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The Weekly Recap – 12/14/18

SILENT EVIDENCE is $2.99 at Kobo –  Special Ends Tonight!

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A special deal for Kobo readers! You can preorder SILENT EVIDENCE for only $2.99 through Friday!

http://bit.ly/Kobo-Silent

Don’t have a Kobo eReader? No problem! Just download the Kobo app and start saving on books today! https://www.kobo.com/us/en/p/apps

 

Not a Kobo reader?  No problem!  You can preorder SILENT EVIDENCE here:

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The Weekly Giveaway

I switched things up this week, and instead of giving away a signed book I gave away a $25 Barnes & Noble #giftcard to help with your holiday shopping!

Be sure to check my Facebook page for future giveaways!

 

Guess Where I’ll Be in April?

I’m so excited I’m going to be at Barbara Vey’s Reader Appreciation Weekend in April! Tickets went on sale last night -there might be a few left. Hurry and register if you can!

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The Most Popular Post of the Week

Cats – and Christmas – rule the internet!

 

 

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Can You Dig It, Baby? My Interview with Carey Baldwin for Concrete Evidence

The Kiss and Thrill blog, where this was originally published, will soon be disappearing, and I am republishing my Kiss and Thrill posts here to keep a copy. This one was written by Carey Baldwin and is from April 2013.

Today I’m delighted to offer you an interview and giveaway with my friend and fellow Kiss and Thrill mate, Rachel Grant. I first met Rachel at a Romance Writers of America conference where she was already racking up the Golden Heart nominations. Since that time I’m honored to say that she has become a wonderful friend.  I am so delighted to present her to you today with her new release, CONCRETE EVIDENCE.

When I read CONCRETE EVIDENCE, I expected it to be awesome, and I was not disappointed. From the opening scene the thrills and chills drew me in. I love her smart, sexy heroine, Erica. As for the hero, Lee, all I can say is I’m a sucker for brainiacs with pecs 🙂

The secret life of archeologists is deftly woven into the plot, and a look at this fascinating world is a treat you won’t find in many books. I can honestly say I did NOT see the twists and turns coming, and they kept me reading late into the night. This is one of the best romantic thrillers I’ve read…ever. I absolutely loved it, and I know you will too.

Concrete Evidence

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A year ago she lost everything. Now she wants revenge…

Accused of stealing artifacts from a five-hundred-year-old shipwreck, underwater archaeologist Erica Kesling is determined to clear her name. She’s concealed her past and taken a job certain to give her access to the buyer of the missing antiquities. She’s finally closing in on her goal when she’s distracted by a sexy, charismatic intern who makes her want something other than revenge.

But Lee Scott is no intern. He’s looking for the lead conspirator in an international artifact smuggling scheme, and Erica is his prime suspect. He’ll do whatever it takes to win her trust and get her to reveal her secrets, even seduce her.

As Erica and Lee struggle to conceal their real agendas, the one thing they can’t hide is the attraction that burns hot between them. When Erica’s quest puts her life in jeopardy, Lee must choose between old loyalties and a woman he never expected to fall for.

Carey: Rachel, you have a fascinating background that greatly enriches your storytelling. I always imagine an archeologist as a dreamy, Indiana-Jones type, but I have little understanding of what the job truly entails. Can you tell us about being a real-life archeologist and how that has influenced your writing?

Rachel: If only archaeology were as exciting as the Indiana Jones movies! Most archaeologists in the United States work in the private sector (i.e. not for a museum or university) in Cultural Resource Management—projects driven by the National Historic Preservation Act and other environmental/historic preservation laws. As a CRM archaeologist, I worked primarily on prehistoric Native American sites in the Pacific Northwest, but I also lived in Washington, DC for two years, and enjoyed working on historic and prehistoric projects in that region. In my books, my characters are usually CRM archaeologists.

I would be remiss in my professional duties, however, if I didn’t point out that as much as the Indiana Jones movies are fun and exciting, sadly, the character is more of a looter than an archaeologist.

Carey: Oh, dear! I suppose so, but he’s a very enticing looter! Rachel you know we want to hear that story about finding “treasure” at a sewage plant.  Spill, please!

Rachel: Ha! Never use the word “spill” in association with sewage treatment.  I met my husband on my first professional dig, at the West Point Sewage Treatment Plant, in Seattle. We were excavating a 4000-year-old shell midden site that was found during construction during plant expansion. There was this cute guy who rejoined the dig after working for a summer in Jamaica. One day I was assigned to screen for him, and I knew he was flirting with me when I found gold-colored Jamaican coins in the buckets of dirt I was water-screening.

Yes, this is how archaeologists flirt. 🙂

Carey: What an adorable story! I wouldn’t mind if my husband gave me some gold coins. Why hasn’t he thought of that? What is your writing process? Do you plot, pants it or both?

Rachel: I’m a hybrid. I always promise myself I will plot more, pants less, but the characters and their situations always take over and change the story.

Carey: What inspires you as a writer?

Rachel: Archaeology is a starting point for all of my stories. My husband has an M.A. in Nautical Archaeology and I mine his experience as much as my own. I usually start by asking myself how someone could get in trouble working in a particular region or on a certain type of project, and the story flows from there.

Carey: If you could travel to any location for a dig, where would it be?

Rachel: Will it sound terrible if I say that I’m done with fieldwork? I loved fieldwork, but after getting carpal tunnel in both wrists and other digging-related ailments, the excitement is gone. I LOVE visiting sites, though and would like to travel and see more World Heritage Sites.

