As many of you know, I was away for about ten days at the Romance Writers of Australia Conference out in Sydney and then for some sightseeing afterward – because there was no way I was traveling halfway around the world and not doing a koala encounter or visiting the Blue Mountains. I hope to blog soon (with pics) on how fabulous Australia is in general, but for today I wanted to say a few words to and about the Romance Writers of Australia.

THANK YOU all for being so gracious, lovely, entertaining and enlightening. I’ve rarely attended a conference where I felt so comfortable and at home!

For those who weren’t there, RWAUS 2014 had fabulous guests and speakers, including Kate Byrne, Senior Commissioning Editor from Headline UK, Malle Vallik, Sue Brockoff and Flo Nicoll from various divisions of Harlequin, Lex Hirst, acquiring editor for Random House, Haylee Nash and Joel Naoum, acquiring editors for Pan Macmillan, Anna Valdinger and Narelle Battersby from HarperCollins and HarperImpulse respectively, bestselling authors Cherry Adair and Marie Force, Australian agents Alex Adsett and Jacinta di Mase… I could keep going and going, but you can read the guests various interviews here for yourselves! The long and short of it is the conference put together wonderful panels and presentations. I wish I could have seen more. I did get to see Cherry Adair’s speech (was it Saturday morning?) and could have listened to her go on all day. She’s not just funny and charming, she’d remarkably inspirational.

I especially enjoyed the Escape After Party Friday night with its leather and lace theme, hosted by the fabulous Kate Cuthbert of Escape Publishing. The costumes were fabulous, and the adventurous nature of some of them even better.

The gala awards dinner Saturday was wonderful, and I was very lucky with my table companions, including my newest author, Shannon Curtis, who I’m very pleased to be working with! Also, the lovely Eleni Konstantin, Cassandra L. Shaw, and Rachael Herron. Emma Darcy was elected into the Hall of Fame and had everyone laughing and crying with her speech. Thanks to Xanthe Blake tweeting them, I can recall and pass along to you Emma’s Five Fs of Romance: fun, fantasy, feel-good and fabulous fucking! (Hope I didn’t shock anyone with that! She shocked a laugh out of us all.)

After the award ceremony, tables were cleared and we all danced the night away.

I was very sad to leave, especially after making so many friends and finally getting to meet the wonderful Lauren McKellar from YA Rebels in person! Some pics are below so that you can all feel you were there.

Tomorrow I hope to be posting a write up and some fabulous pictures from my trip to Sydney, Australia, first for the Romance Writers of Australia Conference (which was wonderful!) and then from my sightseeing (amazing!). Today, I’m over at Magical Words with a post “It’s a boy thing…” on sexism, bias, fiction and frustration.

Last week, Amy Christine Parker and I posted our last YA Rebels video – author tips, as translated by our husbands. We had fun with it, and I hope you will as well!

AvoidableContact_2014-final Tammy Kaehler’s latest Kate Reilly racing mystery, AVOIDABLE CONTACT, is out today!  (Along with some other amazing reads you might have heard me tweet, blog, Facebook or otherwise crow about: BLOOD GAMES by Chloe Neill, DOWNFALL by Rob Thurman and DUST AND LIGHT by Carol Berg.)

Thus, I have Tammy here today to talk about why she writes what she writes.  Enjoy!  (And, really, check out Kate Reilly in DEAD MAN’S SWITCH, BRAKING POINTS and AVOIDABLE CONTACT.  Not to oversell, but I love her work because she reminds me of Dick Francis set in the auto racing world!)

TK-cSJamesPhotography* My Secret Motive by Tammy Kaehler

When I promote my mystery series about a female racecar driver, I’m usually talking to mystery fans, in which case I have to “sell” the racing aspect (You don’t have to know racing to enjoy it! You’ll learn something new!), or I’m talking to racing fans, to whom I’m usually “selling” the idea of reading at all or reading a mystery (You can take the race home with you! Learn even more about the sport you love!).

Two of the three reasons why I write the books are because I love mysteries, especially those in which the reader learns something, and because I am fascinated by racing and want to share what I’ve learned with others.

The third reason is because I love reading about women kicking ass.

I don’t talk about that last reason quite as much as the others, because I’m not sure it’s the selling point for the broadest segment of my reading audience—and when I have limited character space or attention span in which to reach people, I want a message with broad appeal.

But I’m tired of not talking about it. I want more role models of women kicking ass and taking names. Even if they’re fictional. We need them!

So if you like strong women who are succeeding in a man’s world, check out Kate Reilly. I’m doing my best to have her make all of us women proud!

