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Locked, Loaded, & Lying with Debut Author Sarah Andre

Sarah Andre

Sarah Andre and I have been close friends (some would call us twins) and Golden Heart sisters for a long time, and it’s a friendship I treasure. So I am not exaggerating when I say I am so excited and proud to introduce Sarah and her debut romantic suspense novel Locked, Loaded, & Lying.

And check out Brenda Novak’s cover quote! “An impressive debut! This book has everything readers crave: believable, enduring  characters, an intriguing conflict, and plenty of heart. Don’t miss Locked, Loaded, & Lying.”

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Click Cover to Buy

L3 (as I always think of it) is a blockbuster story intertwined with a beautiful romance and a fast-paced plot. And I can’t wait for you all to read it so we can talk about her hunky hero Lock Roane. (The heroine Jordan is lovely too, but Lock is hot, hot, hot!)

But since we have to wait to dish about Lock (another blog post), here is the trailer and blurb:


He might be innocent. Or he might be very, very guilty…

Olympic skier Lock Roane was on top of the world: smashing Alpine records, collecting medals, and basking in both the love of a nation and his beautiful heiress girlfriend. It all comes crashing down after Lock discovers his girlfriend had an affair—then awakens from a drunken bender covered in her blood. Given his history of violent blackouts, it’s not a big leap for him to believe he did kill her.

On the eve of his murder trial he saves the life of a car accident victim, not knowing she’s his biggest media nemesis. And when Jordan Sinclair regains consciousness, she’ll lie through her teeth to keep it that way.

Jordan is out of options and out of time…

To satisfy her blackmailer, she needs the inside scoop (and its tabloid cash reward) on Lock Roane. An attraction to the arrogant athlete was not part of the plan. Neither is trying to find out what really happened that night.

Now Jordan risks everything—including her life—to help Lock. But the more they discover clues pointing to someone else with a motive, the more Lock is also unraveling all the lies Jordan’s fed him. Her betrayal leaves him with two option: take his chances at his murder trial or forgive the woman who mesmerized him from the moment he saved her life.

Photo of sensual kissing young couple

SW: There are no words that express how much I love this story and how happy I am for you. But I’d love to know — What kind of research did you do for this story?

SA: The BARE minimum! Hate it. All I want is to write my story the way it unfolds in my head and not stop to authenticate details. But boy, did I learn a valuable lesson when Brenda Novak generously gave me editorial feedback. She asked if a tertiary character would be able to get a Sports Illustrated magazine in prison. It had never occurred to me to check! They have libraries, prisoners get mail…I was kind of annoyed she would want me to research such a minor detail. Well, this story had been through 5 FULL rewrites by then (5 plots, 5 different killers, 5 different ways the victim died…) and the guy in the Tutweiler Penitentiary had always gotten that magazine. Grumbling under my breath, I looked up Tutweiler Penitentiary in AL (which I’d randomly chosen 7 years ago by Google maps: ‘prisons in AL.’) I was SHOCKED to find out…it’s a women’s prison. Consider me spanked. Lesson learned.

SW: I am still laughing. I think that is the best answer I’ve ever had to an interview question! Do you prefer to write from the male POV or female POV?

SA: Easy answer! Male. I’m quite obsessed with what makes that gender tick. What pushes their buttons? What causes them heartache? Because on the outside they are way too stoic. Give me a real-life, emotionally stressed-out guy and all I see is a poker face? OMG, my imagination runs WILD. 🙂

All my stories, even the first one collecting dust bunnies under my bed, have been hero-based. They are larger than life: smokin’ looks, success, money, babes…and each figuratively gets ‘the rug pulled out from under him’ in the first chapter. They need the ordinary-heroine’s intelligence and talent to help them back on their feet. A guy like that needing someone? It’s a simmering pot of emotional conflict from the start.

SW: Are your story ideas first drawn from characters or from plot?

