Adventure into Romance with Shelley Munro
News About Shelley Blog Books Extras Contact Small Font Large Font

Archive for 'romantic suspense'

A New Path: Kindle Scout with Jenny Schwartz

Last week, I discovered Australian author Jenny Schwartz is doing a Kindle Scout campaign. I was curious and contacted her with my nosy questions, which she has graciously answered.

Welcome, Jenny!

skg1

Please tell us a little about the Kindle Scout program.

In its own words, Kindle Scout is a program that lets readers discover never-before-published books, nominate them and, if they’re selected for publication, receive a free digital copy. Yep, free! That’s awesome.

The nomination period for a book is 30 days. After that, it can take anywhere up to 45 days to hear if a nominated book will be published, or not.

The Kindle Scout is run by Amazon, so if you’re a kindle-reader (like me) it makes things very convenient.

What made you decide to try the Kindle Scout route for your book, Sky Garden?

I decided to test the Kindle Scout waters with Sky Garden for a few reasons. For a start, I thought that the romantic suspense premise of the novel suited Kindle Scout. More on that later! Secondly, discoverability is a big issue these days, with so many books being released. Since Kindle Scout is part of Amazon, I hope it’ll help readers discover Sky Garden AND my other books. Thirdly, I wanted to try something outside my comfort zone, something that pushed me to strategic promotional activity (I discuss my marketing campaign here and my Facebook advertising here).

What do you think are the advantages of a program like this?

For readers, it’s a chance to discover new books and score some free! I take that as a win J

For authors, it opens a few doors. Whether Kindle Scout picks your book for publication or not, the 30 day campaign opens a lot of doors. Some of these are about building your support network (I’ve found this Kindle Scout support/info thread on Kindleboards very encouraging). Others are about engaging in some reality checking – Kindle Scout gives you the statistics of page views and sources of traffic (I discuss the value of these statistics here).

What is the hardest part of this program for you?

Sky GardenThe 30 days of the campaign! Who knew 30 days was so long???

I’m not a very patient person, and actually, that’s a bit of what appealed to me about Kindle Scout. All joking aside about a month being a long time, the turnaround is actually super-fast for publishing, and that appeals to me.

Tell us about Sky Garden, your romantic suspense.

Sky Garden is a contemporary London romance with a haunting edge.

Lanie Briers used to perform as a medium, before a serial killer kidnapped her. Now she hides above a quirky Bloomsbury museum because the killer might be dead, but his evil haunts her.

Nick Tawes is filming a TV series on roof gardens. He intends to build one in Lanie’s rooftop retreat. The illegitimate son of British aristocracy, he fights his own demons.

As summer progresses and the sky garden grows, secrets are revealed. But someone is watching, and he’ll kill to bury forever one final truth.

Where can we nominate Sky Garden for Kindle Scout?

Here! https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/3C4OSPPILOSLJ And thank you :) The nomination period ends November 21, 2015.

Thanks so much, Shelley, for the chance to chat about my Kindle Scout experience. I’ve tried not to ramble, but if anyone has any questions, I’d love to chat some more, so please, ask!

Jenny Schwartz is a hopeful romantic with a degree in Sociology and History—people watching and digging into the past. She lives in Western Australia and is working towards her dream of living by the sea. Jenny writes contemporary romance, paranormal romance and steampunk. Find all her books listed on her website, http://authorjennyschwartz.com

The Reveal – Secrets of Honor by Carol Kilgore

I’m really excited to take part in the cover reveal for Carol Kilgore’s upcoming release. I met Carol online via blogging. She has a wonderful blog called Under the Tiki Hut, and there is always a fun post to read. Definitely check out her blog – Under the Tiki Hut

And now without further delay, Carol’s gorgeous cover…

Secrets of Honor by Carol Kilgore

 

BLURB for SECRETS OF HONOR

By the end of a long evening working as a special set of eyes for the presidential security detail, all Kat Marengo wants is to kick off her shoes and stash two not-really-stolen rings in a secure spot. Plus, maybe sleep with Dave Krizak. No, make that definitely sleep with Dave Krizak. The next morning, she wishes her new top priorities were so simple.

As an operative for a covert agency buried in the depths of the Department of Homeland Security, Kat is asked to participate in a matter of life or death—locate a kidnapped girl believed to be held in Corpus Christi, Texas. Since the person doing the asking is the wife of the president and the girl is the daughter of the first lady’s dearest friend, it’s hard to say no.

