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WHERE TO NEXT: Adventures with Monica McCabe

June 29, 2017 by in category Guest Posts tagged as , , , ,

 

Welcome | A Slice of Orange

Please welcome today’s guest blogger, Monica McCabe.  

 

 

 

Adventuring is in Monica McCabe’s blood. She’s addicted to travel, National Parks, & exploring new places and mysterious locales. She’s climbed glaciers and ancient Mayan pyramids, dived shipwrecks and reef caves, camped in Sasquatch country, and drove across the USA three times. When not traveling she’s writing romantic suspense and adventure for Lyrical Press, Kensington’s digital line. 

 

Recently I went on a hike at my town’s local greenway. I soaked up bright sunshine, admired the lush landscaping and a gently rolling stream that followed the trail. Then suddenly, I had an epiphany. Not the earth shattering, life changing kind. More like a realization, a cosmic connecting of the dots when it comes to being a writer.

It’s no secret that I love travel. I like going places. That fascination has infiltrated into my stories too, which brings us to that moment of truth on the trail. It occurred to me that books and real estate have a lot in common. Location, location, location. It’s also my mantra. I’m always on the prowl for a new place to explore – whether for vacations, movie time, or reading choices.

It also plays into being a writer. Some people start their story with characters. The WHO is important. They want to know everything about them – eye color, hair color, where they went to school. Not me. I start my story with the WHERE. Then I move into the WHAT. Until I get deep into location and plot, characters are just a vague impression. It’s taken me four books and a long nature hike to realize this is my process.

Setting is what motivates me to begin the book. Imagery helps create my story. I have a blank wall next to my computer. When I start to build my story world, that wall turns into a collage of pictures that detail out every major scene location. The deeper into the book I get, the more images fill that space.

Mere words cannot express how much I enjoy this kind of research. It’s the best part of writing. And yet, what inspires me to choose a location…I can’t say. I saw something, heard something, I honestly don’t know. It just happens.

Diamond Legacy.jpg

 

DIAMOND LEGACY is set in Botswana, Africa because I wanted a story about diamond smuggling. I dug in and learned that mining for the gemstone dominates the country’s economy and work force. And the animals! It was a perfect choice.

Emerald Fire.jpg

 

EMERALD FIRE opens in St. Lucia, West Indies. What better place to hide modern day pirates? Full of secret coves, luxury yachts, & breathtaking scenery, it’s every bit the perfect Caribbean island. We visited a few years ago, after I wrote the book. I really want to go again.

The latest book in the Jewel Intrigue Novels is PHANTOM PEARL. It’s a book divided. First half is in Australia, the second half Singapore. This time though, I took research to a whole new level. Hubby and I went to Australia and it was two weeks of pure awesome. This article could easily describe how endlessly amazing the place is, but I’ll restrain myself. Let me just say – if you’ve ever thought about it – DON’T WAIT. DO IT. It’s totally worth the 17 hour flight.

Back to PHANTOM PEARL. It’s a treasure hunting story that involves a WWII mystery surrounding Japan and Malaysia. So I hid the truth in the rainforests of Far North, Queensland.

 

Far North.jpg

 

Then it’s on to Singapore for a grand finale on Jurong Island, a massive industrial seaport. Have yet to visit Singapore, but if I ever get the chance… Did you know their airport is consistently voted best in the world? It’s a destination all its own.

 

Jurong Island.jpg

 

Based on my book reviews it seems my passion for travel shines through, because there’s a consistent theme. Vivid imagery, how the setting takes on a life of its own. I had one that swore I’d been to Africa. I wish! My secret weapon is Google Earth and travel journal sites like Trip Advisor. I spend hours going over every square inch by satellite and reading real life reviews for nuggets of gold to use in my books.

I’m already thinking of my next tale and I’m fairly certain it will be set in Italy’s spectacular Amalfi Coast. Because look at it! Can you imagine basking on board a luxury yacht in this harbor, sipping limoncello while soaking up the Mediterranean sun? Yes, please!

 

Amalfi Coast.jpg

 

So what about you? If you could go anywhere on the planet, where would it be?

Monica McCabe


Tell me the #1 spot on your bucket list and you’ll be entered to win a free copy of DIAMOND LEGACY or EMERALD FIRE. Africa or St. Lucia? The destination is yours to make.

 

Monica McCabe Series | A Slice of Orange

To learn more about the series, or to sign-up for her newsletter (it includes travel photos!) visit Monica at her website: www.monicamccabe.net


Thank you, Monica, for being our guest today on A Slice of Orange.  

