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!


10 October 2008

"Headline: Nora back to straight romance"

Ms. Nora Roberts is kicking off a new series (of straight romance) books scheduled for publication in 2009 with Berkley Books reported by the Galleycat:

Megabestselling author Nora Roberts came up to New York earlier this week, and she and Berkley Books threw a tea party in the penthouse suite of her hotel to lay the promotional groundwork for “The Bride Quartet,” a series of novels about the women who run a Connecticut wedding planning agency that kicks off with Vision in White next May. “I wanted to go back and do some straight romance, which I haven’t done in a long time,” explained Roberts(…) She’d had so much fun being involved in the preparations for her youngest son’s wedding that the concept came to her pretty quickly, and soon she’d sketched out the four characters— the photographer, the florist, the pastry chef, and the event planner—and chose the Connecticut setting, rather than some place close to her home in Maryland, partly for the huge estates but also because it made it much easier for the women to run into New York City.

I have to admit I’m a fan of her Romantic Suspense novels, but will definitely try out her new Romance series.


15 July 2008

"RiTA Blog Tour: Helen Brenna"

Three more great interviews to go to finish up the “Best First Book” RITA nominees blog tour! *whew* Thanks for those who have commented and are lurking! Today we have author, Helen Brenna! Helen’s nominated novel is Treasure. Yes, treasure! I love treasure stories and I’m so going to try and find it! And we are off…

Hello RITA Nominee, Helen! Thanks so much for chatting with me. Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your RITA nominated “Best First Book” sale :)?

Helen: Hey, Kelly. Thanks for Inviting me!!

Oh, boy. Where do I start?

TREASURE, my first book sale (third completed manuscript) was a long haul. I, as well as my agent, had expected to sell my fourth book first, but, when that didn’t happen, I went back to do revisions on TREASURE. (2/07 Harlequin Superromance)

When TREASURE won Georgia Romance Writer’s Maggie contest for unpublished authors, the door Into Harlequin magically cracked ever-so-slightly open. A suspense editor there really liked the story and asked for revisions and even though she was very happy with what I’d done, she couldn’t make the deal happen. THAT cracked open a different Harlequin door. A Superromance editor then read my book and made another set of suggestions for revisions. I was truly ready to quit writing at this point, but decided It couldn’t hurt to give it one last shot. Tada! The sale!

It’s amazing how opportunities can shift like that–so glad you didn’t give up! Readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author’s writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.

Helen: I’m not sure I have a typical day, other than I’m more of a morning that night person, so most of my productive time takes place first thing while I’m, more often than not, In my pajamas. LOL I’ll take a break to have some lunch and walk my dogs, a flat-coated retriever and an Australian shepherd, then I’m back at It. I work most days until 5 and spend some nights and weekends plugging away at things. I have 4 books coming out In 2009, so this’ll be a busy year.

I should clarify here that TREASURE Is a Harlequin series romance, so It’s no longer available for order. You can only buy It used on-line or In your favorite used book store. My most current release PEAK PERFORMANCE, however, Is available new.

Please tell us about your RITA nominated debut novel, Treasure, and what we can expect from your characters.

Helen: TREASURE Is an adventure romance with a wonderful alpha hero and a heroine so ready to tackle her demons that you can’t help but fall In love with her. Jake Is an underwater treasure hunter In search of the mother lode of all lost Spanish galleons and Annie knows exactly where to find It. She harbors a secret, of course, and possesses a cursed Spanish cross that just might take down Jake’s whole crew. It’s a fun, fast-paced read.

How did it feel to receive the RITA finalist call?

Helen: I was actually out of town with my family on spring break when the calls came through, so I read about It through my emails. When I saw the first email notifying me that TREASURE finalled In the Contemporary Series Romantic Suspense category, I couldn’t believe It. The second email telling me of the Best First Book nomination brought me to tears! I was completely overwhelmed. It was so fun to celebrate on vacation with my family that night!

What’s up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.

Helen: Oh, I’ve been busy. After TREASURE, my second Harlequin Superromance, Dad for Life, came out In 6/07. And this past May, my first Harlequin NASCAR romance, PEAK PERFORMANCE, was released and can still be purchased on-line or ordered through your favorite bookstore. In October 2008, I’ll have another adventure Superromance out, entitled FINDING MR. RIGHT where I got to take my characters to sunny Greece!

