Tag: intrigue

Home > ArchivesTag: intrigue

The Messenger

August 30, 2022 by in category Quill and Moss by Dianna Sinovic tagged as , ,
Photo by Zakaria Zayane on Unsplash

The folded paper extended no more than two millimeters from beneath the ornate cup and saucer, just enough that Lev noted it as he passed through the main dining room at Bellini’s. The table for two was not occupied, nor would it be for the rest of the evening. He’d made sure of that. Lev paused briefly on his way back from taking the Nelsons’ order to remove the paper, slipping it into a pants pocket.

In the supply closet, he shut the door and turned his back to it. Keeping the paper out of the shadow his head cast from the overhead light, he quickly unfolded the slip. Lev had only moments before someone barged in for fresh linens. 

The penciled note was underlined twice: 2xM=cube.

Crumpling the paper tightly in his fist, Lev put it in his mouth and swallowed it. Eluding the feds was crucial for this to work. No evidence, he’d been told. Leave nothing behind.

Back in the dining room, he delivered the plates to the Nelson party and took several more orders. At the table in the corner, the two lanky men in business suits stood to leave. When Lev swept by three minutes later to pick up the payment book, a square wooden top lay on it. Small enough to fit in the palm of his hand. He turned the top to look at each of the four sides: q 7 n 3.

 “Waiter!” Judge Samuel Nelson called out. When a Nelson summoned, you responded on the run. 

“Sir,” Lev said, standing at the judge’s elbow. 

“Another martini.” The older man raised an eyebrow at the top that Lev still held. “A teetotum,” he pronounced. 

The chatter around the table hushed. The five other Nelsons waited for the judge to continue. 

“A top for those who don’t know,” the judge said, his tone implying that very few aside from him would know. “And why are you carrying a top, Lev?”

No evidence. Lev swallowed, sweat popping out beneath his slicked-back hair. He felt like a rabbit caught in the headlights of an oncoming car. “Someone left their child’s toy behind,” he lied. He inched away from the table, eager to be gone.

The judge held out his hand. “My grandson Palmer will love it.”

Lev froze. His job was on the line if he didn’t relinquish the top to this patron. His life was on the line if he did. 

Toy gave him the answer. “I’m sorry, sir, but I’ll need to place this in our lost and found,” he said, hoping his voice carried enough authority to override the entitled old man’s intention. “You know how children are; they can be very attached to a favorite plaything. Once the parents realize they’ve left it behind—” 

The judge folded away his outstretched hand, nodding. “Astute argument, Lev. Well said.”

The other Nelsons nodded in agreement and turned back to their dinner conversations.

Lev exhaled in relief. “I’ll be back with your cocktail in just a moment.” 

At the bar, he placed the drink order. Every stool was taken, the din almost deafening. Lev remained at the bar—the judge was too important a patron to keep his drink waiting once it was ready—and carefully studied the crowd. At the far end of the polished wooden expanse sat a woman in a simple burgundy dress, hair in an elegant twist. 

He made his way purposefully through the throng, and when he was near her, bent to pick up a black silk scarf from the floor. 

“So sorry to disturb you, miss.” He stood next to her. “You must have dropped this.”

She smiled. “Thank you so much.” With both hands, she took the scarf—and the small, four-sided top now wrapped within it, and turned back to the bar.

Done. Lev’s shoulders relaxed and his brow smoothed. Despite a close call, another message delivered. He maneuvered back through the thicket of bar guests and retrieved the judge’s martini. 

0 0 Read more

Under a Dark Moon Book Tour and Excerpt

November 27, 2021 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Rabt Book Tours tagged as , , , , ,
 
 

 

 

Brandon Brothers, Book 1

Historical Romance, Historical Fiction

Date Published: April 2021

 

photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Adam Brandon … acutely intelligent and master-swordsman but gradually realising that he isn’t yet ready for the future he had previously planned.

 

Victim of a cruel deception, Camilla Edgerton-Foxe has a jaundiced view of the male sex and a tongue as sharp as her wits … but she also possesses an extraordinary talent.

 

A peculiar encounter offers Adam the kind of employment for which he is uniquely suited and which will exercise his mind as well as his muscles. The fly in the ointment is that Miss Edgerton-Foxe comes with it … as does
Rainham, viscount and master of disguise, with a frequently misplaced sense of humour.

 

From Paris, via London, to the mists and mysteries of Romney Marsh, these three are sent on the trail of something darker and infinitely more dangerous than the kegs of brandy that come ashore at the dark of the moon.

 

 

Other books in the Brandon Brothers Series

 

 

A Trick of Fate

Brandon Brothers Book 1

B.R.A.G. Medallion honoree.

 

Max Brandon is receiving bills for services he never ordered and goods he did not buy. For reasons he can’t begin to guess, someone is ‘borrowing’ his identity to cause him maximum annoyance.

