Golden Heart Finalist – Kendra Elliot!

Today I’m thrilled to have good friend and fellow RCRW member Kendra Elliot with us!!

As a kid, Kendra read and read and read. Laura Ingalls, Nancy Drew, and Trixie Belden were her close companions. She was never without a book in hand. Today her taste in mysteries still exists. She loves Lee Child, Karen Rose, Robert Crais, and Tami Hoag. She also enjoy losing herself in a sweeping historical romance by Diana Gabaldon or a contemporary by Rachel Gibson.

Kendra decided to try her hand at novel writing after she read a newspaper article about NaNoWriMo. “Heck, I can do that,” she thought. She was hooked. She wrote a contemporary romance but found herself tripping over dead bodies in each chapter. She got the hint and her later stories evolved into romantic suspense.

She joined her local Romance Writers of America chapter, the Rose City Romance Writers, and found a fabulous community dedicated to educating its members about writing and publishing. “Book purchases are tax deductable??”  She also belongs to International Thriller Writers.

Kendra grew up in the lush Pacific Northwest and still lives there with her three daughters and two cats. In the real world (non-writing world) she’s a dental hygienist who is fascinated with forensics, refuses to eat anything green, and loves a good Mai Tai on the beach on Kauai.

In addition to the Golden Heart, Kendra’s writing has finaled in the Washington Romance Writers Marlene contest, the Daphne Du Maurier, and the Linda Howard Award of Excellence. To learn more about Kendra, visit her website at

Kendra’s Golden Heart finaling manuscript in Romantic Suspense is STRONGER THAN BONE: 

Dr. Lacey Campbell has a career she loves, but her job makes other people queasy. Working for the Medical Examiner’s office as a forensic odontologist, Lacey matches nameless dead bodies with their identities. While freezing in the snow at her current study of discarded skeletal remains, Lacey feels ill as she realizes she’s holding the skull of her kidnapped college roommate.

Eleven years ago, Oregon State University was traumatized by a serial killer who murdered nine female students. Lacey barely escaped the hands of the Co-ed Hunter, Dave DeCosta, but lost her best friend, Suzanne Mills, to the killer. DeCosta was tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison.

A police badge discovered with Suzanne’s remains leads to a fresh murder scene where a cop has been killed in DeCosta’s unique style. Police learn the dead cop had arrested DeCosta. Next the prosecuting district attorney and the defense lawyer from DeCosta’s murder trial are killed in eerily similar styles. But DeCosta died in prison eighteen months ago.

Ex-cop Jack Harper owns the land where Suzanne’s skeleton was recovered, and he was a former partner of the murdered cop. In college, Jack dated a victim of the Co-Ed Hunter and had been questioned in her death. Police don’t like the coincidences and start to wonder if the right man went to prison a decade ago.

 And now a little more about Kendra…

 1)  How long have you been writing?
I started writing about five years ago. After reading a newspaper article about NaNoWriMo, I decided to give novel writing a try. I wrote a contemporary romance, joined the Rose City Romance Writers chapter of RWA, and kept plugging away at new stories.

 2)  Did you always want to be an author or is this something you fell into later in life?
No. I didn’t consider writing until I read that newspaper article. And I didn’t think about the process. I sat down and did it. I simply wanted to know if I could write something as terrific as Diana Gabaldon. (I couldn’t, lol)  Later I discovered I had a strong desire to see my name on a book spine.

3)  What do you do in your “other” life? (Day job, family, etc.)
I’m a part time dental hygienist and a full time mom to my three young daughters.

 4)  Who are your favorite authors?
Where to start??  Harlan Coben, Lee Child, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Diana Gabaldon, Robert Crais, Jane Porter, Tami Hoag, Karen Rose, JR Ward, Linda Howard, Rachel Gibson, Clive Cussler, James Rollins, and on, and on.

 5)  Do you have an agent?
Yes. I signed with Jennifer Schober of Spencerhill Associates after finaling in the Golden Heart. I’d heard Jennifer speak in a workshop at Nationals in 2008 and knew she was the type of person I wanted as an agent. In 2009 I had an agent appointment with her at Nationals and she requested my manuscript. She eventually rejected it, but told me she was open to seeing other work. When I finaled, I asked her if she’d look at that manuscript. She did. She remembered me and loved the new book. 

 6)  Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hmmm. The same happy place I am now in my life, but writing romantic suspense for a fabulous publisher. And raising three teenage daughters…Lord, give me strength.

4 comments to “Golden Heart Finalist – Kendra Elliot!”

  1. Christy M
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:34 am · Link

    Hey Kendra!

    I work for a dental supply company, so i love hygienists. and a romance author. sounds like a perfect package to me! Thanks for the excerpt. it sounds like a really good book!

  2. Elisa Beatty
    July 9th, 2010 at 9:28 am · Link

    Your book sounds fantastic, Kendra! Can’t wait to see it in print!
    And can’t wait to meet you in Orlando!

  3. Erica O'Rourke
    July 9th, 2010 at 6:35 pm · Link

    Kendra, your story absolutely gives me the heebie-jeebies — it sounds great! And as another mom of three girls, you have my sympathies. We’re both in for a wild ride, I think.

  4. Ken Wheatley
    August 3rd, 2010 at 10:19 am · Link

    We’ve known each other for years and I was happy to see that you’ve broken the boundaries of a “normal” hobby. When the book is in print, I will stand in line to purchase and maybe have you sign it someday.

    Great job,


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