#FeatureFriday- The Super Spies Series by Lisa Orchard

The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer 500x750

Young Adult, Teen, Mystery & Thriller, Mystery & Detectives

This book opens in a small town in Michigan where fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her Aunt and Uncle’s with her sister, Lacey. She’s not happy with the situation until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman. One of the officers investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death. Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own fact-finding mission.  The Super Spies can’t understand why anyone would want to murder the “Cat Lady” until they start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the inquest. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. To make matters worse, the police don’t even believe them. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer, or die trying…

Amazon     Astaea Press     B&N

TheSuperSpiesandtheHighSchoolBomber 500x750

Young Adult, Teen, Mystery & Thriller, Mystery & Detectives

This book opens in a small town in Michigan where Sarah and her sister Lacey are now living with their Aunt and Uncle. Still reeling from the fact her parents have disappeared, Sarah starts the school year with her new friend Jackie Jenkins. When Sarah learns the school has been bombed, she’s filled with dread. Uncle Walt is a teacher, and he was in the school when the bomb exploded. Taking matters into her own hands, Sarah decides to search for him. The rest of the Super Spies are right behind her. When a fireman chases them away from the school, Sarah becomes suspicious. She decides to investigate. The FBI arrives on the scene. Sarah realizes this bombing could have even bigger implications. Searching for the bombers, Sarah is introduced to the world of terrorism. She fears that the bombing and her parents’ disappearance are connected and terrorists are involved. To make matters worse, the bombers are determined to finish the job. Can the Super Spies find the bombers before it’s too late?

Amazon     Astraea Press     B&N

Excerpt from The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer:

The house sat hunkered down as if it were tensed to spring like a cat stalking a mouse. Sarah shuddered at the thought of going up on the porch and she chewed on her thumbnail.

Looking behind her, Sarah studied the church facing the Cat Lady’s home. It was a strong structure built of huge stones. She could tell it was as old as the town itself and its presence made her feel safe. Motioning for Jackie and Lacey to follow her, she moved from the sidewalk to the huge oak tree growing on the church’s lawn. The girls hid behind it, peeking out at the witch’s home.

“Are you still going to do it?” Jackie teased.

“Yep.”

“Do you think she’s inside?” Lacey asked wide-eyed.

Sarah smirked at her. “Where else would she be? I hear she never leaves her house.”

“Be nice.” Jackie smacked Sarah’s arm.

“What are you waiting for? Are you afraid of the witch?” Lacey asked as she stared at the house.

“She’s not a witch. She’s just a freak, that’s all.”

“Well, if she’s not …then what are you waiting for?” Jackie snickered.

“I just want to make sure the coast is clear.”

“Hey, you guys, look at all the cats,” Lacey whispered. She pointed at the clusters of felines lolling about on the porch and walking in the yard. “There has to be at least twenty of them.”

“Yeah, that’s why she’s called the Cat Lady.” Sarah rolled her eyes and then felt the sting from Jackie’s slap.

“Do you think she put a spell on those cats?” Lacey asked with a wide-eyed expression, twirling her hair with her finger.

“Could be,” Sarah snickered. “Or maybe she just…you know…gives them food.”

“Knock it off, Sarah,” Lacey glared at her sister.

Sarah stuck her tongue out at her. “Okay, I’m going for it. I’ll meet you back here.”

“Cool beans,” Jackie said.

“Cool beans? Is this town still in the nineties?” Sarah teased.

“Shut up.” Jackie smacked her arm again.

“This is physical abuse.” Sarah rubbed her arm, trying to appear injured.

Jackie laughed. “Be thankful I like hanging out with you.”

“All I have to do is ring her doorbell, right?” Sarah poked her head out from behind the tree. She noticed the tomato pulp still clinging to the siding and peered up and down the street for the notorious Wykowski boys.

“That’s right,” Jackie chuckled.

Sarah took a deep breath and sprinted across the street. She stopped at the porch stairs. A group of cats were sunning themselves on the steps—they meowed at her as if they were hungry. Jumping when one of them rubbed against her legs, she bent down and stroked its back, never taking her eyes off of the house.

Sarah petted the cat, while she worked up the courage to climb the stairs. She heard the loud purr of the contented feline and it eased her anxiety. All of a sudden, she felt a hand squeeze her arm. Her heart leapt in her chest and she let out a yelp.

Turning, she spied Jackie. “I almost peed my pants!”

Jackie giggled.

“What are you doing here?” Sarah muttered and gave Jackie the evil eye.

“I couldn’t stay behind the tree and miss all the action.”

Sarah glanced around her and pointed to some overgrown bushes in front of the porch. “You can hide over there.”

Out of the corner of her eye, Sarah spied her sister running toward them and stifled a groan.

“I didn’t want to stand by myself,” Lacey whimpered, slightly out of breath. She tugged nervously on the hem of her T-shirt as she eyed the house.

Sarah groaned and her shoulders slumped as if she carried a heavy burden. She sighed and pointed at the bushes again. “You hide over there with Jackie and be quiet.”

Sarah waited until the other girls were out of sight, and then climbed the stairs. Stopping when she reached the porch, Sarah took some deep breaths before stepping onto the sagging stoop. Stepping gingerly, she hoped the porch would support her.  Her stomach clenched when it groaned. She took another step and then another, the porch complaining with every footfall. Halfway across the stoop, she heard the girls behind the bushes.

“She’s almost to the door.” Lacey said in a low voice.

Sarah bit her lip, stifling the disapproving remark dancing on the tip of her tongue. Instead, she turned and glared at the bushes, willing its occupants to shut up. She made eye contact with Jackie, who quickly ducked behind the shrubs, pulling Lacey with her.

What in the world is she doing?” Lacey asked.

“Shhh,” Jackie responded.

Sarah shook her head and continued her journey. She felt Jackie and Lacey watching her as she crept toward the door. Reaching the entryway, she was surprised to find the storm door wide open. The only barrier between the Cat Lady and the rest of the world was a flimsy screen door hanging askew on its hinges.

Alarm bells rang in Sarah’s head—this has got to be out of character for someone who never leaves their home. She turned back and whispered to the other girls. “Hey!”

Jackie poked her head out. “What?”

“The storm door’s open.”

“So?”

“So…what do I do?”

“Duh…Ring the door bell.”

Sarah shrugged and pushed the doorbell. It let out an irritating buzz and she had the feeling it had been broken long ago and never fixed. She dashed down the stairs.  The cats scattered, alarmed by the sudden activity. Reaching the shrubs, Sarah hid with her sister and Jackie.

Gasping for breath, Sarah waited for a reaction from the old woman. Her heart pummeled her ribs and she pressed her hand to her chest to calm it.

After a few minutes, Sarah started to pace. “Well…nothing’s happened.” She peeked out from behind the shrub and saw the screen door hanging ajar. “I bet she’s not even home. I’m going to try again.”

Jackie shrugged. “Be careful, remember she’s a witch.”

Sarah shook her head, and then peered out from behind the shrubs. Once again, she climbed the stairs. She was braver this time and it didn’t take her as long to make it to the door.

She looked inside, her heart lurching in her chest. She tiptoed to the picture window and peered through it. Gasping, she ran back to the entryway. Pulling it open, she lunged inside.

Sarah stared, unable to tear herself away.  Shock ran through her body like an electrical current as she eyed the scene before her. The crumpled form of the Cat Lady lay on the living room floor, just inside the door. No life flickered in the old woman’s staring eyes. Her mouth gaped open in a silent scream and her hands were up around her head as if she were warding off blows. Turning away, Sarah gagged as the coppery scent of blood assaulted her. There was blood splattered everywhere, on the wall, on the carpet and under the Cat Lady’s body.

Suddenly, Sarah’s throat constricted and she gasped for breath. Fearing she would faint, she stumbled back out the door and collided with Jackie and Lacey on the porch.

Jackie grabbed Sarah’s arm and shook her. “What are you doing? Are you crazy? I never said to go inside!”

Sarah didn’t speak—she just stared blankly at the porch.

Jackie shook her again. “Are you under the Cat Lady’s spell?”

Lacey whimpered. “Hey, Sarah….can you hear me? Sarah?”

“She’s under the Cat Lady’s spell,” Jackie said waving her hand in front of Sarah’s eyes.

“Oh my—,” Sarah moaned and clutched Jackie’s arm.

“What is it?” Jackie shook her again. “Speak…say something!”

“Th-th-the C-C-Cat Lady, sh-sh-she’s,” Sarah stuttered.

