Saturday, 19 May 2012

Blind Veil by Michael Lorde

What does an unreported crime that occurred decades earlier have to do with a NYC cop?  Everything.

How can an unreported crime that occurred forty years in the past,and across the country, affect a New York City Cop today?

Can a seemingly innocent boat ride forever change the life of a former Marine?

Find out when a Police Officer meets an eccentric scientist who claims to hold secret knowledge that has been hidden from the rest of society.

Is this all truly happening, or is he slowly losing his grip on reality? Unfortunately, neither conclusion between the two worlds is better than the other as the clarifying line between reality and impossibility slowly disintegrates, turning his world upside down.

He must dig thirty years into his past; deep beneath the veil and the mesh of murder, lies and deceit to find answers.

Follow the trail of events that will forever shape his future… and maybe yours.

Author Michael Lorde is a former law enforcement officer and detective.

Books have been a priority for as long as Michael Lorde can remember.  Always reading or writing Michael has written for years, since the first book ‘Babbly’ was completed as a kid in the 1970’s. While growing up, this author loved sports of all kinds, and was on numerous sports teams at school, including track, basketball and swimming, to name a few.

Michael loves kids and animals and enjoys reading thrilling stories, attending live performances, doing carpentry, and artwork.  The Literacy Council, Special Olympics and Samaritan House are causes that this author has participated in and contributed to in the past and present.

Michael Lorde currently lives in Michigan.

Contact Information:

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If you have any questions feel free to ask and I promise to get back to you.  Feel free to post comments and reviews.

Thank you for reading!

Excerpt from Blind Veil

Time to hide.

There was only one safe place in the house.  He wasn’t a kid anymore.  Could he still fit?  If they found him hiding there he’d be trapped, but he was trapped anyway, here in the house.  Simms opened the pantry door, almost knocking down an old can of peas.  He caught it mid-fall.  Careful not to disturb the dust, he placed it precisely from where it had fallen.  They’d notice a clean spot.  He grabbed the rope which hung at the rear corner of the pantry wall and pulled it to the left.  It revealed an open space about three feet wide which dropped to a small enclosed area below the house.  The total ceiling clearance there fell just shy of five feet, too small for a man his size to fit.  The radio sounded outside the window.  It crackled before spitting out whispers.  Simms stepped over the pantry floor and into the tiny space and turned around.  He hadn’t made a sound.  He willed himself into the faux root cellar before twisting his hand around for the rope.  He used it to carefully slide the panel back in place, keeping a tight grip on it to lock it in.  He was sealed off from the pantry and the kitchen, but was so squished he couldn’t breathe.  His ribcage was crammed in like an oversized sardine in a can. His lungs couldn’t fully expand.  Standing blindly in the tight closet, he wondered how long he could stay in this position before passing out.  Sweat dripped from his pores.  A spider web clung to his cheek as he turned his head toward the sounds in the house. 

Quiet footsteps meandered from room to room.  The search was thorough.  Twenty minutes later, they were now in the kitchen.  Cabinets were being opened.  He closed his eyes in the pitch black.  He could feel them walking towards him.  The pantry door swung open.  The gun tip shone like a brilliant ring from the kitchen light.  Between the slats, Simms could clearly see the militant head covering and the dark eyes of the man peering from behind it as he searched through the cabinet.   

He felt safe.  No one knew about this cubby hole he’d claimed as his personal hiding space as a child.  It was virtually unseen from the searcher’s viewpoint.  All the same, he didn’t breathe at all until the professional was satisfied with his sweep of the pantry interior and closed the door behind him. 

Things sound so much clearer in the dark.  He listened as they finally left the house.  Fifteen minutes or so later, the engines of the all terrain vehicles faded into the distance.  He was covered in sweat which stuck him to the walls that concealed him.  Still, he waited a good twenty minutes longer before he opened the slat and poked his head out of the pantry door.  He breathed deeply, then listened intently for sounds in the house, any sound.

It was silent. 

The soft squeak of the pantry hinge put him on edge as he slipped back into the kitchen and dropped to the floor.  He skidded on knees over to the window.  The vehicles were gone. 

Black and green liquid dripped from underneath Emmett’s truck, pooling onto the yard, beneath it.  He could smell gasoline.   

‘Damn.’  They cut the hoses and the fuel line.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Making Connections - YA Edition! Giveaway

Making Connections - YA Edition!