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Kat Martin with an Excerpt from BEYOND REASON

June 4, 2017 by in category Guest Posts, Spotlight tagged as , , ,
Beyond Reason | Kat Martin | A Slice of OrangeAN EXCERPT
from

BEYOND REASON

by

Kat Martin 

 

Carly pulled the pickup into her garage, saw the single headlight of Linc’s impressive black Harley coming down the street behind her.  He’d insisted on following her home.  She waved as she got out of the truck, hoping he would take the hint and leave, but instead he pulled his motorcycle into the driveway behind the truck and turned off the engine.

As she took the pistol out from under the seat, Linc walked up beside her.

He eased the gun out of her hand.  “Stay here till I make sure it’s safe.”

She didn’t argue.  Now that she was home, the whole terrifying chain of events came rushing back with stark clarity.  She followed Cain into the kitchen, thought of the Glock, and wished she’d had it in her hand when those men had attacked her.

She sank down in a kitchen chair to wait while Cain walked through the rest of the house.  Tears welled.  Dammit, she didn’t want to cry.  Joe had taught her to be tough.  He’d known he wouldn’t always be there for her.

But deep down inside, she was still the frightened ten-year old who had walked into the bathroom and found her mother on the floor, dead of a drug overdose.

She closed her eyes, bit back a sob.  She didn’t realize she was crying till she felt Cain drawing her out of the chair and into his arms.

For several seconds she let him hold her, let the tears come, just wrapped her arms around his thick neck and hung on.  Then she realized what she was doing and felt like a fool, eased back and turned away.

“I’m sorry, I’m not…not a cryer.  Not usually.  I’m sorry.”  She wiped her eyes, mortified that he had seen this side of her.

“Hey.  It’s been a helluva day.”  His mouth edged into a smile.  “Maybe I’m the one who needed a hug, okay?”

She managed a smile in return.  She wouldn’t have thought he could be sweet.  “Thanks for checking the house.”

“No problem.  You sure you’ll be okay?”

Her smile returned, more real this time.  “You’re bigger than I am, but I’ve got the gun.”  Now resting on the kitchen table.

He chuckled.  “All right, if you’re sure, I’ll see you in the morning.”

He’d see her in the morning?  Dammit, she’d forgotten he was coming to the office tomorrow for the call to his private investigator.  “Good night.”

Cain left the house through the garage, swung a long leg over the seat of his Harley and fired up the engine.  The biceps in his huge arms bulged as he grabbed the handlebars.  Carly pushed the button on the garage door as he started backing away, turned the bike and roared off down the block.

Exhaustion swamped her.  Dragging herself into the bedroom, she stripped off her clothes, pulled on an XXL navy blue Drake Trucking T-shirt she liked to sleep in and crawled beneath the covers.  The pistol rested on the nightstand.  She should have been able to sleep.

But she couldn’t.

 

Linc got up Sunday morning at the crack of dawn, loaded his fishing gear onto the back of an ATV and took off to one of the two lakes on Blackland Ranch.  He’d called Townsend way too late last night and told him what had happened at the roadhouse.  He’d instructed the investigator to set up security on Carly Drake twenty-four/seven and find out everything he could about a guy who called himself El Jefe.

Linc had slept a little after that, not much.  He’d awoken early and decided he needed to clear his head.  Tossing a line in the water, kicking back and waiting to get a bite, worked almost as well as morning sex.

Well, almost.  Hell, he hadn’t been with a women in nearly a month, too damned long as far as he was concerned.  He needed to make a phone call, talk to Renee or maybe Melissa, see if one of his friends with benefits was up for a good time when he got back to Dallas.

Something stirred deep and hot inside him. Unfortunately, it wasn’t an image of Renee or Melissa.  It was Carly Drake who fired his blood.

As he leaned back against the trunk of a tree, the end of his line jerked.  He waited for another tug, set the hook, and started reeling.  Dammit to hell, whenever he thought of Carly, he felt like the fish on the end of that line.  How had the little blonde managed to sink her hooks into him?  How had she managed to snag his interest so quickly?

In fairness, she wasn’t even trying.  He knew women, knew she was attracted to him.  He also knew she wasn’t interested in climbing into bed for a couple of nights of fun.

BEYOND REASON is available at the following retailers:
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from IndieBound
Buy from GoodReads



Kat Martin | A Slice of Orange

 

Bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. Currently residing with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, in Missoula, Montana, Kat has written sixty eight Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels.  More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Her last novel, INTO THE FIRESTORM, took the #7 spot on the New York Times Bestseller list.  This will be the 15th novel in a row to be included on that prestigious list.  Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.

