Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Kathleen Brooks - HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on USA Today Bestselling author Kathleen Brooks. She is the author of the romantic suspense Bluegrass Series based in Kentucky.

Author Genre: Romance, Romantic Suspense, Mystery & Thrillers

Website: Kathleen Brooks
Author's Blog: Kathleen Brooks
Twitter: @BluegrassBrooks
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description:
Kathleen Brooks is the three-time USA Today Bestselling author of the Bluegrass Series and Bluegrass Brothers Series. She has garnered attention as a new voice in romance with a warm Southern feel. Her books feature quirky small town characters you'll feel like you've known forever, romance, humor, and mystery all mixed into one perfect glass of sweet tea.

Kathleen is an animal lover who supports rescue organizations and other non-profit organizations whose goals are to protect and save our four-legged family members.

Kathleen lives in Central Kentucky with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and a cat who thinks he's a dog. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached at

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

First things first. Let’s start with what’s next. Rumor has it that you have two books on the horizon. One that will focus on the mysterious Cy Davies and the other featuring Ahmed. Can you tell us the timeline for their release and give us a little tease?

Yes! I am working on Cy's book right now. It'll be out by October of 2013. All your questions about the mysterious brother of the Davies family will be answered! Since Ahmed's debut in Bluegrass State of Mind, he's become the readers' favorite. And I must admit, he's been a blast to write about. I just have to tell his story. There's so much going on underneath that I know people will love him even more than they do now. Ahmed's book will be out in January 2014.

You have a good following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? Do you see a carry over to your writing success?

I do have a good following on twitter and on facebook. I think it's very important to have a social media relationship with your readers. It's a great way to keep them up to date on where you are with your books, any sales, and it also gives authors a good place to get to know our readers. I love hearing from fans and getting to know them.

Do you do 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?

I do some signings, but mostly local to central Kentucky. I will be at RWA this year and hope to meet lots of people there! I post where I'll be on my facebook and twitter pages and will also post pictures from the events.

You have great covers. They carry a theme and your brand with them. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?

I have a very hands-on approach with my covers. I use Covers By Cali. Calista Taylor and I work together to make each cover. She is amazing and I must say, I love the process. I give her a general idea of what I am looking for and then she finds options for me to look at. Then we bounce ideas and drafts back and forth between each other until we find the perfect cover.

What kinds of writer support groups do you belong too? Do they help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process?

I belong to a Kentucky local writers group, a romantic suspense author group, and another group of romance authors. I have met so many wonderful people and we work together to face the changing world of publishing. For example, I was able to learn about the process of creating audiobooks from various authors in the groups. While we bounce ideas, news, and marketing ideas around, we're also friends and I can't wait to get to the meetings or conferences to see them. I strongly recommend seeing what's in your area or genre and joining the group that fits you.

Between your book writing, blogging, marketing, family and all the other things that can get in your way, how do you manage your time? Do you have a set schedule or do your sort of play it by ear?

I do have a lot going on. I have a four year old and also play a large part in a charity for animals. I've learned how to go with the flow and find time to write whenever and wherever I can! It's not strange to find me typing while I wait in carline to pick my daughter up from pre-K or writing late into the night. My family is very supportive and helps me out too. I wouldn't be able to do it all without them.

Has the advent of ebooks changed anything in your writing, your marketing and the relationship with your readers and fans?

I wouldn't say it changed my writing itself, but it has allowed me to reach more people. I can put more books out and I also feel that ebooks combined with social media gives readers and authors a closer connection. It also opened a whole new avenue for marketing. You're not restricted to ads in newspapers or magazines, but can now reach out to bloggers and other digital sites that again have a closer and instant connection to readers.

What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?