The Making Connections group has gotten so large that we have decided to branch out and make a Making Connections group for YA books only!

This group will run exactly the same as the original Making Connections group, but the focus will be on YA books only. The group is now open, so stop by and join us!

It will take us some time to transition all the YA books from one group to the other, so bear with us!

To celebrate our growth and this transition,
we are having a giveaway!!
  Enter below to win a paperback copy of THE UNSEEN or a $10 GIFT CARD to either Amazon or B&N!! 
~Two winners!~

Title:  The Unseen (The Unseen #1+2)
This book is a combination of Part I (It Begins) and Part II (Rest In Peace), the first two books of The Unseen series.

It Begins (The Unseen #1) - Out walking alone one rainy night, Lucy becomes convinced that someone or something is following her. Spooked, she ducks into a cemetery to try and lose her stalker. Panicking in the darkness, she slips and stumbles into an open grave only to discover she is not alone in there. . . . Lucy manages to escape, but she doesn't get away unscathed. She begins having terrifying visions and dreams and she still can't shake the feeling of an unseen presence, always watching, waiting. . . . Who was the girl in the grave? And what has she done to Lucy?

Rest In Peace (The Unseen #2) - Still stalked by an unseen force and plagued by unspeakable visions, Lucy feels she cannot carry on for much longer—especially now that Byron, the one person who understood what she was going through, is dead. No one else believes her. She is still alone. And still in grave danger.

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Thursday, 3 May 2012

Deadly Addiction by Kristine Cayne

A proud people. A nation divided.

Rémi Whitedeer, police officer turned substance-abuse counselor, dreams of restoring order to his tribe. Violence and crime are rampant throughout the unpoliced Iroquois reserve, and a civil war is brewing between the Guardians, a militant traditionalist group, and other tribal factions. As the mixed-race cousin of the Guardians’ leader, Rémi is caught in a no-man’s land—several groups lay claim to him, but all want him to deny his white blood.

A maverick cop on an anti-drug crusade.

When she infiltrated the Vipers to take down the leader of the outlaw biker gang responsible for her brother’s death, police sergeant Alyssa Morgan got her man. But her superiors think she went too far. Her disregard for protocol and her ends-justify-the-means ethics have branded her an unreliable maverick. To salvage her career, she accepts an assignment to set up a squad of native provincial officers on a reserve.

A radical sovereigntist bent on freeing a nation.

Decades of government oppression threaten the existence of the Iroquois Nation. But one man, Chaz Whitedeer, is determined to save his people no matter what the price, even if it means delving into the shadowy world of organized crime.

When Rémi and Alyssa uncover the Guardians’ drug-fueled scheme to fund their fight for true autonomy—a scheme involving the Vipers—Rémi must choose between loyalty to family and tribe or his growing love for Alyssa.

Can Rémi and Alyssa leave everything behind—even their very identities—for a future together?


When an Oscar-winning movie star meets a department-store photographer…

Movie star Nic Lamoureux appears to have a playboy’s perfect life. But it’s a part he plays, an act designed to conceal a dark secret he carries on his shoulders. His empty days and nights are a meaningless blur until he meets the woman who fulfills all his dreams. She and her son are the family he’s always wanted—if she can forgive a horrible mistake from his past.

A Hollywood dream…

Lauren James, a widowed single mother, earns barely enough money to support herself and her son. When she wins a photography contest and meets Nic, the man who stars in all her fantasies, her dreams, both professional and personal, are on the verge of becoming real. The attraction between Lauren and Nic is instant—and mutual. Their chemistry burns out of control during a photo shoot that could put Lauren on the fast track to a lucrative career.

Becomes a Hollywood nightmare

But an ill-advised kiss makes front-page news, and the lurid headlines threaten everything Nic and Lauren have hoped for. Before they know what’s happening, their relationship is further rocked by an obsessed and cunning stalker who’ll stop at nothing—not even murder—to have Nic to herself. When Nic falls for Lauren, the stalker zeroes in on her as the competition.

And the competition must be eliminated.

