29 June 2010

"Busy Summer with Promo!"

Life is sure busy during this month in June! How is life treating you this summer? With a summer release, the kiddos home, summer sports, and lots of home changes going on, it’s definitely been a wild month. I thought it would be easier to share a list of my recent Criminal Instinct activity.

Here are a few fun blog guest spots I’ve participated in and lovely reviews I’ve received within the past few weeks.

~ Come read my cover story for Criminal Instinct on the Barnes and Noble Community blog. I chatted with talented author, Melissa Walker about the cover changes Criminal Instinct had gone through before publication.

~ Check out my writer chat interview with author Maggie Marr!

~ On author Carrie Lofty’s blog, I shared an exclusive excerpt of Criminal Instinct!

~ And tomorrow, on June 30th, I’ll be blogging with the lovely bloggers at Petit Fours and Hot Tamales!! I’ll be discussing how I used the past to add sympathy to my imperfect characters. So please stop by!

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And I’m happy to share a few lovely reviews I’ve received for Criminal Instinct

“The action is nonstop, the violence nearly constant, the emotions always just below the surface. Much like Ana. It was almost exhausting to read, but that might be because I read it in a single sitting. I couldn’t stop. The threat was always right there, and it felt too tenuous to put the book aside, even though I knew I could always come back to it. The level of detail creates a world that’s gritty and completely in your face, defying you to pretend it’s not real.” ~ Book Utopia

“The gritty world of illegal drug dealings is realistically portrayed in CRIMINAL INSTINCT, where danger is nonstop and emotions are conflicted.” ~ 4.5 Stars by Amelia Richard, Singletitles.com

“Criminal Instinct is a roller coaster ride right from the get-go. […] The plot was like an onion that was constantly being peeled away. It had me riveted to my seat until the very end.” ~ Ann, Romance Junkies —romancejunkies.com

Whew! Yes, it’s definitely been a busy a month! And I’m hoping for this positive busy to bump on over into July!


7 June 2010

"Happy Release day to Criminal Instinct!"

Yes! Criminal Instinct is finally here!

Five years in prison or five years working as an undercover agent?

Not the easiest choice for Ana Moreno, who has a history of B and E convictions and a problem with authority. But it’s a decision she and four other felons are willing to make to stay out of a jail cell.

When a deadly shipment of Ecstasy heads for San Francisco, Ana’s team is sent to stop it. Ana’s task: get close to the handsome and dangerous Jonas Saven, right-hand man of a suspected drug dealer with a deadly agenda. As Ana uncovers a web of secrets, betrayal and revenge, her heated attraction to Saven grows.

But with time running out to stop the dangerous drug lord, Ana must complete her mission—even if it costs her everything…

The very sleek and shiny Carina Press has launched with 8 exciting new titles. Congrats to Carina and the launch authors! And CP have been kind enough to share complete first chapters of all the launch authors. You can read them on the Carina blog in PDF.

I was excited to be mentioned in Publisher Weekly’s Barbara Vey’s blog! What an honor. You can read the post on Carina Press here. Many thanks to Barbara Vey!!

And the lovely Dianna Love, has this to say about Criminal Instinct:

“Criminal Instinct is more than a page turner and more than the freshest voice to hit publishing in years. Kelly Lynn Parra brings a distinctive voice and style to her intense suspense novels that sucks you in from page one and holds you prisoner.”

So what am I feeling? Thrilled, excited, a little scatterbrained! LOL!

Criminal Instinct is also available in Amazon Kindle format, Barnes & Noble Nook, and can be read right on your computer in PDF or with an Adobe Reader program. Heck, you can read digital books on your Blackberry and iPhone with reader apps. So if you have not yet stepped into the ebook realm, it’s not far from your grasp! Carina Press has a great help section on Epub books and PDF books.

So for $5 you can read an edgy, urban, romantic suspense! Haha. 😉

Thanks for reading, and if you happen to read CI, please contact me and let me know what you think!

~Kelly

3 June 2010

"A Personal Journey"

It’s just a little less than a week before my debut into Romantic Suspense, Criminal Instinct, will be published…

I once read that anything created goes through a journey and has something like a birth chart. Such as when writers go through journeys with their careers, so do books from the day they are born or started. Pretty surreal, huh?