SA: Gosh, after writing for 10 years you’d think I’d know the answer! Plot, I guess. I’ll think: ‘what if this were to happen…’ and then I choose the two most ill-suited couple to go on that adventure, stick them on the same page and watch the sparks fly.

Olympics

SW: What is your greatest strength as a storyteller?

SA: The feedback I’ve received from readers is that I zip the story forward through authentic sounding dialogue. Personally, I think my greatest strength is the friction and/or camaraderie between the hero and his ‘sidekick’ –in this case Lock’s brother, Leo.

SW: I have to agree! What was your favorite scene in this book to write?

SA: The car accident and rescue. Wrote it in one sitting during one of those days where storytelling comes like a gift from God. The words just fell onto the page, the scene unfolded with all the perfect action words and stark emotion. During all the rewrites I have barely revised it, and that’s saying something.

SW: What was the most difficult scene in this book to write?

SA: In ALL my novels I leave the sex scene until the bitter end! I’ll insert a placeholder ‘SEX SCENE HERE’ and move on. It takes all of my skill as a writer to describe the act, the emotions, have it end up original, erotic and realistic, and yet still complicate their problems further. I bow to erotica authors! Back in my dust-bunny book all I had to do was think, ‘you know, my mom is going to read this’ and I was done for the night! Packed it in right in the middle of a sentence. 😉

SW: Can you give us one interesting fact about Locked, Loaded, & Lying?

SA: I got my hero’s entire character from one glimpse of champion surfer, Bruce Irons on the cover of Outside Magazine back in April 2006. I was in a WF checkout line and saw his expression. Stupefied me…there was Lock’s personality! That’s exactly how he’d glare at the paparazzi lens. Arrogant, sexy, double-dog-dare stare with not-so-subtle impatience- like they were keeping him from the sport he loves. Still gives me shivers!

SW: Now Sarah has a question of you:

Who is your favorite Olympic athlete or favorite Olympic sport?

One lucky commenter will win a $25 e-gift certificate to Amazon!

Sarah, thanks so much for sharing your debut with us. I know this is just the beginning of a prolific and successful career!

LockedAndLoadedFinal coverWhen Sarah Andre isn’t writing fast-paced romantic suspense, she loves to connect with readers at: www.SarahAndre.com, www.facebook.com/SarahAndreWriter, and @SarahRSWriter

Photos courtesy of Sarah Andre.

The Two (Suspenseful) Sides of Cathy Perkins

Today I want to offer a warm welcome to Cathy Perkins, an award-winning author (and Golden Heart Finalist) of compelling-yet-terrifying suspense stories and lighter mysteries with a financial twist. After I read The Professor (which was fan-tabulous and kept me up reading all night!), I knew I wanted Cathy to spend the day with us.
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Cathy: Good morning Sharon! Thanks for letting me hang out with the Romantic Suspense authors at Kiss and Thrill. I released two books this summer which are shelved as romantic suspense, The Professor (Carina Press) and For Love or Money (Entangled Publishing), but (shh, confession!) mine are really mystery/suspense with a romantic element rather than romantic suspense.

Sharon: That’s okay, Cathy. We love all kinds of suspense and mystery stories! When we chatted about this post, you mentioned you write both dark and light stories. Care to explain that comment?

Cathy: Sometimes writing in a different genre (paranormal or YA rather than suspense, for example) will keep ideas fresh for an author. I find writing different kinds of suspense stories stretches me as an author (and hopefully makes me a better one).

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As far as “light” and “dark” suspenses goes, just like romantic suspense has varying degrees of heat between the hero and heroine, mystery/suspense can contain degrees of darkness. All suspense novels have a villain who places the hero/heroine—or the world—in danger and shows the dark underbelly of human nature.

Tapping into the inherent conflict between right and wrong, good and evil, makes for some interesting stories. The best ones are page turners that keep you up past your bedtime. Now not all suspense novels keep you awake, afraid to turn off the lights (although a few of Patricia Cornwell’s had me wondering if that sound was a house noise or an axe-murderer breaking in—I had to back off of those!), but there’s always a sense that Something Really Bad will happen if the heroine doesn’t unravel the mystery, find the killer, defuse the ticking bomb or stop the assassin.

