Friday, March 21, 2008

Review - No one heard her scream Jordan Dane VBT

Jordan Dane:

After award-winning author Jordan Dane sold her first 3-books in auction to Avon/HarperCollins in June 2006, her debut title NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM held more significance. Everyone heard her scream! And this went double when she sold another 3-book series in May 2007 without having one book on the shelves yet.
Ripped from the headlines, Jordan's gritty suspense plots weave a tapestry of vivid settings, intrigue, and dark humor. Her first back-to-back releases are planned for Apr, May and Jun 2008. Jordan and her husband now share their Oklahoma residence with an intelligent canine and two cats of highborn lineage.
In spring 2008, take a front row seat to suspense with Jordan Dane's NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM, NO ONE LEFT TO TELL, & NO ONE LIVES FOREVER.

No One Heard Her Scream

No One Heard Her Scream

A relentless detective with the San Antonio Police Department is barred from an investigation into the disappearance and murder of her younger sister and forced to take another assignment. Skeletal remains buried in the wall of an old theatre destroyed by arson make an intriguing new case. But when the bones turn out to be of a woman, close in age to her sister, the hunt for a killer gets personal—a vendetta for justice.

A seductive enforcer to the mob, with secrets of his own, stands between the detective and a powerful man she believes is linked to the murder. Will the reluctant henchman become an ally or betray her to his treacherous 'benefactor'? Drawn into the sinister world of human trafficking, the modern-day slave trade, the detective unravels a grim trail of destroyed lives—leaving her little hope for vindication in the death of her sister and a nameless young woman buried alive.

Rebecca Montgomery, a homicide detective who had taken her family and life for granted is destroyed from the inside out when her sister is kidnapped and murdered. She's tossed a cold case unveiled by arson at an old theatre
when she is banned from her sister's case for conducting her own investigation too closely to the acting agent. And finds her gut telling her Diego Galvan is more than a mob boss' leashed henchman when she interviews Victor Cavannaugh, looking for information about the building where the skeleton of her case victim is uncovered. A woman who was buried alive.

The entirety of the story can be summed in one word: intense. From dank alleys to secret after-dark meetings, the story is in continuous motion, driving the reader as much as the action drives the next scene. For the fans of CSI, high suspense and drama, this is a must read.

First let me thank you for inviting me to your blog. I love networking with other authors. In fact, on my website is a page FOR WRITERS that has links to various articles I've written on many subjects form Craft to Promotion. Hopefully you'll find some of them helpful.

  1. What was your inspiration for the story? For the characters?

Several things influenced me with this story. I wanted to tell the story of a woman homicide detective (Rebecca Montgomery) who had to deal with her own grief and carry on with her job after her sister had become a victim of violence. Because of my detective's emotional frailty, she was caught between good judgement and her undeniable bias when it came to anything that reminded her of Dani, her sister. Becca's emotional handicap interferes with her police training and slants her impartiality—a strong cop with real vulnerability.

And the Natalee Holloway investigation in Aruba shaped the story. I watched the drama played out in the media and witnessed the parents' pain through this ongoing nightmare. I had also visited Aruba during the 1980s and knew something of the layout and terrain. And in my book research, I found many Internet sites that theorized a human trafficking angle to this very compelling case. Human trafficking and the trauma of such an ordeal became a facet to the plot.

As further inspiration, a friend once revealed what it was like to experience the murder of her sister. For her, the horrific experience defined the rest of your life. Her words always stuck with me. So with SCREAM, I depicted a woman detective who carries an emotional hardship that hinders her job performance and touches the way she looks at the world.

  1. Being from Texas, and raised in the Valley, I'd love to know what prompted you to place this book on South Padre Island and San Antonio.

San Antonio was my old hometown growing up and I've visited Padre Island many times on annual trips when I was in high school. Combining my experiences at Padre and Aruba with what had happened to Natalee Holloway wasn't a stretch, but certainly very sad.

On a brighter note, I still have plenty of family in San Antonio. I make it to Texas every chance I get. If you'd like to see the locales used in my book in digital images, along with excerpts from the book and the significance of these locations to me and my family, you can visit this link on my website: This is my Story Behind the Story. If you've read my book, you'll get a deeper understanding of why I selected certain locales.

  1. How long did it take you to get from idea to finished first draft? Did you have to do a lot of research for the investigation details?

It took me a while to think about how I wanted to structure the general idea of the story. I'm not a plotter. I see things unfolding in my mind like a movie once I get into the comfort zone that I can begin writing. But once I started writing this story, it took me only 6 weeks to finish it. I actually wrote this story while I was on medical leave from major surgery (6 weeks at home). I like to say that I sacrificed a body part to sell. For more info on my FIRST SALE story, please visit this link - Author Sharon Sala played a big part in how I sold.

