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The Texas Mystique

July 29, 2019 by in category Spotlight tagged as , , , ,

Since my book, THE CONSPIRACY, Chase Garrett and Harper Winston’s story, is set in Texas, I thought it might be fun to talk about one of my favorite places.

The cover to Kat Martin's The Conspiracy

There is something special about Texas. My husband and I lived in Houston for a couple of months one summer and it was a wonderful experience. The people in Texas are extremely friendly, and always seem to be in a good mood.

We stuffed ourselves on gourmet meals in some of the country’s finest restaurants, ate a ton of delicious Tex Mex, enjoyed Asian, Indian flatbread, and just about everything else.  We visited art galleries, the beach, and drove past some of the beautiful ranches in the area. 

That was the good news.  The bad news was Houston in August is HOT. It’s also muggy and sticky and you just can’t wait for October to arrive. Or maybe September.

Two years ago, we traveled to Lubbock for a Western Writers of America conference. I was reluctant to go in the summer, but it turned out to be a really great trip—hot but dry. We visited the Museum of Texas Tech and met some fun people, including old-time movie star, Barry Corbin, who’s been in everything from Urban Cowboy to The Best Little Whore House in Texas.

For the past few years, I’ve been setting my stories in Dallas, one of my favorite cities. In THE CONSPIRACY Harper Winston’s brother has disappeared. Desperate to find him, Harper is forced turn to the wealthy owner of Maximum Security, private detective, Chase Garrett, once her brother’s best friend.

But dealing with the Winston crime family won’t be easy. With time running out, Chase must find a way to keep Harper safe…and both of them alive.

Texas is a place that captured my soul long ago. If you don’t have time to visit, I hope you look for Harper and Chase in THE CONSPIRACY, out in paperback July 30th, and that you enjoy.

Till next time, all best and happy reading, Kat


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. Her last novel,BEYOND CONTROL, hit both big lists … NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LIST as well as the USA TODAY BEST-SELLING BOOKS LIST. Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.


The Conspiracy

by Kat Martin

EXCERPT

In the throes of wild monkey sex with Harper Winston, Chase awoke covered in a film of perspiration, an unwelcome throbbing beneath the sheet. Cursing, he sat up in bed and ran a hand over his face. Only a dream. Or in this case, a nightmare.

He shoved his fingers through his sweat-damp hair. Jesus God, he couldn’t remember a dream that had felt more real. Or ever being more aroused.

Swearing foully, he rolled out of bed. His brother Bran would get an I-told-you-so laugh out of his misery, but Chase didn’t find his unwanted attraction to a Winston the least bit funny.

Not when Harper’s father ran his world much like a Mafia don, a highly successful criminal enterprise that allowed him to get away with murder—literally. Everyone in the Dallas underworld knew that to cross Knox Winston might get you dead. The DA’s office turned a blind eye, along with the dirty cops on Knox’s payroll.

Aside from the legitimate businesses Knox now ran—from motels, restaurants, and laundries, to larger enterprises like hotel chains, no one really seemed to know how Knox had actually amassed his fortune. Since his son had once been Chase’s best friend, Chase didn’t want to know, either.

He wondered how much Harper knew about her father’s activities. Not much, he would guess, since Knox had gone to great lengths to keep his children under the illusion he was just a mega-successful businessman. And Harper had been gone from Dallas for years.

Chase had a hunch Michael had suspected, that it was part of the reason he had turned to alcohol and drugs, but they had never talked about it.

Padding naked into the bathroom, he reached into the shower and turned on the water, setting the temperature a little colder than he liked. He wanted to wash Harper’s beautiful face out of his head, the memory of her small, perfect breasts that—thank God—he had never actually seen.

Pulling on his jeans and a short-sleeved yellow Oxford shirt, he was ready to meet with Dutch, who had arranged a boat to Curacao. They could have gone by plane, but he wanted the flexibility to check, if necessary, other spots around the island once they got there.

He wished he was going by himself instead of dragging a woman into what might turn out to be a bad situation. But as he walked into the living room, Harper came out of the other bedroom, straw hat in hand, dressed and ready to go. His mind flashed back to the hot, erotic dream, and a shot of lust hit him like a fist.