When the games move closer to home, almost forcing him to fight a duel … more particularly, when they draw in Frances Pendleton, a lady he never expected to see again … Max vows to catch the man behind them, no matter
what the cost.

The result is a haphazard chase involving ruined abbeys, a hunt for hermits, a grotesque portrait … and a love story which, but for this odd trick of fate, might never have been given a second chance.

Amazon

 

 

About the Author

 

 

Stella Riley is a British writer, living in Kent. She is the author of six
novels set in and around the English Civil Wars and the award-winning seven book Rockliffe Series – of which, Book Six, Cadenza, was the 2019 Readers’ Favourite for Romance and a 2021 Book Excellence award winner.

Under A Dark Moon is the second book in her Brandon Brothers Trilogy,
sequel to A Trick of Fate.

When not writing, she enjoys theatre, travel and playing the harpsichord.

 

Contact Links

Website

Twitter

Facebook

 

Purchase Links

Amazon

B&N

Kobo

iBooks

Smashwords

 

RABT Book Tours & PR

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

Within twenty minutes of bidding his friends good night and leaving the tavern, Adam Brandon became aware that he was being followed. This was annoying on several counts. He had no idea who would go to the trouble of setting a tail on him or why they would since, just at the moment, he didn’t imagine he could be of any particular interest to anyone. Admittedly, that wasn’t always true … but right now it was. Then there was the possibility that this wasn’t the first time someone had dogged his steps; that it had happened before and he hadn’t no noticed. That pricked his pride. He’d thought himself better than that.

He continued on his way without altering his pace. He considered luring the tail into a dark alley where he could be grabbed, pinned to a wall and questioned. It wouldn’t be very difficult. On the other hand, it might be premature. There was a chance, however small, that he was merely being followed by the only footpad in Paris stupid enough to tackle an armed man for the sake of a few coins. And that being so, the sensible course was to simply stroll onwards, taking a few sudden detours, to see if the fellow stuck with him.

He did … and was still there when Adam reached his lodgings on the Rue des Minimes. With a brief nod for the concierge, he ran swiftly upstairs to the nearest window and was just in time to see his follower raise a hand as if signalling to someone before melting into the shadows on the far side of the street.

Not a footpad, thought Adam with a sort of amused grimness. And not alone. What, then? And why? What possible reason could anyone have for wanting to know my every move? But whoever it is, they’re making a mistake because now I’ll have to do something about it. And that’s just tiresome.


0 0 Read more

Making Your Story Believable by Kat Martin

May 29, 2021 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Guest Posts tagged as , , , , , ,

Over the years, I’ve found one of the best ways to make your story believable is to use real places to locate the action and real names of restaurants and streets. Actually going there, of course, is the best way to make that happen. 

In my new novella, COME MIDNIGHT, Breanna Winters, seated on an airliner next to a good-looking man in an expensive suit, finds herself kidnapped by Honduran terrorists.  She doesn’t expect Derek Stiles, a corporate executive, to put his life at risk by volunteering to go along when Bree is dragged from the plane and marched into the jungle.

Unfortunately, I have never been to the jungle in Honduras or any jungle for that matter, aside from a brief visit to a tropical rain forest in Brazil and a stop in Belize. 

So for this story, I didn’t go to Honduras, but I did do extensive research, and it wasn’t the first time.  Beginning with with an old historical, SAVANNAH HEAT, set in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and more recently, THE CONSPIRACY, which travels from the Caribbean to Columbia, I’ve learned a lot about life in the jungle—and it is far from easy.

In the novella, the good news is Derek Stiles is a former Navy fighter pilot with extensive survival training who has spent time in the jungle before. Still, it’s soon clear they’ll need to depend on each other if they’re going to survive.

I hope you will give COME MIDNIGHT a try and that you will look for Derek again in my full-length novel, THE PERFECT MURDER, out June 22nd, the last book in my Maximum Security Series

Till next time, all best wishes and happy reading, 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. Currently residing in Missoula, Montana with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, Kat has written sixty-five 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. Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.


Excerpt

Come Midnight

Kat Martin

The sound of a baby’s high-pitched, incessant crying put his teeth on edge. Derek Stiles forced himself to relax as he settled back in his wide business class seat. The airplane engines hummed outside the window, dulling the noise a little, but the crying only grew louder.

Derek silently cursed. His trip to Colombia had already gotten off to a rocky start when a meeting in the Houston office of Garrett Resources, where he worked as VP of Mergers and Acquisitions, ran overtime and he’d missed his non-stop flight. Now he’d be landing in El Salvador, laying over a couple of hours before changing planes and continuing on to Bogota, not getting to his hotel until well after dark.

