Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thursdays - Where Truth is the Dare

Question of the Day: Where Truth Is the Dare   [QUES OF THE DAY] [Paperback]

It’s Thursday again – and we all know what that means!
Here is this week’s question.
Truth? or Dare?

What's a good day?

A good day is when the sun shines. A good day is when it storms. A good day is when I hear from my daughter. A good day is waking up next to my Hubby. A good day is getting "kisses" from Ryka and Calypso. A good day is  being able to take a walk. A good day is when the ideas are flowing and I write. A good day is hearing from friends.

I look forward to hearing your answers! 

Thank you all for participating.

This book can be found on Amazon:

Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop

Thursday Favorite Things

About the Thursdays Favorite Things Hop, this hop is where you can link your favorite post or write a post about your favorite things and share with old and new followers!
Here are the rules, yes there are rules. But just a few:
  • You must be a follower of Katherines Corner through Email, Linky Followers, or Google Plus (If you’re a new follower, please let me know) and please follow today’s co-host(visit Katherines for this week's host)
  • Please leave a comment so we know that you stopped by.
  • No adult content blogs.
  • Blogs only please.
  • Follow as many other blogs in the list as you can. Just click and go.
  • Please leave a sincere comment or message on each of the blogs you visit.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Flashback by Kyla LoPresti

From Donna, My Life. One Story at a Time.

I received a "follow" on Twitter from someone the other day. Normally, like most folks, I just follow back. This time, something caught my eye. The photo of the person following me was a young girl and when I read her catch phrase, it said that she was a twelve year old author. I was intrigued and followed her link to find out more. It led me to a wonderful web page where I read about the book she has published. The more I explored her website, the more I knew I wanted to feature her on my blog, even though I do not review YA. I hope you take the time to learn about this remarkable young woman, and if you would like to review her book, her contact information is below. 

Flashback (Flashback Series)

Book Blurb (from Amazon):

Isabelle Holloway is not your average teen. As if being reincarnated and having confusing flashbacks about her past isn’t enough. Now her boyfriend Erik is back from her life in the 1800s. Not to mention the man who murdered her has returned to seek his vengeance. Even though her friends want to catch the killer, Isabelle can’t trust anyone. Can they stop him, or will they fail?

Guest Post by Author:

I started writing my book Flashback when I was 11 years old because I had a crazy dream that I was reincarnated.   I began  writing just for my own enjoyment and to help me remember my dreams.  A couple months later I added more and more to my story line and it developed into a novel.  I used a lot of my friends and families names in my book and included many things that actually happened in my life.   I didn’t think I was going to publish it but the more I showed people, they urged me to do it.  I set a goal to have it published before my 13th birthday.  I worked really hard; I even stayed up until 1 a.m. on school nights sometimes when my parents thought I was sleeping.  I learned that anyone (even a kid) can reach their goals if you just put your mind to it and focus.

I am very excited to have my first book published.  I have received very good feedback and support not only from my family, but from the exposure I received from connecting with other writers and readers of young adult novels that I was able to meet on Twitter.  Once the paperback version of my book is printed, I have multiple book signings and events I was invited to attend.  This warm reception has motivated me to continue to do what I love.  I am currently working on the second book in the “Flashback” series.

About the Author:

Image of Kyla LoPresti

Kyla is now 13 years old and attends the 7th grade in West Haven, CT.  She is an avid reader and writer.  Her extracurricular activities include, drama club, choir, volleyball and playing the guitar.  She is being inducted into the National Honor Society on June 1st.  She continues to do well in school all while keeping up with her writing and other activities.  She has a love for reading and music and wants to share her talents with other students.

Excerpt from Book:
Chapter 2: Store

The music blared in my ears; the smell of overly priced cologne and perfume irritated my nose as I pushed aside some hangers on a sales rack.  I was shopping for clothes at Hollister with Evelyn and Rachael.  I felt a presence.  It was almost like there was a ghost there and I had the strangest feeling that I was being watched.  I continued to look through the skirts anyway.  I was totally ticked that they didn’t have my size in the blue skirt, so I had to go with the white.  Like I need any more clothes?

