Blog Archives

A KaT Fight Ensues over Laura K. Curtis

In the 3-1/2 years since Kiss and Thrill launched, the 9 of us who banded together to create the blog have become family—we exchange emails about business, craft, and plotting. We cheer each other on and talk about our families, our struggles, and our successes. I’d be a wreck without my KaT sisters. But our deep and supportive bond only goes so far when one of the KaTs invites an author I adore to the blog. Then it’s time to bring out the claws…


It wasn’t pretty, but I won. But then, I’m not afraid to fight dirty, while Carey and Manda are too nice to resort to blackmail and bribery.

What did I win? The chance to put Laura K. Curtis in the Inside the Actors Studio hot seat!

I devoured Laura’s debut novel, TWISTED, and just neglected my family for the weekend (and a holiday one at that) because I couldn’t put down her latest release, ECHOES.

ECHOES has everything I love in romantic suspense–a hot, hard-edged, former military hero, and a smart, strong, determined heroine who must work together to unravel a complicated, intense mystery. The romance is sexy and fun and moves at a pace that is true to the characters and situation.

ECHOES is set on St. Martin/Sint Maarten, an island I visited for an archaeological project many years ago, which made the book that much more fun for me to read, but you don’t have to have visited the French West Indies to enjoy the lush setting.


Set of signs from Marigot, the French capital of St. Martin. Photo by Laura K. Curtis

It is my absolute joy to be the one who introduces our Kiss and Thrill readers to Laura by subjecting her to the Inside the Actors Studio Questionnaire:

What is your favorite word? Sussurant.

What is your least favorite word? Moist.

What turns you on? Intelligence combined with humor.

What turns you off? Prejudice of any kind.

What sound or noise do you love? The sound of waves on the beach.

What sound or noise do you hate? The sound of an animal in pain.

What is your favorite curse word? Fuck in all its glorious forms.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I’ve had a number of professions over the years, from teacher, to bartender, to record saleswoman, to glass bead maker. I loved them all for different reasons. I’m not sure what else I’d like to do for a career. There are a number of hobbies I wish I had time to pursue, but not for careers. I guess if I had a chance to go to culinary school, I’d like to be a professional baker.

What profession would you not like to do? Sanitation worker. I have a touch of OCD and that would really not work for me.

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? “Fuck.” Or, if I can’t have that, “Here, go play with all the dogs you’ve had over the years.”

I laughed out loud at the last answer. We share an affinity for the same curse word, and I think I want to steal Laura’s response if I’m ever subjected to the quiz again.

Thank you so much, Laura, for joining us today!


Who is she?

A single photo of herself as an infant on a beach, taken before the date on her birth certificate, throws everything Calliope Pearson knows about herself into question. Hoping to find answers, she takes advantage of her job as a travel writer to make a reservation at the Caribbean island resort in the picture.

Resort security chief Mac Brody distrusts Callie on sight. After all, she looks exactly like his deceitful missing wife, Nikki, who owns half the resort. But when Nikki’s found dead, Mac’s facing murder charges, and he’s sure that Callie must hold the key to proving his innocence.

The deeper Callie and Mac dive into the mystery of her past, the more bodies surface. And they’ll have to learn to trust each other, or become victims of a dark danger neither could’ve imagined….

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

LauraKCurtis-websizeLaura K. Curtis has always done everything backwards. As a child, she was extremely serious, so now that she’s chronologically an adult, she feels perfectly justified in acting the fool. She started teaching at age fifteen, then decided to go back to school herself at thirty. And she wrote her first book in first grade. It was released in (notebook) paperback to rave reviews and she’s been trying to achieve the same level of acclaim ever since. She lives in Westchester County, New York, with her husband and a pack of wild Irish Terriers, which has taught her how easily love can coexist with the desire to kill.

Website | Facebook | Twitter


Dear Kiss and Thrill Reader:  I Double-Dog-Dare you!

Amanda Stevens

  Pick up or download The Restorer, the first book in The Graveyard Queen Series by Amanda Stevens. Read the first chapter, especially that last sentence! Then put the novel down and walk away without ever reading the rest. 

  Don’t feel bad…I haven’t met a suspense reader yet who can walk.  (And FYI, you’ll break a land-speed record buying the next two novels to see what happens!)

