mile Avon Breast Cancer walk coming in about 90 days!

Lena: (Do the wildflowers run from you??? 🙂 ) That’s awesome about the Avon Breast Cancer walk. I hope you raise tons of money for that great cause. Can you share your writing process? Do you write every day? Only on weekends? Do you have set word count or page count goals?

Carey: Not a word count girl. I write until I wear out. I write in the middle of the night and on weekends. I would love to have time to write during banker’s hours. Maybe someday…

Lena: What genres do you like to read and who are some of your favorite authors?

Carey: I read broadly, across romance genres and outside of romance as well.

It goes without saying that my fellow Kiss and Thrill authors, and my co-authors of THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER are not only among my favorite authors, they are close to my heart.

Other favorites would certainly include Cindy Gerard, Harlan Coben, Dean Koontz, Julia Quinn, Tess Gerritsen, Stephen King, Eloisa James, Truman Capote, Harper Lee, Somerset Maughn, Allison Brennan, Brenda Novak, Karen Rose, Carla Neggers, Lisa Kleypas, Anne Tyler – see what I mean, the list is getting too long.

Lena: Wow. And I thought I had a long list. All great authors though. We read a lot of the same ones. Now for a burning question. Star Wars or Star Trek?

Carey: Star Trek. I love the pseudoscience!

Lena:  Yes (fist pump). I love Star Trek. What’s your favorite television show?

Carey: I gotta go with “Survivor”. My under-the-bed first manuscript is about old flames who re-encounter one another on the show “Stranded”, based of course on my aforementioned beloved reality show.

Lena: Sounds cool! What future projects are you working on?

Carey: DUTY TO WARN, the second book in the Blood Secrets series. I’m one of those who doesn’t like to spill the premise (I always think I’m so high concept 🙂 ) too far away from completion, but I will tell you it takes place in New Mexico and features “Aunt Faith” from FIRST DO NO EVIL. She’s a psychiatrist and one of her patients turns out to be a serial killer. Of course there’s a fantastic twist!

Lena: White, milk, or dark chocolate?

Carey: Milk chocolate.

Lena: Beer or champagne?

Carey: Champagne. Can I have it with milk chocolate?

Lena: Okay, but only if I get some too! Now for the most fun part of the interview – the infamous free association test. Come on, you know I had to do this. Please say the first word that comes to your mind!

Candy: Cotton
Handsome: Bill
Salad: Waldorf
Big: (Carey’s answer was bleeped out to keep the post family friendly 🙂 )
Sweet: Tarts
Fishnet: Stockings
Music: Country
Hotel: Bliss
Hot: Tamale
Dance: Slow

LenaOkay…I know I’m nowhere near as talented as Carey with the psychological conclusions, but here I go. 

Carey is one hot tamale who secretly wishes she was wearing fishnet stockings while slow dancing to some country music with her handsome hubby Bill after enjoying a romantic, blissful interlude at a hotel where they shared a Waldorf Salad with cotton candy and sweet tarts for dessert!

Carey, thank you so much for being with us today and for putting up with all those questions! Now let’s open things up for questions and comments from our readers. Tell us what you love the most about romantic thrillers!

Commenters: Stop by Thursday and find out if you are a winner! One lucky commenter will win a $25 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice).

The winner of a book by Sherry Foley is . . .

Sherry Foley

The Kiss-and-Thrill ladies had a blast hosting author Sherry Foley this week. Her debut novel, SWITCHED IN DEATH sounds creepy good!

Now . . . drum roll please . . . the commenter who has won a copy of SWITCHED IN DEATH is . . . Sarah Elle Emm (April 24, 2012 at 11:02am)!  Congratulations!

To redeem your free book – please email your snail mail address to (or go to contact page for details). Remember, we must hear from you within 10 days. And you must provide a US or Canadian address to qualify or another winner will be chosen.

Thank you all so much for commenting! We hope you will bookmark KissAndThrill and visit often or better yet, subscribe!

What’s next you ask?

Tuesday, May 1st, Kiss and Thrill’s Lena Diaz welcomes author PATRICIA ROSEMOOR. Many of you know her as a Harlequin Intrigue author, but Patricia is going to reveal a brand-new exciting project she did all on her own. Join us Tuesday to learn about SKIN! You won’t be disappointed.