Carey: Rachel, you have achieved something amazing: You are a four-time Golden Heart finalist. Congratulations! I understand your upcoming release, CONCRETE EVIDENCE, is one of your GH finalist manuscripts. I had the honor of reading an early version of CONCRETE EVIDENCE as well as the current one, which is out today.  It’s fabulous! I can’t wait for our readers to get the 411.  Was there a special inspiration or an original story question that led you to write this particular story?

Rachel: Thanks, so much, Carey! I’m so thrilled you loved CE!  As far as inspiration goes, yes. When I lived in Washington, DC, I worked for a large, multi-national engineering firm, a lot like the one Erica works for in CE, and I had to write an Environmental Assessment for a unique house made out of a strange, yeasty concrete that no one knew anything about…

Carey: Do you have a playlist for CONCRETE EVIDENCE?

Rachel: I listened to a lot of  Third Eye Blind (all their albums) when writing the first drafts of this book. So much that when I read it now, I hear lyrics.

Carey: Can you tell us what makes the hunky hero of CONCRETE EVIDENCE, Lee Scott, tick?

Rachel: Lee is deeply loyal. Once he meets Erica, he’s conflicted about the role he must play, but that loyalty drives him to see his job through.

Carey: What about the brainy and brave heroine, Erica Kesling?  Did I mention I adore brainy heroines?

Rachel: LOL – I’m so glad you liked Erica! She’s a little reserved, but she has her reasons. 🙂 She’s very driven, wanting to make up for her past mistakes and regain a sense of safety. To protect herself, she tries to keep everyone—especially Lee—at arm’s length, but he’s too taken with her to allow that. He is exactly the person she needs to pull her out of her isolation.

Carey: There are so many fascinating details and inside information woven into your plot. What’s all this about a deck of cards?

Rachel: The cards are so cool! In 2007, the DoD issued them to American troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan to educate them on the need to protect archaeological and historic sites in the Middle East.  For more information on the cards, you can visit my website: Rachel-Grant.net. I have a few decks and plan to give one to a reader on my (currently nonexistent) mailing list, but it will have to wait a few more weeks, when my website update will be complete and all the planned bonus content for CE will be up.

Carey: What can we expect from Rachel Grant in the future?

Go to Rachel's website for more information

 

 

 

Rachel: I have another book coming out, GRAVE DANGER, in late-May. GRAVE DANGER is set in the Pacific Northwest and isn’t connected to CE. Further down the line, I have other books set in the same world as CE. Lee shows up in at least one. 🙂

Carey: I certainly hope so! I love Lee! Looking forward to reading GRAVE DANGER! Rachel thank you so much for your wonderful answers. I know everyone is going to adore CONCRETE EVIDENCE as much as I do!

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Gwen Hernandez Interviews Me – I put myself in Grave Danger

The Kiss and Thrill blog, where this was originally published, will soon be disappearing, and I am republishing my Kiss and Thrill posts here to keep a copy. This one is from May 2013 and was written by Gwen Hernandez.

I wanted to be an archeologist for at least a year after I discovered Macchu Picchu (Peru) in a sixth grade textbook. I later realized I might not have the patience required for the job, but that didn’t stop my fascination with ancient sites and unearthed artifacts. Which is part of what I love about Rachel Grant’s books. They give the reader a glimpse into the real world of an archeologist. Add in some danger and steamy romance, and her stories have it all.

Rachel’s latest—out today!—Grave Danger, includes a determined archeologist trying to rebuild her reputation, a stalker, an unexpected find in the archaeological site, and a sexy small town cop who’s not sure if he can trust her, but can’t stay away. You won’t want to miss it!

She’s being stalked…

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After struggling to recover from a career-crippling mistake, archaeologist Libby Maitland has landed the project of her dreams—a data recovery excavation in a picturesque, historic sawmill town. Tasked with digging up secrets of the town’s founding family, Libby soon learns that nothing in Coho, Washington, is as idyllic as it seems.

She’s barely settled into her new home when suspicious events make her believe she’s being stalked…

Or maybe she’s losing her mind.

Coho Police Chief Mark Colby can’t decide if Libby is crazy or if she has her own twisted agenda, but the deeper he delves into her past, the more intrigued he becomes. Even as he and Libby grow closer, he can’t quite let his initial suspicion go.

When Libby’s life is threatened, they must work together to determine if the truth about her stalker is buried in her past, or if the answers can be found in the layers of the excavation.

Read on for more about Rachel, archeology, and her books.

Gwen: Clearly your experience as an archeologist provides background for your stories, but was there something in particular that sparked Grave Danger? An incident? An article? A scene idea?

Rachel: The story for GD really flowed from the axiom “write what you know” – and while I’ve never been romanced by a hunky police chief or been stalked, I know a fair amount about prehistoric shell midden sites in the Pacific Northwest. I wanted to write a book about real archaeology, as it’s practiced in the United States, because most books with an archaeological storyline either focus on treasure hunting (which will get a real archaeologist blackballed) or contain other inaccuracies. So I started with the archaeological project, and plotted from there.

Avoiding spoilers, there is a discovery Libby makes during the excavation that is a real concern among archaeologists given the protocols we must follow in similar circumstances.

Is that vague or confusing enough? 😀

Gwen: Hah, now everyone has to read it. 😉 This book was the first you’d ever written. I know you’ve made a lot of changes since the first iteration almost a decade ago, but what is it about this story that kept pulling you back in?

