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Out of The Loop

April 9, 2018 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz tagged as , , , ,

Out of the Loop | Kitty Bucholtz | A Slice of Orange


Kitty Bucholtz has had quite a busy month, so busy she not in A Slice of Orange’s posting loop. Don’t worry, she’ll be back soon. In the mean time, she left you a free ebook to read.

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Kitty Bucholtz | A Slice of Orange

Kitty Bucholtz grew up forty miles east of Traverse City, Michigan – a town that is a smaller but surprisingly similar version of Double Bay, Michigan, the setting for this book. She went to college in Traverse City, met and married the love of her life, and waved goodbye to everything she knew when she and her husband John struck out for parts unknown.

Their adventures included going back to school, changing careers, and traveling Down Under. Kitty now writes wherever John is working on a film. They spent three years in Sydney, Australia, where Kitty earned her Master of Arts in Creative Writing degree from University of Technology, Sydney, while John made a penguin named Mumble dance.

Only God knows where they’ll wind up next – but they’re pretty sure it will be another cool chapter in their adventure!

Kitty is also the author of Unexpected Superhero, book one in the Adventures of Lewis and Clarke, the romantic comedy Little Miss Lovesick, and short stories in the anthologies, Romancing the Pages and Moonlit Encounters.


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April 2, 2018 by in category Jann says . . . tagged as , , ,

It is no wonder that Mary Castillo is a paranormal mystery and romance author. She grew up in a haunted house.

Her mom once found her in the closet talking to the nicest lady who had a daughter and two sons. Mary was the only person in the closet and the more questions her mom asked, the plainer it was that her then three-year-old child described the previous (and deceased) resident of their house!

Mary grew up in the same town as the psychic detective of her paranormal mystery series, Dori Orihuela. She even “gave” Dori her dream home, a three-story white Edwardian mansion based on a real historic property. (And no, there are no bootleggers buried in their backyard!) Also, Mary made Dori a tough, smart robbery detective because Mary has discovered from practical experience as a former reporter that is not cop material. She likes to think that Dori is a psychic version of Wonder Woman!

With her degree in history, Mary also loves to find and share untold histories such as bootlegging women and no-nonsense World War II era nurses. Mary’s background is in marketing, public relations, and journalism, proving that yes, you can make a living as a writer! Combining her love of the paranormal with historical, Gothic fiction is a dream come true. Mary now writes the books she loves to read—chilling, psychic suspense novels with sexy heroes and courageous heroines.

However, her current home in Orange County, California is not haunted.


Jann: We’re here today with the remarkable author, Mary Castillo, to talk about haunted houses, a Mystery series and audiobooks.

Jann: What are some of the best things you have learned since your debut novel, Hot Tamara, in 2005?

Mary: The best thing I learned since Hot Tamara is how we can touch our readers’ lives. A few months after its publication, I received an email from a woman who never thought she’d laugh out loud in the chemo infusion room. But she did thanks to reading my book! What a beautiful gift. Ever since then, she pops into my mind and inspires me to do the very best I can with each story because I never know how or when one of my books will come into someone’s life.

Jann: What was it like to have Cosmopolitan magazine select Hot Tamara as the Red Hot Read in April of 2005?

Mary: It was very unexpected and so exciting. The only problem was that my grandma read that issue of Cosmo first before reading the book. Her first impression of my writing was well, spicy to say the least! But she was so excited to see my lifelong dream come true. I must lay the blame on her because when I was 12 she lent me Hollywood Wives by Jackie Collins and told me that being an author would be the best job in the world. Good thing I listened to my grandma because she was right!


Jann: What was it like to grow up in a haunted house?

Mary: My parents were very open and natural about our resident spirit, so it didn’t occur to me that it was odd until I was old enough to tell my friends and either scare the heck out of them or be teased! My mom got a few concerned phone calls from parents. Honestly, our ghost was like a nosey, shut-in spinster aunt. Every now and then she’d switch the lights on and off, or open and close doors. We knew she was around when the room would turn cold and we’d just say hello and ask her not to scare us.