Sharon: I can honestly say The Professor kept me up all night worrying about axe-murderers breaking in!  Where do you think the dividing line between “light” and “dark” stories lies?

Cathy: Maybe it’s the tone of the story that makes people label a story “light” or “dark,” but the protagonist plays a role in the distinction for me. In The Professor, the main character is a state law enforcement agent who matches wits with a serial killer. Mick O’Shaughnessy must stop The Professor before he kills again. Readers tell me the scenes from the Professor’s point of view are deliciously creepy. (We are so not delving into anything that might say about me! No axe-murdering!)

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At the other end of the “darkness” scale, For Love or Money, an amateur sleuth mystery, is told from Holly Price’s perspective. A CPA (Certified Pain in the Ass according to the killer, and maybe according to the detective on the case), Holly relates to elements in the victim’s personal life, giving her a different motivation to ask questions and dig into details that don’t add up (in her opinion). She ultimately solves more than one crime, and makes the villain angry enough to come after her in the process.

Sharon: Oh, so the story is light or dark, depending on the POV character? Or is it the emotional tone of the book?

Cathy:  Hmm… Good question. While I mentioned that the main character drives the investigation and influences the way that investigation is handled, the emotional depth of the characters is a good indicator of the degree of darkness. I find the emotional depth comes from the characters’ inner conflicts, which may include a relationship issue. Maybe that’s why romantic suspense is so successful—integrating the external conflict with the relationship issues, drawing the hero and heroine together to overcome obstacles. But I digress. 🙂

Many mystery/suspense authors completely avoid any relationship in their books.  Jonathan King’s debut, The Blue Edge of Midnight, is a wonderfully atmospheric (very dark) suspense, whose guilt-ridden protagonist is in as much conflict with himself as he is with local law enforcement. At the other end of the spectrum, I think it’s safe to say Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum stories don’t spend much time on introspection. (Although Stephanie does have a relationship issue or two 🙂 )

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A novella linked to The Professor.

Like many of my favorite mystery/suspense authors, I always include a relationship element in my stories. I say “include” because the relationship (the romance) isn’t the primary focus of my books as it is in a romantic suspense. The emotional conflicts—romantic or other personal ones—flavor and complicate life for the main characters. They sharpen external conflicts when the internal conflicts force the main character to change and grow.

Now that I think about it, maybe the “light” or “dark” aspect is how deeply the story delves into the villain’s mindset, either directly through POV or indirectly through the investigation. Both draw the reader deep into a life or death situation.

Sharon: I think both of your answers are right. The light/dark issue is played out through the villain’s POV as well as the internal conflicts of the hero and/or heroine. But the villain POV scenes are usually what add the extra terror! What prompted you to change from dark suspense to lighter mysteries?

Cathy: I can only write so many dark stories and research really awful things people do to each other before I need to take a break. One of John Douglass’ (top FBI profiler) books gave me nightmares. Clearly, it was time to lighten up!

I also find darker stories like The Professor revolve around the actual investigation and the law enforcement officer, which means understanding how the detectives approach a case. Readers, including some from law enforcement, complemented me for “getting it right.” (I have wonderful resources; thanks y’all!)

The lighter stories allow more latitude. With For Love or Money, Holly can do her thing while JC’s over there doing whatever it is cops do. In her role as friend, confidant, or professionally as an accountant, Holly has access to people and information that would be more difficult for a police officer to obtain. She definitely does things no police officer could get away with.

Sharon: Do you decide ahead of time what type of book you want to write? Or is the type (light or dark) dependent on the characters who show up in your head?

Cathy: I’m drawn to darker stories, wanting to know the “why” behind a villain’s motivation as well as enjoying matching wits between my protagonist and villain as the investigation unfolds. It’s a choice for me to write something light when I need the emotional break.

