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Read an Excerpt of THE LAST MILE by Kat Martin

June 9, 2022 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Spotlight tagged as , , ,

THE LAST MIILE

Kat Martin

EXCERPT

Twenty minutes later, after weaving their way through traffic, they pulled up in front of Abby’s borrowed apartment.

“I won’t be long,” she said and cracked open her door.

Gage caught her arm. “Now that the papers are signed, I’m in charge, remember?”

“Yes, but—”

“The problem that existed last night hasn’t changed. Just because you put the gold back in the bank doesn’t mean you’re safe. There’s been at least one attempt on your life, and if the guy at the museum was the same man, he might be willing to take you by force, coerce you into giving him the map.”

A thread of unease slid through her. “So what would you suggest? I have work to do, same as you.”

“If you want this venture to succeed, at this point, you have two options—I can put a guard on your door 24/7 or you can stay at my place.”

“You can’t be serious.”  Superman, ha! The man was dictatorial and overbearing. How was she going to put up with him for what could end up being weeks?

But what if he was right? Was it possible the man who’d attacked her knew where she was staying? Had he followed her to the museum last night? Would he come after her again, try to force her to give him the map?

“My apartment building’s extremely secure,” Gage was saying. “It’s big enough that you’ll have all the privacy you need, and it won’t be for long. As soon as everything’s ready, we’ll be leaving for Arizona.”

The chunk of gold was back in the bank, the map in the safe in Gage’s office, but she and Gage were the only ones who knew that. Abby looked into Gage’s stern features and knew he wasn’t going to back down.

“So what’s it going to be?” he said.

“If you hire a guard, I’ll be paying for half of it. I’ll stay at your place. And you’d better remember–I still have my gun.”

Gage grinned, then threw back his head and laughed.

*

Gage wasn’t laughing when Abby opened the door to the apartment and the interior looked as if a bomb had gone off.

“Oh, my God!” 

Easing her behind him, he walked into the living room. The sofa was overturned, the cushions sliced open, pictures had been jerked down from the walls, the backs ripped off. Kitchen drawers had been pulled out and dumped, cabinets opened, the contents spilled on the floor.

“Stay right here.”  For once, Abby didn’t argue. She was clearly in shock at the nightmare she had stumbled into.

Gage checked the rooms, making sure the intruder or intruders were gone, then returned to the living room. “Take a look around, see if anything’s missing.”

Big golden eyes flashed to his face. “You think it was him?  The guy who broke in before?”

“What do you think?” 

She huffed out a breath at the sarcasm in his voice. “Well, hell’s bells. Tammy’s going to kill me.”

Amusement eased some of his tension. “Don’t worry, we’ll clean everything up before she comes back.”

Gage followed Abby on a tour of the apartment, including the bedroom and bathroom, both of which had been very thoroughly searched.

Abby sighed as they returned to the living room. “It’s hard to tell for sure, but I don’t think anything’s missing.”

“He was looking for the map, same as before. Does he also know about the gold?”

“I don’t know. They were both in the old wooden box, which was sealed when I got it. But the map was mentioned in the will. King’s attorney called everyone together for the reading, anyone who received a gift. That included several museums, who had representatives there. So there are a number of people who know about it.”

“You need to make a list—anyone who was at the reading, or might know about your grandfather’s bequest.”

She glanced around and nodded dully. “Okay.”

“In the meantime, I’m bringing in reinforcements. We need to get this place cleaned up.”  Taking out his cell, Gage phoned Maggie. Half an hour later, a cleaning crew arrived and Abby put them to work alongside her.

Gage pitched in and they made fairly quick progress. There were items that needed replacing. After an explanatory phone call to her friend and a lengthy apology, Abby left a check for repairs on the counter.

Though the afternoon was shot to hell, Gage couldn’t help feeling relieved that he had insisted on coming with her. Or that Abby would be staying at his place tonight.

Whoever was after the map wasn’t giving up. Gage needed to look at Abby’s suspect list. He wanted to find this guy before they set off on what was already certain to be a dangerous journey.

By late afternoon, the work was finally completed, the cleaning crew gone, the apartment restored as much as possible. Abby had packed several suitcases, casual clothes as well as gear suitable for the trip into the desert. Anything else could be purchased once they got to Arizona.

