Blog Archives

Merry Christmas and Happy 2017!

img_4695

Merry Christmas

and Happy Holidays

from all of us at

Kiss And Thrill

img_4203

Eat, drink and be merry —

img_4644

and

read lots of suspense.

img_4628

With Love,

from the

Kiss and Thrill women:

Carey, Diana, Gwen, Krista, Lena, Manda, Rachel, Sarah, and Sharon.

img_4714And may 2017 be a wonderful, healthy, happy year for you and yours!

What makes the EXIT Inc. Series Unique?

On June 30, EXIT STRATEGY, the first book in my new romantic suspense EXIT Inc. series, will be released by Avon (an imprint of HarperCollins.) Readers have asked me just what is this EXIT Inc. anyway? Obviously, I hope you’ll read the books to find out. But for our KaT readers, I’m giving an exclusive sneak peek into the world of EXIT and explaining what sets this series apart from other series in RomanceLandia.

Exit Strategy High Rez Final

What is EXIT Inc.?

EXIT is an acronym for “EXtreme International Tours”. EXIT Incorporated is a privately owned company that offers guided outdoor tours all over the world. Or at least, that’s what EXIT wants you to believe. In reality, the tour side of the company is a front for the government sanctioned clandestine organization of highly trained operatives, called Enforcers, who will do whatever it takes–legal or not–to protect the United States and its citizens from terrorists and other criminals. Enforcers are often placed in the role of assassins and preemptively eliminate the bad guys before they can hurt or kill more people.

What makes this series different from other series?

There are a lot of brotherhood, assassin, or secret protector types of series out there, like Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series or Julie Ann Walker’s Black Knights Inc. series–which are both fantastic! But two main things set EXIT apart from the others.

One – The moral dilemma of assassins preemptively killing bad guys before they can strike again is explored in depth, pitting the heroes and heroines of these stories against each other and giving poignant glimpses into the hearts and minds of each character and why they make the choices they make.

Two – Where other series cast the brotherhood organizations as the force of good, EXIT Inc. turns that completely around. The Enforcers come to realize that the company they’ve devoted their lives to may have been using them all along, and that EXIT Inc. may actually be a force of evil. Seeing how the heroes and heroines come to this realization and what they do about it is what makes this series so fun and exciting.

Is this series related to your Deadly Games series? Yes and no. The Deadly Games series has law-enforcement heroes and heroines primarily focused on hunting down serial killers. It’s very family-centric, with the heroes of each book being either a Buchanan brother or a close friend (such as Logan Richards in the first book) and is set in Florida and Georgia.

The EXIT Inc. series has bad-boy heroes, definitely not law enforcement, whose prey are hard core terrorists and deadly criminals far more dangerous than serial killers. While the Enforcers in these stories form a brotherhood, they aren’t a true family. And the books are set in the two places where EXIT Inc. maintains headquarters–North Carolina and Colorado.

The connection between the two series is that the last Deadly Games book–TAKE THE KEY AND LOCK HER UP–features Devlin Buchanan, who is an assassin for EXIT Incorporated. The book can be considered as a prequel for the EXIT series as it introduces the company and some of the primary players. The EXIT series is actually a natural spin-off that happened organically while I was writing Devlin’s story. And for fun, I feature many of the Buchanans in cameo roles in this new series. But you can read and enjoy the EXIT books without having ever read the Deadly Games books.

How many books will be in this new series? Currently there are three books planned: EXIT Strategy, No EXIT, and Final EXIT.

How often will these books be released? Unless the schedule changes, they will come out about every six months, beginning with the first book on June 30, 2015.

How can I buy the EXIT books? This series is in print and ebook. You should be able to buy these books in Walmart, Barnes and Noble, and many other “brick and mortar” physical book stores beginning June 30, 2015. You can also order print or ebook formats online pretty much anywhere–like Amazon, B&N, iBooks, and Kobo. AND YOU CAN PRE-ORDER RIGHT NOW!

* * *

I hope that answers some of your questions about this new series. Please let me know if you have more questions! EXIT STRATEGY is available for pre-order now. The description and buy links appear below.


EXIT STRATEGY

Lena Diaz launches her thrilling new series featuring the undercover vigilantes of EXIT Inc. with a skilled operative putting his life—and his heart—on the line for a woman in trouble

When Sabrina Hightower awakens to the sound of an intruder, she figures he’s there to rob her, murder her— or worse. She doesn’t expect to be carried off by a muscle-bound stud with male-model good looks . . . or that he came to rescue her.

Mason Hunt became an enforcer with EXIT Inc. to eliminate the bad guys—terrorists, militia groups, all those who would do America harm. But his latest target is innocent. If EXIT could lie about sultry, strong-willed Sabrina, what darker truths might they be concealing?

