Sweet Saturday Samples/Sneak Peek at Something Like A Lady

A sneak peek at Something Like A Lady (written with Kim Bowman):

April 10, 1813
Haselmere, England

“Drop that this instant, you scoundrel!” Annabella raised the iron cooking pot over her head with both hands and flung it in the direction of the gray rodent that scampered across the floor of the dusty, deserted kitchen. The pot landed with a dull thud about a foot from the mouse and then rolled onto its side. With a hideous squeak, the mouse disappeared behind a work table, dragging the crust of bread with it.

“Oh!” Annabella shrieked with rage as she picked up an iron meat skewer and chucked it like a spear in the direction the filthy rodent had gone. “That was my last bit of bread, you vile creature!”

Silence fell like a blanket. The dust she’d raised in her battle with the little beggar floated in the air and Annabella sneezed.

Oh yes, this is much better than going to London and spending the Season. Starving. Fighting rodents for the last of your food. Lonely. Having to sneak out after dark to get water from the creek to wash. No way to get a message to Juliet. I certainly am teaching my mother and that son of the devil Markwythe a lesson. And poor Juliet must be going quite mad.

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Thank you for stopping by! You can pick up the first part of the story, A Lot Like A Lady, for only 99 cents at Amazon (Kindle) and Barnes & Noble (Nook) through the end of the month.

Most other Astraea Press e-book titles are also on sale for 99 cents at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Something for everyone.
Return to Sweet Saturday Samples!

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A Word About Content for Younger Readers

Today I’m welcoming author, Lisa Orchard, who is here to talk about writing for younger readers. 

Hello Everyone! My name is Lisa Orchard and I’m guest blogging today for Kay. I want to take a few minutes and thank her for allowing me to be here today and chat with everyone. Thanks Kay!

I’m a Young Adult author and my second book will be available tomorrow from Astraea Press it’s titled, “The Super Spies and the High School Bomber”. I’m here today to discuss writing for the Young Adult Genre, because it’s different than writing for any other genre.

As a writer for this age group, I’m always trying to teach the reader, while at the same time show characters that are believable. Let’s face it, they have to be realistic teenagers! J

I also have to be careful not to offend anyone. In my book “The Super Spies and the High School Bomber” I had to tone down a section just for that reason. In the story I had emphasized a characteristic, (I’m not telling which one!) for a humorous affect. My editor caught this and informed me that this could be offensive to someone who had that particular distinction. Of course, I felt bad! I didn’t want to offend anyone or hurt his or her feelings.  So I de-emphasized that characteristic.

At that moment, I realized how careful I had to be. Not only did I not want to offend anyone, but I also didn’t want to encourage derogatory behavior.  Especially, with all the problems involving teasing and bullying in today’s schools. I needed my characters to set a good example for my readers.  I had to do all of this and write something entertaining enough so the reader will want to keep reading. This is no small task!

With all these goals in mind my second book in the Super Spies series evolved. It’s titled “The Super Spies and the High School Bomber.”  Below are the cover and the blurb. Check out my story and let me know if I accomplished my goals. Thanks so much for your time today!

My book will be available tomorrow on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Astraea Press.

Please visit me on my social media sites:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-Orchard/328536613877060

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lisaorchard1

Website:  www.lisaorchard.com

The first book in the Super Spies series is titled, “The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer”.   You may find this on Amazon or on Barnes and Noble.   And for a limited time, a genuine bargain at only 99 cents!

 

Reading is Winning

While Astraea Press is having the big, big midsummer blowout sale, I thought I’d run a little contest. Leave a comment here between now and Thursday, July 26, 2012, and you will be automatically entered to win ANY 99-cent Astraea Press e-book of your choice in either Kindle or Nook versions.

All you have to do is finish this sentence by filling in the blank:

When I ____, I always take at least one book.

Three people who fill in the blank will win their choices of one 99-cent e-book from Astraea Press, winner to be chosen by random drawing. Contact information must be provided to qualify. And while you wait, why not peruse the Astraea Press selections! Lots of choices for only 99 cents. Reading…a great way to relax in the summer heat!

Sweet Saturday Samples – Heartfelt

From HEARTFELT (a Heartsight story):

Dan set his laptop on the table in the conference room and took his seat. “At ease,” he murmured to Jack, who promptly sprawled out. “Lazy.” Dan reached down and scratched the German shepherd between his ears.

From across the table came the tinny sounds of snorts and then mini-explosions followed by cheers mixed in with a chorus of “Ow-ow-ow!”

“Nick, what are playing now? It sounds like talking cockroaches.”

The sounds abruptly cut off. “Sorry. It’s just a game APP. I’m hurling birds at pigs.”

Dan opened his mouth but nothing came out as he tried to make sense of what his friend had just said. Finally, he had to ask the obvious question. “Why?”

