11.23.2014

Dear Indie Author, Don't Be THAT Author

Dear Indie Author

Don’t be that author. You know the one, the author that makes the rest of us look...well, not so good. That one author to which critics compare all other indie authors.

There is a low opinion of indie authors among certain sectors of the reading community. One blogger’s opinion was so harsh it made me cringe. The stigma of self-publishing seems to be lifting as more and more authors choose to self-publish, even authors who have traditionally published with a big 5 New York press. The publishing industry as a whole is morphing and changing its publishing and marketing philosophy, and it’s hard to keep up with all the developments. It’s an exciting time to be an author.

I’m an indie author and make no apologies for it. My loyalty is to my author brand, not to any one publisher’s catalog. I’ve been published by four different small publishers and have a contract with a top tier, non-big five publisher. Yet recently I decided to self-publish. Why? To be blunt, I’ve practically done all the marketing and promotion for my published releases myself. If I’m doing most of the work, I might as well keep most of the royalties.

11.19.2014

All About Heroes Interview With Joan Curtis

I'd like to welcome fellow author, Joan Curtis, to Suspense, She Writes. Joan has just released a new mystery titled The Clock Strikes Midnight.



Available for Pre-Sale at Amazon
and

Janie Knox wants nothing more than to live her life quietly in Savannah, Georgia and never return to her hometown of Atlanta. At age 17, a week after a jury convicted her stepfather of killing her mother, she packed all her worldly possessions in a single duffle bag, hopped on a bus, and vowed never to return. But, when she learns that she’s got three months to live, she journeys back home to finish what she couldn’t do when she left--kill her stepfather.

As the clock ticks away, Janie’s uses the last days of her life to right the wrongs that have haunted her for 20 years. She faces more than she bargained for when she discovers her sister’s life in shambles. Meanwhile her stepfather, recently released from prison, blackmails the sisters and plots to extract millions from the state in retribution.

The Clock Strikes Midnight is a race against time in a quest for revenge and atonement. This is a story about unleashing the hidden truths that haunt a quiet Southern family.

Joan is hosting a launch party for The Clock Strikes Midnight on November 25th from 3pm to 5pm EST on Facebook.


CLICK READ MORE TO SEE ALL ABOUT HEROES INTERVIEW 


11.01.2014

Victoria House Now Available for Pre-Sale




Haunted by a dark mystery in her family’s past...

When Tori Downing takes possession of the abandoned Hamilton estate on the longest peninsula on Lake Jefferson, Arkansas, she avoids revealing her connection to the ill-fated Hamilton family. Is the glowing image that shimmers in the second floor window of Victoria House the ghost of Victoria Hamilton? Can Tori handle moving into a house with paranormal activity...again?

Tormented by a scandal she thought she’d left behind...

Until she leaves her career at the Arkansas State Crime Lab behind, she never even considers moving to Lake Jefferson, but the fallout from scandal gives Tori a very good reason to escape to Hill County and refurbish and restore the old family mansion. She settles into her new life...until the old accusations from her past start resurfacing.

Attracted to a man haunted by secrets of his own...

Drawn together to solve the murder of Jared Crenshaw, Tori and Lt. Grayson of the Hill County Sheriff’s Department dive into a tangled web of jealousy, deceit, and revenge as they attempt to solve both crimes, Jared’s death and the mysterious death years ago of Victoria Hamilton. Grayson’s past keeps interfering with his present, causing turmoil in both his professional life and his personal life. Can their love survive revealing the truth—from both the past and present—surrounding the tragedies at Victoria House?

To celebrate the upcoming release of Victoria House I'm Hosting the Victoria House Launch Party! Sign up on the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win one of two prizes: $10 Gift Card from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or an autographed print copy of Victoria House.


Contest Rules:
  North American entries only.
  Upon entry into the contest your e-mail address will be added to my fan database.
  Entry into the contest gives us permission to list your name as the winner.
  Void where prohibited.
  Winner chosen at random.
  Entries must be received by midnight December 19, 2014.
  One email address per person please. Multiple email addresses with duplicate entries will be
           eliminated.


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10.10.2014

#NewRelease - Twin Rivers by Denise Moncrief


Available from The Wild Rose Press

Country music star, Summer Jackson, left fame and fortune behind in Las Vegas one fateful night—the night an anonymous stranger checked her in to rehab—the same night her partner Houston Pierce was murdered. Living out of the spotlight as Johanna Caldwell should be easier, except her fractured heart and her infamous past won’t allow her any rest.