I recently finished another dark story which my agent has on submission. I’m supposed to be working on Book 2 for Holly and JC (a sequel to For Love or Money that’s under contract) but this really dark story showed up and the characters will not leave me alone. . .

Sharon: I can’t wait to hear more!  And now for one of my favorite part of the interviews–the blurbs. 🙂

FOR LOVE OR MONEY

When Holly Price trips over a friend’s dead body while hiking, her life takes a nosedive into a world of intrigue and danger. The verdict is murder—and Holly is the prime suspect. Of course, the fact that the infinitely sexy—and very pissed off—cop threatening to arrest her is JC Dimitrak, who just happens to be Holly’s jilted ex-fiancé, doesn’t help matters.

To protect her future, her business…and her heart…the intrepid forensic accountant must use all her considerable investigative skills to follow the money through an intricate web of shadow companies, while staying one step ahead of her ex-fiancé. She better solve the case before the real killer decides CPA stands for Certified Pain in the Ass…and the next dead body found beside the river is Holly’s.

THE PROFESSOR

The Professor presses his palm against her flank, feeling the liquid warmth of her blood, hotter than her skin. Hot, like the life force that he has claimed… The power over life and death is the ultimate thrill.

Someone is murdering women on South Carolina’s college campuses: three women, three different schools. The Governor’s order to State Law Enforcement Agent Mick O’Shaughnessy is simple: make it stop. More political maneuvering diverts Mick to nearby Douglass College. There, instead of another dead body, he finds Meg Connelly, grad student and faculty advisor for the latest victim.

Determined to finish her master’s degree, Meg doesn’t need anybody’s help – including her estranged family – to succeed. There’s something irresistible about Mick, but the last time she let someone get close to her, she lost everything except her self-respect.

As the investigation heats up, so does their relationship. But Mick’s interest in Meg doesn’t just endanger her heart–it puts her in the sights of the killer.

Once he gets her alone, he can take all the time he needs…

So, K&T readers, do you prefer light or dark stories? And if you have a preference, we’d love to know what your favorites are!

And for two lucky commenters, Cathy is giving away one copy of The Professor and one copy of For Love or Money.

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Cathy Perkins is a member of Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. She writes predominantly financial-based mysteries but enjoys exploring the relationship aspect of her characters’ lives. Her suspense writing lurks behind a financial day-job, where she learned firsthand the camouflage, hide in plain sight, skills employed by her villains.

Born and raised in South Carolina, the setting for HONOR CODE (a novella linked to The Professor) and THE PROFESSOR, she lives in Washington, the setting of FOR LOVE OR MONEY, with her husband, children, several dogs, and the resident deer herd.

Cathy can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Entangled Publishing, her website, and Goodreads.

Thank you for spending the day with us, Cathy. We wish you all the success in the world!

Thursday Winner!

Congratulations to Rachel Kall

Winner of Anna DeStefano’s newest release

Her Forgotten Betrayal

Rachel, please click on the Contact Us page within the next 10 days and let us know which email we can use to send you the e-book. And a special thank you to ALL our commenters! We appreciate your enthusiasm and avid discussions.

Krista Hall is planning two unique blogs next week celebrating the Romance Writers of America’s 2012 Convention in Anaheim. The final evening of the conference, at the Awards Banquet, some of the best-of-the-best published and non-published writers are recognized. Krista will focus on the Romantic Suspense Finalists!

YOU HAD ME AT HELLO:

Tues 7/24: RITA Finalists Opening Lines

Thurs 7/26: Golden Heart Finalists Opening Lines

And once, again our heartfelt congratulations to Kiss and Thrill members: Diana Belchase, Rachel Grant and Sharon Wray for finaling in the prestigious 2012 Golden Heart Award!

Best of luck!

Welcome Suspense Bestseller: Anna DeStefano

Anna DeStefano

Remembering will save her life. But will the truth destroy their love forever?

 Shaw Cassidy’s nightmares are shredding her sanity. Her global empire, her freedom from federal prosecution for espionage, and her life are all on the line. Long-ago secrets of love and betrayal swirl like living fore through her dreams until she doesn’t know whom she can trust, or who is out to hurt her.

