Blog Archives

Award Winning KaTs! Time to celebrate!

There has been a ton of great news at Kiss and Thrill this month. There have been literally an avalanche of award nominations for our members.  While all the KaTs have a slew of awards for books both published and unpublished, here are a few you might not yet have heard about that were announced in the last thirty days:

Sharon-WraySharon Wray  is a real dynamo. She writes Romantic Suspense, Historical, and just recently has branched into Young Adult. Over the years she’s accumulated eight Golden Heart nominations, won the Daphne du Maurier three times, and nearly every award in her path.  This month her new YA book, Wicker Hollows is up for both the Rosemary, from the Young Adult Chapter of the Romance Writers of America, that  same book is also up for the Daphne du Maurier — a really phenomenal event because there is no YA category in the Daphne and it is as rare as a solar eclipse for an YA to be a finalist.

Just recently, Sharon also won first place in the Marlene Contest Romantic Suspense division for her book Let the Heavens Fall.

 

9789012Sarah Andre. With her first book published just last year, Sarah is taking the publishing world by storm. Her book Locked, Loaded, and Lying has been nominated for the Booksellers’ Best Award — a recognition from book sellers across the country, and has also been named a finalist for the Golden Quill Award.

~~

2164508_orig

9450399

2016BBAfinalist[1]

 

 

 

~

 

Sarah is a multi-award winner and is also a two time Golden Heart finalist. Her newest book, Tall Dark and Damaged came out just last week, too!

lenapicLena Diaz is another veteran award winner. She’s been a Golden Heart finalist, won the Daphne du Maurier award more than once and is continuing her now fifteen book winning streak. This year Lena has been nominated for the Bookseller’s Award for her book, Arresting Developments.

Lena is once again nominated for the Daphne du Maurier Award for Mystery and Suspense for her book, Missing in the Glades.

~~

MissingintheGlades

ArrestingDevelopments2016BBAfinalist[1]

~

~

~

~

~

The rest of the gals at Kiss and Thrill (the KaTs) are proud of you as we know our readers are, too! Please join us in congratulating them on their success.

 

And the Finalists are…

popping champagne cork

2016BBAfinalist[1]Each year the Greater Detroit chapter of Romance Writers of America holds a published author contest called the BOOKSELLERS’ BEST AWARDS. Entrants’ books are judged by some of the toughest critics out there — Book Sellers. Winners are announced at an awards reception held during the RWA national conference in July, which is in San Diego, California this year. Winners get bragging rights, a really cool trophy, and even their editor gets a special gift to commemorate the event.

The finalists for this year’s contest were recently announced. Kiss and Thrill is pleased to say that TWO of our KaT authors are finalists this year.

SARAH ANDRE for LOCKED, LOADED, AND LYING! 
LENA DIAZ for ARRESTING DEVELOPMENTS!

Congrats Sarah! Thanks, Lena, right back at you!


Here’s the scoop on Sarah’s novel, LOCKED, LOADED, AND LYING.

HE MIGHT BE INNOCENT. OR HE MIGHT BE VERY, VERY GUILTY…

LockedAndLoadedFinal coverOlympic skier Lock Roane was on top of the world: smashing world records, collecting medals, and basking in the love of a nation and his beautiful heiress girlfriend. It all comes crashing down after Lock discovers his girlfriend had an affair – then wakes from a drunken bender to find himself covered in her blood. Disgraced and dethroned, Lock awaits his murder trial with dread, not knowing if his girlfriend died at his own hands.

Journalist Jordan Sinclair is out of options. To satisfy her blackmailer, she must get the inside scoop (and its 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 the man she’s falling for. A man who just might be a cold-blooded killer…


Here’s the scoop on my (Lena’s) novel, ARRESTING DEVELOPMENTS.

A MYSTERIOUS BEAUTY HAD NURSED HIM BACK TO HEALTH—AND ATTRACTED THE ATTENTION OF SOME VERY BAD MEN…

ArrestingDevelopmentsSomewhere over the Everglades, the airplane’s engine failed and Dex Lassiter plummeted into the swamp’s murky depths. Amber Callahan didn’t expect to find any survivors in the wreckage, but Dex was about as tough as they came. And too smart not to dig into why a woman like her had run away to settle in remote Mystic Glades. Or why a killer circled their every move. As floodwaters rose, deputizing Dex was just what this lawless small town needed. Because escape wasn’t possible. And the only thing Dex did better than starting things was defending them.


