Saturday, February 25, 2017

Alexa Grace - In Memorium

I'm saddened today to learn that fellow author, Alexa Grace, has lost her battle with Thymic Cancer and passed away.
Not only a member of Beach Read Authors, a blogging group I co-founded, but an author who participated in several Suspense Box Sets with many of the BRA authors, Alexa was always cheerful, positive and helpful in promoting our projects, using her own money to buy ads for us 'smaller' authors. She was grateful when we decided to donate a portion of our proceeds from the box sets to Thymic Cancer Research and touched that her fellow authors would do this.

I didn't know Alexa face to face, but always held out hope we'd cross paths at a writers' conference someday. She'd achieved USA Today Bestselling status, writing Romantic Suspense and is still selling well on Amazon. With two series, the Deadly Series and the Profile Series, Alexa has thousands of reviews, probably millions of fans and will be missed in the Romance community as a prolific author. Her permafree lead-in to the Deadly Series, Deadly Offerings, is ranked in the top 1500 free on Amazon and has over 3,000 reviews.

Here's what her Amazon bio says:

Alexa Grace is the USA TODAY bestselling author of riveting romantic suspense novels including the Deadly Series and the Profile Series.
Alexa's journeys into suspense are accurate police procedurals with a healthy dose of passion.A voracious reader, she has been influenced by writers ranging from James Patterson to Lisa Gardner to Nora Roberts.
Her books, Deadly Offerings and Profile of Evil,have been recognized by RT Book Reviews as Top Picks.  Profile of Terror was awarded Best Romantic Suspense of 2014 by the Little Shop of Readers Reviewers Choice.
Alexa Grace earned a bachelor's degree in Communication and a Master's degree in Education from Indiana State University.  Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a corporate training director.
An Indiana native, Alexa divides her time between Indiana and Florida. She has a daughter and four Miniature Schnauzers, three of which are rescues.   As a writer, she is fueled by Starbucks lattes, chocolate and communicating with her street team and readers.

Alexa's books live on at Amazon.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Big Little Lies on HBO

HBO launched it's new Sunday series, Big Little Lies, on Sunday at 9 p m and it's a compelling hour of mystery, bitchiness and scenery.

If you read the book by Australia's Liane Moriarty, author of The Husband's Secret, you know that the story timeline jumps all over the map starting at present day with an alleged murder, to months earlier when the first day of kindergarten orientation throws together a group of women in a small seaside Australian town. The timeline continues to jump around as we spend the whole book trying to figure out which one of the characters has died. All this while getting to know their intricate backstories and complicated relationships. One sleeps with a gun under her pillow, one has a lot of PDA along with physical violence behind the scenes.

In HBO's version, written by David Kelley, (Michelle Pfeiffer's hubby,) the story takes place near Monterrey, California and spans 7 episodes that follow the moms of first graders at a wonderful little school that touts all the slogans of today's children: Sharing is Caring, No Bullying, Safety First, etc.
The series opens with the knowledge that someone has died at the school Trivia Night Fundraiser. All parents interviewed on camera say it all started on that first day of orientation for the first graders.

The series' producers include Liane Moriarty, the author herself, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. It is maybe because of this fact that it's been touted as a feminist series, simply because there are five female leads in the script and women are producing it. Something that is a rarity in Hollywood. But, even though it deals with the modern woman problem of juggling jobs and careers with motherhood, I would not label it as anything but a fascinating look into the lives of mothers in a small, affluent community. And an opportunity to see some spectacular Northern California seascapes in the opening credits!

Witherspoon is the likable busy body, Kidman is the quiet beautiful wife of a handsome rich man, Shailene Woodley is the young, poor, single mom who looks horribly out of place, Zoe Kravitz is the free-spirited yoga teacher married now to Reese's ex-husband and Laura Dern is the financial analyst with an au pair and is not particularly well-liked in the mommy community.
All women are brilliant actresses and play their parts with the finesse they are known for, including the young Woodley, who was last seen in Divergent and Fault in Our Stars.

The director has pieced together scenes expertly, giving us an opener that grabs us around the throat to insure we stick with the series to see who died. It's someone we are getting to know well in this series, I'm pretty sure. It's a beautiful thing to have a terrible memory for books, especially now when I can't remember the ending but I guess my memory is shot because as a mother I've had so much other shi_ to remember in the last twenty years! If you're like me, you're going to not only see yourself in these women but enjoy the reveal.

Be sure to catch Big Little Lies on HBO on Sunday at 9.

Kim Hornsby is the Author of Award-Winning The Dream Jumper's Promise available on Amazon Books. She is a Bestselling Supernatural Suspense Author who lives in the Seattle area where she writes during the rainy months.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Goldy hits Gold in Romantic Suspense!

Necessary Detour, my Romantic Suspense, is doing well this month on Amazon Prime and I thought I'd give it a little shout out to offer some tidbits on the publishing story of a book about a newly retired female rock star hiding from a psychotic stalker at her lake house in Washington State.

ND was the second full novel I ever wrote. It was my experiment to see if I could write romance and when I shopped around for a publishing deal, only to get no response, I figured it was my throw away novel to hide and forget, even though I loved the characters and the story.

Nikki is the rock star GOLDY, comparable to Madonna's popularity and longevity, or Beyonce, Lady Gaga, but heartbreakingly beautiful (Of course! It's Romance!) When she suddenly announces her retirement from the music business at the age of 39, the world mourns, the media seeks an answer, and Nikki goes in hiding from a stalker who masterminded an unsuccessful murder attempt at her final concert.

It's a fun read. When I submitted ND to a few romance publishers 5 years ago, Source Books, Carina Press, The Wild Rose Press, I had interest and in the end, the one who came back with a publishing offer was TWRP, a boutique romance publisher that is known for being extremely author- friendly and easy to work with.
I was thrilled, and they published ND at the same time as I Indie Pubbed my other book The Dream Jumper's Promise. I felt like I'd given birth to twins and they were at separate hospitals as I ran back and forth caring for my babies!

Both books did well that first year, ND especially so when it fell it with thriller writers like Dean Koontz and other big names. Because I didn't control the book's cover, description, or other publishing details, I also couldn't see the numbers. I had no idea it was selling like it was until I got a whopping check in May and realized I should have put more effort into my RS. I was oblivious to how well it did those first few months.

Four and a half years later, ND is now with both TWRP and Amazon Encore who asked for it 6 months ago, seeing it did well enough to have a second start at bestsellership. I was honored to be asked!
And just after Christmas, ND was chosen by PRIME to take part in that program. TWRP contacted me and offered me 90 days of PRIME, for a flat payment rate and I jumped on it, never having made that kind of money for one book in 90 days. I was thrilled again!

ND hit #55 in the Kindle Store last week which is frickin' amazing and it's doing really well on PRIME, up there with Romantic Suspense Authors like Elizabeth Naughton and Kendra Elliot. My hubby says this is the little book that just keeps on giving and I have to agree with him.

For a novel that got written with hope, love, humor and then went under the bed due to rejection, I am proud that Nikki and Pete's story has a wide readership. Here's to love and danger!

As one reviewer recently said "It's a great book for the beach or the fireside."
Find Necessary Detour on Amazon.

KIM HORNSBY is a Bestselling Amazon Author who makes her home in the Seattle area where she writes at a desk overlooking a tree-lined lake with a cup of tea always by her side and plane tickets always on her desk.