  Here’s a quick rundown: Amelia Gray lovingly restores old, overgrown graveyards by day. At twilight, when the veil between our world and the spirit world thins, you’ll find her desperately seeking refuge indoors or on hallowed ground…because even as a child Amelia has been able to see ghosts.

   Her father, who also has this ability, has repeatedly warned her: if she ever makes direct eye contact with one, the parasitic spirit will cling to her forever–leaching her energy and stealing her warmth in a desperate attempt to reconnect with the land of the living.

Now put yourself in Amelia’s shoes: Try not to shiver in the freezing presence of a hovering ghost or he will know you can see and sense him! Keep perfectly still and expressionless as his chilled fingers sift through your hair…

  Yeah…the Graveyard Queen series is addictively creepy, beautifully written and filled with unique twists. You’ll gobble up each of these Southern Gothic stories feeling the same unsettling shock and awe that you did the first time you watched M. Night Shyamalan’s: “The Sixth Sense.” 

  And each novel sinks you even further into Amelia’s tangled world of small Southern town secrets, troubled spirits, eerie gravestone symbols, unexplainable mysteries and horrific murder.  All this mayhem is uncovered during her deceptively simple graveyard renovation project! Oh, and one final challenge: don’t fall for the handsome, haunted, delectably mysterious hero, Detective John Devlin.

Meet my absolute FAVORITE romantic suspense/thriller author: Amanda Stevens!

Sarah: Welcome to Kiss and Thrill, Amanda. I heard a rumor the Graveyard Queen series may be picked up for TV. What’s the status?

   Amanda: It has been optioned by ABC TV, but I don’t know anything beyond that.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

 Sarah: In pulling up your website it’s evident that you’ve been in the industry a long time. (Dear Reader: Her backlist is so long she divides them into genres: Romantic Suspense, Paranormal, Thrillers and Short Stories!) When did you first begin writing novels and why?

Amanda: My first novel was the result of a challenge by one of my college English professors.  He offered an A to anyone who could get published during the semester.  Since writing was always something I wanted to do, I decided to take him up on the challenge.  I sold my first book to Silhouette Intimates Moments in 1985, and I’ve been writing professionally ever since.

 BLURB from The Kingdom: My name is Amelia Gray.  They call me the Graveyard Queen.  I’ve been commissioned to restore an old cemetery in Asher Falls, South Carolina, but I’m coming to think I have another purpose here.

Why is there a cemetery at the bottom of Bell Lake?  Why am I drawn time and again to a hidden grave I’ve discovered in the woods?  Something is eating away at the soul of this town–this withering kingdom–and it will only be restored if I can uncover the truth.

 Sarah: Did you mean to channel Edgar Allen Poe in your second Graveyard Queen novel: The Kingdom? For example, I kept picking up similarities in the creepiness and wordplay of Asher House with “The Fall of the House of Usher”, and your unsettling bird theme with “The Raven.” 

  Amanda: Actually, no, but now that you mention it… 🙂

Second in the series

  I did use the Fisher King story as inspiration—the maimed king, Pelles whose impotence affected the fertility of the land.  Pell Asher is based on this legend.

  I read something once about Alfred Hitchcock using bird imagery in a number of his movies to signify disruption of the natural order of things.  Given everything that happens in Asher Falls, I thought the symbolism appropriate. 🙂

 Sarah: Oh yeah, ‘disruption of the natural order of things’ is very much an underlying theme in all three novels! What creeps YOU out?

Amanda: I’m pretty freaked out by ghosts even though I’ve never had a close encounter.  One of my friends had some truly terrifying things happen to her when we were little—I’m talking Poltergeist level of creepy.  In fact, there’s a scene in The Kingdom that was inspired by one of her experiences.  I get goose bumps just thinking about it.


     Sarah: The picture you sent of rootworking (part of the plot in your third book: The Prophet,) is of a doll being stuck with pins. You called it hoodoo, but it sure looks a lot like voodoo! What’s the difference between hoodoo and voodoo?

   Amanda: The simple explanation is that voodoo (vodun) is a religion and hoodoo is folk magic. 