He pulled out his laptop and set it on the fold-down table in front of him. He usually worked on a flight. He always had plenty to do, but he’d been staying up late every night so he also needed some sleep. It was important to be at the top of his game first thing in the morning.

The baby’s cries grew louder and his nerves revved up. He hadn’t really noticed the woman sitting in the seat beside him until she stood up and turned toward mother and child in the row behind him. 

She jangled her car keys over the back of the seat and smiled. “Look, baby. Look at these. I bet you’d like to play with these, wouldn’t you?” The baby’s crying slowed, turned to whimpers, then sniffles, then stopped altogether. Glancing over his shoulder, Derek watched a little girl bundled in pink, maybe a year old, reach up for the car keys.

“I never thought of that,” the mother said, sounding desperate and making him feel guilty. He didn’t have kids but he could imagine how tough it would be to take a child on an international flight.

The mom, a black-haired woman in her mid-twenties, took out her own set of keys and held them up, but the baby ignored them, fascinated by the glittering heart on the end of the other keychain dangling in front of her.

“I hate to ask you this,” the mother said, “but is it all right if Sophie plays with your keys for a while?”

“Absolutely,” his seatmate said. She was pretty, he realized, with long blond hair and big blue eyes. A little above average height, slender but curvy in all the right places. “Once we’re in the air,” she continued, “if you want me to hold her, give you a little break, I’d be happy to.”

The mother’s smile held relief mixed with gratitude. “I might just take you up on that. My name is Carmen, by the way.”

“Breanna.” Her smile went even brighter and Derek felt an unexpected kick. He was usually able to leave his libido behind when he was away on business. 

“You have a darling baby,” Breanna said.

Carmen smiled. “Thank you.”

The flight attendant urged Breanna to sit back down so the flight could get underway, and the engines roared, preparing for take-off.

“So I guess you’re a mom,” Derek heard himself saying, though he made it a habit not to talk on a flight. He always had too much to do.

Breanna shifted toward him. “I’d love to have children someday, but I’m not a mother yet. I work with kids so I know a few tricks.”

“What kind of work do you do?”

“I’m with a non-profit called Shelter the Children. Abrego Los Ninos in Spanish. We support an orphanage in a little village outside San Salvador. That’s where I’m headed.”  

He smiled and held out a hand. “Derek Stiles.  I know your name is Breanna.”

“Yes. Everyone just calls me Bree.”

They were an hour out of San Salvador International Airport when Derek noticed a commotion at the rear of the cabin.

Then the curtain behind the business class section jerked open and a lean, black-haired man stood in the aisle. Derek’s blood ran cold when he noticed the assault rifle strapped across the intruder’s chest.


Pre-order Come Midnight

COME MIDNIGHT
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from IndieBound
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Google Play
Buy from Apple Books

0 0 Read more

Story Ideas by Kat Martin

December 17, 2020 by in category Guest Posts tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
woman using a typewriter with crumpled up paper around her and a cup of coffee next to her. Title of the post Story Ideas and author Kat Martin are place over the image.

People often ask how I come up with ideas for my novels.  Sometimes I have no answer—it just seems to pop into my head.  Best guess, the kernel of an idea probably came from a newspaper or magazine article or something I saw in a movie.  It was probably just so far back I don’t recall.

Before I started to write THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL, Brandon Garrett’s story, the third book in my Maximum Security Series, I had decided to set a book in Colorado, maybe even a new series.  I ran across an article about the Army Chemical Weapons Depot near Fort Carson and started thinking…  wouldn’t it make be interesting if someone stole chemical weapons from the depot?  I wonder if it could be done?  How would the good guys catch the thieves?  And so off I went on a story that turned into The Ultimate Betrayal

Having written over 70 novels since I began way back when, it’s harder and harder to come up with fresh ideas.  I do a lot of research for my books.  This novel, set around a military base, was particularly difficult.  Lots of stuff I didn’t know.

In the story, when investigative journalist Jessie Kegan’s father, a colonel in the army, is accused of treason, Jessie is determined to clear his name.  Reluctantly, she turns to former Special Ops soldier, Brandon Garrett, her late brother’s best friend–a true heartbreaker, according to her brother. 

With danger coming from every angle, time is running out and the game being played is deadly.  Working together, Bran and Jessie must risk everything to solve the riddle and confront the threat–before it’s too late.

I hope you’ll give THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL a try and if you like Bran and Jessie as much as I did, you can also find them in THE CONSPIRACY, Maximum Security book #1 and THE DECEPTION, book #2.

Till next time, happy reading and all best, Kat 


THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL

Kat Martin

When investigative journalist Jessie Kegan’s father, a colonel in the army, is accused of treason, Jessie is determined to clear his name.  Reluctantly, she turns to former Special Ops soldier, Brandon Garrett, her late brother’s best friend—a true heartbreaker, according to her brother.

