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Death offers fabulous online courses, a tight-knit, supportive membership, a stellar annual contest for published and unpublished authors alike.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.


Welcome Tracy Sumner, Author Extraordinaire!

>> Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I'm welcoming one of my Kensington sisters to One Word at a Time today! Tracy Sumner has been awarded the National Reader’s Choice, the Write Touch and the Beacon – with finalist nominations in the HOLT Medallion, Heart of Romance, Rising Stars and Reader’s Choice. Her books have been translated into German, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish!

It doesn't have to be December to settle into a great holiday season romance! And while Tracy's most recent work happens to have a holiday theme, JEEZOHHELL, look at that cover!  I'd read that any time of year!!!  She also has a number of other fabulous works to choose from and she's giving away several today! Your meaningful comment will enter you for a chance to WIN a set of ebooks including the TIDE series and her holiday novella!!

An award-winning holiday novella, TO DESIRE A SCOUNDREL.

Tanner Barkley was set on forgetting the love of his life. Until fate threw Katherine Peters into his path for an unforgettable holiday of passion.

Don’t forget the first rule when dealing with scoundrels.

Never wager more than you are willing to lose.

Especially in matters of the heart.

To Desire a Scoundrel: Buy link

“A bad boy…and a lively, independent woman. An excellent sequel!”
~ All Romance Bookstore Reviews

“A searing passion…a sexy tale filled with great verbal repartee!”
~ Romantic Times

Tracy, can you tell us a little about TO DESIRE A SCOUNDREL?
TO DESIRE A SCOUNDREL: A CHRISTMAS SEDUCTION was originally published by Kensington, but I have rights back, and have released the eBook on my own! It’s a sequel to TO SEDUCE A ROGUE, out in early 2012! Yes, I released the holiday novella first – for the Season!

Tell us a little about TO DESIRE A SCOUNDREL what inspired you to write it?
When I finished TO SEDUCE A ROGUE, I really had this great feeling about Adam Chase’s best friend, Tanner Barkley. Very cynical, secretive, sexy, in other words, the perfect hero! And who better to pair him with than the daughter of the somber chaperone in ROGUE? No daughter of such a severe woman could suffer fools easily.

And we all know how foolish a man in love can act.

Then my editor invited me to participate in a Christmas anthology and TO DESIRE A SCOUNDREL was born.

Katherine Peters is made for Tanner, and for the first time, I wrote about a hero who realizes this simple fact before the heroine! (If you recall, in ROGUE, Adam is clueless until nearly the end. Even Tanner tries to tell him the error of his ways. How sad is that?)

When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I do have SOME things I want to happen. It’s often more things I want the characters to SAY. But much of what happens is dictated by my characters.

What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I wrote YA stuff in high school. Think The Outsiders. But I read my first romance novel (LaVyrle Spencer’s VOWS) in college…and I’ve never looked back. As a writer or a reader. I love historical and contemporaries.

Do you have a favorite character you have written?
Noah Garrett from TIDES OF LOVE is kinda my guy. He’s a sexy nerd – a marine biologist. Perhaps I should say that he is the perfect guy in my mind. Intelligent+, kinda, tortured, complex, gorgeous.

Who was the toughest character for you to "get right" that you have written so far?
Maybe Tanner in TO DESIRE A SCOUNDREL. It’s hard to write a hero who is very conflicted and closed to love without making him appear “un-heroic”. I like my hero AND heroines to have an edge. I have an edge, so I write with one. But you have to temper that with kindness, caring, vulnerability…something to garner support from your reader. Plus, I have to like them, too!

Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
Well, this one is really funny. When I started my first novel, TO SEDUCE A ROGUE, I was dating this guy who used to be a marine biologist. And I really wrote the novel without thinking that much about how I knew about marine biology, etc. And later on, I realized that he would probably read the book or hear about it and think it was about him. I was mortified!Because Noah was all my creation. Seriously.

What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Writing! Putting butt in chair and PRODUCING.

Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
For someone who writes HEA (happily ever after) stories, I’m a bit cynical about the long-term prospects of many relationships I encounter. I’m the person who rolls her eyes at weddings. I’m not the crier.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Wine! And romance novels. Jack and Jennifer on Days of Our Lives from the late 80s/early 90s. Someone has a website (Devoted to Deveraux) with all the old clips – and I’ve been enjoying the hell out of it.

Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
I like the theme music from Out of Africa. Makes me want to create.

