A Journey to Thailand

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Living in Washington is wonderful.  The city is a museum, culture is everywhere, and politics often makes sleeping pill prescriptions totally unnecessary.  Sometimes I lose sight of how interesting and different our city is, but events like the one I attended on Friday night shake out complacency.

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Yes, I was a guest at the Royal Thai embassy in Georgetown.  The food was sumptuous, the Ambassador and his staff gracious, and the entertainment divine.  I had such a good time, two days later my cheeks still hurt from smiling so much. Here’s a snippet of the entertainment for you to enjoy.

The cherry on the cake truly was the Thai Masked Dance Khon Troupe from Bangkok.  For over an hour they danced, fought, joked, clowned, and displayed aspects of the Thai heritage.  The men wore brilliant golden costumes, the women dripped dozens of orchids from their hair.  Each movement — practiced over decades — seemed effortless, yet I couldn’t fathom getting my fingers into the artistic backward curving gestures or moving with such precise grace.

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I’d like to thank His Excellency, Ambassador Vijavat Isarabhakdi for his kind generosity during the evening.  He reminded me of my husband’s and my trip to Bangkok a few years ago — and a place and people so lovely, I cannot wait to visit there again.

 

 

Disrespectful in Digital or Cool in Cyberspace. You Decide.

Am I too old-fashioned?  While Kindles are wonderful, the idea of using a digital copy of the constitution, or the Bible, to swear anything, just doesn’t seem respectful in some ways.  This is a major-moment, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime ceremony.  Would the ambassador have come to it in torn jeans and a dirty T shirt?  Would she have driven to Vegas and gotten sworn in by an Elvis impersonator?

In one way it’s cool that the ambassador is tech savvy enough to realize that ebooks are the way of the future, but some traditions, in my lil’ ole opinion, shouldn’t be lost.  I’d like to know that her oath is more solid than the momentary digital impression of words on a Kindle.  What do you think?

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Allison Brennan: let’s talk books and TV shows!

Diana Belchase:

A great guest post by darling Allison Brennan. Enjoy!

Originally posted on Kiss and Thrill:

Brennan_official_photocred Brittan Dodd We welcome back one of the modern day Romantic Suspense Greats: Allison Brennan! Besides being a wife and raising 5 children, she’s presently writing 3 separate series. 1)Her best-selling Lucy Kincaid novels, 2)A new series featuring Max Revere, a spunky investigative reporter and 3) the Moreno and Hart Mysteries collaboration with colleague Laura Griffin. Crash and Burn cover

Therefore, it’s a quite an honor she took time out of her busy schedule to write this:

I am thrilled to once again guest blog here at Kiss and Thrill!

Sarah asked me to write something totally fabulous. There’s nothing that kills the muse faster than expectations. Which got me thinking about reader expectations for Romantic Suspense.

Romantic Suspense is a broad and thriving genre where any of us can write a story about two worthy people battling against all the odds to defeat the bad guy and live happily ever after. Any way you get there is a…

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There’s Something About a Man in Uniform

Diana Belchase:

A great Memorial Day tribute by my blog mate to our Air Force Special Ops guys!

Originally posted on Kiss and Thrill:

640px-Pararescuremen_extraction_-_081016-F-5957S-919Military romantic suspense is a wildly popular subset of romantic suspense (one of my favorites to read and write). But why are men in uniform so attractive? I know why I love them so much (especially the one I married), but I was curious what other readers thought, so I asked at a Facebook party a few months ago. Below is a list of the most common reasons the readers I chatted with cited for loving a military (or ex-military) hero:

  1. Self-sacrificing. This was number one, no contest. Apparently a brave man who’s willing to die for his beliefs and to save those he loves makes us weak in the knees like no one else. This probably also explains the popularity of other heroes in uniform like law enforcement and fire fighters.
  2. Intense/determined. Readers love a man who will stop at nothing to save the day (and the heroine). Oh…

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Losing Mary Stewart, Auction for Diabetes, and Winner

Sad news.  The woman who pioneered the genre of Romantic Suspense, Mary Stewart, died this month at the age of 97.  While that’s a ripe old age for most, Mary’s loss to those of us who write mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense, is immeasurable.  Lady Mary Stewart was one of the first authors to write female-centric novels that involved both mystery and romance.