“Ahh, eye-hand coordination, reflexes, honing trajectory skills?” Nick laughed. “Ashley got me hooked on it.”

“Ashley!” That… was a surprise. “She hates video games.”

Nick’s suggestive chuckle filled the air. “Yeah… exactly. She gets in this zone when she’s working on one of her art projects… and nothing cracks that bubble. Not even the suggestion of a little afternoon delight.”

Now, that Dan understood and he laughed softly. “Trish does the same thing. It’s like she goes off into a world where no one and nothing else exists. I’m convinced it’s all part of being married, son.”

His friend snickered. “I’m way too much of a newlywed to accept that.” He shuffled some papers and coughed slightly. “So I started playing this stupid bird game one day and found the one thing that cracks the bubble and pulls her out of the zone.”

“What? Snorting pigs?”

“Pretty much.” Nick blew out a satisfied sigh. “The sound bothers her and I dare her to make me turn it off, and from there it gets physical. You should try— Sorry, man.”

<><><><> Thank you for reading! Watch for this one Fall. 2012<><><><>

Just released! Abiding Echoes (Justin and Beth)

Astraea Press is having a summer blowout sale on electronic books (you can read them on your computer, too with Kindle or Nook application available free). Enter Astraea Press in the search bar for Amazon and Barnes & Noble for dozens of 99-cent clean reads in many genres – you may find a new favorite author!

What Can You Do With a General…?

One of my favorite movies is White Christmas – I love everything about it, but most especially how a general was so loved that he inspired the loyalty and the LOVE of the men who served under him. Consider this song from the movie, sung by Bing Crosby:

We do not live in a throw away society… not really. But you wouldn’t know it. Our military heroes serve and then come home, where they’re welcomed… and then it’s time to move on down the line. Welcome home the next hero, “You did a good job, Marine/Soldier/Airman/Seaman…take your number and head to retirement. Find a job, integrate into the life you served to protect. Yep, even you who lost and arm, your legs, a part of your brain, your emotional stability…”

And we have another segment of our population that society gives a pat on the head to and then moves on to the next “well done.” Dogs. Particularly dogs who have belonged to and served their people well. Consider elderly people who love their pets but can no longer care for their loyal friends.  What can you do when an elderly person passes on and leaves behind an older pet who might be set in his/her ways or a little neurotic and sad because he/she misses that person. What happens when an elderly person becomes so frail he or she loses independence and ends up in a nursing home? In the perfect world, a family member would step up and love the person’s best friend. But it doesn’t always happen that way… Sometimes there ARE no family members, and sometimes family members have obligations of their own – at their limits on pets in their homes, etc.

The two most loyal types of “people” I know are military personnel and dogs. I read the story of “Duke” today. He’s being fostered currently by a shelter local to me here in Virginia. For EIGHT YEARS, ever since he was  a pup, he was the faithful companion of a loving owner. He was her protector and her motivator. He served her needs. Finally, though, the inevitable happened, and she could no longer motivate enough… no longer partner with her loyal companion to take care of him as he took care of her. This HAD to have broken her heart just as much as it broke his. I know it would have broken mine. This guy has some years left in him. He has some issues – he’s timid around men because he’s not used to them. But doesn’t he deserve more than for society to simply pat him on the back and say “Well done, son” even as they then forget about him and all the years he spent caring for his person?

Please… Share his story. You never know who you might reach – someone who can and wants to help him. Duke’s Story.

Sweet Saturday Samples: Heartfelt

This is from my next release, Heartfelt.

“Hello-o-o…oh, my.” Trish stepped from the hallway into complete insanity. A hurricane couldn’t have upset her orderly kitchen more than her husband and daughter. “Breakfast, huh?”

Dan stood near the sink, running a plate under the steady stream of water gushing from the faucet. He smiled over his shoulder and water drained off the plate to puddle on the counter top. “Hey, babe. Did you sleep well?”

Trish felt the ready smile slipping from her face as she took in the extent of the disaster. Her gran’s over-sized cast-iron frying pan sat atop the stove on the far back burner, still containing about a dozen sausage links resting in congealing grease.

Trish’s stomach began a slow roll just as Baby Conway decided to stretch. Her abdomen shaped itself into a triangular point, and bile pushed its way into her throat.

“You okay, babe?” asked Dan without turning around.

“I’m fine,” she forced past her tightening throat.

A smaller frying pan sat on the front burner with brown-crusted scrambled eggs shoveled into a pile in the center. Yum. Yet another pan had been pushed off to the side, that one containing what might have been sautéed onions… before they’d been overcooked by about ten minutes. And, oh goody, half a loaf of bread had been burned crispy in the toaster and set aside on her good meat platter. Well, that explained the acrid aroma clinging in the air. Someone had made an attempt at scraping the black off of a couple of pieces, so the white enamel sink was peppered with dark bits of burned bread.

