Welcome to the Mystery/Romantic Suspense chapter of Romance Writers of America, also known as the Kiss of Death (KOD) chapter. We hold one annual meeting of the general membership and the rest of the time function as an online specialty chapter of RWA.


What We Offer

What’s unique about this chapter that you won’t find anywhere else? Expertise. This is the one place that combines the literary genres of suspense and mystery with romance. In addition, you’ll find considerable support for your journey as a professional romance writer from our many members following similar paths.

What We Offer

How To Join

You can join KOD at any time. First, you must already be a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and be signed up on their website, myRWA. Click on the graphic to the right to view your next steps.

How To Join


Board members serve one-year terms. A general election is held each fall. Board decisions are made through online meetings, which general members may elect to attend.


Members and What's New

Our members come from all backgrounds and geographic locations. Some are multi-published, either in romantic suspense or other genres, while others are just beginning the writer’s journey. As a group, they bring a diversity of experience, knowledge and opinion to our midst, which we prize.

Members and What's New

Workshops - COFFIN

Our workshops in the College of Felony and Intrigue (COFFIN) are open to both members and non-members. Workshops occur throughout the year; one Murder One and one Killer Instinct class per month. Our COFFIN committee works a year or more in advance, seeking the most qualified, knowledgeable and interesting of presenters.

Workshops - COFFIN

Killer News, Friday, February 16, 2018

After no good news last week, we're back in business.

Audio Debut

Stanalei Fletcher is excited to announce that the first book in the Northstar Security series, Proving Ground, made its debut in Audio last week. Narrated by Charles Henderson Norman, this story starts off the adventures of the agents from the Northstar Security Firm. FMI, you can check out this link: http://www.stanaleifletcher.com/pg.html.

New Book in Series

Misty Simon's next book in the Adventures in Ghostsitting series arrives on February 19. Mel's cousin finds a fortunetelling ball in a thrift store and it comes with far more than just a bunch of high school memories. Gnomes, trolls and magic abound in this next installment as Danner Tenley not only tries to sort out the paranormal mysteries in town but also a new twist to her relationship with her landlord. Don't miss Having a Ball available February 19.

Speaking and Teaching Gigs

Misty has also been confirmed to speak at the first annual Northern Hearts Conference in September with the Toronto Romance Writers’ Chapter in Canada. The class is called The Game's Afoot and will feature ideas on how to put mystery in any story.

She'll also be teaching Mindmapping at Hallowreads in Ellicott City, Maryland in October.


 Barbara Barrett will be signing both her romance novels and her first cozy mystery, Craks in a Marriage, during the RELIC (Retired Educators Living in Celebration) booksale on Saturday, February 24 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.






Killer News, Friday, February 9, 2018

The Good New Fairy did not receive any good news to report this week, probably because we had so much last week. Instead, she will remind you that registration for the RWA National Conference in Denver, CO in July opened this past week. Don’t miss out by procrastinating.

 See you next week. Somebody do something exciting!


Killer News, Friday, February 2, 2018

Note to readers: This is the first time the Good News Fairy is attempting to post this on her own. Bear with her if there are problems. She'll keep working to get it right.


Even though Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today, KOD has lots of Good News to keep the campfires burning until spring arrives, whenever that is.

New Contracts

Jane Godman signed a contract with Harlequin Romantic Suspense for the next three books in her “Sons of Stillwater” mini-series.

She also signed (also with Harlequin RS) to write Book Four in the 2019 Colton series.

Her website is http://janegodmanauthor.com/

E-book Released

Lorena McCourtney has just released the e-book version of an earlier print book, CANYON. This is an adventure romance set in the Grand Canyon, where a canyon that is more than physical separates river guides Kit Holloway and Tyler McCord. CANYON is available on all the usual e-book sites.

Short Story Collection Wins Award

 Chapter member Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra’s short story collection, “The Fish Tank: And Other Short Stories,” has won a Silver Medal at the Feathered Quill Book Awards 2018. 