Jann: If your house hadn’t been haunted, do you think you would be writing the Dori O Paranormal Mystery series?Lost in The Light | Mary Castillo | A Slice of Orange

Mary: Lost in the Light is heavily inspired by the classic movie, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (I listened to the soundtrack while writing and editing the book). I was also edging into the paranormal with little touches in In Between Men and especially, Switchcraft in which the heroines switch bodies and live each other’s lives.

Jann: Tell us about Detective Dori Oriheula and the series.

Mary: Dori first appeared in a novella I wrote with my author friends titled, Names I Call My Sister. I loved her from the start: she’s beautiful, smart, tall and can take down a grown man without messing up her hair. She’s the least likely person to be psychic and I’ve had a lot of fun watching her wrestle with accepting this fact. She’s getting there.

Jann: Dori is getting a second chance at love with Gavin Salazar. Where do you see their relationship going?

Mary: I can’t tell you or else I’ll ruin the series! But I can say this: as long as they’re together, there will be challenges. He is a laid-back, creative surfer guy who loves his little daughter. Dori is quiet, fact-driven and on the surface, isn’t cozy. While he’s open to the idea of the paranormal, Dori is very guarded which only adds to their trust issues. When I threw them together, I knew they had something if only they’d open-up to one another. It’s been fun to make their lives difficult and see them come together as a team.

Lost in Whispers


Jann: You have published three books in this series, Lost In The Light, Girl In The Mist and Lost In Whispers–is there a book four coming soon?

Mary: Yes, I’m preparing the fourth book (a novella) for October 2018. It picks up right where we left off with Lost in Whispers. My mom begged me to tell her what happened to one of the main characters who was in a coma at the end of the book. I didn’t even tell her. She’ll make me pay for it, one way or another!


Jann: All three books are available on iTunes and Audible and you are the narrator. Why did you decide to do your own narration?

Mary: I really, really wanted an audiobook. But we didn’t have the budget to produce one. I have a background in drama and video production, and I’ve always had so much fun performing at book readings. In January 2016, I did some test recordings and began narrating my audiobook. I fell in love with this method of telling stories. Now that it is a finalist in the ABR Listener’s Choice Award for Mystery, I may have found a new career!Girl in the Mist | Mary Castillo | A Slice of Orange

But the unexpected gift of recording Lost in the Light while I was editing Lost in Whispers, helped with continuity because I recalled details that I had forgotten! Once I finished Lost in the Light, I jumped into Girl in the Mist, which taught me that it is fun to write a steamy love scene but a bit awkward recording it! I’m now recording Lost in Whispers which I plan to release in the fall and then the fourth Dori novella to be released in Winter 2018.

Jann: Thank you Mary for letting us into your writing world. You can contact Mary at the following sites.

Website: https://marycastillo.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marycastillo/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MCastilloWrites/




A selection of Mary Castillo’s books are available below. Hover over the book cover for the buy links.


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Things That Make Me Go Mmmrrh…Some Irish-themed Romance

February 27, 2018 by in category Things That Make Me Go Mmmrrh . . . by Geralyn Corcillo tagged as , , , , , , , , , ,

Things that make me go mmmrrh ... | Geralyn Corcillo | A Slice of OrangeAs St. Patrick’s Day draws near, do you long for some Irish-themed romance? I’ve got a few recommendations for you.

Check out Gail Ward Olmsted’s Driving on the Left, a novel about a mother and daughter, Jackie and Becca,  who take a coach tour around Ireland.  This book weaves together the stories of the mother-daughter bond and friction, the daughter’s romance with an Irish hottie, and the mother’s continuing romance with her husband. And what a deliciously relaxing read! Off to beautiful Ireland, for one thing. But oh, the brilliance of the two characters, Jackie and Becca. Becca, especially – Olmsted NAILS the dramatic ups and downs of a  twenty-one year old in love. Becca’s passion for her new-found love, her fierce desire for independence, her warm and gooey love for her parents, her bursts of immaturity – JUST SO PERFECT. And Jackie! What a bubble bath of a character to sink into! I just really really wanted to see how it all worked out and I wasn’t disappointed. This book is SUCH a treat.