You can find out more about Kat on her website or follow her on social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


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Summer Adventure

May 14, 2017 by in category Guest Posts, Spotlight, Writing tagged as , , ,

Summer Adventure | Kat Martin | A Slice of OrangePlease welcome best-selling author, Kat Martin, to A Slice of  Orange

Kat is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. Currently residing with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, in Missoula, Montana, Kat has written sixty eight Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels.  More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Her last novel, INTO THE FIRESTORM, took the #7 spot on the New York Times Bestseller list.  This will be the 15th novel in a row to be included on that prestigious list.  Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.

Make sure you read about Kat’s special May contest. You will find more information after her blog post.

 


Summer Adventure 2| Kat Martin

Summer Adventure

Every summer my husband and I try to have some kind of adventure.  Not the hearty kind we used to undertake–like riding horseback into the high Sierras or tent camping for a week in Montana.  But whatever we choose, summer is great time for a getaway.

This year, we’re driving from our home in Montana to the Western Writers of America conference in Kansas City, Missouri.  We’ll take the back roads, meander two-lane highways that wind through six different states.

Along the way we hope to visit old writer friends, Kathleen and Michael Gear–authors of the PEOPLE series that takes place 10,000 years ago.  They live on a buffalo ranch in Wyoming.

From there, we’ll head for the Dakotas, spend a little time in Rapid City, a great old West town.  Lots of historic buildings and fun art galleries.

Staying off the beaten path, you can find all sorts of intriguing bits of history.  Sioux City sits right on the Missouri, plenty of steamboat lore, and you can learn about Louis and Clark in Omaha.  If you’ve never done a cross country road trip, it’s really a worthwhile adventure.

Speaking of highway adventures, BEYOND REASON travels the roadways of Texas.  It’s the story of Carly Drake, a young woman who inherits her grandfather’s trucking firm and all the problem that go with it–including murder.

Carly’s biggest problem, however, turns out to be six foot-five-inches of solid male muscle–handsome, mega-rich, powerful and controlling, Lincoln Cain.

It’s high action all the way and of course plenty of hot romance.  I hope you’ll watch for BEYOND REASON and that you enjoy it.

So…what’s your favorite adventure?  Love to hear about it.  Have a great summer and happy reading!

Kat


BEYOND REASON

BEYOND REASON

$6.79eBook: $5.99
Author:
Series: The Texas Trilogy, Book 1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Tag: 2017

She’s determined to be successful—no matter who tries to stop her.

More info →
Buy now!

WEBSITE: http://www.katmartin.com/

VIDEO LINKhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7eAZvxU-VM

SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter: https://twitter.com/katmartinauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KatMartinAuthor


Contests Contests Contests

SPECIAL CONTEST: http://www.katmartin.com/beyond-reason-giveaway/

To CELEBRATE the release of BEYOND REASON, enter Kat’s new contest for a chance to win a KINDLE FIRE 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB and a Kindle copy of AGAINST THE WILDAGAINST THE SKY and AGAINST THE TIDEContest runs from May 1, 2017 through June 30, 2017.

MAY CONTEST: http://www.katmartin.com/monthly-contest/

For May, Kat Martin is giving away to FIVE winners an audio edition of one of her AGAINST series books, plus a copy of INTO THE FIRESTORM.

 

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FIVE TIPS THAT TO SHARPEN YOUR WRITING

February 8, 2016 by in category Guest Posts, Spotlight tagged as , , ,

I never give writing tips. I figure everyone has his own personal style. Plus some people are just naturally good. But I do think there are a few things authors can do to sharpen their work. Here are some of the things I think about when I am writing a novel.

1. Start with a hook. Make your first sentence or at least your first paragraph compelling. Make the reader want to read the book! In INTO THE FURY, my newest Romantic Suspense, the first sentence reads,

SINNERS, SLUTS, and WHORES–BEWARE. Your TIME is at HAND. Standing next to the long mahogany table in the conference room, Ethan Brodie re-read the note he’d just been handed.
Everyone who sees this paragraph recognizes the threat in that note. Someone–probably a woman–could be in grave peril.

With any luck, this opening will intrigue the reader enough to keep reading.

2. Enter late and leave early. In the above example, we’re starting in the middle of the scene. We’re not in the conference room waiting for Ethan to show up. We aren’t there until after he receives the note. From there we start charging forward, finding out what’s going to happen next. Just remember the reader isn’t interested in “Hi, how are you?” “I’m fine, and you?”

At the end of the scene, get out.

3. Make sure there’s conflict in every scene. This doesn’t necessarily mean violent conflict. It can be man against nature, man against man, man against himself, anything that makes the reader interested in continuing.