(*Photocredit S. James Photography)

_______________

Book Blurb:

Racecar driver Kate Reilly is suited up and ready for the start of the legendary 24 Hours of Daytona. But what lies ahead is not just a racing challenge but a harrowing test of her will and nerve off the course.
Even before the green flag waves over Daytona International Speedway, Kate receives word her boyfriend Stuart is hospitalized nearby in a coma, fighting for his life after a hit-and-run. Stunned by the news, Kate can do nothing better for Stuart than complete her scheduled laps driving her team’s car. But more shocks follow as Daytona’s clock starts ticking. An on-track accident ends tragically. Some of her complicated family is spotted with other teams—why? And an eyewitness claims Stuart was run down deliberately by someone from the race paddock.
Alternating stints behind the wheel of the team’s Corvette with stretches of quizzing colleagues and searching for clues, Kate circles the police and taps every possible source—friend, foe, and family—to find out who’s after Stuart and why. As the race clock counts down to zero hour, Kate must come to terms with her own fears rising from her past and decide who she’s willing to trust. Only then can she identify who’s willing to kill to keep a secret buried.

Series Quotes:

AVOIDABLE CONTACT

“This book revs the suspense past 10,000 RPM on the first page and keeps it there until the last. Tammy Kaehler sure-handedly steers readers deep into the world of endurance racing with an entertaining cast of characters. I’d ride shotgun with Kate Reilly any day.”
Brad Parks, Shamus-, Nero-, and Lefty-Award-winning author of The Player

“Snappy dialogue, a smart and affable heroine (who calls to mind auto racer Danica Patrick), and pacing reminiscent of 24 combine to make this entry as exciting as a spin around the speedway.”
Publishers Weekly

“I have absolutely loved watching how Kate has developed through the first few books, and thoroughly enjoyed how close to reality Tammy has made so many of the racing-related storylines that Kate finds herself in. This series always leaves me wanting more, so I cannot wait to keep reading and see what’s next on the horizon for my fellow female racing driver!”
Pippa Mann, IndyCar driver

BRAKING POINTS (winner of the Motorsport Book Award from the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association)

“Kate’s second outing is just as fast-paced as her first, balancing mystery and racing adventure all the way to the checkered flag.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Kaehler’s second Kate Reilly mystery (after 2011’s Dead Man’s Switch) races through a packed plot and skillful dialogue nearly as expertly as driver Kate threads her way through a racecourse.” —Publishers Weekly

“Kaehler ably steers her second series entry (after Dead Man’s Switch) through the exciting world of auto racing. Action from page one ensures an engrossing read with abundant twists in the plot. This is certainly for Danica Patrick fans and pairs nicely with Simon Wood’s racing series or Steve Ulfelder’s Conway Sax series.” —Library Journal

“Few novels cater to the auto sporting community, and fewer still convincingly portray any form of car racing, but Braking Points does both in the guise of a spirited mystery.” —New York Journal of Books

“Reilly is a likeable character. She’s not perfect, but her flaws humanize her, which contrasts nicely with the public image put forth by the drivers and their publicity teams throughout the book. It’s a terrific balance of the media image versus the private people behind them – a balance that seems to be bleeding into more professions than ever these days.” —Criminal Element

“just as fast-paced as the first novel, Dead Man’s Switch, this new mystery offers a perfect balance of suspense with sports.

“Quill says: This is one racing adventure that readers will continue to enjoy until that checkered flag is waved. Enjoy!” — Feathered Quill

“Like Francis, who takes readers inside the world of horse racing, Kaehler’s books take readers backstage at racing events with full pit, hauler and motor home access.” — Pressdog* Woman of Pressdog (popular racing blogger)

“… Kate once again proves she belongs in the driver’s seat, with Kaehler expertly taking the reader into the mind of a race car driver doing 140 mph on the backstretch…Braking Points is a fun read and you’ll literally be on the edge of your racing seat wondering who done it!” —Corvette Blogger (popular with Corvette enthusiasts)

King’s River Life magazine: “Kaehler explores and explains in an easily understandable way the complex world of competitive racing, from the intricate rules to the toll it takes on the drivers. The author skillfully approaches the mystery using a completely unique approach and opens the fascinating world of competitive car racing seen through the eyes of a woman to the reader. Kate’s strength, reliance on her friends, and the trust she places on her team make her an admirable and very engaging heroine.” —King’s River Life Magazine

“This is a solid mystery with as many twists and turns as a racetrack. The plot weaves on and off the road in a complex pattern that comes to a screeching conclusion in the last few pages.” —In My Words

