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Winners!

Many thanks to the awesome Nancy Allen for joining us for a fun Friday! Please come back anytime, and guys don’t forget to check out A Killing at the Creek!

9780062325969The winner of a ten dollar Starbucks gift card and choice of Nook or Kindle copy of A Killing at the Creek is: Patti Straight. Congrats to Patti! Please use the contact form to let us know your preference for Kindle or Nook and your preferred email for receipt of prizes. 

Also, thanks to everyone who stopped by last Tuesday to celebrate the release of Gwen Hernandez’s new book, Blind Ambition!

GwenHernandez_BlindAmbition_200pxThe winner of an electronic copy of Blind Ambition is kimk. Congratulations! Please use the Contact Us link above to send us your preference for Kindle, Nook, iBooks, or Kobo and include your preferred email.

Next up our very own Rachel Grant previews her new release: Incriminating Evidence and talks Second Book Syndrome. Don’t miss it!IE-frontCover-Final-r2-72dpi

Tis the Season to Give and Give Back

Thanksgiving is over. We Americans were thankful for our blessings and then quickly pivoted to preparations for the season of giving (aka Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, etc.). It is also the season to give back. Today, I have my own opportunity to give back. As it happens, it is also a second chance because it was an opportunity that I passed up the first time it presented itself.

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What was the opportunity? (You were wondering that, right?) Modeling.

Yes, as surprising as it may sound, late last week I found myself suddenly in demand as a model. In a fashion show for a holiday luncheon benefit. An event I was helping to organize and planning to attend.

What I hadn’t planned on is the catwalk.

When the call to action came last week—We’re down three models; please help us out—the words on the tip of my tongue were all negative. I can’t. I ate too much pumpkin pie last week. I might trip on the catwalk. But before those words could launch into sounds of refusal, I remembered how much generosity, support, and kindness has been given to me this year. These same women who are dedicating their time, talents, and energy to organize the Northern Virginia Alliance League (NVAL) holiday luncheon to benefit Friends of Guest House, were also the same women who celebrated with me earlier this year when I announced that I had published my first book.NVAL

My heart has been full of gratitude at their enthusiasm and support expressed in word and deed. Not only have many of my NVAL friends bought Broken Places, they have also taken the time to write reviews on Amazon, to express interest in the writing and publishing process, to invite me to talk to their book groups, and to give copies of Broken Places to their friends.

It has truly been a wealth of blessings. I have a pretty good idea of how George Bailey must have felt at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life. (Another holiday favorite of mine.) How could I say no to these friends who have given me so much? It was my time to give back. Keep your fingers crossed I don’t trip over my own two feet!

BrokenPlaces-FrontCover-Final-72dpiDo-gooders and second chances are two prominent themes of Broken Places so in the spirit of giving back, I will be donating half of my December Amazon royalties to Friends of Guest House, a 501(c)(3) serving women ex-offenders returning to the community after serving their time. Sometimes a helping hand can make all the difference. I think the mission statement from the Friends of Guest House website says it best: Help, hope, and new beginnings for Northern Virginia’s ex-offender women.

Here’s a list of other authors who are doing good while entertaining us with stories that give us the opportunity to walk in someone else’s shoes, even if just for a few short hours.

  • Heather Ashby donates half of her royalties to Fisher House to support military families in the U.S.
  • JK Rowling is donating all global royalties for The Cuckoo’s Calling to The Soldiers’ Charity to support military families in the U.K.
  • Nora Roberts donates millions every year to the Nora Roberts Foundation to support literacy and children’s programs.
  • Debbie Macomber serves on the Board of Warm Up America which distributes hand-knit afghans, caps, and other items to tens of thousands of people in need.
  • K&T’s Rachel Grant and the authors of the Hometown Heroes book bundle are donating all royalties to Pets For Vets.
  • K&T’s Lena Diaz organizes the K&T donation as well as donating her own books and other items to the annual Brenda Novak Auction in support of Juvenile Diabetes research.

Wishing you and your family peace and joy in this season of giving! Christmas background with snowy fir trees

All month, the kindle edition of Broken Places is a free download for anyone who purchases the paperback edition through Amazon. Give a gift and keep one for yourself!

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

contentHappy Thanksgiving! Today I’d like to share some silly and not so silly things those of us at Kiss and Thrill are thankful for.