In his bed near the back door, Jack raised his head and regarded her with dark hopeful eyes. His harness was in place but the U-shaped handle hadn’t been clipped on. Heaving a long-suffering sigh, he laid his muzzle back on his paws.

The guests had apparently eaten…something, since Dan was rinsing off a stack of four plates. Either they’d eaten or hidden their food in her potted plants in the dining room. She peered through the arched doorway but mid-morning sunlight stretched its rays through the open windows into a deserted room. A light breeze blew in off the beach, and it smelled like rain was on the way.

Wally scampered from somewhere behind Trish and made a beeline for her braided ficus tree. With a mighty leap from about the middle of the room, he sailed through the air and landed with the precision of a jet on a carrier. Trish’s jaw dropped at the feat.

Then he started to claw at the dirt. Oh, no. No. No!

“Cat!” she screamed just as he squatted and sent her a serene stare.

Next to her, Bella giggled. “Daddy says—we need to get—a litter box.”

“And a new bag of potting soil,” said Trish through her gritted teeth.

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Coming Autumn 2012! Return to Sweet Saturday Samples.

Sweet Saturday Samples/Abiding Echoes

Whew! Power outages and 100+ degree weather! NOT recommended, particularly when the storm was so large it swallowed many states with 70 MPH winds and put millions of people out into the heat! One day I might even write about the experience…except I think I killed a few brain cells waiting for the restoration! And of course, the first commercial I saw when I got power back and turned on the TV was for a new show called Revolution – in which the power all over the world goes out for some mysterious reason…

So here’s my awesome cover for Abiding Echoes, scheduled for release July 19!

Love is family…

The McGee family is devastated when their beloved patriarch, Justin, suffers a heart attack. Having lost their mother too soon, Ryan and Sean can only pray for their father’s recovery.

Love is endless…

Justin knows how much his children love and need him, but he’s tired and they have families of their own now. Watching his sons with their wives is bittersweet for him, because it makes him miss his beloved Beth all the more. Not a day goes by when he doesn’t think about her… want to be with her.

Love is timeless…

And suddenly, she’s there. With him, beside him in some strange way he doesn’t understand. But speaking and reminiscing with her about the day they met and how they fell in love seems more real than the heartbroken family holding vigil at his bedside.

Love is abiding…

Justin’s love for Beth has only strengthened over their years apart and he’s longed for the time when he’d see her again. Finally, that time is here. Who has the greater claim on him, his family… his grandchildren… or the love of his life?

Hope you enjoy this brief excerpt:

The crack of rifle fire interrupted the gentle teasing. Justin jerked taller in the saddle, and Zeke shied to the right, bumping into Gypsy. A second shot sounded. With a glance at the other two men, whose faces mirrored his alarm, Justin urged Zeke into a gallop.

They arrived in the stable yard just as another round was fired.

“Behind the house!” he shouted to Jim and Gus. Spurred by pure adrenaline, he jumped from the saddle and grabbed the Winchester from the holster.

On the run, he flipped off the safety and set the bolt on the rifle. He rounded the side of the house and skidded to a stop, just as Beth lifted a Winchester and pointed it at the two tin cans resting on upended logs next to the patio. She squeezed the trigger. A chunk of wood from one of the stumps flew into the air, accompanied by the crack of splintering wood. The can on top of the log shivered but didn’t even fall over. Beth opened the breech, and the spent shell casing flew up and to her right. She pushed the breech forward and rotated down, her movements a tad awkward, but manageable. She lifted the rifle again.

Was she closing her eyes?

She squeezed the round off and the bullet drove into the ground, raising a little cloud of dirt. Beth spat out a curse that singed the air, and Justin lowered his rifle, uncocking it and flipping on the safety. Adrenaline weakened his knees and threatened to explode his heart.

“Not bad. Gettin’ closer.” Mary handed Beth a couple of shells and pointed at the rifle. “Reload it like I showed you.”

“What in heaven’s name are you doing, woman?” bellowed Jim when he arrived at Justin’s side.

Justin gave his dad a quick assessing glance. His face was a little flushed and his breathing a touch heavy, but other than that he seemed all right.

“Teaching Beth how to shoot,” said Mary without looking up, her voice calm and resolute. She stepped back and motioned for her student to continue.

Mesmerized, Justin could only watch as Beth set the safety, opened the breech, and ejected the spent shell casing. One by one, she slid the cartridges into the chamber, pressing the last one with her thumb and then closing the bolt. She pulled in a deep breath and released the safety, then raised the rifle to rest against her cheek. When she shut one eye and squinted with the other, Justin cringed.

“She’s aiming too low,” murmured his dad.

“I don’t think she’s aiming at all,” muttered Gus, taking a step backward.

JULY 19! In the meantime, find me on Amazon and check out the first two books in The Echoes of Orson’s Folly series.