Friday Five: Amy Andrews

646Author: Amy Andrews
First published with Escape: 2014
Favourite romance trope: Small town
Ideal hero (in three words): Funny. Handy. Laidback.
Ideal heroine (in three words): Spunky. Quirky. Mouthy.
Latest book: Limbo

What began your romance writing career? Why do you write romance?

The need to not get off my electric blanket in the midst of a freezing cold English winter… (sorry, not very romantic!) I write romance for the happy sigh and because it privileges women’s experiences and sexuality.

Amy Andrews (2)

What do you do when you’re stuck with a scene?

I plough through. Even if its shite – I can fix that in rewrites.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever had to research for a book?

I’ve recently Googled bonnet (hood) heights for pickup trucks to figure out the logistics of my hero going down on my heroine…..never did that in my old job!

Amy Andrews (1)

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? Or any cute quirks in general?

I am boringly un-quirky. I save that for my characters!

Favourite book covers? What draws your eye to a romance cover?

I’m drawn to quirky or different covers. I really like the cartoony type covers (yes, I know, I’m the only one in the entire world….) because they can be really personalised/tailored to a book and are often quirky or different. Nothing quite like a hot man on romance cover or a really hot couple clearly into each other! And I really appreciate when the people on a cover actually fit the description of the characters in the book.


23731 (1)Six Feet Under meets Stephanie Plum in Amy Andrews’  fresh, funny, sexy urban-family noir about a country singer who almost made it, a private investigator who’s seen too much and a mother who will cross all barriers to save her child.

When ex hillbilly-punk rocker turned cadaver make-up artist Joy Valentine is visited by the ghost of a high-profile murder victim begging for Joy’s help to find her kidnapped baby girl, Joy knows from experience the cops are going to think she’s crazy.  So she takes it to the one guy she knows who won’t.

The last thing disgraced ex-cop turned private investigator Dash Dent expected is a woman from his past turning up to complicate his present with a nutty, woo-woo story. The problem is he knows Joy is telling the truth and he can’t ignore the compelling plight of baby Isabella whose disappearance six months prior transfixed the nation.

Discounted and discredited by the police, Dash and Joy work together to uncover the mystery and find Isabella, with a whacky supporting cast including Eve, a brothel madam; Stan, an excommunicated priest; Katie, Dash’s ten-year-old daughter; and two horny goldfish. It’s a race against time and against all odds – but the real battle for Dash and Joy might just be keeping their hands off each other.

 

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Feed Your Reader: A Romantic Mystery

31266A chance sighting leads to second chances – for hope, for family, and for love.

Five years ago, teenager Antonia disappeared. With no compelling evidence, the police eventually called her a run-away, and dropped the case. Her teacher, Jax, has always regretted not speaking up about the rumours she heard circling the school that day, but a random sighting at a train station raises the possibility that Antonia is still alive – and not too far away.

Antonia’s father, Connor has never given up hope that his daughter will be found and returned to her family. When her old teacher, Jax, calls him with a small spark of a lead, he seizes it with both hands, determined to chase it down.

But there’s more at play than simple teenage rebellion and the path Jax and Connor travel rapidly becomes more dangerous than either could have imagined, and opens up new possibilities that neither could have expected.

The Story of my Book: Blue Steal

by Marnie St Clair

I came to write Blue Steal because it was the kind of book I wanted to read.

First and foremost, I’m a romance reader, but I do love mystery. I spent one summer as a teenager on a three-month Agatha Christie binge. I swear I literally barely raised my head from the pages all summer long. But I do remember thinking, if only there were more kissing …

agatha_christie

And I am not alone. Romance readers tend to read widely, and one of their favourite other genres is mystery.1 Two fantastic genres – so why choose? Let’s throw them both in the pot. Hence, romantic mystery (or mystery romance) Blue Steal.

Romantic mystery is like romantic suspense’s older, quieter sister. They’re similar, but distinct genres. I read somewhere2 that suspense appeals to the heart, while mystery appeals to the head—in suspense, the bad guy is often a known quantity, and people read it for the heart-pumping constant threat of danger; on the other hand, people read mysteries to pit their wits against the investigator (or the author!), trying to solve the mystery before the big reveal. Of course, there’s overlap—protagonists in suspense novels often have some figuring out to do, while those in mysteries are often in danger at some point or another.

The hero of Blue Steal is private investigator Jack Tierney. I love books with private detectives – they’re halfway between the grittier, dutiful police procedurals and the more home-spun feel of the unwitting amateur detective cozies. PIs are fun to work with – they’ve got training and skills, some connections and experience, but not all the red tape and bureaucracy associated with the police force. Blue Steal is the first in a series of books featuring the detectives of de Crespigny Investigations. I had stacks of fun thinking up all the different personalities and detective styles. Jack is a loose cannon, wild card of a detective, who operates mostly by seeing patterns and trusting his gut. It works for him—he has a 100% success rate he has no intention of compromising.

But he hasn’t met my heroine Selina yet!

I hope you enjoy Blue Steal. I wanted it to be fun and fast-paced. I wanted it to have an atmospheric trapped-in-a-crumbling-hotel setting. I wanted it to have a fast-thinking, fast-talking heroine and a delicious, unorthodox hero. I hope I succeeded!

1 There are statistics somewhere to support this claim.

2 Oh yes, here comes another unsubstantiated claim.


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A witty, sexy and suspenseful story about a stolen necklace, a doomed hotel, and two people determined to get their hands on the jewels—at any cost.

Selina Migliore is smart and streetwise—with an ill sister and an elderly grandmother relying on her, she has to be. When fate hands her a chance to change her life, she’s determined to seize it. All she has to do is retrieve a long-lost sapphire necklace before the Empire Hotel is blown to smithereens. Nothing’s going to get in her way…

…except Jack Tierney, PI, who’s also on the hunt for the stolen jewellery. Jack is amused by his clashes with the pushy brunette, but as he continues to bump into Selina at strange times and in odd places, he starts to question who she is and what she’s doing at the Empire.

The pressure cooker really heats up when a new player enters the scene and it becomes apparent that Jack’s not the only one keeping an eye on Selina…