Blog Archives

Mary Behre’s SPIRITED Debut!

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It is my extreme pleasure and honor to introduce my dear friend, debut Paranormal Romantic Suspense author, MARY BEHRE (pronounced Merry Berry–isn’t that too cute?) to you today!

Not only is Mary a truly selfLESS, sweet, giving, nurturing, amazing person, she is also a rather  incredible author.

Just look at some of the reviews pouring in for her first novel, SPIRITED, which debuts today!

“This mix of romance, ghostly visions and unexpected danger is unbelievably fun and thrilling!” –4Stars RT Book Reviews

“…a fast paced story that made me lose track of the time…” 4 1/2 Stars Top Pick, Night Owl Reviews

“Behre’s exuberant debut paranormal romance is lighthearted and easygoing, with a slow-moving subplot that promises to spark future books.” –Publishers Weekly

“I loved Spirited and can’t wait to see what Behre will do next. She has an incredible talent and is a great new voice in romantic suspense that will most definitely have me coming back for more.”  ~herding cats & burning soup

“Spirited is an intriguing blend of romance, mystery and ghosts to keep you up late at night.”New York Times bestseller Dianna Love

“Great! A real-page turner. Be prepared, once you sit down to read, you won’t want to get up until you’ve finished the book.” – NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lynsay Sands

A sweet, funny, sexy debut!” – Deadly Games Series author Lena Diaz 🙂

“Rich with mystery, hot romance, and sneaky humor… No magic crystal ball is needed to foresee this writer is bursting with talent! –  Author of Games People Play & The Fifth Favor, Shelby Reed

Isn’t that terrific???? I can’t remember the last time I saw such glowing reviews for a brand new author. Here’s the cover–which I adore!–for SPIRITED, along with the back cover copy.

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She’s running from who she is…

All Jules Scott wants is to live a normal, quiet life–preferably one that doesn’t include ghosts. Jules’s ability for communicating with the dead has brought her nothing but trouble. Despite her best efforts, needy spirits always find her and draw her into their otherworldly drama. When one implicates her in a series of deadly crimes, she may need to entrust her secrets to the person least likely to believe her…

He’ll do whatever it takes to catch her.

Detective Seth English can’t get distracted from the big case he’s working on, not even by his alluring new neighbor. He doesn’t believe that Jules had anything to do with the string of robberies-turned-murders that he’s investigating, but when she keeps showing up in all the wrong places, his gut tells him she knows more than she’s letting on. To solve his case, he’ll need to expose what the sexy redhead is hiding–no matter how impossible the truth may be…

Now let’s get to know Mary a little better…

LD: What’s your favorite food?

MB: Chocolate, of course!

LD: What three books influenced you the most in life?

MB: I love this question!

Dr. Seuss’s HORTON HATCHES THE EGG had a huge influence both on my childhood and my philosophy of life. Here was an elephant doing what the entire world thought was ridiculous because he’d made a promise. In the end, the universe rewarded his honesty, his hard work and his faithfulness. “And it should be, it Should be, IT SHOULD BE like that. Because Horton was faithful, he sat and he sat.”

Another book that heavily influenced my life was Agatha Christie’s THE MIRROR CRACK’D FROM SIDE TO SIDE. I’d read a number of Miss Marple books  but this was the first one where I figured out who did it on page thirty-eight. It wasn’t because the book was poorly written, quite the opposite. I’d simply adopted Miss Marple’s habit of comparing a mystery to life as I knew it. And I figured out who did it and why. Ooh, I felt so brilliant that day. I thought for sure, I’d guess the culprit in all of her other books as quickly. I didn’t but I did learn to pay attention to details in books and movies.

Finally, the most recent book to add to my list of most influential books of my life is Suzanne Brockmann’s INTO THE STORM. Shortly after my second child was born, my sister handed me her copy of the book while my baby napped. I couldn’t put it down. Suddenly, I’d found a genre that I could really see myself writing. Sexy, fun, and suspenseful!

LD: When you’ve had a rough week, what’s your go –to book or movie or activity to relieve stress?

