Can't Get Enough of Colleen Thompson!

I'm thrilled to welcome romantic suspense author Colleen Thompson to the blog with some fun questions. But first, a little about her September release:


Winter winds off the Atlantic have turned the tourist mecca of Seaside Creek, New Jersey, into a ghost town. Dr. Christina Paxton, however, is growing accustomed to living with ghosts. Recently widowed, the emergency room physician has returned to the shore with her young daughter, house-sitting a sprawling beachside Victorian home. One night, her two-year-old calls her by a name that makes Christina’s blood run cold and sends her thoughts spiraling back thirty years.
Deeply unnerved, and certain someone else is in the house, she flees with her child into the cold night, only to come face-to-face with Chief Harris Bowers, a former classmate with whom Christina has a complicated history. Now divorced, Harris hopes to mend their past, but Christina is wary of being played for a fool again. As threats emerge, Christina and her small family find themselves in grave danger. It seems there is no one she can put her trust in—least of all herself.

BUY THE BOOK--Available to pre-order, September 13th release date

RITA-nominated, bestselling author Colleen Thompson writes stories that explore how love can kill, and how it can also empower us to seek healing and justice. From her fast-paced contemporary romantic thrillers to her sweeping historical romances (written under the pseudonym Gwyneth Atlee) she puts the reader in the heart of the story... when she's not busy exploring remote corners of her adopted home state of Texas, working with her rescue dogs, or speaking and teaching on the craft of writing.

Jan Schliesman: How often do you Get Lost In A Story?
Colleen Thompson: As often as possible. I try to read at least a couple of books a week—or maybe I should say try to limit myself to that number so I can keep up with my writing!

Jan: What are you reading?
Colleen: I’m halfway through an advance copy I scored of RITA finalist Loreth Anne White’s IN THE BARREN GROUND. A chilling (in every sense of the word) murder mystery with a light touch of romance, it’s set inside the Arctic Circle—the perfect antidote to the brutal summer heat in Texas, where I live.

Jan: What’s the best part about writing romantic suspense?
Colleen: I love the complexities of murder mysteries—trying to choose from among the suspects while avoiding the compelling distractions of red herrings. Romantic suspense allows me to amp up the emotion in the puzzle—creating layered characters the reader can fall in love with, root for, and worry over as they fend off danger and fight their way to justice—and possibly each other along the way.

Jan: Does your heroine have any of your character traits?
Colleen: I’d like to think Dr. Christina Paxton, the heroine of The Off Season, is an idealized version of certain attributes of mine. She always reaches for the logical, fact-based solution, even when her two-year-old begins speaking of things (in the dead of night) that she seemingly has no way of knowing. And the recently-widowed Christina will doing anything to keep her loved ones safe, just as I’m sure that under the right (or wrong, as it were) circumstances, I could be pushed to such extremes.

Jan: Most writers have to find their zone before the words start flowing. Describe your ideal writing day.
Colleen: After tea or coffee, I putz around on my computer, responding to any e-mail requests and generally wasting time until the pressure builds to write. Then I get to it through the late morning and afternoon, at least until I’ve hit my daily goal.
Jan: I keep a case of Dasani in my office. What’s your go-to beverage of choice?
Colleen: Right now, it’s iced coffee or iced tea. But that’s Houston’s summers for ya.

Jan: Best vacation you’ve ever taken?
Colleen: San Francisco, because it’s deliciously cool in the summer. Can you tell I’m not enjoying our recent heat wave?

Jan’s GOTTA ASK: My hubby works for Haagen-Dazs, so what’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Colleen’s GOTTA ANSWER: More coolness! Yea! I’m pretty much in favor of all ice cream flavors, but lately, I’m especially enamored of a smooth and simple classic: plain vanilla.


PREVIOUS RELEASES: “Rescuing the Bride” in Cowboy Christmas Rescue, Harlequin Romantic Suspense, November 2015 and The Best Victim, Montlake, April 2014.

THANKS SO MUCH, COLLEEN, for sharing part of your writing world with us. One commenter will win a preordered copy (e-book or paperback) of The Off Season (releasing 9-13-16) or any of her past romantic suspense titles. If your book will need to be mailed rather than sent electronically, she's happy to send to anywhere the Book Depository mails to. See the list HERE. And answer this question:

What's the last great romantic suspense novel you've read? Who are your go-to authors in the genre?

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  1. Linda Howard is a great favorite. I think the last I read was a re-read of REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier. (I think that counts.)

    1. Linda Howard's romantic suspense novels really helped to hook me on the genre! Love her work, and of course REBECCA--such a classic. The gothic moodiness of it has inspired my writing more than once. Great choices!

  2. Kate James was pretty good. Even though it's heartwarming novel but there is some suspense in it and I enjoyed it. The K-9 trilogy is must read

    1. I love everything to do with dogs, so great recommendation! Thank you!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks so much for having me! It's great to be here!

  4. Thanks for featuring Colleen. A book that stays is my mind is Legitimate Lies by Julie B. cosgrove. It has more suspense than romance, but it has that too.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Gay, and for the recommendation, too!