“Tammy Kaehler provides a fascinating insider perspective of racecars and their drivers in Braking Points, the second mystery in this series featuring Kate Reilly…. The cast of characters in Braking Points are really quite extraordinary, from Kate Reilly herself to team owner Jack Sandham to her best friend Holly. As might be expected of a racing-themed mystery, the pace of the story is fast, quickly moving from one scene to the next, never veering too far off-track, as it were. There is a nice balance of suspense and adventure to the story, one that will have readers anxiously anticipating the metaphorical finish line of the book.” —Mysterious Reviews

 

DEAD MAN’S SWITCH

Kaehler’s clear explanations of technical jargon make the racing world come alive. An engaging debut; I can’t wait to see where Kate and the crew go next.” —Library Journal

“[A] winning debut…Even those unfamiliar with this world will appreciate Kaehler’s vivid descriptions of the intricate teamwork involved in racing, the amazing equipment, the split-second decision making required of the driver, and the pulse-pounding race itself.” —Publishers Weekly

“L.A. pumps out standard-issue whodunits with the regularity of racetrack car accidents. What sets Tammy Kaehler’s first-time effort apart is its slam-bang setting—and the ease with which this former technical writer renders descriptions of her fancy equipment.” –Los Angeles Magazine, Critic’s Pick for August

“Dead Man’s Switch” will appeal to race fans and to people like me who love a good mystery. Kaehler gives us adventure with lots of twists and turns and the promise of more to come in future books. A good book for a quick weekend or rainy day read.” —Suspense Magazine

“Every sport has its dark side and Tammy Kaehler blows the lid off the world of motorsport.”  Simon Wood, Author of Did Not Finish

Dead Man’s Switch is a great read whether you’re a NASCAR fan who never reads mysteries or a mystery fan who knows nothing about racing. And if you love both cars and crime fiction, it’s a must-read. Kate Reilly is smart and tough and engaging—and she sure can drive. And Tammy Kaehler sure can write.” Harley Jane Kozak, Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity-award winning author of A Date You Can’t Refuse

“Tammy Kaehler’s debut novel, Dead Man’s Switch, takes the reader on a glorious spin through the fascinating, dangerous world of sports car racing. Her heroine, Kate Reilly, is smart, believable and resourceful, an up-and-comer in the high stakes world of fast cars, fast living, and sometimes deadly competition. Fasten your seat belts and get ready for one high-G-force read.” Wendy Hornsby, Edgar-award winning author of The Paramour’s Daughter

“… chock full of [good drama]. The characters were full of life and completely believable. Kate was aggressive but not pushy, and she didn’t make a big deal of being a ‘female driver’ … which quickly gets old. I really hope this becomes a series.” —Fresh Fiction

“Pedal to the metal from start to finish, Tammy Kaehler’s sensational debut is a high-octane whodunit so real you can smell burnt rubber and racing fuel. Displaying a veteran’s writing skills, Kaehler’s Kate Reilly series is off to a jackrabbit start!” —Julia Spencer-Fleming, author of One Was a Soldier

Kaehler’s debut wraps the reader in layers of racing detail.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A tale of mystery and intrigue that involves Corvettes and racing will often move high on a recreational reading list…[Kaehler] became interested in racing after a visit to a hospitality suite. That day led to intense research and a quest for accuracy that will appeal to the knowledge race enthusiast.” —Auto Enthusiast

“Kudos to Kaehler and Poisoned Pen Press for assembling a solid package of a debut novel with an interesting lead character and a real hook for mystery lovers. I look forward to more books in the series.”—Bookgasm

Since I’m going to be on a plane for Australia this coming Thursday – Sydney for the 2014 Romance Writers of Australia Conference! – I’m posting about my exciting releases over the next couple of weeks today.  I do hope to have at least some access to social media while I’m gone (otherwise, withdrawal symptoms will set in), I want to be absolutely sure to spread the word on these fabulous new releases.

Coming August 5th:

DustAndLight DUST AND LIGHT by Carol Berg

National bestselling author Carol Berg returns to the world of her award-winning Flesh and Spirit and Breath and Bone with an all-new tale of magic, mystery, and corruption….

How much must one pay for an hour of youthful folly? The Pureblood Registry accused Lucian de Remeni-Masson of “unseemly involvement with ordinaries,” which meant only that he spoke with a young woman not of his own kind, allowed her to see his face unmasked, worked a bit of magic for her….After that one mistake, Lucian’s grandsire excised half his magic and savage Harrowers massacred his family. Now the Registry has contracted his art to a common coroner. His extraordinary gift for portraiture is restricted to dead ordinaries—beggars or starvelings hauled from the streets.

But sketching the truth of dead men’s souls brings unforeseen consequences. Sensations not his own. Truths he cannot possibly know and dares not believe. The coroner calls him a cheat and says he is trying to weasel out of a humiliating contract. The Registry will call him mad—and mad sorcerers are very dangerous….

(*Check out the Author’s blog for contests and appearances!)

Blood_Games BLOOD GAMES by Chloe Neill (#10 in the New York Times bestselling Chicagoland Vampires series)

“IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A VAMPIRIC ROLE MODEL, YOU COULDN’T DO ANY BETTER THAN MERIT….CHICAGO IS LUCKY TO HAVE HER.”—#1 New York Times Bestselling Author Charlaine Harris

While Merit didn’t choose to become a vampire or Sentinel of Cadogan House, she vowed to fight for her House and its Master, and she’s managed to forge strong alliances with powerful supernaturals across Chicago. But even though Merit has had wild adventures, this may be her deadliest yet….

A killer is stalking Chicago, preying on humans and leaving his victims with magical souvenirs. The CPD hasn’t been able to track the assailant, and as the body count rises, the city is running out of options. Vampires and humans aren’t on great terms, but murder makes for strange bedfellows. Can Merit find the killer before she becomes a target?

(*Chloe Neill is running a big giveaway right now, including a grand prize of a Kindle Paperwhite, audiobooks and all kinds of Cadogan House swag.  Check it out!)

Downfall_Revise DOWNFALL by Rob Thurman (#9 in the New York Times bestselling Cal Leandros series)

I let it go—all of it. Everything I’d been saving up all my life, building and growing inside me, too much to hold in one half-human body. It pushed and fought to be free with a force that turned me into a bomb with a timer vibrating on zero. I was free.

But so was everything I’d fought so hard not to be….

Brothers Cal and Niko Leandros know trouble when they see it—and then proceed to wipe the floor with it. But now it seems their whole world is falling to pieces. Cal’s nightmarish monster side is growing ever stronger, changing Cal physically as well as mentally. Which is exactly what Grimm—Cal’s savage doppelgänger—wants. And when a covert supernatural organization decides that it’s time to put Cal down before he threatens pretty much everything else in existence, the brothers find themselves in a fight they actually might lose. But the dark temptations Cal has denied all his life may prove to be exactly what can save them.

Even if he must fall forever…

(*The author is running a fabulous contest until August 9th for signed copies and prints of some special character pics.)

Coming August 12th:

black ice BLACK ICE by Susan Krinard (#2 in the Midgard Series, which started with MIST and the novella FREEZE WARNING)

New York Times bestselling author Susan Krinard continues the thrilling urban fantasy series that began with Mist in Black Ice.

Centuries ago, all was lost in the Last Battle when the Norse gods and goddesses went to war. The elves, the giants, and the gods and goddesses themselves were all destroyed, leaving the Valkyrie known as Mist one of the only survivors.

Or so she thought.

The trickster god Loki has reappeared in San Francisco, and he has big plans for modern-day Earth. With few allies and fewer resources—but the eyes of the gods and goddesses of an old world upon her—it’s up to Mist to stop him before history repeats itself.

This year’s RWA was pretty amazing for me.  First, I LOVE San Antonio.  The Riverwalk is beautiful, peaceful, lush and a great place to visit.  Second, the people were, as always, fabulous.  I love catching up with my authors, meeting new people, finding myself standing next to a longtime heroine of mine (Susan Elizabeth Phillips) and trying not to fangirl.  I was blown away by the party settings and the innovative ways the publishers made their events special, from photo ops to flower pins and hairclips made from book pages.  Every time I thought, “This setting has =got= to be the best” I had to revise my opinion when I reached the next event.  In short, the publishers blew out all the stops and I enjoyed every moment of the conference.  So that you can share a bit of it with me, here are some pics.  Not nearly all I wanted to take (ref. my attempts not to fangirl), but a good representation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Me and the stellar Vicky Dreiling!

Next week I’m off to the Romance Writers of Australia Conference in Sydney.  So excited!

NEXUS!

Posted: July 24, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

nexus Huge CONGRATULATONS to Ramez Naam, whose awesome sf thriller NEXUS is a finalist for this year’s Endeavor Award!  Can’t keep track of all the author’s amazing awards and nominations?  Angry Robot has a handy-dandy checklist for you!

 

About to head to the airport for the Romance Writers of America’s Annual Conference.  Days and days of meetings, appointments, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, drinks, parties and sleep deprivation.  I love it!  A chance to reconnect with clients, editors, bloggers and friends.  For anyone looking for me, I’m doing the agent appointments.  I’ll also be part of the big Literacy Signing tonight and the Samhain signing from 1-2:30 on Saturday.  Come and find me!

In other news, Amy Christine Parker was kind enough to fly solo yesterday on our YA Rebels vlog. Check her out!  She’s talking about storyboarding and SAVE THE CAT.

 

That’s all for now.  “See” you next week with pics from RWA!