If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
Noah Garrett: Harrison Ford/Indiana Jones -- as the Professor (not the guy with the whip)
Zach Garrett: Josh Lucas (Jake Perry, Sweet Home Alabama)
Tanner Barkley: Leonardo DiCaprio (Billy, The Departed): part bad boy, part sweet man
Adam Chase: Again, H Ford (Han Solo) Stubborn as hell, fights love, vulnerable

Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
Funny! My mother called me (I think I was living in Chicago at the time) and told me an editor with Kensington had called her. I freaked! I submitted my manuscript without including a phone number. They had to TRACK ME DOWN!!!

How old were you when you read your first romance book?

What author causes you to “go fan girl”/squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
Well, Judith Ivory did. But she’s not writing anymore, I don’t think.

If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
I’m a graphic designer.  Which I love.

What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
Okay, the grand plan, if I can get the butt in chair deal going, is to finish a Victorian historical with light paranormal elements AND an edgy, sexy contemporary. I don’t know if I can finish both in the year. I also have an anthology coming out with a group of authors in April. Check out my website for release information!

If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
Stephen King. Ashley March in romance. Julie Anne Long.

How do you pick your characters names?
Research, names I hear that I like. What fits the character. What I can break down. I’m very fond of nicknames for characters.

Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
First sight. It’s a fantasy!

Where can readers find you?
Twitter: @SumnerTracy

What other works do you have out right now?

Tides of Passion:

Tides of Love:

Tracy’s story telling career began when she picked up a copy of LaVyrle Spencer’s Vows on a college beach trip. A journalism degree and a thousand romance novels later, she decided to try her hand at writing a southern version of the perfect love story. With a great deal of luck and more than a bit of perseverance, she sold her first novel to Kensington Publishing.

When not writing sensual stories featuring complex characters and lush settings, Tracy can be found reading romance, snowboarding, watching college football and figuring out how she can get to 100 countries before she kicks (which is a more difficult endeavor than it used to be with her four-year-old son in tow). She lives in Charlotte, NC, but after spending a few years in “the city”, considers herself a New Yorker at heart.

Leave a comment or question and enter to WIN a set of ebooks including the TIDE series and Tracy's holiday novella, TO SEDUCE A SCOUNDREL!!

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Celebrating My CP's First Indie!!

>> Saturday, December 24, 2011

I'm thrilled to announce my critique partner, Elisabeth Naughton (best CP in the world, btw) has released her very first Indie novel! 

Eli is an expert at crafting real characters you can't get enough of,  creating heart-wrenching conflict and raising the stakes at every turn.  Her heroines are strong, her heroes are hot and her stories are filled with angsty, sexy twists and turns.

WAIT FOR ME is her very first Indie release, a contemporary romance with so much depth and even a little suspense thread.  An awesome read!

I'm celebrating the release and the holidays by giving away *5* copies of WAIT FOR ME!!

All you have to do is help us spread the word of Elisabeth's new release.  Each shout is one entry, so the more you shout, the more chances you have to win!

A woman without a past…
After a tragic accident left her with no memory, Kate Alexander struggled to fit in with a husband and world that didn’t feel right. She’s had no reason to question what friends and family have told her, not until her husband is suddenly killed and she finds a photo of a young girl in his office. A girl who can’t be anyone but a daughter Kate didn’t know she had.

A man desperate for a reason to live…

Ryan Harrison lost his wife in a plane crash five years ago. To cope with the pain of her loss, he dedicated himself to his job and to raising their daughter. Now a successful pharmaceutical executive, Ryan has everything a man could want—money, fame and power—but he’d give it all up in a heartbeat for just one more day with the woman he still loves.

Two lives about to converge.

As Kate begins to dig into a past she doesn’t remember, evidence leads her to San Francisco and puts her on the path toward Ryan, a man who sees in her the woman he loved and lost. Kate feels a draw to Ryan, one she can’t explain, but is that feeling enough to convince her this is where she’s supposed to be? As Ryan and Kate search for answers, they uncover lies long buried, a passion hotter than either expected and a danger that threatens…even now…when the second chance they’ve both been searching for is finally within reach.

You WANT this read!!  Good luck!

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Interview & Giveaway with Linda Poitevin

>> Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My guest today, Linda Poitevin, is the author of a new urban fantasy series, The Grigori Legacy, from Ace Books. Book one, SINS OF THE ANGELS is now available! Book two, SINS OF THE SON, releases in May 2012.