Dreams Really DO Come True

   Sherry Foley  Chapter One

It was always another day, another dead body—until that body was someone you knew.

Detective Seth Banning paused at the bedroom doorway of the rundown duplex, his gaze fixed on the dead woman lying on the floor. He swallowed while his brain absorbed the shock. He squeezed his eyes shut and then opened them again.

She was still there. He would know that profile anywhere. Sheila Peterson. A woman he never expected to lay eyes on again alive, much less find dead. (Excerpt from SWITCHED IN DEATH by Sherry Foley)

I met Sherry Foley in the most unusual way…

     A few years ago my Northwest Houston Romance Chapter was hosting their annual Lone Star Conference, and like most chapters, this would be where we’d announce the winners of our Lone Star Writing Contest.

     I happened to be the Romantic Suspense coordinator that year, so only I knew a writer from Kansas City, named Sherry Foley, had won 1st Place.   Amazingly enough, she and a friend decided to travel all the way to Houston to attend our one day conference, their first writing conference ever!  I made sure they were invited to the Friday night pre-conference reception; a great casual way to meet the agents and editors we’d flown in for Saturday pitches.

      All during the Friday reception I kept asking fellow members, “Have you seen someone named Sherry Foley?” And finally an acquaintance of hers said, “Oh, their plane was delayed because of bad weather. She should be here soon.”

     Well, I never saw her that night and the next morning during registration I noticed she still hadn’t checked in!  Eventually I saw two travel-weary women slip into the conference and finally met Sherry and her friend, Liz. Here is their ghastly travel tale in Sherry’s own words:

     “We were supposed to fly from Kansas City to Houston on a straight flight. That flight was canceled and we had to get another flight out, which connected.  But then we had a five hour wait in Kansas City so we landed too late to catch the connecting flight.  

     We finally arrived in Houston…Hobby Airport, the WRONG airport. We rented a car and drove an hour north to the other airport to collect our bags (they had been tagged for this airport.) Of course our suitcases were nowhere in sight! Because of the late hour Baggage Claims was closed.

     So we drove straight to the hotel (still in our dress clothes for the Friday cocktail reception) to find we were locked out of the lobby.  Now it was after midnight. FYI, we were supposed to land in Houston at 2:30pm! 

     We buzzed the front desk, called the front desk from our cell phones…FINALLY the guy came to unlock the door and let us in.   We went straight to our room and crashed.  At the crack of dawn we got up, hurried back to the airport to get our luggage, got cleaned up and hurried to the meeting–we’d missed half the morning. Oh yeah, and as we tried to just sneak in unobtrusively, the only remaining seats were in the front row. How embarrassing!”

  You could tell they were both in REALLY bad moods and were trying to get beyond the catastrophes and get into the spirit of the conference. And anyone who’s experienced even half of these complications knows that’s hard! (Personally, I’d have thrown up my hands at the canceled flight and gone back home!)

     But they couldn’t have been more gracious, and eventually joked about the day-and-a-half it took to get to Houston for a one day conference. By this time I literally had to avoid her because I wanted to blurt out, “But you’ve won our contest!” just to turn the day around for her.

     Finally it was Lone Star Contest Awards time. I announced the 3rd place & 2nd place names and saw Sherry’s eyebrows knit in confusion. Then I said  “…and the 1st Place winner for Romantic Suspense is SHERRY FOLEY!”

   I kid you not- her eyes were as round as saucers and she looked at me like this had to be an evil trick to add to the horror she’d lived through that weekend.  (Turns out this was the very first contest she’d ever entered!) But then she smiled, and I honestly have never seen a smile quite like that. After moving mountains to get to Houston she stood to a thundering, whistling crowd and received her due as a Writer Extraordinaire.

   I present to you: my friend and debut author, Sherry Foley.

  Thanks for being here. I’m so thrilled we can showcase Switched in Death today! (Dear Blog Reader: It’s a chilling, fast paced novel with such a jaw dropping twist at the end it’ll leave you absolutely stunned. No joke.)

  Sherry, who are your favorite authors?

     Shannon K. Butcher, Linda Howard, Tami Hoag, Carla Neggers…the list is endless. 

When did you start writing romantic suspense?

     On my birthday, eight years ago and my book came out on my birthday this year.  How cool is that?!

How did you know this is what you wanted to do for a career?

     Always an avid reader, I thought it would be wonderful to grow up, be a writer, and give back to others.