Rachel: I shudder when I think of that first draft.  I set this story aside in 2008 so I could focus on writing Concrete Evidence and other, more suspense-y books, but I never really let this one go. This is my small-town-romantic-mystery, as opposed to my city-set-political-thrillers, and I’d love to write more books in this part of the romance genre. I’ve had the sequel plotted for years and I can’t wait to write it.

Gwen: I definitely want the sequel! In GD, Libby is an archeologist trying to restore her good name, and Mark is the chief of police of the small town where she’s starting a new project. What do you think makes these two characters perfect for each other?

Rachel: Libby is really attracted to confidence, because she’s lost confidence in herself after a professional and emotional setback, but Mark sees her strength—and the courage in her convictions that she thinks she lacks—from their first meeting. Plus they are both outsiders in a small, closed community, but they each need to understand and become members of that community as part of their respective professions.

To me, the town of Coho was a character—a beautiful, pristine historic gem on the outside, but with a dark and conflicted history that overshadows today.

FrontCover-Final-300dpiGwen: Confidence is definitely sexy. Grave Danger—and your first release Concrete Evidence—both have archeologist characters, but the books aren’t a series. Do you have related stories for either of them in the works?

Rachel: I’ve had the sequel to GD plotted for a long time and look forward to writing it. I have two sequels to CE written and am working on a third. No promises yet on when those books will be released.

Gwen: Ooh, can’t wait for more in both series. Grave Danger takes place in a small sawmill town in Washington State, and Concrete Evidence was set in the big city—Washington, D.C. Do you find it easier to write small town or big city settings?

Rachel: The fictional small town was based on an historic sawmill town not far from where I live. This setting was easier simply because I could adapt the setting to suit my needs, but I loved writing the D.C. book too, because I lived there for two years and know the city well enough to write it with confidence. In CE, every scene (except for the ones set on fictional tribal-owned land) was set in a place I’ve visited at least once. Erica’s apartment in SW D.C. was my own, and the Bethesda office building was (not really) shockingly similar to the building I worked in.

Gwen: I definitely find it easier to write about places I’ve lived or at least visited. What’s the most interesting thing you ever found while working as an archeologist?

Rachel: Oh, that’s a hard one! In the Pacific Northwest, we don’t have pottery, we have woven basketry instead. Woven fibers decompose easily—they are only preserved in ideal conditions, very wet, or very dry—so finding prehistoric basketry is rare. Years ago, I worked on an excavation inside Porcupine Cave in Eastern Washington and caves and rockshelters have wonderfully dry preservation conditions. I found—in the screen, not in situ—a small fragment of a basket. That was really cool, but it was only about an inch across and something that wouldn’t trigger backflips for people who don’t know how rare and unique the find was.

Another exciting find was in SW Idaho, when I found a petroglyph on a rock face on the Owyhee Plateau. The petroglyph itself wasn’t all that exciting – it was a simple circle slightly larger than a softball – but still, it was the first time that particular petroglyph was recorded by an archaeologist and I was thrilled to have spotted it.

On a more bizarre note, I once dug a pit and found a rusted metal bucket and shovel head—evidence the site had been looted about a hundred years before.

Gwen: How cool to be the first to record a petroglyph! And I hadn’t thought of finding looting evidence, but then I guess that’s just another layer of artifact with its own provenance… Okay, one last question, like my experience after reading about Macchu Picchu, was there a particular incident that sparked your interest in archaeology?

Rachel: I was a senior in high school when I discovered Elizabeth Peters’ mysteries, and I (fondly) blame her for my decision to become an archaeologist.

Thanks so much for hosting me today, Gwen! I want to thank all the ladies at Kiss and Thrill for the fabulous support you all have given me over the last months.

Gwen: Thanks for sharing your new release with us. I can’t wait for more of your stories!

Pick up one of Rachel’s books today. C’mon, you know you want to.

Concrete Evidence
Amazon | iTunes | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

Grave Danger
Amazon | iTunes | Barnes & Noble

The Weekly Recap – 12/7/18

SILENT EVIDENCE PreOrder Update

Silent Evidence is scheduled to release on December 28th!

It’s currently available for preorder at Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks.  It won’t be available for preorder at Amazon until a few days before release.

Be sure to sign up for my mailing list, or follow me on Amazon or BookBub to be notified when Silent Evidence is available!

Mailing List Sign Up:  http://oi.vresp.com/?fid=cb06226797 

Amazon follow: https://amzn.to/2FqbASZ

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rachel-grant

 

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The man of her fantasies is finally hers. Sort of…

Two things haunt forensic anthropologist Hazel MacLeod: the bones of victims of genocide she examines for her work, and former SEAL Sean Logan’s rejection. But within days of moving to her cousin’s estate to take a much needed break, she finds herself faced with both.

First, she’s called in to examine a mass grave in Virginia, then, her politician cousin receives a threatening letter and insists Hazel needs around the clock protection—from none other than Sean Logan. To make matters worse, because the threat to her is classified, Hazel and Sean must pretend to be lovers to hide that he’s her bodyguard.

Sean has spent years trying to avoid his boss’s sexy cousin, but now he’s guarding her twenty-four/seven and even bringing her as his date to a romantic destination wedding. As the heat between them intensifies, Sean can’t lose sight of the danger that brought them together. But when bullets start flying, new questions arise. Are the senator’s political rivals really behind the threat, or is someone trying to silence Hazel from speaking for the dead?

 

 

A #ThrowbackThursday Post

Remember the time my 12-year-old son made a video trailer for a box set? The set is no longer available but the video still makes me laugh. Enjoy!