 “Hey Ev, you find that pink sweatshirt yet?” Rachael called from where she was standing, of course, right by the yoga pants.  She desperately wanted those yoga pants, but she only 
had enough money for a belt.             

“Nope, I’ll have to try at the outlets.  Ooh we should go to Victoria’s Secret next, they have lots of yoga pants,” Evelyn joked.   

I laughed.     
“Not funny you guys,” She said clutching a pair of sky blue yoga pants in her hands. That made me laugh even more. We got in line getting ready to check out.  I felt a cold burst of air against my neck.  I tensed up.

 “Did you guys feel that?” I asked hoping that I wasn’t delusional.
”What are you talking about?” Evelyn asked.                

I quickly turned and saw someone vaguely familiar exiting the store. 

“Just forget it,” I said to them, “I’m just a freak,” I muttered to myself.  I wanted to run out of the store, but I had to pay for my stuff first. Then, I walked up to the cash register.  

Of course it wasn’t a cute guy; it was an annoying preppy blonde girl.

“How are you doing today?”  She asked in some kind of fake Jersey girl accent.   
Rachael rolled her eyes and Evelyn put her hand over her mouth trying not to laugh.

I didn’t mean to, but I looked her up and down.  She had on some weird, flowy, black blouse and purple skinny jeans.  She looked like she just hopped out the 1980s.  No, she looked like she could be Justin Bieber’s twin.   I held back a laugh, “I’m great, how are you?” I think I 
mimicked her accent.

“Is this it for today?  We have a huge sale on yoga pants.  Buy two get one half off.”              

My friends and I started cracking up.  Yeah huge sale.  Their yoga pants are like forty dollars each.The preppy girl gave us a look like we were total weirdoes.  Yeah, we’re weirdoes; did she look in the mirror before she left her house? 

“Yeah, that’s all,” I said handing her the skirt and a tank top.

“That will be $70.17.”

“Okay,” I said as I rummaged through my purse looking for my debit card.

She swiped my card and handed it back along with the receipt.

“Thank you,” I said picking up my bag.

“You’re welcome, have a nice day!” She said in her fake accent.

Jeez she’s annoying.  I waited for Evelyn and Rachael to check out.  When they were done, we left and walked to Rachael’s car.  I felt like someone was following me again.   
A fancy silver car sped by us as we got into the car.

This young author has been garnering some terrific reviews:

From Amazon:

"Flashback" was very intriguing. The plot was complex and spellbinding. For a 12-year-old, it was very well written and well thought through! I didn't expect the antagonist to be who it ended up being, and that's a good thing! It was very impressive! I can't wait to read the sequel!
-Kaitlyn Deann, author of "The Witches' Sleep" (Coming this summer)

Spellbinding, intriguing, and so well written!! Your ideas are complex and your presentation impeccable! I will be one of the first to get it when the book comes out. Have to know the rest of the story!
I am so proud to know you, so proud to have been your pre-k teacher. Always knew, even back then, you were destined for great things! Keep following your dreams! So many people are so proud of you! Janet DiPalma


Flashback can be purchased on Amazon:

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Evil Town by J. David Bethel

Evil Town

About the Book:

The wife of popular Florida Congressman (and prospective Senatorial candidate) Clegg Caffery is murdered. FBI Special Agent Matt Thurston begins an investigation that leads him from the Pentagon to the small town of Clewiston, Florida in search of a photographer responsible for the photo found in the murdered woman's hand. He arrives too late. The man has committed suicide. Although Thurston uncovers a strange and suspicious story about the dead photographer that he believes is worthy of continued investigation, he is abruptly steered away from the case by his superiors.

Angered by this turn of events, Thurston enlists the assistance of two reporters. With their involvement, he begins to peel away layers of lies and deceit hiding the truth about the murder. Along the way, Thurston slowly unravels a complex weave of story lines that includes a sex for hire plot involving the President's wife; an attempt by computer magnate Norman Bremen to subvert the workings of Congress to ensure the survival of his sugar interests in Florida; and the revelation of a cover-up of a war crime in Vietnam that threatens the Presidency.