GIVEAWAY! To celebrate Sarah’s and my finals, KaT is giving away one ebook copy of both books – LOCKED, LOADED, AND LYING and ARRESTING DEVELOPMENTS – to two random commenters on the blog. The winners will be announced in the comments of this blog post on Monday, May 22nd.

Rolynn Anderson: FEAR LAND

If you’re a KaT regular, you’ll recognize this week’s guest. We’ve hosted her three times and are delighted she’s back today for a spirited discussion about her newest release. Welcome Rolynn Anderson!

cover

CLICK COVER TO BUY

I’m tickled to be back on Kiss and Thrill with you, Sarah.  You’ve hosted coming out parties for three of my romantic suspense novels (LAST RESORT, SWOON and LIE CATCHERS).  Now it’s FEAR LAND, my fifth published novel. I am giving a portion of each sale of FEAR LAND to the Brain Research Foundation (TheBRF.org)

Sarah:  Given the story line, that is a truly wonderful gift! Tell us about your journey to write FEAR LAND.

Rolynn:  Trauma is the topic, the many shades of anxiety. Most of us experience a trauma or two in our lifetimes, suffering symptoms from mild depression and a few nightmares to full-blown post traumatic stress. My own response to a trauma interested me, but I also wanted to know more about PTSD and high suicide rates among soldiers.  I wondered if some children were born anxious. Were all forms of trauma curable? 

Sarah:  Wow, that’s fascinating, but it kind of sounds like a thesis, not a suspense novel.

Rolynn:  I know! We novel writers are researchers at heart. I like to learn and teach with each novel I write, as well. I think the reader will learn a lot about trauma in my novel, but I hope the plot makes it a page-turner.

Sarah:  Start with the hero, heroine, so we know we’re looking at a fiction piece.

Rolynn:  Yes, ma’am! My heroine, Tally Rosella, is a child psychiatrist who has finished one study of anxious kids in Washington State and will begin a second study at a big California college. Her new neighbor, Cole Messer, an Army Major who will teach ROTC at the college, is good at hiding the effects of combat trauma. He’s single-parenting a highly anxious boy; Cole wants to enroll his son into Tally’s new study.

Sarah:  Ah, a couple with conflict, but clearly Tally’s the strong one, here.

rolynn_smallRolynn:  Nope. Now I introduce a modest paranormal feature. You see, Tally hears mind-rants from adults who have strong (usually negative) feelings toward her. These men and women might be perfectly polite, even flirty with her, but their minds are ranting nasty tunes.

Sarah:  Ooo, I wish I had that feature! That must make her a powerful psychiatrist.

Rolynn:  You’d think so. She couldn’t take on a patient who rants at her, because it interferes with her objectivity. That’s why she works with kids. Their minds don’t yell at her.

Sarah:  Now add the suspense…

Rolynn:  I’ll avoid spoilers here. Bottom line: Tally encounters devious colleagues, spurring her on to ‘use’ her elementary mind-reading skill. Trouble is, evil people have a way of taking advantage of good folks, and soon, Tally, Cole and Cole’s son are in danger.

Sarah: Yep! Now we’ve got the suspense. Where can we pick up this mystery?

Rolynn: Amazon Kindle  

BTW, LIE CATCHERS comes out in re-release through Amazon Encore today! And for my other books and events, check out my website.

 

Here’s the blurb on FEAR LAND:

Tally Rosella, an acclaimed psychiatrist who helps children fraught with anxiety, avoids adults because their brains rant at her.  But the chance to start a second child study and connect her findings to PTSD, sets her squarely among devious colleagues at a big California university.

Army Major Cole Messer, Tally’s new neighbor, won’t admit that trauma from combat tours in Afghanistan, destroyed his marriage and hampered his ability to lead.  As a teacher of college ROTC and single parent, he’s focused on enrolling his highly anxious son in Tally’s study and getting back to active duty.

Someone is dead set against Tally’s presence at the university, and blowback from her battles with co-workers put Cole and his son in jeopardy.  Watch what happens when people struggling with shades of anxiety collide with corrupt, revengeful foes.