 

 

 

The Weekly Giveaway

This week I gave away a signed print copy of BLIND FURY (Men of Steele, Book 1) by  Gwen Hernandez – Writer.

Gwen is one of my go-to authors for romantic suspense. Her books have that perfect balance of suspense and romance with smart, sexy characters who must work together to save the day and find their happily ever after. When I read a book by Gwen, I know I’m getting a 5-star read.

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SHE’S DESPERATE TO LEARN THE TRUTH
When always-play-it-safe Jenna Ryan starts questioning how her brother died in Afghanistan, someone decides she must be stopped. Permanently. Her brother’s best friend—a sexy thrill-seeker she can’t stop thinking about—won’t reveal what he knows about the fatal shoot-out, putting Jenna at odds with the only man she trusts to keep her alive.

THE TRUTH IS THE ONE THING HE CAN’T GIVE HER
Former special forces operator Mick Fury would give his life to keep his best friend’s irresistible sister safe. He took an oath to stay silent about their last mission, but Mick’s will is tested by the white-hot attraction to Jenna he’s tried to ignore for years. Now he must risk everything—even falling in love—to protect her from the truth that could destroy them both.

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The Most Popular Post of the Week

This week we started Monday with a video of sleeping kittens – and it was so relaxing!

 

 

 

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HUSH. Carey Baldwin’s CONFESSION is coming!

The Kiss and Thrill blog, where this was originally published, will soon be disappearing, and I am republishing my Kiss and Thrill posts here to keep a copy. This one is from July 2013.

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Today is a special treat because I get to ask the amazing and talented Carey Baldwin about her new release, HUSH, and then put her in the hot seat James Lipton-style and ask her the Inside the Actors Studio 10 questions.

I loved FIRST DO NO EVIL, so when Carey told us her plans for HUSH, I begged her to let me interview her so I’d get to read HUSH before everyone else. I simply couldn’t wait.

HUSH didn’t disappoint. Charlie and Anna drew me in from the first page. Carey’s smooth voice, rich characterization, and deft plotting made the novella an absolute pleasure to read. I’m anxiously awaiting her next release and have a feeling it will be a knock-down drag out-fight between the rest of the K&T ladies and myself over who gets to host Carey then.

Rachel: Carey, I know HUSH started out as something different. Can you tell us about how the story changed?

Carey: Rachel, HUSH was truly a labor of love for me. I wrote the first version of this novella specifically for inclusion in a limited-time charity anthology, Three Weddings and a Murder. Between anthology sales and private donations Leigh LaValle, Tessa Dare, Courtney Milan and I raised over $10,000 for breast cancer research. So thank you readers!

The other novellas from the anthology have already been individually released for profit, and I had planned to do the same with mine. But the truth is, around that time, my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and he eventually lost that battle. I know everyone handles loss differently, but for almost a year, I simply couldn’t bring myself to write.

When I did pick up the pen (okay, keyboard) again, I decided to do a major rewrite of my novella. The inciting incidents remain the same, but the events behind them have changed, and it’s a significantly longer story. The title, HUSH, is also new. I absolutely loved telling Charlie and Anna’s story, and I hope readers will enjoy it too!

hush-titleReformed bad boy Charlie “Drex” Drexler returns to his hometown of Tangleheart, Texas hoping to make peace with his dark past and make amends to those he’s wronged. He’s also looking to reconnect with an old flame. But Anna won’t cooperate, new questions tear open old wounds, and his best friend’s wife and baby disappear. Can Drex and Anna mend their broken hearts while fighting for their lives and racing to bring mother and baby home safely?

Click here to read the prologue.

Rachel: I know you have more exciting news to share, so spill.

Carey: I’m so so thrilled to tell you that I’ve recently signed a two-book deal with Harper Collins for the new Witness suspense line over at William Morrow.

I’m excited to be part of this brand new line that launches in October with a mix of classic titles (Agatha Christie), best-selling authors and new voices. I fall into the “new voices” category of course!

To quote from Harper Collins’ press release on the new Witness line:

“It’s an exciting collection of brand-new content, international bestsellers not previously available in the U.S., and newly digitized backlist classics. It runs the gamut from police procedurals to literary suspense; historical mysteries to action thrillers.”

Of course I gotta sneak a little romance in there!

My first book, CONFESSION, releases March 4th, 2014. The story centers around a wet-behind-the-ears psychiatrist, Faith Clancy, whose very first patient confesses, while they are alone in session, that he is the twisted serial killer who’s been terrorizing the city.

Rachel: I can’t wait for CONFESSION! Okay, it’s Inside the Actors Studio time, where Carey answers the ten questions James Lipton asks at the end of the show.

iStock_000010605742MediumWhat is your favorite word? Mountain stream. Yeah, I know that’s two words. I’m like that!

What is your least favorite word? No!

What turns you on? Really? Geez. My husband and Brad Pitt.

What turns you off? Sardines. Big time.

What sound or noise do you love? Mountain stream. Hmm.

What sound or noise do you hate? I hate the sound of gossip.

What is your favorite curse word? Mother F****** Read my books, you’ll see. 🙂

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Dude, three’s enough!

What profession would you not like to do? Anything involving cleaning.

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? Come on in, your mom and dad are throwing you a welcome home party.

