Meet the 2015 Golden Heart RS Finalists!

Sharon Wray:

Today on Kiss and Thrill, my GH sister and debut author Sarah Andre is highlighting all of the 2015 Golden Heart Romantic Suspense finalists.

Originally posted on Kiss and Thrill:

Many romance writers are busily packing bulging suitcases for next week’s Romance Writers of America national conference in New York City. So what better time to get you psyched for the RWA Awards Night, next Saturday, July 25th. WHY? Because this year RWA is streaming the event LIVE (click the word that night to be linked immediately, or go to http://www.RWA.org!) Now you too can be a part of that magical night of glitz, glam and stunning ball gowns! And one of these remarkable writers will walk up to the podium (in front of 2,500 fellow writers) and accept the coveted 2015 Golden Heart for Romantic Suspense! Let’s meet these lucky women:

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BRYNN KELLY

DECEPTION ISLAND (to be published in mid-2016 by HQN Books!)

In DECEPTION ISLAND, a rogue French Foreign Legion officer and
a Californian conwoman become unlikely allies in a deadly battle
against 21st century pirates and slave traders, in the steamy jungles and azure waters…

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The Best and Most Beautiful Things

It was neither the best day, nor the most beautiful. But no amount of rain could dampen my mood.

I sat across from a writing friend I’d known for years and drank my iced tea. (A little sweet for this girl from New Jersey who now lives in Virginia, but I’ve adapted.) Despite the drenching, we’d met for lunch at my favorite cafe. She’d just received another stellar review, I’d just received the GH call announcing my double final, so we were celebrating.

We’d even planned on splitting dessert. A huge double chocolate brownie with ice cream.

“So,” my friend said with a self-satisfied half-smile. “How does it feel to have eight Golden Heart finals in six years and still not be published?”

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I choked on my tea and my heart skipped around, searching for a rhythm somewhere between shock, anger, and ripping out her hair.

Finally I responded with a weak, “What’s wrong with eight Golden Hearts?”

Great. Now I was on the defensive. Not a familiar place for this particular Jersey girl. So I added, “I’m proud of them.”

“You have eight Golden Hearts and you’re not published yet. You’re not even self-published.” She might as well as added the word loser as a stand-alone emphasis sentence.

I didn’t understand.  She was my friend. We were supposed to support each other on our journeys, regardless of how long it took to reach our goals. She’d published her first manuscript almost immediately after finishing it and had a bright publishing future. I’d been truly happy for her.

And now I was under attack.

To read more, please join me today at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood blog or click here to continue reading.  Continue reading

Locked, Loaded, & Lying with Debut Author Sarah Andre

Sarah Andre

Sarah Andre and I have been close friends (some would call us twins) and Golden Heart sisters for a long time, and it’s a friendship I treasure. So I am not exaggerating when I say I am so excited and proud to introduce Sarah and her debut romantic suspense novel Locked, Loaded, & Lying.

And check out Brenda Novak’s cover quote! “An impressive debut! This book has everything readers crave: believable, enduring  characters, an intriguing conflict, and plenty of heart. Don’t miss Locked, Loaded, & Lying.”

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Click Cover to Buy

L3 (as I always think of it) is a blockbuster story intertwined with a beautiful romance and a fast-paced plot. And I can’t wait for you all to read it so we can talk about her hunky hero Lock Roane. (The heroine Jordan is lovely too, but Lock is hot, hot, hot!)

But since we have to wait to dish about Lock (another blog post), here is the trailer and blurb:


He might be innocent. Or he might be very, very guilty…

Olympic skier Lock Roane was on top of the world: smashing Alpine records, collecting medals, and basking in both the love of a nation and his beautiful heiress girlfriend. It all comes crashing down after Lock discovers his girlfriend had an affair—then awakens from a drunken bender covered in her blood. Given his history of violent blackouts, it’s not a big leap for him to believe he did kill her.

On the eve of his murder trial he saves the life of a car accident victim, not knowing she’s his biggest media nemesis. And when Jordan Sinclair regains consciousness, she’ll lie through her teeth to keep it that way.

Jordan is out of options and out of time…

To satisfy her blackmailer, she needs the inside scoop (and its tabloid cash reward) on Lock Roane. An attraction to the arrogant athlete was not part of the plan. Neither is trying to find out what really happened that night.

