Are you a fan of Thriller, Suspense or mystery fiction and enjoy my books?

My first 23 books were conventionally published but the week in San Antonio at#RWA14 was an eye opener now that we’re back into publishing for two years with our last 8 books. Times have changed in #Authorworld and #marketing.

Today, actually today was ten years ago, authors have #street #team! Who knew? Not me but now I’m excited.

What’s a #street #team? Wikipedia says a #street #team is a term used in marketing to describe a group of people who ‘hit the streets’ promoting an event or a product. ‘Street Teams’ are promotional tools that have been adopted industry-wide as a standard line item in marketing budgets by entertainment companies, record labels, the tech industry, corporate brand marketers, new media companies and direct marketers worldwide. Add Books under the media companies.

Naturally this is a voluntary position and my few but might members are readers, bloggers and fans of suspense and thriller fiction in either or both #YA or #Adultage groups.

What do #street #team members do?
* Share or re-tweet or re-post on Face Book, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest. Any and all are appreciated
* Receive FREE books of ALL releases and then post reviews [honest reviews only]
* Receive small gifts of appreciation long the way
* Some of my existing Street Team are also Beta Readers
* Blog opinions and articles about any or all of my book series
* Making me aware of opportunities to reach readers and fans

This is new to me as well so we’ll likely slog through this CROWD MARKETING together but it was exciting to hear about this “new” 1990’s idea that started in the music industry and now has over taken author world.

Thanks first to Scott, Kristie, Pat, Betty and Steve for the energy to move forward. Ronnie, if you’re reading this we’d love to have you as a member representing the youngsters at age 70. Finally, to the presenters at #RWA14 who brought it home for us, a special thank you to #bellaandre #marieforce #barbarafreethy#pennysansevieri #cathrinebybee #jenniferprobst to name some of the stars of the #rwa14 conference in San Antonio!

Interested? Let me know. I am looking for more active members. Write me at




TWITTER: @93nightwriter



SCANDALS Book #2 – KILLER DATE 18 days to go

BLOGGERS / REVIEWERS….Your FREE ARC available on 8/4/14. Write Kathy at

18 Days and Counting for release of book #2, KILLER DATE. Today’s excerpt is after he meets Jenny at SCANDALS.

Book #1, DUE DATES, on sale on Amazon for $0.99 at

These are being blogged to catch you up on the release PR for book #2, Killer Date in our Scandals series.

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TWITTER: @93nightwriter



#suspense #newadultromance #newadultfiction #romancenovels #austin#romance #thriller #thrillersandsuspense #thrillernovels #rwa

San Antonio RWA 2014 Conference; Little romance, all writing…Great Time!

What do #BDalton #BordersBooks #CamelotMusic  #CrownBooks#MediaPlay #Waldenbooks  have in common?  They were some of the book retailers that helped me to sell over 3 million books back in the day.  When I returned to writing books in 2012 after a long absence writing for the big screen  I realized that I was not the only the one reading on a Kindle!  Duh!?!

So off to the #RWA 2014 National Conference Bob and I went to in San Antonio to search for better ways to self publish and get our 9 suspense titles in #YA #NA and #Romantic  Suspense fiction titles in front of readers. 4 and 5 star reviews and contest finalists and gold medals don’t cut it.

What an eye opener!!!!!!

First.  I used to site these conferences back in the day as an  #RWA Board Member and these gals did an AMAZING job.  VERY impressed.  They should be applauded so clap clap clap times 1,000

Second, where the hell are all my friends from back in the day?  Nevermond I digress. Let’s ignore the that one for now.

IMHO here’s some of the absolutely amazing presentations.  Just giving them a 5 star on the conference app isn’t enough.

Five Strategies for Building Reader Loyalty…#SherriBrooks #StellaCameron   #CissyHartley   #JayneAnKrenz

Spotlight on #Ballentine  #Bantam #Dell

Spotlight on #Pocket and #Gallery

Six Goals of Online Book Promotion #LauraKaye  This was over 5 stars but the app limited my feedback.

The Keynote speaker was #SylviaDay  Not to make her feel bad but her perspective really tied my two very different book author experiences together!  Thank you Sylvia.