Here’s today’s question: How astute are you at ‘mind reading?’  Whose mind would you like to read better…and why?  Commenters are entered into a giveaway of an e-copy of FEAR LAND!

Faint RolynnCOMING THIS FALL: FAINT (the 3rd in Rolynn’s Funeral Planner’ series.)

How did funeral planning morph into crime-solving?  Ask free-lance embalmer Trudy Solomon or Pete McDonald, a blind forensic investigator.  They’re solving mysteries of the deceased for their pregnant boss, Jan Keller, while her journalist husband, Roman, is benched by a ten million dollar defamation suit.

A dead client goes missing, and investigating his disappearance forces Trudy and Pete to confront their fiercely independent styles.  When danger stalks them, will they blend brains, brawn and belief in one another?

I LOVE THIS COVER!!!

Thank You! and Winner Announcement

Fallen high resThanks to all of you for helping me celebrate the release of FALLEN! You made it a great release week for me! And now…drum roll…

The winner of the $10 Starbucks gift card is Julie Oest! Julie please contact me to claim your prize.

Tune in tomorrow when our very own Sarah Andre shares a very special release post for her debut novel LOCKED LOADED AND LYING. Take my word for it, you are going to love this book! LockedAndLoadedFinal cover

The Nine-Year-Long Rollercoaster Ride

Over here at Kiss and Thrill, it’s no secret that we loooove romantic suspense. We began this blog in 2011 specifically to share other authors, books and plots with you. Back then, only three of our members were under contract. Now, due to the myriad of publishing options, we’re all carving out a path that’s right for us. And after nine years of writing, I too will achieve that coveted title: published author. My debut, LOCKED, LOADED and LYING will be available on JUNE 16th!

Most authors will tell you: the whole writing-publishing experience is like a rollercoaster ride. The highs are true adrenalin rushes, the kind where you throw your arms in the air and shriek until you’re hoarse. Could be over winning writing awards or having a literary agent call and gush for twenty minutes about your novel before offering to represent you. There’s no other job or achievement (for me) that surpasses the thrill of creating characters and conflict, and sharing ‘my baby’ with the world. 

Along with the rush of those highs come the lows, which are just as powerful. Harsh judge comments on a contest entry, reading all those agent/editor rejections sure do emulate the G-forces of a rollercoaster. As in: it sucks the breath right out of you, leaves you stunned and glued in place (usually a fetal position on the floor.)

Nine-whole-years of crazy ups and downs, folks. 🙂snowy river

But the rollercoaster has click-clacked back to the loading platform, I’ve gotten off, and am shakily standing in line for a whole new ride. When I had absolutely NO topic for today’s blog, Sharon Wray suggested I write about the ‘standing in line’ part. The transition between signing a contract and actually selling a book on Amazon, B&N, etc.

It began with a phone call from my agent. “Entangled Publishing just sent over a contract for your book.” (See rollercoaster high symptoms above.) Then came months of pins and needles waiting while she negotiated my terms, and I suffered the torture of keeping this secret to myself. Which, of course, I didn’t. 😉

When I finally did sign the contract, oh boy, did I blurt the news! Unfortunately, the editor who’d loved my story, and initially sent over the contract to work with me was no longer there, so I was assigned to another editor. Yikes! I’d heard horror stories of writers changing editors and the new one did not like the plot, the voice or the writing.

Youth Olympic Games 2012Wasted energy! My new editor, Anya Kagan, was insightful, patient and saw the big picture–whereas I obsessed on a word or scene level. It became a team effort to spit-shine that manuscript. There were 1st edits (major revisions that instantly drew the reader’s sympathy to my hero’s plight, and upped the stakes he faced.) I returned those in a month and within 10 days 2nd edits were in my Inbox. Less changes, but a suggestion to delete an entire chapter that ‘explained’ my heroine, and wasn’t very interesting. Why not feed snippets of her secrets within the first 100 pages? Brilliant!cabin

3rd edits consisted of changing one sentence. (Yay me!) Then on to Copy Edits, where another editor, who specializes in fact-checking, read through the story and made suggestions. Could my hero (a US Olympic Alpine Skier) have competed in the 2006 Torino games? (Sure that was a long time ago, but Torino is also a major subplot. And don’t forget, I’d written the story back then!) Turns out, Bode Miller competed there, and he’s already competed this year, with a DNF (did not finish.) Case closed, I got to keep the Torino Olympics in the book. Whew!