Now Jordan risks everything—including her life—to help Lock. But the more they discover clues pointing to someone else with a motive, the more Lock is also unraveling all the lies Jordan’s fed him. Her betrayal leaves him with two option: take his chances at his murder trial or forgive the woman who mesmerized him from the moment he saved her life.

Photo of sensual kissing young couple

SW: There are no words that express how much I love this story and how happy I am for you. But I’d love to know — What kind of research did you do for this story? 

SA: The BARE minimum! Hate it. All I want is to write my story the way it unfolds in my head and not stop to authenticate details. But boy, did I learn a valuable lesson when Brenda Novak generously gave me editorial feedback. She asked if a tertiary character would be able to get a Sports Illustrated magazine in prison. It had never occurred to me to check! They have libraries, prisoners get mail…I was kind of annoyed she would want me to research such a minor detail. Well, this story had been through 5 FULL rewrites by then (5 plots, 5 different killers, 5 different ways the victim died…) and the guy in the Tutweiler Penitentiary had always gotten that magazine. Grumbling under my breath, I looked up Tutweiler Penitentiary in AL (which I’d randomly chosen 7 years ago by Google maps: ‘prisons in AL.’) I was SHOCKED to find out…it’s a women’s prison. Consider me spanked. Lesson learned.

To read more, please join us today at Kiss and Thrill or click here to read more.  Continue reading

Writer Wednesdays: The Summer Edition

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I was a lucky kid.

I grew up on Packanack Lake in Wayne, New Jersey. Packanack is an historic area, not far from the Ramapo Mountain range, named after the Native American Pacquanac tribe that once lived there. Nearby, the homes where General Washington and General Lafayette housed their headquarters during the American Revolution are open for tours.

Packanack Lake, Wayne, NJ  Photo courtesy of Theresa216 (Wiki Commons)

Packanack Lake, Wayne, NJ.   Photo courtesy of Theresa216 (Wiki Commons)

The lake dates back to 1925 when farms between two mountain ridges were cleared to form a dam and eventually the lake. When you sit on the bank with the mountains in the western horizon, it feels like the lake has been there forever.

But the best thing about the lake? It provided great tween and teen jobs (lifeguarding and snack bar work) and served as the social center during winter and summer (ice skating and ice hockey in the winter, swim and sailing teams in the summer). As a teen, the lake offered year-round friendship and fun. It also offered what I craved most: solitude.

Photo courtesy of Theresa216 (Wiki Commons)

Packanack Lake, Wayne, NJ.  Photo courtesy of Theresa216 (Wiki Commons)

When I was thirteen and had saved enough babysitting money, I bought a sunfish (tiny) sailboat. And that summer, after I passed my sailing and swimming tests, I was allowed to sail out into the middle of the lake by myself.

So this was my summer schedule: Wake up earlyish (for a teenager), ride my bike down the mountainside with my backpack filled with books, my journal, a towel, and lemonade to the small slip where the sunfish boats were housed, and set sail. While my friends (we bought our own sailboats from babysitting money or jobs working at the beach) would race up and down the length of the lake, I would sail to a quiet corner, drop anchor, and read.

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Photograph courtesy of Sharon Wray

Yes, I would hide on my sailboat and read all day long. By myself. It was perfect.

When the west wind blew in the afternoon, bringing in the clouds, I’d sail to my tiny slip and tie up for the night. Then I’d push my bike up the mountainside in time for dinner.

It was an introverted teenager’s perfect summer. And I feel bad for my kids who are growing up in a crowded suburban area. I wish they had the freedom I once had to sail out alone to read and think and dream.

Now I’d love to know how you spent your summer days when you were a kid.

Thank your for spending the day with us. Below is a link of my Golden Heart sisters who are participating in today’s blog party. Hope to see you next month!

Historical Romance Authors: Kathleen Bittner-RothWendy LaCapra

Inspirational Romance Authors: Karen Fleming, Kristen Ethridge

Novels with Romantic Elements Authors: Natalie Meg Evans 

Romantic Suspense Authors: Carol PostJean Willett 

Paranormal Romance Authors: Kay Hudson

Contemporary Romance Authors: Tammy Baumann, Jamie WesleyKat CantrellPriscilla KissingerLauren Christopher

Writer Wednesday List