Although Evil Town is a work of fiction, it is based on historical and current events. The Vietnam element of the plot delves into the massacre of Vietnamese villagers at Co Luy. This occurred on the same day as the My Lai killings and happened as described in the novel. The military and political cover-up of the incident detailed in Evil Town is an interpretation of actual events that relegated Co Luy to the back pages of history.

The description of the political maneuvering related to the restoration of the Everglades, and to the "sugar wars" in Florida, is a dramatization of the intrigue currently being played out by power brokers, the media and Congress on this issue.

While it should come as no surprise that the drug war can be managed and waged for political purposes – a subplot in Evil Town – it is the subtleties of international politics that often allow this to happen. The novel provides insight on how this is possible.

Through it all, Matt Thurston and his allies match wits with the most powerful in Washington putting themselves in harm's way. Truth, honor and justice are slippery concepts in this story of politics and fragile human relationships.

About the Author:

J. David Bethel is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. He has been published in popular consumer magazines and respected political journals. For a selection of his current e-publications. please visit, Amazon Kindle or Barnes & Noble Nook. He is the author of Evil Town, a novel of political intrigue that is receiving praise from a number of Washington opinion leaders:

Most novels about Washington frustrate those of us who live and work in the Capital City. Not so with David Bethel's novel. He knows Washington. He knows politics and the personalities. To anyone curious about what really happens behind the scenes in our nation's Capital, this is a MUST READ. Bethel brings us a beautifully written inside Washington page-turner. A true joy to read.
Michelle Laxalt
Contributor, Fox News, MSNBC, CNN
Former Director of Legislation, U.S. Agency for International Development
Former Senior Legislative Liaison Officer, U.S. Department of State

Having worked on Capitol Hill and in the Executive Branch, this book rings very true. This book provides a gripping insider's take and should be on the must read list for anyone who wants to understand the real Washington.
W. Bruce Weinrod
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
Former Legislative Director, Office of U.S. Senator John Heinz 

Guest Blog by J. David Bethel

Keith Richards, the mumbling singer/songwriter/guitarist with the Rolling Stones, who along with Mick Jagger, has written some of the most memorable music in rock and roll history, once said he begins with a “riff” – or refrain – and builds his songs around a simple riff.  Anyone who has ever heard “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, no doubt understands what he means.

That’s how I write.

I never approach the computer intending to write a novel.  I have a “riff,” or slip of a story in mind, and I spill that onto the page.  In the case of Evil Town, for years I had this image in my mind of a congressman coming home to find his wife dead.  Murdered.  I don’t know why this haunted me, or where it came from, other than I had worked on Capitol Hill among 535 members of congress. It must have just occurred to me one day that all hell would break loose if the wife of one of the members was killed.  There was no other reason for this bud of a story to be itching to be told.

After I had about three or four pages of the story, I went to motive for the murder because that was the most logical path to follow.  From there, the characters took shape and the story – to be really trite – “told itself.”

From the story as a riff, I go to the novel as “method writing.”  From what little I know of acting, I’m given to understand that method actors create their portrayals by getting inside the head of their characters.

Once there is a rhyme and reason for the story, I use the way the actions play on my characters to take me from one page to the next.  I essentially get into each character’s head and create the events of the story by following their reactions. Method writing. 

I close myself in a dark room, away from any stimulation, and channel the various characters in my novel.  My wife tells me that I “zone out” and stay that way for hours after I’ve shut down for the day and emerge from my cage.

And there you have it.  How this writer gets from the first to the last word in a novel.  Start with a riff, go into “zone out” mode and let it flow.      

Check back for my review and a give away!

Evil Town can be purchased on Amazon:

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thursdays - Where Truth is the Dare

Question of the Day: Where Truth Is the Dare   [QUES OF THE DAY] [Paperback]

It’s Thursday again – and we all know what that means!
Here is this week’s question.
Truth? or Dare?

What do you keep in a safe place?

When I read this question, my immediate response before contemplating a deep answer was "my heart". Even after contemplating and attempting to come up with a one of a kind unique answer, I have to stick with my first. I keep my heart in a safe place - most of the time. It comes from experiencing a lot of hurt in my life. It is a defense mechanism for me and it is just who I am.