In my example, the conflict in the opening scene of INTO THE FURY is mostly Ethan’s battle with himself. He doesn’t want to take a job bodyguarding what he thinks will be a bunch of air-headed models. He’s had too much woman trouble lately, but it’s a good job that pays well. They need his skills and so he decides to take it.

4. Stay in the active voice whenever possible. Try not to use the word was too many times. Here’s an example. A rumble of thunder in the sullen gray sky blotted the reverend’s next words. I could have written, The sound of thunder could be heard in the distance. The sky was a sullen gray. That’s passive voice. It’s important to stay active.

Personally, I have to work at this. I often go back and change from passive to active after I write the first draft.

5. Write characters that grow and change. Writing a character arc, it’s called. It means your characters learn something or do something that changes them. During the time Ethan is working with the La Belle lingerie models, he learns how difficult their job is. He comes to admire their work ethic and their brains.

It changes some of his thinking about the female sex and helps him realize the kind of woman he really wants in his life.

There are lots of great tips to writing. The five above I learned from studying very successful authors. Dean Koontz has a wonderful book called Learning To Write, but its out of print and hard to find.

All the authors I’ve studied, all the books by other authors that I’ve enjoyed through the years, have helped me immeasurably. I hope these tips will help you, too.

Best of luck with your writing and all good wishes for a terrific 2016.

 Warmest,
 Kat

New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. She is married to L.J. Martin, author of western, non-fiction, and suspense novels.

Kat has written more than sixty-five novels. Sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries, including Japan, France, Germany, Argentina, Greece, China, Russia, and Spain.
Born in Bakersfield, California, Kat currently resides in Missoula, Montana, on a small ranch in the beautiful Sapphire mountains.

Her last 10 books have hit the prestigious New York Times bestseller list. AGAINST THE WILD, AGAINST THE SKY, and AGAINST THE TIDE her latest release, took top ten spots. Visti Kat at the following:

WEBSITE


VIDEO
PURCHASE LINKS

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TRAVELING FOR RESEARCH

January 27, 2016 by in category Guest Posts, Spotlight tagged as , , , , ,

I’ve always loved to travel. I’m fortunate to have married a man who enjoys it as much as I do…or maybe being adventurous was an unspoken quality I was looking for in a man.

Since I live in rural Montana, a twenty five miles to the nearest movie theater–I especially love going to the city.

INTO THE FURY is set in Seattle. When ten of La Belle lingerie’s most beautiful models receive death threats, its bodyguard Ethan’s Brodie’s job to protect them. Ethan goes toe to toe with bombshell blonde, Valentine Hart, in a fast-paced novel of action, adventure, and steamy romance.

I knew the story I wanted to tell, but I needed a starting point. From where we live, Seattle is the closest place I can go to get my “city fix.” Plus it’s a gorgeous place to visit, surrounded by the ocean and dozens of interesting islands, wonderful restaurants and great hotels.

Since Nick Brodie, my hero in AGAINST THE SKY, had moved to Seattle at the end of the book to get married and take a job with Brodie Operations Security Services, I decided to set my next three books there.

Ian Brodie owns the company the guys call BOSS, Inc. Nick’s cousins Ethan and Luke also work there, an office just chock full of hunky guys.

One of the things that made Seattle ideal for the trilogy was the interesting diversity of the people who live there, which also means different sorts of crimes.

I knew the area, since we go there often. I was able to use hotels we had stayed in and restaurants like the gorgeous El Gaucho, where we’ve dined and is very romantic.

Along with the trips to Seattle, I researched the criminal activity in the area and also used Google Earth to refresh my memory or help with locations I was less familiar with. Traveling for research can bring excitement, adventure, or just simple insight into a place different from where you live.

INTO THE FURY hit bookshelves on January 26, 2016 and is available in all e-book formats.

I hope you’ll watch for INTO THE FURY and that you enjoy it. Next up, INTO THE WHIRLIND out May 31, followed by INTO THE FIRESTROM.

Till then, all best and happy reading.

 Warmest, Kat

New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. She is married to L.J. Martin, author of western, non-fiction, and suspense novels.

Kat has written more than sixty-five novels. Sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries, including Japan, France, Germany, Argentina, Greece, China, Russia, and Spain.

Born in Bakersfield, California, Kat currently resides in Missoula, Montana, on a small ranch in the beautiful Sapphire mountains.

Her last 10 books have hit the prestigious New York Times bestseller list. AGAINST THE WILD, AGAINST THE SKY, and AGAINST THE TIDE her latest release, took top ten spots.

Visit Kat’s website at www.katmartin.com

Or look for her on Facebook at Katmartin/author.

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