MB: For a long time, my go-to movie was GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE with Brendan Fraser. I love the slapstick comedy. Anymore, I don’t have time to watch a lot of movies, but I must admit, between November 1st and December 31st, I’m a sucker for sappy and sometimes silly Christmas movies.

LD: What profession would you like to attempt?

MB:Tai Chi instructor. I was once on the path to become one, but then my husband moved to a small town. I could have continued my training to be an instructor, but that would have meant weekly eight-hour round trips and my children were still babies at the time. So, it wasn’t feasible.

LD: What profession would not want to attempt?

MB: Any job from which I’ve already resigned. LOL. I believe if work becomes drudgery, quit and find something you enjoy. Life’s too short to hate your job.

LD: What sound or noise do you love?

MB: Military jets in the skies over Virginia Beach. When September 11th happened, all the jets were grounded. It was an eerie quiet that night.

LD: What’s a fact most people couldn’t guess about you?

MB: I have three tattoos; a frog, a dream catcher and a pink ribbon. Each one represents a significant change in my life or the life of a loved one.

LD: Vampire, werewolf, zombie, ancient warrior, cowboy, or ghost?

MB: GHOST! I love suspense but I love paranormal too. There’s a ghost in almost every story I write.

LD: What subgenre do you write?

MB: Technically, I write paranormal romance, but it’s really paranormal romantic suspense. Ever story has humor, suspense and a psychic love-connection.

LD: What’s your writing schedule like?

MB: I write Monday through Friday from nine am until five pm. Since I have a family with young children, it’s imperative I be available to spend time with them at night and on the weekends. Although, when I’m under a tight deadline, I have been known to write all night long.

LD: In one word, describe your perfect day.

MB: Beach

LD: Where can readers find you in the next six months? (Conferences and/or book signings)

MB: I’m all over the place!

March 8, 2014: Books-A-Million in Fredericksburg, VA for my book launch party

March 22, 2014: Turn The Page Bookstore in Boonsboro, MD where I’ll be doing a book signing with Tracey Anne Warren, Erika Robuck, Addison Fox, Cat Johnson, and NORA ROBERTS!

April 12, 2014: Lady Jane Salon Silver Spring, in Bethesda, MD

April 27, 2014: Kensington Day of the Book, Kensington, MD

May 14-18, 2014: RT Booklovers Convention, New Orleans, LA

June 27-28, 2014: Frederick Book Festival, Frederick, MD

July 23-26, 2014: RWA National Convention, San Antonio, TX

LD: Where can people find you on the internet?

http://twitter.com/MaryBehre

http://facebook.com/MaryBehre.Author

http://MaryBehreBooks.com

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Buy Links!

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Spirited-Tidewater-Novel-Mary-Behre-ebook/dp/B00EOAS0BS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1392366207&sr=8-2&keywords=spirited

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/spirited-mary-behre/1116561037?ean=9780425268612

BAM: http://www.booksamillion.com/search?id=5649170482822&query=Mary+Behre&where=All&search.x=0&search.y=0

Leave a comment or question for Mary to be eligible for a drawing to win a free ebook copy (Nook or Kindle, winner’s choice) of SPIRITED! Please check back on Thursday to see if you’re a winner.

Take a Walk on the Wild Side with Erica Monroe

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Erica Monroe writes dark, suspenseful (and well-researched) historical romance. In her atmospheric debut novel A DANGEROUS INVITATION, she takes us out of the ballroom and drops us straight into the labyrinthine alleys and gritty flash houses of London’s East End. Rather than manners and courtship, the first book in the Rookery Rogues series is a story of survival and the transformational power of love. Read on to find out you can become eligible to win A DANGEROUS INVITATION ebook…

Dangerous Invitation Cover

Torn from her life of privilege by her father’s death, Kate Morgan relies on her knowledge of finery to survive in one of London’s dark and depraved rookeries as a fence for stolen goods . The last man she ever expects, or wants, to see again is Daniel O’Reilly, the man who promised to love, honor and protect her, but who instead fled amidst accusations of murder.