     I placed first in a writing contest in high school and it made such an impact on me. 

     I won my scholarship to college in acting and I landed some great parts, but I didn’t party and I was told if I was ever going to make it I was going to need to change that.  It was a confusing time.  I didn’t want to be an English major and teach or go into Journalism.  I just wanted to write, but didn’t know what genre.  

     I decided to drop out of drama and of course, I lost my scholarship.  Along the way, I married the man I fell in love with in 7th grade and from there we were busy with life and having a family.  Still, the dream was never very far away.

Detective Seth Banning searches for one of the most heinous serial killers of all time. Seth is desperate to find the sadistic murderer who takes his female victims two at a time, and switches their heads. Elaina von Hagan is on the run from the drug trafficking father she has exposed. As she and Seth begin a relationship, she becomes a target for the serial killer’s deranged ritual. The stakes have never been higher for Seth as Elaina is taken, and the stage is set for a gruesome showdown between good and evil. 


What do you bring to this (fabulously chilling) serial killer story that makes it different than others out there? 

     The early 60’s was a time when everyone had two parents and divorce was still a whispered word. I was an oddity being raised by my grandmother, a woman who delighted in dressing me from eras past. She had other…serious issues, but she made sure my bruises were always in unseen places. Poked fun of by my peers, miserable at “home”, I escaped between the pages of books and pretended I was someone else.

     My fictional life was full of fun and laughter. Safe. The serial killer in SWITCHED IN DEATH was bullied by peers too, but never found an outlet.  Bottled rage can do some heinous things when unleashed….

    Wow! That was nakedly honest, and my heart goes out to you, Sherry. I know you’ve worked hard on getting your work noticed in this crazy industry. This story is a multiple contest finalist and winner and you have pitched and queried it for years. So tell us how you got “discovered”. 

     A year ago, I decided I was ready to try and seek publication, well, that and my mentor threatened me.  (laughs)  I sent out query letters, received a few rejections, and then saw an article from Winter Goose Publication that drew me. 

Available now!

     I sent them my query letter, synopsis and first three chapters. Something told me they were going to ask for a full. They did.  I had this feeling that they would want me to sign.  They did and I didn’t hesitate, which was odd, because they were a new start-up publishing company and I am so not a risk taker.

     I still had a total peace about it. I signed. Within the next few weeks I had two agents want to rep me and I had to inform them I’d already signed. I was amazed at how I wasn’t upset but felt  I’d done the right thing.  I’ve not regretted my decision for a moment. 

 What’s in your writing future?   (I know the answer, but tell everyone else!)

     A CAPTIVE HEART will be released in November.  It’s the first of three in the Heart Series. And I’m currently working on a detective series. 

  Name a book you’ve read that changed your life.

     HEARTBREAKER by Linda Howard. I wanted to write characters like that and have readers emotionally connect with them. 

What’s your writing habit? (How long each day? Are you a plotter/pantster? And is there a secret magic pill that I can take and become published too?)

     I write full-time now.  I start out traveling across the social media sites and spend a little time in each area.  I try to write 4,000 words a day or more.

     I’m a total pantster.  I think up the start to a story and then create characters I think can handle the storyline. I follow them around and take notes.  They always surprise me what they come up with. 

   The Switched in Death plot is pretty creepy–(yeah, I know, I’ve mentioned that before!) What scares YOU?

      The thought of being buried alive terrifies me. My grandmother told me a story of when her mother was young and working the cemetery bell ringing shift.

     They would always tie a string on the finger of the “dead” to have in case the person woke up.  

     One did on her shift.  They got the man out alive. That story haunts me to this day. 

  Eeew! (Just wait until you read the May 8th blog featuring Amanda Stevens, aka: The Graveyard Queen!)

  Let’s end on a light note! What food can’t you say no to?

   A good pot of chili.

“Sherry Foley has always had a wild imagination which she has used to craft inspired pieces of fiction that often border on the disturbing. While her creative mind races forward, she keeps her feet planted in Missouri with her husband and three teenage children.”
 -Winter Goose Publishing

SWITCHED IN DEATH is available now at Amazon:

Please visit Sherry at



Leave a question or comment for Sherry Foley and be eligible to receive a copy of her e-book, Switched in Death! One winner will be announced Thursday, April 28th.