Hooded man hiding gun behind his backOff the story went to be formatted into a book, and then we were Proofreading the Advanced Reader Copy (ARC.) Any changes here meant catching spelling errors, a word that was supposed to be italicized, etc., not to revise. I seriously had to reign in my inner editor (who’s still criticizing each paragraph, even after all these years!) By this time, if you’ve kept count, I’d reread this entire novel 5 times in 3 months. So to proofread it that slowly and with such care, made me honest-to-God hate the plot, the characters, every $@&# word on every page, and OMG-why did I ever think I could write?!  🙂 I hear that’s normal…

Next was creating my dedication and acknowledgements pages. After nine years I had a lot of people to acknowledge, because in the publishing industry it DOES take a village! Thanking all these people who’d done so much for me, in a page the whole world could read, warmed my heart. AND it was one more step toward authenticity…what a rush! Interestingly, I put much more time into it than I expected. I wanted to get the words absolutely right, the tone perfect. ASPEN road sign

I have one more step to look forward to: seeing what the Entangled graphic artist creates for a cover, which will happen in early May. Once I have the cover I can decorate my Facebook and Twitter pages, set up an Amazon Author page , update my website and invest in ‘swag.’ (Fun giveaways.)

You’ll notice I didn’t tell you much about LOCKED, LOADED and LYING. Why? Because there’s plenty of time and many blogs where my cover, official back-cover blurb, and plot points will be broadcast.

Love coupleFor now I leave you with 2 clues 1) these pictures are all broad hints: An heiress is murdered in Aspen and all evidence points to her boyfriend, my insanely hot hero, Lock Roane. He was too drunk to remember anything that night, but given his past history of blackout violence, it’s not a big leap for him to believe he did kill her.

On the eve of his felony murder trial he saves the life of a young woman in a blizzard, not knowing she’s his biggest media nemesis. And when Jordan Sinclair regains consciousness she will lie through her teeth to keep it that way (you’ll find out why.) As she recuperates she gets to know the personality he doesn’t show the camera and begins falling for him, but her tangled lies hamper their growing attraction. And sizzling sexual tension wreaks havoc in their frantic attempts to uncover the grisly events of what exactly happened on that fateful night.

And 2) “An impressive debut! This book has everything readers crave: believable, endearing characters, an intriguing conflict and plenty of heart. Don’t miss LOCKED, LOADED & LYING.” Brenda Novak

So that’s my standing-in-line story. Off to buckle up for the next ride!

WHAT WERE YOU DOING NINE YEARS AGO? COMMENT FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD! WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED NEXT TUESDAY.

 The winner of a $10 gift card and e-copy of BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO WEEP  goes to Julie Oest!

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.

AVERY FLYNN, High-Heeled Wonder!

AFlynnMeet Avery Flynn, a petite fashionista with a larger-than-life attitude. Everywhere I’ve encountered her (workshops, Facebook, online writing chapters) she owns the venue with audacious fearlessness. Naturally, when I heard she had a new release out I jumped at the chance to interview her! Because basically I want to be her. (Too fan-girl-stalkerish? OK. Then let’s get to the interview.)

Welcome, Avery! Tell us how you got started writing?

There was a horrible industrial accident when I was stung by an irradiated spider. Wait. Oh you meant in real life? I got a baby blue typewriter as a totally-inappropriate-for-a-six-year-old gift in first grade. I couldn’t spell let alone write much of a sentence, but I wrote stories about my stuffed animals anyway. It turned out to be one of the best gifts ever.

This story is chalk-full of couture names and designer shoes (most of which, I’m ashamed to admit, were lost on me.) Are you a fashionista?

I have fashionista tastes on a Target budget … so yes and no. 🙂 I do love my shoes though. And purses. And dresses. And ….OK, I’m beginning to see why the Fab Mr. Flynn gives me the side-eye whenever I come home from the mall. Really? Mine gives me the stink-eye.

Are you a lingering window-shopper or do you shop for something specific and go home?

Oh my God. My mom is one of those lingerers. She does a whole slow sweep of a store and then goes around again to start her deliberations. It is mind numbing. I am more of a power shopper. Go in, grab it and beat feet. Meeee too! (My husband calls my focused trek through stores “Mall Walking.” I cannot power-walk that fast in any other part of my life–I’ve tried.)