When Johanna arrives at Twin Rivers looking for a job, Austin Pierce remembers her as Summer Jackson, the woman he’s always blamed her for causing his brother’s death. Pierce hires the woman who calls herself Johanna, but her presence rekindles his feelings of resentment toward the woman he knew as Summer Jackson.

Will a new threat expose their secrets and endanger their future before they have a chance to forgive each other and build a new life together?

Excerpt:

Johanna wanted a better life for Jake than she’d had—much better. Paula might not like her living so close to Durango, but then what could she do about it? If Paula wanted Jake back, she would have to fight Johanna for him. She didn’t know all the legal ramifications, but she knew it would look as if Paula had deserted him. After all this time, it wouldn’t be good for the boy to live with a stranger, even if Paula was his real mother.

Fall was approaching fast. The first snowfall of the year could descend on southwestern Colorado any day, turning the green leaves of aspen trees to golden. It was time to send Jake’s mother another note, something Johanna did two or three times a year. She wouldn’t ask for money. Hadn’t had to ask for any since she hired on at Twin Rivers Ranch. The ranch provided her with a room and meals as part of her employment. It wasn’t the best job she’d ever had, but she wouldn’t be staying here longer than a year anyway. Moving frequently was part of her agreement with Jake’s mother. She’d held eight jobs in eleven years. Sometimes she went without work. Those hard times where when she had needed Paula’s financial assistance.

She pushed a wayward tendril of hair out of her face and grabbed another stack of soiled dishes. A thump thump interrupted her thoughts. Heavy boots pounded wood flooring. Jeff Corbin barged into the kitchen in his usual rough manner. “Make me a sandwich.”

“Make it yourself.”

He yanked the refrigerator door open. “You’re in a nasty mood.”

“I was in a good mood until you walked into the room,” she muttered, shoving the last of the lunch plates into the industrial-sized dishwasher.

Jeff pulled out a loaf of bread and dropped it onto the counter. He prepared himself a messy, meat-heavy sandwich, loaded with an extra large dollop of full calorie mayonnaise, and wiped his hands on his pants. An uncharacteristically sloppy move for Jeff—he was picky to the point of being absurd. His fussiness was a startling contradiction to his overall crudity. He crammed the sandwich into his mouth, devouring it in four bites, then burped and sauntered toward the swinging kitchen door.

“Where are you going?” she snapped at his departing back.

“Got work to do.” He turned and glared at her before wiping his large paw across his foul mouth.

Her ire rose up from the tips of her toes. As if I don’t have work to do. The pig! “Clean up your mess.”

“That’s your job.”

“I just finished cleaning the kitchen… And I’m not your maid!”

“Well, actually…” Was the jerk really going to suggest that she was?

She threw the dishtowel on the counter. “I’m tired of this.” The cloth didn’t make the racket she wished it had. She wanted to throw something heavy that would wipe the smirk clean off his handsome face. How could someone so good-looking be so obnoxious?

“Are you gonna go tattle to the boss again?” He had the maturity of a bully on the elementary school playground.
Telling the boss was exactly what she had in mind. He had deflated her intentions with one prick of his verbal needle. She could see the nasty wheels in Jeff’s nasty mind turning and churning, ready to spit something rude up from the depths of his crude soul.

“Can I ask you something?” A depraved glint danced in his gray eyes.

“What?” she responded despite her misgivings.

“You’re not really Jake’s aunt, are you?”

She narrowed her eyes at him. Jeff was right. Jake wasn’t a blood relation of hers, but after all this time, Jake was her son—genetics notwithstanding.

“Is he your son?”

“My son? I don’t…” She stopped. She couldn’t lie. Not about that. Not even to this devil in boot cut jeans.

“I wonder…”

She growled at him, daring him to further her discomfort. The conversation had to end before the jerk guessed too much.

“I’ve always thought you looked familiar for some reason. Are you hiding something, Johanna? What would you tell Sheriff Cantrell if he asked you the same questions? Are you a axe murderer or something?”

Her insides quaked at the thought of someone questioning her right to raise Jake. Or doing a background check on her. She tried hard to hide her reaction, but she was sure Jeff had sensed her apprehension. “Get out of here.” Her hand gravitated toward the drawer where the butcher knives rested in their lined cubbies.

“Hit a nerve?”

She pulled her wayward hand back from the knife drawer. “Jake’s relationship to me is none of your business,” she blurted. A bad comeback—very bad. Too defensive. Admitting nothing, but telling much.

A deep rumble from behind her made her jump. “What’s going on in here?”

“Mr. Pierce—” She shifted from one foot to the other. 
“Nothing.”

“Didn’t sound like nothing to me.” A question darted in his dark eyes.