The series looks fabulous and when I saw it on the shelves at Walmart on my regular travel stop to work, I couldn't resist picking up a couple copies for giveaway! So be sure to leave a comment or ask Linda a question to be entered to win!

A detective with a secret lineage. An undercover Hunter with a bullet-proof soul. And a world made to pay for the sins of an angel…

Homicide detective Alexandra Jarvis answers to no one. Especially not to the new partner assigned to her in the middle of a gruesome serial killer case—a partner who is obstructive, irritatingly magnetic, and arrogant as hell.

Aramael is a Power—a hunter of the Fallen Angels. A millennium ago, he sentenced his own brother to eternal exile for crimes against humanity. Now his brother is back and wreaking murderous havoc in the mortal realm. To find him, Aramael must play second to a human police officer who wants nothing to do with him and whose very bloodline threatens both his mission and his soul.

Now, faced with a fallen angel hell-bent on triggering the apocalypse, Alex and Aramael have no choice but to join forces, because only together can they stop the end of days.

Linda, what’s your favorite thing about SINS OF THE ANGELS?
I love how Sins of the Angels speaks to readers in such different ways. It fascinates me that some consider it a paranormal romance while others focus on the police procedural/mystery aspect and hardly seem to notice the romantic element, or how some readers are drawn in by the mythology behind the story and others like the thriller aspect. I personally love books that cross the genre lines and so I’m thrilled that I seem to have created that kind of story myself.

What is your strategy in creating villains? Tell us about Caim, your villain.
I really tried to make Caim as fully three-dimensional as possible. To me, that meant delving deeply enough into his character that readers didn’t just know what his motivation was for his actions but also that they understood it—and could even feel sorry for him on some creepy level.

What do you love most about this book/series?
I love exploring the god/angel mythology (with my own twists!) in a real-world setting. I’ve tried to keep the reaction of Alex, my heroine, as real-to-life as possible when she finds out about the existence of angels—and of an actual Heaven and Hell. The challenge of doing so has really made me grow as a writer, I think, and growing is always good. :)

Does your novel have a theme? How did that come about?
Choices. I feel very strongly that every decision we make in our lives comes down to a personal choice we’ve made, whether or not we’re even aware that we’ve made it. In Sins of the Angels, I explore how those personal choices impact not just us, but the entire world…or in the book’s case, the universe.

How does your family view your writing career?
My husband and daughters are extremely supportive and very proud of me. Sometimes I think they’re even more excited about my publication than I am, lol.

How do you keep in touch with your readers?
I’m on both Twitter (@lindapoitevin) and Facebook ( at least once a day (and WAY more often when I’m procrastinating!), and I also have a blog through my website. I love, love, love to hear from readers and answer all comments…promise. :)

How would you best describe your books?
Supernatural thrillers.

What would you write if you could do write anything you wanted to write?
I may be the luckiest writer in the whole entire world, because I’m already writing it. :)

What are your current projects?
Sins of the Son, Book 2 of The Grigory Legacy, is currently at the typesetting/proofreading stage, so I’m waiting to get it back for a final read. In the meantime, I’ve started work on the third book in the series (currently unnamed, much to my great angst!).

Where can we find you online?
My website is at

Do You Believe That The Cup Is Half Empty Or Half Full?
Half full.

Are You An Introvert Or An Extrovert?
Definitely an introvert.

Are You A Window Person Or An Aisle Person?

Do You Like Short Or Long Hair On A Guy?

Ever Hit A Jackpot On A Slot Machine?
Sadly, no.

Which do you like more—rainy days or snowy days?
Depends on the temperature…and the season!

What is Your Favorite Beverage?
Coffee is my most necessary one, but apple wine is my favorite. :)

Are you a night or a morning person?
Morning…much to my husband’s great disgust.

Are You Usually Late, Early Or Right On Time?
On time. I’m an obsessive clock-watcher.

We're giving away 2 copies of SINS OF THE ANGELS today and 5 handmade bookmarks.
Just leave a comment or a question for Linda for a chance to win!
International giveaway!