 Federal Marshal Cole Marino has one mission: infiltrate his former lover’s mountain retreat and force her to remember the shooting that triggered her amnesia.

 But when Shaw questions Cole’s motives, and his lies are revealed, will the connection they’ve begun to forge be torn apart, or will the soul-deep bond they once hadsave them both and crash through Shaw’s amnesia, once and for all?  Her Forgotten Betrayal.

Don’t miss this sexy, psychological thriller!

 Best-selling, award-winning author Anna DeStefano wants to you stop, look, and keep digging, until you find the soul of your own fantasies.

Her latest release, Her Forgotten Betrayal, one of the launch books for Entangled Publishing’s Dead Sexy romantic suspense line, is a psychological thriller she hopes will creep you out (she’s really playing up the Gothic imagery and spooky nightmares with this one).

But she’s also dying (heh) to inspire you with another of the happily-ever-after romance ending she’s famous for. No matter how moody the setting or impossible the dilemma, Anna’s characters and stories challenge you to hope and dream for your own exciting future, the way her strong heroines and hunky heroes do!

Read on for the answers to some of the frequently asked questions about Her Forgotten Betrayal and Anna’s unique approach to story telling. For more, follow Anna to her blog (http://www.annawrites.com/blog), which she updates several times a week on a range of topics such as The Soul of the Matter, Dream Theories, How We Write, and Things My Teenager Says.

WELCOME ANNA! Your backlist has been described as genre-bending. Do you see yourself as a writer who works “outside the box,” and is this a conscious choice you’re making for your career?

 I don’t remember making the choice to push boundaries, but I don’t think I’ve ever written a story that didn’t challenge the limits of whatever line or genre I’ve written for. I’ve won a lot of awards for my Harlequin novels. But I’ve always tended to write edgy and darker characters, often with heavy backstories, even when I wrote for the lighter Superromance “home and family” line.  I’m always searching for the emotional heart of a story, wherever that takes me.

 For example, in my very first novel, The Unknown Daughter, my heroine is terminally ill throughout the entire book. Of course she gets her happily-ever-after “cure” (this is category romance). But she’s sick the entire book…she’s so NOT your average Harlequin heroine. Oh, and that was “accidentally” my first suspense novel, too—again, in a home and family line. And it won a Gold Medal review from RT, and my first RT Reviewers Choice Award. Who knew “outside the box” was going to be my happy place from then on?

 Even my first foray into paranormal romance (my Legacy series), turned out to be more of a thriller series, and most definitely more science fiction than urban fantasy or paranormal romance. I love the science behind the metaphysics and parapsychology that Dark Legacy and Secret Legacy are based on. As I wrote, I simply couldn’t push those elements (especially the dream theory) to the background.

 So, I guess I write what inspires and motivates and challenges me, whatever genre I happen to be writing in, and hope that my readers join me for the ride.

 In Her Forgotten Betrayal, your heroine, Shaw Cassidy, battles debilitating nightmares that she has to get to the bottom of to survive. You write a lot about dreams. What fascinates you most about them?

Dreams… Where do I begin with my fascination about dreams? My agent asks every once in a while when I’m going to stop writing stories where dreams are a key theme. Not that she wants me to, really, but dreams have clearly become a running inspiration for me. My answer is usually—never ;o) I even blog most every week about dream theory. It’s been a fascination for me my entire life. That was the impetus for creating my Legacy, metaphysical fantasy world that explores the science behind dreaming.

 For my contemporary romances, my “every day” stories, dreams take on an even more powerful purpose, than in my novels where people have supernatural powers. Our everyday dreams are our minds working for us, at the subconscious level. Whether we’re sleeping or awake, our dreams talk to us about the true purpose and meaning and desires of our lives. I like to see them as the very best and worst of who we are, and I think it’s important to pay as close attention to them as we can.

 To me, honoring our dreams is another way to slow down and look deeply and really see our reality. Focusing on dreams (or any small moment of our lives), helps us process and choose. We then get to move forward a bit more deliberately. In Shaw Cassidy’s case in Her Forgotten Betrayal, her dreams are telling her exactly who her villain really is, and just how important her forgotten childhood lover (our hero, Cole Marinos) can be to not only her survival, but also the thriving, loving, magnificent future waiting for her, is she can grow and make the difficult emotional choices she’s been running from her entire life. See. Aren’t dreams lovely?

 Your heroine has amnesia through most of this novel. Is this the first of your heroines to suffer from forgetting who and what she is?

 Actually, in To Protect the Child (part of my Atlanta Heroes series for Harlequin Superromance), my deep cover operative heroine wakes with amnesia and no recollection of what she was doing on her latest mission and how important it is for her to return to it, before a little girl’s life is destroyed.

 I guess a key difference between that story and Her Forgotten Betrayal, is that my Dead Sexy launch is a psychological thriller. I’ve written fast-paced procedurals before, and loved those novels. But I wanted to do a gothic, creepy, isolated-on-the-top-of-a-winter-mountain-at-night kind of contemporary romance this time. Shaw Cassidy has been injured, but she doesn’t remember anything (except the faceless man in her dreams). Her first memories begin to return when a dangerous stranger shows up, and she has to decide whether he’s the faceless man, or a hero from her past who can help her. Her Forgotten Betrayal is just as fast-paced as my procedurals, but Shaw’s battles are mostly in her mind, and in her relationship with Cole Marinos, her hero. She’s not battling the villain himself until the very end—and it takes her the entire story to fight her nightmares and psychological demons so that she’s ready to beat the bad guy that’s been messing with her mind, at his own game. Bwahahahaha

 Your stories tend to span short periods of time, particularly your thrillers. Is this to enhance the pacing of the plot?

 I think the one running theme through all my novels has been the drive to stop and look at the world and a character as closely as I can. As a commercial fiction writer, I’m also hoping the reader is entertained and finding the story impossible to put down. But I want to take our romance journey together to a deeper level. In the midst of the action of each of my novels, I’m doing my best to deliver characters with complex backstories and multi-layered motivation. I want my readers to have a flawed but admirable heroine and hero to journey with. I want you to feel what my characters feel in each scene, as if you were living through that moment with them

 I love making that happen by writing novels with short time spans. Not only for the pacing—though, you certainly have to keep your plotting tight in order to pull something like Her Forgotten Betrayal off, where I was working with less than a 48 hour window for the heroine to believably realize she’s being stalked, have nightmares that will either drive her insane or help her regain her memory, meet the hero, wonder if this stranger is her “bad guy,” learn to trust him, fall in love with him, remember their tragic past, of COURSE then think he’s betrayed her (see, it’s a romance, really it is ;o), only to have to face the villain with him at the end, in the story’s black moment and resolution.

 Which sounds like a lot to accomplish in sixty-thousand words and less than two days of on-page time. But actually, limiting the time frame gives me the chance to slow moments down, those important relationship moments as well as the ones where Shaw must grow as a character or she’ll never succeed, so that the reader really lives them with the heroine. If I were trying to cover the passage of more time with the number of pages allotted to me, I’d have to move on more quickly, more externally, and I think some of the richness of this type of story would be missed.

 You write a lot of “returning home” stories, as well as second chances at love. What about these themes drives your imagination?

 My first title (and I never get to keep my titles), actually the novel that won the Golden Heart and was later re-titled for Harlequin Superromance, was Forever Ago. It’s a play on words that resonates with me even today. I’ll write a book with that title one day. I’m determined.

 What this and my “coming home” and “second chance” stories say to me is that you have to go back and work through the things in your past that you’ve shoved down or shouldered aside. At some point, if you want to move forward and really live the rest of your life, instead of merely fighting and existing and getting through one day at a time, you have to conquer the things you weren’t able to face when you were younger.

