Posted by Sharon Wray
According to the MSW team, Guns and Roses is “a collection of ten never-before published short stories and novellas, each penned by a MurderSheWrites blogger, inspired by our mutual love of suspense and romance. Some of them are dark and tense; others are light and wild and might give you a few new laugh lines. Most are loosely connected to existing popular series, yet all stand entirely alone. Many will make you chuckle, one or two might make you cry, and there are a few that will require the use of a fan and cold water.
We are the authors behind the long-running (and, we say humbly and happily) quite popular MurderSheWrites blog. Started in 2005, the MSW blog has always enjoyed a large and lively audience of readers, writers, and publishing industry experts.
All of us are primarily, but not exclusively, writers of romance and suspense, enjoying a wide spectrum along both those popular bands. Among us, we have over 150 published novels, numerous appearances on the New York Times Bestseller lists, dozens of industry awards, and, yeah, more than twenty kids. Thanks to amazing and palpable synergy, we are also close friends who love, respect, admire, and depend upon one another.
Sharon: I have so many questions, but since our readers can’t wait to hear more about Guns and Roses, I’ll keep them short. First, who came up with the idea for the anthology or was it done through a virtual early morning latte chat?
MSW Team: Allison mentioned it first about a year ago and we were all like, yes! I believe we had been drinking that day! Then life and deadlines got in the way. Lori/Lorelei or was it Laura? One of L’s brought it back up this past fall. We decided now or never and let’s really push ourselves and shoot for a Valentine’s Day release! We missed it by a week, but when you read Guns and Roses, you’ll see that the quality is tops and well worth waiting the extra week. We’d just like to mention that Guns and Roses can stand beside anything New York produces and kill it!
Sharon: Who got to pick the fabulous title?
MSW Team: Miss Lori Armstrong aka Lorelei James came up with that killer title.
Sharon: Who did the cover and which author had final say on the design?
MSW Team: Designer Kim Killion did an amazing job! We all had the final say. LoL. I can still remember the ten of us voicing ten different thoughts and opinions. Oh, the flurry of emails that ensued. Luckily, we had a very patient designer, and in the end, Kim came through. One thing all of us agree on is: We LOVE the cover!
Sharon: How did you decide the order of the stories? Alphabetical? Age of oldest child or pet? Cup size?
MSW Team: We did the cup size thing first but there was some boob envy getting in the way. But for the most part, Allison came up with good reasons for the order. Then we ran it by our editor, Charlotte Herscher for some advice on the matter. She liked what was suggested and we ran with it. We start off with Rocki’s wonderful Bullet Catchers and wrap up with the indomitable Bobbie Faye, with all kinds of goodness in between!
Sharon: Did you have an outside editor read through Guns and Roses before publishing?
MSW Team: Absolutely. We’re pros, but not perfect; we hired one of the best in the business, Charlotte Herscher. She did an amazing job! Our copy editor, Debi Murray was quick and efficient, and our proofreader and formatter Amy Eye has the eagle eye for details. She was amazing. And ever so patient. Ever ever so patient. We heart her.
Sharon: How long did Guns and Roses take you all from first concept to upload?
MSW Team: Roughly three months. And the work involved was Herculean. But put ten amazing brains attached to ten driven writers, and we made it look easy. It was a lot of work. But a happy chore, executed with passion and friendship. We’re all still friends!
Sharon: How will you measure the success of Guns and Roses?
MSW Team: The first and most important benchmark is we’re all still talking to each other! Secondly, we learned a lot through the process, so next time it will be a breeze! But at the end of the day, sales will play the biggest part in the equation. While we know we produced a unique quality product, we need people to buy it so we’ll want to do it again. And so far the sales look good.
Sharon: Thanks so much. Now on to the good stuff. All the sexy and exciting details about Guns and Roses!
PI Julie Collins trails cheating lovers, which leads to questions about her relationship with Tony Martinez.
Sex crimes detective Selena Black puts her career and life at risk to prove that high-profile attorney Greg Keller is the brutal River City Rapist before he strikes again.
“The Housewife Assassin’s Bloody Valentine”
CIA contract assassin Donna Stone’s idea of Valentine’s Day?A couple’s massage with her mission’s leader Jack Craig—not breaking out of a Mexican prison, then stopping a massacre by an international terrorist cell.
“Bobbie Faye’s Whacked Out, No Good, Really Sucky, Hot Mess of a Wedding”
Bobbie Faye Sumrall, Cajun Contraband Days Queen, gun expert, and ultimate professional in being in the wrong place at the wrong time, absolutely, positively does not want to go through with the wedding that Trevor’s forcing her to agree to, but she soon finds out she has more important things to worry about—like surviving the plot to make her disappear when she’s set up as a fall guy for the theft of a priceless religious icon.
“Blood and Roses”
When insurance investigator Anastasia Miller sets out to retrieve the rose-hued pink diamonds stolen in a recent heist, she finds herself working alongside former flame, deputy U.S. Marshal Jake Monroe—the man she loved enough to leave behind.
Alone on an icy road at nightfall, Holly Henriksen puts her trust in a charming stranger and soon discovers he is keeping a dangerous secret.
“King of Hearts,” a Rough Riders short story
Deputy Cam McKay deals with a murder/suicide case on Valentine’s Day.
“A Punishing Night”
While investigating the stabbing death of a student at his own alma mater, Detective Joe Bashir confronts painful memories and makes an intriguing new acquaintance.
“Pick Your Poison,” A Bullet Catcher Novella
When Bullet Catcher Benjamin Youngblood sets out to track and trap an assassin, he’s forced to trust a sexy flower farmer who could be as dangerous as her homegrown poison.
For Detective Cash Cantrell, hunting down a University serial killer is as routine as strapping on his gun each morning. Until he comes face to face with meddlesome coed, Rebel Yell Culpepper. He doesn’t know if he should arrest her or kiss her, but one thing Cash knows for sure, Rebel is key to finding the murderer, and the killer knows it too…
Thank you for sharing the Guns and Roses‘ success story today. We wish all of the MurderSheWrites authors the best of luck. And for our readers, if you leave a comment you will be eligible to win a FREE copy of Guns and Roses! Check back tomorrow to find out who won.