In researching the back-stabbing, power-hungry and drug infested world of high fashion did you watch reality shows like “Project Runway” or “Americas Next Top Model”?

HighHeeledWonder500

I love both of those shows (don’t judge). I’m not! 😉 I also interviewed fashion bloggers, read as much as possible about the industry and watched a ton of documentaries. Then there was the shopping. It was horrid. Ha! How we writers torture ourselves.

 Sylvie is a kick-ass heroine whose childhood was spent in an orphanage before being adopted by her 2 fathers. How did you come up with this fresh premise?

That is one of those muse-inspired, middle of the shower ideas when you get so excited you end up with shampoo in your eyes. I wish I could control it better—at least the timing. Then after I got the idea it was so perfect for Sylvie that it really helped to show how she was a real fighter. Parts of her backstory make me tear up even today.

Sylvie Bissette may be one of Harbor City’s youngest glitterati, but only her best friends know her most closely guarded secret. She’s the woman behind The High-Heeled Wonder, a must-read blog for fashionistas everywhere. Gossip, fashion advice, exposés. Too bad some people can’t take a little criticism. When an internet troll discovers her secret identity and escalates from stalking her to threatening her life, Sylvie turns to security expert Tony Falcon for help. The investigator from the other side of the tracks is the olive oil to her Evian water and aggravates her to no end, but it’s not just her temper he’s inciting…

Tony Falcon wouldn’t know a kitten heel from a tabby cat, but since most of the bad guys he tracks down aren’t wearing stilettos, it’s never been a problem…until he meets Sylvie. When a murder investigation leads him to the same place Sylvie works, he realizes the feisty fashionista may be his best chance at catching the criminals who killed his best friend. It all leads back to the cut-throat fashion world.

What is next in the “Killer Style” series and when can we expect it?

THIS YEAR’S BLACK is Ryder’s story and it comes out at the end of May. Ryder goes head-to-head with one of the big wigs at Harbor City’s most luxurious high-end department store and they have to work together to track down an embezzler who has hightailed it to a tropical island off the coast of Chile. It’s not just the climate that’s making things hot between Ryder and Devin.

In non-Killer Style news I have a fun novella coming out April 14, BETTING THE BILLIONAIRE. It’s all sorts of smexy fun with a car-loving heroine and a bad boy billionaire who is way too used to getting his way. 🙂 Car-loving? Bad boy? I’m pre-ordering!

AFlynnShoesDesigner you’d love to meet? (Hypothetical: can be living or dead.)

There are so many. Alive I’d have to go with Michael Kors, Victoria Beckham and Stella McCartney. Dead I’d have to go with Alexander McQueen and Coco Chanel.

Food you make a pig of yourself for?

Oreos. We can’t have them in the house. I will eat the whole bag.

Favorite movie?

That’s like asking my favorite book. How do I pick? If you force me, I’ll go with Usual Suspects. I love the twist. Love. It.

What question did I NOT ask that you’d like readers to know about you?

Um …. how I survive when my writing partner is a dog who is trying to kill me with poisonous farts? Seriously. It’s a murder just waiting to happen and you, Kiss and Thrill readers, will be the only ones able to solve the case. Just tell the cops, “Gravy did it.”

Snicker! Thank you SO much for visiting Kiss and Thrill today, Avery! ‘See’ you on your Facebook FRIDAY MAN WARS. (Readers: You don’t want to miss Fridays…go ‘like’ her page immediately.) https://www.facebook.com/avery.flynn.7

TWITTER: @AveryFlynn,  WEBSITE: http://www.AveryFlynn.com

Q of the Day: What style, pattern or era of clothing is an eyesore to you?

Comment below for a chance to win a digital copy of HIGH-HEELED WONDER.

(Check back Thursday to see the lucky winner.)

THURSDAY WINNER!

toastCONGRATULATIONS TO jdh2690!

Winner of WHY DUKES SAY I DO by Manda Collins

Please click on the ‘Contact Us’ tab and let us know if you prefer digital or paperback and where to send it.

LINE UP OF DISTINGUISHED GUESTS:

Tomorrow is Part 2 of Diana’s interview with Allison Leotta

Tuesday 8/13 we welcome Entangled author, MISTY EVANS

%d bloggers like this: