Welcome to the Mystery/Romantic Suspense chapter of Romance Writers of America, also known as the Kiss of Death (KOD) chapter. We hold one annual meeting of the general membership and the rest of the time function as an online specialty chapter of RWA.
What We Offer
What’s unique about this chapter that you won’t find anywhere else? Expertise. This is the one place that combines the literary genres of suspense and mystery with romance. In addition, you’ll find considerable support for your journey as a professional romance writer from our many members following similar paths.
How To Join
You can join KOD at any time. First, you must already be a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and be signed up on their website, myRWA. Click on the graphic to the right to view your next steps.
Board members serve one-year terms. A general election is held each fall. Board decisions are made through online meetings, which general members may elect to attend.
Members and What's New
Our members come from all backgrounds and geographic locations. Some are multi-published, either in romantic suspense or other genres, while others are just beginning the writer’s journey. As a group, they bring a diversity of experience, knowledge and opinion to our midst, which we prize.
Workshops - COFFIN
Our workshops in the College of Felony and Intrigue (COFFIN) are open to both members and non-members. Workshops occur throughout the year; one Murder One and one Killer Instinct class per month. Our COFFIN committee works a year or more in advance, seeking the most qualified, knowledgeable and interesting of presenters.
KILLER NEWS - October 2, 2015
Please join me in cheering for the following KOD-members, who are feeling the love this week:
From Beth Treadway: "A chapter sister (First Coast and Outreach International) is driving me to Moonlight & Magnolias so I don't miss it or my pitch appointments! This is the fabulous convention run by Georgia Romance Writers and I almost couldn't go when my doctor put me on prescription eye drops for several weeks. A shout out to the fabulous Maria Connor, who is prepping to give workshops on her new book, yet made time in her busy schedule to make sure I didn't miss the conference and three chances to pitch. THAT'S a chapter sister!"
Rashda/Mina Khan released DARK SECRETS: A Paranormal Noir Anthology, in collaboration with Rachel Caine, Cynthia Eden, Megan Hart, Suzanne Johnson, and Jeffe Kennedy. Happy dancing because the reviews are coming in and they’re pretty decent, totally validates all the hard work that went into making this happen. For more info, please check out her blog: http://goo.gl/6Lx75n
Next Tuesday (October 6) will see the publication of Manda Collins's 10th book with St. Martin's Press, Book 2 in the Lords of Anarchy trilogy: GOOD EARL GONE BAD. In conjunction with that, Manda is interviewed in the October issue of THE BIG THRILL, the magazine for the International Thriller Writers. She's been in Romancelandia for over a decade, so while she still loves meeting favorite authors, it's not as giddy as it used to be. She can tell you now that being in the same magazine as Karin Slaughter turns her mystery reader side into a big old ball of Squeeing fangirl! And that's just on the pages of a magazine. She'd probably need a restraining order in real life!
The second book in Marta Perry's Amish suspense series from HQN, WHEN SECRETS STRIKE, will be out the end of October. She's delighted with the great covers she's had for this series, with good reason. Check it out on her website, http://www.martaperry.com
Anne Marie Becker hasn't had a chance to update her website and it’s too early to set up preorder links, but she's already shared with her newsletter peeps that she has a cover for SLEIGHT OF HAND (Redemption Club, Book 2). She's pretty darn excited about it, and she put it, along with her back cover copy, on her Facebook author page, if anyone at KOD would like a peek. https://www.facebook.com/AnneMarieBeckerAuthor
SLEIGHT OF HAND will be available January 4, 2016.
Barbara Barrett made RWA PAN Pro last week, and she wants to know who else in KOD has this designation.
And under the heading "better late than never," Anne L. Parks released the first book in her romantic suspense trilogy in July, but never got around to telling us about it.
Kylie Tate is highly successful and focused on her future. No one sees the fear that consumes her, ravaged by demons from a past that left her distrustful of love.