 My characters tend to get their happily-ever-after forever, because they finally take on the conflicts of long ago, and conquer what still needs to be resolved. It’s the same with second chances at love. I’m mesmerized by stories where couples who didn’t make it with their soul mate in the past, find the courage to face one another and their combined issues once more, stronger and with newer insight, and find a way to finally make their dreams a reality together. What could be better than that? Sigh… You’re going to DIE for Shaw and Cole’s amazing ending!

 Imagery and setting seem like an important part of Her Forgotten Betrayal. What led you to choose a gothic backdrop for your latest suspense novel?

 I’ve fallen in love with Gothic imagery, since long before I wrote my first Legacy book. I’m more of a Bronte girl, than an Austen girl ;o) Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights… These are novels that read and re-read every year.

 With Her Forgotten Betrayal, I not only got to explore this fascination within the context of a contemporary romance, but I LOVED how I was able to incorporate Shaw Cassidy’s creepy mansion and the winter weather and the darkness of the surrounding woods and so forth, as another character in the book. All of it becomes a very real threat to our heroine. Is Shaw imagining what’s happening to her? Is her mind becoming unhinged by her nightmares, so she’s seeing and hearing things that aren’t there? Is someone after her, or is she actually hurting herself in her isolated mansion? How can she possibly know the difference? That is until our hero shows up. But is he part of the spooky landscape that she can’t trust, or is he really there to help her???! Dun-dun-dunnnn! LOL!

 Playing with symbol and imagery has become one of my favorite things in novel writing. I’m even now pinning images from my stories and my personal journeys up on Pinterest. Just look for Anna DeStefano (http://pinterest.com/annadestefano/) ;o) Check out Her Forgotten Betrayal’s board, where she’ll be posting blog tour updates and other surprises.

 Thank you for being here today, Anna! Check out Anna’s other recent titles when you have a chance, including the July 1st Harlequin Heartwarming, A Sweetbrook Family, and  October Montlake release (the first in her women’s fiction/contemporary romance series) Christmas on Mimosa Lane.

From Anna: I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions, your dreams and what you love best about suspense or any other type of romance you read. Sound off in the comments for your chance to win a free digital copy of Her Forgotten Betrayal!

And the Winner is . . .

The Kiss-and-Thrill ladies loved hosting author Cynthia Cooke this week. Her newest release, Deadly Lies, Loving Lies is now available from Entangled Publishing’s new Dead Sexy Romantic Suspense line.

Now . . . drum roll please . . . the commenter who has won a copy of  is . . . Trish J!  Congratulations!

To redeem your free book – please email your snail mail address to contact@kissandthrill.com (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!

WIN-WIN Offer to ALL: If you’re a big Kiss and Thrill fan, and you’d like to do something to help save lives, check out the Brenda Novak Diabetes Auction!

Among hundreds of items such as jewlery, lunch with your favorite author and e-readers, our K&T blog is offering an amazing basket of goodies! Bid on critiques for writers, gift cards, and other freebies from the 9 of us.

The auction is open the entire month of May. We hope you make a bid or two and help raise money to find a cure for this horrible disease.   Brenda Novak Diabetes Auction Website.

What’s next on the Kiss and Thrill blog?

Tuesday, May 22nd we are so excited to have our very own Carey Baldwin!

Carey will reveal the story behind the story of  THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER. Stop by and find out why Carey is walking 4o miles with Tessa Dare, Leigh LaValle and Courtney Milan on Sept. 22, 2012!

Enjoy the Dark Seduction . . . with Cynthia Cooke

Cynthia Cooke is an award-winning, multi-published author who has published 11 books and short stories for Harlequin/Silhouette and Steeple Hill. Her latest book, Deadly Secrets, Loving Lies will be one of the launch books for Entangled Publishing‘s new Dead Sexy Romantic Suspense line. Cynthia is best known for writing page-turners that will keep you up at night.  So if you choose to take that ride, over the edge and into the dark, don’t forget to turn on the lights. Cynthia’s books aren’t sweet and they aren’t for the faint of heart.  Enjoy the Dark Seduction. 