Carey:

BillandElvisSilly: I’m thankful I’m not a turkey.

Serious and Silly: I’m thankful for my husband’s Elvis impersonation. I swear it made me fall in love with him. 

Serious: I’m thankful for my three incredible children and the beautiful world we live in.

Lena:

photoSerious: I’m thankful that my son and daughter will be home for the holiday.

Silly: I’m thankful that my son and daughter will be home for the holiday. (Seeing a trend?)

Krista:Rosie in my chair

The GirlsSilly: I’m grateful for Rosie who always keeps my favorite writing chair warm when I’m not sitting in it.

Serious: I’m grateful for my mom and sisters and all the laughter we share when we’re together.

 

 

 

Diana: 

Silly: I’m grateful for my DVR because it means I can take the time to talk to a friend or get interrupted by a family member and not worry about “missing” anything during my favorite show. The DVR puts me in control of TV, unchains me from the box, and means way less viewing time since it’s on my schedule, not theirs. Plus, fewer commercials. Yay!!Meissen+Figurine+Musee+Ariana (1)

Serious: I am grateful for my husband who is the love of my life, is always there for me, and thinks I’m great even when I’m not. What did I ever do to deserve him?

Rachel:

Silly: Rite-in-the-Rain notebooks for jotting down story inspirations while in the shower or tub.

matanuska glacierSerious: I’m thankful for all the wonderful people who fill my life and give it meaning, most especially, my husband, daughter, and son.

Gwen:

Gwen-ZoeSilly: I’m thankful to my golden retriever for forcing me to leave my home office a couple of times a day.

Serious: I’m grateful that I live where I can pursue my dreams and take that journey with the people I love most in this world.

Sarah:

Silly: I am thankful to Bonita Boarding and Kennel Camp for taking my little hooligans off my hands every morning.

704907FF-54A5-4030-8F6A-E32E8233DA9ESerious: I am thankful for the final safe return of my older brother, from 18 months in the US Embassy in Afghanistan. (In the picture he is holding Flat Stanley, some 3rd grade class drew and mailed it to him. Too cute!)

Manda: 

Silly: I’m thankful to Netflix and Hulu which kept me from losing my mind during my six weeks of mandatory IV antibiotic treatments.

Serious: I’m thankful for the doctors, nurses and other medical professionals and researchers whose hard work cured the infection in my heart so that I can keep on writing the books I love.Old+fashioned+TV (1)

Runner-up:  I’m thankful to my wonderful friends (Lena, Carey, Rachel, Diana, Gwen, Krista, Sarah and Sharon) who also kept me from losing my mind during those six weeks.

Sharon:

IMG_3154Silly: I am grateful for my Canon digital camera which lets me catch my children and their friends in all sorts of situations. All for future bribery/blackmail use, of course.

Serious: I am grateful for my husband and two children who have brought me more happiness than I deserve.

All of us are so grateful for your recovery, Manda. We love you!

If anyone wants to share a silly or serious thing they’re thankful for today, we’d love to hear it.

Crimes of Passion – 6 Romantic Suspense Books for $0.99!

Summer is officially here and like many of our readers, I’m looking to fill up my ereader with sexy, intense, and mysterious stories for vacation reading, which is why I’m extra thrilled to tell our Kiss and Thrill audience about a new 6-book bundle available for a limited time for only $0.99!

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CRIMES OF PASSION, full of heart-pounding, sexy suspense, includes books by four New York Times bestselling authors! I am so honored to have Body of Evidence included with these fantastic titles!

~ Crimes of the Heart Collection ~
CRIMES OF PASSION
Six Romantic Suspense Books

Toni Anderson – Her Sanctuary
Terri Reid – Loose Ends
M A Comley – Past Temptation
Rachel Grant – Body of Evidence
Jennifer Blake – Love and Smoke
Denise Grover Swank – Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes

To learn more about the CRIMES OF PASSION authors, I donned my James Lipton beard and put them in the Inside the Actors Studio hot seat.

