Interview with Steena Holmes + Author Tip from Sharon Wray + Latest News ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏


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- Ella Quinn’s THE MARQUIS AND I made the USA Today Bestseller list.

- After DRIFTWOOD COVE made #8 on the Publishers Weekly bestseller list, Debbie Mason was added to the RWA Honor Roll.

Katharine Ashe, USA Today bestselling author of The Duke, described Cat Sebastian’s UNMASKED BY THE MARQUESS as "Brimming with warmth, laughter, and passion, this book is an absolute delight."

THIRSTY by Mia Hopkins received excellent reviews from USA Today, Hypable, TBQ's Book Palace, Rochelle's Reviews, and OMG Reads.

- Ali Fisher at Tor Teen bought North American rights, at auction, to a teen trilogy by TJ Klune. Deidre Knight, who represented Klune in the three-book deal, described the trilogy as an LGBT #ownvoices series about a group of teen superheroes and the everyday boy who follows them. The first title is set for a winter 2020 release.

- Nalini Singh’s OCEAN LIGHT was included on Goodread’s list of 16 of the Hottest Romance Books of Spring.

- SKINWALKER, the first novel in Faith Hunter's Jane Yellowrock series, is only $1.99 for a limited time.

- Tenley “Ten” Lockwood, the heroine of Gena Showalter's EVERLIFE, has a Top 10 List for Saving the World. Gena reveals them in this video:


Author Tip of the Month

A librarian/archivist who also studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris, Sharon Wray is an eight-time RWA Golden Heart Romantic Suspense author.

Her latest novel is EVERY DARK DESIRE.


Sharon's Tip:

When The Knight Agency asked me to offer a writing tip, I thought about drafting tips and marketing ideas and all of the things that go into crafting and selling a book. Then I realized I’d forgotten the most important part of any novel: The author.

As a former chemical and patent librarian for a pharmaceutical company who dealt with the FDA regularly, I thought I understood time management and stress. I had planners and calendars and software programs to keep me organized. Every potential new drug had a team, every team had project goals, and every project goal had a to-do list with FDA deadlines. Every team lived by its deadlines, working as many weekday hours as it took to complete the job. But the senior leadership made one thing clear: we were not to work on weekends. They believed that in order to do our best work, we needed to be rested.

Now, years later as a debut author, I realize the value of that belief. I’m living by deadlines again and, despite the fact I write at home, my job is harder. Before, I had tasks to complete. Now, I’m literally creating something out of nothing. That creating requires an enormous amount of mental energy and sedentary time, both of which can take a toll on an author’s health.

A few weeks before my romantic suspense debut, EVERY DEEP DESIRE, my fingers and calves began to cramp and I started running low-grade fevers. My eyes felt dry and my eyelids twitched. Then my weight started going up even though I was barely eating due to stomach cramps. I went to my GP and he told me that my symptoms were due to stress-induced inflammation caused by too much cortisol.

I was surprised since I felt more excited than stressed about my upcoming release, but he said this was due to long-term stress and anxiety. Even if I didn’t feel anxious all the time, the fact that I was feeling it on a regular basis was affecting my endocrine system. I needed to make some changes fast if I didn’t want these symptoms to become permanent.

Before I left his office, my doctor offered these tips. A few weeks later, I can honestly say that while I’m not completely better, these ideas have helped. (I’m sure NONE of these tips will be a surprise!)

1: Get plenty of sleep. At least 8 hours of uninterrupted snooze-time, even if it means you have to go to bed earlier. You can’t heal and recover without sleep.

2: Drink lots of water. The standard is eight 8-oz glasses a day, but the Mayo Clinic website has exact numbers depending on your weight, sex and climate where you live. My eye problems were due to a combination of dehydration and too much screen time.

3: Eat well. I know it’s hard to eat well when you’re stressed. But eating lots of fresh vegetables and protein-rich sources, as well as a good amount of healthy fats, will help your mood, improve your sleep habits, and increase your ability to focus.

This surprised me because the first tip is sleep. But my doctor explained that wakeful rest is as important. Spend time with people you love, watch the clouds float by, enjoy your favorite sport—even if, like me, it’s reading! Rest is anything that takes your mind off The Book and allows your active mind to think about non-stressful things. This is the reason my former employer didn’t want us to work on weekends, even when on deadline.

4: Meditate/Pray/Yoga. This one may be determined by your own preferences, but the effect is the same. Take time out of each day to practice focusing on something specific. With Yoga, it’s the physical poses. Prayer and meditation allow the mind to go on a vacation from The Book while still being present to the world. This tip helps clear the mind and can ease anxiety and restlessness, two things that inhibit creativity.

5: Exercise: There’s no question that moving the body increases blood flow to the heart and mind. It also allows those wonderful endorphins to show up and take you out of your funk! And yes, walking the dog is exercise.

{Bonus} Brain Dump: I added this one because of the tremendous value I’ve found over the years from writing Morning Pages (as taught by Julia Cameron in the Artist’s Way). A Brain Dump is a hand-written list of EVERY SINGLE THING on your mind. From refilling the dog’s flea pills to the upcoming snow storm. This list frees you from being stuck in your own head. Some people do this in the morning, others at night, and others—like me—whenever they feel anxious. Whether you do anything with the list, like transfer it to a planner or burn it, doesn’t matter. It’s the writing and releasing that helps ease the overworked brain.

Now, more than ever, the world needs compelling stories. That fact makes healthy authors one of the world’s most important resources.

Author Interview

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Steena Holmes has sold over a million copies of her novels. She's won numerous awards, including the 2012 NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCE BOOK Award for FINDING EMMA and the 2015 USA BOOK NEWS Award for THE WORD GAME. Her latest release is THE FORGOTTEN ONES.

TKA: Tell us about your new novel and how it came about. 

Steena: THE FORGOTTEN ONES is about the deep dark secrets we have within our families and how deadly the truth can be when they come out. I wanted to write a story about a truck driver in the 1950s but make it present day. As I wrote, the story just presented itself to me.

TKA: All of your novels, including THE FORGOTTEN ONES, have been deep stories that are very well planned-out. What was the research and planning process like for you on this book?

Steena: It all happened while I wrote. Thankfully I have a father who has been a truck driver all his life so he helped me a bit. For the other deep issues in the book, I did a lot on online research. If they [my books] have that “planned-out” feel, it’s all an illusion or rather, the magic behind the editing process. I tend to plan as I write which isn’t always the best way to write a novel.

TKA: What are a couple of your favorite novels and why?

Steena: This is a trick question, right? A couple of my favorite? What reader do you know who has a couple of favorites? lol. In all seriousness, I fell in love with Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer and The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle. The writing in both of those books blew me away while drawing me in. There were times throughout each book I’d have to take a moment to let what I’d just read sink in. Not only are they a “few” of my favorite books but when I think about the kind of writing—the depth of writing—that I want to have and the experience I want to give my readers, I think about these books.

TKA: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Steena: You’ll never know if you’ll fail unless you try. But once you do fail, don’t give up because the only one who will believe in yourself the most IS you.

TKA: What is the greatest joy of writing for you?

Steena: That feeling of being lost within a story is something that brings me a lot of joy and happiness. It’s the same joy I get when I start reading a book and lose all sense of time. 

TKA: Finally, what are you working on right now?

Steena: I’m working on a psychological suspense that gives me thrills every time I open my document! 

To learn more about Steena, visit



- TJ Klune’s LGBT #ownvoices teen trilogy, THE EXTRAORDINARIES, pitched as a smartly funny, romantic series about teen superheroes and the everyday geek boy who ships them, to Ali Fisher at Tor Books, in a six-figure deal at auction, for hardcover publication winter 2020, by Deidre Knight at The Knight Agency, and to Sam Bradbury at Hodder & Stoughton for simultaneous hardcover UK publication.

- Genevieve Cogman's INVISIBLE LIBRARY books 6, 7 and 8, following the exploits of a librarian spy as she hunts down rare books for her secretive inter-dimensional Library at great peril and with great aplomb, to Bella Pagan at Pan Macmillan in a major deal, by Lucienne Diver

- Alli Sinclair's BURNING FIELDS and THE CINEMA OF LOST DREAMS, a blend of romance, history and intrigue, to Esi Sogah at Lyrical Press in a nice deal, by Lucienne Diver

- USA Today bestselling author Debbie Mason's next two books in the Harmony Harbor series, to Alex Logan at Grand Central in a very nice deal, by Pamela Harty

- Reese Ryan's next three books in her Bourbon Brothers Series, to Charles Griemsman for Harlequin Desire in a nice deal, by Pamela Harty

- Reese Ryan's book two in the Dynasties: Secrets of the A List continuity series, and book 6 in the Texas Cattleman's Club: Houston continuity series, to Charles Griemsman at Harlequin Desire for publication in 2019, by Pamela Harty

- David B. Coe's original tie-in to the History Channel’s new Knightfall series about the Knights Templar, to Gary Budden at Titan Books, via Lucienne Diver

- Jill Monroe's new Christmas-themed contemporary HEART OF GLASS, whose protagonist’s decision to hire a renowned but secretive glass-blower to jump-start the family ornament company might be her biggest—and favorite—mistake, to Stacey Donovan at Hallmark in a nice deal, by Deidre Knight

- Christian Klaver's SHADOWS OVER LONDON, in which the protagonist’s father tries to wall her and her siblings away to protect them from a faerie invasion—only to see them drawn into the fight (and not all on the same side) with the special skills they discover—to Corie Weaver at Dreaming Robot in a nice deal, by Lucienne Diver

- Karen Whiddon's Colton continuity novel, to Patience Bloom at Harlequin in a nice deal, by Lucienne Diver

- Chloe Neill's fourth novel in the Devil's Isle series (which includes THE VEIL, THE SIGHT and THE HUNT), to Jessica Wade at Berkley in a nice deal, by Lucienne Diver

- Stephanie Dees's fourth book in her Family Blessing series and three books to start The Triple Creek Ranch series, featuring brothers reunited to save their family legacy, to Melissa Endlich at Harlequin Love Inspired in a nice deal for publication in 2019, by Melissa Jeglinski

- Karen Booth's book one in the Dynasties: Secrets of the A List series, to Patience Bloom at Harlequin Desire in a nice deal for publication in 2019, by Melissa Jeglinski

- Debby Giusti's untitled Love Inspired Suspense romance, part of a mini-continuity about witness protection set amidst the Amish community, to Emily Rodmell at Harlequin in a nice deal, by Deidre Knight

- SOLDIER'S SECRET SON by Maggie Black, in which a military corporal is unexpectedly reunited with the only woman he's ever loved and the son he never knew he had—just before armed robbers take over their train as it treks through the snowy Canadian wilderness—to Emily Rodmell at Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense in a nice six-book deal, by Melissa Jeglinski

- Michele Hauf's STORM WARNING, to Denise Zaza at Harlequin Intrigue in a nice two-book deal for publication in March 2019, by Pamela Harty



Nicola Davidson

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New Zealander Nicola Davidson is a history geek, dessertaholic, die-hard All Blacks fan, and knows more about Regency sex clubs than is probably healthy. When not daydreaming of ways to combine these passions, she writes erotic historical romance with plenty of kink, heart, and humor.


Avery Flynn

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Avery Flynn is a USA Today bestselling romance author. She has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip.


Chelsea Ichaso

Chelsea Ichaso writes creepy, twisty tales for young adults. A former high school English teacher, she lives in southern California with her husband and three children. When she’s not reading or writing, she can be found on the soccer field.


Loriel Ryon

When she's not writing middle grade and young adult fiction, Loriel Ryon is a wife, mother, registered nurse, hiker and science enthusiast. She lives in New Mexico with her husband and children.


The Forgotten Ones: A Novel

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In this novel from a New York Times bestselling author, the search for truth is defined by secrets and lies.

Elle is a survivor. She’s managed to piece together a solid life from a childhood of broken memories and fairy tales her mom told her to explain away bad dreams. But weekly visits to her mother still fill Elle with a paralyzing fear she can’t explain. It’s just another of so many unanswered questions she grew up with in a family estranged by silence and secrets.

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Every Deep Desire (Deadly Force)

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He's taking it all back
His honor, his freedom, and the woman he loves

Rafe Montfort was a decorated Green Beret, the best of the best, until a disastrous mission and an unforgivable betrayal destroyed his life. Now, this deadly soldier has returned to the sultry Georgia swamps to reunite with his brothers, and take back all he lost. But Juliet must never know the truth behind what he's done...or the dangerous secret that threatens to take him from her forever.

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The Summer of New Beginnings: A Magnolia Grove Novel

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One family learns that love is the greatest miracle of all—from USA Today bestselling author Bette Lee Crosby.

Aspiring journalist Meghan Briggs has always been the responsible one in the family. So when her father passes away unexpectedly, leaving behind his at-risk business, she steps up to save his legacy—even if that means putting her own dreams on hold.

