Small world between authors

I love the way the universe sends gifts when you least expect them and perhaps most need them. Today’s guest, all the way from Colorado, sent me a lovely email on a day when I needed some sunshine. I call it serendipity and I’ll let her explain the rest of the connection! Please welcome Donnell Bell 🙂

Hello, and a huge thank you to Helene for the invitation to guest on her wonderful blog.  How I got here is interesting.  I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, and every year the published authors read books entered in the RITA®.  I write Romantic Suspense, so you can imagine what book I grabbed first from the entries–none other than BURNING LIES.  I hadn’t read Ms. Young yet, so I settled back for an adventure.  And what an adventure it was!

Something else occurred to me.  Even though Helene’s book takes place in Australia, I couldn’t help noticing some similarities between our worlds.

In Helene’s book her heroine Kaitlynn Scott is trying to outrun her past –I hope it’s not a spoiler to say, her husband was killed in a wild fire, and the fire was set by an arsonist.

I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough, because, unfortunately, in my state of Colorado we have had three devastating wildfires in recent years, and as I type this ten are burning.  Two fires are questionable in the way they started, so it’s not an exaggeration when I say I related to this book.

I also related as an author and the way Helene developed her characters.  In BURNING LIES, the heroine has moved to a new location and she’s raising a young son.  In BURNING LIES, an undercover cop just happens to move into the property next door to Kaitylnn.

In my debut novel, THE PAST CAME HUNTING, my heroine Melanie Norris, is a widow like Kaitlynn.  She has a teenage son and she just happens to move next door to a police lieutenant.  Only in my scenario, he’s not undercover – Melanie and Joe recognize each other immediately—he’s the cop who arrested her 15 years earlier.

In BURNING LIES, Kaitlynn’s antagonist is infatuated with the attractive firefighter.  In THE PAST CAME HUNTING, Melanie’s antagonist doesn’t like her one bit.  He’s the man she sent to prison, and he’s out for revenge.

Set in two different countries, I found it amazing how much these two books had in common, and how much I love Helene Young’s writing.  Oh, one more thing, Helene and I have in common, this year she’s a finalist in the 2013 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in  Mystery/Suspense, and last year, I was a finalist in the 2012 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense.

Small world, isn’t it?

Thought I’d share an excerpt of when my hero and heroine meet in THE PAST CAME HUNTING.  Also I’d love to give away three downloads, reader’s choice of my debut release, THE PAST CAME HUNTING or my second release DEADLY RECALL.

Small world indeed, Donnell, and I love the idea of the two of us working away on different sides of the world and exploring such similar themes in our stories. And thank you for the generous giveaway. Everyone who leaves a comment will go into the draw!

Thanks again for visiting my blog, Donnell, and I look forward to your new release in November 2013!


Standing in the presence of Matt’s never-stay-at-home dad, relief flooded her.

“Oh, Mr. Crandall, thank heavens. My name’s Melanie. My son, Luke, is a friend of Matt’s. Call me a flake, but I’m out of gas.”

He reached across the seat and opened the passenger door. Light flooded the interior. “Happens to the best of us. There’s a gas station on the corner. Hop in.”

Even though his voice seemed kind, she hesitated. After all, taking rides from sweet-talking strangers had been her downfall. But that had been a lifetime ago, and she knew this man. Or at least his son. The decision made, she rounded the car. Sliding in beside him, the scent of coffee and his musky fragrance filled the air. “I can’t thank you enough. I wanted to start . . . dinner.”

That’s when she saw this was no ordinary vehicle. A laptop computer was bracketed to the console, and above it a radio. The world seemed to slow as she focused on every detail. The dash . . . the console . . . and finally the man behind the wheel.

Her gaze took in his long legs, the veins in his powerful-looking hands, his rolled-up sleeves and at last settled on the sizeable scar on his inner forearm.

Shock made her numb.

It wasn’t possible. How had she missed the connection? She hadn’t thought of the man in years. The cop who’d arrested her, his name had been . . .Crandall.

Somehow Mel found the strength to look into his eyes. And when she did, she came face to face with what could only be a mutually shocked expression.

“You,” she whispered.

“You,” he replied.