What is your favorite word?
Toni: Ethereal
Terri: Pizzazz
M A: Perpendicular
Rachel: Kismet
Jennifer: Serendipity
Denise: Yes

What is your least favorite word?
Toni: Vomit
Terri: Should
M A: Scenario
Rachel: Fart
Jennifer: Skanky
Denise: No

What turns you on?
Toni: Tom Hardy’s smile
Terri: A good mystery
M A: Kindness
Rachel: Wit (six-pack abs don’t hurt either)
Jennifer: Tenderness
Denise: A confident man

What turns you off?
Toni: The list is endless.
Terri: Bad writing
M A: Conceit
Rachel: Fart jokes
Jennifer: Vulgarity
Denise: Negativity

What sound or noise do you love?
Toni: Bird song
Terri: An owl hooting nearby on a dark night
M A: A trickling stream
Rachel: My children’s laughter
Jennifer: Ocean surf
Denise: My children’s laughter

What sound or noise do you hate?
Toni: Bird song at 5 AM
Terri: Arguing
M A: Animals in pain
Rachel: Leaf blowers
Jennifer: NASCAR racing
Denise: Loud squeaks

What is your favorite curse word?
Toni: Fuck
Terri: Crap – just ask Mary O’Reilly
M A: Shit
Rachel: Fuck
Jennifer: Hell
Denise: Frickety-frack (I have little kids. Enough said.)

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Toni: FBI agent 🙂
Terri: Billionaire – that’s a profession, right?
M A: Vet
Rachel: Covert operative
Jennifer: Artist
Denise: I love being an author. I wouldn’t want to be anything else.

What profession would you not like to do?
Toni: Garbage man – looks like the hardest job in the world in this city.
Terri: Proctologist – ’nuff said.
M A: Slaughterman
Rachel: Any job that involves putrid odors on a daily basis.
Jennifer: Nursing
Denise: Sanitation worker

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
Toni: “They’re all waiting for you.” 🙂
Terri: “Welcome home.”
M A: “Welcome, I’ve had my eye on you for a while. Thanks for going the extra mile to support all the needy animals on Earth.”
Rachel: “I’ve decided to make an exception in your case.”
Jennifer: “Come on in, honey, glad to see you could make it!”
Denise: “You made the world a better place.”

I love both the similarities and differences in our answers! What do you think? Do you have a favorite word? To celebrate the release of CRIMES OF PASSION I’m giving away a copy of CONCRETE EVIDENCE in audiobook (CD format) to one randomly selected commenter.

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BODY OF EVIDENCE (Evidence Series)Rachel Grant

In North Korea retrieving the remains of GIs, archaeologist Mara Garrett is arrested and sentenced to death for spying. Curt Dominick, an ambitious, infuriatingly sexy US attorney mounts a rescue misson that morphs into an explosive chase across the Pacific. Desire clashes with loyalty when the conspiracy they uncover threatens not only their lives but national security.

HER SANCTUARYToni Anderson

Running for her life, ex-FBI agent Elizabeth Ward escapes to the solitude of Montana with a new identity. Nat Sullivan, struggling to keep his ranch from bankruptcy, doesn’t need a beautiful stranger complicating his life. But Elizabeth isn’t what she seems. And when a murderer and rapist track her down, they all discover the power of revenge — and redemption.

TWENTY-EIGHT AND A HALF WISHES (Rose Gardner Mystery – Book 1)Denise Grover Swank

Rose Gardner’s had visions before, but never of herself dead. When her overbearing momma winds up murdered instead, she’s the prime suspect. Rose makes a bucketlist of 28 wishes, targeting neighbor Joe, with secrets of his own, for #15: Do more with a man. Then her house is broken into, someone else she knows is murdered, and suddenly, dying a virgin in jail isn’t her biggest worry.

LOOSE ENDS (A Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mystery – Book 1)Terri Reid

Combining her cop experience with a talent to communicate with ghosts, PI Mary O’Reilly’s big challenge is convincing the handsome police chief she’s not nuts. But when the ghost of a woman drowned in a Senator’s swimming pool 24 years ago points to a connection with the cold cases of five missing girls, Mary becomes a target of a serial killer out to tie up all his loose ends.

Love & Smoke_200x300LOVE AND SMOKE (Contemporary Collection)Jennifer Blake

Riva Staulet triumphed over past betrayal to reinvent herself as a woman of wealth and power. Noel has always been a Southern gentleman of rock-solid principle, stalward in his sense of justice. When a ruthless politician from her past resurfaces, Riva must risk utter ruin to prove him a murderer. And as death and disaster loom, Noel must choose to stand with her or against her.