The Care and feeding of the social media beast   #TyraBurtin  #JanaOliver   Another app limiter…way over 5 stars.

Strategies for intermediate and advanced publishers  #BellaAndre   #BarbaraFreethy  These authors are now where I left writing years ago and their experience was amazing to hear!  Too bad it didn’t last a full day!

Promotion Platform and Players  #CathrineBybee #jenniferprobst

How to sell books by the truckload on Amazon #pennysansevieri  We had no idea the depth and involvement required to be sure we get our books in front of our future readers. Penny was awesome.

I’ll have more for a later post but I need to catch up with Karma, Kiwi, Alex and Betty.  Three dogs and my Mom.  Oh yeah, my Mom is a member of my #streetteam  and reading 5 to 8 books a week gives her a broad perspective.  She’s #betareading our August release in the#SCANDALS #NewAdult series, #KILLERDATE  .  A romantic suspense with the romance in between the action.  Think #romancingthestone with kidnapping and drug cartels and five 20 somethings who are still dealing with the fact they have the same biological father.

Thanks again #RWA!







TWITTER:   @93nightwriter





When I began my writing career in the last half of the last century I followed a different path.  Oh sure I adhered to the conventions of romance fiction — one man, one woman, happy ending. Blah Blah Blah.

But I found editors and publishers who would help me break the mold by featuring independent women who weren’t simpering virgins waiting for their rich prince to sweep them off their feet.  They were set in America rather than in the old-world Europe of traditional romances and my women had real jobs and careers and they handled real world problems…more often than not better than the man in the story.  It drove over 3.5 million in sales globally in over a dozen languages and when Bob and I started our SCANDALS New Adult Suspense series we set out to break the mold there too.

0000picI hope in August you’ll take the plunge into SCANDALS if you haven’t already read book #1, DUE DATES and then KILLER DATE. It releases  August 14th.


FREE ARCS are being sent the first week in August to series fans and readers in exchange for an honest review!  Write Kathy at


SCANDALS series books are NOT Young Adult book with sex and cursing thrown in.  SCANDALS does NOT feature two brooding, damaged souls with damaged pasts like their entire families have tragically died or they grew up in abusive homes.  Our characters are NOT suffering from manic depression or panic attacks.  Do sparks fly and is there dram a about real life situations?  Uh…yeah.  And our book titles NEVER will contain words like “Damaged” or “Broken” or “Smashed with a Sledgehammer” as I wrote about in an early blog.  Are the characters in interesting and dangerous occupations?  Absolutely!

On to our August release of KILLER DATE.    KILLER DATE amazon


An inheritance brought him more than he ever could have imagined…

Reno Marks, one of the new owners of the Scandals Investigation Agency, is first on the case to help Jennifer Caldwell find her missing sister, Angie.  It’s not that he’s anxious to help so much as it is that he is attracted to Jenny.  A little research shows that Angie has run off for a quickie vacation with her new boyfriend.  Reno and Jenny’s romantic evening is cut short when that new boyfriend, who just happens to be the son of a powerful drug lord, arrives on Jenny’s doorstep with near-fatal gunshot wounds and evidence that Angie has been taken hostage by a rival Mexican drug cartel.

With the help of a rogue DEA agent, Reno and Jenny set off to infiltrate the cartel’s desert compound and bring Angie home.  Their mission quickly gets out of control as they are discovered and chased through a tunnel system that threatens to bury them alive.  Even when they think they’re safe, they’re actually trespassing in an even more dangerous place where everyone wants them dead.

During their intense time together, Reno’s feelings for Jenny have grown, but even if they are able to survive, is it possible for these two lost souls to have a future together?

Reno, whose last job had been as a magician in Vegas, doesn’t have enough tricks up his sleeve to save them…or to convince Jenny to stay.

Killer Date is the second book in the Scandals New Adult series of romantic suspense.  Each book of the series will focus on one of the offspring of Roger Elliott, a famous musician who left them with a legacy they weren’t expecting.  This book is about Reno Marks who …… Worse Date Ever, the third book in this series will be released in Winter, 2015 and will tell Tulsa’s story.