Kat and Dave quickly learn the real stakes are higher than they or the first lady believed and will require more than any of them bargained for.

The kicker? They have twenty-four hours to find the girl—or the matter of life or death will become more than a possibility.

BIO

Carol writes grocery lists, texts to her family, new lyrics to old songs for her dogs, love notesCarol Kilgore Author Photo to her husband, and novels for herself. And for you. In between, she blogs weekly at Under the Tiki Hut and is active on Facebook and Twitter.

She sees mystery and subterfuge everywhere. And she’s a sucker for a good love story—especially ones with humor and mystery. Crime Fiction with a Kiss gives her the latitude to mix and match throughout the broad mystery and romance genres. Having flexibility makes her heart happy.

You can connect with Carol and her books here:

blog . website . facebook . twitter . goodreads . amazon

I think the cover is gorgeous and there are jewel thieves in this book. I’m sold!

Sleep, My Friend!

Sleep, Shanghai

Sleepy Worker, Shanghai

Today I’m really excited to visit my friend Mary at Dark Thoughts….Without sleep we become tall two-year-olds. Read more at Dark Thoughts

About once a month I blog over at Not Your Usual Suspects, which is a blog about romance, mystery and suspense. If you like a dead body in your fiction, you need to visit us.

So… we are going to celebrate by giving away lots and lots of downloads from the multi-published, multi-talented NYUS writers. To enter, just go to

Not Your Usual Suspects

and leave a comment at the announcement post or email our Fearless Leader at

CLARELONDON11 at YAHOO . CO . UK (you know how to make that work). Just one email, please…

On THURSDAY 25 JULY we’ll make the draw. Clare will contact each winner in turn by email, and then it’ll be. FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED for the winner’s choice of author’s work. So take a look at the announcement post and have your first few choices in mind!

I hope to see you during my visits!

Follow on Bloglovin

Solomon’s Compass by Carol Kilgore – Crime Fiction with a Kiss!

Today I’m thrilled to take part in the cover reveal for Carol Kilgore’s Solomon’s Compass. Carol writes mystery, suspense and romance—Crime Fiction with a Kiss—and she has a wonderful blog called Under the Tiki Hut where she showcases her sense of fun and tells us about her writing life. If you haven’t already visited, go and check it out.

And so without further ado I’d like to introduce Solomon’s Compass by Carol Kilgore!

Solomon's Compass

Here’s the blurb:

A missing belt—her uncle’s prized possession. The lure of buried treasure. And a sexy former SEAL who makes U.S. Coast Guard Commander Taylor Campbell crazy. What more could any woman want. Right?

Taylor is in Rock Harbor, Texas, on a quest to unearth her uncle’s treasure—a journey far outside the realm of her real life. There’s one glitch. Taylor’s certain the buried treasure was all in Uncle Randy’s dementia-riddled mind. Now he’s dead.

Former SEAL Jake Solomon is in Rock Harbor under false pretenses to protect Taylor from the fate that befell her uncle and the other members of a tight circle of Coast Guardsmen called the Compass Points who served together on Point boats in Vietnam.

Jake is definitely not supposed to become involved with Taylor. That was his first mistake. Taylor is attracted to Jake as well, but she refuses to wait for him to locate the killer when she knows her plan will force her uncle’s murderer into action.

But the killer’s actions are just what Jake is afraid of.

Carol KilgoreCarol Kilgore has always had stories and characters in her head, but she didn’t know she should write them down until about a dozen years ago. Once she started, she couldn’t stop.

Her first published short story won the Derringer Award for Best Short-Short Mystery. She continued to write short fiction for a few years and also enjoyed a small success as a freelancer before giving it all up for her true love—novels.

Carol writes a blend of mystery, suspense, and romance she calls Crime Fiction with a Kiss. Always at least one crime; always a love story. Solomon’s Compass is her second published novel.

As the wife of a Coast Guard officer, Carol has lived in locations across the U.S. She and her husband now live in a San Antonio suburb and share their home and patio with two active herding dogs that keep them free from all danger, real or imagined.

You can find Carol here:

website . blog . facebook . twitter . goodreads . amazon

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Do you have any questions or comments for Carol?