I decided to put my first book in my Bluegrass Series, Bluegrass State of Mind, for free. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Bluegrass State of Mind had reached way more readers than I thought possible and the nice notes I get from readers are such a treat. I regularly give away books for other authors who are doing release parties. Also this past year I got together with such authors as Marie Force, Barbara Freethy, Bella Andre, Ruth Cardello, Melody Anne, Christie Craig, Lynn Raye Harris, Linda Warren and so many more to do a 12 days of Christmas Giveaway to say thank you to our readers. I also put out Secret Santa, a Bluegrass Series Novella for free as a thank you to my readers (Unfortunately, Barnes & Noble did create a roadblock and I couldn't get it listed for free there). I wanted the fans to know how much I appreciate their support of my books and the time it takes for them to send me emails and notes on facebook. It means a lot to me and this was just a way to say thank you.

You publish two different series. Does changing hats create any problems? Any tricks you can share with us? Which series did you enjoy writing the most? Does moving from one to the other give you a change of pace?

My two series are very interconnected. I love having past characters come back so I can give my readers updates on them. I do tend to be a one-at-a-time type writer. I wrote the Bluegrass Series first and then did the Bluegrass Brothers series. I am not very good at going from one concept to another like some other authors. I get so lost in the world of the book I am working on that I don't want to leave it until it's done!

I have followed Tony LaRussa and his ARF dog rescue program for years. Kathleen can you give your readers contact information so they can participate in this worthwhile cause?

I don't personally do anything with ARF, but their website is It is a very worthwhile foundation - especially since I have rescued dogs since I was a child. Every dog needs a forever home.

I do work with Friends and Vets Helping Pets. They can be found online at FVHP works with veterinarians to provide grants to pet owners who can't afford out of the ordinary treatments. You can follow them on facebook ( where FVHP just provided a grant to remove a spinal tumor on a cat.

Author's Book List
Relentless Pursuit
Relentless Pursuit hit the USA Today Bestseller list on May 30th, 2013. Relentless Pursuit is the fourth novel in the Bluegrass Brothers series. Pierce Davies watched as his older siblings fell in love - something this bachelor was not ready for. After all, he was now the most eligible man in all of Keeneston! Though Pierce enjoys the playboy lifestyle, his life is his work and that hard work is set to pay off big time with the unveiling of a big secret. However, this work hard, play hard attitude may have also landed him in hot water as he finds himself arrested for a brutal murder with all evidence pointing to him. Tammy Fields has been suffering from the crush to end all crushes. But her flirtations have fallen short as Pierce Davies always ended up in the arms of a Keeneston Belle. Having waited long enough, Tammy decides now is the time to grow up and move on. She has a good job as a paralegal and a hot new boyfriend. But everything changes quickly when Pierce is arrested and Tammy is called upon to help with his case. While working closely with Pierce to prove his innocence, she realizes her crush is something far more meaningful as she risks everything to save him. Will they finally find love or will the increasing danger prevent their happily ever after

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords - iTunes
Acquiring Trouble - A Bluegrass Brothers Novel (Volume 3)
This is the third book in the Bluegrass Brothers series by USA Today Best-selling author, Kathleen Brooks. As a natural born leader, Miles Davies accomplishes anything he puts his mind to. Upon returning home from his special forces duties, he has become the strong foundation of the Davies family and his company. But that strong foundation is about to get rocked in a big way by the one woman that always left him fascinated and infuriated. Keeneston’s notorious bad girl is back! Morgan Hamilton’s life ended and began on her high school graduation night when she left Keeneston with no plan to ever return. As a self-made businesswoman, Morgan is always looking for her next victory. Little did she know that next victory would involve acquiring the company that belonged to the one man she always wanted for herself. With their careers and lives on the line, will Miles and Morgan choose love or ambition?

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords - iTunes
Secret Santa - A Bluegrass Series Novella
Secret Santa is USA Today Best-selling Author Kathleen Brooks' novella to thank her readers for their amazing support and to update them on their favorite characters from her Bluegrass books. SECRET SANTA It wouldn't be Christmas in Keeneston without a party! Everyone's invited, even Santa… Kenna's court docket is full, Dani's hiding from her in-laws, Paige and Annie are about to burst from pregnancy, and Marshall is breaking up fights at the PTA Christmas Concert. The sweet potato casserole is made, the ham and biscuits are on the table, and men are losing their shirts - and not because of bets placed with the Rose Sisters! All the while, the entire town is wondering one thing: who is the Secret Santa that showed up with special gifts for everyone?

