Thursday, March 28, 2013

In The Spotlight...Kelly Martin


I want to thank Lynn for having me on her blog today! I’m doing a one day blog blitz to let you all know about my new book, SAINT SLOAN.

 

So… what is SLOAN about?  I’m so glad you asked J

 

When Sloan Bridges is seventeen years and three hundred, sixty-four days old, her dream of having a perfect birthday is shattered. Home alone after spending the afternoon working on a science project at the new boy’s house, Sloan is brutally attacked in her kitchen by a man she can’t recognize. The only clue she has to go on is what he whispers in her ear, “You deserve this.”

The police have one suspect—Aaron Hunter, older brother of ‘the new boy’, who picked Sloan up a few nights before as she ran from a party. Adamant that he didn’t do it, Aaron begs Sloan to believe him. For her part, Sloan doesn’t know who to trust. She never saw her attacker’s face, and when she does picture it, it’s Aaron’s face she sees standing over her.

Trying to move on is impossible with a former best friend who taunts her and gives her the moniker, “Saint Sloan”, an ex-boyfriend who doesn’t understand why she changed a few months before her attack, and Aaron’s brother, Ray, who makes Sloan smile but has a side she doesn’t understand.

With her attacker ready to strike again, Sloan has to figure out who would hurt her and stop him before he finishes what he started.

Happy birthday to her…

 

~*~*~

Sloan deals with complicated issues in heartwarming, heart wrenching, humours (at times) ways. Can Sloan move on from her attack? Can she pick between Ray and Aaron? Was Aaron really her attacker? What secret is Ray hiding? What other guys in Chapel Hill would want to hurt Sloan? And can Sloan hold on to her faith when she needs it most.

 

Want to read more? But it for $2.99 from any of the links below:

 
AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Saint-Sloan-ebook/dp/B00BMQ9E9O/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1
 





Thank you so much for having me here today!

 Author bio:

~Kelly Martin is a best selling author of young adult fiction. She has two books: Grace Award nominee CROSSING THE DEEP and Amazon Best selling in Teen/Religion SAINT SLOAN. She has several short stories published and loves to write ‘twitter fiction’ when she’s bored. Kelly loves God, is addicted to chocolate, and would rather write than sleep.

 You can find her on twitter (she tweets a lot): @martieKay

You can find my author page (blog tour central): at www.kellymartinstories.com
 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

In The Spotlight...Lisa Orchard


Today's In The Spotlight books are fellow Astraea Press author, Lisa Orchard's, The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer and The Super Spies and the High School Bomber.












Author Bio- 

Lisa Orchard grew up loving books. She was hooked on mysteries by the fifth grade and even wrote a few of her own. She knew she wanted to be a writer even then.  “The Super Spies and the High School Bomber” is the second book in the “Super Spies” series. Her first book was published in March of 2012 and it has received rave reviews.
After graduating from Central Michigan University with a Marketing Degree she spent many years in the insurance industry, pining to express her creative side.  The decision to stay home with her children gave her the opportunity to follow her dream and become a writer. She currently resides in Rockford Michigan with her husband, Steve, and two wonderful boys. Currently, she’s working on the third novel that stars the same quirky teens. When she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, running, hiking, and reading.








Blurb-
This book opens in a small town in Michigan where fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her Aunt and Uncle’s with her sister, Lacey. She’s not happy with the situation until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman. One of the officers investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death. Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own fact-finding mission.  The Super Spies can’t understand why anyone would want to murder the “Cat Lady” until they start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the inquest. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. To make matters worse, the police don’t even believe them. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer, or die trying…
Excerpt-
Alarm bells rang in Sarah’s head—this has to be out of character for someone who never leaves their home. She turned back and whispered to the other girls. “Hey!”
Jackie poked her head out. “What?”
“The storm door’s open.”
“So?”
“So…what do I do?”
“Duh…Ring the door bell.”
Sarah shrugged and pushed the doorbell. It let out an irritating buzz and she had the feeling it had been broken long ago and never fixed. She dashed down the stairs.  The cats scattered, alarmed by the sudden activity. Reaching the shrubs, Sarah hid with her sister and Jackie.
            Gasping for breath, Sarah waited for a reaction from the old woman. Her heart pummeled her ribs and she pressed her hand to her chest to calm it.
After a few minutes, Sarah started to pace. “Well…nothing’s happened.” She peeked out from behind the shrub and saw the screen door hanging ajar. “I bet she’s not even home. I’m going to try again.”
Jackie shrugged. “Be careful, remember she’s a witch.”
Sarah shook her head, and then peered out from behind the shrubs. Once again, she climbed the stairs. She was braver this time and it didn’t take her as long to make it to the door.
She looked inside, her heart lurching in her chest. She tiptoed to the picture window and peered through it. Gasping, she ran back to the entryway. Pulling it open, she lunged inside.
Sarah stared, unable to tear herself away.  Shock ran through her body like an electrical current as she eyed the scene before her. The crumpled form of the Cat Lady lay on the living room floor, just inside the door. No life flickered in the old woman’s staring eyes. Her mouth gaped open in a silent scream and her hands were up around her head as if she were warding off blows. Turning away from the Cat Lady’s body, Sarah gagged as the coppery scent of blood assaulted her. There was blood splattered everywhere, on the wall, on the carpet and under the Cat Lady’s body.
Suddenly, Sarah’s throat constricted and she gasped for breath. Fearing she would faint, she stumbled back out the door and collided with Jackie and Lacey on the porch.
Jackie grabbed Sarah’s arm and shook her. “What are you doing? Are you crazy? I never said to go inside!”
Sarah didn’t speak—she just stared blankly at the porch.
Jackie shook her again. “Are you under the Cat Lady’s spell?”
Lacey whimpered. “Hey, Sarah….can you hear me? Sarah?”
“She’s under the Cat Lady’s spell,” Jackie said waving her hand in front of Sarah’s eyes.
“Oh my---,” Sarah moaned and clutched Jackie’s arm.
“What is it?” Jackie shook her again. “Speak…say something!”
“Th-th-the C-C-Cat Lady, sh-sh-she’s,” Sarah stuttered.
“She’s what?” Jackie demanded.
“Sh-she’s dead.”

Blurb-
This book opens in a small town in Michigan where Sarah and her sister Lacey are now living with their Aunt and Uncle. Still reeling from the fact her parents have disappeared, Sarah starts the school year with her new friend Jackie Jenkins. When Sarah learns the school has been bombed, she’s filled with dread. Uncle Walt is a teacher, and he was in the school when the bomb exploded. Taking matters into her own hands, Sarah decides to search for him. The rest of the Super Spies are right behind her. When a fireman chases them away from the school, Sarah becomes suspicious. She decides to investigate. The FBI arrives on the scene. Sarah realizes this bombing could have even bigger implications. Searching for the bombers, Sarah is introduced to the world of terrorism. She fears that the bombing and her parents’ disappearance are connected and terrorists are involved. To make matters worse, the bombers are determined to finish the job. Can the Super Spies find the bombers before it’s too late?

Lisa's Buy Links-
"The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer"


"The Super Spies and the High School Bomber"



Thanks for stopping by. Have a fantabulous day!

Lynn~

Saturday, March 23, 2013

In The Spotlight...Meg Mims




Today's In The Spotlight book is Double or Nothing by Spur Award winning author Meg Mims. This story is the sequel to Double Crossing.














Blurb-
 
A mysterious explosion. A man framed for murder. A strong woman determined to prove his innocence.
October, 1869: Lily Granville, heiress to a considerable fortune, rebels against her uncle's strict rules. Ace Diamond, determined to win Lily, invests in a dynamite factory but his success fails to impress her guardian. An explosion in San Francisco, mere hours before Lily elopes with Ace to avoid a forced marriage, sets off a chain of consequences.