Link: http://www.featheredquill.com/awardwinners_18.pdf

Review: http://www.featheredquill.com/reviews/shortstory/alonso.shtml

Fifth Novel in Series Coming

A private eye, a military cop, and a DEA agent’s secret… The fifth novel in Nichole Christoff’s Jamie Sinclair series, THE KILL WIRE, drops February 6! Check out www.nicholechristoff.com for more info and visit USA Today’s HEA Blog for an exclusive excerpt on February 5.

First Cozy Mystery Published

KOD’s Good News Fairy, Barbara Barrett is pleased to announce her first cozy mystery, Craks in a Marriage, will be published February 6. This is also the first book in her Mah Jongg Mystery series, which features four retired female friends who live in the fictional central Florida town of Serendipity Springs and just happen to solve murders when they’re not playing mah jongg. Writing a cozy is the reason she joined KOD years ago and now her goal has come to fruition.

See you next week and enjoy the Big Game (the kitten bowl).



Killer News, Friday, January 26, 2018

We must have outdone ourselves last week with all the Good News, because we only have one item this week, although it's still important.

Book Bundle Bonanza 

Stanalei Fletcher was shocked (and thrilled) to learn the first book in the Northstar Secuity series, PROVING GROUND, was selected for a book bundle titled DARE TO RUN. FMI, you can visit: www.stanaleifletcher.com.





Killer News - June 17, 2016

Please put your hands together for the following KOD-members, who have good news to share:

Tamra Lassiter is excited to report that DECIDING FATE won the HOLT Medallion for Romantic Suspense. Tamra is lucky enough to be a VRW member and she was able to be there at the fantastic tea party awards ceremony to hear her name called.

Vicki Batman's romantic comedy short story from the Season of Surprises holiday anthology, "Holiday Handbag Extravaganza," is a finalist in the Still Moments Magazine 2016 Maple Leaf contest, category novella. First place will be announced on June 20.

She also has  a release date of September 9, 2016 for ​her  romantic comedy mystery, the second in the series, TEMPORARILY INSANE:

No man. Bad job. And Murder. Hattie Cooks is still searching for her dream job and one might be available...in the Big Apple, far from friends, family, and Allan Wellborn, the man who still makes her heart race. In the meantime, she finds temporary employment at an accounting firm where two auditor friends turn up dead.

Detective Allan Wellborn dropped Hattie for Blonde Bimbo who, coincidentally, is employed at NLB where fishy things are taking place. When Allan interviews Hattie, he must determine why all signs point to her as a suspect.

Can Hattie discover why Allan dumped her and who is murdering auditors before death strikes again?

And Cathy Perkins just released a novella, MALBEC MAYHEM, spun off from her Holly Price series. She really appreciates all the KOD support! More information at  http://cperkinswrites.com

Successful restaurateur Alex Montoya’s charmed life has hit a snag. His trusted business partner turned out to be not exactly trustworthy, and Alex could be facing jail time over some of his partner’s shady financial deals. As if that weren’t bad enough, creditors are calling in loans he didn’t know he had and he’s desperate to prove his innocence before all his businesses are repossessed.

After a career-building stint in Napa Valley, Sofia Pincelli has returned home to eastern Washington to take over the family’s winery. Running the family business, however, means dealing with her ailing father’s continued micro-management—and his disapproval of Alex. Her father’s condemnation of Alex’s rumored involvement in his business partner’s schemes runs so deep, it threatens Alex and Sofia’s blossoming romance…along with the Pincelli family’s signature red wine. Sofia needs Alex’s crop of Malbec grapes to show her father she has what it takes to make award-winning wine—and save the reputation and finances of the Pincelli winery.

When the Malbec grapes go missing, Alex and Sofia must join forces to find the fruit before it spoils—or risk destroying both of their businesses and their hearts.

​And that's what we have for this week. Have a great weekend!



Killer News - June 10, 2016

A big week this week! Please join me in cheering for the following KOD-members who have good news to share:

Brenda Davis w/a Elsie Davis would like to share the exciting news that ONLY TRUST YOUR HEART (2015 Daphne finalist) has been upgraded from a four chapter partial request to a full request by an editor. Brenda is happy dancing and editing like crazy based on her revision suggestions. 