About the Author:
Kristine Cayne is fascinated by the mysteries of human psychology—twisted secrets, deep-seated beliefs, out-of-control desires. Add in high-stakes scenarios and real-world villains, and you have a story worth writing, and reading.
The heroes and heroines of her Deadly Vices series are pitted against each other by their radically opposing life experiences. By overcoming their differences and finding common ground, they triumph over their enemies and find true happiness in each other’s arms.
Today she lives in the Pacific Northwest, thriving on the mix of cultures, languages, religions and ideologies. When she’s not writing, she’s people-watching, imagining entire life stories, and inventing all sorts of danger for the unsuspecting heroes and heroines who cross her path.

When did you first consider yourself an author?
I first considered myself a writer when I completed my first book. Then when I sold my first copy, I considered myself an author.

What is your favorite part about being an author?
My favorite part about being an author is that writing gives me an opportunity to learn both about the craft of writing and about the subject of my writing. I like to explore new settings, careers, cultures, and languages in my stories. And before I write about something, I research it thoroughly. I’m learning about so many different things and having a blast doing it!

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Because I work full-time, I usually write in the evenings and on weekends. I also meet with my critique partner twice a week, more when we are approaching a release. So between my day job, writing, and my family, I have an 18-hour workday!

How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
Many of the settings and character backgrounds I use in my writing are related to places I’ve been or people I’ve met. For example, I’m from Montréal and in Deadly Obsession, my hero is also from Montréal.

Growing up in the Montréal area, I was around during a big conflict between the government and the local native population. I always wanted to know more about the source of this conflict and how it continued to affect the native communities. So to write Deadly Addiction, I delved deep into the history of the native communities in the Montréal area and learned about both their past and their present. It was a fabulous experience. So much so, that I’ll probably write a spin-off series about the native community introduced in Deadly Addiction.

How would you describe yourself?
I find people fascinating. I love meeting new people and talking about what interests them, where they come from, things they’ve done. But because I’m somewhat of an introvert, the Internet has been a huge boon for me. I get to talk with hundreds of people each day without having to worry about how witty and spontaneous I can be. Writing and the Internet, give me that 7-second delay the networks use to think of a good response.

What is the most creative way you have promoted any of your books?
I’m not sure if this is the most creative way to promote, but it’s one I greatly enjoyed. I was asked to participate in a live chat with a group of ladies from a blog. Some had read my first book while others hadn’t. They asked questions about my books, my characters, and me. We had a great time, and I found a fantastic group of new readers.

Where do you hope to see yourself in the next five years?
I hope to see myself with several completed and on-going series, and with a happy, loyal fan base. I hope to see myself writing full-time. Buh-bye day job!

Is there a place you’d like to visit, but haven’t yet?
Too many to name! I love travelling, meeting new people, exploring new cultures and places. Someday, I hope to visit Europe and the Middle East. I’d also love to go to Russia. There is so much history and diversity in that part of the world that I’m sure I’d come home with ideas for a dozen new stories!

Where You Can Find Kristine Cayne:

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Black Oil, Red Blood by Diane Castle

Enter below for your chance to win an ebook of
Black Oil, Red Blood!

The thing about cancer is it’s hard to prove somebody gave it to you on purpose—but Chloe Taylor can prove it. In fact, she proves it for a living. She sues oil refineries that would rather save a buck than comply with safety regulations designed to do important things like, you know, keep people alive.

Chloe had a successful career until circumstances forced her to move to the bass-ackwards town of Kettle, Texas (human population: 4,000; gun population: 34,356). Big Oil industry giant PetroPlex employs half of Kettle’s population, and there’s no question the judge in the town’s got oil stains on his hands. It’s no wonder she’s been on a losing streak lately. She suspects she’s been litigating on an uneven playing field, but when her star expert witness turns up dead less than 48 hours before a make-or break hearing, she knows.

What she doesn’t know is the key piece of information that got her expert killed. It turns out PetroPlex is harboring a shocking secret—one that has the potential to skyrocket gasoline prices, spark an energy market meltdown, and trigger riots, chaos, death, and destruction on a global scale. Chloe must discover the secret and expose the villains before she is permanently silenced, all while juggling a troublesome ex-fiancé and a tantalizing new flame along the way.  

Diane Castle is the pseudonym of a Texas attorney whose practice experience includes assisting plaintiffs with wrongful death and personal injury cases against Big Oil giants such as ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, BP, and ConocoPhillips. Ms. Castle has published short fiction under a different name, and she has also written a stage play that was translated into German, produced in a castle near Munich, and sold out three seasons. Prior to her career as an attorney, Ms. Castle was a staff writer for The Dallas Morning News. She also feels privileged to have been honored with two awards for humor and satire and one award for literary criticism. She lives in Dallas with her husband and three dogs: Gracie, Lucy, and Mouse.