Chase dragged in a lungful of air and forced himself to think of something else. Palm trees might have worked if she hadn’t walked close enough for him to catch a whiff of her soft perfume.

“Good morning,” she said. “Sleep okay?”

Jesus God, help him. He didn’t want to think of the dream, refused to allow his mind to slide back into the gutter. Chase had never been more grateful to hear his iPhone ring.

Pulling his cell out of his pocket, he recognized Tabby’s number and pressed the phone against his ear. “What have you got for me, Tab?”

“Pia’s phone pinged at the Zee Winden Marina in Curacao, same as Michael’s. Both phones are now inactive.”

Not good. He could contact the authorities in Curacao, but he could probably be there before the investigation—such as it would likely be—actually got underway. And once he got the police involved it would limit what he would be able to do.

“Anything else?”

“Not at the moment. If I get something I’ll call.”

“Thanks, Tab. You’re the best.” Chase hung up the phone, his mind back on the case. In his business, the job had to come first. People’s lives depended on it.

“What did she say?” Harper asked.

“Zee Winden Marina in Curacao, same as your brother. Call Christy and tell her, then pack an overnight bag. We might not get back tonight.”

So saying, he grabbed the duffle, now packed, he had brought empty in his carryon, something smaller, a little easier to manage. Just a dupe kit, clean underwear, a dress shirt and slacks, high-topped boots and cargo pants, things that might be useful as they moved into uncharted territory, where his search for Michael might lead.

A few minutes later, Harper walked back into the living room carrying the colorful oversized canvas bag she had carried onto the plane. It was stuffed full and zipped shut ready to go. She had pulled her hair into a ponytail, but flyaway pale blond strands floated around her face, gleaming like pale spun gold.

The heat returned to his groin. Dammit, what was there about her?


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Harper Winston’s brother has disappeared. Pursuing his dream of sailing the Caribbean, Michael hasn’t responded to texts or emails in days. When even the Coast Guard can’t find him, Harper is forced to take desperate measures. Which means going to Chase Garrett, once her brother’s best friend, now the only man she can trust…or so she hopes.


As the successful owner of Maximum Security, Chase has learned to trust his gut. He knows Harper’s father is mixed up in a deadly business, and suspects there’s more to Michael’s disappearance than meets the eye. Getting involved again with the Winstons goes against everything he stands for, yet old loyalties die hard. As the case draws him closer to Harper and deeper into the Winstons’ snarled crime family, he is forced to put everything on the line to keep Harper safe…and both of them alive.

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Spotlight on KAT MARTIN

January 24, 2019 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Spotlight 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. Her last novel, BEYOND CONTROL, hit both big lists … NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LIST as well as the USA TODAY BEST-SELLING BOOKS LIST. Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.


The Conspiracy | Kat Martin | A Slice of Orange

January sees the release of Kat’s newest romantic suspense THE CONSPIRACY. Read the excerpt below:

Excerpt: The Conspiracy

Kat Martin

The sounds of the rainforest surrounded him, the hum of insects, the shrill cry of a monkey, and the rustle of leaves as a wild animal moved through the undergrowth not far away.

In the blackness of night, Michael Winston leaned back against the thick trunk of an eighty foot Kapok rising up from the damp, mossy floor of the rainforest. His wrists burned from the plastic ties biding his hands behind his back. The white Bermuda shorts his captors had allowed him to put on when they had boarded BUZZ Word and found him sleeping naked next to Pia in the master cabin were gone. Replaced by khaki fatigues more suitable for their trek into the jungle.

Huddled on the ground beside him, hands also bound, Pia rested her head on his shoulder, her long mahogany hair teasing his cheek.  She was petite, no more than five foot-three, with big brown eyes and smooth olive skin. Even with her makeup gone, her baggy fatigues damp from the afternoon rain and sticking to her lush curves, she was beautiful.

Every time he looked at her, guilt and fury washed over him. Fury that he was helpless to protect her from what might be in store for them. Guilt that if he hadn’t convinced her to go sailing with him she would be safe back in Aruba.

He could only pray that their captors would continue to obey whatever orders had apparently come down from their leader, which seemed to be not to hurt them.

At least no more than they had already happened during the fight to subdue them that night on the boat. His jaw and cheek were bruised and his ribs acted from the blows he had taken. He would have kept fighting if one of the men hadn’t pulled a gun and pressed it against Pia’s head.

