Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Deadly Fantasies by Kelly Miller: Interview and Excerpt


What is your heroine of the story like?

Homicide Detective Kate Springer is a flawed woman. When you first meet her, you may not like her—she seems a bit cold and bristly. But it’s just her way of keeping everyone at arm’s length. She’s lived too much life in her thirty-eight years, and she struggles with issues of trying to control the people and the circumstances around her. Yet once you get deeper into the story, you realize she’s trying to become a better person. She knows her faults and she wants to better herself. But just like all of us, she makes mistakes on the path to becoming the woman she wants to be.


How do you describe your writing style?

I’m the Law & Order: SVU of books. My stories deal with dark adult themes, but both my novels would still only receive a NC-17 rating.

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

Yes to both questions. At the beginning of my journey, being a newbie author, I thought I could do it all on my own. When I started getting a pile of rejection letters from agents and publishers, I knew I needed help. I joined a critique group with three other authors, and quickly learned I was making the same mistakes over and over. With beta readers, I enlisted their help at different points. Some read while I was still writing the story to make sure it was good enough to keep going. Others read after it was complete. I chose a large cross section of people ensuring I’d get differing feedback. Every reader finds a different mistake. Some regularly read mysteries, others didn’t, some were authors and some were just enthusiastic book lovers. Just remember, not all readers are created equal.


Plotter or Pantser? Why?

I’m a hybrid. Because my novel’s a mystery, I have to outline enough to know how I’m getting from A to Z. I also plot out the major landmarks along the way. But I like many of my chapters to grow organically. That’s the fun. Sitting down at the computer and seeing where the characters want to go. I’m just along for the ride taking notes on their crazy antics.


Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?

Enter your work into writing competitions. When my first novel kept getting rejected, I entered the manuscript into the Florida Writers Association RPLA writing competition. It promised feedback from three judges. Not only did their critiques provide the answer to my problem of why I couldn’t get agents interested in my work, my novel, “Dead Like Me,” won second place in the Best Mystery category. I made the necessary changes to my work and the manuscript finally started getting attention.


What are your favorite TV shows?
I’m a reality TV junkie. In fact, when I was trying to sell my first book to an agent/publisher I created a comical animated movie on what a reality show based on writers would look like. You can check it out on Youtube. In my wild imagination, I envisioned the video going viral and eventually getting an agent out of the whole deal. Did I mention I’m a dreamer! Anyway, I’m a real sucker for all the reality shows where the average Joe gets a shot at making his dream come true. I love Project Runway, Top Chef, Face Off, and The Voice to name just a few. It’s amazing I ever find time to write!


If I came to visit early in the morning would you impress me as being more like a chirpy bird or a grumpy bear?

Definitely a chirpy bird. If there’s something important on my to-do list, it better be completed by 1 pm or it’s not going to get done. I also have one piece of chocolate about 2 pm for an afternoon pick-me-up before I have to get in the car line at the kid’s school and start the second half of my day.



Deadly Fantasies Synopsis

A ringing phone at 1:17 am is never a good thing, but Homicide Detective Kate Springer doesn’t have the luxury of ignoring the call. On the other end of the line, a confessor admits to murdering her husband. Dr. Nina Grace needs help, and Kate knows it’s time to repay a debt. No matter the consequences, Kate must fight to keep the investigation from solely focusing on her friend.


Jonathan Grace controls the people in his life like he does his business—with a chokehold. His insatiable appetite for living life on the edge leads him to a club where he’s encouraged to act out his darkest desires. But what happens when one man’s fantasy becomes another’s nightmare?


Did Dr. Nina Grace kill her husband or did Jonathan’s secret life lead to his death? Detective Springer knows that no matter what her friend admitted, she couldn’t be capable of the horrific torture and murder of her husband. But will Kate’s blind loyalty be her downfall?

Goodreads photo AddtoGoodreads.jpg

Buying Links:


Deadly Fantasies Excerpt

Chapter 1

     The evening flooded back like snapshots in a memory book. Hotel. Celebration. Drinks. Skin. Lots of skin. I grabbed my ringing phone with one hand and moved the bedside alarm clock closer with the other. The numbers burned 1:17 am, mocking my now awakened state.

     After three years as a homicide detective, a call this late, or early depending on your point of view, could only mean one thing—a dead body. It was just a matter of time. Tampa hadn’t had a murder victim laid at its doorstep in four days.

     A voice next to me grumbled, begging me to make the ringing noise stop.

     “Detective Springer,” I croaked into the phone.

     Nothing but dead air.

     Great, crank call. I twisted sideways, getting ready to switch on the nearby lamp, but stopped midair when a whimper, childlike yet aged with the sound of regret, broke free from the phone’s speaker. “Kate? Kate?”

     I knew that voice. But from where? The cobwebs from too much partying cluttered my mind. The crackling of bad reception filled the airways.

      “Kate, I think I killed my husband.”

     Dr. Nina Grace. Finally attaching a name to the confessor, I asked, “What? What do you mean—” I stopped midsentence, knowing any more words would be wasted. Our call had been disconnected.

     I grabbed my clothing scattered around the room and began dressing. “Last night was wonderful,” I said, leaning over Jeffrey, “but I gotta go. Keep sleeping, I’ll call later.” He was so out of it, I doubted he’d even remember me leaving. Hell, we’d been asleep for less than two hours.

     Jeffrey turned away from me, rolling over onto his side. He pulled the covers up tight underneath his chin and mumbled, “That’s okay. My wife’s not expecting me home tonight.”

     What! Bastard told me he’d separated from his wife six months earlier. Said he’d filed for divorce three weeks ago. I should have known better than to trust a lawyer. Should’ve stopped by the courthouse and looked up the records myself. Unfortunately, the sort of justice he deserved called for more time than I had at the moment. And the right power tools. I had to get to Dr. Grace. She saved my life last year. Now it was time to return the favor.



Kelly Miller lives in Tampa, Florida where her novel is set. She’s married, has three children, and a black Labrador named Gracie. Kelly is a proud member of the Florida Writers Association.

Deadly Fantasies is the second book in the Detective Kate Springer series. The first book, Dead Like Me, won second place in the best mystery category of the 2011 FWA Royal Palm Literary Awards competition. It was also named a semi-finalist in the mystery category of The Kindle Book Review’s 2013 Best Indie Books Awards competition.

Social Media Links

Author Website:

Twitter: @MillerMystery

Book 1
Goodreads photo AddtoGoodreads.jpg


This rafflecopter is a giveaway to one person for two signed paperback copies of each title in the Detective Kate Springer series, “Dead Like Me” and “Deadly Fantasies.” 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


kathy p said...

thanks for the giveaway!

Kelly Miller said...

Good luck, Kathy. Thanks again Laurie for hosting me on your blog. I really appreciate all the support!