Our 2014 Readers’ Favorite annual International Award Contest Finalist Achievements

Hello friends, fans and readers.

The FINALISTS for the 2014 Readers’ Favorite annual International Award Contest have been announced! We were fortunate enough to have two of the three books judged to be finalists. While the third book did receive a 5 STAR review it did not make the finalist group. We’ll learn the final rankings on 9/1/14.

In the Young Adult – MYSTERY category we were named for BION [Believe It Or Not] This is book #3 in the CUL8R Time Travel Mystery Series.
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A recent reviewer of BION had this to say . . .

This is the first book in the CUL8R series that I’ve read, but having read it I shall certainly be going back to read the others. Although it’s probably aimed at teenagers, with its short length and young cast – I can vouch for the fact that it can be just as easily enjoyed by adults.

The story starts out introducing the main protagonist, Kelly and giving a brief overview of the previous adventures that she and the gang have been involved in since their discovery of the `spirit radio’ – an invention that allows them to communicate with the dead. Readers new to the series are quickly brought up to date, meaning it is possible to start out with this third book in the series and not feel lost. The details that people familiar with the series will already know are spliced in with new events occurring between Kelly and her aunt Jane, so that fans of the series will be kept as engaged as new readers. The plot develops at a good pace, with enough action to keep you hooked and plenty of character development to boot.

The characters are the real crowning glory of the book. All vastly different, they are vividly portrayed in such a way that they really come to life in the imagination. You quickly come to recognise their various traits and what makes them happy, sad, or fearful. It is impossible not to care about each character and this really helps to draw the reader into the story. Even characters with a small supporting role feel real and fully fleshed out. The author has a real talent for characterisation. Adult readers will find themselves transported back to their high school years – experiencing again the joys of trials of first love, crushes, awkward self-consciousness, pride in achievements, dreams of the future, and flourishing new friendships that they might have thought they left behind long ago. It is so easy to empathise with the characters and they don’t seem at all simple or childish, despite their youth.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a good entertaining read. I am looking forward to the next offering and will definitely fill the intervening time by reading the first two books!


In the Contemporary Romance category we were named ofr LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS.
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From a recent reviewer. . .

Life’s What Happens does for Kent State students what Derek Robinson’s Piece of Cake did for WWII pilots in 1939. A large cast of characters, often irreverent, teasing, hard-working and hard-playing, comes to life in the first part of the novel where students ponder what the future might bring, and threats of a draft lottery begin to loom large. The photographer, the dissector of dead cats, the poor rich guy and the newly successful poor friend, and more, live out their everyday lives against a backdrop of eateries, drink, tests and dreams. Girlfriends abound, and the relationships have that vivid teenage immediacy of indestructibility and rebellion. But destruction looms large.

The day of the lottery is captured in photos by the photographer, and becomes hauntingly real to the reader as numbers are called and accidents of birth offer the destruction of dreams. But life goes on, through physical exams, unanswered appeals, the folly of regulation, and the sudden danger of overwhelmed emotions.

An innocent trip downtown turns disastrous near the end of the novel, and tension rises with the terrors of historical events, making this novel truly haunting and hard to put down. The author wisely keeps politics out of the picture, telling just the story of real people, caught in an unreal situation. By the end it’s clear that nobody ever sees the future, and all of us see differently when we look back at the past. I’m glad to have seen through the eyes of these students, through the words of this author. And Life’s What Happens is highly recommended.

What do Bill Ayers, Megan Kelly, Training Wheels and New Adult Romantic Drama Have In Common?

The interview of Bill Ayers got me thinking about the back story that erupted to become the story in LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS. Part 2 is on tomorrow night. The mistakes of the 1960’s impact three generations today. What he help start is what made the backdrop of life on campus in 1969 when you’re 20 something become life itself.

My 24th book, LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS was a New Adult Romantic Drama and is available from these eight [8] book sellers and others.

It is a NA without training wheels as the book pundits day.

The tile below is the answer to the blog title.  And it you’re not sure the relationship exists then read the book then talk with Bob!  He was there.  He saw it go down.

LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS Being a New Adult, 20 something in 1969 meant there were no training wheels.

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Time To Lose The NEW ADULT Training Wheels

1 training wheels

I got started in writing due to Janet Dailey.  She was my hero and, to a large degree, my mentor.

But this isn’t about her but rather what she did to romance and what part of history applies to New Adult!  Read on…

I can only dream of having the longevity and talent needed to drive my 3 million romance and women’s fiction book sales to even remotely come close to her 100 million plus in sales.  I don’t think she is given enough credit for all she did to completely change the publishing industry.  Janet was known for adhering to the conventions of romance fiction — one man, one woman, happy ending.  But her books broke the mold because they featured independent women who weren’t simpering virgins waiting for their rich prince to sweep them off their feet, plus they were set in America rather than in the old-world Europe of traditional romances.  Janet was the first American writer published by the Toronto-based Harlequin publishing empire and her new bold changes became the foundation of the industry to this day.

Why do I bring this up?  All genres go through an evolution not unlike the romance genre did starting in the 1980s.  Romance was still always the major plot, but suddenly the characters had real lives with a back story and careers.   The romance (i.e. the man) wasn’t all that defined them.

My husband and I just attended the #TexasWriter’sLeague annual Editors and Agent’s Conference where we paid super close attention to the speakers, discussions and meetings that surrounded the New Adult genre.  I noticed that there is still a lot of confusion about exactly what the NA market is and what the audience wants.  The one thing that is clear is that it is evolving, just as romance did, into something more substantial than just bad boy meets good girl, which has been the norm up to now.

After the Saturday sessions ended and before we got back to working on book #2 in the SCANDALS New Adult Series, KILLER DATE, we set out to see where the evolution in the genre is today. Surprisingly, we found numerous blogs, surveys and discussions about new adult literature and how it is finally moving from books focused on New Adult angst to solid stories where the protagonists are in their new adult sweet spot, age 19 to 25 who have more than just boy troubles.  Why deal with just that one element of the complications of transition that most new adults are going through?

Now we’re talking…don’t just saddle the poor new adult characters with relationship baggage.  Let them actually deal with college, family, jobs, roommates, housing and finances.  Let them struggle, but ultimately survive and succeed in the story.  How “new adults”, born between 1989 and 1996, will propel a story set in 2014 forward is what makes a story great and if told and written well, will deliver a best seller.

Of considerable note I came across the blogging of Lauren Sarner at the #Huffington Post and her 2013 blog on new adult books.  I loved it and it summarized very well all the blogs and reviews and face-to-face discussions I’ve had for long time.  She wrote that “New Adult is a new genre whose target audience is people like me–young twenty-something’s, overwhelmingly of the female variety.  A New Adult book is basically a Young Adult book with sex and cursing thrown in.  A typical plot line features two brooding, damaged souls with damaged pasts (typical examples include characters whose entire families have tragically died, characters who have grown up in abusive homes, characters suffering from manic depression or panic attacks) who meet, sparks fly, and drama ensues. The books are often titled something like “Damaged” or “Broken” or “Smashed with a Sledgehammer”

She notes she may have made that last one up, but she was sure it exists somewhere.

Lauren continued.  “New Adult is a label that is condescending to readers and authors alike.  It implies that the books act as training wheels between Young Adult and Adult.  For the New Adult books that are particularly childish, the label implies that they are a step above Young Adult–which is insulting to the Young Adult books that are far superior.  For the New Adult books that are particularly sophisticated, the label implies that they are not worthy of being considered “adult.”  It’s a lose-lose situation for everyone.”

She closed with a challenge for me, as a writer of three series currently…a YA Time Travel Mystery, New Adult Suspense and Romantic Suspense, and it should be for all writers of the NA genre. Lauren explained, “Books are supposed to expand your world; expose you to people, places, emotions, and ideas you might not otherwise experience.  Suggesting that you need training wheels for such a thing is like suggesting that a child needs training wheels to walk.  You’ve just got to do it.  Good fiction is supposed to hold the mirror up to reality, regardless of the genre–and reality does not have training wheels.”