  Voodoo has a hierarchy and belief system while hoodoo is an unorganized set of traditions passed down through generations.  At its most basic, hoodoo is about having a need met through the use of spells and medicinal conjure.  Using roots, stones and other natural objects, a root doctor can help one tap into supernatural forces to gain power, luck, money, love, revenge and/or health.

  The Voodoo Doll has its true roots in the Southern conjure arts rather than vodun.

Just released!

  Over the years, there have been many books and movies that reference rootworking, most notably Midnight in the Garden of Good and EvilI’ve also enjoyed The Skeleton Key and Eve’s BayouCheck them out if you have a hankering to visit the Deep South. 🙂

 Blurb from “The Prophet”:         

With quaintly named spells and elixirs like law-keep-away dust, pay-me sachet, and come-to-me oil, rootwork is mostly a benign practice that has been passed down through generations.  But make no mistake.  There is a dark side to conjure and much truth in the old saying that power corrupts.  

Dr. Darius Goodwine is an ethnobotanist whose knowledge of roots and herbs has sent him down a dangerous path.  He’s one of only a handful of men who have been granted access to gray dust, a powerful extract that stops the heart and allows an initiate to enter the realm of the dead.   But what happens when the user brings something back from the other side? 

 Poor Amelia is about to find out.  

 Sarah: If this becomes a TV series (or movie) who do you see playing the part of Amelia? Devlin?

Amanda: Matt Bomer in the movie In Time conveys the same dark, haunted look that I envision for Devlin, and for Amelia, I like Amanda Seyfried’s dreamy, ethereal beauty.  Dr. Shaw is Donald Sutherland.  🙂

   Sarah: What is the strangest gravestone symbol you’ve come across in person or through research?

   Amanda: The Sicilian Triskelion is pretty freaky. (

Also, some of the soul effigies featured on Memento Stones look like space aliens.  (

 Sarah: What authors/genres jump to the front of your TBR pile?

 Amanda:  I’m reading tons of Young Adult.  On my desk at the moment are Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Beautiful Darkness, and The Replacement

 Sarah: What advice do you have to your fans who now want to tour through cemeteries with “new eyes”?

Amanda: Enjoy the beauty, appreciate the history and at the end of the day, take nothing and leave nothing behind.

Sarah: Dear Reader, if you’ve read her Graveyard Queen series, you (like me) are biting back a shiver at her “advice.” If you haven’t read her series then believe me, she just gave you a friendly warning.  Favorite movie ever is…?

Amanda: I have a three-way tie:  Dazed and Confused, Waiting for Guffman, and This is Spinal Tap.

Sarah: Thanks for joining us today, Amanda. I also want to share your thrilling news with our readers: you recently signed another 3 book contract to continue the Graveyard Queen series!


Click below to ask Amanda a question, leave a comment or (if you’ve read any of the 3 books) give us your reaction to the hauntingly beautiful series! One winner will be announced on Thursday, May 10th and Amanda will give away one of the books in her Graveyard Queen series–winner’s choice!

(I recommend beginning with the first book: The Restorer. Remember: I double-dog-dare you to try to walk away after that hair-raising first chapter!)

The winner of a book by Sherry Foley is . . .

Sherry Foley

The Kiss-and-Thrill ladies had a blast hosting author Sherry Foley this week. Her debut novel, SWITCHED IN DEATH sounds creepy good!

Now . . . drum roll please . . . the commenter who has won a copy of SWITCHED IN DEATH is . . . Sarah Elle Emm (April 24, 2012 at 11:02am)!  Congratulations!

To redeem your free book – please email your snail mail address to (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!

What’s next you ask?

Tuesday, May 1st, Kiss and Thrill’s Lena Diaz welcomes author PATRICIA ROSEMOOR. Many of you know her as a Harlequin Intrigue author, but Patricia is going to reveal a brand-new exciting project she did all on her own. Join us Tuesday to learn about SKIN! You won’t be disappointed.

Dreams Really DO Come True

   Sherry Foley  Chapter One

It was always another day, another dead body—until that body was someone you knew.

Detective Seth Banning paused at the bedroom doorway of the rundown duplex, his gaze fixed on the dead woman lying on the floor. He swallowed while his brain absorbed the shock. He squeezed his eyes shut and then opened them again.