If you long to relax in front of the television watching a charming, romantic film about Ireland, consider The Nephew (1998). American teenager Chad (Hill Harper) brings his mother’s ashes to her hometown in Ireland.  There, Chad finds love and uncovers years of secrets, betrayals, and feuding. Does this kid from America have what it takes to heal the scars of the past? I have just adored Hill Harper ever since I saw this movie 20 years ago, and I am so excited to be watching Hill Harper every Monday night now as the Chief of Surgery on The Good Doctor. Check out this trailer for The Nephew.

What Irish-themed stories can you recommend?

Things That Make Me Go Mmmrrh ... It's a Wonderful Life |Geralyn Corcillo | A Slice of Orange


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The Unromantic Romantic

February 15, 2018 by in category The Write Life by Rebecca Forster tagged as , , , , , ,

Early in my career, when I was writing romance and women’s fiction, a bookseller, who I greatly admired, commented that my idea of romance was a chuck on a man’s  shoulder. The other authors gathered in her store for a book signing laughed – and so did I. She was right in context of the romance genre. I was never comfortable writing love scenes or covering my ‘author lens’ with gauze. I didn’t care for characters having long involved conversations about their relationships. It never occurred to me to have brooding heroes or pining heroines. I was less interested in cupid, than I was in the arrow he shot and, I suppose, that is why I write thrillers now.

However, that does not mean I am unromantic. Why? Because in each of my books I take great care with character relationships, character’s moral core, their willingness to take chances and their curiosity about their mysterious world. To convince myself I was correct in believing these attributes to be romantic, I looked up the definition. Here you go, straight from Meriam/Webster:

Romantic: marked by the imaginative or emotional appeal of what is heroic, adventurous, remote, mysterious or idealized.

In other words, romance for one heart might carry an emotional connotation that leads to a sexual encounter or a committed relationship. For my heart, romance is embodied in how characters react to challenge. As a thriller writer I want my reader to feel the romance of suspense, of mystery, of the idealization of a hero who will walk through fire to make things right.

I find John McClane in Die Hard, Indiana Jones in any of the Indiana Jones movies, romantic and yet you never see them in sexual situations. The focus of these movies is on action within a mysterious world. The romantic in me sighs over their heroics, my heart beats faster at their commitment to justice and the place of honor in which they put women while also treating them as equals in adventure.

Whether you are an author or are a reader, do not pigeonhole the idea of romance. If you do, you will be limiting your talent and your reading enjoyment.

This Valentine’s Day, I hope cupid brought you candies and flowers. In the next year, I wish you a different kind of romance; the kind that take you to exotic, mysterious and adventurous places in your imagination.


The unromantic romantic

USA Today and Amazon bestselling author, Rebecca Forster is the author of over 38 novels including the acclaimed The Witness Series and her new Finn O’Brien Thriller series. She is married to a Superior Court judge and is mother to two sons.

Find Rebecca here:

Website: http://rebeccaforster.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaForster4/

Twitter: @Rebecca_Forster (https://twitter.com/Rebecca_Forster)

Subscribe and get my 2-book starter library: http://rebeccaforster.com/thriller-subscribers/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rebecca-forster

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Beyond Danger by Kat Martin

February 13, 2018 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Guest Posts, Spotlight tagged as , , , , , , , ,

Beyond Danger | Kat Martin | A Slice of Orange

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Beyond Danger (excerpt)


Kat Martin

Pleasant Hill, Texas

Beau could hardly believe it. His father was sixty years old! The girl sitting across from him in a booth at the Pleasant Hill Café looked like a teenager. A very pregnant teenager.

“Everything’s going to be okay, Missy,” Beau Reese said. “You don’t have to worry about anything from now on. I’ll make sure everything is taken care of from here on out.”

“He bought me presents,” the girl said, dabbing a Kleenex against the tears in her blue eyes. “He told me how pretty I was, how much he liked being with me. I thought he loved me.”

Fat chance of that, Beau thought. His dad had never loved anyone but himself. True, his father, a former Texas state senator, was still a handsome man, one who stayed in shape and looked twenty years younger. Didn’t make the situation any better.

“How old are you, Missy?”


At least she was over the age of consent. That was something, not much.

Beau shoved a hand through his wavy black hair and took a steadying breath. He thought of the DNA test folded up and tucked into the pocket of his shirt. He had always wanted a baby brother or sister. Now at the age of thirty five, he was finally going to have one.

Beau felt a surge of protectiveness toward the young woman carrying his father’s child.

He looked over to where she sat hunched over next to her mother on the opposite side of the pink vinyl booth. “Everybody makes mistakes, Missy. You picked the wrong guy, that’s all. Doesn’t mean you won’t have a great kid.”

For the first time since he’d arrived, Missy managed a tentative smile. “Thank you for saying that.”

Beau returned the smile. “I’m going to have a baby sister. I promise she won’t have to worry about a thing from the day she’s born into this world.” Hell, he was worth more than half a billion dollars. He would see the child had everything she ever wanted.

When Missy’s lips trembled, her mother scooted out of the booth. “I think she’s had enough for today. This is all very hard on her and I don’t want her getting overly tired.” Josie reached for her daughter’s hand. “Let’s go home, honey. You’ll feel better after a nap.”

Beau got up, too, leaned over and brushed a kiss on Missy’s cheek. “You both have my number. If you need anything, call me. Okay?”

Missy swallowed. “Okay.”

“Thank you, Beau,” Josie said. “I should have called you sooner. I should have known you’d help us.”

“I’ll have my assistant send you a check right away. You’ll have money to take care of expenses and buy the things you need. After that, I’ll have a draft sent to Missy every month.”

Josie’s eyes teared up. “I didn’t know how I was going to manage the bills all by myself. Thank you again, Beau.”

He just nodded. “Keep me up to date on her condition.”

“I will,” Josie said.

Beau watched the women head for the door, the bell ringing as Josie shoved it open and she and Missy walked out of the café.

Leaving money on the table for his coffee, he followed the women out the door, his temper slowing climbing toward the boiling point, as it had been after he’d first received Josie’s call.

His father should be the one handling Missy’s pregnancy. He’d had months to step up and do the right thing. Beau figured he never would.
As he crossed the sidewalk and opened the door of his dark blue Ferrari, his temper cranked up another notch. By the time the car was roaring along the road to his father’s house, his fury was simmering, bubbling just below the surface.

Unconsciously his foot pressed harder on the gas, urging the car down the two-lane road at well over eighty miles an hour. With too many tickets in Howler County already, he forced himself to slow down.

Making the turn into Country Club Estates, he jammed on the brakes and the car slid to a stop in front of the house. The white, two-story home he’d been raised in oozed Southern charm, the row of columns out front mimicking an old-style plantation.

Climbing out of the Ferrari, one of his favorite vehicles, he pounded up the front steps and crossed the porch. The housekeeper had Mondays and Tuesdays off so he used his key to let himself into the entry.

On this chilly, end-of-January day, the ceiling fans, usually rotating throughout the five-thousand square-foot residence, hadn’t been turned on, leaving the interior strangely silent, the air oddly dense. The ticking of the ornate grandfather clock in the living room seemed louder than it usually did.

“Dad! It’s Beau! Where are you?” When he didn’t get an answer, he strode down the hall toward the study. He had phoned his father on the way over. Though he’d done his best to keep the anger out of his voice, he wasn’t sure he had succeeded. Maybe his father had left to avoid him.

“Dad!” Still no answer. Beau continued down the hall, his footsteps echoing in the quiet. As he reached the study, he noticed the door standing slightly ajar. Steeling himself for the confrontation ahead, he clamped down on his temper, rapped firmly, then shoved the door open.
His father wasn’t sitting at the big rosewood desk or in his favorite overstuffed chair next to the fireplace. Beau started to turn away when an odd gurgling sound sent the hairs up on the back of his neck.