Carla Neggers: Carey spotlights the New York Times best-selling author

Carla Neggers, Photo by Julie Ireland

Hang on! There’s an interview with the New York Times best-selling author of more than 60 novels, Carla Neggers, and a chance to win autographed print books, e-books, and a t-shirt!

But first I want to talk about those books.

SAINT’S GATE is a complex suspense involving a murdered nun and a missing painting that holds the key not only to a series of current day thefts and homicides but to past mysteries as well.  In this book, Carla lives up to her reputation for delivering atmospheric romance by transporting the reader to small-town Maine, as well as Dublin, Ireland. If you are a lover of rich, lush detail and multi-level storylines, I think you will truly enjoy this.

The romance between the main characters, Colin Donovan and Emma Sharpe, is strong enough to bear up in the midst of a big plot. I feel not only the sexual sparks, but the deep emotional connection resonating between Colin and Emma.

A cast of fascinating secondary characters, in particular, an Irish priest with quite a story of his own, rounds out the book.

The story is complex and satisfying, and all the threads are tied tightly into a satisfying knot. But I was left wondering- Carla, what the heck is a bean-hole dinner?

SECRETS OF THE LOST SUMMER.  I can only reiterate that Carla Neggers is a master of atmospheric romance. This contemporary love story will transport you to Knight’s Bridge Mass.  where Oliva Frost is renovating a historic home. Enter the owner of the dilapidated neighboring home, Dylan McCaffrey, and the journey to discovering secrets of the past begins. Another strong cast, a satisfying mystery, and of course a love story, spells another win for Carla Neggers.

An interview with Carla Neggers,

Carey: If you were stranded on a desert island with one other author, yes the real author, not a book, who would it be and why?

Carla: I have so many writer friends! I’d pick one of them. Preferably all of them. I have lots of authors from the past that I’d like to meet, but too risky on a desert island if they turn out to be…well, not someone you’d want to be stranded on a desert island with.

Carey: LOL. Sounds like there’s going to be a full-out party on your island. What is your favorite book?

Carla: I don’t have one favorite book but I often turn to Mary Stewart and Rex Stout for a “comfort” read. I remember discovering a musty copy of The Moonspinners in our town library. Loved it. And Nero Wolfe…I especially love his early cases and the depictions of New York in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.

Carey: Nero Wolfe is one of my favorite detectives too, but I haven’t read any of the books in a long while. I’ll have to revisit one soon. Do you have a favorite song?

Carla: No one favorite song, either. It depends on my mood. Right now I’m into Irish music. I love the traditional musicians like the Chieftains, but I also enjoy the Young Dubliners, especially their album All Due Respect, and Dropkick Murphys—nothing like The Meanest of Times for a jolt of energy!

Carey: How did you come to write your first manuscript?

Carla: In a tree! I was a kid. I grew up in the country with six brothers and sisters, and I’d go off on my own and climb a tree with a pad and pen and write. I had several manuscripts by the time I graduated high school…all still safely out of public view! I continued to write fiction through college and finally submitted a manuscript to an agent shortly after my first child was born. The agent took me on, and I eventually sold that book.

Carey: I love that story, and I am amazed that you had several manuscripts completed before finishing high school. A sign of a born writer. Do you have a personal hero?

Carla: My husband is one of the finest men I’ve ever known.

Carey tries to refrain, but then gives in to saying, “Awww!”

Carey: Which of your series or which of your books is your favorite?

Carla: I’m afraid I’m not any good at these “favorite” questions! To me, each book and each series stands on its own, and I’m always excited about the book I’m writing.

Carey: Which of your books would you suggest for a reader if they could only read one?

Carla: Whichever one appealed to him or her! I’d read the first few pages and go from there.

Carey, sheepishly:  Do you have a favorite among your female protagonists and why?

Carla: Again, I don’t think in terms of “favorites.” I’m enjoying writing about Emma Sharpe, an art crimes expert with the FBI who happens to be a former novice from an isolated Maine convent. Emma’s full of surprises! We meet her in SAINT’S GATE, out now, and then again in HERON’S COVE, due out in late August. Order SAINT’S GATE here.

Carey: You write so convincingly about the art world in Saint’s Gate. Do you have a background in art?

Carla:I don’t have a formal background in art but it’s long been an area of interest and study for me. I studied music at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts and roomed with artists who became lifelong friends. And my son’s a graphic designer!