“She’s what?” Jackie demanded.

“Sh-she’s dead.”

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About the Author20111210_ABS_1296[1]

Lisa Orchard grew up loving books. She was hooked on mysteries by the fifth grade and even wrote a few of her own. She knew she wanted to be a writer even then.  “The Super Spies and the High School Bomber” is the second book in the “Super Spies” series. Her first book was published in March of 2012 and it has received rave reviews.

After graduating from Central Michigan University with a Marketing Degree she spent many years in the insurance industry, pining to express her creative side.  The decision to stay home with her children gave her the opportunity to follow her dream and become a writer. She currently resides in Rockford Michigan with her husband, Steve, and two wonderful boys. Currently, she’s working on the third novel that stars the same quirky teens. When she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, running, hiking, and reading.

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Keep an eye out for my interview with Lisa Orchard on June 5th!

MJ

#FridayFeature: Grandma, How Do You Know God Is Real? by Lorita Kelsey Childress

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Grandma, how do you know God is real? is about a six-and-a-half-year-old girl named Kendra, who spends a few weeks of her summer vacation with her Grandma.

She awakens one bright and sunny morning and asks her Grandma how does she know God is real? Grandma, takes Kendra on an adventure to show her all the reasons as to why she knows God is real.

Excerpt: 

The sun was shining brightly as Kendra awakened to the delicious aroma of bacon, coming from the kitchen in her Grandma‛s house. She sat up in bed and looked all around.

Everything in her room was pink, from the sheets and pillowcases to the comforter, and rug. Even the paint on the walls was pink and adorned with big beautiful daises.

Pink was Kendra‛s favorite color and Grandma had out done herself with the decorations.

Kendra loved spending a few weeks of her summer vacation at Grandma‛s house. Grandma always made her feel special, and she especially loved Grandma‛s juicy kisses.

Kendra was sitting on the edge of her bed and playing with her long braided pigtails when she heard a light tap on the door. “Good morning, my angel. Did you sleep well?”

“Yes, Grandma I had a very good night.”

“Good,” Grandma said. “Now go wash your face and brush your teeth. Breakfast is almost ready.”

“Wait,” Kendra said, rubbing her pretty brown eyes.

Yes, dear, what is it?” “Grandma, can I ask you a question?”

“Kendra, you know you can ask me anything you want. Grandma will always try to give you the correct answer. So, what‛s on that pretty little mind of yours?”

“Grandma, how do you know God is real?”

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About the Author

Lorita Kelsey Childress lives with her husband David, in Northern CA.  She has three daughters and a granddaughter. Lorita’s first novel The Turning Point of Lila Louise was published in May 2010. December 2012, she published her first children’s book titled, Grandma, how do you know God is real? She is a member of Sistahs on the Reading Edge book club. Lorita’s work is featured in Gumbo for the Soul; The Recipe for Literacy in the Black Community and Gumbo for the Soul; Women of Honor Special Pink Edition. Her latest work is featured in Suspect; A Confessional Anthology.  Her poem Our History is Rich was featured in the January/March 2010 edition of Kontagious Magazine.  She is currently working on her second novel.

Buy your copy today! 

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Continue to follow the tour!

 

 

Interview with Sara Barnard!

Today I welcome fellow 5 Prince Publishing author, Sara Barnard! Sara is one busy woman! Army wife, raising a family, working, going to school, all the while writing in two genres…hats off to you!  


Welcome, Sara!


What inspired you to write?
I have been writing since as long as I can remember and my biggest inspiration is simply life. I have always known that is how I communicate best, because usually when speaking I get tongue tied. I won a writing contest in the third grade which is my earliest memory of my writing garnering any attention. That story was about the life of my beloved tomcat, J. Thomas O’Malley.  A fiction story I wrote about a P.O.W. in the Viet Nam war was published in my high school literary magazine as the feature article during my senior year. In 2005 my mom’s crippled dog, Clyde, was treated savagely by my hometown’s animal control officers in a royal mix-up. My subsequent “letter to the editor” of the local newspaper caused quite a stir and led to the city manager coming to my parent’s house to make a formal, in-person apology. I also took to the pen when we rescued two tiny kittens after they were flung from the truck in front of us on the highway last summer. We nursed them back to health and I am happy to report that the most injured one, Francis (named for St. Francis) is still with us today! Karma, the little blonde one, survived the incident but disappeared a few months later. Come to think of it, my first paid published work was titled CHEYENNE: CHARLIE COMPANY SWEETHEART (Silver Boomer Books, 2011). That story was the true account of my husband’s adopted puppy during his last tour in Afghanistan. After reading this, I guess animals are my inspiration, too!