I look forward to hearing your answers! 

Thank you all for participating.

This book can be found on Amazon:

Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop

Thursday Favorite Things

About the Thursdays Favorite Things Hop, this hop is where you can link your favorite post or write a post about your favorite things and share with old and new followers!
Here are the rules, yes there are rules. But just a few:
  • You must be a follower of Katherines Corner through Email, Linky Followers, or Google Plus (If you’re a new follower, please let me know) and please follow today’s co-host  My Turn For Us
  • Please leave a comment so we know that you stopped by.
  • No adult content blogs.
  • Blogs only please.
  • Follow as many other blogs in the list as you can. Just click and go.
  • Please leave a sincere comment or message on each of the blogs you visit.
 to join the Linky

Don't forget to follow or sign up for email so you don't miss anything!

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Against the Sun by Kat Martin

Against the Sun (The Raines of Wind Canyon)

Book Blurb:

It's not in bodyguard Jake Cantrell's job description to share his suspicions with his assignments. Beautiful executive Sage Dumont may be in charge, but Jake's not on her payroll. As a former special forces marine, Jake trusts his gut, and it's telling him that there's something off about a shipment arriving at Marine Drilling International. His instinct is more ways than one.

A savvy businesswoman, Sage knows better than to take some hired gun's "hunch" as gospel. And yet she is learning not to underestimate the man her grandfather hired to protect her. Determined to prove Jake wrong, Sage does some digging of her own and turns up deadly details she was never meant to see.

Drawn into a terrifying web of lies and deceit—and into feelings they can't afford to explore—what Jake and Sage uncover may be frighteningly worse than  they ever imagined.

Book Trailer:

Guest Post by Kat Martin:

by Kat Martin

Since my latest book, AGAINST THE SUN, big Jake Cantrell and Sage Dumont’s story, deals with a visit to Texas by a Saudi Arabian sheik and his family, I thought it might be fun to talk about favorite places in the sun.

With temperatures that reach higher than 120 degrees, Saudi Arabia would definitely not be one of them! 

Personally, I hate hot weather.  Among my personal favorite places, would be the ski slopes of Aspen on a sunny day, or up on the top of the hill at Mammoth Mountain in California.  Yummy days of cold and sunshine and crystal clear blue skies

We usually travel in the spring.  A favorite sunny day happened to me in Rome in April a few years ago, when we stood in the warm rays next to the beautiful Trevi Fountain.  And of course you can’t beat walking in the sun on the Left Bank in Paris.  

Closer to home, Montana has some great sunny days.  Today I’m working in my office, looking at the lush green pastures outside my windows toward the snow-capped mountains in the distance.  Big sky country is a major winner when the sun is shining and the clear blue sky seems to go on forever.

A day on the ocean off the coast of Santa Barbara is hard to beat when the sun is shining.  Sailboat or powerboat, just being out on the water makes me feel completely carefree.

In AGAINST THE SUN, the sheik, his daughter A’lia and his son Roshan aren’t bothered by the brutal Houston heat.  And Sage is more concerned about learning the protocols she must know in order to negotiate the three hundred million dollar deal that will make or break her career.  Customs like not showing the bottom of her foot, which is considered an insult, or making the okay sign, which would be giving them the evil eye.

AGAINST THE SUN was one of the most difficult books  I’ve ever tackled because of the research involved in getting the customs, the clothing, the attitudes of the Saudi visitors correct.  I hope you’ll try AGAINST THE SUN and that you enjoy it. 

I’d love to hear some of your favorite places in the sun and why you love them??   

Warm wishes for a great summer, Kat

Excerpt from Against the Sun:

Walking out of the elevator across the shiny black granite floor, Jake Cantrell made his way to the receptionist desk on the tenth floor of Marine Drilling International.  The waiting area was done in black leather sofas and chairs, the receptionist desk dark walnut and chrome, nothing but the best for the Dumonts, the family who owned the company.
A good-looking woman, late twenties, wavy, shoulder-length mink-brown hair, busily searched the drawers and cabinets behind the desk, bending over in a tailored pencil shirt, providing him with a perfect view of a very shapely ass. 
He almost smiled.  Even the help was first class. 
She jerked upright at his approach, noticing him for the first time, and her face colored, a pretty face, remarkable really, with amazing golden brown eyes.  Those eyes looked him up and down, which took a while, being six-five, two-hundred thirty-five pounds. 
“May I help you?” she asked.
He gave her a smile.  “I’m Jake Cantrell.  I’ve got an appointment at ten with Ian Dumont.”
She frowned.  “He didn’t mention it.  He’s getting ready for a meeting.  You might have to wait a while.”
“Not a problem.  In the meantime, I could sure use a cup of coffee.”
Amusement tipped her mouth up, a tiny dimple appearing next to plump, rose-colored lips.  “I’ll see what I can do.”  But she didn’t make a move, just turned to the woman hurrying toward her across the waiting room.
“I’m so sorry I’m late, Ms. Dumont,” the woman said.  “Thank you for covering for me.”
Sonofabitch, a Dumont, Jake thought.  Asking her to fetch him a cup of coffee was probably not the best idea he’d ever had.
“It’s not a problem, Marie.”  She tipped her head toward Jake.  “Mr. Cantrell is here to see Ian.  I have to go into the meeting.  Could you get him a cup of coffee while he waits?”
Jake felt the slight rebuke in the glance she cast his way.  Clearly, she wasn’t used to fetching a man much of anything. 
“Of course,” Marie said.  The Dumont woman headed for the tall walnut door leading into Ian Dumont’s imperial domain, her strides long and purposeful, as if she had someplace important to go.  He liked a woman who didn’t dawdle.  And besides the great ass, she had a pair of legs that wouldn’t quit. 
He watched her disappear behind the door, wondering what role she played in the Dumont empire, then turned his attention to the receptionist.
Marie was smiling.  “Mr. Cantrell, Mr. Dumont mentioned that you would be coming in.  I believe he wants to see you as soon as you arrive.”
“Thank you, Marie.”
I’ll bring coffee into the meeting.”  The woman blushed as he walked away.  It was his size mostly, he figured, that made women take a second look.  He was used to it by now.
He shoved open the office door and stepped inside, found only two people in the room--the woman he had subtly insulted and a silver-haired gentleman in his late seventies, slightly stooped but still impressive, undoubtedly Ian Dumont, CEO of the company.
“Mr. Cantrell, I assume,” the man said.  “Our mutual friend, Trace Rawlins, had nothing but good things to say when he recommended you for this job.  Please do join us.”
The Dumont woman was staring, one of her dark eyebrows elevated in question.  He noticed she was wearing a flashy diamond engagement ring.  Since he felt a jolt of heat whenever he looked at her, it was probably good she was out of his reach.
Ian Dumont reached out to shake his hand.  A strong, solid handshake that set the tone for the discussion ahead.  “Why don’t we all sit down?” Ian suggested.
They spaced themselves at the near end of the conference table, which sat in the middle of a room done in the same walnut and chrome as the waiting area. 
Ian fixed his attention on Jake.  “I asked you here to discuss providing security for one of our people during an upcoming business negotiation.”
“S.E. Dumont, you said when we spoke on the phone.”
“That is correct.” 
“Wait a minute,” the dark-haired woman interrupted, her gaze sliding toward Jake.  “Ian, you aren’t thinking--”
“Mr. Cantrell, I’d like you to meet my granddaughter, Sage Elizabeth Dumont.”
The room fell silent.  Sonofabitch.  She was his assignment?
“I don’t need a bodyguard, Ian.” 
The old man turned toward her, a determined glint in a pair of eyes that looked strikingly similar to the flashing gold-ringed brown ones belonging to his granddaughter.
“Mr. Cantrell has experience in Middle Eastern protocol as well as a background in personal security.  Isn’t that correct, Mr. Cantrell?” 
“Over the years, I’ve done a lot of corporate protection work, both in South America and the Middle East.  I worked in Saudi for three years after I got out of the Marines.  So yes, I know the protocols.”
“This is simply not necessary,” Sage said.
Both men ignored her.  “I understand you were in Special Forces.  You served in Iraq, I believe.”
“That’s right.” 
“Sage is Vice President of Acquisitions and Distribution for Marine Drilling.  Currently she is involved in a transaction that may reach the three hundred million mark.  A deal being negotiated with Sheik Khalid Al Kahzaz of Saudi Arabia.  The sheik and his family are due to arrive in just a few days.”
“I see,” Jake said noncommittally.  Protecting a corporate exec was one thing.  Protecting a spoiled young socialite who got her job because she was a member of the Dumont family was something altogether different.  
“With your experience,” Ian continued, “I’m hoping you will be able to guide my granddaughter through this visit with our Saudi friends, and should trouble arise in the city, also keep her safe.”
“That’s what I get paid for.”
Sage shifted in her chair, irritation clear in her face.  “We need to discuss this in private, Ian.”
The old man smiled indulgently.  “We can do that, of course, but the result will be the same.  You’re representing Marine Drilling International.  You will be prominently engaged in entertaining the sheik, his daughter and son, and the rest of his party.  Currently, there is a great deal of unrest in the Middle East.  Last night there was an incident right here in the city.  Mr. Cantrell can handle whatever problem might come up.”  He rose from his chair, and Jake and Sage stood up, too. 
Ian turned to Jake.  “When can you start?”
Part of him wanted to refuse the assignment.  He didn’t want to deal with a bossy, cantankerous female.  The other part was looking for something interesting to do after weeks of mostly sitting behind a desk.  “If we only have a short time until they arrive,” he found himself saying, “we had start today.”
Sage’s spine went a little straighter.  She fixed her gaze on Jake.  Even with her ultra high heels she had to look up at him, which he could tell she didn’t like.
“Fine,” she said.  “I’ll see you in my office in half an hour.  Does that work for you?”
“I’ll be there.”
As soon as the door swooshed closed behind her, Jake heard Ian chuckle.  “I knew she was going to pitch an all-out fit about this, but I want her safe.  She means everything to me, Mr. Cantrell.”
“It’s just Jake.  And you can count on me to take care of her--whether she likes it or not.”
Ian Dumont just smiled.