I’ll have another NASCAR romance out In 3/09, and a Superromance trilogy set on my fictitious Lake Superior Island coming out starting In August 2009. In other words, stay tuned!

Wow, a wonderful list of upcoming reads! Congrats on being a RITA finalist, Helen, and best of luck! I’m looking forward to meeting you in SF!

Helen: Congratulations to you, too, Kelly!!

Would you like to close with a writing tip?

Helen: You can’t sell It If you don’t write It!

Helen Brenna grew up the seventh of eight children in central Minnesota. Although as a child she never dreamed of writing books, she was a voracious reader, cutting her teeth on all the Harlequins she could get her hands on.

With a BS in accounting, she started career life as a CPA and thought she’d end career life as an old CPA, but the decision to stay home with her kids made all things possible. Not only has Helen won the coveted HOLT medallion and a Maggie award, her books have also been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA awards and a Reviewer’s Choice award by Romantic Times.

She continues to write away, living in Minnesota with her husband, two children, two dogs, and three surly (who can blame them?) cats and would love hearing from you. Email her at helenbrenna@comcast.net or send mail to PO Box 24107, Minneapolis, MN 55424.

Bloggers can chat with Helen and several other authors at ridingwiththetopdown.blogspot.com or visit her website at www.helenbrenna.com.

11 July 2008

"RiTA Blog Tour: Hank Philliippi Ryan & Comment to Win Prime Time!"

I’m topping off Friday with the RITA blog tour with Agatha Award winner, Hank Phillippi Ryan! Not only that but Hank is being ultra cool and giving away 10 books of MIRA re-issues of PRIME TIME to 10 lucky visitors through the weekend. So if you comment here, or my myspace post, you’ll be entered in a drawing. Hot Diggity! Now for the interview…

Hello RITA Nominee, Hank! Thanks so much for chatting with me. Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your RITA nominated “Best First Book” sale :)?

Hank: Wow. I love to be called RITA nominee! Thank you. My writing background? I’m the investigative reporter for the NBC affiliate in Boston, and I’ve been a TV reporter for the past 30 (yikes) years. But you know, being an investigative reporter is kind of like writing a mystery: you’re looking to tell a good story, with compelling characters. You’re tracking down clues, doing research, searching for answers–and you hope, in the end , to have a satisfying conclusion, where the bad guys get what they deserve, and the good guys triumph, that there’s some justice and that the world is changed for the better. And that’s exactly what I’ve tried to do in turning to fiction. It’s just–In television, you can’t make stuff up.

My sale? Well, it was fantastic. A road paved with many rejections and a fair amount of tears. One particularly dismal day, I remember I said to my husband–Is Charlie McNally (my main character) going to DIE? Is no one going to get to meet her?

My husband is very patient. No, he assured me, Charlie is not going to die.

Soon after, Ann Leslie Tuttle at Harlequin told my agent Kristin Nelson that she loved the book! And that was that. I got the good news on my voice mail…and I still have the bit of paper I wrote it down on. It’s magneted to my refrigerator.

Readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author’s writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.

Hank: Ah. Sleep Is the first casualty. I get up around seven. Go to work at Channel 7. Some days I’m tracking down criminals, wiring myself with hidden cameras, confronting corrupt politicians. Other days I’m writing investigative stores. Other days, I’m in the edit booth, making the stories you see on the air. My stores are usually on the 11 pm news.

Then I come home about 7. And scurry to my study to write. I write til about 10–then we have dinner. (My husband has eaten a lot of pizza since I started the Charlotte McNally Mysteries!) Then after dinner, sometimes I sneak back to the computer and write til about 1.

Weekends, I start writing at 10, then go til about 4. I only allow myself to check my email every hour on the hour. I do about 1000 words a day, if I’m really zooming. I go back and revise, then revise again, then print out my pages and curl up and revise again. The next time at the computer, I insert my changes, and go from there. So I always get a jump start.

My study has windows looking out onto beautiful maple trees. Lots of birds and squirrels. I have a big antique horseshoe-shaped desk. I have two little rocks by my monitor, carved with the words: Patience and Imagine.

I truly love it. Even on the days it’s not so easy.

Please tell us about your RITA nominated debut novel, PRIME TIME, and what we can expect from your characters.

Hank: PRIME TIME introduces Charlotte “Charlie” McNally, a 46 year old investigative reporter for a Boston TV station. (Hmmm, okay, I hear you. But hey–she’s younger than I am. And can say things I can’t.) She’s smart, she’s savvy, she’s successful–but she’s married to her job in television. And she begins to worry–what will happen when the camera doesn’t love her any more? Will she be a media old maid?