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I work full time, take care of four growing kids, a menagerie of rescue animals, and one drill sergeant. I squeeze in my writing time when I can, usually with the MUCH needed help from my awesome husband (said drill sergeant). It helps that I have the best job in the world and my supervisor encouraged me on day 1 to bring my laptop and write in the downtime. How awesome is that? I love my job(s), all of them!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Once I seduce my muse, my muse hangs out almost indefinitely. Thankfully. Sometimes, it waits atop my ever-growing mountain of laundry, other times it waits until I catch up on my sleep. I can pretty much write anytime, anywhere!

Are you a pantser or plotter?
Very much a pantser … at least in fiction. I like taking on the adventure with my characters, not knowing what the next turn will bring. Since my degree is in history and if I could have lived in any time period it would be the 19th century, my works are usually set during the 1800’s. Most of what I write mirrors my life too, so I guess that old adage, life imitating art is true in my case! 

Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share and example?
My debut novel, A HEART ON HOLD (5 Prince Publishing, 2012), is pretty much my diary written during my husband’s last deployment to the Middle East. It features all of my fears, worries, expectations, and even some experiences. I took my life and set it during the Civil War and this book was born. Book two in my An Everlasting Heart series, A HEART BROKEN, is set to release January 2013 and deals with the Redding family’s struggle with life AFTER the war, namely PTSD, which has had quite an influence on my life, as well. My first children’s book, CHUNKY SUGARS, is completely true and written for my fourth baby, Lil’ Bit. I received the cover art yesterday and the release date is January 1, New Year’s Day!  The illustrator did such a fine job on the cover, I can’t WAIT to see the rest of the book!!  I have other children’s books that I have written for my three other children, too! I can’t wait to see them in print!

Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Read. Simple as that J

Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?
Indie pubbed is a new one to me, so I am not sure what that entails. I do have one self-published title, THE ABC’S OF OKLHOMA PLANTS, which came out last summer. I wrote that one for my kids after we we PCS’d to Oklahoma. The pictures were graciously donated by Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center of Austin, TX. I am working on the Texas version now.

What are your current projects?
I have about a million in the works. I have some Christian western works I am toying with as well as finishing books 3 and 4 (A HEART AT HOME and A HEART FOREVER WILD) in An Everlasting Heart series. My chapter book for my daughter is almost finished and NUMEROUS children’s books are already complete. I have another fiction work set during a defining period of American history that I am working on as well, but it is still a secret J

A Heart on Hold….How long can a heart hold on before it breaks? Most women would carry on with their lives after being thrust into widowhood, but not Charlotte Adamsland. After learning her husband, Captain Sanderson Redding, was killed in a botched escape from a Confederate Prison, she heads north through a war-torn country with just her faith in God and her beloved horse to bring her Sanderson home – one way or the other. 

A Heart Broken…The war is over, Sanderson is home, and life is good – until the Army comes knocking. They have charged him with the murder of his former captor, Lietenant Lantz. With the help of Jerry Thomas, Sandrson must track down and kill the notorious outlaw William “Bloody Bill” Quantrill- or hang for murder while Charlotte is left to endure a rash of hydrophobia that threatens the countryside –  her Sanderson included. —-Available January 22, 2013
Chunky Sugars…What happens when Mommy gets all of her chunky little baby’s sugars? Come find out in this charming book full of exciting firsts and lots of love!—-Available  January 1, 2013.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sara Barnard is an Army wife and mother of four beautiful children. They have made their home all over the world, but miss Italy at Christmastime the most! 

Connect with Sara on the following sites: 

5 Prince Publishing is Making Moves with a New Release and Publishing Line!

This is a big week for my publisher, 5 Prince Publishing! Not only are we celebrating the release of a new novel by Erika M. Szabo and the launch of a new publishing line, 5 Prince Publishing Kids!

NEW RELEASE! 