One drunken night cost Daniel O’Reilly the woman he loved and the life he’d worked so hard to create. If he ever wants to reclaim that life—and Kate—he’ll not only have to prove he’s innocent of murder, but convince the pistol-wielding beauty to forgive his many sins.

With a killer on the loose, time is running out for them…

KH: Why did you choose to set Kate and Daniel’s story in 1832 during the short reign of King William IV rather than the more commonly used Regency time period between 1811-1820?

ERICA: I studied Victorian literature in college, and then I began to educate myself in the regency period when I started to write historical romances. The 1830’s represents the perfect merging of my two interests—it’s this strange period of social reform yet people are still trying to cling to what they used to have. The trade of corpses in the regency period is a big deal in the underworld, for a resurrection man could make far more selling bodies than he could in the honest work that might be available to an unskilled, uneducated laborer (read, not many jobs at all). The London Burkers (called that because their method of murder for dissection profit resembled that of legendary serial killers Burke and Hare in Edinburg, Scotland in 1828) were arrested in 1831. Two were executed, while another turned State’s Evidence and was released. I knew that I wanted to link my resurrection man villain to this case so I had to set it in January 1832 shortly after the executions. Mid-year 1832, the Anatomy Acts were repealed, and now surgeons had access to more bodies for dissection, so they didn’t have to use grave robbers to advance in their fields of study.

I found the idea of people being stolen from their graves to be sold as medical experiments to be utterly creepy and morbid, and admittedly, being a girl who grew up reading Edgar Allen Poe, I loved it. Resurrection men were considered to be one of the lowest types of thieves, reviled by everyone else in the London underworld. What better villains to use in the first book of my Rookery Rogues series, which centers on denizens of the London slum areas (called rookeries)?

KH: Your descriptions of daily life in the rookeries of London are vivid and create the dark, gritty atmosphere of A DANGEROUS INVITATION.  You clearly spent a great deal of time researching the history, culture and geography of the East End—Bethnal Green, Jacob’s Island, and the St. Katharine Docks.  What unexpected discoveries did you uncover that enriched or influenced the development of the characters and the suspense storyline?

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Jacob’s Island, PD-US

R lee [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

R lee [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

ERICA: The new system of policing fascinated me—far more like the Scotland Yard we know and love than the original regency policing system. Prior to 1829, London did not have a centralized police force. You had a bunch of little districts and constables and a Night Watch that really bordered on useless. But 1829 and Robert Peel’s act brought forth a new structure, a more vigilant way of policing. This of course meant that some of the attitudes toward crime in the rookeries changed. The Bow Street Runners (think London’s first detectives) allowed flash houses (meeting places of thieves, often functioning as brothels as well) to exist because it was easy to get at informants when they were all congregated in the same police. The Met Police didn’t really believe in that—they focused on preventing crime instead of solving it. I use this distinction in my next novella, Secrets in Scarlet, which features the Met Police officer I introduced in A Dangerous Invitation. 

I also used the “Catholic Question,” which comes about throughout the 1800’s but really hit a breakthrough in 1829 when the Roman Catholic Relief Act was passed, which removed a lot of the restrictions that were still on Catholics in the UK. This and the Sacramental Test Act were huge in getting rights for Catholics. Prior to this act, Catholics could not hold office. The relations between the English and the Irish were already strained at best. I use this in A Dangerous Invitation as my hero Daniel O’Reilly is Irish, but he has been raised since childhood in Sussex. He feels like a man of two nations. Daniel has been the victim of racial prejudice, for in 1832 the Irish were considered not much better than dogs in the street by a lot of England’s population. This plays into his interactions with Kate and his feelings toward himself. He has to learn that he is indeed worthy of love.

KH: Peelers, dimber morts, crank…uh, translation please 🙂 Was it difficult to learn the street slang of the period?

ERICA: A Peeler refers to the Metropolitan Police Officers, called Peelers or Bobbies because of Robert Peel, who was the main person behind the bill establishing the new force. A dimber mort refers to a pretty wench, and crank is a cant term for gin (important because of Daniel’s struggle with remaining sober).