Alex Stone is rarely denied. Not by business associates, and certainly not the women he dates and forgets. Romance is never an option. That is until beautiful, sexy, too damned independent Kylie comes into his life and frustrates the hell out of him. She sparks a desire in him to protect her from the one demon that haunts her - and threatens to destroy them both.
Pushed to her limit and unwilling to be a victim any longer, Kylie takes control of her life.
But a madman’s quest for revenge not only threatens to destroy the love she has finally found – but also her life.
For more info, please visit http://www.alparksauthor.com
And that's what we've got for this week. Have a great weekend!
KILLER NEWS - September 25, 2015
Good News Report
Please join me in congratulating the following KOD-members, who have good news to share:
Anna Taylor Sweringen has received a request for a full manuscript from the Wild Rose Press for her novella, A WOMAN WHO AIN’T BEEN ASKED.
Kathleen Mix’s SINS OF HER FATHER, a new RS from Entangled Publishing Select Suspense, was released last week.
Faith Rochambeau is horrified to learn she was conceived during a rape. She’s determined to make her biological father, Victor Telemann, pay for his crimes. Using her computer skills to dig into his life, she searches for the powerful man’s Achilles Heel and a way to extract retribution. She’ll do whatever it takes to get a conviction, even it if means infiltrating his Fortune 500 company.
She fails to plan on falling in love with her father’s smooth-talking stepson, Kent Telemann, who suspects she is a corporate spy. Faith is drawn to Kent, even though she’s not sure she can trust him. If her heart is wrong, he can put her life in danger.
Meanwhile, her father is playing a lethal game he’s determined to win.
The cover is awesome. Check it out at http://www.kathleenmix.com
From Larissa Reinhart:
The preorder for THE BODY IN THE LANDSCAPE, Cherry Tucker Mystery #5, went live this week. ARCs will available on NetGalley shortly for any reviewers interested, otherwise contact Larissa if you want to do a review.
Also, she’s having a launch party on Facebook with other Henery Press authors on . Any and all are invited from . Giveaways & game galore from 18 Henery Press authors.
Here’s the quickie blurb:
Georgia artist Cherry Tucker’s sassy spitfire reputation has her in trouble back home, so when invited to paint the winning portrait for Big Rack Lodge’s Hogzilla hunt contest, it seems like a paid vacation. But when woodland painting uncovers a body, Cherry fears the hunting party is prey for a vengeful stalker with her nosing placing her in their crosshairs.
Larissa says, “Thanks so much for all the KOD support of the series! I’m working on #6 now.”
And Terry Odell's short story collection, SEEING RED, is a finalist in Killer Nashville's Silver Falchion award. The others in the category include CJ Box, Craig Johnson, Jeffery Deaver and Joyce Carol Oates. It's an "attendees vote for the winner" contest during the Killer Nashville conference the last weekend in October. Terry doubts the collection will get farther than where it is now, but says she’ll take "Silver Falchion Finalist" any time!
And that’s all we’ve got this week. Have a good weekend!
Killer News - September 18, 2015
Teresa Reasor’s BREAKING BOUNDARIES was released the 15th. It's the 5th full length SEAL Team Heartbreaker and Teresa’s 10th full length book. Yay, milestone!
Corporal Callahan Crowes returns home from Afghanistan missing part of a leg and haunted by guilt over the loss of his men. He pledges to live every moment of his life to the fullest and works to build a career in the only field he knows besides being a soldier: construction.
Reeling from her fiancé’s infidelity and their broken engagement, Kathleen O’Connor accepts a job far away from Boston and the suffocating pity of friends and family. She puts romance firmly behind her, and, armed with her shiny new architectural degree, launches her career with a commercial construction and design firm.
Her first day on the job, she sees Cal risk his life to rescue a fellow worker, and is shocked when his act of heroism triggers an unwarranted attack on him from her supervisor. When she learns Cal may lose his job because of his leg, Kathleen urges him to use social media to fight the decision, putting her own job at risk.
The public firestorm pushes Cal into the limelight in ways he least expects, but shows him a missing limb’s not the barrier to love he's believed it is. But there’s something besides business politics brewing at work, and when Kathleen’s life is threatened, she discovers there’s more to a man than two good legs—it’s the size of his heart that counts.
Visit Teresa’s website for more info: http://www.teresareasor.com/
Over the summer, Margo Bond Collins had three books released (SANGUINARY, OPPOSING THE COWBOY, and SIREN’S KISS) and now her celebratory Facebook party, scheduled for 9/29, has turned into a huge book bash featuring over 50 authors and tons of prizes:
Also, SIREN’S KISS is part of the Falling in Deep anthology, available for Kindle pre-order for $.99.
Visit Margo’s website for more info: http://www.margobondcollins.net/
CJ Matthew is excited to announce the release of RISKY TIDE, Dolphin Shore Shifters Book 2 on Friday, September 18.
The Santa Barbara Channel holds a closely guarded secret…
They sent her in unprepared…
Katherine expected more than a welcome handshake and a name badge after surviving a shark attack before she arrived at SBW headquarters. But due to the recent violence she is sent along to join the Exchange Team without training to handle thebreak-ins at an Orlando marine mammal park. Things turn bad when the memory of almost dying in the mouth of a Great White triggers a panic attack, forcing the team leader to suspend the exchange schedule.
He didn’t need an untrained team…
Peal is a SBW Team Leader with more problems than answers. A polluted lagoon, dead dolphins, and two new team members….one, a trigger-happy transfer he doesn’t trust, one, a dark-haired beauty he can’t stop thinking about. And as if that wasn’t enough, the mob doesn’t like Peal staking-out the lagoon they’ve been dumping medical waste in and sends in their hitman to stop the SBW Team.
Time is running out…
If Peal can manage to keep them alive, he still has to convince Katherine they can have more than just one passionate night together. But SBW might have something to say about that as any minute Katherine could be transferred, pulled out of Peal’s life forever.
Visit CJ’s website for a look at the cover: http://www.cjmatthew.com
And that’s all for today. Have a great weekend, and stay safe!
Killer News September 11, 2015
Rhoane, the hero from Tameri Etherton’s Song of the Swords fantasy series, finally got his own novella. Readers wanted to know more about this enigmatic character and what Tameri discovered writing his story surprised even her. Like, to become a hero, sometimes you have to go through hell! His tale is far from over, and this novella gave Tameri insight into where the rest of the series needs to go. It's going to be a tumultuous ride, for sure.
There's more about Rhoane's journey to the dark recesses of his destiny on Tameri’s website, www.TameriEtherton.com.
Jacquie Biggar’s new book, THE SHERIFF MEETS HIS MATCH, went up for pre-order this week. Release day is Sept 29. This is the fourth in Jacque’sWounded Hearts series:
When a jaded sheriff is drawn to an exasperating woman in trouble, anything can happen
Laurel Thomas is tired of experiencing life from the outside looking in. She likes the warm welcome she's received in Tidal Falls and wants to make a home in this friendly little town, far away from her egocentric family. But when her uncle arrives, the past catches up to her.
Jack Garrett is satisfied with his uncomplicated life. He has a good job as the sheriff of his hometown, a nice home, and a beautiful teenage daughter. Jack struggles against his attraction for the disorganized new hire at the department, Laurel Thomas. She threatens everything he's worked so hard to avoid—like falling in love.
Can two people with enough emotional baggage to sink a ship find a way to give each other a chance, or is this match doomed to drown?
The cover is done by the fabulous Kim Killion. You can see it here: http://jacquiebiggar.com
Barbara Barrett is pleased to announce that AND HE COOKS TOO has been chosen as part of Amazon’s Encore program and will be launched next Tuesday, September 15. Amazon will now have exclusive digital rights to Barbara’s first book with the Wild Rose Press two and a half years ago in return for using their promotional resources to bring it to their customers’ attention. Other TWRP authors whose books have already been part of the program have seen respectable jumps in sales, so she’s hoping for the same.