Review by Santa Cruz Book Examiner

Jake Cantrell is good at his job. Private investigator and mercenary, the tough ex-special forces marine has been hired as a bodyguard by Sage Dupont’s grandfather. Sage, an upcoming VP wants to earn her promotion to president and feels clinching a deal between the Saudis for purchase of used pipe and platform drilling equipment is her key to success. When Jake arrives at the marine Drilling International offices, they get off on a bad start. Sage doesn’t think she needs a bodyguard, but her grandfather feels differently. Furthermore, Cantrell’s canny intuition for suspecting shady dealing is aroused, and he’s going to see that Sage is protected.
Initially, Sage must entertain the Saudi sheik’s family and entourage, then negotiate the deal. On the surface things appear to be going well between Sage and the Saudis, but when Jake overhears disturbing news, he fears much more than a transaction for used pipe is in the works. Moreover, he’s attracted to Sage and doesn’t want to compromise her or his position to protect her.
Tension sizzles in this contemporary story. As usual, Ms. Martin has come up with a plot that offers nonstop suspense mixed with the usual high-octane testosterone so prevalent in her books. Both Jake and Sage are nicely drawn, three-dimensional characters a reader can care about. The fast-paced plot is not only fascinating but provides lots of information about Middle Easterners and their customs. I was fascinated.
Secondary characters were great. I became so interested in the hunky PI’s at Trace Rawlins’ company that I can’t wait to read their stories.
Against the Sun has wonderful characters, great pacing and nonstop suspense. And if you like a sexy hero, then Jake Cantrell will satisfy your every craving.

Against the Sun can be purchased at Amazon:

Be sure to click the link and enter the contest to win a signed copy of Kat's new book! AND, you can read my review here: Against the Night by Kat Martin


I have a signed copy to give away here as well. Just leave a comment telling us where your favorite place in the sun is, along with your EMAIL so we can contact you if you win! Thanks!

Easy Peasy!

CONGRATULATIONS! Marianne - you are the winner.

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