  1. Who is your largest writing inspiration?

Real crime and real life influence me most when I'm writing. I'm constantly working out plots in my head for current projects or future ones while I'm doing ANYTHING—watching TV, eating, sleeping, and breathing. My mind is never at rest.

If you're referring to other authors, I don't really look to other authors for inspiration. I prefer to enjoy what they do as a reader, rather than trying to deconstruct the book. I don't see my style in anyone else. I write the type of stories I want to read.

  1. How long have you been writing?

I've been writing since 2003 when I first joined RWA. I sold three and a half years later with the help of Sharon Sala. And although I never want to look back with regrets in my life (I'm more of an optimist), I wish I had known the joy of writing before 2003. My quality of life has grown immensely. As an author, I'm more of a listener and an observer. I've slowed down my pace and there is stillness deep in my soul. It feels good.

6.) And the killer... How long did it take to get "the call" on your queries?

I didn't get "the call" like most other pubbed authors. My books sold in auction in 10 days, a whirlwind of exhausting agony. And with the houses that bid on my 3 books, I had an opportunity to talk to each editor and ask them questions on what they liked about my work and how they planned to market my books and if they had career aspirations for me. It was a great opportunity to grill an industry professional. I selected Avon HarperCollins and Executive Editor Lucia Macro who is an absolutely brilliant woman and a delight to work with. Avon had blown me away. They are launching my career by making all three of my books lead titles with huge print runs in mass market, a national ad campaign, extensive online promo, significant ARC distributions, and co-op dollars for store placement. In hindsight, it looks as if I knew exactly what I was doing, but luck played a big part, in my opinion.

But to commiserate with anyone who has gotten a rejection letter, I got PLENTY. I wanted to have that great "guy" attitude when it came to rejection letters—the more the merrier. You have to risk getting your work out there, even if it stings sometimes. And to help ease the pain, I made up a shredding ritual to expel all the negativity once I'd crossed them off my list of proposal requests outstanding. There's a certain empowerment to the ritual that I liked.

I appreciate your interest in my work and I wish all of you the best in 2008! Thanks for supporting a new author.



Visit each stop of the Jordan Dane Virtual Book Tour and leave a comment (with your name). Each stop enters you into the drawing to be held at the live "Launch P-A-R-T-Y!" on March 30th. (Up for grabs are FIVE $20 gift cards to B&N bookstores.)

Stop by Jordan's website: Jordan Dane says, "By going to my website contest page, you get an exclusive sneak peek inside my book-up to 20% of it. And to celebrate my first release, my publisher is giving you three different ways to WIN MY BOOK or OTHER BOOKS from HarperCollins. Click on the links below for more details."

The Browse Inside Link:

Visit Jordan's contest page:

Show up for the live "Launch P-A-R-T-Y!" on March 30th! Who knows what might be up for grabs there! After all is said and done, this is TWC.

Future date:
March 26 - Renee' Barnes


Jordan Dane said...

Good morning, Diana. Haven't gotten my coffee yet, but I'm here. Thanks so much for hosting TWC's virtual tour for me. And for your great review.

With only 2 days and 16 hours away from my first release, I am finally anxious for it to be here. A few days ago, I was thankful it seemed to be dragging along, but not now. I can't wait to see my books on the shelves and do some stock signings.

And I'm posting pics of readers with my book on my blog at MySpace. I've already got some reviewers there reading my ARC so it's been fun.

Anyway, if you or your guests have questions, I'll be in and out all day to reply. Thanks again for having me.

Jordan Dane said...
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Diana Castilleja said...

Thank you for coming Jordan. I'm just getting in motion myself. I hope to have a hopping day here.

Jordan Dane said...
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Diana Castilleja said...

I'm working on it now....

Jordan Dane said...
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Jordan Dane said...

So if you have some time, Diana, I'd love to hear more about your writing?

Tina M. Russo said...

I had no idea that was the background of the book. Fascinating.

When I was living east coast all the kids went to Fort Lauderdale for Spring Break. When I lived in Oklahoma all the kids went to Padre Island for break.

How do the locals like all those tourist swarming all over them? Having never been there I have always been curious as to the socioeconomics of Padre. Is it only the rich kids who hang there?

BTW I read the publisher sneak peek and totally lost lots of my day. This book is awesome.

Jordan Dane said...