Criminal Instinct was born years ago, in a small ancient duplex on the older side of town in California. It was my first home with my husband and my first home away from my mother. The outside paint was the original sea blue, with shredded strips of paint in corners. The floors were wooden and scarred. I would have to scrub mold from the window panes. The first year we lived there, we discovered mice running through our rooms until I found a small hole under the stove where the mice would sneak through to get inside and I plugged it with foil. Haha. The water heater broke once a year, and the backyard grew weeds instead of grass.

But it was still our first home, filled with hand-me-down furniture, and with large throw rugs thrown on the floors.

We lived there eight years because we couldn’t afford to live anywhere else.

And in the back room, on an old Macintosh computer, I started writing Criminal Instinct, then titled Deadly Adam.

Of course, it was awful at first. My prose was stilted, my descriptions rough. I didn’t even understand story structure, or character arcs. A little while later, I upgraded to my first iBook (that crashed and burned) and then to a chunky Toshiba laptop, and finally to a big, heavy iMac. Once I finished the book, I rewrote it again and began to cold query literary agents.

Even when I had two interested agents, I couldn’t believe it. This really seemed like it was happening to someone else. I finally chose an agent in Colorado. She was really nice and I knew she was a strong business woman. Not only that, but I believed my father had given me a sign.

My father, who I had a tremulous relationship since I was a little girl, had one day up and left to Colorado after my wedding without telling anyone in the family. He had lived in the same California town all his life. I managed to track him down and get a phone number. He told me he was happy, that he was doing good, and I believed him.

But I think I knew, my father never did well on his own.

Months later, I was pregnant and wanted him to know. His phone had been disconnected. I went to the people who he still had contact with, so he would know he would be a grandfather. The people said they’d get him the message to call me.

He never did.

Six months after my son was born, a detective came to my door and told me my father had died in Colorado and gave me a phone number. I was in shock and in tears. I called my aunt, who always took care of the boys in our family and she discovered my father died of Pneumonia.

I never spoke with my father again and he never met his grandson. And because he passed away in Colorado, I felt signing with this agent was his way of telling me this was the right decision.

So I did. We worked on Criminal Instinct for about 6 months, and then went on submission. Criminal Instinct made it to a couple of acquisitions before it was denied. Finally, Harlequin had my book for 11 months and bought it for the Bombshell line.

It was one of the best days of my life. I really believe my father had given me the right sign. When I was sent a box of his belongings from Colorado, inside his wallet was some money, his license, his social security card, and a post-it. On the post-it was a message: Your daughter is pregnant, she wants you to call her.

Finding the note has always made me feel like our father and daughter relationship has always been unfinished.

Months after my sale, the Bombshell line had closed. I sold two YA books and was able to finally move out of that old duplex into a roomier and brighter home. Criminal Instinct was put away for a few years until now…

Sadly, I’m no longer with the agent, but now Criminal Instinct has been given a new chance, or a rebirth, with Carina Press. I look back at this book’s journey and the events in my life that surrounded it. And even if readers don’t enjoy Criminal Instinct—because there are still rough areas in this book since it was my first—I will know of the journey it took and me with it.

It will make the publication all the more special, like this book has finally come full circle. And yes, I still look for signs from my father on what decisions to make next…


30 April 2010

"Blogging Today at Carina Press!"

My Carina Press countdown day is here! I’m blogging today at Carina Press.

First with my journey to Carina Press here.

And introducing Ana and Jonas and the SIDE team! Read it here with small excerpts!

If you comment on either blogs, you will be entered to win a digital copy of Criminal Instinct. One of the blog, one of Facebook, and one on Twitter. I’m also giving away a CP launch title to blog visitor, winner’s choice.

So please stop by and leave a comment and share the news.

Thank you!

~Kelly


29 April 2010

"Countdown to Carina!"

The Countdown to the launch of the fresh new e-press Carina Press is here!

Beginning tomorrow authors will be blogging everyday and giving away prizes until June 7th when Carina digitally opens it doors to e-readers.

And yes, Criminal Instinct will be released on June 7th. *sighs in wonderment*

For those of you who have been blog pals with me for the past five years know what I’ve been through with this book and now it’s finally going to be published. For those of you who don’t know what the heck I’m talking about—haha—you’ll find out tomorrow when I blog at Carina Press once in the morning and then in the afternoon.

Carina Press will be giving away 3 digital copies of Criminal Instinct, one on the Carina blog, one on Facebook, and one of Twitter. Read the details here to find out how to enter for CI and all the other Carina titles.

So please visit the Carina blog tomorrow and leave me a comment!! I’ll be giving away a digital launch title in June to a lucky visitor—winner’s choice!

~Kelly