She was still there. He would know that profile anywhere. Sheila Peterson. A woman he never expected to lay eyes on again alive, much less find dead. (Excerpt from SWITCHED IN DEATH by Sherry Foley)

I met Sherry Foley in the most unusual way…

     A few years ago my Northwest Houston Romance Chapter was hosting their annual Lone Star Conference, and like most chapters, this would be where we’d announce the winners of our Lone Star Writing Contest.

     I happened to be the Romantic Suspense coordinator that year, so only I knew a writer from Kansas City, named Sherry Foley, had won 1st Place.   Amazingly enough, she and a friend decided to travel all the way to Houston to attend our one day conference, their first writing conference ever!  I made sure they were invited to the Friday night pre-conference reception; a great casual way to meet the agents and editors we’d flown in for Saturday pitches.

      All during the Friday reception I kept asking fellow members, “Have you seen someone named Sherry Foley?” And finally an acquaintance of hers said, “Oh, their plane was delayed because of bad weather. She should be here soon.”

     Well, I never saw her that night and the next morning during registration I noticed she still hadn’t checked in!  Eventually I saw two travel-weary women slip into the conference and finally met Sherry and her friend, Liz. Here is their ghastly travel tale in Sherry’s own words:

     “We were supposed to fly from Kansas City to Houston on a straight flight. That flight was canceled and we had to get another flight out, which connected.  But then we had a five hour wait in Kansas City so we landed too late to catch the connecting flight.  

     We finally arrived in Houston…Hobby Airport, the WRONG airport. We rented a car and drove an hour north to the other airport to collect our bags (they had been tagged for this airport.) Of course our suitcases were nowhere in sight! Because of the late hour Baggage Claims was closed.

     So we drove straight to the hotel (still in our dress clothes for the Friday cocktail reception) to find we were locked out of the lobby.  Now it was after midnight. FYI, we were supposed to land in Houston at 2:30pm! 

     We buzzed the front desk, called the front desk from our cell phones…FINALLY the guy came to unlock the door and let us in.   We went straight to our room and crashed.  At the crack of dawn we got up, hurried back to the airport to get our luggage, got cleaned up and hurried to the meeting–we’d missed half the morning. Oh yeah, and as we tried to just sneak in unobtrusively, the only remaining seats were in the front row. How embarrassing!”

  You could tell they were both in REALLY bad moods and were trying to get beyond the catastrophes and get into the spirit of the conference. And anyone who’s experienced even half of these complications knows that’s hard! (Personally, I’d have thrown up my hands at the canceled flight and gone back home!)

     But they couldn’t have been more gracious, and eventually joked about the day-and-a-half it took to get to Houston for a one day conference. By this time I literally had to avoid her because I wanted to blurt out, “But you’ve won our contest!” just to turn the day around for her.

     Finally it was Lone Star Contest Awards time. I announced the 3rd place & 2nd place names and saw Sherry’s eyebrows knit in confusion. Then I said  “…and the 1st Place winner for Romantic Suspense is SHERRY FOLEY!”

   I kid you not- her eyes were as round as saucers and she looked at me like this had to be an evil trick to add to the horror she’d lived through that weekend.  (Turns out this was the very first contest she’d ever entered!) But then she smiled, and I honestly have never seen a smile quite like that. After moving mountains to get to Houston she stood to a thundering, whistling crowd and received her due as a Writer Extraordinaire.

   I present to you: my friend and debut author, Sherry Foley.

  Thanks for being here. I’m so thrilled we can showcase Switched in Death today! (Dear Blog Reader: It’s a chilling, fast paced novel with such a jaw dropping twist at the end it’ll leave you absolutely stunned. No joke.)

  Sherry, who are your favorite authors?

     Shannon K. Butcher, Linda Howard, Tami Hoag, Carla Neggers…the list is endless. 

When did you start writing romantic suspense?

     On my birthday, eight years ago and my book came out on my birthday this year.  How cool is that?!

How did you know this is what you wanted to do for a career?

     Always an avid reader, I thought it would be wonderful to grow up, be a writer, and give back to others.

     I placed first in a writing contest in high school and it made such an impact on me. 

     I won my scholarship to college in acting and I landed some great parts, but I didn’t party and I was told if I was ever going to make it I was going to need to change that.  It was a confusing time.  I didn’t want to be an English major and teach or go into Journalism.  I just wanted to write, but didn’t know what genre.  