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courtesy MaryStewartNovels.com

She inspired so many of us female mystery, thriller, and suspense writers and we know she inspired millions of readers and authors worldwide.  If you get a chance to read one of her delightful books, like Madam Will You Talk?, Touch Not the Cat, This Rough Magic, or Nine Coaches Waiting, and the Merlin Chronicles, I believe you’ll find her books not only inspiring but a whole lot of fun.  You can find out more about her life at MaryStewartNovels.com

On another note, please remember I and my fellow bloggers at Kiss and Thrill have assembled an auction basket for the Brenda Novak Annual Online Auction for Diabetes Research.

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This is a cause near and dear to my heart.  So many of my family and friends have been affected by this terrible disease.  So please go and bid on something — from jewelry to books to exciting vacations, there is something for everyone.

Our own gift basket features $125 in gift cards (including cards for jewelry, books, and starbucks), two items of clothing, two audio and seven print/digital books from Kiss and Thrill authors, a character naming, and a wonderful tote to carry everything in.  You can find our basket HERE.

Finally, saving the best for last, the winner of  Don and Renee Bain’s novel, Close -up on Murder is Bella!  Congratulations.  I know you will enjoy it very much.

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Until then, have a super Memorial Day weekend! See you Tuesday!

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Lansbury, Truman, and Bain: Murder They Wrote

Don and Renee Bain are one of the cutest couples in the world.  He’s tall and lanky, she’s petite, both are soft-spoken, and both are intent on murder.

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That’s no joke.  They murder literally dozens of people each year — within the pages of the books they co-write.  In fact, they are the brains and talent behind Universal’s “Murder She Wrote” series.  With now fifty books under their belt (a few more have released since the video interview) they are the embodiment of Jessica Fletcher now that the series is no longer on the air.

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Angela Lansbury played Jessica Fletcher on Murder She Wrote on TV (photo by Alan Light)

 

But, that’s not all the Bain duo has been up to.  Don Bain — who jokingly refers himself as the “world’s tallest, oldest, bearded stewardess” — was the real author of the sensational “Coffee, Tea, or Me,” book that once was considered steamy enough for mothers to refuse to allow their daughters to become flight attendants.  He also collaborated with Margaret Truman on her Washington, D.C. based mysteries and, until now, could reap none of the credit.

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(Click on covers for more info)

With Renee at his side, they discuss how they come up with story ideas, how they work as a team, how they try to emulate Angela Lansbury’s voice and mannerisms, and the ups and downs of working within the limitations of an iconic series.

Leave a comment or a question below or at KissAndThrill.com about ghost writing — is it a let down, or a wonderful surprise? — and Don and Renee will give one lucky reader who responds a copy of Close Up on Murder.  (One prize for comments at both sites, if you comment on both sites, you will be a double entrant)

Good Luck!

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Some of the upcoming titles for Don Bain include Experiment in Murder from the Margaret Truman series, Lights Out, and the rerelease of Coffee, Tea or Me.

AWARD-WINNING DEBUT RELEASE!

Diana Belchase:

My dear friend Krista Hall just released her first, very fabulous book, Broken Places. I know you’ll all love this interview.
XO

Originally posted on Kiss and Thrill:

Click cover to buy

Click cover to buy

Can you hear us shrieking in triumph here at Kiss and Thrill? Today is DEBUT DAY for Krista Hall, one of our talented authors!

BROKEN PLACESis the romantic suspense novel that WON the prestigious Golden Heart® Award last year. (I should know, I read Krista’s acceptance speech to 2,000 romance writers!)

BROKEN PLACESis a riveting, authentic glimpse into Hispanic gangs in DC. The violent culture, lingo, signs and graffiti (also known as tagging) are so realistic I figured Krista had worked on a gang task force or dated an FBI hottie. No joke. There were scenes where my heart was in my throat for the danger the main gangbanger, Bandit faced.

It’s my honor tobring you Krista’s debut interview:

You are literally ‘realizing your dream’ today. How does it feel?

Exciting! Broken Places is a story that wouldn’t let go of me. I’ve been working on it…

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