romantic suspense

Romantic Suspense: Dead or Alive?

on December 27, 2010

ADDED 12.28: Whoops! the tinyurl in the TWITTER contest link comes here, when it should be going to a description of LOVE ME TO DEATH! Bad me. Here’s the correct link: We usually take a break blogging over the Christmas season, so the MSW gals have graciously allowed me to pretty much take over the blog this week because my new book comes out tomorrow. And because it’s the first book of a series, it’s particularly important to spread the word. Even more so because this week is a heavy week in publishing–a lot of big books are coming… Read More

In Search of the Perfect Cover

on December 23, 2010

I may get in trouble for this blog, but Random House is closed until January 3rd, so who would I ask? I’ll invoke the “forgiveness” doctrine–it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission 🙂 In five days, LOVE ME TO DEATH will be released. It’s also my anniversary as a published author. Five years ago to the day (almost) THE PREY was released. LOVE ME TO DEATH is my fifteenth novel. I’m as excited as I am nervous. The book market has changed dramatically between my last romantic suspense release (August 2009) and this book. More readers are buying e-books,… Read More

88 Books and Counting: Debra Webb

on November 11, 2010

I am so excited to interview our own Debra Webb! It seems appropriate somehow that I’m interviewing Deb on Veterans Day. Her husband, Nonie, is a veteran (thank you Nonie!) who served in the U.S. Army. By the way, they have been married for 36 years. And no, she doesn’t look old enough to have been married for 36 years—they married when she was 16. They met at her father’s 50th birthday party when Nonie was guest of one of their farmhands. Deb saw him and said to herself, “That is the most handsome man I’ve ever laid eyes on.”… Read More

MSW Welcomes NYT Bestselling Author Brenda Novak!

on September 7, 2010

Please give MSW guest author Brenda Novak a round of applause! (Sorry I’m late today, I completely spaced last night because I wasn’t on-line while I read page-proofs.) I’ve known Brenda for nearly 20 years. On New Years Eve in 1992, I was at Brenda’s house for a party with my then-fiance Dan (now my husband) and mutual friends. Fast-forward 13 years and I met Brenda through our local RWA chapter, the Sacramento Valley Rose, at my first meeting in January of 2003. She didn’t remember me, but I definitely remembered her! She was speaking on the panel, and I… Read More

Afterward: Thrillerfest

on July 15, 2010

The International Thriller Writers (ITW) hosts Thrillerfest in NYC the second week of every July. On Sunday, I returned from the Thrillerfest V, elated and excited and a bit apprehensive. First, a little about the organization. ITW was originally for published thriller writers of all sub-genres, as well as the lofty goal of being a “readers” group. I think the organization has moved solidly into the thriller writers camp, but with one big exception: the organization makes a concerted effort to reach readers, librarians, booksellers and other industry folks and does an amazing job promoting not only thriller writers, but… Read More

Kill Your Darlings . . .

on June 17, 2010

. . . I’m not talking about your children! There’s a phrase writers use in the revision process: Kill Your Darlings. That a descriptive paragraph or scene, no matter how well-written or poignant or suspenseful or romantic or just plain stunning . . . if it doesn’t fit in the story . . . if it can be taken out without changing anything . . . has to go. Kill it. It’s the hardest thing a writer can do. Because killing your darlings goes well beyond a well-turned phrase that may be repetitive, or a scene that is unnecessary. Sometimes… Read More

Strong Heroines

on March 11, 2010

Rocki’s post on Tuesday asking if there was a double-standard in romance elicited a groundswell of responses from MSW readers. Some of the comments were particularly noteworthy, so I’d suggest if you haven’t read the blog you do so. The primary theme of the blog was whether readers had a double standard in romance vis-a-vis the hero and heroine. That heroines are held to a higher standard than heroes. We forgive heroes for sleeping around, playing the field, having oodles of sexual experience–but if the heroine has more than one or two lovers (and they should be steady lovers, perhaps… Read More

Genre Blending Redux

on December 31, 2009

Here’s one of my favorite posts of the year . . . well, last year. I wrote this at the end of 2008, but I’m posting it again because it’s relevant to publishing today and me specifically. Today is the last day of 2009. My career has been arguably successful. I can support my family with my writing, but I’m not at the point where I feel any sense of job security. That I’m writing something different from my first twelve books is thrilling–it’s exactly what I want to write. But it’s also scary–what if my readers don’t follow me?… Read More

YA Past, Present, Future

on December 3, 2009

At present, Young Adult titles are hot. Hot, hot, hot. Have you been in a bookstore lately? (Yes, dumb question for this group!) The YA section is bigger than the Romance section and the Mystery/Thriller section at my Borders, and wonderfully laid out. Bigger in floor space, but not titles . . . but close. And you want to spend time in the YA section because it’s a bit roomier, has more freestanding displays, and the books are more artfully arranged. I’ve been trying to get my #2 daughter, Kelly, to blog for me. But when I thought of it… Read More


on July 16, 2009

I get asked a lot about the pros and cons of joining International Thriller Writers and Romance Writers of America. Here’s my two cents about the benefits of each organization, so you can decide which is right for you. ITW * Founded by published authors for published authors. They attempted to be another fan organization, but it didn’t work (IMO.) They are now expanding more into the unpublished author realm, and I think that will be far more successful. They promote the thriller genre, and specifically thriller AUTHORS. * Approximately 1,000 members. 80+% are published authors (print published only.) Only… Read More