Double WINNER! Voted THE BEST INDIE BOOK of 2014 in Two Categories!

I was just notified late Friday night that two of my recent novels have been named WINNER of the 2014 Best Indie Book of the year!

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2014 Award for BEST INDIE BOOK of the year.

BION [Believe it or not] is book #3 in the Young Adult Time Travel series CUL8R [See you later].  The series itself is about four high school friends are able to do two things no one else on the planet can do . . . talk with dead people and time travel to the past.

BION is time travel ,   mystery,   life in the circus in 1927, new relationships, romance and even kidnapping … all in the middle of a year the four teens from Fort Myers Beach, Florida don’t know anything about.

The CUL8R series has won numerous awards in the past for the first three books.

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BION is available on Amazon at

http://www.amazon.com/Believe-CUL8R-Travel-Mystery-Romance-ebook/dp/B00E5141ZK/

 

 

Due Dates is suspense focused on five twenty somethings and is the first of two books currently published in the Scandals series.  The series is set in Austin, Texas and each book focuses on a different person.  They tell the story about the father they never knew existed that left Killeen, Reno, Tulsa, Dallas and Liberty names they would never forget, a legacy they could never live up to, enough money to change their lives, a business that fascinated them and total freedom to pursue their dreams.

In Due Dates, Killeen had a series of life and death decisions that required her immediate attention in addition to all the usual distraction of adults living in a modern urban area.  This is the first award for the series but the reader evaluations have averaged 4.9 stars.

 

DUE DATES

 

Due Dates is available on Amazon at

http://www.amazon.com/DUE-DATES-SCANDALS-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00GQC1S3O/

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The Thrill Of Suspense and the Humor Of It All

Bob and I just finished and released the second book in the New Adult Scandals suspense series.  When Bob completes his first draft of our plot and character study, his anxiety is over.  As he would say, his book “is now in the hands of the professional, the real author, to do her thing and make it read like a book.”  Killer Date ramped up the suspense from book #1, Due Dates.  While Due Dates had to spend a lot of time on introducing the characters and the situation, Killer Date was able to jump immediately into the case…and the romance.  Once Reno, Jenny and Nick were hot on the trail, it became a race against time with a life-or-death finish.

DUE DATES

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As I neared the end of the rewrite, blow-out work and polish that I do to each book, Bob always asks, “How do you like the book?”  And I always say essentially the same thing.  “I can’t tell.  I’m too close to it.”

This kind of got Bob wondering if that ever happened to Alfred Hitchcock, the amazing filmmaker, director and writer who will forever be known as The Master of Suspense.  Much like an amateur golfer will dive into golf lessons and suddenly discover their 20 handicap can’t be improved without first tearing apart every aspect of their existing game, Bob explored how Hitchcock managed to improve the genre with each film.

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The first thing Bob’s research discovered was this quote that clearly justifies how I feel when I finish a book.  Hitchcock admitted to an interviewer, “It’s only after a picture is done that one can judge it properly.”

Sort of sounds like “I can’t tell.  I’m too close to it.”  Right?  Maybe I’m on the right track.  But while my books pulse with suspense, they always have a touch of humor.  What would Hitchcock say about that?

He was credited to having said “In the mystery and suspense genre, a tongue-in-cheek approach is indispensable.”

Many have said that his films were the equivalent of a roller coaster ride in which the passengers scream wildly on the way down but laugh when the ride rolls to a stop.  He also said, “Always make the audience suffer as much as possible” and that “there is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.”  I love roller coasters, and I love Hitchcock.  Now I understand why I my characters always have a sense of humor, even when they’re knee-deep in blood.

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So blog fans, let’s look at the five most commonly found elements of humor buried in the foundation of Hitchcock’s stories.  He found a way to make his suspense unbearably fun for his audiences in five ways.

I appreciate the work of Bays J. M., 2007, Humor: Hitchcock’s Secret Weapon, Borgus Productions,  <http://borgus.com/hitch/hitch-humor.htm&gt in providing this information. 

Exploit trivial character traits

“I’ve always found that, in a moment of crisis a person invariably does something trivial,” said Hitchcock, “like making a cup of tea or lighting up a cigarette. A small detail of this sort adds considerably to the dramatic tension of the situation (Gottlieb, 1997).”

 

Create situations of irony

In the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode “One More Mile to Go” (1957, directed by Hitchcock) a policeman has stopped a man because of a burned out tail light on his car, completely unaware there is a dead body in the trunk.  The more obsessed this policeman gets with fixing the light, the more uneasy the murderer gets.  Hitchcock pushes this situation to the level of unbearable absurdity as the policeman continues worrying about the light, and gets closer and closer to noticing the body.