SW: Welcome, Cynthia. We are so happy to have you here with us today. You are an award-winning, multi-published author with Harlequin/Silhouette. What made you decide to publish with Entangled?

CC: I’ve heard so many great things about Entangled, especially the author friendly contracts.  And the idea that I could write a book and have it published the same year was VERY enticing.
 

SW: Please tell me a bit about your new Entangled story Deadly Secrets, Loving Lies.

CC: After an all-out assault by a vicious terrorist bent on destroying her entire family, former government agent Genie Marsters must break the strict rules she has always lived by when she emerges from hiding to reluctantly accept the help of her all-too-sexy ex-lover.

Running a deadly race against time, they rush to rescue her kidnapped sister, find her missing father, and bring the notorious villain to justice. But nothing ever goes as planned. Bullets fly, danger abounds, and their passion reignites even faster than the lies are flowing. But stubbornly held secrets just might spell the end of their rekindled love and hopes for the future . . . as well as their very lives.

SW: It’s a great cover! Did you have any input in the design?

CC:  I did! I sent a bunch of shutterstock images and examples of covers I like And they worked that around the dead sexy brand. The cover is AMAZING!!!

 
 

SW: How fun! What is on your TBR pile?

CC: Oh, this is so huge. I’m one of those people who is reading several books at one time, and listening to audio books when I’m driving.  Right now, I’m loving Nevada Barr and J.T. Ellison.

SW: I love audiobooks as well. What is your next project?

CC: I have two Harlequin werewolf books coming out in 2014. Right now, I’m wrapping up revisions on my second book in my werewolf series, Lying With Wolves, for Harlequin Nocturne.

SW: What is your favorite type of hero? (dark, bad boy, vampire, etc)

CC: I’ve thought about this question for another blog. I really don’t have a favorite type. I love my dark and dangerous vampires, my tortured werewolves, my action-oriented no-nonsense cops. I guess I just love them all, especially if they love the heroines, especially if it’s the last thing they want to do.

SW: I know you still have teenagers around. Do you get much writing done during the summer?

CC: I do, but I also gain a lot of weight! LOL! With three teenagers at home and the constant revolving door of all their friends coming and going at all hours of the day and night, I have to leave the house and write in coffee shops. My favorite is Panera Bread, which means I eat out A LOT.

SW: I LOVE Panera also. Especially their cinnamon rolls. Is there another genre you’d love to write?

CC: Yes, I’ve been working on a YA for the past couple of years in between contracts. I would really love to take the summer and finish writing it.

SW: Who does your website (it’s beautiful!)


CC: Thank you so much. That honor goes to Tivi Jones at Creative Media. She does so much more than websites now. She a digital marketing queen and has lots of tips on her blog. http://creativityloft.com/


SW: Will you write any more books for Entangled?

CC: I’d love to, though I’ve been too busy to submit a second proposal.

SW: Do you have an excerpt we can read?

CC: I do!

Kyle stared in disbelief at the odd, mushroom-shaped structure rising up from the cracked, dry earth of the Nevada desert.

“There she is,” the voice of Johnny Garino, his crew chief and closest friend, buzzed in his earpiece.

Genie stood on the roof of the strange house. Three black SUVs were corralled on the ground far below her. She looked incredible, breathtaking, silhouetted against the brilliant blue sky. Kyle sucked in a breath as she clipped a cable to her belt.

“She’s getting ready to fly!” Johnny called out, his voice rising in pitch.

“Hold on, baby. I’m almost there.” Kyle pushed down on the throttle urging the bird faster, even as he willed Genie to turn and see him, to hold on until he could sweep her away from the danger. And once he did, once he had her safe and secure in his cockpit, then what?

Then he’d try not to kill her himself.

Fantastic!! Thank you so much for spending the day with us, Cynthia. And for one lucky commenter, Entangled is giving away a free copy of Deadly Secrets, Loving LiesNow we’d love to hear your questions!
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