The Lure of Romantic Suspense

AuthorPic_RebeccaSmithMy guest today is Rebecca Lee Smith. Rebecca lives with her husband in the beautiful, misty mountains of East Tennessee, where the people are charming, soulful, and just a little bit crazy. She’s been everything from a tax collector to a stay-at-home-mom to a house painter to a professional actress and director. Her two grown sons live nearby, still have the power to make her laugh until she cries, and will always be the best things she’s given back to the world. It took her a lot of years to realize that writing was her true passion. When she’s not churning out sensual romantic mysteries with snappy dialogue and happy endings, she loves to travel the world, go to the Outer Banks for her ocean fix, watch old movies, hang out at the local pub, and make her day complete by correctly answering the Final Jeopardy! Question.

I asked Rebecca to tell us what attracts her to writing Romantic Suspense and what challenges she faces while writing one. Over to Rebecca…

My mother named me after the book, Rebecca—she was looking for a three syllable first name to go with my one syllable last name (Lee)—so maybe that has something to do with my lifelong attraction to mysteries and romantic suspense. If she’d named me Chatterley, my writing might have gone in a decidedly different direction.

I have always loved mysteries, probably because I’m a puzzle person, but I’d never read any adult romantic suspense until high school. I know this will date me, but I was looking at the titles on a friend’s bookshelf when she pulled out a copy of Bride of Pendorric by Victoria Holt and said, “You would like this.” She was right, and from that moment on, I devoured every romantic suspense I could get my hands on: Gothics by Phyllis Whitney and Daphne du Maurier; contemporaries by Mary Stewart and Emily Loring; classics like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. I also love humorous contemporaries, and thought that’s what I would write someday (my son thinks I’m more funny than mysterious), but when I started writing my first book, my past reading life came back to haunt me, and the plot just naturally evolved into a mystery.

I’ve often wondered why a dead body insists on showing up in the manuscript I’m writing. I can’t seem to get away from it. Maybe I find it easier to propel the plot against a mystery/suspense backdrop and keep the conflict alive between the hero and heroine. At some point, if they work together to solve a murder, they must learn to trust each other. This can create all kinds of issues for them to address before getting their Happily Ever After. And no matter what, the H & H have to get their HEA. In my books, anyway.

In A Dance to Die For, my heroine, Annabel, is an off-Broadway dancer who suffers from a condition known as dancer’s hip. She injures herself and destroys her career, trying to save her friend Quinn from falling off a platform. Determined to find out the truth about Quinn’s death, she follows a clue to a North Carolina inn where she falls in love with Trent, Quinn’s ex-fiancée. Depending on her level of activity, Annabel is in some form of pain throughout the book, and one of the biggest challenges I faced was depicting her as a strong, resourceful person who never thinks of herself as a victim, and handles her own challenges and setbacks with humor and spirit. How could the hero not fall in love with her? I wish I was more like her.

CONTEST:

Rebecca is giving away a $20 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during her tour. To increase your chances of winning, check out the rest of Rebecca’s tour here.

And now a question from Rebecca: When you are reading (or writing) about a character who has admirable qualities you wished you possessed, does it inspire you to incorporate those qualities into your own life? Don’t laugh, watching Jessica Fletcher on Murder, She Wrote taught me to nod, smile, and keep my mouth shut.


Cover_ADancetoDieFor

BLURB:

Annabel Maitland believes in destiny and following her heart—Trent Sheffield realizes his destiny is to believe in her.

Annabel destroyed her Broadway dancing career trying to save her friend Quinn’s life. Convinced Quinn’s death was no accident, Annabel follows a clue to a North Carolina mountain inn and discovers that everyone who knew Quinn—the real Quinn—wanted her out of their lives, including the sexy innkeeper whose laid-back charm and megawatt grin take Annabel’s breath away. The physical attraction between them is undeniable, the cerebral attraction irresistible. But trusting her heart means ignoring evidence that plants him firmly on the list of suspects.

Determined to keep his family’s financially strapped inn afloat, the last person Trent needs working for him is a stubborn, impossibly long-legged dancer whose sharp wit and silver eyes keep him scrambling to stay on his toes. He’s falling hard, and he wants to trust her, but Annabel’s connection to his ex-fiancée makes him question her motives at every turn. When a string of mysterious accidents threaten Annabel’s life, they must unearth Quinn’s killer before it’s too late. But what if Annabel was the target all along?

Purchase A Dance to Die For

Visit Rebecca’s website

A Sea of Suspicion and Marine Biology with Toni Anderson.