Hey there Tina, Padre Island was a place I used to go when I was in H.S. Surprised I could remember that far back?

It's very low key and not like all the girls gone wild places. No rich kids. It's a place for families too, but it's popular for school outings like the one I wrote about--only a few hours from San Antonio.

There is a great state park area down the road that is more secluded. And the sand is deep and in great shape. I picked up hundreds of sand dollars there--in mint condition. No cars are allowed on the beaches there so it's more beautiful. A great place for a murder, but that's just me.

Someone who reviewed my ARC mentioned that I give voice to the victims and after thinking about that, I realized that Becca's story is completely about victims and finding justice. She's a cop but a victim as well.

I really hope you'll love this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Diana Castilleja said...

Hi Tina! Thanks for coming to Jordan's Launch tour, for visiting today.

Jordan - I write across the board in romance. Contemporary, fantasy, paranormal. I'm with a few e-publishers and small presses, hoping for one more, but if I don't make it, I'm good. I have Harlequin American Romance set for one submission, and another ST that I'm hoping to hit up one of the larger houses with, via an agent that I will wow in the near future. (Staying positive! LOL) It's a book that's been with me almost two years now in some for or other and finishing it and getting it out of my head would be the kindest thing I could do to myself.

Tina M. Russo said...

You did your job well. It was a total vortex suck in opening. I got really irritated that I didn't have more to read.

Good sign :)

Jordan Dane said...

Stick with those books you can't get out of your head. I sold my 2nd book that way as part of my debut series. It's important to have inventory to sell when a publisher comes calling.

I noticed on your site that your real love is paranormal. Mine was crime fiction. And once I stuck with my real love, I also sold. Do you find it easy to write in other genres?

Congratulations on the e-book publishing BTW. Getting recognized by a publisher these days is tough.

Jordan Dane said...

Tina--I had hoped they would leave the excerpt at a cliff hanger like the way we do in contest entries, but I think they just leave off at 20% in.

The Browse Inside is a totally cool idea though. And Harper is putting a nice promo around it. A debut author can't ask for more. They are supporting me big time.

I am totally hoping you get pubbed at Avon, girl. I'd love for us to be sistas. Your work is sooo damned good.

Jordan Dane said...

I'm chatting with a friend on MySpace, talking about playing put put golf. I need more coffee.

Diana Castilleja said...

Thank you Jordan. :) I write a lot of paranormal. Vampires and shifters. One of my recent small press sales was the first book to a vampire series. I have two story arcs lined up for the following books. I'm looking forward to writing them.

The ST is a paranormal shifter but not anything that I've seen NY carry in the last 12-18 months.

I go back to contemporary as a vacation to writing. I can write emotional story arcs easier then deep plotted ones. They make my brain hurt! LOL I'm a pantser through and through. And the ST is a definite suspense paranormal. It's on version 3.0 now. *wink*

E-publishing is getting a LOT harder to get into. Fifteen years ago it was new and unstructured in a lot of ways. Not anymore. The only difference that makes it seem easier (to others)is that e-publishing can accept a much greater quantity of work than a standard print publisher. And that's ends the *professor's spiel* LOL

Jordan Dane said...

My books are being e-pubbed too. Harper has a policy on that now. They want all their books to be e-pubbed too. I think everyone is trying to find that online, easy to download and read approach. And it will save a few trees too. I still like to hold a book in my hand--a throw back to my early reading years spent in libraries--but I suppose I could get used to a kindle or sony reader.

I'm a pantser too. I've tried storyboarding recently, hoping it would help me write faster, but I'm too impatient to mess with it for long. Plus, I like "discovering" things about my characters or plot along the way.

Shapeshifters, huh? Wish I could do that. Put old Jenny Craig out of business.

Diana Castilleja said...

I've tried outlines and the snowflake method and neither have really worked for me. I have a program that allows a storyboard on it. That doesn't get me happy either. :(

Actually, the last three books I've read were on my PDA. I have an older model Sony Clie that a friend (an awesome friend *waves at Crissy*) gave to me. I'm getting to the point where I almost prefer it. I love books to hold too. It's hard to give them up. My TBR pile leaning like the Tower of Pisa behind me will attest to that! LOL

I'm definitely behind saving the trees for them.

Jordan Dane said...

It's still about reading the words regardless and if they can invent a size of reader that feels like a book, people might go for it. I sure would miss the cover art debates though. Not to mention all those juicy cover models. LOL

Jordan Dane said...

I'm listening to SICK PUPPIES on my blog page. I love that band. Author Amanda Stevens turned me onto them and I can't get enough. Their song ALL THE SAME is so good.