     I decided to drop out of drama and of course, I lost my scholarship.  Along the way, I married the man I fell in love with in 7th grade and from there we were busy with life and having a family.  Still, the dream was never very far away.

Detective Seth Banning searches for one of the most heinous serial killers of all time. Seth is desperate to find the sadistic murderer who takes his female victims two at a time, and switches their heads. Elaina von Hagan is on the run from the drug trafficking father she has exposed. As she and Seth begin a relationship, she becomes a target for the serial killer’s deranged ritual. The stakes have never been higher for Seth as Elaina is taken, and the stage is set for a gruesome showdown between good and evil. 


What do you bring to this (fabulously chilling) serial killer story that makes it different than others out there? 

     The early 60’s was a time when everyone had two parents and divorce was still a whispered word. I was an oddity being raised by my grandmother, a woman who delighted in dressing me from eras past. She had other…serious issues, but she made sure my bruises were always in unseen places. Poked fun of by my peers, miserable at “home”, I escaped between the pages of books and pretended I was someone else.

     My fictional life was full of fun and laughter. Safe. The serial killer in SWITCHED IN DEATH was bullied by peers too, but never found an outlet.  Bottled rage can do some heinous things when unleashed….

    Wow! That was nakedly honest, and my heart goes out to you, Sherry. I know you’ve worked hard on getting your work noticed in this crazy industry. This story is a multiple contest finalist and winner and you have pitched and queried it for years. So tell us how you got “discovered”. 

     A year ago, I decided I was ready to try and seek publication, well, that and my mentor threatened me.  (laughs)  I sent out query letters, received a few rejections, and then saw an article from Winter Goose Publication that drew me. 

Available now!

     I sent them my query letter, synopsis and first three chapters. Something told me they were going to ask for a full. They did.  I had this feeling that they would want me to sign.  They did and I didn’t hesitate, which was odd, because they were a new start-up publishing company and I am so not a risk taker.

     I still had a total peace about it. I signed. Within the next few weeks I had two agents want to rep me and I had to inform them I’d already signed. I was amazed at how I wasn’t upset but felt  I’d done the right thing.  I’ve not regretted my decision for a moment. 

 What’s in your writing future?   (I know the answer, but tell everyone else!)

     A CAPTIVE HEART will be released in November.  It’s the first of three in the Heart Series. And I’m currently working on a detective series. 

  Name a book you’ve read that changed your life.

     HEARTBREAKER by Linda Howard. I wanted to write characters like that and have readers emotionally connect with them. 

What’s your writing habit? (How long each day? Are you a plotter/pantster? And is there a secret magic pill that I can take and become published too?)

     I write full-time now.  I start out traveling across the social media sites and spend a little time in each area.  I try to write 4,000 words a day or more.

     I’m a total pantster.  I think up the start to a story and then create characters I think can handle the storyline. I follow them around and take notes.  They always surprise me what they come up with. 

   The Switched in Death plot is pretty creepy–(yeah, I know, I’ve mentioned that before!) What scares YOU?

      The thought of being buried alive terrifies me. My grandmother told me a story of when her mother was young and working the cemetery bell ringing shift.

     They would always tie a string on the finger of the “dead” to have in case the person woke up.  

     One did on her shift.  They got the man out alive. That story haunts me to this day. 

  Eeew! (Just wait until you read the May 8th blog featuring Amanda Stevens, aka: The Graveyard Queen!)

  Let’s end on a light note! What food can’t you say no to?

   A good pot of chili.

“Sherry Foley has always had a wild imagination which she has used to craft inspired pieces of fiction that often border on the disturbing. While her creative mind races forward, she keeps her feet planted in Missouri with her husband and three teenage children.”
 -Winter Goose Publishing

SWITCHED IN DEATH is available now at Amazon:

Please visit Sherry at



Leave a question or comment for Sherry Foley and be eligible to receive a copy of her e-book, Switched in Death! One winner will be announced Thursday, April 28th.

Getting Twisted with Laura Griffin

We’ve already established that I had a less than auspicious beginning with New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin, but that didn’t stop her from joining us again for the release of her latest Tracers book Twisted, out today.