I actually really enjoy the slang. I’ve never had an aptitude for foreign languages, but thieving cant to me feels like a secret language based in English so I can understand it. It was important to me that my thieves sound like they grew up in the East End and not posh aristocrats. These are people deprived of formal education, growing up in neighborhoods where they pretty much had to steal to eat. They’re going to have their own set of words for things, jargon that’s been doctored so that the Police can’t fathom what they’re saying.

In writing A Wayward Man, my short story prequel to A Dangerous Invitation, it’s been interesting to write the dialogue for Kate because this is before she ends up in the rookeries. She doesn’t know those slang terms and she hasn’t changed to coarser language. I paid a lot of attention to dialects, trying to properly mimic what people would sound like in different parts. I’ve no idea if I got it all right, but it “feels” more authentic to me, at least.

Illustrated Romance book cover images from Jenn LeBlanc

KH: What is your favorite slang expression?

ERICA: There are so many good ones, and some really, really vulgar ones. There’s about 57 different terms for prostitutes, most of which end up being quite depressing.

Some of my favorite ones that I find can be used in historical romance are “collar day” for being executed at Newgate prison, “dive” meaning to pick a pocket, and Drury Lane ague meaning venereal disease (given that prostitutes often frequented Drury Lane).

KH: What’s next in The Rookery Rogues series?

ERICA: Two things. One, I’ve got the short story prequel to A Dangerous Invitation coming out in February, and it is titled A Wayward Man. This starts before Daniel leaves London, three years prior to the beginning of ADI. It’s about 10,000 words and I will be offering it up for free.

After that, I’ve got Secrets in Scarlet, which is a novella. I hope to have it out sometime around late March.

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Here’s the blurb: When a girl is murdered at a factory in one of London’s rookeries, Thaddeus Knight comes in to investigate. But it’s not just the factory owners that Thaddeus wants information on–the devilishly intriguing Poppy O’Reilly is a puzzle he’d like nothing more than to solve. Protecting her young daughter is the most important thing to Poppy, and Thaddeus threatens the false identity she’s carefully constructed. The last thing she should do is allow Thaddeus close to her family, yet she can’t stay away from him. With danger around the corner, will the secrets of a scarlet woman lead to their undoing?

Can’t wait to read more? You can find Erica’s books on Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, iTunes, and AllRomanceBooks.

What are the elements you look for in historical romantic suspense? Do you have a favorite time period? House parties vs Ballrooms vs Gaming Hells? Do you like your stories filled with members of the ton? Can a housemaid become a duchess? Tell us what you like to read! Erica is giving away an e-copy of A DANGEROUS INVITATION to one lucky commenter!

Birth of a Romantic Suspense Author–Rachel Kall

Rachel Kall

Few things are more exciting than seeing someone achieve their dreams. It has been my extreme pleasure and honor to see Rachel Kall achieve hers. We ‘met’ through twitter when Rachel reviewed my debut novel a couple of years ago. Since then, we’ve tweeted back and forth, laughing and sharing anecdotes, until suddenly one day the most awesome thing happened. Rachel sold! Yay! Naturally, I jumped at the chance to introduce her to the world of readers here on Kiss and Thrill. And finally, that day has arrived. Congratulations Rachel! And welcome to Kiss and Thrill. Her debut novel is called Legally Undercover.

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Attorney Alex Popov’s dream of partnership is put to the test when she’s pulled into a top-secret investigation involving arms dealers and one of her clients, Rodrigues Capital. The only good part about her association with the secretive organization is her client contact, Pedro Martín. She’s drawn to him, but he’s hiding something. 

When Jacob shows up as a new attorney at Alex’s firm, it’s clear Pedro isn’t the only one with secrets. As Alex tries to determine Jacob’s true identity, she’s drawn closer to Pedro and deeper into the mystery of Rodrigues Capital and its shadowy networks.

Everyone has an agenda. In a world of lies, where no one is what they seem, Alex puts everything — even her dreams of partnership — on the line for love.