Diana Castilleja said...

What kind of music is that? I've never heard of them.

Jordan Dane said...

I hadn't either. But I saw their video somewhere, probably on Amanda's blog. I think they are an alternative band. Go to my blog and you can listen:

Linda Mooney said...

Hello, Jordan, from another Texan. In fact, I lived for some time in Corpus.

Is there another genre that you would like to write?

Jordan Dane said...

Hey Linda---Howdy!! I love Corpus. Spent time there too. Very nice.

I have a couple of contemporary romances under my bed that my agent would love to sell. The first manuscript I ever wrote takes place in Alaska where i lived for 10 years and is full of adventure with a slight paranormal aspect of a ghost and the mythology of the Raven which is big in the Native culture there. That is such a romantic story and very atmospheric. Plus I got a chance to write about all my adventures in AK since I wrote about experiences I actually had through my heroine, my urban goddess in the wilderness for the first time in search of my hero.

I also started a humorous paranormal crime fiction - think Buffy meets Harry Potter with COPS thrown in - that my agent loves and wants to sell, but I'm not sure I can focus on more than one genre with my contract obligations to Avon. They got me pretty busy.

Are you a writer? Tell me about YOU.

Linda J. Hutchinson said...

Good morning y'all!

I'd hoped to get here sooner, but reading the comments has been great fun. Every tour stop on this VBT has allowed me to learn new things about Jordan. Thanks for being so open, Jordan!

Wow! Only two more stops left on this tour--and only two more days--until release day! And then the "Launch P-A-R-T-Y!" at TWC on the 30th!

Jordan, you'd better start preparing for hitting the NYT Bestseller list. You're racking up readers who will want to read all of your books. (Including me!)

Thank you for being Diana's guest today. I'll pop back in a little later to read more.

If you'll be near Columbus, OH, while on-ground touring, we have a guest room. You're welcome to it anytime. Each room in our house has its own theme. The guest room's? A lakeside fishing shack. Great place for a murder, huh?


Stella Price said...

Hi Jordan! Congrats on the book and I hope your having fun on your blog tour!

You got a lot going on but it seems your totally living the dream. I want to know what you do to relax and distance yourself from the craziness of taking care of your contractual obligations and actual life. Whats your normal weekly schedule like?


Linda Mooney said...

I'm in Victoria, now. I write romance with sci-fi or fantasy elements. Very different from what people normally expect. :)

A paranormal crime fiction, eh? Sounds intriguing. I take it you prefer to stay contemporary? There's no possibility of a historical?

Diana Castilleja said...

Thanks for stopping by Linda! Both of you! LOL And Stella, can't miss you! :)

Jordan, I've got to run to the store and shhhtuff, but I'll be back to chat more.

If there was a special place you could visit for research for a book or for vacation, where would you want to go? Who would you take?

Jordan Dane said...

Hey Linda H--Thanks for the offer of your fishing shack room. LOL I might take you up on it. It would give us time to chat. I love talking about writing.

Plus I have dear friends in the OH area in Dayton and my husband's family is from the Cleveland area. I would love to get up there. My publisher is sending me on one of those totally pampered Levy trips in MI in Sept. I've heard lots of good things about them. Can't wait to do that one.

And Linda M--I've been to your neck of the woods when I was playing in the Vancouver & Victoria Island area. I would definitely love to travel more in Canada. It is stunning. A great place for writing and inspiration. And I seem to be grounded in contemporary. I really admire anyone who can write historical though. The research would blow my mind. I already do plenty of that now, I can't imagine researching the history of a world too. Kudos!

Jordan Dane said...

Hey Stella--Thanks for joining us this morning. My schedule these days is absolutely crazy. I was writing Cindy Gerard recently and gave her the run down of my promo and I could hear her jaw hit the floor from her little midwest home. I didn't realize I was doing so much until I wrote it all down. I think of this as an investment in my long term career so I don't mind the long hours. When I worked in the energy industry as a sales mgr for natural gas, I thought that could be demanding until I retired from that job to write full time.

I literally get up early--sometimes before dawn--and take care of online promo around my writing time of 9-4pm. But if I get a wild hair, then I may write some more. And I do extensive edits on my work as I go so once I'm done with a book, I am DONE. Plus I do a lot of research for each book. I had conference calls set up this week for my latest book with my experts & technical advisors. But learning is the fun part.

For fun, I need to find a better balance. I'd like to read for fun more these days. And my hubby and I like to go to movies and travel. Plus we are Koi Wranglers. He's putting in an extension to our Koi pond this summer and we hope to add our baby Koi to that part. I've gotten really attached to those little guys.