“You ready?” Gage asked. The suitcases were loaded. The digital cards had been stolen from her cameras but fortunately she had extras and the cameras hadn’t been destroyed.

“I’m ready.”  She looked tired for the first time since he’d met her, her expression glum. She put her hand on his arm, as if to steady herself.

Gage caught her shoulders. “Everything’s going to be all right. We still have what we need to find the Devil’s Gold, okay?”

Abby slowly nodded. “You’re right. I just…I didn’t expect anything like this to happen.”

“It’s been a long day. Let’s go home.”

Abby looked up at him. “I don’t really have a home anymore so I guess your place will do.”

She looked so forlorn, Gage leaned down and kissed her forehead. It was a very un-Gage-like thing to do.

The Last Mile

Kat Martin

Kensington

May 31, 2022

978-1496736802

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Rebecca Forster June Featured Author

June 7, 2022 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , , ,

Rebecca Forster marketed a world-class spa when it was still called a gym, did business in China before there were western toilettes at the Great Wall and mucked around with the sheep to find out exactly how her client’s fine wool clothing was manufactured. Then she wrote her first book and found her passion.

Now, over twenty-five books later, she is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author and writes full-time, penning thrillers that explore the emotional impact of the justice system. She earned her B.A. at Loyola, Chicago and her MBA at Loyola, Los Angeles. Rebecca has taught the Business of Creativity at the University of California Long Beach Writers Certificate Program, UCLA and UC Irvine extension. Married to a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, she is the mother of two grown sons and spends her free time traveling, sewing, and playing tennis.

To learn more about Rebecca, check out her website.


The Finn O’Brien Thrillers

SEVERED RELATIONS

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SEVERED RELATIONS

FOREIGN RELATIONS

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FOREIGN RELATIONS

SECRET RELATIONS

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SECRET RELATIONS
INTIMATE RELATIONS

Rebecca’s Single Title Thrillers

BEFORE HER EYES

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BEFORE HER EYES

KEEPING COUNSEL

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KEEPING COUNSEL

THE MENTOR

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THE MENTOR

BEYOND MALICE

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BEYOND MALICE

CHARACTER WITNESS

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CHARACTER WITNESS

The Witness Series

HOSTILE WITNESS

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HOSTILE WITNESS

SILENT WITNESS

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SILENT WITNESS

PRIVILEGED WITNESS

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PRIVILEGED WITNESS

EXPERT WITNESS

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EXPERT WITNESS

EYEWITNESS

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EYEWITNESS

FORGOTTEN WITNESS

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FORGOTTEN WITNESS

DARK WITNESS

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DARK WITNESS
LOST WITNESS: A Josie Bates Thriller

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Calmer Days of Writing…?

June 6, 2022 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston

Calmer Days of Writing…?

If you saw my blog here last month, you’ll know that May was pretty busy for me. I had two new books published.

That meant I spent a lot of time letting people know about them, publicizing them mostly in social media, including a blog tour. And yes, an interview here, on A Slice of Orange.

Those two books? Well, of course I have to mention them again: BEAR WITNESS, my first Alaska Untamed Mystery for Crooked Lane Books, under my first pseudonym, Lark O. Jensen, and GUARDIAN K-9 ON CALL, the second in my Shelter of Secrets series for Harlequin Romantic Suspense.

They’re still available, in case you’re interested. 😊

But now that it’s June? Well, guess what? I’m busy writing. I’ve got another book coming out this year, plus I’m on several deadlines.

Hey, that’s a writer’s life. Calmer days of writing? Well, yes and no. But at least I keep on going!

How about you? If you’re a writer, this will probably sound familiar: your own works being published, whether traditionally or by you, and needing to let the world know about them whichever way they get out there.

And if you’re a reader, well… enjoy what we’re doing! And that includes all writers who are undoubtedly also readers.

Happy June, everyone!

Linda O

BAD TO THE BONE

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BAD TO THE BONE

BEAR WITNESS

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BEAR WITNESS
COLTON 911: CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE
COLTON FIRST RESPONDER (The Coltons of Mustang Valley)

COVERT ALLIANCE

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COVERT ALLIANCE

FOR A GOOD PAWS

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FOR A GOOD PAWS

GUARDIAN K-9 ON CALL

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GUARDIAN K-9 ON CALL

HER UNDERCOVER REFUGE

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HER UNDERCOVER REFUGE

PICK AND CHEWS

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PICK AND CHEWS

PROTECTOR WOLF

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PROTECTOR WOLF

SECOND CHANCE SOLDIER

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SECOND CHANCE SOLDIER

TO CATCH A TREAT

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TO CATCH A TREAT

TRAINED TO PROTECT

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TRAINED TO PROTECT
UNDERCOVERING COLTON’S FAMILY SECRETS

UNLUCKY CHARMS

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UNLUCKY CHARMS

VISIONARY WOLF (Alpha Force)

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VISIONARY WOLF (Alpha Force)
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IS THERE A DIFFERENCE…UPDATED

June 5, 2022 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed
the pink pad

Happy June. I’m prepping for a new release in a week so I thought I’d modify a post from 2018. When I read it, I was reminded of the relevance of the topic. I have to be honest, I guest blogged a few days ago at Delilah Devlin and I used this post. I’m repeating it…more like updating it because it’s relevant to my upcoming release.


I want to talk about the preconceived notions people have about Christian, Inspirational or Faith based books. When someone hears a story has one of the three aforementioned tones, they immediately shut down thinking the story is going to be sweeter than cotton candy dipped in chocolate and covered with gum drops.


There’s CIF [Christian, Inspirational, Faith] fiction that falls into that description and there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s written extremely well and packs a message for the reader. However, it’s the misconception that all CIF books are like that which provokes a closed mind to experiencing some really great stories. [I swear I’m not preaching.]

When I decided to start writing, I’d dabbled a little in high school and college.  Even so far as to writing a couple of plays.  I found them later and felt they’d be a good base for a barbecue fire.  When I read them again, I realized, although they were poorly written, they had a few things in common.  The characters were all Christians in real life situations.  Let me explain.  In a lot of CIF books, the story centers around the church with conflict between the pastor, the board, the choir director, pastor’s family and some evil person not affiliated with the church.  There’s nothing wrong with those books.  I’ve read a few and like them, however, they weren’t the kinds of stories I wanted to tell.

I have always loved God, fashion and cute guys.  I liked “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Bergdorf Blondes,” “Elements of Style” and “The Debutante Divorcee.”  These were characters I could relate to.   The books are filled with the most incredible fashion and very handsome men.   The only thing they didn’t have was a faith theme.  It was reading these books that it occurred to me, why not write a book with similar content, but add a little CIF to it.

My first attempt at writing a book sounded very much like ChickLit.  I was fine with it until my beta readers ripped it to shreds.  After a lot of re-writes, I finally had a book I was pleased with. Problem was, it wasn’t considered acceptable.  Every traditional editor I approached had the same response, “Christians don’t act like that, Christians don’t care about designer clothes, Christians are happy being upper middle class at best, Christians don’t get challenged, tempted, have racy dreams or wicked thoughts, Christians only have sex for procreation and on special occasions.  And there is no way a Christian would get divorced, commit adultery, fornicate, swear, drink wine or dance”.

Needless to say, I was stunned at the comments because I know a lot of Christians that have experienced and or faced a few of those things.   So I set out to write books for “my people.”
I spoke with an author friend and told her what I had been experiencing with the traditional publishing machine and she suggested I consider going indie. I wasn’t too sure the indie world was for me, but it was. The indie publishing world allows me to tell the stories I want to tell.

It ticks me off when I hear people say no one will read books about Christians [or people of other religious or faith beliefs] in real life situations.  I want to read about “my people” dating, regretting, marrying, divorcing, falling in love, wearing designer clothes, traveling and being pursued by wealthy men.  I don’t want my heroine to be naive and deceived by an evil protagonist whose only objective is to steal her virginity or corrupt her.  What about the sexy, fun Christian girl who works hard and falls for her boss, or divorces her cheating husband or  who used to be a little slutty and is now in love with God struggling not to slip back into her old ways.  These are great stories and if they’re written well, you can take the CIF elements out and they’ll still be great stories.

