Guest A.J. Brower + Giveaway!

>> Monday, January 23, 2012

I'm part of the RWA's Mystery and Suspense Chapter, affectionately known as Kiss of Death. It's an awesome group of writers with similar interests and goals. Kiss of Death offers fabulous online courses, a tight-knit, supportive membership, a stellar annual contest for published and unpublished authors alike. I've learned so much through this chapter, I can't even being to imagine where my writing career would be without them!

As part of our Kiss of Death blog tour, I have fellow KODer, A.J. Brower with me today talking about why she loves romantic suspense. And she's giving away an ecopy of her recent release, A FAMILY TO DIE FOR. Just comment to enter!


When high school chemistry teacher Mike Garretson learns one of his ancestral relatives was the victim of identity theft, long before it became the preferred crime of today’s white collar thieves, he suddenly finds himself having to prove it before he ends up as dead as his murdered grandmother. Mike’s only hope of winning the family inheritance is to hire historian Dr. Jennie Foster. But as she begins to uncover nearly century-old family secrets, Mike fears the feisty and brainy Jennie may discover more than he wants her to know.

Jennie’s happy to climb around in her mysterious and aloof co-worker’s family tree. At least until she discovers Mike has a few secrets too. As the ancestral body count rises and a modern killer discovers what they’re looking for, will Jennie lay her life—and her heart—on the line for a man who refuses to let her into his?

Romantic Suspense is Pure Awesome

I have the coolest volunteer job in the world. I’m president of Kiss of Death, the Romance Writers of America chapter for suspense and mystery. Why is this is so awesome? Because…
  1. Kiss of Death. Say that to your mother, your next-door neighbor, the teenager at the cash register. It implies both love and murder, the twisted circle suspense writers often build into their stories. And the reaction you get is worth saying it over and over. Kiss of Death. Kiss of Death. Kiss of Death. Love it.
  2. Murder. Not all mystery and suspense involves murder, but a lot of writers in this genre love to kill off people. Your boss at work turned down your vacation request? Have a serial killer cut out his heart, since he must not have one anyway. Your significant other didn’t take the garbage out again? Put some rotting body parts in the trunk of his or her car. That’ll teach ‘em, and you’ll feel great.
  3. Romance. Toss in a couple of innocent bystanders, a cop with issues, or an assassin trying to make good. Put their lives in danger and force them to figure out who’s behind it or what’s happening to save their lives. Then, watch them fall in love hard and fast, because who has time for a warm budding romance?
I get to be president of an organization of 500 people who write stuff like this. Damn, I’m lucky. I think I’ll go bond—and kill off a character.
A.J. is one of the many talented authors who belong to the Romance Writers of America’s Kiss of Death chapter. At Kiss of Death we believe that every great romance should include suspense. Whether a spy thriller in Regency times, a paranormal romance with a revenge-seeking zombie, or a traditional serial killer after the heroine, romance relies on suspense, leading the reader through the trials of the heroine and hero to see if they will get their happily ever after ending. If you can call your writing suspenseful, then the Kiss of Death has something for you! Find out more and join at and follow us on Twitter at @RWAKissofDeath.

A recent explorer into writing fiction, A.J. has been working in public relations and marketing for many, many years, including publication of a few freelance articles on the side. Most of her experience was acquired in a 25-year career in the Air Force, where she still serves as a reservist. Her first romantic suspense novel, published in 2009, called on a lifelong interest in genealogy and history. Her other manuscripts use the same pastime, as well as an itinerant life that involved living in 14 states and two other countries. Unlike most writers, she doesn’t think writing is a lonely career. She’s made many friends and calls on their knowledge and expertise on a regular basis.
What do YOU love about romantic suspense?  Comment to enter for a chance to WIN
an ecopy of A.J.'s A FAMILY TO DIE FOR.


booklover0226 3:50 AM  

I like how a couple is brought together to solve a mystery and ends up falling in love. Plus, I enjoy romances and mysteries and the combination of the two makes for a great read.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot ocm

AJ 4:27 AM  

Me too, Tracey D! And it's easier to believe in someone falling in love fast when they're under the intense pressure to find a killer.

Jerrie Alexander 4:48 AM  

Great post, AJ. I love the balance of romance, tension and mystery. The high suspense of the black moment where the hero or heroine thinks all is lost and then fights their way back. That keeps me a romantic suspense reader!

Lynn 5:11 AM  

Kiss of Death - does sound very cool. At least to people who think like we do... great blog AJ!

I love the excitement in a romantic suspense, both on screen and off.

mrsworldwidewebb 6:16 AM  

I love mystery and romance and would love to win a copy of this book..I love paranormal but give me some mystery and romance and I am a happy camper!!


aka Kathy :)

Angie Fox 7:06 AM  

Ooo...I love the idea of identity theft before it was a modern crime. What a great premise for a mystery!

Anonymous,  8:20 AM  

Thanks-great post AJ!

Romantic Suspense takes us on a journey into a world of two people falling in love who are on a ride to find a killer or solve a mystery, which threatens what they love. The conflict and tension builds keeping you on your toes, as the reader turns the pages hoping to tie all loose ends together and leaves you a present with a big red bow called a happy ever after.

Kim G.

Jennifer Jakes 8:52 AM  

I love rom. suspense b/c I love I plot where danger is mixed in with the romance. A lot more is a stake if someone might die ;) LOL And if I can't figure out who the real bad guy is before the end, then it's a real winner!

Anonymous,  9:34 AM  

who started the KOD Blog tour and how does a KOD member with a blog get on the tour?

AJ 10:46 AM  

Hey, Jean! This is part of the KOD publicity committee's effort to get people to know about our wonderful organization. I just happen to be the president. We have about 500 members from around the globe, many with backgrounds as police, medical, guns, etc. it's a great community of authors who love to kill off our characters!

Rebecca 12:02 PM  

Great back cover blurb - I can't wait to read. The identity theft angle is awesome!

I love a good blog tour - I think I'm on the 30th for the KOD tour. Have a great week!

Megan Kelly 6:29 PM  

Great post, AJ. KOD also has those amazing classes for writers of all genres. I think I'll have to rejoin. ;)

Jamie Lee Scott 7:45 AM  

I'm always a day late, because I get my groups posts via digest. But great post. I write mysteries, but there always has to be romance. Romance makes the world go 'round.

Anonymous,  4:24 AM  

I LOVE mysteries and suspense so romance is the icing on the cupcake!
This sounds like a definite TBR!


SiNn 2:18 PM  

I love the not knowing what is gonna happen next it pulls you in with its realness


Anonymous,  7:35 AM  

AJ, the book sounds great. Love the genealogy/identity theft angle.

I love how danger brings a couple together and heightens the emotions. Thanks for spreading the KOD word!

Sherry Isaac 5:30 AM  

AJ, you had me with the cover! Good, enticing match to your blurb. I'm in before I've opened the first page.

I'm a member of Toronto Romance Writers, and did not realize there was a Kiss of Death chapter in RWA. Huh. The things you learn over Sunday morning coffee.

Joan... Miss ya!

sherry dot isaac at yahoo dot com

Sherry Isaac 5:48 AM  

AJ, you have a new KOD member to preside over.

bn100,  4:35 PM  

I like the action and the mystery of never knowing what's going to happen next.


Joan Swan 5:35 PM  

And says the WINNER IS: Sherry Isaac!!

Yay, Sherry!

Thanks everyone for coming by the blog!

GRSshoes 2:45 AM  


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