She had to tell him something or he’d keep asking questions. “Jeff messed up the kitchen after I cleaned up...again.”

The boss didn’t look as if he believed that was her real complaint. She tightened her mouth, pushing down the truth hard and fast.

Jeff snickered. “She’s touchy today.”

“Haven’t you got work to do?” Mr. Pierce snapped as if Jeff had used his last ounce of patience.

It wasn’t a good thing to get the boss riled. And it appeared they had irritated Mr. Pierce with their bickering once again. Johanna glared at Jeff. He shrugged his shoulders and walked away.

9.25.2014

#NewRelease - Laurel Heights by Denise Moncrief



Paranormal Romantic Suspense

                          

Murder, revenge, and nightmares.

A dark cloud of deceit hovers over her family tree...

Left an estate by an aunt she’s never met, Laurel Standridge takes possession of Laurel Heights, hoping it will be the safe haven she needs to recuperate from her ill-fated relationship with Rand Peterson. Secrets long buried rise to the surface when her cousin James is murdered and dumped on the highway just outside the gates of Laurel Heights.

Her past trails her to the mountains of Arkansas...

Caught in an obligation Chase Peterson feels he cannot ignore, he agrees to help his brother Rand take back the property he believes Laurel stole from him, but Chase remains at Laurel Heights after he discovers Laurel took nothing of Rand’s away with her except nightmares, fading bruises, and a broken rib.

Unexplained disturbances shatter her hopes of a normal life...

Are the strange bumps, thumps, and bangs reverberating through the night caused by the murderer of Laurel’s cousin James, someone Rand has sent to exact his revenge, or a disturbed soul existing in another dimension, trying to communicate with the living? Drawn together by the intrigue surrounding Laurel Heights, Chase and Laurel become hopelessly entangled in a relationship that goes deeper than lust. Can their love survive the haunting of Laurel Heights?


Excerpt


Since Laurel had moved into her aunt’s house, she hadn’t fallen asleep once without pharmaceutical help. The sleeping aid usually lulled her into lullaby land, but the drug seldom got her through the night without a nightmare. She was quickly running out of the prescription and would have to resort to over-the-counter antihistamines soon. The doctor she had seen in Fairview wouldn’t renew her prescription. He hadn’t wanted to prescribe it anyway. She wouldn’t be going back to him.

She lay still beneath her comforter, listening to the unusual sounds coming from the lower floor. The house made a lot of noises, especially at night. She sucked in a ragged breath when it made a few more. Thuds and bumps sounded like footfalls. Was someone in the house or was she being paranoid? Every shadow reminded her of Rand. He was in prison and would be incarcerated for a very long time, probably the rest of his life, but he could easily send one of his loyal subordinates to find her.

She wrapped her fingers around the grip of the baseball bat she kept next to her bed and hoped she wouldn’t have to use it. Confronting an intruder with a hollow piece of aluminum seemed like a lame defense. She had been considering purchasing a gun, but hadn’t done so yet. Maybe it was time. She’d have to buy one under the radar because she didn’t want anyone doing a background check on her. Acquiring a shotgun shouldn’t be too hard. It seemed everyone in Arkansas owned a firearm of some sort.

She threw off the comforter, rose from the bed, slipped across the room with the bat over her shoulder, and opened the door to peer down the hallway toward the front stairs. Nothing moved. The house was quiet. Maybe a little too quiet. Only moments before, a symphony of strange noises had disturbed the night. It was as if opening her bedroom door had turned off the sound.

She stared at the back stairs directly across from her bedroom and considered going down to the first floor to check the door locks, but nixed the idea. Locked doors wouldn’t keep someone out of the house if they really wanted to get in. Better to barricade herself in her bedroom and keep the bat close by. She slammed the door shut.

No moonlight filtered through the flimsy fabric covering the window. The moon hid behind a thick cloud cover. She tugged at the curtains, pulling them tighter to keep out the night. Before she stepped away, she caught a glimpse of something not quite right. Peeking between the curtain panels, she stared across the backyard. On the other side of the grimy window, a dim light flitted back and forth inside the detached garage.

She shivered with apprehension. The structure was derelict, unlike her garage in California. The four-car garage had been attached to Rand’s half million-dollar house. They had been living in the two-story, five-bedroom house for at least a year, but the place had never seemed like home to Laurel. Everything belonged to Rand. By the end of their disastrous relationship, he had treated her like a possession as well. Actually, maybe he had all along.

Comparing her life then to her life now brought up memories of the beating Rand had given her and his attempt to attack her again. If Foster hadn’t shown up when he did, she’d probably be dead.