So–she’s on the hunt for the story that will save her career–if she doesn’t find it, she’ll certainly be replaced by someone younger and more beautiful.

Then one day, she finds some weird spam on her computer–and she begins to suspect some of it may be more than cyber junk mail. In fact, she thinks it may be carrying secret messages to the big-money group of insides that knows how to decipher it. Problem is, the last outsider to crack the code wound up in the local morgue. So she could be on the trail of the biggest story of her life–or the one that will end It.

She also meets a dishy professor who reminds her of her favorite Atticus Finch–but is he just a little too handsome? And a little too helpful? Or is her life about to change a lot more? Remember it’s a series…so who knows who’s in the next episodes!

PRIME TIME won the Agatha Award for best first mystery.

Congratulations on the Agatha, Hank! Let’s talk about the RITA nomination, how did it feel to receive the RITA finalist call?

Hank: Hilarious. I was at the station, at work on some deadline story. Dangerous tanker trucks, I think. And the phone rang–I didn’t know whether it would be a source with the scoop, my producer with some new information–or a wacky viewer who wanted to tell me some story they decided I just could not miss. (Most often? They’re wrong.)

So the voice says–Hank Phillippi Ryan? Yes…I said. Very wary.

I’m calling from the RITA committee, and…

I must day, I barely heard the rest. But happily, I’m a reporter, so I was taking notes. My scrawled notes–which I also saved and put on the fridge–say exactly what the caller told me: “It’s like the Oscars, girl.” “This is so huge.” And my favorite: “You can put this on your tombstone.”

When I got another call later that day, saying I’d also been nominated for Best Romantic Suspense–well, let’s just say I wasn’t any calmer. I’m sure that person’s eardrums will never be the same.

I hear some people know what day is RITA day. I didn’t have any idea. So I still get goose bumps. And I’m endlessly grateful.

What’s up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.

Oh, yes. It’s very exciting! PRIME TIME and the second Charlie McNally mystery, FACE TIME are going to be re-issued as MIRA Books in July and August 2009. Then the brand new AIR TIME will be published by MIRA in September 2009, then DRIVE TIME in 2010.

Wonderful! Congrats on being a RITA finalist, Hank, and best of luck! I’m looking forward to meeting you in SF! Would you like to close with a writing tip?

Hank: Thank you! For writers? You know–trust yourself. There’s a lot more in that brain of yours than you realize–so relax, and let all the wonderfulness come out .And don’t give up! There’s a quote on my bulletin board: “What would you attempt to do if you know you could not fail?”

You’d just–go for it, right? So do that!

Award-winning investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan is currently on the air at Boston’s NBC affiliate, where she’s broken big stories for the past 22 years. Her stories have resulted in new laws, people sent to prison, homes removed from foreclosure, and millions of dollars in refunds and restitution for consumers.

Along with her 26 EMMYs, Hank’s won also won dozens of other journalism honors. She’s been a radio reporter, a proofreader, a legislative aide in the United States Senate and an editorial assistant at Rolling Stone Magazine.

Her first mysteries, Prime Time (which just won the prestigious Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2007, and is a double RITA nominee for Best First Book and Best Romantic Suspense Novel of 2007, a DAPHNE nominee, and a 2007 Reviewers’ Choice Award Winner) and Face Time (Book Sense Notable Book), were best sellers The next in the series, Air Time and Drive Time, are also coming soon from MIRA Books

She and her husband, a criminal defense and civil rights attorney, live near Boston. Please visit her website at http://www.hankphillippiryan.com

10 July 2008

"RITA Blog Tour: Jamie Carie"

We have our next RITA interview with Inspirational author, Jamie Carie, author of Snow Angel. Jamie is the wonderful person to start this blog tour and she’s done a fantastic job. Thanks Jamie!

Hello RITA Nominee, Jamie! Thanks so much for chatting with me. Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your RITA nominated “Best First Book” sale 🙂 ?

Jamie: Like many writers, I loved stories and writing as a child. I was the quintessential “book worm” reading every chance I could get – propped up on the window sill as I washed dishes (yes, by hand:), while babysitting, on the bus, during class (with my romance novel hidden behind the pages of an algebra book), etc. I wrote poems and songs and in my diary for years. And I read. I read everything I could get my hands on – especially historical romance.