“Dad!” At the opposite end of the desk, Beau spotted a prone figure lying on the floor in a spreading pool of blood. “Dad!” His father’s eyes were closed, his face as gray as ash. The handle of a letter opener protruded from the middle of his chest.

Beau raced to his father’s side. “Dad!” Blood oozed from the wound in his chest and streamed onto the hardwood floor. He had to stop the bleeding and he had to do it now!

He hesitated, praying he wouldn’t make it worse, then with no other option, grabbed the handle of the letter opener, jerked it out, gripped the front of his dad’s white shirt and ripped it open.

“Oh, my God! What are you–”

Beau glanced up. “Call 9-1-1! Hurry, he’s been stabbed! Hurry!”

The woman, a shapely brunette named Cassidy Jones, his father’s recently hired personal assistant, didn’t pause, just pulled her cell out of her pocket and hurriedly punched in the number. He heard her rattle off the address, give the dispatcher the name of the victim and said he had been stabbed.

Beau’s hand shook as he checked for a pulse, found none. The wound was catastrophic, a stab wound straight to the heart. No way could his father survive it.

Cassidy ended the call, ran over and knelt on the floor beside him.

“Here, use this to seal the hole.” She seemed amazingly in control as she handed him a credit card then ran to the wet bar and grabbed a towel, folded it into a pad, rushed back and handed it over. Beau pressed the towel over the credit card on top of the hole, all the while knowing his father was already dead or within moments of dying.

He checked again for a pulse. Shook his head, feeling an unexpected rush of grief. “His heart isn’t beating. Whoever stabbed him knew exactly where to bury the blade.” And compressions would only make it worse.

Cassidy reached down to check for herself, pressing her fingers in exactly the right spot on the side of his father’s neck. She had to know it was hopeless, just as he did, must have known Stewart Reese was dead.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

Beau studied his father’s face. Pain had turned his usually handsome features haggard and slack, nothing like the athletic older man who kept himself so fit and trim.

Sorrow slid through him, making his chest clamp down. Or maybe it was sadness for the kind of man his father was, the kind who had wound up the victim of a killer.

“Just hold on,” Cassidy said to him. “The ambulance should be here any minute.”

His mind went blank until the sound of a siren sliced into his conscious. Cassidy hurried off to let the EMTs into the house and a few moments later they appeared in the study.

“You need to give us some room, Mr. Reese,” one of them said gently, a skinny kid who looked like he knew what he was doing.

Beau backed away and Cassidy followed. He felt her eyes on him, assessing him with speculation–or was it suspicion?

It didn’t take long for the EMTs to have his father loaded onto a gurney and rolling down the hall, back outside to the ambulance. Beau strode along behind them, Cassidy trailing in his wake.

It occurred to him that she could be the killer. But somehow the timing seemed wrong and her reaction seemed genuine. The thought slid away.

As he climbed into the ambulance and sat down beside his dad, he flicked a last glance at the house. If Cassidy Jones hadn’t done it, who had? Had the killer still been inside when Beau arrived? How had he escaped? What was his motive?

The ambulance roared down the road, sirens wailing, blowing through intersections, weaving in and out between cars, careening around corners. All the way to the hospital Beau held his father’s hand. It was the closest he had ever felt to his dad.

The ambulance turned again and Pleasant Hill Memorial loomed ahead. The vehicle slammed to a stop in front of the emergency entrance and the back doors banged open.

After what seemed an eternity but was only a very few minutes, Beau’s father, Stewart Beaumont Reese, was pronounced Dead On Arrival.
Beau’s throat closed up. There were times as a boy he had wished his father dead, but that had been years ago.

Now his dad was gone and Beau wanted answers. He vowed whatever it took, for no matter how long, he wouldn’t stop until he found the man who had murdered his father.

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