She glanced at the clock beside her bed. It was nearly four in the morning, the darkest hour of the night. Who could possibly be snooping around her place in the dark? Who would be in her garage at any hour? She contemplated calling the local Sheriff’s Office, but decided against it. She didn’t want cops involved in her personal business. No. She would find out who was messing around her property without involving local law enforcement. Eventually the intruder would show himself, and she would be ready for him.


Suspense, She Writes

Where the road to happily ever after takes a suspenseful detour. Fast paced twists and turns that keep you turning the pages. Romantic happily ever after moments that take your breath away. Paranormal romantic suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Want to know a little bit more about Denise? She's a Southern girl who has lived in Louisiana all her life, and yes, she has a drawl. She has a wonderful husband and two incredible children, who not only endure her writing moods, but also encourage her to indulge her writing passion. Besides writing romantic suspense, she enjoys traveling, reading, and scrapbooking.

Accounting is a skill she has learned to earn a little money to support her writing habit. She wrote her first story when she was a teen, seventeen handwritten pages on school-ruled paper and an obvious rip-off of the last romance novel she had read. She's been writing off and on ever since, and with more than a few full-length manuscripts already completed, she has no desire to slow down.

You can connect with Denise at
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9.14.2014

#NewRelease - Killer Romances Boxed Set


Killer Romances

10 Dark, Deadly, and Delicious Novels 

On Sale for 99 cents for a limited time! 

Ten of today's hottest romantic suspense authors have joined forces to bring you an amazing boxed set of ten full-length novels--all for one low price! Romance, mystery, and thrills abound in these dark, deadly, and delicious tales of lethally sexy heroes and the women who bring them to their knees. Love bad boys? We've got 'em. Love good guys? We've got them too! There's something for everyone who picks up this red-hot bundle. Ready to dive in?

~~BUY IT NOW~~
KOBO

~~JOIN IN THE FUN AT OUR FACEBOOK PARTY~~

Join the KILLER ROMANCES authors for their LAUNCH DAY PARTY! The authors and a slew of their sassy friends will be celebrating the release, September 15th, 16th, and 17th, 10:30 AM to 10:30 PM (EASTERN TIME).



One lucky winner will receive a KINDLE FIRE. Prizes Galore, Q&A, Authors, Readers, Books, and FUN! So what are you waiting for? Come join us and have a blast!





Dana Delamar REVENGE (Blood and Honor, #1)
37 reviews 4.5/5 stars

Mafia don Enrico Lucchesi struggles to preserve a fragile truce with the Andretti family. But when Kate Andretti flees from her abusive husband, Enrico won’t leave her in jeopardy. Can he save her without reigniting the bloody feud between the families?

*** Revenge was a double-finalist (Romantic Suspense and Best First Book) in the 2013 Booksellers' Best Awards! *** 

Website: http://www.danadelamar.com/ 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DanaDelamar



Tallulah Grace Cliffs of Starsdale
11 reviews 4.9/5 stars

Seeking a fresh start after her mother’s death, Chelsea Bates lands in the picturesque town of Starsdale, California. Nestled amid the peaks of the High Sierras, Starsdale defines the term ‘small town’ with well-meaning residents who always seem to know everyone’s business.

The one thing no one knew, couldn’t have predicted, was the evil lurking beneath the surface of Chelsea’s ex-fiancĂ©. Preston Beecher follows her to Starsdale with the intentions of taking everything she owns, including her life. Will Preston destroy her dreams before they begin, or will bonds forged in a small mountain town be the pathway to her future?


Bestselling Author Sandy Loyd Deadly Misconceptions
48 reviews 4.4/5 stars 

PI Lucy Maddox joins forces with nemesis, Jack Finnegan, to find her mentor, a reporter who’s gone missing. It soon becomes apparent they’re being followed. And after a couple of harrowing near-misses that are too coincidental to be accidental, they increase their efforts. The chase leads to a ring of high school girls whose behavior could only be characterized as bullying. When they uncover the games those few cruel girls are playing, Jack and Lucy, realize they’ve fallen victim to Deadly Misconceptions and now struggle to stay alive.



Kristine Mason Shadow of Perception (Book 2 CORE Shadow Trilogy)
27 reviews 4.6/5 stars

When an investigative reporter receives an unmarked envelope containing a postcard ordering her to watch the enclosed DVD...or someone else dies, she turns to the criminal investigation agency CORE for help. But that help comes with a catch. Her former lover is assigned to the case. And as more DVDs arrive, they not only find themselves knee-deep in a twisted investigation, but forced to deal with their past and the love they’d tried to deny.



