02-18-2010 09:03 PM - edited 02-18-2010 09:03 PM
02-18-2010 09:05 PM
Take a front row seat to suspense!
Avon/Harpercollins launched Jordan Dane's debut suspense novels in a back to back publishing event in Spring 2008 after buying the 3-book series in auction. Pursuing publication since 2003, Jordan had received awards in 33 national writing competitions and was an energy sales manager in the oil and gas industry prior to selling. Now she is following her passion and writes full time.
Ripped from the headlines, Jordan's gritty plots weave a tapestry of vivid settings, intrigue, and dark humor. She loves challenging a reader's moral barometer with the borderline ethics of her characters and their flawed personalities—dark, angst-ridden antiheroes pitted against unforgettable villains.Publishers Weekly compared her intense pacing to Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, and Tami Hoag—"romantic suspense that crosses over into plain thriller country with tight plotting and exceptional male characters, both bad guys and good."
Jordan and her husband share their residence with two cats of highborn lineage and the spirit of an intelligent canine who is impossible to forget.
Photo credit: Kim Haynes Photography
02-18-2010 09:07 PM
02-18-2010 09:10 PM - edited 02-18-2010 10:36 PM
Jordan's website is here: http://jordandane.com/
She's on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1464946740&
THE ECHO OF VIOLENCE
The man she'd trust with her heart could sabotage everything... When terrorists attack a Haitian missionary school, brutally killing their hostages and posting videos of the senseless murders online, time is running out. Sentinels' agent Alexa Marlowe is forced into an unlikely alliance with a relentless mercenary. But he is no stranger. Jackson Kinkaid witnessed the raid, and only he can track the killers to their mountain stronghold. Guarding a dark secret, rumored to sell his services to the highest bidder, Jackson is not the same man Alexa once knew. And although he can lead her to the terrorist leader she's been ordered to take alive, how can she be sure he won't sabotage her mission to save the one person who got him through the worst nightmare of his life?
02-18-2010 09:20 PM
Jordan is on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/jordandanebooks
April 9-11, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Heartland New Day Book Festival—Edmond, OK
Jordan will be keynote speaker & serve on various panels—More to come.
Coffee Time Romance, Online Writing Class
"Master Class for Writing Suspense"
Join national bestseller & critically acclaimed Jordan Dane when she shares her "Master Class in Writing Suspense." In this unique online class, Dane will provide a comprehensive workshop on writer's craft. Ask your questions after every daily session and all during the week of October 4th. Answers will be posted the following week—October 11-17th.
I love networking with other writers. It's almost as much fun as writing itself. So I wanted to share my thoughts on the craft of writing and other related topics. Please remember these are only my ideas and what works for me. They are not 'rules.' Above all, I hope you find these suggestions useful.
What Every Virgin Author Needs to Know
Scorsese Move Over! How to Make Your Own Book Trailer and Save Money
The Agent Question—Will They Respect Me in the Morning?
My First Sale Story
Making the Most of MySpace
The Art of Character Building—The Chicken or The Egg
The Dreaded Synopsis or "They want it in how many pages?"
Q & A—Jordan Dane On Writing Contests—Prior to being SOLD
Start with a BANG—It's all about PACE
9-Act Screenplay Structure—Plotting Resource
02-18-2010 09:23 PM - edited 02-18-2010 09:24 PM
In the Arms of Stone Angels
Coming from Harlequin Teen in 2011
Three years ago, Brenna Nash was the only witness to a murder. And that moment changed her forever. Now at sixteen, she is still tormented by what she’d done. Brenna had turned in the killer—the only true friend she had—and the first boy she ever loved.
The shocking image of Jacob “White Bird” Henry—a half-breed outcast to the Euchee tribe kneeling over the body—still haunts Brenna. When she is forced to return to the small town in Oklahoma where her ordeal happened, she is shocked to learn that White Bird is not in prison. He’s being held in a mental hospital. Frozen in time, he’s locked in his own mind in a catatonic state at the worst moment of his life. And when Brenna realizes she is as trapped by the past as he is, she knows she must do something to free them both.
She has to find out why he did it—and reach him…wherever he is now.
I sleep with the dead.
I don’t remember the first time I did it and I try not to think about why. It’s just something I do. And my fascination with the dead has become part of me, like the way my middle toes jut out. They make my feet look like they’re shooting the finger twenty-four seven. My ‘screw you’ toes are my best feature, but that doesn’t mean I brag about them. Those babies are kept under wraps—just for my entertainment—the same way I now keep my habit of sleeping in cemeteries a secret from anyone. Not even my mother knows I sneak out at night sometimes to curl up with the headstones … and the stillness. Some things are best left unsaid.
In the arms of stone angels, I’m not afraid.
I wish I had remembered the part about not telling secrets when I came across my friend White Bird under the bridge at Cry Baby Creek. A woman’s spirit cries for her dead baby and haunts that old rusted steel and wood plank footbridge. Back then I’d seen her plenty of times, I swear to God. She never talked to me.
She only cried and clutched the limp body of her baby to her chest.
When I saw White Bird crying in the shadows of that dry creek bed, just like the ghost of that woman, the sight of him sent chills over my skin. I should have paid attention to what my body was telling me back then
—to stay away and leave him alone—but I didn’t.
He was rocking in the shadows and muttering words I didn’t understand. When I got closer, I saw he wasn’t alone, but I couldn’t see the girl’s face. And tears were running down his cheeks. They glistened in the gray of morning, at the razor’s edge of dawn. I wish I had stayed where I was that day—hiding in the dark—but my curiosity grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go.
Like an omen, the buzz of flies should have warned me. And thinking back on it, I wished that I had paid more attention to the sound. Even now, a single housefly can trigger that dark memory. And on nights when the dead can’t comfort me to sleep, I still hear the unending noise of those flies and I think of him.
Our paths had crossed that day as if it was always meant to be and both of us were powerless to stop it.
I remember that morning like it was yesterday and I can’t get him out of my head.
White Bird was the first boy I ever loved. He was a half-breed, part Euchee Indian and part whatever. He was an outcast like me, only I couldn’t claim anything cool like being Indian. Because he was half-breed and without parents, the Euchee didn’t officially claim him, but that didn’t matter to White Bird. In his heart he belonged to the Dala, the Bear clan of the tribe, because the bear represented the power of Mother Earth.
And the strong animal was a totem sign of the healer. The way I saw it, he had picked his clan well.
In school, the teachers called him by his white name, Jacob Henry. But when it was just the two of us, he preferred I call him by his Indian name and that made me feel real special. He was different from the other boys at my school. I was convinced he had an ancient soul. He was quiet and didn’t speak much, even to
me. But when he did open his mouth, the other kids listened and so did I.
Some people were scared of him because he was taller and bigger than most of the boys and he kept to himself. Sometimes he would get into fights. But after he got his tribal band tattoos, the fights stopped and everyone left him alone, including his teachers. His tattoos made him look like a man. And that was fine by me.
He wore his dark hair long to his shoulders and his eye color had flecks of gold and green that reminded me of a field of wheat blowing easy in the Oklahoma wind. And his dark skin made me think of a golden swirl of sweet caramel. That’s how I thought of him before the nightmare happened. He dominated my mind like a tune I couldn’t get out of my head, something unforgettable and special.
White Bird was my first crush.
And in a perfect world, my first crush should have been unforgettable and magic. But when mine turned out to be the worst nightmare of my pathetic excuse for a life, I knew I’d never deserve to be happy and that magic was overrated. And as for White Bird being unforgettable, the day I saw him under that bridge covered in blood and ranting like a crazed meth head over a girl’s corpse with a knife in his hand, I knew that image would be burned into my brain forever.
It was highly unlikely that I’d forget him and I made sure he’d never forget me. I was the one who turned him in to the sheriff.
02-18-2010 09:27 PM
02-18-2010 09:28 PM
02-19-2010 09:43 AM
Hey there Becke--First let me say how wonderful it is to be with you here on B&N's great book discussion boards. You've done an outstanding job in featuring romantic suspense. And so many of the authors that came earlier in the month are my favorite reads and I consider some of them dear friends.
My first sale story is pretty crazy and wonderful. Being an avid reader, I always had wondered what it would be like to write a novel. And writing (in some fashion) had always been a passion of mine, but I never thought I could make a living from it. But after years of being in the energy industry as an accountant turned sales/marketing/commodity trader, I decided it was time to find out if I could do it. I researched the publishing industry and saw how well romance was selling. It's the strongest genre and continues to be a force in the publishing industry. A success, even in these hard economic times. But I was reading espionage thrillers and crime fiction, so I had to become familiar with romance and found some wonderful authors who wrote an emotional story that I found very satisfying. I tried writing straight romance. And even though I had some success with that, it wasn't until I began writing romantic suspense (marrying my love for crime fiction with my work), that I felt really comfortable with the genre.
I'd been writing for 3.5 years, coming home every night and writing for 3-4 hours and longer on weekends. I had no life, but I was fueled by a passion I had never tapped into. What a high!! I'd been a finalist in many national writing contests, including the Golden Heart in 2005, which is the biggee for the Romance Writers of America, their version of the Oscars. But when I learned I needed an operation that was going to keep me on medical leave for 6 weeks--my hysterectomy--my main thought was "But how am I going to write?" Typical writer. While I was on leave from work, I wrote (almost in its entirety) NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM, my debut book. (That book was named Best Book of 2008 by Publishers Weekly, Massmarket Paperback.) So when I went back to work, I was on cloud 9. I knew this book would sell. I was getting agent interest, but it wasn't until I had a friend read the entire book that I struck gold. NYT bestselling author Sharon Sala was a fellow member of my writing group who always offers to read an entire manuscript by an unpubbed member and provide a light critique. I took her up on her offer. I'd never had anyone read my entire story before.
Well, she called me after reading it all in one sitting, breathless. She said, "Honey, where do you have this?" I'll never forget that phone call. Sharon got me into her publisher and got me a read from her agent. Her agent offered my representation after she'd read my book on a plane cover to cover and within 10 days or so, my agent had stirred up an auction (where several houses bid for the same book) after Sharon's house went to committee to buy the book. Avon HarperCollins was the successful bidder and my first three books came out back to back Apr thru May 2008, two years after I sold in 2006.
Yes, it takes time to get three books incorporated into a production schedule. I had two of the books written and the third was partially done, so I asked my agent to see if Avon would be willing to buy 3 more books while I was waiting for my books to be released. My agent was skeptical about asking, but she did anyway. And Avon bought three more books before I had any on the shelves. Amazing! It was a stroke of good luck to sell before our economy went south. And Avon has continued to buy my Sweet Justice series. They've been wonderful to work with. A real dream come true. I love my editor, Lucia Macro, and all the staff at Avon. They've been so good to me.
Thanks for asking about my first sale. I didn't know I had to sacrifice a body part to sell, but that's commitment, right?
02-19-2010 10:14 AM
Jordan, what an incredible story. And it's great to have friends like Sharon. I can just imagine your heart stopping when she asked you "where do you have this". It couldn't have happened to a better author.
Your novels have all the necessary things that I love in my reading materials, great characters, wonderful dialogue and edge of your seat suspense.
Thanks for sharing yourself with us today. Can't wait to read the next big adventure you take us on.
02-19-2010 10:35 AM
I met Sharon Sala briefly at RWA National last summer and remembered how she'd helped you. She really is such a nice woman, and her books are really good, too! She was featured here our first week of the Month of Romantic Suspense.
I met Jordan at RWA, too, at the big book signing where she was surrounded by adoring fans! Jordan, I choked on my tea when I read this:
" I didn't know I had to sacrifice a body part to sell, but that's commitment, right?"
I hadn't thought of it that way, but it's really true in your case, isn't it?
*sigh* As a struggling writer, stories like yours give me chills. I'm not exaggerating - goosebumps all over my arms. I remember shortly after I read your first book we connected online somehow. Facebook? MySpace? A blog? I can't remember exactly how we "met", but you told me your story and I've never forgotten it. Didn't you sell six books within just a few weeks, too, in big auctions? I know I see your books everywhere I go now -- bookstores, grocery stores, etc. And then I think of your story and I get those chills all over again.
You've got a couple of exciting things coming up - the new YA books plus an upcoming release. Can you tell us more about those?
02-19-2010 10:36 AM
02-19-2010 11:10 AM
Hey Debbie--Thanks so much for stopping by. And I'm blushing from your comments. I'm glad you like my books. Wow!
Sharon totally blew me away. Her generosity is truly amazing. After she helped me, she offered to read EVERYONE's manuscript in our chapter and got bombarded with the works of aspiring authors in our local chapter. She dug in and read every one. She helped three aspiring authors get agents and we're hopeful they will sell. There are loads of generous authors within the industry, but someone like Sharon really stands out. A gifted author as well as an amazing human being.
I tried to stay focused on my work, even after I sold. I didn't want to celebrate too much--maybe I was afraid this wasn't really happening to me. But when I got my cover flats, the artwork for the cover minus the book, I was alone at my house, sitting on my sofa staring at them. When my husband came home, I proudly showed him. He didn't say much at first, just walked into our kitchen. Seconds later he came back and said, "My God, you're gonna be in a library." He had a tear in his eye and we hugged. That's when I cried like a baby. All the emotion flooded out of me--a lifetime of wanting this--and I hadn't realized how much he had wanted it for me too. I'm so lucky to have him in my life.
Writing has been a real gift for me. It's added to my quality of life. And pursuing a passion that I've had since I was a kid, looking for books in my local library, has enriched my life.
My next big adventure is THE ECHO OF VIOLENCE (Sept 2010) and I LOVE that book. I've fallen in love with Jackson Kinkaid, a new character to the series. And this is Alexa Marlowe's story, a real adventure into the lush mountains of Cuba. Thanks for your comment.
02-19-2010 11:29 AM
What I didn't say and should have is that the whole reason I sought you out online was because I loved your first book and wanted to know when I could read more. Luckily, I didn't have long to wait. And I'm happy to see so many others agree with me - I'm so glad you're finding such success! It's wonderful to see authors making their mark even when the publishing business is having a hard time.
Sounds like you have a real catch there with your husband - I got choked up reading that!
What led you to start writing YA? I know that genre is really hot right now, but what made you decide to go in a different direction? Will you be writing mostly in that genre now, or can we still expect more romantic suspense from you?