That had been days ago. What day was it now? He tried to count backward, remembered making incredible love to Pia for the first time after a night of gambling at the Trade Winds Casino. Both of them had won a little money, enough to have them smiling when they returned to the boat and ended up in bed.

He remembered Pia falling asleep in his arms. Remembered the deep, satisfied sleep he’d drifted into himself, a rarity with the heavy work schedule he’d been under.

Sometime later that night, two men, big, burly and tough, had boarded the yacht and taken control, forcing him to sail out of the marina into the open sea. For the next two days, Michael had been certain the men’s intention was to pirate the yacht, kill them and dump their bodies in the ocean.

If it hadn’t been for Pia, he would have made an attempt to overpower his captors, but the men were heavily armed and well-trained, and he wasn’t willing to risk Pia’s life unless there was absolutely no other choice.

Eventually, the boat had sailed into a quiet cove on a deserted stretch of beach several hundred miles from Curacao. If his mental calculations were correct, they’d arrived somewhere in Colombia.

They’d been imprisoned two more days before soldiers had arrived to take charge of them. By then, Michael had been certain the motive was ransom, a demand for millions from his mega-rich father in return for his son’s release. But he was no longer sure.

Not since the soldiers had forced him and Pia to begin this grueling trek into the rainforest that covered the steep sides of the mountains. They had hiked all day in ill-fitting boots provided by their captors that rubbed blisters on their feet.

At dusk the soldiers had stopped the march and begun making camp. Exhausted, Michael had slumped against the tree and Pia had eased down beside him. He had no idea how long they’d sat there while the men ate and drank between raucous bursts of laughter.

They’d been brought water and a little food, which they’d been released just long enough to eat, given a bathroom break, then been tied up again and left beneath the tree.

Equally as wet, numb and cold as he was, Pia shifted and raised her head to look at him. “How many more days, do you think, till we reach wherever they’re taking us?”

They hadn’t arrived at their final destination–he was sure of that. “I heard some of them talking. My Spanish sucks, but I was able to make out some of what they said. If I got it right, they’re planning to reach the main camp by tomorrow night.”

Which meant another long day of hiking through the harsh, wet, mountainous tropical landscape. Pia spoke far better Spanish than he did, but she’d been careful not to let them know. She was extremely smart, which was one of the reasons he’d been attracted to her in the first place. Not to mention her beautiful face and fantastic figure.

“Do you think they’ve sent word to your father?”

He had told her his ransom theory mostly to keep her spirits up, told her his father was worth millions of dollars and that he would surely pay for the safe return of his only son and the girl who was with him.

Though Michael had never been able to live up to his father’s expectations and they rarely spoke these days, it didn’t change the fact they were blood. His father would pay the ransom demand and Pia would be part of the bargain—Michael wasn’t leaving without her.

“They’ve probably sent word by now,” he said. “They’ll want to be paid in cash. It might take my father a while to get the money together and get it down here.”

And his sister would be looking for them, he was sure of that. He hadn’t called her in days, as she had made him promise to do. Harper would know something was wrong and she would be doing her best to find him.

THE CONSPIRACY
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To CELEBRATE the release of THE CONSPIRACY, enter Kat’s new contest for a chance to win a KINDLE FIRE 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB and a Kindle copy of INTO THE FURYINTO THE WHIRLWIND and INTO THE FIRESTORM. Contest runs from Jan 1, 2019 through Feb 28, 2019.  

SPECIAL CONTEST: https://www.katmartin.com/the-conspiracy-giveaway/

KAT’S WEBSITE: https://www.katmartin.com/

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Other books by Kat Martin:

BEYOND CONTROL

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BEYOND CONTROL

BEYOND DANGER

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BEYOND DANGER

BEYOND REASON

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BEYOND REASON

COME MIDNIGHT

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COME MIDNIGHT

PIVOT

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PIVOT

SHADOWS AT DAWN

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SHADOWS AT DAWN

THE PERFECT MURDER

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THE PERFECT MURDER

THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL

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THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL

THE CONSPIRACY

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THE CONSPIRACY

THE DECEPTION

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THE DECEPTION

WAIT UNTIL DARK

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WAIT UNTIL DARK

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