Going rogue in the rugged North Carolina mountains, Mason risks everything to keep Sabrina close, especially now that EXIT’s lethal assassins are chasing them down. The heat is on . . . but it’s nothing compared to the slow burn of seduction.


 

What other authors are saying about EXIT STRATEGY…

“Sexy romance and edge-of-your-seat suspense…EXIT STRATEGY is a book not to be missed!” –NYT and USA Today Bestselling author Cynthia Eden

“Taut, compelling… kept me hooked to the last page.” -NYT Bestselling author Mary Burton

“EXIT STRATEGY is a tension-packed read, an addicting mix of suspense and romance.” – Kendra Elliot

“EXIT STRATEGY starts out with a bang and never lets up. Perfect pacing, smart and sexy, this is exactly what you want in a romantic suspense.” – Award winning author HelenKay Dimon

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Lena Diaz
Lena Diaz
 is a country girl at heart who has planted her Kentucky roots deep into the sandy soil of north Florida where she lives with her hubby and a shetland sheepdog. FSU-grad-son and college-daughter visit when they can. Lena is an action movie and crime-TV junkie. She also loves gardening, and hiking in the beautiful Smoky Mountains in Tennessee whenever she can get away. EXIT STRATEGY is Lena’s 10th published novel.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

And the winner of a $10 Amazon gift card from last week’s post, courtesy of Heather Ashby and Chris Bergeron, is Nancy Stillings! Congratulations!!!!

Winner of TAKE THE KEY AND LOCK HER UP!

Thank you for celebrating the release of my newest novel, TAKE THE KEY AND LOCK HER UP! On Tuesday I’m posting again so I can celebrate the release of a dear friend of mine, MARY BEHRE (pronounced Merry Berry! I love her name!). Her newest novel, GUARDED, is burning up the Amazon bestseller lists.

And now for this weeks winner! TRISHJ! Please use the Contact page on this website to provide your email address and format preference (Nook or Kindle) and I’ll send you a copy of TAKE THE KEY AND LOCK HER UP.

Thank you all again for making my release day so fun! And thank you to my Kiss and Thrill partners in crime. You ladies are awesome!

 

takethekey

A SPIRITED Winner!

Spirited_CoverThanks so much to the awesome Mary Behre for celebrating her debut with us this week!

The lucky winner of  a copy of Mary Behre’s debut paranormal romantic suspense novel, SPIRITED, is…Patti Straight!

Patti, please contact us here with your snail mail address (if you prefer a print copy) and email address to claim your prize. 

Next up: Our own Carey Baldwin! Carey is one of the very first authors HarperCollins chose to help launch their new IMPULSE WITNESS line. And next Tuesday we are celebrating her first thriller with this line, CONFESSION. It’s an awesome story that you won’t want to miss. Join us on Tuesday to help us celebrate!

Confessionfinal                 Amazon | B & N | iTunes |

For fans of Allison Brennan and Karen Rose comes Carey Baldwin, a daring new name in suspense, with the story of a serial killer out for blood—and the only woman who can stop his reign of terror.

They say the Santa Fe Saint comes to save your soul—by taking your life.

Newly minted psychiatrist Faith Clancy gets the shock of her life when her first patient confesses to the grisly Saint murders. By law Faith’s compelled to notify the authorities, but is her patient really the Saint? Or will she contribute to more death by turning the wrong man over to the police?

Faith is going to need all her wits and the help of a powerful adversary, Luke Jericho, if she’s to unravel the truth. But she doesn’t realize she’s about to become an unwitting pawn in a serial killer’s diabolical game. For once he’s finished with Faith, she’ll become his next victim.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Garland

Merry Christmas

from all of us at

Kiss And Thrill

Detail from First Lady's Christmas Tree

Detail from First Lady’s Christmas Tree 2012

In the meantime,

eat, drink and be merry —

and

read lots of suspense.

Love,

from all the

Kiss and Thrill girls:

Krista, Carey, Lena, Rachel, Gwen, Sharon, Sarah, Manda, and Diana

White House Christmas Tree 2012

White House Christmas Tree 2012 (Yes, I know it’s last year, but I didn’t get invited this year. LOL)

Remember to join us on Tuesday, December 31st for a very special New Year’s Eve interview with author Elizabeth Heiter on her debut release day!

Winner of Kathryn J. Bain’s Beautiful Imperfection!

Thank you again, Kathryn J. Bain for joining us this week!