 

HUSH
Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Goodreads

FIRST DO NO EVIL
Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Goodreads

CONFESSION
Amazon | Goodreads

 

Fatal Series Author Marie Force Joins Rachel Inside the Actors Studio

The Kiss and Thrill blog, where this was originally published, will soon be disappearing, and I am republishing my Kiss and Thrill posts here to keep a copy. This one is from September 2013.

Today I am thrilled to welcome Marie Force to Kiss and Thrill! Marie is the author of the intense and enticing romantic suspense Fatal Series in addition to the McCarthys of Gansett Island and other bestselling contemporary romance series.

Book 6 of the Fatal Series, FATAL MISTAKE, released in June to the great excitement of her fans, who launched the book onto the New York Times bestseller list, debuting at #20 on the ebook list.

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A critical error.

A Cinderella season cut short.

A star player murdered.

D.C. is recovering from angry riots after one player’s mistake blew the D.C. Federals’ chance at the World Series, and Lt. Sam Holland is determined to unravel the twisted web of motives behind the star center fielder’s death. Was it a disgruntled fan, a spurned lover or a furious teammate?

While Sam digs through clues, her husband, U.S. Senator Nick Cappuano, fights for his political life in the final days of his reelection campaign as financial irregularities threaten his future. It’s a distraction Nick can ill afford with Sam in the midst of another high-profile murder investigation and both of them trying to help their adopted son, Scotty, cope with the murder of a ball player he admired.

 Determined to bring the killer to justice, Sam must root out the truth before another mistake proves fatal.

Marie chose my favorite type of interview for today’s blog, because I get to put on my James Lipton costume (Will Ferrell does him better, but since we’re not doing video I’m going to claim to come in a close second).

So now, without further delay, are Marie’s answers to my questions, unabashedly stolen from James Lipton, who adapted them from French television personality Bernard Pivot, who modeled his questions after the Proust Questionnaire.

1. What is your favorite word? Kerfuffle

2. What is your least favorite word? Lover

3. What turns you on? Intelligence

4. What turns you off? Ignorance

5. What sound or noise do you love? My kids’ laughter

6. What sound or noise do you hate? Rap music

7. What is your favorite curse word? Fuck. Is there another one?

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? None.

9. What profession would you not like to do? Accounting.

10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? All your favorite people didn’t make the cut. Wouldn’t you rather be with them Down Under?

I have to admit, my answer is the same or similar to Marie’s for at least five of these (including #7). How about you? How many of your answers would line up with Marie’s?

 

Marie Force is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal best-selling, award-winning author of more than 25 contemporary romances, including The McCarthys of Gansett Island Series, the Fatal Series, the Treading Water Series and numerous stand-alone books. Her new series, The Green Mountain Series, begins Feb. 4, 2014 with “All You Need Is Love.”

While her husband was in the Navy, Marie lived in Spain, Maryland and Florida, and she is now settled in her home state of Rhode Island. She is the mother of two teenagers and two feisty dogs, Brandy and Louie.

Subscribe to updates from Marie about new books. Join one of her many reader groups.

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The Weekly Recap – 11/30/18

FIRESTORM is in the Kobo Cover Contest!

I’m delighted that FIRESTORM is included in Kobo Writing Life’s cover contest! Check out the gorgeous covers and vote!

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https://kobowritinglife.com/2018/11/30/the-kwl-cover-contest-2018-week-3-mystery-thriller/

The Weekly Giveaway

Are you following me on Facebook? Be sure to join the fun and enter the weekly giveaways!

This week I gave away a signed print copy of BLUE CHRISTMAS by Alexandra Haughton. It’s Book 2 of Alexandra’s Mistletoe Key Series and features an injured hockey player and a grinchy heroine, set on a tropical island.

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Never-ending sugar cookies, hockey on the beach, Christmas décor galore—Who can be blue on Mistletoe Key?

Kelly Griffin grew up on Mistletoe Key and is so over it—the fake snow, the jangly jingle bells, the forced cheer. Ugh, so over it. All she wants for Christmas is to never have to think about Christmas again. But leaving the only home she’s ever known and starting over where no one knows her name is an impossible wish.

Enter the one man who knows all about what Kelly has lost—Hunter “Blue” Bowen. A hockey superstar trying to keep a low profile while recovering from his career-threatening injuries, Blue starts to fall in love with the kitschy charm of the island…and its grinchiest resident.

Kelly’s wish could come true…if Mr. Hockey God would just buy out her half of the property. But leaving the island also means leaving Blue alone under the mistletoe, and that’s something she’s not sure she can do.

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A New Historical Romance Release

Check out Darcy Burke’s new release THE DUKE OF KISSES!

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Frances Snowden can hardly believe her good fortune when she’s whisked away from her boring life by her sister who is now a duchess. Instead of becoming the third wife of her parents’ stuffy neighbor, she can be anything she wants: a doting aunt to her newborn niece, a debutante in London, or even an independent spinster. But when she meets and kisses a mysterious man on a walk in the countryside, she knows exactly what she desires—him.

David Langley, Earl of St. Ives, is resigned to marrying the dull woman his parents chose when he was a child. His future is suddenly, and happily, diverted when he encounters a captivating young woman who shows him everything he’s been missing. Ready to embark on a blissful life together, a long-buried feud between their families makes their marriage impossible. Nothing is more important than duty and family, but can he turn his back on love?

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And be sure to check out my interview with Darcy from March 2014!

Click here to read the interview:  Darcy Burke Interview

 

The Most Popular Post of the Week

Monday and coffee – the struggle is real.

 

 

 

 

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Julie Ann Walker Celebrates Romantic Suspense!