 

Surround drama with a happy setting

“The more happy-go-lucky the setting, the greater kick you get from the sudden introduction of drama,” said Hitchcock. (Gottlieb, 1997)

One of the best examples of Hitchcock’s use of whimsical environment is in The Trouble With Harry (1955).  All is normal in this small town with grassy meadows, sunshine, and orange autumn leaves, until a dead body shows up.  Harry Warp becomes everyone’s problem – what can be done about Harry?

“It’s the juxtaposition of the norm, of the accurate average, against the fantasy… that’s what makes the thing interesting.”

 

 

Include a burlesque character

One of Hitchcock’s characters must never take murder seriously, mocking it in full delight.  The most memorable is probably Henry Travers and Hume Cronyn in Shadow of a Doubt (1943) getting laughs around the family dinner table figuring out various ways to murder without getting caught.  The shocking sense of humor often disturbs and confuses a gullible person nearby, unsure of whether they are serious.  In Stangers on a Train (1951) Robert Walker teaches a woman at a party how to strangle someone, and she gets quite a laugh out of it.  In Rope (1948) Constance Collier laughs hysterically at Rupert’s (James Stewart) idea of murdering people for sport.  In Rear Window (1954) Thelma Ritter is having a great thrill out of the possibility of a murder across the courtyard.

 

Balance laugh and tension

Hitchcock used a delicate combination of tension and relief in his suspense sequences.  Often a laugh was inserted at a key point to release some tension.  “…when you have comic relief, it’s important that the hero as well as the audience be relieved,” said Hitchcock. (Gottlieb) This assures that the audience maintains sympathy for the character.

North By Northwest (1959) is one of the best examples of the use of humor involving a chase.  Early in the film Cary Grant is intoxicated and becomes comical as he nearly drives off a cliff.  He looks down over the edge and laughs drunkenly as he pulls away.  Later when he is held by captors at a public auction he becomes a heckler in order to get picked up by the police.

From the suspense master who really knew people well and who said “The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture,” there are three interesting questions that will not be answered here.

  1. Obviously we find suspense to be very appealing.  What is so appealing about uncertainty?  In our everyday life uncertainty is anything but an inherently pleasant experience.
  2. If suspense is uncertainty, then why is it possible to enjoy seeing a movie or reading a book more than once?  Have you ever read a book two or more times or sat down and watched the same film more than once?  You already saw the movie, you know what is going to happen, but were you still sitting on the edge of your seat. How can this be?
  3. Why is it that we can care so much about the fate of a movie or book hero that we know perfectly well does not exist?

I can’t give you the answers, but it should be in your book.  I try very hard for it to be in all of mine.

 

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The Thrill Of Suspense Across The Ages Blog

In the past I wrote about the re-branding of my reader facing social media and other advertising and marketing materials.  In the last ten days everything moved from being about me, Kathy Clark, sometimes Bob Kat, the young adult author to what I, and my husband on two of the three series, write about, suspense.

So we branded the author slogan, The Thrill Of Suspense and a secondary longer slogan by adding the phrase Across The Ages.

This blog has now been re titled The Thrill Of Suspense Across The Ages. 

Here are some of the graphics you will see on line…but behind it is me and what we write about.

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Oh yeah…being from Texas originally the liberal use of stars in all the graphics?  Yeah…it’s in the DNA.  Being a big state you also learn that a lone star would just not do.

You’ll also find the brand on Pinterest and the following QR codes are for point and loading your smart phone for getting on our main author site

www.TheThrillOfSuspense.com

or this blog site.

www.TheThrillOfSuspense Blog Site

I’d love to have you on The Thrill of Suspense street team so clock on the Mail Chimp link and fill it in. http://eepurl.com/Z5ypX  

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The Ideal Locale For A YA Time Travel Mystery Novel

The award winning YA Time Travel Mystery Series CUL8R will release book #4 on 2/25/14 . . . .and we were over the top today to hear back from the ‪#‎Stanley Hotel that they are “excited that the CUL8R Young Adult Mystery Series has chosen the Stanley Hotel as a destination for RIP, book #4 in the CUL8R [see you later] time travel mystery series.

There are so many elements of the press release still to cobble together in a cohesive story unto itself that will pull in the Forbes Magazine founder’s article about Thomas Edison’s invention to speak with people who have passed, the paranormal TV reality series Ghost Hunters and the core mystery in RIP of how a four year girl went missing from the lobby of a major hotel in broad daylight.

In lots of ways writing a full length novel is many times easier than a press release of what the book is about and how the series and this book came to be. Here’s the short summary of RIP releasing 2/25/2014.

You don’t have to believe in ghosts…until you meet one.

The #‎Stanley Hotel  in Estes Park, Colorado has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the most haunted places in the U.S. So, when Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey travel back to 1911 to try to save a young child who went missing from the busy lobby, they aren’t surprised when ghost children run up and down the halls.

There’s romance in the Rockies as they take jobs with the hotel so they can keep an eye on 4 year old Emma and her family. Kelly struggles with her attraction to Austin while Zoey tries to get over her broken heart. Along the way, they meet some colorful historical characters and experience life among the rich and famous just after the turn of the twentieth century. After three other successful time travel adventures, they assume it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. That almost proves to be a fatal mistake.

But can they save Emma? Or will they join her as permanent guests in the ghostly halls of The Stanley Hotel?

Watch for the release on February 25, 2014.

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Here’s the First Three Books In The CUL8R YA Mystery Series

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The CUL8R Series Website is at    http://www.cul8rseries.com/

Here’s how to connect  to Kathy Clark, a.k.a. Bob Kat.

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Two Ways To make Your Weekend Wild

This weekend there are two ways to be wild!

Free is good or be wild and then some for $3.99

Born To Be Wild is free on Amazon. Over 75,000 sold in paperback the hero in Born To Be Wild follows the Jimmy Buffett approach to life…changes in latitude changes in attitude.

As guardian of a menagerie of wild animals, veterinarian Jenny Grant loved her life. The day that marine biologist Garrett Reid first met her she was knee-deep in the surf, caring for a beached dolphin. Garrett was intrigued by the stubborn beauty who could soothe the wildest beast. Although his research project on the Texas Gulf Coast would last only a few weeks, he planned to spend every spare minute with Jenny. Garrett had always been a wanderer.

In less than a month, his sailboat would be motoring out of the harbor and heading southeast. Until then, there was only the sultry heat of a South Texas summer . . . and the sensual rhythm of two hearts beating as one. If Jenny wasn’t careful, she could end up falling in love with this golden-haired man. And she knew better than to lose her heart to a man who was born to be wild. Garrett prefers the water and Jenny is tied to the land. She wonders if he can give up his dreams of travel to far away places. He wonders if she can ever form a permanent relationship because it seems so easy for her to give up the animals she loves. If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, then it’s yours forever. Will Garrett come back?

For the free book Born To Be Wild go to BORN TO BE WILD COVER

or for all three books find them at COLLECTIONS Nashville Nights Texas Days

And don’t forget if you love a good time travel mystery with a touch of the paranormal don;t miss book #3 in the CUL8R [See you later] series in late July, BION [Believe It Or Not].  Get ready with books #1 and #2.

WINNER OF BEST INDIE BOOK OF 2013! Finalist in the 2013 Beverly Hills Book Awards! This is book #1 of the series. Book #2, BRB published in April, 2013.

Kelly, a teenager from Texas has recently been orphaned and sent to live in Florida with her aunt Jane, a busy lawyer. Right away Kelly meets her tall, nerdy neighbor Scott, and they bond over a shared love of a video games and a mysterious gadget they find in Aunt Jane’s garage.

The gadget turns out to be a lost invention of Thomas Edison’s called the “Telephone to the Dead”. The mystery begins when Scott gets the Spirit Radio to work and a girl named Wendy comes through, pleading for help . . . from beyond the grave. Is Wendy a ghost? And if she didn’t kill herself, who did? Kelly, Scott and his best friend Austin must find a way to go back to 1966 to help her . . . without getting killed.
Well plotted and fast paced. Martha Bryce
The best time-travel novel I’ve read yet, and I hope there’s more to come. A big thumbs up! C
WOW! I’ve been thinking about that book for a week now since I finished reading it. It kept me engrossed with intelligent writing, depth of characters and a fast pace. Overall, a very satisfying novel. Jasmine

ATTENTION READERS: Check out the CUL8R Website for details at http://www.cul8rseries.com

OMG eBook 3

Book #2, BRB [Be Right Back]

Book #2 in the award winning CUL8R series! Book #1 OMG was named the Best Indie Book of 2013.

“It’s difficult to investigate a crime that hasn’t happened yet.”

Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey have just returned from changing a girl’s life in 1966 and are a little battered and bruised from their adventure. But when a small voice pleads for their help to save her family from a murderer, they know they must respond.

They research the story, but there is very little information to be found. All they know is that it takes place on Crystal Key, a small private island off the Florida Keys. Since it appears to be deserted, they decide to pop in, gather clues, then pop back. It was a good excuse to spend a lazy day on a beautiful beach.
But from the first step, their journey back to 1980 goes horribly wrong. The area is crawling with drug traffickers and tens of thousands of refugees fleeing Cuba. They meet the young girl and her family, but their intervention puts them in the direct path of the killer.

Can they find out who he is in time to save the girl, her family . . . and themselves? Or are they destined to be a madman’s latest victims?

“It’s an exciting mystery with plenty of surprises to keep you guessing.” Danielle Marie

“The “CUL8R” series stands out and shines as something unique that manages to mix fantasy with realistic characters and situations.” Erica Lucas

“I literally could not put this book down.” K. J. Pierce

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