Three men, three lies. One thought it was for her own good, one did it for his own good, and the third nearly destroyed her career. Blacklisted by the city's finest restaurants, Chef Reese Dunbar must now put the resuscitation of her battered reputation in the hands of yet another man. The television experience Nick Coltrane's cooking show offers is her best option for restoring her name and becoming the Big Apple's super chef. But after giving her body and heart to him, her trust is put to the test when she discovers that Nick has lied about the real reason he brought her on board, and worse yet, Nick can't cook.
For more info: http://barbarabarrettbooks.com/
Jacki Delecki likewise has a new release on Tuesday, Sept. 15. MARRIAGE UNDER FIRE is a romantic suspense novella in the Grayce Walters Suspense Series:
Marine veteran Maddy Jeffers never expected her most demanding and daunting mission would come off the battlefield. Ordered to infiltrate a Seattle terrorist cell, Maddy must pose as a loving wife to Major Hunter Hines. The undercover role begins to feel all too real when Maddy falls hard for the rugged, macho Marine.
Duty and discipline are Hunter Hines’s credo, guiding every decision and every action. But constant proximity with the fierce and enticing Maddy is veering his mission wildly off course.
Although their role as man and wife is only pretend, there is nothing false about his out-of-control desire for his partner. When Maddy’s life is threatened by an ISIS cell, protecting her becomes the only mission that matters, and Hunter is willing to break all the rules to save her.
As the danger heats up around these two veteran heroes, Maddy and Hunter must walk a narrow path between passion and survival.
For more info: www.jackidelecki.com
And that’s all for this week. Have a good weekend!
Killer News September 4, 2015
Please join me in cheering for the following KOD-members:
Tamra Lassiter loves the new covers for her Role of Fate series! She revealed the first three this week. Check them out her website,http://www.tamralassiter.com
Beth Treadway has accomplished lots: Set up her micro small business bank account - no fees for 100 transactions a month! Yay credit unions! Got approved for a business credit card with a $1k credit limit despite no profits to date in under an hour as the business counselor said it was the best off the cuff business plan briefing including best and worst case scenarios he had ever heard when he cold called her about her application.
She set up her PayPal business account & linked to her business account and credit card with her EIN number. She set up the online business account tracking provided by her credit union downloadable to Quicken so her accountant will get a print out end of the year. Now she’s all professional and ready to set up her accounts with Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, etc. so everything feeds in all right and tight and business like. There'll be no question with the IRS - this is a business, not a hobby. HOO-rah!
Susan Dunn made the finals of another contest with her new romantic suspense, BETRAYED. This one was the Pages from the Heart contest.
And Janet Halpin is *double* happy dancing after hearing earlier in the week that her YA Sci-Fi, THE NASCENT BLOOM, is a finalist in the Pages From the Heart contest, and learned today it's also a finalist in the Indiana Golden Opportunity contest.
Her contest motto, ‘enter early and often,’ seems to be paying off!
Lucy Farago’s new book is up for pre-sale, and debuts Sept 29 with Kensington. It’s book 1 of Lucy’s Women of Vegas series.
What happens in Las Vegas always burns bright, especially after hours. In this sizzling new series, the city's 24/7 glitz hides one woman's darkest nightmares—and one investigator's seductive secrets...
Control is everything to gorgeous Maggie Anderson. Her exclusive club gives abused and troubled women a refuge from Vegas's merciless streets—and helps her reclaim her shattered sense of freedom. But now someone is brutally murdering those she fights so hard to save. And baring her deepest fears to the one man who insists on protecting her could be the one move she won't survive…
Elite private investigator Christian Beck knows this particular serial killer's MO—and his own wrenching failure to find him—all too well. But staying two steps ahead of Maggie's determination to uncover the truth pushes his well-honed skills past the limit—and ignites his most naked instincts. Now every clue is a lie, each irresistible desire a lethal trap. And the closer he and Maggie get, their shattering secrets will either save them—or torch their lives to glittering ash…
Check out the cover on www.lucyfarago.com
Carla Swafford has signed for two additional books with Loveswept/Random House for the Brothers of Mayhem MC series, making it a four book contract. And she has a new agent, too: Emily Sylvan Kim at the Prospect Agency.