USA Today Bestselling Author Dale Mayer Haunted by Death (By Death Series Book 2)
11 review 4.6/5 stars

Death haunts anthropologist Meg Pearce… In her last summer before college, an innocent camping trip ended in a friend’s disappearance…and destroyed her life. She lost everything. Her innocence. Her plans for her future. Her best friend and lover. Seventeen years later, she returns reluctantly to the same area, hoping to move on. But a gruesome discovery sends her reeling back to that dark time.

Detective Chad Ingram has spent the last seventeen years trying to solve the mystery of that camping trip so he too can regain his life…and the lost love of his life.

Only death isn’t done shaking up their lives…and this time they are in the crossfire.


USA Today Bestselling Author Nina Pierce Blind Her With Bliss, Book 1 of the Dangerous Affairs Series
147 reviews 3.9/5 stars

She's trying to find herself. He's attempting to hide. Together they'll discover a truth that threatens them both...

Investigating the death of her best friend, accountant, JULIE TILLING, discovers a world of adult nightclubs and Internet intrigue. When shock jock DAMON COREY rocks her world in a wild night of lust, she wonders if she's found love...or the key to solving a murder.


Chantel Rhondeau Love & Deception (Agents in Love - Book 1)
11 reviews 4.7/5 stars


Nick Kendall is a secret agent sent to infiltrate a suspected terrorist organization. Despite his best intentions, he falls hopelessly in love with Carlie Hollis, an alleged key player of the group. Though he knows it's wrong, Nick struggles with his feelings versus what is right.

Everything changes when he receives new orders-kill the target. Will he follow those orders…or become hunted himself?


K.T. Roberts The Last Witness
82 reviews 4.2/5 stars

NYPD detectives Tate Kensington and Zachary Gerard are convinced one killer is at work, but proving it seems an impossible feat until a pre-teen prank blows the case wide open.

Both detectives have their own pasts to haunt them - Tate's ex-flame is now her boss, and Zach's estranged father is counsel for the defense. Complicating things even more are death threats, witnesses going AWOL, and an increasing attraction neither of them can continue to deny. Can the pair put away a killer on a paper-thin case? Or will their disappearing Jane Doe prove to be...THE LAST WITNESS...

The Write Authors Blog: http://www.thewriteauthors.com/

Award-winning Author H.D. Thomson Shrouded in Darkness – Book 1
32 reviews 4/5 stars

Winner of the Ready-Set-Go Peninsula RWA Contest
Finalist in the Suzannah North Louisiana RWA Contest
1st place in Peninsula RWA Chapter’s Contest
Two-time Golden Heart Finalist Author

Jake Preston is on borrowed time. If he doesn’t stumble upon a miracle and soon, he’ll end up dead. And even if he does, he still might end up dead with a clever killer hounding his heels. He believes that the one miracle and antidote to save him is in Margot Davenport’s house, across the country and miles away from Boston. Somewhere locked in her home is the key to reversing an experiment that is killing him. 


Susan Vaughan Primal Obsession
40 reviews 4.3/5 stars

Maine Guide Sam Kincaid needs to prove he can overcome the loss of his baseball career and succeed at something. Investigative reporter Annie Wylde intends to use the wilderness canoe expedition to study her notes on her friend’s killer. She banters with Sam but rebuffs his advances, considering him just another egotistical jock. But when Annie realizes the killer has followed her into the woods, she learns there's more to Sam than testosterone and dimples. And Sam faces the challenge of his life to keep Annie safe and defeat the Hunter.


8.31.2014

Ten Albums That Have Affected Me

My friend Heidi Senesac tagged me on Facebook. She challenged me to list eleven albums that have affected me in some way. They don't need to be the "right" albums or great works of musicianship. So I decided to share my list here on Suspense, She Writes.

1. Dreamboat Annie - Heart
2. Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind - Linda Ronstadt
3. Tapestry - Carole King
4. Breakaway - Kelly Clarkson
5. Juice - Juice Newton
6. Crimes of Passion - Pat 
Benatar 
7. Shooting Straight In the Dark - Mary Chapin Carpenter 
8. Aces - Suzy Boggus 
9. The Best Damn Thing - Avril Lavigne 
10. The Spirit Room - Michelle Branch 
11. Lying To the Moon - Matraca Berg 

Yep, I chose all female artists, because I love to sing and these ladies all gave me something to sing along with. 

One of the first concerts I attended was Heart. I wanted to sing like Ann Wilson. Well, you know that wasn't going to happen, so I settled for having big hair like hers. Wanna she a picture of that? Okay, here it is...

Just Married!

Okay, maybe I didn't quite achieve Ann's big hair either, but still...that hair is pretty big. :)




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