Linda Poitevin was born and raised in B.C., Canada’s westernmost province. Growing up in an era when writing was “a nice hobby, dear, but what are you going to do for a living?”, Linda worked at a variety of secretarial jobs before applying to be a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Due to an error in measurement, however, she was turned down when she didn’t meet the height requirement of that time. Undeterred, Linda became a civilian member in the force and was a dispatcher for two and a half years, during which time she met her husband, a police officer.
Following their transfer to Ottawa, Linda went on to become a real estate agent and then a human resources consultant before starting a family. She has been a stay-at-home mom ever since and has homeschooled her youngest daughter for the last nine years. Now that she has realized writing can be more than a nice hobby, she continues to live her dream of being a cop vicariously through her characters.

Linda currently lives near Ottawa with her husband, three daughters, one very large husky/shepherd/Great Dane-cross dog, two cats, three rabbits, and a bearded dragon lizard. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found in her garden or walking her dog along the river or through the woods.

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>> Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's time to announce the winner of my Escape & Enjoy Mega Giveaway!

12/15 Update: Deb and her husband have other plans, so they can not accept the prize.  With the help of my fabulous twitter followers, I've choosen another winner! Michelle O'Boyle, a cute little Texan I'm hoping will be able to swing airfare.  We'll see....


Update:  Maria, unfortunately, can't accept the prize.  She has important family business already planned that weekend.  Trying again...ALTERNATE WINNER chosen by Maria Pena: DEB PELLETIER!

The prize:
A 7 day stay in 2br/2ba condo at Red Wolf Lakeside Lodge!
With a rack rate of $429/night, this stay is valued at over $3000!

How I listed entrants:
My intake widget gave me a list of entries each day and each entrant recieved a number in the order it was received. A total of exactly 300 entries were recieved.

How I chose the winning entry:
My husband, each of my two daughters and I chose a number between 0 and 301. I added those four numbers and divided by 4.

My number:    16 (my favorite since I was a kid)
My DH's #:   193
My DD1's #:   17
My DD2's #: 236

Total: 462/4 =115.5

I called the family for a tie-breaker; 115 or 116?  1 vote for 115 and 2 votes for

The winner is:  MARIA PENA

If for some reason Maria is unable to claim the prize as stipulated in the giveaway rules and guidelines, we will choose another winner.

Thanks for playing everyone.

Check back February 1, when I will be running a big release month grand giveaway with
two vacations -- and this time, east coasters won't feel left out!


Catherine Mann is in the HOT ZONE!!

>> Thursday, December 08, 2011

It's no secret I'm an Alpha, military-type hero lover, right?  I've probably made that plenty clear somewhere along the way, haven't I?   Well, we've definitely got some yummy Alpha military yumminess going on here today!

Catherine Mann visits with info on her new release, HOT ZONE, Book 2 in her Elite Force series featuring hunky Pararescuemen. And she also shares some fun personal facts as well.

Make sure you comment about your favorite aspect of the military romantic suspense genre
to enter the giveaway for one of Catherine's novels up for grabs today!


Days full of danger…
For Pararescueman Master Sergeant Hugh Franco, it’s all about saving other people’s lives. Then he moves on. But when he pulls beautiful Amelia Bailey and her adopted nephew from the rubble of a catastrophic earthquake, he finds himself entangled in their lives in ways he could never have imagined…

And desire-filled nights…
Amelia’s trip to the Bahamas to help with an international adoption has been no vacation, but the hardest part is yet to come. As Amelia and Hugh are pulled unawares into a deadly smuggling scheme, simmering beneath their growing need to protect each other is a compelling attraction they’re both determined to deny…


Joyce Lamb Talks About TRUE SHOT on Release Day!! Whoo-hoo!!

>> Monday, December 05, 2011

First off -- SPANKALICIOUS release day Joyce!! True Shot releases today from Berkeley Sensation! Head out and get your copy today!! (Buy links below book description.)

Joyce and I met through common author friends and I've always enjoyed Joyce's bubbling spirit, positive personality and amazing drive! She's the Energizer Bunny on steroids!

(Yes, that is green you see glowing in my eyes. What? Didn't I mention I demon-shift when I'm jealous? That is Elisabeth's fault...but we're not going there. This is JOYCE's day!)

Joyce is giving away a copy of TRUE SHOT, TRUE COLORS, TRUE VISION
 and five custom handmade bookmarks
today, so comment to win!


Special FBI operative Samantha Trudeau's unique psychic abilities help her catch the most elusive criminals. They also put her in the path of a sadistic adversary when she discovers she's actually working for a rogue cell-and into the confidence of a handsome journalist with his own potentially dangerous secrets.

Buy this at:
Barnes & Noble || Amazon


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