The author formerly known as Tracy Poole is working hard to shed her previous persona. She now has both a profile page and an author page and is moving all the writing stuff to the new Tracy Brody persona. If you feel so inclined, you can like her author page here https://www.facebook.com/TracyBrodyBooks and become her FB friend at https://www.facebook.com/tracybrodyauthor. She’s trying to limit friends on her real-me page to family, neighbors, classmates, friends from church etc. in hopes that that will give her a layer of privacy between the two.
Unforeseeable Consequences, the collection containing Diane Kratz’s story FLICKER, went live Wednesday and has already received some great reviews! Below is a blurb of the book and Diane’s story.
Unforeseeable Consequences—some may call them a form of the chaos theory and others the result of the butterfly effect, but they are all events that occur unexpectedly and which could not have been predicted.
Every action in life, random or not, leads to a resulting effect—a consequence. Some consequences are predictable and we humans tend to act in certain ways to induce those expected outcomes.
What makes life interesting, however, and what sidetracks the human mind above all else are those unexpected outcomes—those unforeseeable consequences. Some merely distract us temporarily while others are life altering and possibly even lethal.
A group of my friends—four fellow authors—have joined me to present a selection of six short stories for your reading pleasure. These stories demonstrate a variety of unanticipated conclusions to seemingly innocent actions. The lives of the characters in these stories are forever changed as a result of the choices they make. Could the consequences of those actions be predicted or avoided? I think not, but you should be the judge. Are the outcomes of these stories truly unforeseeable?
A funeral forces Nellie Harlow home to face her troubled past. Embers of a fire that scorched her childhood explode when her mother’s will is read. Can she extinguish the flames or will they consume her?
The collection is available on Smashwords and Amazon at a sale price of under two bucks. You can find the buy links on Diane’s FB page: https://www.facebook.com/diane.kratz.967 or FB author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDianeKratz
Joanne Jaytanie’s CHASING VICTORY and PAYTON’S PURSUIT – books 1 & 2 of The Winters Sisters series – have been selected for The Paranormal Awards for Supernatural Fiction 2014 Finalist Lists!
The Paranormal Awards writing competition recognizes emerging new talent and outstanding works in the genre of Supernatural Fiction and Legends & Lore. The PARANORMAL Awards is a division of the Chanticleer Awards International Writing Competitions.
Vanessa Kier is thrilled to announce the release of WAR: INTRUSION, book two in her WAR (West African Rangers) series. The book totally kicked her butt and she wasn’t certain the hero and heroine would ever see past their differences to fall in love, but she’s relieved to say that they did eventually succumb.
Here’s a short blurb:
He’s trained to kill
WAR team leader Lachlan MacKay has a simple mission: determine who is smuggling weapons to the West African rebels, and stop them. His primary suspect is Dr. Helen Kirk.
She’s trained to heal
Helen is struggling to leave her past behind her. If she finishes restoring her general practice clinic before a crucial fundraiser, then she’ll finally be able to return to her beloved trauma work.
Their definitions of right and wrong are about to be challenged
But a new rebel leader has involved Helen in his deadly games. In order to survive, Helen must work with Lachlan—a man who believes violence is an acceptable means to peace. A man whose actions may cost her the career she loves.
Check it out here: http://www.vanessakier.com/war-intrusion/
Jenna Bennett's BUSMAN’S HONEYMOON, the Savannah Martin Honeymoon novella, was released on Tuesday, September 1st. For more information, please visit her website, http://www.jennabennett.com/busmans-honeymoon/
And that’s it for the week. Have a good weekend, and happy Labor Day if you’re in the US.