I asked Rachel lots of random questions to help our Kiss and Thrill readers get to know her. Rachel was extremely gracious and patient and I think you’ll enjoy her fun personality in her answers below.

Rachel would love to offer a free ebook copy of her debut romantic suspense novel, Legally Undercover, on either Amazon or Barnes and Noble to one lucky commenter. See the bottom of this post for details.

Lena: You and I ‘met’ on Twitter. Have you met any other really cool people (besides me of course, ha!) on Twitter or Facebook? Details.

Rachel: Yes, I absolutely have. I have made great friends that I met on Twitter. It has been a wonderful experience meeting other writers and sharing this wonderful journey with them.

Lena:  How long have you been writing?

Rachel:  I started writing romance in 2010. Before that I had always loved to write but had never written a full length novel.

Lena: Why did you choose to write romantic suspense? Do you write any other genres or plan to in the future?

Rachel:  For now I am sticking to romantic suspense. It’s my favorite genre to read and I want to keep pursuing it. I did try to write a contemporary once but I ended up killing someone off. So that didn’t work out too well!

Lena:  Um, yeah, probably not (grin). What inspired you to write Legally Undercover?

Rachel:  I wanted to take the fairly mundane life of a lawyer and turn it into something exciting and dangerous!

Lena:  What are you currently working on?

Rachel:  I’m working on a political thriller, and I’m very excited about it.

Lena:  What are your promo plans for your new release – will you be doing any booksignings or special blog hops or contests you’d like to mention?

Rachel:  I’m doing a blog tour that I’m in the middle of right now. I celebrated my release week last week by donating for each book sold to a wonderful cat rescue organization called Winging Cat Rescue. They do amazing work.

Lena: Name the last three books you read.

Rachel: I read while doing my cardio workouts. But the last three were Back on Track, Only You, and Reckless.

Lena: Tell us something that might surprise your readers

Rachel:  I was a national debate champion in college.

Lena: Cool! I knew you were smart (LOL). And finally, a question a fellow author asked me once and that I thought was an awesome question (thanks Diana Belchase), what does success as an author mean to you?

Rachel:  Success for me means being able to continue to write more books.

Lena: Now, for the final lightning round (I stole this idea from author Carey Baldwin!)

Q. Favorite TV shows?

A. I Love The Good Wife, Castle, Bones and New Girl.

Q. Favorite food

A. I love cheese. Which also means I love pizza.

Q. Pepsi or Coke?

A. Neither! I’ve given up soft drinks. But I love coffee.

Q. Cat or dog person?

A. I’m a HUGE animal lover. I have 2 dogs and 3 cats.

Q. Beach or mountain?

A. Beach

Q. Dream vacation?

A. Grand Cayman.

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And there you go. That’s debut romantic suspense author Rachel Kall in a hundred words or less (okay, maybe a few MORE than one-hundred actually). Now it’s Rachel’s turn to ask  her readers a question. One lucky responder will win a free e-copy of Rachel’s debut book, Legally Undercover. Check back on Thursday to see if you’re a winner!

Rachel’s question for commenters: Alex has some serious work/life balance issues. How do you find balance in your life?

Buy Links:

Free Prequel to Legally Undercover is available at Smashwords

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https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/306156

For Smashwords we’re going to do a discount code for the week.
Promotional price: $3.89
Coupon Code: ZL35L

Author links

www.rachelkall.com

http://www.entrancedpublishing.com/imprints-5/entranced/

Twitter: @rachelkall
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorRachelKall
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/rachelkall

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…

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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.

Bonus Friday post – in which Rachel shares some news…

I’ve been quiet on the blog lately, because I’ve been a little busy, but today I’m thrilled and excited to share my news. If a picture is worth a thousand words, I think this should cover it:

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If all goes well, CONCRETE EVIDENCE will be available in print and ebook on April 16th. My website is in the process of being updated, but there will be bonus content there for this book and another one (coming out in May!) very soon.

I want to thank all the wonderful women at Kiss and Thrill for their encouragement and support as I embark on this publishing journey.