Today marks the release of Secrets Revealed, is book two of the Illona the Hun Trilogy, the follow up to Birthright Bestowed
Excerpt from Birthright Bestowed:
I was holding Teddy deep in thoughts, absentmindedly stroking his soft artificial fur. He was my favorite childhood toy, stuffed to perfect softness. Suddenly I felt something piercing the side of my neck. The sharp pain made me jump, and I let out a muted cry. I touched the skin over my carotid artery and I felt warm wetness. A drop of blood glistened on my fingertips when I looked at my hand. I almost dropped Teddy feeling alarmed when I noticed that my fingers begun to glow as if a bright red light was turned on from the inside. At the same time I felt something scurrying from the side of my neck toward my chest. I reached up and swept my neck and chest jumping up in disgust. Crap! It must have been a bug or a spider. The damned thing bit me! I looked down on my chest and kept sweeping my clothes frantically looking for the bug.
A sudden swirling sensation took me by surprise and I grabbed the side of the ottoman to steady myself while everything began to fade around me. I tried to find a focus point to decrease the sudden vertigo, and then brought my eyes down to Teddy. I noticed with climbing alarm that his eyes took on a strange red glow. His eyes seemed alive; they bore into my insides and the intense glow kept me frozen. I’m hallucinating ran through my mind. I tried to turn away, yet I couldn’t move a muscle. I couldn’t even blink. I was scared, never having felt such primal fear before. I felt my heart racing and my breath came in little puffs as I felt cold beads of sweat on my forehead. I knew it was adrenaline flooding my body triggered by the sudden fright, but I was afraid it might have been some poison from the bite as well.
The strange sensation and hallucination stopped as quickly as it started. My hands felt and looked normal and I became rational in an instant and sat there, feeling obtuse, wondering what had just happened. The whole sensation lasted only for seconds, yet it frightened me a great deal not knowing what caused it.
I came in here hoping to find answers, and I found more questions. I didn’t find out anything! I thought angrily.
The only insight I got was being scared out of my mind. I couldn’t sit there anymore. I felt suffocated; I had to get out in the open. I left Teddy on the ottoman and opened the door carefully, peering out. Something seemed to pull me back, a vague feeling, as if I was missing something. I fingered the Turul bird medallion absentmindedly, feeling its smoothness and warmth. I realized I had searched everywhere but inside the ottoman. I grabbed the seat and tried to pull it up. There was a soft metallic click and then the top opened abruptly.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Erika M Szabo is a Hungarian born American; she lives in the beautiful Catskill Mountains. She has a PhD in Alternative Medicine; she published a few books in this subject. Erika loves the art of healing; however, writing about dry medical facts doesn’t satisfy her thirst for storytelling. The ancient history of the Huns always fascinated her, it is full of holes, mysteries and speculations; there are only a few written facts about them besides their legends. Erika used her fertile imagination to fill the historical voids in the story of Ilona. She raises questions such as – What if healing by touch could be possible? – What if we could find a soul mate no matter the obstacles? – What if we could visit our ancestors on a whim? – What if our destiny is not written in stone and we can create our future?

NEW PUBLISHING LINE!!!

5 Prince Publishing is expanding! First it was Romance….and now Kids! 
I am happy to introduce you to the first children’s author to be featured, Tina J. Lackey Adams, and her book Chris Mouse and the Promise. It is available in paperback and will be available as an eBook soon!
About Chris Mouse!
Chris Mouse has just tucked her three little ones into bed when she notices the most beautiful bright shining star in the heavens. As she dreamily admires the star she remembers a prophecy she’s heard stories about since her youth. A magnificent star would mark the birth of the Savior. Could this be the promise she had waited her entire life to see? What happens next will change the world forever. Life for Chris Mouse will never be the same.

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Tina received an Associate of Arts in Pre-Social Work,Cum Laude from Coconino County Community College. Shecompleted her Bachelors in Social Work from NorthernArizona University and MSW from Arizona State UniversityAuthor Bio:
Tina received an Associate of Arts in Pre-Social Work, Cum Laude from Coconino County Community College. She completed her Bachelors in Social Work from Northern Arizona University and MSW from Arizona State University.
She is an alumni of Phi Theta Kappa, Beta Gamma Chi Chapter and Gamma Phi Honor Societies.
Tina is a freelance writer and poet growing up with a a passion for reading and telling stories. She has a heart for children and animals serving families in Northern Arizona.