Read on to learn more secrets about this talented author who always delivers page-turning suspense interwoven with a compelling love story that sizzles. She dishes about Twisted, the Tracers series, her world travels, her best work environment, and what’s coming next.

She’s even offering a $10 Starbucks gift card for one lucky commenter, so ask that burning question. You might get an answer and a latte!

GH: Tell us about Twisted.
LG: I wanted to write a story about a rookie detective working her first big case. Allison Doyle is a tough, no-nonsense cop who messes up sometimes because she lacks experience. But she’s got a lot of heart and she cares passionately about her job.

GH:  I’m excited to read Allison’s story after meeting her in Snapped. Was there a specific catalyst for this story?
LG: Allison’s character was inspired by some of the law enforcement officers I’ve met over the years. I’m really in awe of the women who go out and do police work every day, and I think researching and writing Allison was my chance to understand better what it’s like for them.

The mystery plot was inspired in part by the research I’ve done on criminal profiling. You read about some very dark cases, and the book’s villain is definitely “twisted,” like the title. But I wanted there to be some lightness to the story, too, and that’s where Allison comes in. Her relationship with FBI profiler Mark Wolfe adds another dimension. It’s a mystery, but also a love story.

GH: You’ve made your career in fiction writing romantic suspense. Are there any other genres/subgenres you’d like to try some day?

LG: I love to read (and write) anything with a mystery element to it. Right now I’m really enjoying romantic suspense, but I’ll see where the muse takes me!

GH: You live in Austin now, but like me you’ve moved around some. Do you have a favorite place, or one that was a particularly interesting experience?

LG: Living in Asia was a fascinating experience. I remember this one adventure with some friends in the Philippines. After spending hours and hours traveling by car and jeepney, and then hiking through the wilderness, we arrived at the rice terraces–which are these ancient rice farms carved out of the mountainside. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful corner of the world that I never even knew existed.

GH: Okay, you have all my adventures beat hands down! And I had to look up what a jeepney is… Did any of your characters in the Tracers series surprise you? In what way?

LG: The Tracers characters are always surprising me! They have such different personalities.

For readers new to the series, the Tracers are an elite group of forensic scientists who get called in to help investigators solve their toughest cases. I’ve met such a variety of people while doing research, and when I started the series I really wanted the Tracers characters to come to life. I didn’t want them to be just a bunch of people in lab coats. Each person brings his or her own passions and biases and life experiences to the story.

GH: What type of writing environment do you like? Home/away? Quiet/loud?

LG: Loud works fine for me. I can work in an airport, a coffee shop, a train station. Quiet works, too. The thing that doesn’t work for me is television. If some zany reality show is on, I get sucked in.

GH: Me too! That’s why I don’t work downstairs when the kids are home. So, what are you working on next?

LG: I’m thrilled to say there will be more Tracers books! After Twisted this spring, we have Scorched in the fall, featuring Kelsey and Gage. And I’m working on book seven now, which will be out in 2013.

It’s been a fun series to write. People always ask me if you can pick it up in the middle, or if you have to start from the beginning. You can pick it up anywhere. Each book focuses on a different romantic couple and has a stand-alone mystery plot, so you can jump right in.

GH: I’m so glad there will be more Tracers books! Good thing I got gift cards for my birthday…

Thanks so much to Laura for being with us today. Remember to leave a comment below for a chance to win a $10 Starbucks gift card!

New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin started her career in journalism before venturing into the world of romantic suspense. She is the author of ten novels and has won numerous awards, including a RITA Award for Whisper of Warning. Find Laura on Facebook at or visit

Winner of the Laura Griffin giveaway

Congratulations to Jane (no last name/initial given) for winning the advanced reading copy of TWISTED by Laura Griffin! Please contact us with your preferred physical mailing address within the next ten days to claim your prize (must be in the U.S).

Thanks to everyone who stopped by. Don’t forget to check in next week to learn more about romantic thriller author Leslie Tentler. Have a great weekend!

The Unstoppable Laura Griffin

The first time I met New York Times Bestselling Author Laura Griffin, I made a complete fool of myself. We were sitting on a bus during a very informative tour of MacDill AFB in Florida, and I told her how much I enjoyed her book about the prison break.