PAST TEMPTATION (Temptation Series)M A Comley

Until now, Nicole’s main focus in life has been running her successful business while raising her daughter, Sammy Jo, single-handedly. Now, Nicole’s ex-boyfriend, Josh, has turned up determined to rekindle the relationship he ran out on. But before they get the chance to pick up where they left off, Nicole’s personal life is put in mortal danger.

Check out CRIMES OF PASSION at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

And don’t forget to comment for a chance to win CONCRETE EVIDENCE in audio CD!

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Book Lists and Lena Diaz’s Tennessee Takedown

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Thank you for helping us build our 2014 TBR lists! We came up with some wonderful suggestions that will keep us busy all year.

These are some of titles on our list so far  (in no particular order):

Do or Die, Suzanne Brockmann  February 4, 2014

Hell for Leather, Julie Ann Walker, May 6, 2014

Dash of Peril (Love Undercover), Lori Foster, March 25, 2014

When Day Breaks, Maya Banks, June 24, 2014

Elle Kennedy, Midnight Pursuits, April 1 2014

The King, JR Ward, April 1, 2014

Dark Wolf, Christine Feehan, January 7, 2014

Styxx, Sherrilyn Kenyon, September 2013

Divergent by Veronica Roth

The Fault in Our Stars  by John Green

Tenessee Takedown, Lena Diaz, February 1, 2014

The Bodyguard, Lena Diaz, April 15, 2014

Take the Key and Lock Her Up, Lena Diaz, July 22, 2014

Confession, Carey BaldwinMarch 11th, 2014

Labyrinth, Carey Baldwin, Sept 16th, 2014

Why Earls Fall in Love, Manda Collins , January 28, 2014

Why Lords Fall in Love, Manda Collins, July 28, 2014

Withholding Evidence, Rachel Grant, February 2014

Incriminating Evidence, Rachel Grant, Late 2014

Thankless in Death, J.D. Robb, September 17, 2013

The Spellman Files series by Lisa Lutz

It Happens in the Dark, Carol O’Connell, August 2013

Lost in a  Royal Kiss, Vanessa Kelly, November 26, 2013

The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt, October 22, 2013

The Interestings, Meg Wolitzer, April 9, 2013

Life After Life, Kate Atkinson, April 2, 2013

Far Gone, Laura Griffin, April 15, 2014

Romancing the Duke, Tessa Dare, January 28, 2014

Sweet Talk Me, Kieran Kramer, March 15, 2014

Lena Diaz

And please join us next week when our very own Carey Baldwin interviews our very own Lena Diaz!

We can’t wait to hear about her upcoming release Tennessee Takedown from Harlequin!

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Rachel Puts Debut Author Elizabeth Heiter in the Crosshairs

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I’m so excited today to introduce my friend Elizabeth Heiter to our Kiss and Thrill readers. Elizabeth and I met in 2008 when we were both finalists in Romance Writers of America®’s Golden Heart® contest. She was an early reader of CONCRETE EVIDENCE and I in turn was extremely lucky and got to read HUNTED, which debuts today.

I absolutely loved HUNTED and Elizabeth’s heroine, FBI profiler Evelyn Baine. This book is intense, scary, and fascinating. If you are looking for a book that will keep you up late and take your breath away with the best fight scenes I’ve ever read, this book is for you!

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed I don’t give books star ratings, because I find stars just don’t capture exactly how I feel about a book. So, as is my wont, I needed to come up with a new rating for HUNTED. Only one symbol fully captures the intensity of this book.

HUNTED gets five crosshairs:

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So now it is my great pleasure to welcome Elizabeth to Kiss and Thrill!

RG: What published author (any genre) turns you into a total fangirl?  Is there a particular book or is this based on their entire body of work?

EH: I’m going to have to say Suzanne Brockmann.  I was perusing the romantic suspense section at the bookstore one day many years back and came across Over the Edge.  Well, as soon as I finished it, I went out and bought everything else I could find by her (I even found used copies of all her TDD books, which weren’t in reprint at the time), and I’ve read everything since then.  In 2010, I entered a haiku contest she was running and I won!  I got the chance to sit down and talk to her at a conference as part of my prize, and it was a fantastic experience.  Not only is she an amazing writer and a very nice person, I love how she uses her success to bring awareness to issues that matter to her.

RG: I think several of our Kiss and Thrill contributors are turning green with envy right now. 🙂 I Have you ever written fan fiction, and if so, what work was it based on?  If you haven’t, what would you be tempted to write fan fiction about?

