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becke_davis
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A belated welcome to our Tuesday Visiting Author, NINA BRUHNS!

[ Edited ]

Many apologies to Nina - I'm running around madly trying to catch up with things after having a power cut. It's been storming since last night and I'm afraid my power might go out again.

 

Because I'm late, I've asked Nina to extend her visit through Wednesday -- I'm sure you won't mind!

 

So, first of all, please welcome: Romantic suspense author NINA BRUHNS!

 

Shoot to Thrill   Prince Charming for 1 Night (Silhouette Romantic Suspense #1568)   Night Mischief (Silhouette Nocturne #25)   If Looks Could Chill   The Rebel Prince (Silhouette Romantic Suspense #1504)   Blue Jeans and a Badge (Silhouette Intimate Moments #1361)   The Forbidden Enchantment (Silhouette Romantic Suspence #1454)   Killer Temptation (Silhouette Romantic Suspense Series #1516)   Top-Secret Bride (Silhouette Romantic Suspense #1480)  

 

Message Edited by becke_davis on 08-04-2009 01:25 PM
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becke_davis
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Re: A belated welcome to our Tuesday Visiting Author, Nina Bruhns!

Check out Nina's website here: http://www.ninabruhns.com/

 

 And read more about Nina and her books here:

 

 http://www.intimatemomentsauthors.com/authors/nina-bruhns/

 

You can friend her on Facebook here:  (Facebook is blocking me, I'll come back and fix this)

 

And become a fan of Nina's here:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nina-Bruhns/41984254946?ref=search

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becke_davis
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Re: A belated welcome to our Tuesday Visiting Author, Nina Bruhns!

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becke_davis
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Re: A belated welcome to our Tuesday Visiting Author, Nina Bruhns!

Message from Nina, copied from Mystery in August thread:

 

 Okay folks! Not sure if this is the right place, but here goes! :smileyvery-happy:

 

 I'm Nina Bruhns, the author of SHOOT TO THRILL, which comes out today! 

Shoot to Thrill 

 

I'm pretty excited, as this is my debut romantic thriller from Berkley (Penguin). I've had about 15 novels published by Silhouette prior to this, in their Romantic Suspense line. But those are of a much shorter format, so it's been great fun stretching into the larger scope of mainstream fiction! 

 

SHOOT TO THRILL is a fast-paced, international spec ops-style thriller, which features some interestingly flawed characters, exotic settings, and naturally a lot of sizzling-hot romance. ;D It is book 1 of a 3-book series, book 2 of which, IF LOOKS COULD CHILL, comes out in  December, and book 3, A KISS TO KILL, comes out in April next year. 

 

I'll be hanging around all day, so if you have any questions for me about the book, or writing, or whatever's on your mind, I'll be happy to answer them!  :smileyvery-happy:

 

Meanwhile, for more info on SHOOT TO THRILL, me, or my books, check out my website at NinaBruhns.com

 

Good reading!!!

Nina

 

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becke_davis
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Re: A belated welcome to our Tuesday Visiting Author, NINA BRUHNS!

This is from Nina's website:

 

 Nina Bruhns

 

"A woman with a varied and checkered past:"

 

 

 Iguess that’s how I’d describe myself (though it makes my husband crazy :smileyvery-happy:)

 

Byprofession, I’m really an archaeologist (an Egyptologist) but I’ve worked allkinds of jobs, from real estate to a fabric store clerk to a student counselorat the Fulbright Commission in Stockholm, Sweden. My favorite was a work-studyjob in grad school (go U of C!), reorganizing the ancient Egyptian pottery atthe University of Chicago’s famous Oriental Institute. The pay was lousy, butholding ceramic jars actually touched by Ramses II and King Tut wasawe-inspiring and unbelievably exciting.

 

I’velived all over the USA, and even spent six years in Europe. I love to travel.Maybe because my great-grandfather was an Hungarian gypsy–my only ancestor whowas not Danish. A few years back, my family and I moved to Charleston, SouthCarolina, which has also been a wonderful adventure. It’s amazing here, andI’ve finally found “home.”

 

Ilove archaeology, but doing fieldwork in The Sudan, Africa (my area ofspecialty within Egyptology) isn’t too practical with children and a husbandwho has a normal job. So when I thought about what I’d like to do instead, Iset out to fulfill my lifelong dream of being a writer. Now I have myadventures through my characters. I can give my heroines the thrills andexcitement all women dream of having, but I never have to change out of myjammies to do it. My kind of job!

 

Mynovels to date have done me very proud by walking away with such prestigioushonors as the National Readers’ Choice Award, the overall Daphne du MaurierAward of Excellence in Mystery/Supense (three times), the Dorothy Parker Award(five times), as well as being nominated for the RITA Award (twice), which isthe equivalent of an Oscar nomination in the movie biz…to name just a few. Mybooks have also made it onto the WaldenBooks Bestseller List, and been namedfavorite book of the year by Romantic Times along with several online reviewsites.