Carey asks, and then ducks for cover: Do you have a favorite among your male protagonists and why?

Carla: That “favorite” word again! Colin Donovan, a deep-cover FBI agent, is every bit Emma’s match in SAINT’S GATE and now HERON’S COVE…and he has three hard-headed brothers.

Carey: I noticed all those brothers! I hope that means a long series of Donovan books. I know Saint’s Gate is the first in a new series for you, can you tell us some secrets about what’s in store for Colin Donovan?

Carla: Colin Donovan and Emma Sharpe return in HERON’S COVE (September 2012), when his world as an undercover agent and her world as a Sharpe—a family of art crime experts—collide.

Carey: Please tell us about your upcoming release, Secrets of the Lost Summer.

Carla: SECRETS OF THE LOST SUMMER marks my return to contemporary romance…but, of course, there’s a puzzle to be solved. Olivia Frost gives up a career in Boston to return to her little hometown to turn a historic house into a getaway. Just up the road is an abandoned house with junk in the yard. A real eyesore. She tracks down the absentee owner to clean up the place…but Dylan McCaffrey has never heard of Olivia or the town, or even knows he owns a house there. Turns out his treasure-hunter father left it to him. But why? Dylan heads to New England, and the fun goes on from there. Lots going on in this story!

Carey: What motivated you to go back to your roots in contemporary romance for your latest release, Secrets of the Lost Summer?

Carla: Simply put, the idea. I was gripped by it. I often write about small towns, secrets, adventures…SECRETS OF THE LOST SUMMER has all that…and a jewel thief! I’ve appreciated how readers have embraced the story. Order SECRETS here.

Carey: Is there a story you are itching to write, but haven’t done so? Do you foresee yourself ever writing that story and under what circumstance?

Carla: SECRETS OF THE LOST SUMMER was a story like that. It was a bit different, and I was itching to write it…and I did! Now it’s turned into a series, and I’m writing the next book, THAT NIGHT ON THISTLE LANE.

Carey: Your novels are noted for their strong atmospheric elements. What draws you to a particular setting, and how do you make that setting come alive for readers?

Carla: For me, the setting is almost like another character, and I enjoy bringing it to life for the reader. SECRETS OF THE LOST SUMMER is set in a fictional town near where I grew up on the western edge of the vast, beautiful Quabbin Reservoir (which plays a key role in the ‘secrets’!). SAINT’S GATE and HERON’S COVE take place in Maine, Boston and Ireland…three of my favorite places. I’m going back to Ireland soon to research DECLAN’S CROSS, the third in my Sharpe & Donovan series.

Carey: I love this You Tube where you talk more about SECRETS and the setting that inspired you. Readers will be interested to know that you took most of the photos used in this video.

Carey: And finally, Carla, I’d like to ask if you have a special cause that is close to your heart?

Carla: I’ve been doing what I can to help people here in Vermont to rebuild after the catastrophic flash floods that struck our mountainous state in late August. Two of the little covered bridges at the bottom of our hill were casualties, but the detours are minor inconveniences compared to the jobs and homes lost. There’s progress every day, and Vermont is definitely open for business. Come visit!

Carey: Carla, thank you so much for being with us today and for putting up with all those favorites questions! Now let’s open things up for questions and comments.

Commenters: Don’t forget to stop by Thursday and find out if you are a winner! One lucky commenter wins an autographed copy of  SECRETS OF THE LOST SUMMER, SAINT’S GATE and a t-shirt from the lovely Carla Neggers! A second commenter wins an e-copy of SECRETS OF THE LOST SUMMER and SAINT’S GATE! 

And the WINNER is…

Thank you so much to Elisabeth Naughton for joining us on Tuesday and demonstrating how her devious mind works!

We have exciting news to announce today.  Elisabeth’s STOLEN trilogy is being re-released in ebook.  Look for her books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online retailers.

Filled with globe-trotting adventure, steamy romance and riveting suspense, the Stolen books from RITA nominated romantic adventure author Elisabeth Naughton will appeal to fans of Romancing the Stone and Indiana Jones.

Now, it’s time to announce the winner of Elisabeth’s latest romantic suspense release, WAIT FOR ME.

(Note: Only commenters with a U.S. mailing address are eligible, so if anyone announced below does not provide a U.S. mailing address, we will choose another winner.)