Donnell Ann Bell is the author of The Past Came Hunting and newly released Deadly Recall from Bell Bridge Books.  Both books were nominated for the prestigious Golden Heart from Romance Writers of America®.  The Past Came Hunting climbed as high as #6 and Deadly Recall reached #1 on Amazon Kindle’s paid list. Her third release from Bell Bridge Books will be in November, 2013.

Her website is




20 thoughts on “Small world between authors

  1. Donnell, I’m in Newcastle, NSW. 🙂

    We can’t wait Helene…we have a couple of big signs up, with Half Moon Bay prominently displayed.

    I would also like to thank you for recommending Nora Roberts’ romantic suspense too…I just finished Whiskey Beach, and loved it!

  2. Hi Brenda, your library may well be able to order it in for you. I know that the Cairns district has a budget to do that. You’ll love them!

    Look forward to visiting your library at the end of the month 🙂

  3. Great post Helene, lovely to “meet” another romantic suspense author. I just searched my library for Donnell’s book, and they don’t have it 🙁 But I’ll add it to my TBR anyway, and hopefully I’ll be able to get a copy soon…

    Congratulations on your two novels too Donnell 🙂

  4. Donnell, thanks for being a guest on my blog. It’s been lovely to meet you and learn some more about your books.

    Congratulations to the three winners – Susanne, Maggi and Heather!
    Send me your details via the contact form on the top tab and the books will be winging their way to your ereader. Thanks for being part of the conversation.

  5. Ah, Helene, this is my buddy Jean from Atlanta. I raved about Burning Lies. Thank you so much for having me. I’d love to have you select three winners, if that’s possible! Happy Tuesday!

  6. I’m so looking forward to reading your book, Helene. It’s on my TBR pile right now. Great points, Donnell. Universal themes draw everyone to the story.
    I hope to see some of you at RWA-Atlanta!

  7. Hi, Kerrie, that makes two fans of Helene’s. So happy to be introduced to her work. If you do have a chance to check out my books, I hope you enjoy. Happy Tuesday!

  8. Good morning, my time Susanne! I’m in full agreement fire and nuclear power plant. Let’s save this for a book and not real life. What I’m amazed by is learning what firefighters can do to protect such structures. Sometimes they fail as evidenced in Arizona and the loss of 19 young men and women. But in Wolf Creek they actually made a sprinkler line to protect the town of South Fork. I can see why Helene writes Firefighter protagonists. Thank you for commenting and dropping by today!

  9. Hi Susanne, thanks for dropping by and for your congrats – very honoured to have been shortlisted.

    Fire and nuclear power plants don’t sound like a good mix. I remember when Lucas Heights was under threat.

    Congrats on having your latest book out in print soon. Love the new cover for White Ginger 🙂

  10. Hello Donnell and Helene,

    I enjoy romantic suspense, especially when it’s based in reality as both of yours are, settings and tragedies that we are, unfortunately, all too familiar with. I visited California four or five years ago and saw how close the fires had come to a nuclear power plant! Scary stuff indeed!

    Congratulations to both of you on your DDM nominations; it is wonderful to hear that your works are being recognised through such prestigious awards. All the best, Susanne

  11. Maggi, the fires have been awful. Loss of lives and homes. From Helene’s book and from the news Australia suffers a drought much like ours. Thank you for the congrats. I think the Daphne is one of the best contests out there. And it’s open to Australians as evidenced by Helene’s entry 🙂

  12. Maggi, those fires have been horrific. Losing so many firefighters in one firestorm must be devastating for the whole community.

    Thanks for the congrats. It’s lovely to find Burning Lies resonates with American readers as well as Australians!

    And look forward to seeing the cover for your newest release, Taming a Gentleman Spy 🙂

  13. Hi Donnell, Those fires in America sound truly dreadful. Your book sounds like my kind of read. Great excerpt. I congratulate you and Helene on doing so well in the Daphne du Maurier Award. Quite an accolade.

  14. Heather and Helene! Thank you both for your kind words. I’m so excited to be blogging on this side of the world. Kind of places me in Australia, one of my dreams! Heather, best wishes on Breakaway Creek! And thanks again Helene for hosting me!

  15. Hi Heather, thanks for stopping by and for your kind words! The excerpt is just a tiny taste and I know you’ll enjoy the rest of The Past Came Hunting.

    You must be very excited to know your own book, Breakaway Creek, will be out in hard cover by the end of the month!

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