So my challenge is not how to write a NA novel that is actually an entertaining book where the characters can be brooding or damaged, but there is more going on in their lives than wondering the if boy is going to call.  That was my goal when I created the New Adult SCANDALS series.  Book #1, DUES DATES, has the usual female and male relationship issue, but her life didn’t start and end with him.  They both have baggage, but there’s a real world going on around them that they also have to deal with that adds complications, drama and humor.  A new adult’s life is not just about male/female relationships, but about their relationships with everyone around them.

Now my challenge is crafting the blurb and discussions about DUE DATES to attract the New Adult reader with the typical relationship of brooding, damaged souls, but then capture them with the complications of being a new adult in a complicated world.

That’s why the title of the blog is  …and yes it is a total rip off of the intellectual capital of Lauren #Sarner at the #Huffington Post.  It’s time for the NA genre to move to the next level that deals with young people that are not just defined by romantic relationships, but have dreams and problems and friends and lots of other things impacting their lives.

So I’m proud to be ahead of the curve with of our two training wheel-free NA novels.

Our current New Adult series, SCANDALS, book #1 DUE DATES was released a few months ago.  Find DUE DATES at


An inheritance brought her more than she ever could have imagined…

Killeen Ames has it all…beauty, brains, a college softball scholarship and a rich and handsome boyfriend who has helped to stretch her college funds and fill her social calendar. He is the only boy she ever allowed past second base and now he’s her baby daddy. However, being a father was not in his short-range plans. He graduates, then he splits, leaving Killeen to decide what she wants to do about the pregnancy…and to worry about how she’s going to keep her scholarship. With no marketable skills, no job, no home and medical bills for her and the baby on the horizon, she knows she must move forward. A knock at the door of her boyfriend’s apartment changes the game forever when an attorney gives her the news of an inheritance from an unknown dead relative and another due date looming.

After traveling to Austin, Killeen walks into the meeting and is surprised to find out that the relative was actually her birth father, and he had been a popular music star who recently died of an overdose. Even more shocking are the four strangers who share the same absentee dad. He has left them a highly successful private investigation agency, Scandals. The catch is…they have to make the commitment to work there.

Their introduction to the P.I. business almost gets them killed when a bomb goes off in the warehouse that sends Killeen to the hospital. She has kept the secret of her pregnancy from everyone, including Christopher, the totally irresistible manager of Scandals. Their hot night of wild sex in the office was a one-time thing…right? She chalks up her attraction to him as just raging hormones. They have no chance of a future together. He’s gorgeous, intelligent and successful. He would never want anyone with so much baggage.

Christopher has a secret of his own. He’s been investigation the possibility that, despite popular opinion, their father’s death hadn’t been an accidental overdose. He thinks it was murder.

Even though the five siblings still haven’t accepted the fact that they have a father who made no attempt to be a part of their lives, they join together to discover the truth about his death. The search throws Killeen and Christopher together and their passion grows hotter. As her feelings for him slowly become more serious, she knows she must tell him about the baby.

After a fun day in the sun, an event happens that outs Killeen’s secret. Christopher, as expected, doesn’t take the news well. But they must continue to work together to track down a killer, especially since the killer has now focused on them.

Someone doesn’t want them to stay and take over the business. In fact, someone wants them all dead and now the decision on whether or not to be a part of the agency seems very unimportant compared to the job of trying to stop from being killed.

They set up a trap that goes terribly wrong. Suddenly, Killeen must make a big decision. Who should she save? Her baby? Christopher? Her new brothers and sisters? Their lives are in her hands.

Due Dates is the first book in the Scandals New Adult series of romantic suspense. Each book of the series will focus on one of the offspring of Roger Elliott, a famous musician who left them with a legacy they weren’t expecting. Killer Date, the second book in this series will be released in Summer, 2014 and will tell Reno’s story.


Life’s What Happens is a 1969-1970 story told in flashback, where the super bowl of angst plays out and life in college when failing a course could land you in a war on the other side of the planet, brooding, sparks and romance flew in between classes, relationships, graduation, career planning and finding draft loopholes that would soon be shut.  Find Life’s What Happens on all the usual book seller sites including Amazon at

Life's What Happens Amazon