She gave me a confused look. Oh, wait, crap, Allison Brennan wrote that one. *head slap*

Laura took it like a champ. After cringing and apologizing, I was able to wax rhapsodic about her book Thread of Fear, which I had recently read.

And she kept talking to me.

Once I got to know Laura, I realized she was a smart, fun, interesting woman with a background in journalism that had her asking great questions of the airmen we visited with that day. And from reading many more of her books since my awkward mistake, I can tell you first hand that she’s a fabulous writer.

Laura’s brand of romantic suspense is dark and edgy with plenty of sexual tension and sensuality. Her heroines are just the right combination of vulnerable and independent, with interesting occupations. And her heroes are, well, yummy. Many of them are stoic, law enforcement-types. Protective, stubborn, intense, and loyal.

She must have forgiven me my early gaffe, because she agreed to run along the Hudson River with me during the RWA National Conference in NYC last summer. And more recently, she agreed to join us here on Kiss & Thrill to answer a few questions.

Be sure to chime in with your own for a chance to win an advanced reading copy (ARC) of her upcoming release Twisted.

GH: Your upcoming novella Unstoppable (Mar 27th) is part of the Tracers series, which revolves around the fictional Delphi Center. Can you explain more about the Delphi Center’s purpose?

LG: The Delphi Center is a cutting-edge crime lab where an elite group of forensic scientists known as Tracers work to solve the toughest crimes. Investigators look to Delphi for help with their most challenging cases.

UNSTOPPABLE features two of my favorite characters from the series–Kelsey, a forensic anthropologist, and Gage, a Navy SEAL. These two have been so much fun to write about, and they’re getting their own book in the fall–entitled SCORCHED.

GH: Ooh, I loved Kelsey and Gage. I can’t wait for more. Is Delphi inspired by a real place, or is it wishful thinking?

LG: It’s a combination of both. I got the idea when I read about a new body farm (or decomposition research facility) being built in central Texas, where I live. I decided to create a fictional body farm for my books, and I added the crime lab, where the very latest forensic technology is used to help police solve cases. The Tracers who work at this place each have their own personal reasons for being dedicated to their cause.

GH: “Nightfall” appears in the recently released (Feb 20th) Guns & Roses anthology. Can you tell us how the anthology came about?

LG: GUNS AND ROSES is a labor of love on the part of the authors over at We’ve been doing the blog together for years, and we wanted to put together a book that combined all of our different voices so readers could find us all in one place. It’s been such a fun project!

GH: For more on the anthology, readers can check out last week’s post with the whole Murder She Writes crew. Is “Nightfall” related to the Tracers series, or is it a stand-alone work?

LG: “Nightfall” is a stand-alone, but I might have to pay Holly and Colin (the characters) a visit down the road at some point. Whenever I write a short story, I end up wanting to give the characters a whole book.

GH: Are there any particular authors you read that influenced your work or your decision to write romantic suspense?

LG: I remember when I first read Linda Howard being so excited to discover books that had all my favorite elements rolled into one–suspense, romance, lots of emotion.

GH: I love Linda Howard for the same reasons. She always delivers. Who are some of your favorites right now?

LG: I’ve been reading Lisa Gardner, Lee Child, Tami Hoag.

GH: You were a journalist before you turned to romantic suspense. Do you think your background as a journalist helped or hurt your fiction writing? How?

LG: The journalism background made me overcome shyness about interviewing people. Now meeting people and doing research is one of my favorite aspects of writing a book. So many wonderful ideas come from meeting people face to face.

GH: What’s next for you?

LG: I’m having so much fun writing the Tracers series, and I’ve been thrilled with people’s response. I just signed a contract for three more books, which I’m excited about because I’ve got more characters to talk about. After TWISTED this spring, the next book is SCORCHED in the fall.

GH: Ooh, yay, more Tracers! 🙂 Anything else you want to share?

LG: I want to thank all the readers who have reached out to tell me what they think of the stories. Writing can be a solitary occupation and it’s such fun when readers get in touch to say that a book resonated with them for some reason. To me, that’s what books are all about.

You can visit Laura:, at or on Twitter at @Laura_Griff.

Check back on Thursday for the winner of the Twisted ARC!

%d bloggers like this: