Drop Dead Crime
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense with stories by
Lisa Regan, Leslie Wolfe, Colleen Helme, Amy Vansant, Julie Smith
Five women. Five sublime authors of crime fiction. One stunning book.
Gripping thrillers, packed with deviously executed crimes and in-depth investigations are some of the most popular reads available on traditional and virtual book shelves today.
Now, you can sample some of the best female writers of crime fiction, in Drop Dead Crime, a collection of novellas packed with the twisted plotlines and memorable characters that excite readers and leave them demanding more.
Lisa Regan, Leslie Wolfe, Colleen Helme, Amy Vansant, and Julie Smith are among the most skilled and prolific writers of the genre today, and each one knows exactly how to tease a story to maximum effect. Their use of strong female leads, combined with delicately balanced plots, means suspense is always kept at a fever pitch—ready to boil over at any second.
Lisa Regan’sOver The Edge is guaranteed to keep you up at night. When P.I. Jocelyn Rush witnesses a young mother jump from a bridge, she is determined to solve the mystery of why, and what she finds is a complex web of secrets and lies so shocking it could destroy the people left behind.
Leslie Wolfe introduces FBI Agent Tess Winnett in Not Really Dead, a fast-paced, intense thriller about a serial killer who makes a terrible mistake.
Colleen Helme stuns with Behind Blue Eyes. A grisly murder along with a new client hiding a deadly secret is just the beginning for Shelby Nichols, mind reader extraordinaire. Don't miss this exciting thriller!
In Amy Vansant’s exclusive novella Parental Kilt, the stars of her "Kilty" romantic suspense series, Catriona Phoenix and Brochan the Highlander, find themselves trapped in a serial killer's maze during a movie wrap-party gone wrong. The serial killer was supposed to be dead, but the bodies are piling up...
Julie Smith brings a dazzling story of suspense, The Big Crazy.Detective Skip Langdon, NOPD, while navigating a world of chaos and betrayal after Hurricane Katrina, takes on a gang of rogue cops who may be acting as self-appointed executioners.
Get a copy of Drop Dead Crime today and sample some of the best crime fiction writing, from some of the best female crime writers around!
Excerpt From Over the Edge A Jocelyn Rush Story
Molly Five Years Ago My feet pound along the packed-earth Wissahickon Creek trail. Sweat drips from the nape of my neck, down the length of my spine, and into the back of my shorts. It beads on my nose, falling as I run, and turns my hair, pulled tightly into a ponytail, slick and heavy on the back of my neck. I’ve been running along this path four times a week for six months, and once every few times out, I manage to overtake him on the trail. I tried not to notice him, but all that lean muscle called out to me. I knew he saw me too. Then one day, as I ran past him, I turned and met his eyes. Blue fire. He smiled. I smiled back. I ran ahead. He followed. From then on, it’s been a game we play. This section of the creek trail is called Forbidden Drive. The irony isn’t lost on me the day something finally happens. The morning is fresh and dewy, sunlight slipping through the canopy of trees overhead, dappling everything around me. I see his back. Today he is shirtless, and every muscle in his back and shoulders ripple, glistening with sweat. I run up beside him, closer this time. When I turn to catch his eye, there is something there that wasn’t before. An acknowledgment. I see you, those fiery blue eyes seem to say. I know what you want. I run ahead. Far ahead but not so far that he loses sight of me. I veer off the trail at a break in the trees, my feet crushing the brush beneath them. I hear a snapping twig behind me, and I know he’s there. I stop when I reach a kind of clearing. It’s big enough, private enough. I put my hands against a tree trunk, leaning over, my breath coming fast and hard from the slightly uphill run through uneven terrain. He doesn’t talk. Hands grip my hips, digging into the flesh. Hot breath slides down the nape of my neck. It doesn’t take long. We’re not wearing much to begin with, and our bodies are already shiny and wet with sweat. Once we’ve both shuddered with satisfaction, we part ways, wordless. It happens a few more times after that. No words. No names. Then the winter sets in, and I turn to the treadmill for my daily jog. Sometimes at night, lying in bed, I close my eyes and remember how he felt, the way his blue eyes caught me in their snare. I remember the way my body reacted to the things he did. The risks I took. I’m glad it’s over. It was only a dream. A kinky fantasy. Fleeting. Gone forever. I think I won’t ever see him again.
Lisa Regan is the USA Today & Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Detective Josie Quinn series as well as several other crime fiction titles. She has a Bachelor's degree in English and a Master of Education degree from Bloomsburg University. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and Mystery Writers of America. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, daughter, and Boston Terrier named Mr. Phillip.
Colleen Helme is the author of the bestselling Shelby Nichols Adventure Series, a wildly entertaining and highly humorous series about Shelby Nichols, a woman with the ability to read minds. When asked if reading minds is something Colleen wishes she could do she says, “No way! It gets Shelby into so much trouble that I would never want that ability.” Known for her laugh since she was a kid, Colleen has always tried to find the humor in every situation and continues to enjoy writing about Shelby’s adventures. Besides writing, she loves reading, biking, hiking, and playing board and card games with family and friends. She loves to connect with readers and admits that fans of the series keep her writing.
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads
Amy Vansant is a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, specializing in fun, comedic reads about accident-prone, easily distracted women with questionable tastes in men.
So, autobiographies, mostly. Ha! But seriously… She writes happy, occasionally slightly twisted, thrilling, romantic comedies, mysteries, and urban fantasies.
Edgar-winner Julie Smith is the author of more than twenty mysteries, most set in New Orleans and starring one or the other of her detective heroes, a cop named Skip Langdon, and a PI named Talba Wallis. (Both female, both tough and wily.) She also has two series set in San Francisco.
Her novel, NEW ORLEANS MOURNING, won the Edgar Allan Poe award for best novel.
She changed direction in 2010, with her start-up digital publishing company, booksBnimble (www.booksBnimble.com), beginning with four books by friends. She later added other authors and got the rights back to her own books, Then in 2015 booksBnimble spun off bbnmarketing (www.bbnmarketing.com), with the aim of helping self-published authors find their audience and backlist print authors find their way back into the game.
Twelve years after Hurricane Katrina; Skip Langdon returned last year in MURDER ON MAGAZINE. But so many readers have asked--what did she do when Katrina struck? That story's THE BIG CRAZY.
Leslie Wolfe's novels break the mold of traditional thrillers. Fascinated by technology and psychology, Leslie brings extensive background and research in these fields that empower and add texture to a signature, multi-dimensional, engaging writing style.
Leslie released the first novel, Executive, in October 2011. It was very well received, including inquiries from Hollywood. Since then, Leslie published numerous novels and enjoyed growing success and recognition in the marketplace. Among Leslie’s most notable works, The Watson Girl (2017) was recognized for offering a unique insight into the mind of a serial killer and a rarely seen first person account of his actions, in a dramatic and intense procedural thriller.
A complete list of Leslie’s titles is available at http://wolfenovels.com/titles.
Leslie enjoys engaging with readers every day and would love to hear from you.
Become an insider: gain early access to previews of Leslie’s new novels!
Q&A with Leslie Wolfe Your writing style is fast, filled with dialogue, almost at the expense of descriptives and narratives. Why is that?
This is how human beings interact, especially when under pressure or stress. We stop paying attention to our surroundings, and focus on the task at hand. People interact with one another, talk to one another, and have feelings for one another and for everything we do. That’s what I’m focused on, rather than specifying each article of clothing someone wears, or the color of the flower vase in an office somewhere. This technique isn’t necessarily good or bad; just somewhat different from mainstream.
What’s the biggest compliment you received from a fan?
It’s when readers tell me they stay up all night to finish the book, because they couldn’t put it down. That’s music to my ears Like any other artist and entertainer, I thrive knowing that I deliver that escape into the fictional world in a grasping, addictive, and memorable way.
Do you do any book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?
Apart from social media and email interactions, I’m a veritable recluse. Email is the best and quickest way to reach me, and I was fortunate to build true friendships with readers over email. The majority of my readers ask me when’s the next book coming out, not when I’m getting out of the house, so I get the hint and keep on writing.
Q&A with Lisa Regan How to find time to write as a parent?
You really have to write in the nooks and crannies of your life. If you really want to write, you’ll eek out time. Sometimes it seems absolutely impossible, but if you’re waiting in a doctor’s office for 20 minutes or you’re standing in line at the post office for 10 minutes, you can pull out a notebook and jot some things down or you can even use an app on the phone. I’m always surprised by how much better I feel when I’ve at least stolen 10 minutes away from my hectic life to get some words onto the page. I also find as my daughter gets older and takes different kinds of classes (i.e. art, coding, etc) that I can take her to the class and while I’m waiting for her to be finished I can find a spot to hang out and get my laptop out and go to town.
Do you have a favorite movie?
I love romantic comedies and revenge movies. I would be hard-pressed to name just one but I love Man On Fire (with Denzel Washington), The Italian Job (with Mark Wahlberg), The Count of Monte Cristo. I also love 50 First Dates, Sweet Home Alabama, Never Been Kissed, 13 Going On 30, and The Very Thought of You.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
Probably Finding Claire Fletcher. Or Kill For You. Those would probably make good movies. But I think my Josie Quinn series would make a great TV show with each book making up one season.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
In this story, OVER THE EDGE, private investigator Jocelyn Rush and her business partner, Anita Grant are driving over this bridge and they get rear-ended. Jocelyn and Anita have appeared in previous books of mine: HOLD STILL and COLD-BLOODED. Jocelyn is very quick to anger so when she gets into this accident and sees that the woman who hit them is trying to leave the scene of the accident, she kind of loses it. She gets out of the car to confront the woman and the woman takes one look at her, takes off running, and throws herself off the bridge, into the river below, to her death. The bridge where this takes place is actually a bridge I go over every day. It crosses the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia and connects my neighborhood to another part of Philadelphia and a part of Montgomery County as well. Years ago I saw a news story about a guy who had a fender bender on that same bridge and that was what happened—the woman who hit him jumped off the bridge. I have no idea what happened to her or him or anything because the news didn’t cover any of that. But I thought wow, what would make someone jump off a bridge over a fender bender?! What might be going on in a person’s life to make them do something like that? So that’s where I got the premise, and the rest of the story is my fictional imagining of what might make a person take a leap like that suddenly and unexpectedly.
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
It’s definitely the ending because Jocelyn has this realization about everything that happened that I think is pretty cool and twisty.
Advice they would give new authors?
Write as much as you possibly can. Write, write, write. Get it all out on the page. Don’t worry what it looks like or sounds like or whether it’s terrible or not. That’s what the editing phase is for. Just write as much and as often as you can. Also, develop an extremely thick skin because you absolutely must be able to take criticism if you’re going to get better. Finally, take suggestions. Writers tend to cling to their creative ideas and not want to change something they love or that they’ve worded perfectly, but sometimes, changing things around will make your work so much better.
Q&A with Amy Vansant What is something unique/quirky about you?
I’m incapable of writing anything without adding humor. I’ll come up with the most thrilling, scary story in my head and by the time I’m done writing it, it’s full of jokes.
Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
I was a freelance writer in high school and college and sent an article to Surfer Magazine about colleges near waves and they bought it. A week later their East Coast Editor quit and I think I was the only east coast writer they knew. Next thing I knew, I was East Coast Editor of Surfer Magazine for five years. Just goes to show you to keep trying --- you never know what will fall in your lap!
Where were you born/grew up at?
Sea Isle City, NJ – a beach town south of Atlantic City and north of Cape May.
What kind of world ruler would you be?
Oh, probably a terrible one. I’m not much of a disciplinarian.
What are you passionate about these days?
My writing. (was that too predictable an answer?)
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Vodka/soda, whiskey/water, wine.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was very little I wrote Winnie-the-Pooh complete with original drawings. I didn’t know much about copyright infringement then. But it shows I’ve been writing since I could.
Do you have a favorite movie?
The Philadelphia Story with Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart. The dialog is amazing.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
All of them… I write like a movie. But hey, I’ll accept a Netflix series. I really want to turn my Pineapple Port mysteries into a series and have Kathy Bates play Darla. That series has a ton of great roles for older actresses. (No offense Kathy, but you’re not a Spring chicken anymore! ).
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
What inspired you to write this book?
Getting to be a part of this amazing collection of ladies. Who wouldn’t want to be in a collection with these authors?
What can we expect from you in the future?
I finish about five books a year. Right now, I’m alternating between my Pineapple Port Mysteries and the Kilty Series featured in this collection.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
My husband and I do a lot of puns and wordplay and somehow, we started talking about Highlanders. (I think my mother’s obsession with Outlander.) At some point he said “Kilty as Charged” and I thought, “that would make a good book title.” Next thing you know, I’ve started a whole new series about a Highlander who’s been whisked to the present and the Hollywood “fixer” he meets and falls in love with while they solve crimes and fix problems for the studio.
I wanted to do it the reverse of the classic “woman goes back in time and meets sexy Highlander” because watching Outlander, I couldn’t stand how no one was taking showers. I couldn’t help but think in real life she’d die of a urinary tract infection in about a week. All that lust and they all had to stink to high heaven. So I had my lead guy, Brochan, not only come to the future, but almost immediately become obsessed with showering and shower products, which still cracks me up.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I love how my characters tell me what’s happening. I just write it down.
Who designed your book covers?
Novak Illustration. Steven is an awesome person and talented designer.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
With every book I try to have equal parts humor, thrills and mystery. The comedic thriller is a special breed of book I don’t think gets enough attention, even though they have a large audience. I’m not talking parody, I mean thrilling stories that have humor. Janet Evanovich, The Thin Man, Ocean's Eleven, Baby Driver, Pulp Fiction, Die Hard -- Even Deadpool -- these are all thrilling movies that can be serious (even deadly serious) but also have a good amount of humor. If you like stories like that, you should like my books.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
What the… ? Maybe like Rum and Coke… something sweet and fun but with a bite.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
I don’t plan ahead much at all. It all comes as I go. I’ve been told I’m a “pantser” as opposed to a “planner.”
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. Though I’m not sure my bank account does quite yet. I also started AuthorsXP.com, a site for authors to try and help others market. There are a lot of predators out there trying to take our money and I wanted to have a safe spot we could all work together to grow.
If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
Either the Picture of Dorian Gray or The Great Gatsby.
Pen or type writer or computer?
What’s a pen?
What is your writing Kryptonite?
My husband. We work at home together and he’s always up to something he wants me to join in with… which is adorable but makes it REALLY hard to get anything done. Picture a six-foot-two eight year old…
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