When Ace is framed for murder before their wedding night, Lily must find proof to save him from a hangman's noose. Will she become a widow before a true wife?

Excerpt-

1869, California

I jumped at a screeching whistle. Men swarmed over the distant slope like bees over a wax honeycomb in a mad scramble. “Good heavens. What is that about?”

Uncle Harrison pulled me out of harm’s way. “They’re almost ready to begin the process of hydraulic mining,” he said and pulled his hat down to avoid the hot sun. “You’ll see. This is far better than panning for gold in a creek bed.”

“I can already see how destructive it is, given the run-off,” I said, eyeing the rivulets of dried mud that marked each treeless incline. “I’ve read about how the farmers can’t irrigate their fields and orchards due to the gravel and silt filling the rivers—”

Water suddenly gushed from two hydraulic nozzles in a wide, powerful stream. The men’s bulging arm muscles strained their shirts, their faces purple with the effort to control the water. I turned my gaze to the ravaged earth. Mud washed down into the wooden sluices, where other men worked at various points to spray quicksilver along the wide stretch. Others worked at a frantic pace to keep the earthy silt moving.

An older man with a grizzled goatee and worn overalls held out a canteen. “Have a sip while you’re waiting, miss,” he said. “A body gets mighty thirsty out here.”

“Thank you.”

I sipped the cold, refreshing ginger-flavored liquid that eased my parched throat. Dirt from the canteen streaked my gloves. Not that it mattered. At least the spatters of fresh mud wouldn’t show on my black mourning costume and riding boots. Two days of rain earlier in the week had not helped.

The kind man offered the canteen to Uncle Harrison, who brushed it aside with a curt shake of his head. Steaming, I bit back an apology. The man had already headed back to his position near the sluices.

Bored of watching the ongoing work, I wandered over to several horses that stood patient in the sun and patted their noses. A tooled leather saddle sat atop one gelding’s glossy brown hide, and the silver-studded bridle looked as rich. The horse gave a low whicker in greeting. If only I’d pocketed a few carrots or sugar lumps from breakfast.

“You’re a beauty. I wish I could ride you for a bit.”

The gelding’s ears dipped forward. One of the men left the knot of others in a huff. His dusty open coat swung around him as he stalked, spurs jingling, and closed the distance. He passed by me with a mere tip of his wide-brimmed hat and untied the reins. The horse pawed the ground, jittery, as if sensing the man’s foul mood while he mounted. I noted his scowl. Was he upset that I’d dared touch his property? A scruffy beard and thick black mustache hid his mouth. He rode off, keeping the gelding’s gait easy, down the gully toward the Early Bird’s entrance.

“Who was that?” I asked a miner.

The worker wiped sweat from his forehead with a sleeve. “Señor Alvarez? He’s got a burr under his blanket as usual. Pay him no mind, miss.”

I rubbed the remaining horse’s flank and glanced around the mining site. My uncle continued to chat with the foreman close to the shack near the head of the sluices. Another section of the wooden troughs was raised from the ground further north at a different bank of earth. My curiosity increased. I walked to the sluice and stared down at the filth in the bottom. No glints of gold flecked the bits of rock and slag. I had no idea what quicksilver looked like either. This whole business seemed crazy, although Uncle Harrison disagreed.

In the distance, pines smudged the lower half of the Sierra’s tiny white-capped peaks. To the west, gray clouds threatened the pale blue sky. No doubt rain would soak everything again by morning. My uncle had mentioned how winter was wetter here than back home in Chicago, or even St. Louis. I hadn’t known what to expect for autumn in California. Now that it was close to October, the stands of golden aspen on a ridge high above sported various shades of green, gold and hues of orange.

Homesickness overwhelmed me. I longed to see the brilliant shades of orange, red and yellow oaks, the thick forest of elms and birches behind my father’s house in Evanston. To ride along the shoreline of Lake Michigan’s navy waters, and watch the snow falling fast on a chilly winter’s day. I wouldn’t even mind listening to Adele Mason’s endless chatter about the latest dinner parties she attended with her many beaus.