The Kiss and Thrill blog, where this was originally published, will soon be disappearing, and I am republishing my Kiss and Thrill posts here to keep a copy. This one is from November 2013.

Today I am thrilled to welcome Julie Ann Walker back to Kiss and Thrill! The eagerly anticipated 5th book in Julie’s Black Knights, Inc. series released Tuesday, and I’m pretty sure her wonderful fans have already devoured it and are deluging her with requests for the next book. Fortunately for all of us at Kiss and Thrill, Julie has compiled a list of favorite authors to tide us over until book 6!

And now, I’m delighted to hand the blog over to the fabulous and talented Julie Ann Walker!

Let’s Celebrate Romantic Suspense!

AKA: The Authors Who Inspired Me to Write in the Genre

I’ve been wanting to do a shout-out to my fellow romantic suspense authors for quite some time now.  And what better place to do that than here on Kiss and Thrill, the blog dedicated to, run by, and specializing in the RS genre.  (Hi, ladies!  *waves*  Thanks for having me back!)  Because, truly, those of us who write romantic suspense first started out reading romantic suspense.  We fell in love with the action, the mystery, the mayhem, the thrill and chills and, of course, the sexy times.  *wink*  And while I adore the work of all the ladies here on the Kiss and Thrill site – seriously, if you haven’t picked up their books, you’re truly missing out – I wanted to dedicate this particular blog to some of the authors who pioneered the way for us, those wonderful writers who’ve been plugging away in the genre for years, sometimes decades.  I thought I’d do that by listing my top five favorite romantic suspense authors – in no particular order – adding why I love their writing and how they inspired my own.

So, without further ado…

1.)  Sandra Brown

Sandra has been writing romantic suspense since before romantic suspense was even considered a sub-genre.  (Not to give away her age or anything.  It’s obvious she started writing as a fetus.  *winces*  Hi, Sandra!)  But, the thing that always intrigues me about Sandra’s books are her intensely flawed heroes.  I adore them.  They’re unique.  They’re angst-y.  And above all else, they’re real.

2.)  Elizabeth Lowell

Can you say delicious prose, boys and girls?  Because Elizabeth does it like no other.  Rich descriptions, tasty metaphors, scrumptious word choices.  I fall in love with her sentence structures.  Plus, Elizabeth’s books are always a like mini college classes in 400 pages or less.  Her research is phenomenal.  And to read one of her books is to get a crash course in everything from the emerald trade to the collection of old tintypes.  So. Much. Fun!

3.)  Linda Howard

Talk about a pioneer.  Linda’s  first single title was published in 1982!  Her books are always filled to the brim with adventure, intrigue, daring heroes, dauntless heroines, and intensely despicable villains. I like to say Linda writes romantic suspense in its purest, most distilled form. Her books epitomize the genre. I suppose that’s why she’s so long-lasting, eh?  Go, Linda!

4.)  Suzanne Brockmann

Oh, be still my heart.  Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooter series is the entire reason I started reading the genre.  And the thing that most inspires me about Suzanne is that she’s a rule-breaker.  She writes from multiple points of view – something not done until recently.  One of her heroes is gay – something still frowned upon in some circles.  Her books usually have two love stories – something that editors will tell you is a no-no.  The list of ways she’s pushed the envelope goes on and on.  But my point is, not only does she break the rules, but she does it beautifully, eloquently, masterfully.

5.)  Lora Leigh

Oh, Lora, Lora, Lora!  *fans self*  Does she know how to write one smokin’ hot book, or what?  If you’re a Shades of Grey fan, but like some hard-core action between your titillating sex scenes, then Lora is the gal for you!  She takes romantic suspense to the next level on the heat scale.  Her characters’ chemistry practically sets the pages on fire.  Be sure to set the screen level brightness on your eReader to dim, or else the words might just burn out your retinas.  LOL!

So, thanks ladies, for not only giving me great books to read, but also for giving me the inspiration to pen my own works!  You all rock!

And with that, I’m outa here!  A resounding huzzah to the gals at Kiss and Thrill for having me back.  It’s always such a treat!

 

Born-Wild-Book-CoverNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julie Ann Walker dives back into action with the red-hot romantic suspense Black Knights Inc. series!  They claim they’re bad-boy bikers who own custom motorcycle shop, but these special-ops guys–a mix of Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, Marines, FBI and more–handle the jobs too tough for the government to tackle.

TICK…TICK…

“Wild” Bill Reichert knows a thing or two about explosives. The ex-Navy SEAL can practically rig a bomb blindfolded. But there’s no way to diffuse the inevitable fireworks the day Eve Edens walks back into his life, asking for help…

BOOM!

Eve doesn’t know what to do when the Chicago police won’t believe someone is out to hurt her. The only place to turn is Black Knights Inc—after all, no one is better at protection than the covert special-ops team. Yet there’s also no one better at getting her all turned on than Billy Reichert. She has a feeling this is one blast from the past that could backfire big time…

PRAISE FOR BORN WILD:

One heck of a riveting plotline… Born Wild is definitely not to be missed!” —RT Book Reviews, 4 ½ Stars

A wild roller coaster ride of a story… Nonstop action.” —Fresh Fiction

“Drama, danger and sexual tension… Romantic suspense at its best.” —Night Owl Reviews, 5/5 Stars, Reviewer Top Pick

Julie Ann Walker is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Black Knights Inc. romantic suspense series. She is prone to spouting movie quotes and song lyrics, and prefers impromptu travel over the scheduled kind. You can find her on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission. For more information, please visit www.julieannwalker.com or follow her on Facebook, www.facebook.com/jawalkerauthor, and Twitter, @JAWalkerAuthor

To Purchase Born Wild:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Discover a New Love | iBooks | Indigo/Chapters | IndieBound | Sourcebooks

A Chat With Historical Romantic Suspense Author Darcy Burke

The Kiss and Thrill blog, where this was originally published, will soon be disappearing, and I am republishing my Kiss and Thrill posts here to keep a copy. This one is from March 2014.