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - iTunes
Rising Storm - A Bluegrass Brothers Novel (Volume 2)
Katelyn Jacks was used to being front and center as a model. But she never had to confront the Keeneston Grapevine! After retiring from the runway and returning to town to open a new animal clinic, Katelyn found that her life in the public eye was anything but over. While working hard to establish herself as the new veterinarian in town, Katelyn finds her life uprooted by a storm of love, gossip, and a vicious group of criminals. Marshall Davies is the new Sheriff in Keeneston. He is also right at the top of the town's most eligible bachelor list. His affinity for teasing the hot new veterinarian in town has led to a rush of emotions that he wasn't ready for. Marshall finds his easy days of breaking up fights at the local PTA meetings are over when he and Katelyn discover that a dog-fighting ring has stormed into their normally idyllic town. As their love struggles to break through, they must battle to save the lives of the dogs and each other.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords - iTunes
Bluegrass Undercover - A Bluegrass Brothers Novel
This is the first book in the Bluegrass Brothers series, which includes USA Today Best-Selling Rising Storm. This is the follow-up series to the best-selling Bluegrass Series. Cade Davies is an ex-Army Ranger and the new head coach of the high school football team in Keeneston. He barely has time to adjust to all of the changes in his life before he runs into the school's hot new guidance counselor and a new threat to the peaceful town of Keeneston. DEA Agent Annie Blake was undercover to bust a drug ring preying on Keeneston's high school athletes. She had always kept to herself and was proud of her accomplishments in law enforcement. What Annie didn't count on was becoming the local gossip. Amid marriage bets being placed by the entire town, Annie looks to Cade for help in bringing down the drug ring before another kid is killed. But can she deal with the feelings that follow? All Books by Kathleen Brooks:

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords - iTunes
Bluegrass State of Mind
See where the USA Today Bestselling Author Kathleen Brooks began! This is the first book in Kathleen Brooks' Best-Selling Bluegrass Series. McKenna Mason, a New York City attorney with a love of all things Prada, is on the run from a group of powerful, dangerous men. McKenna turns to a teenage crush, Will Ashton, for help in starting a new life in beautiful horse country. She finds that Will is now a handsome, successful race horse farm owner. As the old flame is ignited, complications are aplenty in the form of a nasty ex-wife, an ex-boyfriend intent on killing her, and a feisty race horse who refuses to race without a kiss. Can Will and McKenna cross the finish line together, and more importantly, alive?

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - iTunes
Risky Shot - The Bluegrass
In the second book of the Bluegrass Series, Danielle De Luca, an ex-beauty queen who is not at all what she seems, leaves the streets of New York after tracking the criminals out to destroy her. She travels to Keeneston, Kentucky to make her final stand by the side of her best friend, McKenna Mason. While in Keeneston, Danielle meets the quiet and mysterious horse farm owner Mohtadi Ali Rahman, a modern day Prince. Can Mo protect Dani from the group of powerful men in New York? Or will Dani save the Prince from his rigid, loveless destiny?

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - iTunes
Dead Heat
In the third book of the Bluegrass Series, Paige Davies finds her world turned upside down as she becomes involved in her best friends' nightmare. The strong-willed Paige doesn't know which is worse: someone trying to kill her, or losing her dog to the man she loves to hate. FBI Agent Cole Parker can't decide whether he should strangle or kiss this infuriating woman of his dreams. As he works the case of his career, he finds that love can be tougher than bringing down some of the most powerful men in America.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - iTunes
Author Recommended by: Ruth Cardello
Ruth Cardello is New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author. She is the author of the Legacy Collection.
Check out Ruth Cardello's Author's Spotlight.

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