EH: Yes!  The very first manuscript I ever finished was written with critique partner Robbie Terman (whom I’ve known since second grade).  In early high school, we wrote a Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys novel – all in pen, in a big notebook.  During our senior year of high school, we went back and took that basic plotline we’d created and completely rewrote it into our own story, separate from the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys world.  That manuscript got us “Gifted and Talented” credit in high school and showed me that I could finish a book.  There’s still a special place in my heart for Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys!

RG: I love that story! Robbie is the best–you are so lucky you grew up together! And it’s funny – another 2008 GH finalist, Diana Miller, also named Nancy Drew in her fan fiction answer (you can read that post here). Next question, Facebook or Twitter?

EH: Both, and neither.  I was a latecomer to social media, and I still find some aspects of it really bizarre (like when I’m at a restaurant and at the table next to me, everyone has their phones out and are tweeting instead of talking to each other!).  In other ways, it’s quite fun.  I like Facebook because there’s no limit on words (and as a novelist who likes to write 100,000 word books, that’s handy!) and I enjoy Twitter because it’s quick and I really enjoy the randomness of it.

RG: What is the strangest weapon you’ve used to kill off a character, either on or off-scene?

EH: Hmmmm…my villains actually tend to use pretty straightforward methods for murder, most of the time.  It’s the body disposal where they get weird – for example, in more than one manuscript, I have used alligators (either to destroy evidence or as a way for a villain to try to kill off my heroine).  I’ve been intrigued by this idea ever since I went kayaking in the marshes in Georgia and had to sign a piece of paper that essentially read “this company is not liable if, while kayaking, an alligator eats you.”  I think only a suspense writer would be amused by that, but I still took that kayak trip (and I’m alive to talk about it!).

RG: I have been tubing and canoeing down rivers in Florida and I can confirm having alligator sightings every time. Never a dull moment on the river. 🙂 Okay, now for the best part, tell us about your debut release.

EH: My debut psychological suspense, HUNTED, is about an FBI profiler who learns just how deadly it can be to get inside the head of a killer.

In HUNTED, FBI profiler Evelyn Baine gets what looks like a typical serial killer case to profile.  Except when she arrives at the crime scene, the behavioral evidence seems contradictory.  But it does tell her the killer has struck before, and unless they stop him, he’ll strike again.  As she digs deeper into the case, the serial killer she’s tracking begins to track her too.  This time, it may be Evelyn’s turn to disappear…

New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann said, “This is a really excellent thriller – fast-paced and exciting, with a memorable cast of characters. Well done!”

RG: Okay, now I think my fellow K&T contributors are exploding with envy over the Brockmann quote! Thank you so much for sharing your debut release day with us, Elizabeth! With 2013 ending with your debut release, I know 2014 is going to be an exciting year for you.

Today Elizabeth is giving away a copy of HUNTED in ebook to one lucky commenter. To enter the drawing, tell us one thing you are looking forward to in 2014.

HUNTED
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Winner of PRESIDENTIAL PURSUIT…

Rachel Kall-Presidential Pursuit cover Thank you all for stopping by and “meeting” author Rachel Kall this week. A random name was drawn from the commenters on her post. Rachel is going to gift that person a free ebook copy of PRESIDENTIAL PURSUIT!

Congratulations ST Bende! You are the lucky winner! Please click on the Contact Us button and let us know your email address and your preference (Nook or Kindle copy).

Join us on Tuesday, December 31st for a very special interview. Rachel Grant welcomes author Elizabeth Heiter on her debut release day!

Thursday Winner – Undercover Twin and Working Girls!

CONGRATULATIONS TO JENNA BLUE WHO WINS A DIGITAL COPY OF:

Cover Undercover Twin - Lena Diaz

Jenna, please click on the Contact Us tab above within the next 10 days and let us know where we can send it. I just know you’ll love the story!

CONGRATULATIONS TO JULIE OEST

Julie, you won a print copy of BODY OF EVIDENCE and an ebook by either:  Melissa F MillerM A ComleyCheryl BradshawToni Dwiggins, or Phoenix Sullivan! Please Contact us with your mailing address and choice of ebook.

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Next Tuesday Kiss and Thrill will be hosted by Diana Belchase. We look forward to seeing you then!

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