It seemed like an eternity since I’d crossed two thousand miles of prairie and mountains on the Union and Central Pacific railroad. Donner Lake had resembled a sapphire jewel nestled among pristine snow fields. Perhaps it was frozen already.

I shivered, remembering the darkness of Summit Tunnel. It also brought back the delicious memory of feeling safe, nestled in Ace’s strong arms. Feeling the sudden shock when his tongue sought my own…

“Miss? It’s dangerous standin’ that close to the sluice. Over yonder is best.”

Guilt flooded my heart. Nodding to the man, I twisted around and glanced in the direction he indicated. My uncle remained at the shack. “Will they ever stop talking business?”

“Doubt it.” The miner was the same one who’d offered me water earlier. He carried a roll of canvas slung over a shoulder. Shrugging, he swiped his muddy goatee and cheek against his burden’s nubby surface. “Reckon they’ll yammer on for a while more.”

“Thank you. I’ll be careful.”

“Sure thing, miss.”

He passed by and handed the canvas to a pair of men. They unrolled it and laid the fabric inside the wooden sluice. I walked across the shifting ground, trying to avoid the worst of the mud’s damp patches. One claimed my uncle’s shoe when we arrived that morning. I fought hard not to laugh aloud, watching Uncle Harrison hop about on one foot, so comical with his blustery red face. At last a worker retrieved his shoe, mud up to his elbow, half his face coated as well. My uncle had not thanked the man for the rescue, either.

On higher ground, two workers held long snaking hoses that spurted water at the high bank. Two others sprayed quicksilver over the sluice. It didn’t look like anything but dirty water. I sighed. This entire trip had been a waste of time. Uncle Harrison resented the questions I’d peppered the foreman with and ignored my opinions on how the operation damaged the countryside. Why had he suggested I tag along in the first place?

I should have stayed back in Sacramento. My sketchbook drawings needed work. I had yet to finish anything I’d glimpsed during the journey on the train. Etta had brought all my watercolor supplies from Evanston, and most of my books too.

But I didn’t want to read or paint. A deep melancholy robbed me of energy. Nightmares haunted my sleep, of the deep ravine and the lizard I’d caught, of the sandy slope I climbed on Mt. Diablo, desperate to escape my father’s killer. Of being trapped, with no way out, and facing death, and of seeing that shocked surprise… and hearing the gunshot.

Self-defense, as Ace claimed. My uncle and the sheriff agreed.

Poor Ace. He’d felt bad afterward, forced into a cowardly deed. I had never shot anything except a badger with Father’s Navy revolver. Missed, too. But I’d tried to protect my darling pet lizard’s clutch of eggs in the garden back home. The thought of shooting a human being turned my stomach. I suppose stabbing someone wasn’t any less of a sin. Heavy guilt weighed on me. Had it been self-defense? I shuddered at the memory.

As Mother used to say, it was water under the bridge. Nothing I might say or do now would change the past. But I’d rather avoid making such a horrible choice again.

Instead I trudged toward the shack. The foreman held a large piece of blueprint paper between his hands while my uncle pointed at various sections. Two other men argued with them, their heated words carrying over the whooshing of hoses and creaks and jolts of skeleton wagons over the rutted ground. Most of their argument was peppered with technical jargon that didn’t make any sense. Even Chinese sounded more familiar.

“We haven’t made enough headway,” said a man in a tailored suit, whose gold watch chain glinted in the sun. “I say we dig out the ridge all the way.”

“You take that ridge down any more than we have and we’ll never get equipment to the furthest point of the claim, over here,” my uncle said and prodded the map. “That was Alvarez’s advice. He knows this land better than you, Williamson.”

“I agree, it’s too dangerous,” the foreman said.

 “I’m the engineer! Are you implying I don’t know my business?”

“I’m saying it’s stupid to undermine that ridge. You’re being a stubborn coot.”