Killer News August 28, 2015
Lisa Nicholas has joined us at KOD. Her second book, AS LOST AS I GET, came out last week, and she’s wrapping up her first ever blog tour on Friday. Info on the book, including the gorgeous cover, is on her site: http://www.lisanicholas.com/2015/02/as-lost-as-i-get/
Susan W. Dunn made the finals (got past the second round of judging) in Heart of Denver's The Molly contest for both her new romantic suspense, BETRAYED, and her contemporary, CAN'T FAKE LOVE.
Vicki Batman just received the cover for the holiday anthology her short story, HOLIDAY HANDBAG EXTRAVAGANZA, is in. Go to http://vickibatman.blogspot.com for a peek.
Christmas Countdown is on! Hunk-a-licious customer, Jack Treadaway, pesters boutique owner, Callie Woods, to locate a vintage handbag for his mother. Too bad the wedge between them is his sister, the meanest girl in town.
On behalf of Jo-Ann Carson and 15 other authors – including several KOD members – Marsha R. West is pleased to announce she is part of the launch of a new Romantic Suspense Blog: Sisters of Suspense. They are 17 strong, and you can find a wide variety of books, contests, blog posts, newsletter articles, hot lines, excerpts, varieties of ways to kill someone, and get an early glimpse of new book covers, on the new blog. Please stop by and sign up for the blog and newsletter. http://sistersofsuspense.com/
Killer News August 21, 2015
Alexa Bourne is back for a second week in a row. Last Wednesday, she queried 2 agents with the book she’d sent to an editor 2 days before. On Friday she got an email from one of the agents asking for the full manuscript and a proposal for the rest of the books in the series! Alexa would love some more positive vibes! She’s soooooo excited for this series!
Anna Taylor Sweringen’s Christian erotica, ALL MY SINS REMEMBERED, finaled in the romantic suspense category of New Jersey Romace Writers’ Put Your Heart in a Book contest.
Tamra Lassiter released her first audio book this week for her romantic suspense, PERFECTLY INNOCENT. She contracted through Spoken Word, Inc. and says it was easy. :) She’s very happy with the results.
Vicki Batman just received a signed contract from The Wild Rose Press for her second romantic comedy mystery, TEMPORARILY INSANE.”
Bad job. Wrong love. And murder.
Hattie Cooks is still searching for her dream job and one might be available...in the Big Apple, far away from friends, family, and Allan Wellborn. In the meantime, she finds temporary employment at NLB Accountants where two auditors turn up dead.
Detective Allan Wellborn dumped Hattie for Blonde Bimbo who coincidentally is employed at NLB where fishy things are taking place. But when Allan interviews Hattie, he must figure out why all signs point to her as a possible suspect.
Can Hattie find out who is murdering auditors before she’s arrested?
Allie Harris, writing as Allie Harrison, has also signed a contract with Wild Rose Press for A TWIST OF BETRAYAL.
And as Allie Quinn, she has signed a contract with Loose Id for an erotic romance called BY INVITATION ONLY.
Melba Moon has a new short story published by Gilded Dragonfly Books in LEGENDS OF THE DRAGON, an anthology set at Dragon Con in Atlanta. Melba will be speaking at Dragon Con (September 4-7), and will be signing LEGENDS OF THE DRAGON in the Vendor's Hall.
Also, Melba will be a featured speaker at The Decatur Book Festival on September 5th in Decatur, Ga. The Decatur Book Festival is one of the largest book festivals in the country.
And finally, at the RWA National Convention in NYC, Melba got a request for her full manuscript, a romantic suspense set in Atlanta.
And last but certainly not least, Jeannie Hall just became an RWA PRO member!
Tread lightly...But know that while we are all working together here, the conversation can turn quickly to death, destruction and mayhem. And we are fine with that. We'll even abet you as you work to do the same, to become the best spinner of romantic mysteries and thrillers that you can be. So come on in, the water's warm...as blood.