I’m very excited to introduce our Kiss and Thrill readers to Darcy Burke, who is one of my critique and plotting partners and an Instant Messenger buddy. Because we spend so much time chatting on IM together, Darcy and I thought it would be fun to do the interview via IM. This way I could blindside her with my deeply insightful questions. Plus I’d have my full range of emoticons to use, and anyone who has ever IMed with me knows I’d conduct entire conversations using only emoticons if I could.35

SEA-600x922-195x300We scheduled the interview in the evening, so we could each enjoy a glass of wine while we chatted…

RG: Starting off with the important question: what type of wine are you drinking?

DB: Viognier, from Jones of Washington. It’s a winery in Quincy, WA. We visit every year when we go see Dave Matthews at the Gorge Labor Day weekend. It was 65 degrees yesterday, so a nice white seemed apropos. (Yes, this bottle was opened yesterday – gasp!)

RG: I’m not one to judge when it comes to wine. Now if it were a beer you’d opened yesterday, I’d be concerned. 3

Your Secrets and Scandals series started off as straight historical romance, but as the series grew, the secrets and scandals became less about gossip within the ton and more about thievery and murder. Was this a conscious decision?

DB: Not really conscious, no, but I suppose the Fight Club elements in books 2 and 3 (His Wicked Heart and To Seduce a Scoundrel) set up a segue into the underworld.

RG: They did! It was a natural progression. In which book did the shift toward historical romantic suspense occur?

DB: Once I realized Jagger, who was the villain in To Seduce a Scoundrel, needed his own HEA, I thought about how to set that up. Secrets and Scandals was only supposed to be three books and end with TSAS. Then Jagger happened, lol. And Lockwood. I was also incredibly interested in Lockwood’s story. It seemed a natural thing that they were in fact half-brothers.

In coming up with their story, which would be the second half of Secrets & Scandals, I wanted an overarching suspense plot that would link the books together. And it had to be suspense because of who Jagger was. If he was going to want redemption (and he sort of had to if I was going to make him a hero), I had to write an arc in which he dug himself out of the gutter. That started with the novella, To Love a Thief, which features Jagger as a major secondary character.

RG: Agreed (see this was a quiz, and your answer about your own book is correct) it was totally in To Love a Thief.

DB: rofl – glad I know my books!

RG: LOL – I learn stuff about my books all the time from reviews. Sometimes I learn that I write smut, but other times I see reviewers catching nuances even I hadn’t noticed.

DB: ditto

RG: Bonus Question: what have you learned about one of your books from a review?

DB: that my name is really Dana Burke.

RG: 24

DB: I don’t know that I’ve learned anything per se, but sometimes people have really pulled out the things I was trying to convey, which is always great.

RG: Have you ever had a book of M/M erotica named after you?

DB: why yes, I have! VAMPIRE M/M erotica.

RG: Lucky!!

Okay, Secrets and Scandals is now complete, but now that you’ve had a taste of writing historical romantic suspense, do you plan to include a suspense plot in future historicals?

DB: Most definitely. My next series, Regency Treasure Hunters is pretty much exactly that: a series of treasure hunts. It won’t have the, ahem, murder and mayhem that some of Secrets & Scandals had, but gosh, you never know!

RTH is in the vein of Romancing the Stone or Indiana Jones, lots of action and adventure.

RG: It sounds awesome! But I’m counting on you for some bloodshed.

DB: lol, I will keep your bloodthirstiness in mind!

RG: Who is your favorite plotting partner? 3 (Don’t worry, I’m sure Eli, Joan, and Erica won’t read this.19)

DB: since YOU are one of my favorite plotting partners and will undoubtedly be helping me plot this series, I suspect you’ll find a way to suggest bloodshed. If memory serves, you are constantly suggesting I blow something up. 3

RG: There is a decided dearth of explosions in historical romance.

DB: Yes, it’s a shame.

RG: Hmm… I notice Darcy hasn’t answered the favorite plotting partner question. She must be drinking more wine. Hands full, can’t type… 5

DB: I said you are one of my faves, doesn’t that count?? 29 (Eli and Erica will be crushed if I answer with the truth.3)

RG: You can tell them I inserted your last sentence. 65 What is your favorite emoticon?

DB: oh, wow, hard to say! Probably the rofl one (24) because the people I IM with the most typically have me in stitches.

RG: Have you ever been flown to a foreign country and appeared on a reality TV show so you could meet a long-lost relative?

DB: Why yes, what a bizarrely accurate question, lol.

My brother and I were flown to Denmark in June 2012 to appear on This is Your Life Paprika Steen. Paprika is my first cousin and I just love, love, love her. Her mother and my father were siblings. They’ve both passed on, which is why we lost touch years ago, but thanks to Facebook, we reconnected and got to meet.

RG: Is there a link? Can we view the episode?

DB: Unfortunately it’s not online. I’d love to find a way to post the part where we meet (I have a copy, of course) because it’s pretty incredible, but I don’t think I have permission.

RG: Does your cousin have a website?