 

Sensually,I’ll admit I like to push the envelope in my stories. I think much of theappeal of romance is the seductive fantasy it allows women to indulge insafely. A woman whose days are filled with diapers or spreadsheets, PTA orsales meetings, wants to be swept away in a romantic fantasy for a few hours,into a world where she can quench her thirst for love and romantic adventure,and fulfill her dreams of a man who instinctively satisfies her deepestyearnings. I love writing about feisty heroines who do things I would neverdare to do in real life. My heroes are dark and dangerous men who oozesensuality–but who know how to treat a lady.

 

Thisyear I’ll be starting another fabulous adventure, taking the plunge into thelarger fiction arena with a romantic thriller trilogy coming out starting inAugust ‘09 from New York powerhouse Berkley Publishing (part ofPenguin/Putnam). I can’t tell you how excited I am to be stepping onto abroader stage with longer, more complex suspense stories. But not to worry, Iwill still concentrate mainly on the emotional and sensual sides of therelationship between the hero and heroine along with the page-turning suspenseI am known for. For me, there is just nothing better than creating aheart-tugging love story along with a thrill-ride adventure. I hope you agree!

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becke_davis
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Re: A belated welcome to our Tuesday Visiting Author, NINA BRUHNS!

I can't post actual video clips here, but I found some links:

 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpyIHgRmav8

 

 http://www.youtube.com/user/NinaBruhns

 

Nina - if I've missed anything (blogs, reviews, interviews, book trailers) let me know and I'll post them. 

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becke_davis
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Re: A belated welcome to our Tuesday Visiting Author, NINA BRUHNS!

Whew. I don't consider myself a techie (I can hear my husband laughing as I write this), but power cuts make me realize how dependent I am on electricity!

 

(*stops to catch breath*)

 

Nina - welcome to the book club -- which, as you will see, is more of a chat room for mystery lovers. It's a ladies' week at Mystery (we'll have some authors with testosterone visiting later in the month).

 

On Jeanne Adams' thread, we were discussing what makes a book "romantic suspense" as opposed to mystery with romance. Sometimes it's hard to tell why a book is marketed one way rather than the other. Yours I would definitely classify as romantic suspense, but I'm curious what you think about this distinction. 

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NinaBruhns
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Re: A belated welcome to our Tuesday Visiting Author, NINA BRUHNS!

[ Edited ]

Shoot to Thrill

 

Thanks Becke! Sorry about your electrical storm! We've been having storms here in Charleston, too, and over the weekend my internet was going on and off and driving me nuts! Seems to be working today, tho, thank goodness!!!

 

Okay, as to your question about the difference between "romantic suspense" and  "mystery/suspense with romantic elements"...

 

Well, the big difference is the amount of romance that's in the story.

 

Romantic suspense novels have the relationship between the hero and heroine as a main focus of the book. Not necessarily the biggest focus, but a large one. The mix between the romance and the msytery or suspense elements varies between authors, and sometimes even between publishers, but in general I'd say the mix ranges between 70/30% romance vs mystery/suspense, all the way to 30/70%. My books would definitely fall into the first group. I write about couples falling in love, using a suspense or thriller framework to keep the characters in conflict and danger, and the story exciting.

 

The thing about RS is, regardless of the mix, both the romance and the mystery/suspense must be integral to the story. In other words, if you took out one or the other part of the plot, the book would fall apart. The romance must drive the suspense, and the suspense or mystery must drive the romance.

 

If that's not the case, if the romance is just a subplot, an "extra" put in by the author to give the hero or heroine added dimension, or the plot itself a bit of spice, or for whatever reason, that would be a "mystery/suspense with romantic elements." You could easily take out the romance, and the plot would not suffer(though the characters might!).

 

Does that make sense? 

 

Nina

 

Message Edited by NinaBruhns on 08-04-2009 04:02 PM
Nina Bruhns
www.NinaBruhns.com
SHOOT TO THRILL, Berkley, Aug 09
IF LOOKS COULD CHILL, Berkley, Dec 09
A KISS TO KILL, Berkley, Apr 10
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becke_davis
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Re: A belated welcome to our Tuesday Visiting Author, NINA BRUHNS!

Thanks for the clarification -- I, and others here, have ben trying to pin down these differences.  You've written a LOT of books! Would you tell us a little about how you came to be a writer?
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WendyWP
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Re: A belated welcome to our Tuesday Visiting Author, NINA BRUHNS!

HI Nina,

I have a question :smileywink:

Do you think that marketing a "romantic suspense" with a more "mystery/suspense" cover would allow the book to reach a larger reader pool?

 

Do you think that many expect "romantic suspense" to have fluffly suspense and don't expect them to be gritty, or hard suspense novels?

 

If you had to pick one suspense/mystery novel that you would say most appeals to you what would it be?

 

Same question above about "romantic suspense"?

 

hugs,

WendyK

I'm a Dangerous Reader!
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dancealertBR
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Re: A belated welcome to our Tuesday Visiting Author, Nina Bruhns!

Hello Nina -

 

I don't know much about writing any type of book! I thought I would stop by and say hello and congratulations on breaking into another genre!

 

Brenda

I'm a Dangerous Reader!
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NinaBruhns
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Re: Tuesday Visiting Author, NINA BRUHNS!

Well, Becke...it was a long and twisty road to becoming a writer... LOL!!!

 

Actually, I wrote my first screenplay (a romantic suspense! :smileyvery-happy:) in the 4th grade. I should have known right then which way the wind blew, but it took many years before I decided to try writing seriously. I studied archaeology, with a specialty in Egyptology, specifically Nubia (the Sudan), which is what my degrees are in. But although I loved the fieldwork, it was becoming increasingly dangerous to travel to those places. Plus I got married and started having kids. So that's when I got serious about writing.

 

I’d always toyed with the idea of writing a mystery since that's what I loved reading, but I also often felt that an essential ingredient was missing from most mystery novels I'd read—a satisfying emotional relationship.

 

We were living in LA at the time, so I started taking classes in screenwriting, thinking to write "woman in jeopardy" movies for cable tv... but back then it was still very tough for a woman of a certain age (like, over 24) to break into Hollywood. So I took a weekend seminar in Women's Fiction, which is where I discovered romance for the first time. I was immediately hooked! I picked up my first romantic suspense and it took about 3 seconds to realize this was what I wanted to write. Soon after that I finished my first novel, which was based on a screenplay I'd written earlier that year for one of my classes. 

 

A few years later I sold to Silhouette. 

Nina Bruhns
www.NinaBruhns.com
SHOOT TO THRILL, Berkley, Aug 09
IF LOOKS COULD CHILL, Berkley, Dec 09
A KISS TO KILL, Berkley, Apr 10
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becke_davis
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Re: Tuesday Visiting Author, NINA BRUHNS!

Oh, I love stories like that! How many books have you had published, all told? I lost track!

 

I want to second Wendy's questions:

 

 

HI Nina,

I have a question :smileywink:

Do you think that marketing a "romantic suspense" with a more "mystery/suspense" cover would allow the book to reach a larger reader pool?

 

Do you think that many expect "romantic suspense" to have fluffly suspense and don't expect them to be gritty, or hard suspense novels?

 

If you had to pick one suspense/mystery novel that you would say most appeals to you what would it be?

 

Same question above about "romantic suspense"?

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NinaBruhns
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Re: Tuesday Visiting Author, NINA BRUHNS!

Wow, Wendy. Great question!

 

Hmm. I do think that a lot of publishers think that marketing a book as "general fiction" as opposed to "romance"  will garner a wider audience. That may be true to a certain extent, in that you would probably pick up a lot more male readers than otherwise. Nora Roberts has proven that with her JD Robb pseudonym, which has tons of loyal fans of both persuasions. But she has also been very careful in fulfilling her "reader promise" to those general fiction readers. Those books are very gritty, and there is not a lot of Nora's trademark romantic sensibility or emotional introspection, or love scenes, etc. So if you choose to go that route, be sure you are delivering a story that fits the marketing. 

 

The problem with marketing a true romantic suspense as general fiction is you will a) lose many of your romance readers because they don't look beyond the romance section in the bookstore --and everyone knows romance fans read more books than anyone else on the planet, so why would you want to leave that wonderful pool of readers?-- and b) you may get male readers to pick up the book, but if there is too much emotional content, regardless of the cover, they will probably not pick up your next book. Men often don't care

for the more relationship-oriented, character driven plots we women tend to write, as opposed to the usual plot-driven story they most often get from male authors (obviously, these are terribly sweeping generalizations, and there are many, many exceptions in both directions). Anyway, so what happens is, when your next book comes out, you've got a net loss in readers. Not good.

 

Personally, I wouldn't ever want "fiction" on the spine of one of my books. I write for women, and I am proud to be in the romance section! And I love my cover. It conveys perfectly what's inside :smileyvery-happy:.

 

As for fluffy... LOL!!! Yes, that may be the perception. And it may even be the case in reality. Because when a reader picks up a romance novel, even a romantic suspense novel, there is a certain expectation of what will be inside. I for one do not like my romantic suspense reads to be filled with blood and gore. I like a good challenging mystery, or a thrilling danger-filled suspense, but I don't want to see horrible, gross things on the page. At least not too graphically depicted. In the background, yes. On the page, no.

 

I would not consider SHOOT TO THRILL fluffy on any level, but it is not super gritty either, as say, Lisa Gardner's books are. THRILL is gritty for a romance, but it has the emotional content to buffer that grit. 

 

To be honest...I don't read many books that aren't romance. I usually don't care for stories without a romantic relationship being explored in some way. However, if I had to choose, it would definitely be any book by Tony Hillerman. Those are all fabulous mysteries, and the characters are great. Not to mention the setting! And of course, Tamar Myers is terrific. Her upcoming book set in Africa (The Witch Doctor's Wife) is utterly amazing. 

 

Romantic suspense? Lord, there are too many to mention! I'm a big fan of Suzanne Brockmann, and Lisa Gardner (tho I'll admit I skip some of her paragraphs ;D), Allison Brenan and Deb Webb, to name just a few. There are SO many exceptional romantic suspense authors. 

 

Thanks for the question!!!

Nina

Nina Bruhns
www.NinaBruhns.com
SHOOT TO THRILL, Berkley, Aug 09
IF LOOKS COULD CHILL, Berkley, Dec 09
A KISS TO KILL, Berkley, Apr 10
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becke_davis
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Re: Tuesday Visiting Author, NINA BRUHNS!

I just want to remind everyone, before I forget, that Nina will be here tomorrow, too. Usually Tuesday visiting authors just stay for the day, but since I was late getting Nina's intro up, I asked her to stay tomorrow, too.
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NinaBruhns
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Re: Tuesday Visiting Author, NINA BRUHNS!

Gosh, Becke... I'll have to go to my bookshelf and count. LOL!!! (thank goodness I haven't written as many as my friend Marie Ferrarella...I think she's up to 250!).

 

Okay, I've had 16 books published with Silhouette Romantic Suspense, Silhouette Intimate Moments, and Silhouette Nocturne. Plus, I've published 2 books under my erotica pseudonym, Nikita Black.

 

SHOOT TO THRILL is my first book with Berkley (Penguin), where I have 2 more in the pipeline there, plus a Nikita Black erotic novella with Berkley Heat scheduled for June '10. I also have a 3-book series coming out with Silhouette Nocturne next year, which are paranormals set in Egypt. 

 

It's been a busy year!!!

Nina

Nina Bruhns
www.NinaBruhns.com
SHOOT TO THRILL, Berkley, Aug 09
IF LOOKS COULD CHILL, Berkley, Dec 09
A KISS TO KILL, Berkley, Apr 10
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becke_davis
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Re: Tuesday Visiting Author, NINA BRUHNS!

Any way you look at it, that is a LOT of books! Congrats on the deal with Berkley - that's really exciting, especially in this economic climate.

 

And tell Marie a lot of her books (not 250, but several) are in my bookcase!

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sue147
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Re: A belated welcome to our Tuesday Visiting Author, Nina Bruhns!

Hi Nina..so happy to be able to stop in a say hello.  I love your books and always nice to drop by and let you know.  Keep up with the good work.  Have a Nice day.  susan L.
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NinaBruhns
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Re: Tuesday Visiting Author, Nina Bruhns!

Thanks Susan and Brenda!!! Glad you could drop in. :smileyvery-happy: Love hearing from readers!!!

 

Nina

Nina Bruhns
www.NinaBruhns.com
SHOOT TO THRILL, Berkley, Aug 09
IF LOOKS COULD CHILL, Berkley, Dec 09
A KISS TO KILL, Berkley, Apr 10
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kerribookwriter
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Re: A belated welcome to our Tuesday Visiting Author, NINA BRUHNS!

Hello dearest Nina!

 

I can relate to the hostess' electrical problems of yesterday.  We lost power for over an hour and our power lines are underground here!  What does that mean?  Eeek!

 

Anyway, I saw your announcement over at Dangerous Women and had to come by and give you a shout out.  I'm a huge fan of Ms. Nina and want to be just like you when I grow up.  Of course, I'm 35 with 2 kids (and #3 on the way) but I'm hoping to grow up any day now. :smileyvery-happy:

 

Had to comment on your new upcoming thriller trilogy!  That is right up my alley as a reader.  As a writer, I'm so beyond thrilled and proud for you, my friend.  How wonderful for you!  Woot!  I would do the happy dance for you but since I'm pregnant and clumsy right now...I'd better digress.

 

Nina, I do have a question.  What advice can you give me about snagging the right agent for me?  I've gotten a lot of requests for full and partials but can't seem to acquire that representation that I feel I need to take the next leap forward.  Can you offer any advice on that?

 

Also, can you give us any more details about your new trilogy?  I know I'd feel overwhelmed at the task of penning a cohesive trilogy.  How do you do it???

 

All the best,

 

Kerri