My special guest today is Toni Anderson, a marine biologist turned writer. After my recent cruise, I’m fascinated with the sea, and I begged Toni to tell us a little about marine biology as well as her recent release, A Sea of Suspicion.

Thanks for having me on your blog, Shelley. Shelley wanted to hear a little about my previous life as a Marine Biologist and how it connects to my writing, so here we go…

I was born and raised in the old-fashioned, land-locked, rural English county called Shropshire. Every summer my family would take off in their old Ford Anglia (6 of us in all) and we’d go camping at Black Rock Sands, Porthmadog, North Wales. My dad helped us to trawl through the rock-pools at the base of the cliffs and spawned (pun intended) a lifelong love of the ocean and its elusive inhabitants. Career choice seemed like a no-brainer when I spotted ‘MARINE BIOLOGY’ in the UCCA handbook. I headed off to the University of Liverpool who had a field station on the Isle of Man (now sadly closed :-( ) where me and my Honours class spent our final year. It sounds kind of idyllic? A whole year on an island studying marine life with like-minded people? It sounds romantic and idealistic.

It wasn’t.

The Isle of Man is smack-bang in the middle of the Irish Sea and is one of the windiest places on Earth. I spent most of the time in fleece, Gortex and welly boots, my hair frizzed within an inch of a 1970’s afro. It wasn’t romantic. It was cold, wet and claustrophobic. Thirty students living in one another’s pockets for nine months made it an oddly lonely experience as we all worked hard to get our degree. My then boyfriend couldn’t label his limpets for his Honour’s Project so I foolishly said I’d do it for him (having small nimble fingers), which meant endless 5:00 a.m. starts to catch the low tide (I am so not a morning person). My own Honor’s Project died over Christmas which cut the experiment a little shorter than anticipated.

Sea of SuspicionIt should have put me off science for life, but I guess I’m contrary because I was completely hooked on that type of smelly, slimy, destined-for-failure research. I headed off to the University of St Andrews, Scotland, and began one of the most fun and emotionally rewarding periods of my life. I spent 4 fantastic years in the Gatty Marine Laboratory, working my proverbial backside off, partying when time and money allowed, before graduating with a Ph.D. at the age of 25.

Marine Biology requires a practical disposition where you aren’t afraid of blood, guts, stinky smells (usually seaweed) or big men in woolly jumpers. Things wriggle, jump and escape (even when dead). Stuff gets spilled. Illegal aliens come into the lab using false credentials and spread seriously nasty chemicals around like talcum powder. Personalities clash and explode, people use one another, cheat, bitch, moan, despair, comfort, love. People come from all over the world to collide in a melting pot of human drama. It’s awesome!

I loved research. LOVED it :-) . I went on to the Institute of Aquaculture, Stirling, where I had the best boss ever, and then onto Canada. It allowed me to meet the most wonderful people while chasing fish around the world. But when I had kids I realized I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t put everything I needed to put into research and have enough left over for babies. Science isn’t a nine-to-five sort of career. So I pursued another dream of mine, to write, and I knew I had to set a romantic murder mystery in the Gatty Marine Lab.

That story, SEA OF SUSPICION, was just published by Carina Press :-D

Blurb

Marine biologist Susie Cooper traded her life in America for a dream job on the rugged Scottish coast. Now all she lacks is the right man to start a family with. After their first meeting, she knows sexy Detective Inspector Nick Archer isn’t what she’s looking for. He’s the type of guy whose idea of commitment is staying the whole night.

Nick has returned to St. Andrews for one reason only—to fulfill his vow to find his wife’s killer. Relentless in his twelve-year quest for justice, he has no problem using Susie to get close to his primary suspect: her boss. But the passion between them smolders, and as it ignites, Nick finds himself torn between his past and his present—with Susie.

When one of her boss’s students is murdered, Nick’s investigation draws Susie into a web of madness and betrayal. They will have to learn to trust each other if they’re going to catch a killer…and come out of this alive.

Read an excerpt of Sea of Suspicion here

Available from Carina Press and all other ebook stockists.

Thanks so much for having me, Shelley—any questions welcome :-) . By the way, SEA OF SUSPICION has its own Facebook page and I’ll be running another contest there in the next week or so. For travel adventures check out my blog

CONTEST: Either ask Toni a question about her book, writing or marine biology or tell us about your favorite beach destination and you’ll go into a draw to win a download of Sea of Suspicion. We’ll draw the winner tomorrow.