Sarah Andre just released TALL, DARK AND DAMAGED five days ago, and appreciates all the support she’s receiving.

She also found out (because she got the certificate in the mail) that she finaled in the 2016 Golden Quill Romantic Suspense category with LOCKED, LOADED AND LYING.

And speaking of contests, Jeanine Englert earned second place in two recent contests. Her historical novel, AGAINST THE TIDE, earned second place in the Fire and Ice Contest, and another historical novel, LOVE’S WHISPER, earned second place in the Fab Five Contest.

Linda Cargill finished the first draft of a new historical thriller entitled THE OLD FAITHFUL PLOT

While they are hiding out from Dora's husband at the Old Faithful Lodge in 1933, Dora and Edward are also hiding Lawrence maps that Churchill has given them and which Hitler would do anything to get his hands on.

Enter Helga and Herr von Wessel, Hitler's top spies. They warn Colonel Sir Edward Ware and Dora that either they hand over the top secret maps, key to world domination, or they will blow up Yellowstone National Park. They will turn the famous geyser basin into volcanic rubble --- and the rest of America, too, which would be buried in volcanic ash just like Pompeii.  http://www.edwardwarethrillers.org/old-faithful-plot.html

Marissa Garner is celebrating the release of TARGETED, Book Two in her FBI Heat series. She is especially excited about this book (aka The Cell) because it won or finaled in several RWA chapter contests (including the Daphne), and it was the story that caught the eye of the editor who eventually acquired the whole series. There’s an excerpt on Marissa’s website, www.marissagarner.com and here’s the blurb:

For San Diego's elite FBI agents, risking their lives is standard procedure when it comes to capturing the city's most dangerous criminals—but falling in love is the greatest risk of all. 


FBI Special Agent Marissa Panuska faces the most explosive case of her career when she impersonates a female terrorist to infiltrate an al-Qaeda cell. Her dark hair, olive complexion, and Arabic fluency make her the perfect imposter, but each passing hour raises the risk of discovery. Can she stop the dirty-bomb plot—alone—when the Feds don't even know the target? And should she trust the mysterious man who bursts into her life when her cover is blown?


Former Navy SEAL Ameen Ali has a very personal reason for hating the terrorists and vowing to stop them. But when a beautiful woman joins the sleeper cell spreading death-to-America propaganda at his mosque, he doesn't want to believe she shares their evil goals. Can he convince her to join forces before it's too late?

And last but certainly not least, two pieces of news from Carolyn Rae Williamson, whose new novel, SEARCHING FOR LOVE, will be released July 13th. Carolyn will have a launch party on Monday, July 11th, as she will be attending the RWA conference when her book launches.
Tossed aside in favor of her sister, a determined Valerie Trumbull reluctantly teams up with her ex-fiance's brother, Matt Larson, to hunt her missing sister south of the Texas border. 
Valerie expects him to be a jerk like his brother, but Matt compliments her and says he finds her sexy. When she awakes on a narrow cot in their Mexican prison cell, she is warmed by his arms around her.
Attorney Matt Larson is attracted to Valerie, but she argues constantly with him about his plans to find her sister. Valerie also disappears and he sets everything aside to find her. 
When she’s delivered, half alive, to his office in a wooden shipping crate, he realizes how much she means to him. Can they manage to compromise while searching for her sister?

Also, Carolyn will be teaching two FREE classes at Coffeetimeromance.com on June 23rd. They are How to Write Faster and More Productively, and Luring Readers into Living Your Story with Deep Viewpoint.

And that’s what we have for the week. Have a great weekend! 



Tread Lightly

Tread lightly...But know that while we are all working together here, the conversation can turn quickly to death, destruction and mayhem. And we are fine with that. We'll even abet you as you work to do the same, to become the best spinner of romantic mysteries and thrillers that you can be. So come on in, the water's warm...as blood.