The winner of one e-copy or hard copy (winner’s choice) is:  Susan W.

CONGRATULATIONS! To redeem your free book – please email your snail mail address and preferred email address to (or go to contact page for details). Remember, we must hear from you within 10 days.


Next Tuesday at Kiss and Thrill Carey Baldwin will interview our very own Manda Collins!  Comment for a chance to win Manda’s debut release, HOW TO DANCE WITH A DUKE and a ten-dollar Amazon gift card.


Sometimes things just don’t go well.

Rebecca is a fellow member of two of my writing groups.  Knowing the interview/blog was coming up, I had my husband snap a photo of the two of us at a party we attended together.  Rebecca wore this drop dead elegant faux leopard coat, I was in my holiday best.  The photo he got had my hair standing on end and both of us in the midst of smiling.  We ended up looking as if we were gnashing our teeth!  I called Rebecca and told her we couldn’t use the photo and she laughed.  Her husband, who is an excellent photographer, apparently hadn’t gotten a good shot of her that day either.  Oh well.  That’s life, and I’m sure rotten photos plague bestselling authors even more than they do me.  After all, how often have I been in the paper compared to the incomparable Rebecca York?  Glad she could send this lovely photo of herself instead.

Rebecca York

Doesn’t she look mysterious against that black background?  I couldn’t let Rebecca get away without asking her a few questions today!  She graciously set aside some time to let me ask away.  At the end of the interview, please scroll down and see the lucky person who will receive one of Rebecca’s Harlequin Intrigues.   Oh!  Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for Daphne du Maurier winning author, Roxanne St. Clair, and our own Sharon Wray!  So…. Here we go….


1.  You’re known as one of the premier authors in romantic suspense, how did you start writing in this genre?  What drew you to it?

My first published book was a kids’ science fiction novel called INVASION OF THE BLUE LIGHTS. Then a friend asked me if I wanted to write romances.  I love relationship stories, but I wanted that danger element too, so I proposed a romantic suspense series that everyone turned down. (Some said, “We like this.  Put in more suspense.”  Others said, “We like this.  Put in more romance.”) It turned out to be just what Dell was looking for in the mid-80’s, which got me in on the beginning of modern romantic suspense.

2.  What other genres did you start out in?  Do you ever long to go back to them?

As I said, I started with science fiction.  In a way I’ve gone back to it with all the paranormal I write.  I’ve also written 15 cookbooks, but I’m too old for all the physical labor of  recipe testing.

3.  Your characters are unforgettable.  You write your male characters, many of whom are paranormal creatures, in an exceptionally believable way.  What is your secret to making them seem so real?

I think it’s making them as human as possible. Giving them the emotions, fears and conflicts that we all have.  They may have superhuman traits, but we can always identify with their feelings.

Rebecca’s newest book is Dark Moon

4.  What is your favorite flavor of ice-cream?  Sprinkles?  Nuts?  Whipped Cream?

This is hard.  I love chocolate but also coffee and strawberry. Also peach if I can get it. I don’t like a lot of goop in my ice cream.  Just plain, please.  I will admit that when we were in Italy last May, we often had gelatto instead of lunch.

5.  Your husband is so visibly supportive of your career — he’s awfully cute, too!  So many female writers — and women in general — don’t have that kind of support.  Any words of advice?

Naive me at the age of 18 picked the right guy.  Apparently I could recognize quality when I saw it.

6.  Congratulations on the Romance Writer’s of America Centennial Award, for having written over 100 novels!  A little birdie told me you’ve written way more than that.  How many novels have you written and what does the award mean to you?

Hum, I guess I’ve written about 115 or 120 novels.  And those cookbooks. I think of the award as recognition for a lot of hard work.

7.  You’ve been on the USA Today bestseller’s list forever — and I mean that in a really good way <G>.  How did it feel the first time it happened?  How does it feel when it happens now?  How many books must sell to get on that list?

I have no idea how many books it takes to get on the lists.  How did I/ do I feel?  Excited.  It’s always wonderful to know people like my work.  And I’m hoping they want to read my Decorah Security series that I’m publishing as e-books.  They’re already up on Amazon and B&N.

Now for the lucky winner!  Remember you have ten days to send us your email address.  ………..DRUM ROLL PLEASE ……….

The winner is:  Gabby Diangelo.  Please send us your email address within ten days to qualify.

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