KBain

And now…the winner of an ebook copy of Beautiful Imperfection by Kathryn J. Bain is…SHERRY GLADDEN! Please refer to the contact page on this website for information on how to claim your prize!

Winner of a Nursery Rhyme book…

toast

Thank you all so much for stopping by on Tuesday to help me celebrate that my next nursery rhyme book will be released on September 10th. I’m so excited about Ashes, Ashes, They All Fall Dead!

And now (drum roll please) the winners of ebook copies of the first nursery rhyme book–He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not–are…

Carmen -and- Amy Valentini!

(If you already have a copy of He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not, just visit my author website http://www.LenaDiaz.com and let me know which of my books you don’t have and I’ll be happy to substitute! )

Congratulations! Please follow instructions on the “Contact Us” page to claim your prize.

Please join us tomorrow when Gwen Hernandez will announce the winner of a copy of Crash and Burn, by Allison Brennan and Laura Griffin.

Cover-AshesAshesTheyAllFallDead-highrez

Why I’m Thankful…A Personal Story about Diabetes

Jen-hospital2

Kiss and Thrill is actively involved in trying to raise money for diabetes this month — so pardon us rerunning a post from last November.  Lena Diaz’s story of her daughter’s struggle with diabetes touched all of our hearts and is one of many reasons we’re participating in the Brenda Novak Auction for the Cure of Diabetes.  We have put together a nifty Kiss and Thrill Gift Basket, Carey Baldwin has donated her Vail, Colorado condo and a copy of her book, and of course there are tons of other wonderful things on the Brenda Novak Auction Homepage.  Please take a look around and you’ll be surprised at the inexpensive goodies up for auction.  And thank you for helping cure diabetes!

Now here is Lena Diaz’s post:

When I think about what I’m thankful for, I can’t ignore the fact that November is Diabetes Awareness month. Eleven years ago, my daughter was diagnosed with this terrible disease, and for that–I am thankful. Not because she has diabetes of course, but because she’s a survivor. Like most people, I wasn’t aware of the symptoms of diabetes, and because of that, I very nearly lost my daughter.

By sharing this personal story about my daughter’s diagnosis, my hope is that people who think they know about diabetes – but have never personally experienced its impact in their lives – will take a moment to read this. You never know. What you learn might save a life.

Most people are familiar with Type II diabetes, which is typically caused, or at least exacerbated, by an unhealthy lifestyle (over-eating, over-weight). People with Type II can lose weight and exercise, and often (but not always) symptoms of the disease will dramatically improve or disappear altogether.

I’m going to tell you about the other type of diabetes, Type 1, which my daughter Jennifer has. The picture above shows her in the hospital a couple of days after she was diagnosed.

Type 1 diabetes is also known as insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes, because it usually strikes children. In this disease, the islet cells in your pancreas stop producing insulin. Most people who get this disease are NOT overweight. And losing weight or eating differently won’t make it go away or make it better. Your body doesn’t produce insulin. Period. And if you don’t have insulin every day, you die. Period.

Most people think they know the symptoms of diabetes. Thirsty all the time. Check. Frequent urination. Check. But there are many other symptoms you may not be aware of. I used to be one of those people who didn’t know the other symptoms, and because of that, I almost lost my daughter. Let’s step back in time to when my daughter, Jennifer, was seven.

Jennifer was thin. Always. No matter what she ate, she didn’t gain much weight (Symptom #1). From the time she could hold a sippy cup, she liked to drink a lot. So, for her, drinking a lot (and therefore going to the bathroom a lot) was normal. (Symptom #2)

Jennifer was relatively healthy, just like any other child her age. But shortly after she started school, she would complain about tummy aches. (Symptom #3) She only complained occasionally. It wasn’t chronic. Kids get tummy aches. A lot. So I really didn’t think that was a problem. I gave her medicine for her tummy, and she always felt better the next day.

I took her for a haircut one day. The hair dresser called me over. I thought she was going to ask me something about the hair cut, but instead she showed me several long strands of my daughter’s hair. The hair dresser told me my daughter’s hair came out too easily (Symptom #4). I have to tell you, I blew that off. I thought that lady was being silly.

A few weeks later, my daughter wasn’t acting like herself. She sat around a lot instead of playing. Her cheeks were also bright red. My husband took her to the pediatrician. I asked my husband to be sure to let the doctor know that the hair dresser said my daughter’s hair was falling out too easily. Because by this time I was thinking the same thing, but I didn’t have a clue what that could mean. Our pediatrician ignored the hair symptom, much like I initially had. And he diagnosed my daughter with Fifth’s Disease, which basically means a red rash and that she is tired a lot and doesn’t feel well. The cure was to give her time to get better. (Being diagnosed with an illness OTHER than diabetes is Symptom #5).