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A King Awakened: Gay Historical Romance (Noble Pleasures Book 2)

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When a king finally indulges his most forbidden desires, after a lifetime of denying his hidden nature, an unstoppable passion ignites. One that can't be matter the risk.

When King Arend Tollemach contracted a concubine for a year, he insisted on one thing: he'd never fall in love. Ever. Not with any man, and certainly not his paid lover.Unfortunately, Arend's heart proves an unruly subject, surrendering quickly to his bed servant. The only problem? Falling in love just may cost Arend far more than he feared: his throne.

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The Secret Ingredient for a Happy Marriage

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"Beautifully written and unflinching in its portrayal of the complexities of marriage, sisterhood and long-held secrets."
-Kristan Higgins, New York Times bestselling author
From New York Times bestselling author Shirley Jump comes a heartwarming tale about friendship, family, and the unbreakable bond between sisters.
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Veiled Enchantments (Veiled Magic)

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In this exciting novel in the Veiled Magic series, Witch and police officer Donata Santori travels to Maine to help solve a deadly mystery, where her magical abilities are tested like never before.

Still reeling from her unwitting involvement in murder and subsequent break up with a half-Dragon art forger, Witch-cop Donata Santori is grateful for the distraction when her ex-lover requests her help. Not only are Magnus's beloved dead suddenly haunting the Ulfhednar shapechangers in his tiny rural hometown in Maine, their patron god Odin has turned his back on them, and the members of their once tight-knit enclave are at each other's throats. Literally.

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Stay with Me (Return to Haven)

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 Small-town Haven, Georgia, is home to generations of families, plenty of Southern charm, and an airport that’s seen better days. But as three friends are about to discover, love gives everything wings . . .
At eighteen, Olivia Daniels left Haven behind and never looked back. Doggedly climbing the corporate ladder, she’s finally nearing the top when her father dies—leaving her part-owner of the run-down airport that was his first love. It’s a complication Olivia intends to wrap up quickly—buying out her co-owner and selling the land. Good thing her childhood best friends are with her for moral support. Because one look at her new partner is proof that her tidy plan has hit turbulence . . .

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Night Stalker (FBI: Special Crimes Unit)

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A serial killer is on the loose…

After Special Agent Adam Whitfield’s ex-wife is nearly killed when she stops an abduction, the serial killer that Adam’s been hunting turns his focus on Charlotte Murray for getting in his way. Now, as the Night Stalker closes in, Adam has two missions: bring the murderer to justice and save Charlotte—because failure isn’t an option.

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Killer Secrets (Harlequin Romantic Suspense)

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She has a murderous past.

Will it destroy her future, too?

Mila Ramirez has never stopped trying to outrun the sins of her serial killer parents. But her hard-fought new life starts to unravel when she finds an employee dead. Trusting strong, sexy police chief Sam Douglas forces her out of isolation, even as it brings a murderer closer. Mila narrowly escaped evil before. This time it wants to destroy everything she loves—including Sam.

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The Littlest Target (True North Heroes)

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Nanny and baby on the run

A taut thriller in the True North Heroes series

When her boss’s wife is murdered before her eyes, nanny Daisy Hayward flees with her infant charge. But she can’t escape danger. Someone wants the baby and will kill Daisy to get him. In the Canadian wilderness, a paramedic saves them. But when Daisy is framed for murder and labeled a kidnapper, will Max Henry help her...or turn her in?

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Only on Hooked.

Drop in on a private chat between two roommates playing hot games -- and falling in love!

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The Darkest Promise: A Dark, Demonic Paranormal Romance (Lords of the Underworld)

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Mass-market paperback.

From the New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter, comes the next sizzling instalment in the Lords of the Underworld series. Fans of epic paranormal romances won't want to miss this steamy read!

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The Sixth Victim (A Constance Piper Mystery)

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Paperback version.

London’s East End, 1888: When darkness falls, terror begins...

The foggy streets of London’s Whitechapel district have become a nocturnal hunting ground for Jack the Ripper, and no woman is safe. Flower girl Constance Piper is not immune to dread, but she is more preoccupied with her own strange experiences of late.

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A Wish Upon the Stars (Tales from Verania Book 4)

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Nearly a year ago, blinded by grief and betrayal, Sam of Wilds made a desperate decision to follow the Great White into the Dark Woods. Now, he emerges to a world changed.

The City of Lockes is a prison. The King has been locked away in the dungeons. The Kingdom of Verania has fallen, and the Dark wizard Myrin sits on the throne.

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