With danger coming from every angle, time is running out and the game being played is deadly.  Working together, Bran and Jessie must risk everything to solve the riddle and confront the threat—before it’s too late.

Buy from Amazon
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from IndieBound
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Apple iTunes
Buy from Google Play

Kat Martin Bio

Bestselling author Kat Martin, a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, currently resides in Missoula, Montana with Western-author husband, L. J. Martin.  More than seventeen million copies of Kat’s books are in print, and she has been published in twenty foreign countries.  Fifteen of her recent novels have taken top-ten spots on the New York Times Bestseller List, and her novel, BEYOND REASON, was recently optioned for a feature film.  Kat’s latest novel, THE ULTIMATE  BETRAYAL, a Romantic Thriller, will be released in paperback December 29th.


Social Media Links

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Instagram

Website

Contest Link

Kat’s Monthly Contest


0 0 Read more

The Deception by Kat Martin

August 8, 2019 by in category Guest Posts tagged as , , , , , ,

Kat Martin | A Slice of Orange
Photo by Juan Carlo, Ventura Country Star

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. Currently residing in Missoula, Montana with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, Kat has written sixty-five 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. Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.


As I was finishing the last few pages of upcoming novel, THE DECEPTION, Hawk Maddox and Kate Gallagher’s story, I got an interesting phone call. I’m fortunate to be represented by a literary agency in New York as well as an agency in Hollywood.

Beyond Reason | Kat Martin | A Slice of Orange


Since I love movies, I’ve always wanted to see one of my books made into a feature film. The Hollywood agency phoned about my novel BEYOND REASON. The story is set in Texas, an action adventure that revolves around the rivalry between Carly Drake, who inherits her grandfather’s failing trucking firm, and powerful, multimillionaire Lincoln Cain, her number one competitor.


Worse yet, Carly needs Linc’s help to find the men who are willing to kill to keep her from making Drake Trucking successful again. Big money is involved. And very big danger.


The transaction involving the rights was exciting from beginning to end, with David Haring at TinRes Entertainment making the offer, several agents negotiating the terms, and me thrilled to have a chance to see one of my books made into a film. Most likely, the story will be a made-for-TV movie, but it is also optioned with the possibility of a major motion picture or TV series. I would love to see 6’5” Lincoln Cain on a weekly TV show!


Once the deal was completed, I went back to work on THE DECEPTION, which is being released September 10th. I hope you will watch for it and that you will also keep an eye out for Linc and Carly’s movie. It takes years to complete a film, but I promise to keep you posted on details as they come in.


Till then happy reading and all best wishes, Kat


Media Links

Website
Monthy Contest Link
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads
Instagram


PUBLISHERS WEEKLY REVIEW for THE DECEPTION

Martin revs the power from page one of this fast-paced romantic thriller, the second novel in her Maximum Security series (after The Conspiracy). After Kate Gallagher’s runaway younger sister, Chrissy, is murdered, she’s determined to find the killer, no matter what it takes. Bounty hunter Jason “Hawk” Maddox, a former Marine, doesn’t do relationships, but he’s quite willing to dance with Kate and start nudging her toward his bed; then she blurts out that her sister was killed. When Kate hires Hawk’s employer, Maximum Security, to investigate the murder, Martin immediately begins leading her well-drawn characters through a high-octane plot with hair-raising twists and turns, skillfully dragging red herrings everywhere. A subplot about a terrified, trafficked 13-year-old crackles with undeniable energy, as does the hot romance between Kate and Hawk. Even Martin’s most despicable characters (especially pedophile Denny Rayburg) are complex, adding to readers’ emotional investment. Fans of romantic suspense won’t be able to put this book down until the final page is turned, and Martin is likely to recruit thriller readers as well as romance fans with this snappy story. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, ICM. (Sept.)


Books by Kat Martin

BEYOND CONTROL

Buy now!
BEYOND CONTROL

BEYOND DANGER

Buy now!
BEYOND DANGER

BEYOND REASON

Buy now!
BEYOND REASON

COME MIDNIGHT

Buy now!
COME MIDNIGHT

PIVOT

Buy now!
PIVOT

SHADOWS AT DAWN

Buy now!
SHADOWS AT DAWN

THE CONSPIRACY

Buy now!
THE CONSPIRACY

THE DECEPTION

Buy now!
THE DECEPTION

THE LAST GOODNIGHT

Buy now!
THE LAST GOODNIGHT

THE LAST MILE

Buy now!
THE LAST MILE

THE PERFECT MURDER

Buy now!
THE PERFECT MURDER

THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL

Buy now!
THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL

WAIT UNTIL DARK

Buy now!
WAIT UNTIL DARK

0 0 Read more
12

Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM

>