5 of 5 stars false
Chloe Taylor is a small-town lawyer who is in the middle of a lawsuit with Big Oil. When her expert witness turns up dead a day before the trial, Chloe begins to realize there may be more to the case than she originally thought. Enlisting the help of detective Nash and her paralegal, Miles, to help her with the case, Chloe quickly realizes that is in over her head.

The first thing that drew me into this book right away was the author's writing style. It is neat and clean, and the story flows smoothly. The second thing that drew me in was the characters. I loved Chloe's sarcastically funny personality, which made it really fun to be in her head. I also enjoyed Nash (the strong and silent type, *swoon*) and Chloe's reactions to him and Miles…Oh, how I love Miles!

Though this book was about a serious topic, the author did such a great job at making it fun to read. There was, of course, a lot of legal information in the story, but the author did an excellent job of making it understandable to the average person. I also liked that we got some inside information on the case in the form of other key player's points of view once in a while. It made the plot that much more interesting.

This book was an edge-of-your-seat type of read, and it had everything you could want from a great mystery/thriller, including greed, corruption, murder, conspiracy, coverups, and of course the sexy good-guy detective and a heroine who fights for justice, all sprinkled with wit and humor.

See my review on Goodreads!

What was your main source of inspiration for the story behind Black Oil, Red Blood?
I'm an attorney, and I worked for a while at a law firm that sues big oil companies for wrongful death. There's an ingredient in crude oil and gasoline called benzene that causes a certain type of leukemia, and it's very common for oil refinery workers or other people in the industry to die from it. This is outrageous. These are completely preventable deaths if the right kind of safety equipment and procedures are employed. So when I created Chloe Taylor, I wanted her to have the same job I had as a plaintiff's attorney, going after the big guys who often get caught prioritizing profit over lives. Chloe, however, is not me, and I haven't actually had the same kind of experiences she's had. For example, I've never fallen in love with a detective or blackmailed a judge, and also, no one is trying to kill me. (That I know of.)

How much and what kind of research was necessary to write your book?
Well, if you count law school. . .

How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
In a lot of ways. My family is made up of good 'ol Texas folks, and I've lived in Texas my whole life. But I'm a city girl, and I live in Dallas. If you're watching GCB, then you have a pretty good idea about what that's like. All that background definitely shows up in the book.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I really admire people who can write in ten and fifteen minute increments. This blows my mind, and I wish I had that kind of focus. For me, it really takes me about 20 minutes to get into the creative zone, so I schedule huge blocks of time where I know I can sit and write without being interrupted.

Who is your favorite author and why?
Oooh, this is a good one. I LOVE Carole Nelson Douglas. I discovered her Irene Adler series (the only woman to outwit Sherlock Holmes, recently played by Rachel McAdams on the silver screen) when I was working at a bookstore in high school. Back in those days, I was obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, and he was not as cool then as he is now, believe me. I devoured the books, which were my favorite ever. And THEN, get this, I found out she lived in Dallas-Fort Worth. So one day she was judging a poetry-writing contest at a local bookstore and I totally stalked her (in a friendly, non-creepy kind of way, I promise!). I told her I was available if she needed an assistant, and she flippin HIRED me! We've been close friends ever since, and she is still, of course, my favorite author.

What do you do to unwind and relax?
Read, of course! I also really like to cuddle up with my dogs by the fireplace in the winter or lay by my dad's pool in the summer.

Where do you hope to see yourself in the next five years?
You know, I've been approached by a film studio and a scriptwriter asking about film rights to the book. Nothing has been negotiated as of right now, but I would be over the moon if a movie were made. (Gosh, I'm almost afraid to say that out loud. I might jinx it.) That would be the ultimate dream come true.

What three words would you use to describe Black Oil, Red Blood?
Quirky, Adventurous, Thrilling

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
I just started using Scrivener, and honestly, I don't know how I ever lived without it. Other necessary tools include a big comforter to hide under when bad reviews come your way, and tequila for when you get the good ones. (Although I suppose tequila works for the bad ones, too.)

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