Linda Mooney said...

LOL! My bad. I meant Victoria, TEXAS. Feel free to fwack me over the hand with a rolled-up newspaper! :)

Jordan Dane said...

Good question, Diana. Since I have moved so many places with the energy industry, I've found that every place has it's intrigue. And I am such a curious person that I could write a book just about anywhere.

I would probably like to go to South America since I wrote FOREVER about Cuiaba Brazil. What a diverse culture!! And Russia has it's intrigue for me. Sections of it are similar to AK in climate and I had a friend who interned with my company from Siberia. He was a hoot. I'd love to visit his country. I've been to Europe and would love to go again. (England, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain) Many times, my travel experiences lend themselves to other locales. I think that's why my Brazil story read as so real to some author friends I have who live down there now.

I'm also very intrigued by Asia--China and Japan. And with my books selling in Germany (for translation), that might also be a place I would go.

So as you can see, I'd be happy to go ANYWHERE. And as for who I'd bring, I would totally take my best friend--my husband. Even if I were surrounded by other friends, I would want him there. He's been completely supportive of this crazy life I live now and I absolutely adore him. He's not much of a traveler, even though he works for an airline, but we recently got our passports updated and I hope that means something good.

Jordan Dane said...

Oops, I should have paid attention more to the Corpus thing. LOL

And if you are ever in BC, you'd love Victoria Island.

Too funny

Linda Mooney said...

If you had to choose just one of your books to be made into a movie, which one would you select, and why?

Jordan Dane said...

Oh, man. That's a tough one. I think because I love my characters so much, it's like trying to ask a mom which one of her kids would she want to see on the big screen.

SCREAM has got mystery and the creep factor with the suspense plot. And TELL has the drama of a crime family with quirky characters and a sociopathic killer that scares even me. And FOREVER has an adventure in Brazil with voodoo and an exotic locale.

But for a movie, I'd have to look at something that would look good on the big screen. And I'd have to say that would be the book I just finished - EVIL WITHOUT A FACE. It's the first of my romantic thriller "Sweet Justice" series. It's based in Alaska and in Chicago with some side trips into Russia--very action packed with car chases, explosions, and a Russian bad guy who gives me goose bumps. It's a story based on a real crime that happened in Florida 2004.

I'll going to post a summary of that book and the intro to that series here next--after I find it.

I'm really jazzed about this new series and am writing #5 now--THE WRONG SIDE OF DEAD.

Jordan Dane said...

Here's the summary that was pubbed in Publishers Weekly when we did the deal:

"An illusive web of imposters on the Internet lures a deluded teen from her Alaskan home and launches a chain reaction collision course with an unlikely tangle of heroes. This is the initial driver to the new 3-book “Sweet Justice” series from author Jordan Dane and Avon HarperCollins. With an international setting, these romantic thrillers will focus on the lives and loves of three women—a bounty hunter operating outside the law, an ambitious vice cop, and a former international operative with a mysterious past."

Jessica Beckett, my Fugitive Recovery Agent, is much braver than I’d ever be. She’s scarred both physically and mentally by her past, yet her inner strength is so resilient. Her scars are the imperfections in us all. But one of her most endearing traits is that she’s a real smart-ass. Normally, I fall in love with my male characters, but this woman has stolen my heart on so many levels.

Emma Sanders said...

I always like to read books set in Texas, especially because it's my home state and where I've always lived! I love South Padre Island! Thanks for the great excerpt, and thank you, Diana, for sharing Jordan with us on your blog!

Jordan Dane said...

Hey Emma---I grew up in San Antonio and have lived in Dallas & Houston too. TX feels like home for me. Even when I lived in Alaska, it had the feel of TX because of all the energy people there. Many had come from TX. And ironically, I wasn't a fan of country music until I lived in AK after hearing it played so much up there. I guess I was homesick.

But San Antonio made for a great backdrop for this story. SA became a character and I wanted to show the diverse culture and different locales, not just the tourist stuff. SO I wrote about old stomping grounds of mine and also described the food and culture.

You should visit my website under SCREAM, I've got a Story Behind the Story of the locales I used and what they meant to me and my family--along with excerpts.

Jordan Dane said...

Hey Diana--Thanks for having me here today. I'll poke my head back a little later if someone should comment and I'm on email alert.

Best of luck to you with your writing. And have a good weekend!!

Diana Castilleja said...

Thank you for sharing your day with us Jordan. Happy Easter!

Jordan Dane said...

Happy Easter, Diana!! And remember, chocolate is a food group.