Years past and I found myself the stay-at-home of two little boys. I had been reading historical romance for so long that I was a little bored and wanted something different. I read and reread the classics. Then I tried the “Christian romances” but was disappointed in the too saintly characters. (This was twelve years ago – they’re much better now!) One night, I was at the computer. It was dark and late and I could feel the cold coming up through the wooden floorboards (we lived in an old farmhouse at the time). I remember thinking – Alaska, blizzard, young woman fighting for her life. Then I just started typing. Three chapters later I felt a thrill of discovery. This was what I wanted to do with my life! Snow Angel was born that night, but more, my love for novel writing was discovered as well.

Finding a publisher for my manuscript was another long journey! Eight years of studying the publishing industry and the craft of writing, lots of roller-coaster ups and downs and near misses. (You can read the long version of this story here). When B&H called and said they wanted to publish my book, well, it was one of the best days of my life. Two three-book deals later and I can hardly believe all that has happened since.

What a great journey, Jamie! Readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author’s writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.

Jamie: As more and more deadlines loom, I am beginning to be better organized with my time. But the truth is I’m not a morning person. I like to write late at night, in the dark, with my headphones on. 🙂

Please tell us about your RITA nominated debut novel, Snow Angel, and what we can expect from your characters.

Jamie: Elizabeth is a woman who has had everyone and every experience fail her. In that, she has learned how to “make it on her own.” When Noah meets her, she doesn’t even recognize her need for love. She has so thoroughly buried her needs and desires that when they surface, she is terrified and runs away. Noah is the man who can tear down the walls around her heart – with patience and persistence and sacrificial love. He’s the one who won’t give up. He simply loves her with his whole heart and more, with his actions. What follows is the tale of a hard-won heart. But one he willingly gives up everything to call his own.

How did it feel to receive the RITA finalist call?

Jamie: Well, at first I thought it was a telemarketer, so I wasn’t exactly exuberant when I answered the phone. As I realized what she was saying, that Snow Angel, this book I had tried to get published for eight long years, had poured my heart and my life into, was up for a RITA . . . I began shaking. I thanked her, gushing and squeaking my shock. I hung up the phone. I stared at the phone – still shaking. A RITA!?! Then I called everyone in my family and told them the news. I think my hands were shaking for well over an hour after that and I could not sit down!

I can feel your excitement through your words, Jamie! What’s up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.

Jamie: In April 2008, my second novel, The Duchess and the Dragon came out. I love the hero in that book – Drake Weston, the Duke of Northumberland. Tall, dark and drop-dead gorgeous, he would make anyone question their upbringing as he does to the sweet Quaker girl, Serena. Then in January 2009, Wind Dancer will come out. This is a story close to my heart as it is set in Vincennes, Indiana, my hometown, during the George Rogers Clark days of the American Revolution. I will have a book trailer for Wind Dancer up on my website www.jamiecarie.com in a few days. Fourth book – I just turned in my manuscript for a story I’m calling Red Like Scarlett which will be out June of 2009. Whew. French Revolution. The haunted and hunted Count of St. Laurent and a woman named Scarlett who is pregnant with another man’s child. I learned so much writing that novel. Now? I will be researching for the fifth book, Emma’s story. Set In the mountains of western America, during the time when we found our way to the Pacific Ocean (Lewis and Clark). I’m excited to get started on it!

They all sound wonderful, Jamie! Congrats on being a RITA finalist, and best of luck! I’m looking forward to meeting you in SF! Would you like to close with a writing tip?

Jamie: My best advice is to have faith and persistence. Believe in yourself and then sit down and do the work. Write your heart. Bleed into it. Don’t worry about the market or getting published (at least while you’re writing it:) just write your story. You are the only person ever created who can write the story in your heart.

Thank you Kelly!! I’m looking forward to meeting you in SF too!

Jamie Carie is an inspirational fiction novelist who believes in the power of story to touch hearts and change lives. Her debut novel, SNOW ANGEL, a USA News Book and ForeWord Magazine award winner and RITA nominated novel, is a can’t-put-down story of redemption, hope and healing. Her second novel, THE DUCHESS AND THE DRAGON is a passionate tale of love between a reckless Duke and a serene Quaker woman. And her third novel, WIND DANCER, is a story of captivity and then the freedom from captivity. Jamie lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with her husband and three boys… and a giant of a dog named Leo.