My next book is part five of an office romance.  The Good Girl series starts out sweet and sassy and escalates to a hot romance. For those expecting a tame romance, this isn’t it. As the series moves forward, so does Gabriella and Phillippe’s relationship. The cover of Part Five reminds me of a scene from the book. Without giving too much away, I’ll say this, Gabriella and Phillippe get what they want. The question is, “What do they want?”. 

Since I began writing, my books have gone from being classed as steamy, Christian fiction to Contemporary Romance with faith and heat. My books range in heat from sweet to very sensual/steamy. Personally, I don’t see where they are that hot, but some readers feel otherwise. I’ve even gotten reviews that called one of my books soft porn. Needless to say, that didn’t set well with me, but I had to consider the source. If a reader buys one of my books expecting a sweet Christian romance, they’re in for a surprise.

I recently had to amend my relationship with my editor. We have been working together since I started indie publishing. The reason had to do with the very descriptive sexual content.
Although most of my characters are Christians, I don’t want their passion or desire to be watered down.   Here’s a startling fact, Christians like sex. I know it’s hard to believe. Smile. But it’s the truth and that’s why I have chosen to include open door sex in my books. Let me clarify, I only include sex scenes when I feel they are relevant to the story. I also like to share my characters thoughts and reactions to situations. If either of the protagonist are having a lustful thought or are pissed off, I include it. These little nuances make my characters appear real and relatable.…just like in traditional romance.

So back to the original question, IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?  Not really, just different levels of intensity and personal preference.

Tracy’s Books

A SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN

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A SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN

DESPERATE DESIRE

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DESPERATE DESIRE

FIRST ENCOUNTERS OF LOVE

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FIRST ENCOUNTERS OF LOVE

GENERATIONAL CURSE

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GENERATIONAL CURSE

GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS

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GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS
GOD’S BOMBSHELL: LIVING A BEAUTIFUL SINGLE LIFE

INTENTIONAL CURSE

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INTENTIONAL CURSE

LOVE NOTES

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LOVE NOTES

MISS MATCH

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MISS MATCH

THE FIX UP

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THE FIX UP

THE FLING

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THE FLING

THE GOOD GIRL PART DEUX

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THE GOOD GIRL PART DEUX

THE GOOD GIRL PART ONE

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THE GOOD GIRL PART ONE

THE GOOD GIRL Part Trois

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THE GOOD GIRL Part Trois

THE NIGHT I FELL IN LOVE

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THE NIGHT I FELL IN LOVE

UNEXPECTED LOVE

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UNEXPECTED LOVE

WHAT MY FRIENDS DON’T KNOW

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WHAT MY FRIENDS DON’T KNOW

WHAT MY FRIENDS NEED TO KNOW

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WHAT MY FRIENDS NEED TO KNOW

THE GOOD GIRL PART FIVE

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THE GOOD GIRL PART FIVE

THE GOOD GIRL PART FOUR

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THE GOOD GIRL PART FOUR
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1960s Music: Johnny Angel

June 3, 2022 by in category 1960s Music, Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger tagged as , , , ,

Johnny Angel was a song written and composed by Lyn Duddy Pockriss. The song was originally recorded by both Laurie Loman and Georgia Lee. It became a popular hit single when it was recorded by Shelley Fabares in the fall of 1961.

It made No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart when the song was released in 1962. The American pop music duo The Carpenters recorded “Johnny Angel” in 1973 as part of a medley of oldies on side two of their album Now & Then.

 The song premiered on an episode of the, The Donna Reed Show. It also has a sequel song entitled Johnny Loves Me.

 Johnny Angel hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on April 7, 1962, during a 15-week run on the chart. It charted at number one in both Canada and in New Zealand. It sold over one-million copies and was awarded a Gold Disc. 

Here is a waltz down memory lane. Enjoy!

Books by Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger

DESERT ICE

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DESERT ICE

GAME TOWN

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GAME TOWN

SLICK DEAL

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SLICK DEAL

SLIVERS OF GLASS

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SLIVERS OF GLASS

STRANGE MARKINGS

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STRANGE MARKINGS
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