The following weekend, my daughter woke up in the middle of the night. She said her tummy hurt. And she was breathing very fast. (Symptom #6) She threw up and then seemed to feel better. No fever. So I put her to bed with me and she went to sleep.

The next morning she was feeling better, but not great. Her tummy didn’t hurt anymore, and she wasn’t throwing up, but she sat around not doing much. And when I looked at her, I could tell there was something wrong, but wasn’t sure what. I can only describe it as saying she didn’t look like Jennifer. Something about her face was ‘off’ but I couldn’t figure out what it was. (Symptom #7 – sunken-in eyes)

That was in September, on a holiday weekend. I was definitely planning to take her back to her doctor after the holiday. But I was so worried about her, that I went ahead and took her to the emergency room. Honestly, I felt silly doing it. She had no fever. Her doctor had already diagnosed her a few days earlier with Fifth’s Disease, which could theoretically explain her not feeling well. But my gut told me to go, so I went.

On the way to the hospital. She complained about being thirsty and I bought her a Gator-ade to drink. She drank a LARGE bottle on the way to the E.R. – all of it. It did nothing to quench her thirst. Her tongue was dry like sandpaper (Symptom #8).

When the nurse triaged my daughter, I told the nurse my daughter didn’t feel well, had just been diagnosed with Fifth’s, and that she drank a bottle of Gator-ade on the way to the hospital and her tongue was dry. I also mentioned her face just didn’t look right to me but I didn’t know why. I hadn’t even finished telling her all of that when the nurse reached for a glucose monitor and checked my daughter’s blood sugar level. That nurse knew with just one look that my daughter was severely dehydrated – which explains the thirst and the sunken-in eyes that made her look ‘off’.

Her sugar level was too high to register on the meter.

My daughter was immediately taken to the Intensive Care Unit. Her blood was drawn and sent to the hospital lab to get an accurate blood sugar level reading, and she was put on an insulin drip. A normal sugar level is around 100. If your sugar gets around 250 or higher, it’s considered really bad and dangerous. My daughter’s sugar was over 1000. Her doctor later told me he had never heard of anyone having sugar that high who survived.

My daughter spent four days in the ICU. I almost lost her. The doctor later told me that when sugar levels get that high, people typically have seizures and die. He also told me that if I had waited until after the weekend, my daughter would have died. He estimated she was literally within an hour or two of seizing and dying.

Think about that for a minute.

How many of you would have taken your child to the emergency room when they had no fever and just seemed ‘off’ and just weren’t very active? Especially since the pediatrician had diagnosed her with a condition just a few days earlier that explained her symptoms? I don’t know for sure why I went to the E.R. that day. My gut just told me something was wrong, so I went. And I thank God that I did.

I’m not saying to assume diabetes every time your child has a tummy ache. I’m saying to trust your gut and be your child’s advocate.

MOST Type 1 diabetics are diagnosed with a different illness shortly before being diagnosed with diabetes. Why? Because Type 1 is an auto-immune disease. Every time a person with Type 1 gets sick — whether it’s a cold or something else — their body attacks the Islet cells in their pancreas, killing more of them. One day, one of those “attacks” kills enough cells so that the diabetic goes into ketoacidosis, which is what happened to my daughter. Her blood was literally turning to acid and killing her.

So what about all of those symptoms I mentioned? Here’s a quick run-down of each symptom, and what it really meant, even though I didn’t know it Jen nowat the time.

  • Can’t gain weight – Your body needs insulin in order to absorb nutrition, so without insulin your body eats all the fat to survive.
  • Thirsty – If your sugar is too high your blood is getting acidic, so your body’s natural reaction is to crave water to dilute the acid.
  • Frequent urination – Drink more, pee more (smile)
  • Hair Falling out – Malnutrition! The body can’t absorb nutrients.
  • Sunken-in Eyes – Dehydration because the body can’t absorb water anymore (acidic blood).
  • Tummy ache – Malnutrition
  • Throwing up – Potassium and electrolytes in the blood are all ‘off’ which throws the entire body out of whack and makes you sick
  • Rapid Breathing – Respiratory distress. This is one of the last systems, along with throwing up. It happens right before the body shuts down. Next symptom – seizure and death.

Okay, enough of the doom and gloom. I’m happy to report that my daughter recovered and is now living a rich fulfilling life in spite of the incredible challenges of living with this horrible disease. (The picture above is a current picture of Jennifer.)

Hopefully by sharing my daughter’s story, I have educated some people about symptoms you may have otherwise overlooked. And if that saves a life, well then, that’s a wonderful thing.

%d bloggers like this: