Book Blast: Revealing Nicola by Sam Cheever

1-b078f2221d6ec0463539f01708b9e727Feather Stone

I’m so thrilled to have been asked to participate in Sam Cheever’s book blast. It’s exciting to meet an author of Sam’s famous reputation. The most difficult part will be picking out a few of her many published novels. No doubt, she is going to be one of my favorite authors.
Revealing Nicola by Sam Cheever Tour Banner

Revealing Nicola

by Sam Cheever

February 21, 2017 Book Blast

Revealing Nicola by Sam Cheever

Synopsis:

She has to overcome a lifetime of secrets…the shock of discovery.

He must protect a treasure that has turned passion to hate… reason to incoherence.

Poisoned by danger, intrigue, lust, and greed…their very survival is in the balance.

Can they endure the conspiracy and find love? And if they do…will it be enough?

Book Details:

Genre:Romantic Suspense, Thriller
Published by: Electric Prose Publications
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Number of Pages: 183
ISBN: 978-1-63587-971-1
Series: La Fortuna DeVitis #1
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | iTunes 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

A coughing sound engaged Franco’s training and he had her on the ground beneath him before the second shot was fired.

The roast chicken exploded, sending shredded meat across the table and raining over them.

Nici’s eyes were wide with fear. “What?”

“Stay down. Don’t move.”

He crawled off her, reaching for his piece as he positioned himself between the car and the table. From the trajectory of the shots, Franco figured the shooter had gone high, probably sitting in a tree to the south of their position. If Nic stayed down on the ground between the table and the Jeep she should be out of his range. But he had no intention of leaving her there.

He needed to get her into the car and out of that park as fast as he could.

Another shot sighed past, hitting the side of the car. Behind him, Nic yelped and he was afraid she’d been hit. “You all right?”

“Other than peeing myself? I’m just dandy. You need to get down, Franco. You’re going to get shot.”

He couldn’t help smiling as his gaze slid slowly along the perimeter. “I’m the bodyguard, remember? I’m the one who’s supposed to get shot.”

“Don’t even joke about that.”

There! A dark form shifted between the branches of a tree, seventy-five yards away. Franco dived to the ground as three rounds peppered the table, spewing food in a messy arc around them. “Damn! This guy’s good.”

“Well yeah, I can see he’s really pissed off at that potato salad.”

Franco barked out a laugh. “Keep it down back there. I’m trying to concentrate.”

“Well can you hurry? I really do have to pee and I’m thinking you don’t want me to squat right here.”

The words were light but her voice quavered with fear. He nodded. “You’re right. Let’s quit screwing around with these jerks. When I say ‘go’, I want you to roll over to the car and slide underneath it. Move as quickly as you can to the other side and climb in. Keep your head down.”

“What about you?”

“I’ll be right behind you.”

“Okay.”

Franco lifted his head so he could see the guy in the tree. He hadn’t moved. He scanned the roads around the park and saw they were empty. Then he checked his magazine and found it half full. Hopefully it would be enough because his spare ammo was in the canvas bag in the back of the Jeep. He’d beat himself up for his carelessness later. At the moment he had bigger problems.

The SUV he’d seen driving past had pulled into position on the opposite side of the park, pinning them in.

“Franco?”

He slid back down, assessing his options. “No good. They’ve got the other side of the car covered now.”

She sighed so long and hard he glanced her way. She was glaring at him. “I told you I needed my gun.”

He shook his head, thinking fast. There had to be some way… Franco shoved at the picnic table but it was bolted down. Too bad, he thought, it would have made a good shield while they climbed into the car. His gaze caught on the trash can beside the table. It was metal, hopefully filled with a nice depth of neutralizing trash. It wasn’t much but it was the best chance they had. “Okay, new plan. I’m going to lay down cover fire while you climb into the Jeep on this side. Lie down on the floor in the back.”

“Then how are you going to get in?”

“I’m going to use that trash can as a shield.”

Silence met his statement. “While shooting, opening the car door, and driving away?”

“I didn’t say it was a good plan.”

“Here’s a better one. Give me the gun. I’ll provide cover while you grab the can and we can both use it to get into the car.”

“Not a chance.”

“Dammit, Franco! What’s the point in my having all this self-defense training if nobody will let me use it?”

“That’s a last ditch plan.”

“This is about as last ditch as it gets, homey.”

He scrubbed a hand over his face. “I just gained new respect for your brother. If I was him I’d have introduced you to the nuclear wedgie at an early age.”

“Give me the gun, Franco.”

He would have liked to blow a hole in her plan. Unfortunately it was better than his. Dammit! “Okay. But try not to shoot me with it.”

She took the gun, ejected the mag like an expert, checked the rounds and slammed it back home. Then she sat up and slid across the grass to the table, peering over it. “That’s the shooter up there?”

“Yeah. You won’t be able to hit him but…”

Nic settled the muzzle of the gun onto the table and closed one eye.

“You shouldn’t close your eye…”

“Shut up, this works for me.”

“Okay, whatever, shoot the bad guy in the tree. Not the good guy sprinting toward the can. Got it?”

“Shoot the mouthy bodynapper with the can and gain myself some peace and quiet. Got it.”

“Lord help me.”

“Just go already, before these guys get restless.”

Right on cue, the Jeep jerked under a fresh round of bullets from the SUV. Franco glanced over the hood and saw that they were on the move. “The SUV’s coming on. We’ve got to do this now.”

“That’s what I said,” Nic murmured. She fired into the tree and Franco took off running.

Several more rounds sizzled through the air as he threw himself to the ground behind the can, some of them heading for him.

The can jerked under a couple of rounds, one of which went in high and passed straight through.
There was a yelp behind him. Panic flared. “Nic?”

“I’m fine. He just stomped on my last nerve.”

Franco grabbed the can and hunkered behind it as a fresh round of bullets slammed through the air toward the shooter in the tree. There was a yelp and a rifle pinwheeled through the air to the ground, followed by the darkly clad shooter.

“Well, damn.”

“Lose the can, Martin. Here come the bad guys.”

She opened the door and threw herself inside as the SUV barreled toward them, a gun sticking out of the front passenger side window. Franco flung himself into the Jeep, trying to keep low as he clambered into the driver’s seat, and turned the key, gunning it forward as soon as the engine caught. Bullets continued to ping off the metal sides and back. A back window shattered and glass sprayed over them.

Franco headed for a copse of massive evergreens, figuring the guys in the SUV would have a harder time hitting them with a bunch of trees around. They slipped under the drooping branches and the shower of bullets stopped as they barreled across a thick carpet of dried needles. The sharp tang of evergreen filled the car as he took a turn on two wheels and headed toward the back of the park, keeping sight of the SUV driving alongside the thicket. The big car was managing to stay even with them and the occasional tree trunk exploded under a wayward bullet.

Nici’s head popped up.

“Stay down.”

“Hit the street, there’s a delivery truck backing out of that driveway there.”

She was right. If they could tuck in behind the truck…

“Hold on!” He jerked the wheel hard right and the passenger side door squealed as it scraped along a row of trunks with prickly branches. They emerged from the evergreen copse and hit a sidewalk, heading straight for a hydrant.

“Franco!”

He jumped as she squealed. “Stop that! You scared the crap out of me.” He jerked the wheel and the car missed the hydrant by inches, heading for a fat gray squirrel holding an acorn, its shiny brown eyes wide.

“Franco!”

“Oh for god sakes!” He jerked the wheel again, barely missing the stupid rodent, and they dropped with a bang of tortured suspension into the street just as the boxy white truck started toward the intersection. Franco tucked the Jeep in on the opposite side of it, blocking them from the SUV’s view, and took the first turn into a large subdivision as the truck lumbered on down the street.

A few quick turns later brought them out of the subdivision and Franco headed for the highway, the SUV nowhere in sight.

 

Excerpt from Revealing Nicola by Sam Cheever. Copyright © 2017 by Sam Cheever. Reproduced with permission from Sam Cheever. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Sam Cheever

USA Today Bestselling Author Sam Cheever writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Sam is the award-winning author of 50+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.

If you haven’t already connected, Sam would love it if you Liked/Followed her wherever you enjoy hanging out online. Here are her online haunts:

Newsletter: http://www.samcheever.com/newsletter.html Subscribe to Sam’s newsletter and win a free copy of the fun and sexy Honeybun Fever Box Set
Text News Alerts: https://mobile-text-alerts.com/samnews
Website: www.SamCheever.com
Blog: http://samcheever.com/blog/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/samcheever
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SamCheeverAuthor
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Don’t Miss Your Chance to WIN!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Sam Cheever. There will be 1 winners of one (1) $20 Amazon.com Giftcard. The giveaway begins on February 19th and runs through February 27th, 2017.

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Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

Forbidden’s Book Launch Winners

Congratulations to the winners of my book launch celebration.

Julie won the grand prize – $100 Amazon coupon
Pat won the second prize – $50 Amazon coupon
Chris, Ellie, Didi, Greentopiaries and Rachel each won a $10 Amazon coupon.

I hope everyone took advantage of this book launch celebration to get their free Forbidden ebook.

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FORBIDDEN BOOK LAUNCH CELEBRATION: Excerpt – A Vicious Attack

Welcome to Forbidden’s book launch celebration

Better Wear Your Flak Jacket

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FORBIDDEN eBOOK IS FREE

February 14th to 18th at AMAZON

book-cover-three-dimensional-finalSynopsis:

Year 2047, City of Samarra, capital of the Republic of Islamic Provinces & Territories

Fifteen American travelers have vanished. Surrendering to Mayor Aamir’s demands, Captain Sharif becomes the reluctant keeper of his city’s bloody secret – and the witness, Eliza MacKay. The devout Muslim is horrified to discover that if he exposes the cover-up, his family will suffer dire consequences.

The CIA has the lying Sharif in their cross hairs. Sharif’s only hope is to prove his country’s government is free of guilt. Secretly, he hunts forensic evidence. Cryptic messages, backstabbing informants, and corruption threaten Sharif’s resolve to see justice served. When he discovers the shocking truth, he and MacKay become the targets of a ruthless killer.

Sharif is tortured by his attraction to the impetuous Eliza MacKay. In spite of her struggle with PTSD, he’s drawn to her vivacious personality. Islam forbids the intimacy he craves. In desperation to save Eliza, Sharif plots an act most forbidden and fatal.

ΩΩΩ

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Enter your name in my rafflecopter for a chance to win:

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TODAY’S FEATURE IS  – A Vicious Attack

City of Samarra, Republic of Islamic Provinces & Territories

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Guardian Mosque, City of Samarra, RIPT

Ω

Feigning sleep, Eliza listened to the sound of Sharif making coffee in his kitchen at the end of his shift. A breeze from the open window carried the scent of his clothes toward her. The distinct smell of gun-fired residue and blood made her gag. She decided not to wait for him to kick the bed to wake her. She got up and dressed in the bathroom. Without saying a word, Eliza zipped out to the hallway.

She listened as the ancient city of Samarra woke up to harmonic sounds. The city came to life each morning at six o’clock with the first call to prayer: Fajr, the prayer before sunrise. The haunting musical sound of the Muezzin called the devoted. Dogs, roused by the earnest supplication, barked. Even Eliza, who had no religious convictions, sat in quiet contemplation, deeply moved. She stilled her mind’s chatter and waited.

Waited for a thread of wisdom to be shared by The One Most High. Waited for merciful revelation of why she had survived and her little boys had suffered and died. Waited alone in the heavy silence.

With each of the four daily prayers, Eliza had watched in awe as the city’s ambiance shifted during prayer. Even within the compound walls, the Muslim faithful halted their activities for prayers. An air of tranquility was palpable. Even those who appeared less devout and ignored the religious practice slowed their pace. The Muezzin’s melodious voice reminded the devout of their connection with Allah, of the teachings of Islam’s prophet, Muhammad.

She had learned that everyone regardless of rank, wealth, sins, or honor stood shoulder to shoulder and intoned their praises to Allah, the forgiver of sins, the lord of peace and harmony. Women were segregated to the rear of the prayer hall, the musallah – for sake of modesty, Eliza had been told.

She eavesdropped on Sharif’s prayers. The change in his demeanor struck her. He became like a child singing songs of praise to an adoring father. His devotion to Islam and the teachings of the prophet Muhammad appeared to be based on genuine love, rather than fear of Allah’s punishment.

When Sharif had gone to bed, she listened and watched as the city’s soul burst forth. From her high vantage point, she could see the insane rush of traffic, businessmen competing for a cab, and women ushering their children to school. The vibrancy of the scene reminded Eliza of the excitement of Cairo. Old men bravely pushed carts of vegetables and fruit, others skillfully herded their goats among the passing vehicles. An air of expectancy, anticipation, even urgency in the way the citizens walked and talked spoke of their eagerness to get on with day.

She opened the kitchen window which offered view of the city. A few blocks away, a wide river rushed toward the Persian Gulf, a few thousand miles to the south. A treed park bordered its banks. She spotted a soccer field, possibly a school, and a two-story mall. Tall office buildings and luxury hotels in the distance dotted the downtown section. The four minarets of the city’s ancient Guardian Mosque reached high into the morning’s tangerine sky.

In so many ways, Samarra appeared like every other urban center stuck in the 1990’s, with a strong agricultural element. Adapting over thousands of years, the city had endured countless invasions and survived as a phoenix rising from the ashes time and time again. The land possessed a soul. It emanated an energy of an untouchable guru – indifferent and yet passionate, unconquerable and yet benevolent.

Eliza felt a connection to the land, its history, and its people. It was more than the exotic culture’s sensory seduction of spices, architecture, and mystical landscape. As the human race migrated out of Africa thousands of years ago, tribes had settled in the Middle East. Perhaps the ancient bones of her ancestors lay in unmarked graves beneath her feet. She sent a prayer to the old ones, just in case they were open to favor her with a miracle.

Eliza began making breakfast. She placed the frying pan on the little stove, careful to not wake her keeper. She made scrambled eggs with peppers and onions mixed in. Aromatic coffee infused a feeling of home.

Sharif had bought her a jar of blueberry jam. “For good behavior,” he had said as he set the glass jar onto the old wooden table with a smack, and left.

A white cloth covered the small worn table. Well, it used to be white. It looked as though it had been used for multiple tasks, perhaps wiping up spills from the floor and soaking up blood from a wound. It appeared clean.

The aromas of street food vendors blended with the car exhaust, her eggs, and the blueberry jam on her bread. Eliza settled in for another long day keeping her distance from Sharif, and dodging her PTSD triggers.

She glanced around the room. It was getting smaller. Her heart pounded. She forced her shoulders to relax. I’ve got to get out of here, she thought as she forced down a mouthful of her breakfast. Yesterday she had pressed Sharif for time outside. His reply remained steadfast, “Not today.” When she had continued to push for more freedom, he threatened to put her in a regular cell and build a cement wall to keep her out of sight.

Over the past four days, she had developed a routine to pass the time. Yoga, meditation, snack, repeat. However, today she had reached the outer limits of controlling the PTSD, triggered by the walls closing in.

While Sharif slept, she planned to inform the day shift officer, Captain Khizar, she was going for a walk. She shivered. When Sharif had introduced him to her, Khizar barely acknowledged her. She had detected the smirk on the senior officer’s thin face. Her intuition emphasized the need to tread carefully around the officer who walked with a limp.

Eliza wore the required black uniform, put on her polished work boots, and pushed her hair up under the black cap. At the bottom of the stairs she listened for sounds of the men. She approached Khizar’s office and sighed with relief to find he had left. Going down a short hallway, Eliza turned right towards the crew quarters’ door. She hesitated, listening for sounds that indicated the mood of the cops.

Belly laughter and smacks against the wall made the door shudder. The men were absorbed in their amusement and might not be interested in challenging her request.

Eliza knocked on the door, careful to sound neither cowardly, nor aggressive. The door was swung open by a constable.

She held her breath. Skilled at hiding her emotions, Eliza looked into the officer’s eyes. The officer relaxed a little. An intimidating smirk grew on his face. Three other men in the room gathered behind him.

The day sergeant, a heavy-set man, came forward and said in a trivializing manner, “The whore is mine. Leave her to me.”

The sergeant sauntered up to her. His eyes lit up like those of a child about to open a birthday gift. He lowered his gaze to her dark boots, and then raised his focus to her mid-section, then to her chest. Finally, he looked at her eyes.

Eliza did not change her expression from that of bland indifference to his suggestive piercing stare. He had called her a whore, but she repressed the impulse to admonish him. She resisted the urge to put her hands on her hips. That would be sexually suggestive and body language might defeat her faster than the wrong choice of words.

“My apologies for the interruption,” she said in Arabic, her voice trembling despite her resolve. “I’m going for a walk.” She swung around toward the exit door.

The officers chuckled as the sergeant stepped forward and blocked her. His face came uncomfortably close to hers. He spoke with a grin, accompanied by the rhythmic flexing and gyrating of his hips.

“Welcome. Come in.” The three men cheered as the sergeant grabbed her shirt and pulled her into the room.

 

LAUNCH SCHEDULE

February 13:

Review by Lily Eva Blake

February 14:

Guest Post with Pat Garcia

Review and Guest Post with Juneta Key

February 15:

Featured in OPAL Magazine

Guest Post with Lily Eva Blake

February 16:

Review and Showcase with Nicki Elson

Showcase with Jennifer Lane

February 17:

Showcase with Nancee Cain

Interview with Tyler Wiegmann

February 18:

Review and Showcase with Yolanda Renee

Showcase with Michelle Willms

Ω

Romance Under Fire
Author Feather Stone / F. Stone / Judy Weir:

1-b078f2221d6ec0463539f01708b9e727On our cattle ranch, when an animal was in distress or injured, I was put in charge of nursing it back to health. Never mind that I was just a kid and hated the sight of blood, but I had to muster up the courage to apply home remedies. My survival rate was pretty good. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that I would progress to nursing – humans. After one year into nurses training, I bolted. Bed pans and chronic diseases pushed me in different direction; a career of dealing with drug addicts, murder, suicide, fatalities, and biker gangs. In 1983 I graduated with honors as a paramedic and worked in the City of Edmonton’s Emergency Services.

For the next twenty years, I came face to face with scenes most people would rather not think about. I loved it. Having experienced life in the most deadly and gut wrenching events, and work alongside the police service, I gained the fodder for creating intense novels.

My first novel, The Guardian’s Wildchild, was published by Omnific Publishing in 2011. The setting is on a naval ship, under the command of a surely man who is under suspicion of treason. When a battered woman is brought to his ship for execution, he has no idea that she is about to turn his disciplined life into chaos – and that she is no ordinary woman. The Guardian’s Wildchild has a rating of 4.1 at Amazon.

Social Media Links: Stop by and say hello at:

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Facebook: FSauthor

Twitter: Featherwrites

Pinterest

Goodreads

Ω

FORBIDDEN Zooming Up the Amazon Charts – Whoot!!!!

Welcome to Forbidden’s book launch celebration

Better Wear Your Flak Jacket

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FORBIDDEN eBOOK IS FREE

February 14th to 18th at AMAZON

 

SHOCKING NEWS AT AMAZON: I’m so thrilled that Forbidden is climbing the rating charts at Amazon. This morning, Amazon has this to report regarding Forbidden:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)

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Writers become good at seduction, like ‘ladies of the night,’ we learn how to stand above the competitors. This made me think about the marketing strategy for Forbidden. What is unique about a middle east setting and bloody scenes? Currently, there are abundant novels which depict the horrors of civil war and terrorism. Forbidden has all that, but something different. Very different.

Forbidden is written in the point of view of a devout Muslim cop.

Captain Sharif’s police compound has been breached. Fifteen Americans murdered. CIA agent Frank Hutchinson has proof the cop is lying and has him in his crosshairs, eager to exact revenge. Captain Sharif must please his corrupt superiors; and yet see justice served, and abide by the Koran. He’s in hell, with no way to escape – either be buried alive or suffer Allah’s wrath. In the balance hangs the life of Eliza MacKay, witness to the massacre. Desperate, Sharif initiates an act more forbidden and fatal.

book-cover-three-dimensional-finalSynopsis:

Year 2047, City of Samarra, capital of the Republic of Islamic Provinces & Territories

Fifteen American travelers have vanished. Surrendering to Mayor Aamir’s demands, Captain Sharif becomes the reluctant keeper of his city’s bloody secret – and the witness, Eliza MacKay. The devout Muslim is horrified to discover that if he exposes the cover-up, his family will suffer dire consequences.

The CIA has the lying Sharif in their cross hairs. Sharif’s only hope is to prove his country’s government is free of guilt. Secretly, he hunts forensic evidence. Cryptic messages, backstabbing informants, and corruption threaten Sharif’s resolve to see justice served. When he discovers the shocking truth, he and MacKay become the targets of a ruthless killer.

Sharif is tortured by his attraction to the impetuous Eliza MacKay. In spite of her struggle with PTSD, he’s drawn to her vivacious personality. Islam forbids the intimacy he craves. In desperation to save Eliza, Sharif plots an act most forbidden and fatal.

 

REVIEW:

 

ΩΩΩ

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter your name in my rafflecopter for a chance to win:

   GRAND PRIZE:  AMAZON coupon valued at $100 USD,

   Second prize:  Amazon coupon $50,

   PLUS five ten dollar amazon coupons.

ΩΩΩ

LAUNCH SCHEDULE

February 13:

Review by Lily Eva Blake

February 14:

Guest Post with Pat Garcia

Review and Guest Post with Juneta Key

February 15:

Featured in OPAL Magazine

Guest Post with Lily Eva Blake

February 16:

Review and Showcase with Nicki Elson

Showcase with Jennifer Lane

February 17:

Showcase with Nancee Cain

Interview with Tyler Wiegmann

February 18:

Review and Showcase with Yolanda Renee

Showcase with Michelle Willms

Ω

Romance Under Fire
Author Feather Stone / F. Stone / Judy Weir:

1-b078f2221d6ec0463539f01708b9e727On our cattle ranch, when an animal was in distress or injured, I was put in charge of nursing it back to health. Never mind that I was just a kid and hated the sight of blood, but I had to muster up the courage to apply home remedies. My survival rate was pretty good. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that I would progress to nursing – humans. After one year into nurses training, I bolted. Bed pans and chronic diseases pushed me in different direction; a career of dealing with drug addicts, murder, suicide, fatalities, and biker gangs. In 1983 I graduated with honors as a paramedic and worked in the City of Edmonton’s Emergency Services.The Guardian's Wildchild

For the next twenty years, I came face to face with scenes most people would rather not think about. I loved it. Having experienced life in the most deadly and gut wrenching events, and work alongside the police service, I gained the fodder for creating intense novels.

My first novel, The Guardian’s Wildchild, was published by Omnific Publishing in 2011. The setting is on a naval ship, under the command of a surely man who is under suspicion of treason. When a battered woman is brought to his ship for execution, he has no idea that she is about to turn his disciplined life into chaos – and that she is no ordinary woman. The Guardian’s Wildchild has a rating of 4.1 at Amazon.

Social Media Links: Stop by and say hello at:

Romance Under Fire Blog

Facebook: FSauthor

Twitter: Featherwrites

Pinterest

Goodreads

FORBIDDEN BOOK LAUNCH: Consequences of Writing a Novel About Islam

Welcome to Forbidden’s book launch celebration

Better Wear Your Flak Jacket

1-forbidden6

FORBIDDEN eBOOK IS FREE

February 14th to 18th at AMAZON

Consequences of Writing a Novel About Islam

When the impulse to write Forbidden began, I resisted. Bartholomew’s (my muse) urging to write the thriller continued with greater intensity. I knew so little about the religion and the culture. DSCN0547

“So what,” he croaked. “You got a brain. Learn. Study.” My muse thumped his froggy flippers.

I shivered at the thought of intense research required, searching for contacts and support. “It’ll take years,” I moaned.

“Ya, so what!” Bart jumped onto my shoulder. “No one can tell this story like you. You’re without bias, a clean slate, a virgin, a – .”

“Now just a minute, Croak.” I call him Croak when he’s gone too far. “What the hell do you mean by virgin?”

Bartholomew blushes as much as a green frog can – kind of an ugly puse. “Don’t get all twisted, sister. You’re unbroken, untainted by hate and fear. Not card carrying religious zealot, or have need for ancient dogma. Your vision is deeper. Unspoiled. Pure.”

Now I’m blushing. “I’m not that pure, Bart. I’ve done things, you know.”

It took Bart almost a year to convince me I had been selected to tell Forbidden’s story. And so the research began. My first task was to approach our local Muslim community. Imam Mustafa Khattab met me at his mosque. I could see he had serious doubts about my ability to tell any story about Islam. He was not alone on that count. However, he handed me an armful of books and videos, advised  me to have a Muslim read / edit my work, and gave one final piece of advice – take the middle road.

Over the next many months I studied, including reading the Koran. Gradually, a fascinating world began to take shape.  History, music, academics, geography, and weather, social and religious practices, faith in God / Allah, allegiances and warfare, shifting borders and tribal lands, customs and culture merged into a dynamic and complex segment we know as the Middle East. What I learned is that unless you are born in that region, most of us cannot fully understand the depth of devotion, nor the passion for the lands once tread by Mohammad, the prophet.

shutterstock_57827968To ensure Forbidden was an unbiased and ‘middle of the road’ reflection of Islam, I needed support. It’s amazing how when you put out the intention to the universe, things happen. Lots of things. I am now so blessed with several amazing friends who are Muslim. The are from Canada, United States, and the Middle East. In particular, Dr. Albakkal read each chapter of Forbidden and provided feedback and information. Although I did pay her for this service, she in turn forwarded those funds to charity. She continues to volunteer her time with medical support to the Canadian Syrian refugee children.

In the beginning, I feared a back lash from the Muslim communities. After all, why should a non-Muslim person be writing a novel about Islam? Absolutely, a valid concern. No doubt, Forbidden’s account of the thoughts and behaviors of a Muslim cop in the Middle East may have missed the mark. The local expressions, the body language, etc. – I would loved to have been able to paint a far more true to form image. My most fervent hope, however, has been to not insult or misinterpret the basics of Islam and the Koran.

What I didn’t expect when I started writing Forbidden was resistance, even some hostility from members within my culture. And though I had gained enough knowledge to appease their fears, they dug in their heals resisting the idea they could be wrong, misled, or misunderstood the average moderate Muslim. Pointing out that the media have focused on one small segment of militant Muslims and, thus, giving the impression Islam is a religion of hate and terrorists did nothing to persuade some of my friends and associates to reconsider their opinion. So entrenched is their fear. Fear makes us blind and impotent.

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The consequences?

I sacrificed a lot to write Forbidden. Four years was devoted to research and writing. I threw all  my energy into creating a story that cannot be compared to another novel. I gave up my love of water color painting and my social calendar was trashed. There were three complete rewrites. Just ask my editor, Leigh Carter, who had to deal with changing character personalities, shifting plots, and an ending that eluded me until the final year. I put my relationships at risk, may have lost a few friends. There may be Muslim and non-Muslim who will want to thrasdownloadh me and trash my book.

But, through it all, the sleepless night of searching for that perfect word, the plot twist, infusing my passion into the characters – I regret nothing.

Giving Bartholomew a big froggy kiss 🙂

Zowie!

book-cover-three-dimensional-finalSynopsis:

Year 2047, City of Samarra, capital of the Republic of Islamic Provinces & Territories

Fifteen American travelers have vanished. Surrendering to Mayor Aamir’s demands, Captain Sharif becomes the reluctant keeper of his city’s bloody secret – and the witness, Eliza MacKay. The devout Muslim is horrified to discover that if he exposes the cover-up, his family will suffer dire consequences.

The CIA has the lying Sharif in their cross hairs. Sharif’s only hope is to prove his country’s government is free of guilt. Secretly, he hunts forensic evidence. Cryptic messages, backstabbing informants, and corruption threaten Sharif’s resolve to see justice served. When he discovers the shocking truth, he and MacKay become the targets of a ruthless killer.

Sharif is tortured by his attraction to the impetuous Eliza MacKay. In spite of her struggle with PTSD, he’s drawn to her vivacious personality. Islam forbids the intimacy he craves. In desperation to save Eliza, Sharif plots an act most forbidden and fatal.

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LAUNCH SCHEDULE

February 13:

Review by Lily Eva Blake

February 14:

Guest Post with Pat Garcia

Review and Guest Post with Juneta Key

February 15:

Featured in OPAL Magazine

Guest Post with Lily Eva Blake

February 16:

Review and Showcase with Nicki Elson

Showcase with Jennifer Lane

February 17:

Showcase with Nancee Cain

Interview with Tyler Wiegmann

February 18:

Review and Showcase with Yolanda Renee

Showcase with Michelle Willms

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Romance Under Fire
Author Feather Stone / F. Stone / Judy Weir:

1-b078f2221d6ec0463539f01708b9e727On our cattle ranch, when an animal was in distress or injured, I was put in charge of nursing it back to health. Never mind that I was just a kid and hated the sight of blood, but I had to muster up the courage to apply home remedies. My survival rate was pretty good. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that I would progress to nursing – humans. After one year into nurses training, I bolted. Bed pans and chronic diseases pushed me in different direction; a career of dealing with drug addicts, murder, suicide, fatalities, and biker gangs. In 1983 I graduated with honors as a paramedic and worked in the City of Edmonton’s Emergency Services.The Guardian's Wildchild

For the next twenty years, I came face to face with scenes most people would rather not think about. I loved it. Having experienced life in the most deadly and gut wrenching events, and work alongside the police service, I gained the fodder for creating intense novels.

My first novel, The Guardian’s Wildchild, was published by Omnific Publishing in 2011. The setting is on a naval ship, under the command of a surely man who is under suspicion of treason. When a battered woman is brought to his ship for execution, he has no idea that she is about to turn his disciplined life into chaos – and that she is no ordinary woman. The Guardian’s Wildchild has a rating of 4.1 at Amazon.

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