Interview & Giveaway: Lashell Collins

Where There's Smoke: A Kelly Family Novel

Author Lashell Collins

Genre: Romantic Suspense


The Kelly Family is back, and this time, they've got a score to settle!

After years of dealing with his cheating ex-girlfriend's betrayal, Detective Levi Hawks has found love again with Marina Kelly, something he never truly believed would happen for him. And when an unexpected foe rises from the past and begins to threaten her entire family, Levi will do anything to find the culprits and bring them to justice. But what happens when his own past comes calling? Will Levi hold tight to the woman who picked up the pieces and brought joy back into his life, or will he make the mistake of going back to the woman who broke his heart to begin with? 

Where There's Smoke features all the Kellys you met in the first 4 novellas (Ethan, Storm, Frankie & Marina), bringing them all together to solve a case that threatens each of their lives. Get to know the family a little better in this first full-length Kelly Family novel!

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Author Bio & Links:

Lashell Collins spent the last twenty years of her life working in Veterinary Hospitals and Garden Centers. But whether she was surrounded by the adorable puppies and kittens she helped care for, or by the beautiful flowers, trees and shrubs, she constantly pursued her favorite pastime – reading romance novels and imagining herself as the heroine in each and every one of them. She began writing as a way to work through her grief after the loss of a few people who were special to her, and she found it to be cathartic, so she kept at it. She self-published her first novel in 2013. Since then, Lashell has self-published ten titles across two series – the Pierced Trilogy (romantic suspense), and the Jagged Ivory Series (contemporary romance) – and is hard at work on another two series for this year. All of Lashell’s stories are full of heart and romance, with smart dialogue and spicy sex scenes.

When she’s not writing, Lashell enjoys reading, shopping, eating Chinese food, and riding on the back of her husband’s Harley-Davidson. She loves watching General Hospital and Grimm. She is a huge music fan and is completely obsessed with Slash. Lashell is a member of the Romance Writers of America. Drop her a line; she loves to hear from readers.

1. I like how you wrote four separate books for the main characters -- a little way of getting to know them. Which of the Kelly family characters was most fun for you to write?
You know, I as going to say that I think I had the most fun with Frankie, simply because she's the K-9 officer, and I really enjoyed writing the scene where she's out on an eerie dark night, traipsing through the woods with her K-9 partner in search of a dangerous murder suspect. But as I think about it, I really had a lot of fun with each of the Kellys because their stories, or I should say parts of their stories, are loosely based on real actual events that happened to my husband when he was still on the job. He's a retired police officer, former K-9 handler, and each of the crimes in the novellas and in Where There's Smoke actually happened. They are his stories that I've heard over and over again during the course of our marriage. So it was really fun to pick his brain while writing this series and creating the Kelly siblings.

2. What made you decide to write the books the way you did?
If you mean releasing the four novellas all at one time, it was just a really crazy marketing ploy that I probably won't try again in the near future because the stress of it was unbelievable! But I'm not going to say never because it did have it's up sides too.

3. Are there any standalone novels in the works?
You know, I'm not sure what it is about me, but I tend to write in trilogies and series. I tried once to write a standalone story and it somehow became the 5 book Jagged Ivory series. I'm not sure I know how to write a true standalone. I guess my brain just doesn't work that way because I always want to know what happened to the secondary characters. What are their stories? I think that might have something to do with the fact that I am a soap opera junkie. I grew up watching Guiding Light, As the World Turns, All My Children, One Life to Live, and Port Charles. And I'm still very much addicted to General Hospital and Days of Our Lives. I think every character, even the minor ones, has a story to tell if I'm willing to listen and write it down.

4. Can you tell us a bit about your next project?
My current work in progress is something I'm calling the Lunar Falls project, and again, it was conceived as a trilogy. I'm calling it a project because it's led me down a path that is very unfamiliar to me, which is paranormal. The story is set in a tiny rural town, and it's about Carly Tipton, who is a veterinarian who moves to the town of Lunar Falls for a job and suddenly finds herself caught in the middle of a ghost story/paranormal mystery of sorts. It doesn't take her long to fall in lust with the town's sheriff, and it takes her even less time to figure out that there is something just a little bit strange about him and many of the town's inhabitants.

5.  It seems like you must write an awful lot of words per day in order to pump out so many new titles. On average, how many words per day do you write?
Lately, I think I've been averaging somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 words a day. But I find time to write every single day, without fail.

6. I see that you worked in veterinary hospitals. Do animals figure into your books often?
They didn't used to, but they have lately. There are two dogs and one cat that feature pretty prominently in the Kelly Family series, and there's a wolf-dog hybrid that has a staring role in the Lunar Falls project. And I've never written about a veterinarian before either so, that's new!

7.  If you could sit down with any author past or present, which one would you select, and why?
Wow. That is a crazy hard question to answer. I don't think I can. Too many books, too many wonderful and interesting authors to comprehend!

8. What made you decide you wanted to be an author?
I just had all these stories in my head. All these daydreams that had no place to go, so I finally started to write them down and let other people read them.


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Lori L. Clark

Lori L. Clark currently resides in Hazelwood, MO with three rescue dogs. When Lori isn't listening to the voices in her head, waiting for the next creative inspiration to strike, she also loves to read, run, paint pet portraits and save dogs. Email Lori at


  1. Thanks for having me, Lori, and for interviewing me. Great questions!


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