Thursday, October 22, 2015

Writing Suspense for Kindle Worlds

With: Kim Hornsby

Congratulations to "Taurus" and "Erin F", the winners in Kim's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

Today, I launch a novella with one of Amazon’s latest platforms, Kindle Worlds. If you’re not familiar with the name, it’s an Amazon program in which an author (or budding author) can choose a licensed ‘World’ offered, (usually a bestselling series with many books) and fit a brand new story into that author’s world somehow. Imagine writing your own version of Edward and Bella between Twilight and Breaking Dawn. Well, Twilight isn’t on KW, but there are some awesome choices including the Lei Crime Series 

Here’s my story:
Last winter I became acquainted with a Maui author named Toby Neal. I first saw her books in a Kihei Maui bookstore when I dropped off Dream Jumper books for the owner. I contacted Toby to say our books were sharing shelf space, read her first novel in the Lei Crime Series and LOVED it! Like tens of thousands of other Suspense readers, I continued to Book 2, then 3, then 4.

Sometime between Books 2 and 3 in her series, I asked Toby if she wanted to join a Romantic Suspense Box Set I was putting together to try to reach the USA Today Bestseller List in May. She did, and along with eight other authors, Toby and I released Passion & Danger, our Box Set with Alexa Grace, Kristine Cayne and Dana Delamar, among others. Although we made lots of money for cancer research, we didn’t hit the list.
But Toby asked if I’d like to write for her newly acquired KindleWorld.

I said yes!

All I needed was to get inside the heads of her characters in the Lei Crime Series and concoct a compelling police procedural set in the Hawaiian Islands. My writing process always involves lots of thinking time before I begin to write and although I didn’t make the July deadline because of that necessary thinking time, I have now made the October deadline.

Rocky Bluff Now Available for only $1.99!

For my KW novella, I used Toby’s main characters, Lei Texeira, the tough detective who can’t commit to fully loving her man and Michael Stevens, her love interest, and also a detective. I set the story on Maui during the time period when they first move in together. In true KW style, I created some of my own characters, including a young woman who befriends Lei, named Kali, and was careful to not have any spillover from my other Maui Suspense series—Dream Jumper. One of the rules of KW is that you don’t own the characters you create for them, so I made sure to remember that I won’t be able to use anyone in a future book unless I make Rocky Bluff a series on Kindle Worlds, which is now my plan.

What makes Toby’s Lei Crime Series Kindle World different is that she lends tons of help to her KW authors, offers advice, has created a Facebook Group where we help each other, we have a Dropbox sharing site and we even have use of her assistant to help with our promo! Now that’s what I call a good boss! July’s release saw about eight releases and our October deadline will see another five-eight books. They all have kick-ass covers, excellent content, and are at the top of the bestselling KW lists.

Rocky Bluff is out early for the October 31st release because 1) it was ready and 2) I wanted to get a few reviews, gain traction before Toby’s marketing kicks in on the 31st. Also, the story is set around Halloween, during a theatrical production of The Rocky Horror Show, and I wanted to use #Halloween promo in the weeks leading up to the spookiest day of the year.

Rocky Bluff is a murder mystery with palm trees, scuba diving, a wild cast of actors, and two big dogs. Also, I’ve included a recipe for Malasadas, Portuguese donuts sold on Maui in the bakeries.

Rocky Bluff- A Lei Crime Series Novella
By Kim Hornsby

Both Thursday and Friday winners get…
A free copy of Rocky Bluff in eBook form, As well as Book 1 in the Award-Winning, Bestselling Series, The Dream Jumper’s Promise. AND, a copy of her newest Box Set with Christmas Suspense stories CRIMINAL CHRISTMAS --
(8 Christmas Suspense Stories to be delivered when it releases November 9th)

All you have to do is comment to be eligible.
Question: Have you ever seen The Rocky Horror Show and if so, did you dress up?

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Oct. 23rd. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


  1. I've never seen the entire movie.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  2. I saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show when it first screened. I went back the next day to see it again. No dressing up, it was too new to have a cult following.


    1. Very cool! If I can find the photo, I'll post of me dressed up (in the 90's) at the play.

  3. I am the only person I know who hasn't seen the movie entirely. I desperately want to go to a showing to see everyone dressed up :) I won't but it would be a blast. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Erin: It's wild to go to a showing. You can't just rent the movie because it just seems like a really terrible Science Fiction B Movie.

  4. I have never watched it...

    1. You might consider yourself lucky! Kind of kidding, kind of not.

  5. haven't seen it

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  6. I've been reading & loving the Lei Crime series. It's simply awesome. (teriheyer at aim dot com)

    I love Rocky Horror & have seen it several times, but I've never dressed up.

    1. Lei Crime Series is pretty awesome. I really enjoyed writing Lei Texeira. Thanks for commenting, Teri!

  7. The Lei Crime series is quickly becoming my favourite "take a break" reading! Can't wait to read your new contribution, Kim. Sounds messy! I love the Rocky Horror Show!


Sign up to receive our newsletter