“You’re a fine one to call me stubborn—”

Good heavens. I reversed direction and headed back toward the sluice. They were sure to argue for another few hours. I wanted to ride that horse, even if it meant hiking my skirts to my knees and baring my ankles. The poor animal looked like it a good run, or at least a trot over the rough ground. I had to do something productive or I’d go mad.

Steering around the same boggy patch of mud, I cut close to the sluice. A blood-curdling yell halted everyone. I whirled to see the entire bank of earth, a huge avalanche of mud, rocks and two large trees root-first, rushing straight for me.

 Meg's Buy Links-
Amazon for Kindle and print, B&N for Nook, Smashwords


Praise for Double or Nothing-
You can’t help but root for Lily Granville, Meg Mims’s heroine from Double Crossing who is once again in over her head in Double or Nothing. Featuring murder, action, and a strong sense of time and place, this series will appeal to Western, romance and mystery fans, or those who just like a great read. – Six-time Spur Award winner Johnny D. Boggs

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a fantabulous day!
Lynn~

Friday, March 22, 2013

In The Spotlight...



I'm so pleased to feature my critique partner, good friend, and all-around great gal, Zee Monodee, today as my In The Spotlight author. Zee writes spicy, as well as sweet, romances about a melting pot of cultures. Today's featured book is Once Upon A Second Chance.



image provided by Mattox via stock.xchng

Blurb-

Leila Hassan Al-Nadir spent ten years in a forced, abusive marriage in the United Arab Emirates, before her husband divorced her... and another man stepped into his place to make her his wife. But before she can look at a future with this new man, he abandons her, dropping her off on the island of Mauritius in the care of his stepmother.

Khalid Al-Nadir wants nothing more than to be with Leila, his wife. But he hides a deep, dark secret – his intentions when he made her his weren’t noble. Despite falling in love with her in the end, he knows she will be better off without him.

Leila craves answers; Khalid desires salvation. Fate, in the form of Khalid’s stepmother, intervenes and sets this estranged couple up for a one night stand date with Madame Eve’s agency.

Can Leila and Khalid have a second chance, once they both face the truth that brought them together?



Excerpts (Zee sent me three to choose from and I liked them all so I'm posting them in order as they appear in the book.)


Excerpt 1

 Chérie? What’s the matter?”

Leila tore her thoughts from the dark memories and stared at the woman who had welcomed her into her home three months earlier. Before meeting Carole, she had never believed compassion existed, or peace thrived on a small island called Mauritius in the southern Indian Ocean. She’d known a life of fear and paranoia in her Arab father’s house in London, and then the United Arab Emirates household of Bashir Al-Arif, the man who had bought her virginity.

A sliver of remembrance sliced through her. She did recall something else. Tenderness, caring, gentleness—all of which she’d found one magical night with the man who saved her from her painful existence, when her first husband divorced her out of the blue.

The man who made her his wife...then drugged her before morning came and transported her all the way from Abu Dhabi to Mauritius, where he dropped her, still unconscious, into Carole’s care, before he vanished.

Don’t think of him. If she did, the tears would threaten to fall, the anguish would come back, as well as the desperation of knowing he’d saved her only to leave her even more alone than before.

Ma chérie?” Carole raised a dainty porcelain cup in her direction.

Tea. The solution to all woes. The British thought so, and on their former colony of Mauritius, even French-origin natives needed their three o’clock fix.

Leila sighed and dumped her tote on a sofa before she stepped out onto the wide terrace facing the clear blue waters of the Grand Baie lagoon. In what was dubbed the Côte d’Azur of the island, on the northwest coastal tip, she didn’t stand out with her fair skin and flaxen hair. She passed for a tourist or even a member of the white descendants of French rulers who’d stayed despite the British seizing power over two centuries earlier. She shouldn’t feel like the odd one out here, too, like the pale foreigner she’d been in the UAE, but she did.

Leila was on temporary reprieve before the questions came. Carole poured her a cuppa.