DB: No, but this is her imdb page: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0824785/. You can see how alike we look (not—she’s gorgeous).

RG: Cool!

The first novella—Where the Heart Is—in your new contemporary series was released last fall. Can you tell us a little bit about the Ribbon Ridge series?

DB: Ribbon Ridge does not involve murder or mayhem, lol. It’s a family saga (about sextuplets and the seventh “oops” kid) sort of series, but each book is stand alone. There’s an overarching plot and some subplots carry over between books, but each love story has an HEA.

RG: In the novella, the hero is a friend of the Archer sextuplets. Which sextuplet is the hero or heroine of the first full-length book?

DB: The novella hero is actually their “almost-brother” in that he went to live with the Archers after the death of his mother. His father had died years earlier. He had a really sad backstory, lol. The first full-length book in the series features the youngest sextuplet (as in she was born last), Sara. She’s an event planner with sensory processing disorder, so she’s a little quirky.

RG: I can’t wait to read it! (When do I get to read it?!)

DB: uh, when I finish the revision. 3

RG: Okay, final question – when the heck are we going to get together for more than a virtual glass of wine? I need to plot murder and mayhem with you. 3

DB: right???

RG: Is there anything else you want to add?

DB: I can’t think of anything else, but then I’ve had almost two glasses of wine.

RG: Lightweight.

DB: True.

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Scoundrel Ever After
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The Weekly Recap – 11/24/18

Come Meet Me!

Screenshot_2018-11-24 Kitsap Literary Artist and Writers Expo(1)

Today, November 24th, I’ll be at Kitsap Mall in Silverdale, Washington signing books! If you live on or near the Kitsap Peninsula, this is a great opportunity to purchase signed books to give as holiday gifts (or treat yourself)!

A large group of local authors will be signing books in the mall near the Barnes & Noble. The signing runs from from 9 am to 6 pm. I’ll be there from noon to 3.

Signing authors include:
Michele Adams-Makinson, Donna Anderson, Scotti Andrews, Dezirae Bates, Dv Berkom, Kate Breslin, SL Brown, Katy, Campbell, JW Capek, Karen Deming, Paul DuFresne , Jim Dunn, Rachel Beck Fordham, DL Fowler, Denise Frisino, Dianne Gardner, Rachel Grant, Jerry Guardino, Gene Hill, Sandy Hill, Wendy Hinman, Matthew Hoggins, Ronald Lamont (Canfield), David Martyn , Marshal Miller, Darlene Panzera, Lauren Patzer, Kat Richardson, Peter Stockwell, Alisa Weis, and Jennifer Wilhoit

 

The Thanksgiving Poll

This week I asked for your help deciding which tablecloth color to use for our Thanksgiving meal, and 89 of you voted in this fun poll on my Facebook page!

Eggplant was the winner with 69% of the vote, and ended up being the color we used. My daughter and I decided to alternate napkin colors to so there wasn’t too much dark purple and the touch of sage didn’t overwhelm given that the plates already brought a lot of color to the table.

There were 19 of us around the table and we had a wonderful time! Hope everyone celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend had an equally joyful gathering.

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SILENT EVIDENCE PreOrder Update

Silent Evidence is expected to release on December 28th! It it currently available for preorder at Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks. It won’t be available for preorder on Amazon until a few days before release.

Be sure to sign up for my mailing list, or follow me on Amazon or BookBub to be notified when Silent Evidence is available!

Mailing list sign up: http://oi.vresp.com/?fid=cb06226797
Amazon follow: https://amzn.to/2FqbASZ
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rachel-grant

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The man of her fantasies is finally hers. Sort of…

Two things haunt forensic anthropologist Hazel MacLeod: the bones of victims of genocide she examines for her work, and former SEAL Sean Logan’s rejection. But within days of moving to her cousin’s estate to take a much needed break, she finds herself faced with both.

First, she’s called in to examine a mass grave in Virginia, then, her politician cousin receives a threatening letter and insists Hazel needs around the clock protection—from none other than Sean Logan. To make matters worse, because the threat to her is classified, Hazel and Sean must pretend to be lovers to hide that he’s her bodyguard.

Sean has spent years trying to avoid his boss’s sexy cousin, but now he’s guarding her twenty-four/seven and even bringing her as his date to a romantic destination wedding. As the heat between them intensifies, Sean can’t lose sight of the danger that brought them together. But when bullets start flying, new questions arise. Are the senator’s political rivals really behind the threat, or is someone trying to silence Hazel from speaking for the dead?

 

 

This Week’s Giveaway

This week I gave away a signed print copy of CRAVING: The Steel Brothers Saga Book 1 by Helen Hardt!

Be sure to follow me on my Facebook page for fun weekly giveaways!

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After being left at the altar, Jade Roberts seeks solace at her best friend’s ranch on the Colorado western slope. Her humiliation still ripe, she doesn’t expect to be attracted to her friend’s reticent brother, but when the gorgeous cowboy kisses her, all bets are off.

Talon Steel is broken. Having never fully healed from a horrific childhood trauma, he simply exists, taking from women what is offered and giving nothing in return…until Jade Roberts catapults into his life. She is beautiful, sweet, and giving, and his desire for her becomes a craving he fears he’ll never be able to satisfy.

Passion sizzles between the two lovers…but long-buried secrets haunt them both and may eventually tear them apart.

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The Most Popular Post of the Week

Unfortunately, many of us had overcast skies during the Leonid Meteor shower.

 

 

Rachel FIRESTORM

 

 

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