No sooner was the drink in front of her than the inquisition began.

“So, the scarf again? You know you don’t need to wear it here.”

 Excerpt 2
You’re already in Hell. He didn’t deserve anything good after bedding Leila, implying he’d look after her, and then abandoning her. He forced his eyes shut, then blinked and stared through the windshield. He couldn’t think of her, not now. When he stopped at a red light at the entrance of Grand Baie, temptation lay just a mile away. If he turned left, he’d be at their house in less than five minutes.

But he couldn’t go there. Leila deserved a new beginning and happiness. Everything she wouldn’t get as his wife. If she ever learned the truth, she would despise him, and he wouldn’t be able to bear her cold contempt. One glimpse of her, and he had lost the heart he never suspected he had.

The traffic light switched to green. Snapping out of his thoughts, he gunned the engine and swerved the car to the right in a screech of burning tires, away from the winding lane leading to her house, and toward his rendezvous for the night.

Carole’s work, once again. She had signed him up at a dating service called 1NightStand, and informed him he’d better be ready to go on the blind date Madame Eve would set up for him soon. She Carole knew he didn’t do casual sex, but insisted he step out and meet a girl. Full stop. As if things could be so simple with her involved. The woman had worked as a strategic analyst before she joined the board of directors of one of the biggest banking groups of the Indian Ocean. He was about to be played, but damn if he’d let her get the upper hand, even if she loved to pull the “paradise lies under the feet of thy mother” card whenever it suited her. No way out for him this time.

He glanced at bouquet of pink roses on the passenger seat. Madame Eve had informed him in her email that the person he was to meet loved these roses more than any other flower. He’d bitten the bullet and ordered the blooms, figuring they’d soften the blow of his rejection when he informed his date he had no intention of carrying out a one-night stand with her.

Excerpt 3

 His step heavy on the polished teak floor, he trudged toward the back of the house. Pausing in the open panel of the sliding glass doors to the terrace, he caught a glimpse of the view. Blue waters sparkling even in the late afternoon, with the jutting tip of Coin de Mire island emerging from the sea in a giant chunk of basalt rock.

A postcard image of the north coast— an idyllic setting for a date. He chuckled at the irony. Why couldn’t he be like other guys? He lingered in a dream location, about to meet a woman who would be his for the night, and who would leave in the morning with no questions asked or hopes of anything beyond a few stolen nocturnal hours. He should jump on the opportunity.

And speaking of this woman, where was she?

Clutching the bouquet, he stepped onto the terrace, and froze. No, it cannot be....

She stood barefoot on the luxuriant green lawn, hands atop the back of a chaise as she gazed at the scenery. Her long, turquoise silk dress clung to her lithe body and shimmered like the waters of the lagoon beyond the spit of the land, making her resemble a nymph who’d stepped out of the aquamarine depths. Her shiny, golden hair danced down her back in soft curls the mellow wind lifted from her pale, creamy shoulders. From where he stood, he had a clear view of her delicate, sculpted profile. Eyes closed, she basked in the dying light, and when she opened them, he’d see their translucent jade.

A year ago, across a busy street in Abu Dhabi, the unique sparkle of her gaze had captivated him. She’d worn a black abaya, the long cloak hiding every one of her curves, and a purple shayla scarf that had bared nothing but the oval of her face from her eyebrows down to her chin. Dressed the same as every other woman in the country, she should’ve melted into the crowd. But those irises pierced him when she’d looked in his direction just before she ducked into her chauffeur-driven car.

Lost in thought, he jerked when she turned, and stared at him.

His gut experienced the punch of a hard fist when her eyes locked with his, and his chest squeezed at the same time a dagger ripped at his lungs.

A date with his wife—how, ever, would he walk away now?


Zee's buy links- Amazon, Amazon UK, Decadent website, AllRomance Ebooks, Barnes & Noble (Nook), Smashwords




Thank you so much for stopping by. Have a fantabulous weekend!

 Lynn~