All posts by Katy Lee

Katy Lee is an award-winning inspirational-romantic-suspense author, writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense line and for Soul Mate Publishing. Her next novel, GRAVE DANGER, will be out May 1st. For a complete list of Katy's works and to see what she is up to, check out her social sites at www.facebook.com/katyleewriter and Twitter @KatyLeebooks and her personal website, www.KatyLeeBooks.com

Art Theft on the Alaskan Seas: Reviewing Perilous Waters

What’s not to love about art and Alaska?  I knew when I picked up Perilous WatersSandra Orchard’s latest release, Perilous Waters, I was in for a frigid, but fun retreat from my normal day to day.  Once again, Sandra delivers a creative story with a keep-you-guessing ending.  I love cruises as well, but know there are a lot of “mishaps” a suspense writer can utilize on board.  Sandra made good use of many of them and kept the story moving with a good flow.

As for the art theft aspect, I particularly liked how she tied it into the cruise theme.  I’ll admit I’ve purchased my share of art on the cruises I’ve attended.  (More than my share actually.)  But never mind that, Sandra opened my eyes to the many ways art can be “moved.”

And the dangers that could cause…..

I asked Sandra Orchard to come on today and share how she came up with the idea for Perilous Waters.  And now, here she is to share:

Sandra_OrchardHello Readers, the inspiration for Perilous Waters began with a newspaper article about Alain Lacoursière, a Montreal police detective who founded one of the top art-theft units in the world. The FBI estimates that the international black market in art is worth about $6-billion a year. It sounded like great fodder for a story and when my husband and I took an Alaskan Cruise to celebrate our 25th anniversary and I saw the art gallery and on-board auctions, not to mention a slew of potential deathtraps, I knew I’d found the perfect setting for the story. Find more behind-the-scenes tidbits, including location pics at: http://sandraorchard.com/extras/bonus-book-features/#perilouswaters

art

The above pic is an auction I attended aboard ship. I also had a behind the scenes tour of the ship, which provided more ideas for mayhem than I could possibly use in the story. J

Thank you, Sandra, for dropping by and giving us a behind-the-scenes look into your research!

Sandra Orchard is the award-winning author of several inspirational romantic suspense/mysteries, including Deadly Devotion and Blind Trust. Her Love Inspired Suspense titles have garnered two Canadian Christian Writing Awards and a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. Sandra has also received a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. In addition to her busy writing schedule, Sandra enjoys speaking at events and teaching writing workshops. She lives in Ontario, Canada. Learn more about Sandra’s books and check out the special bonus features, such as deleted scenes and location pics, at http://sandraorchard.com.

 

Book Blurb for Perilous Waters:

 

UNDER SUSPICION

For FBI agent Sam Steele, there’s no room for error or emotions on his latest undercover assignment. Getting close to gallery owner Jennifer Robbins while on an Alaskan cruise is the only way to catch her dealing stolen art. Out on the icy seas, Jen suddenly goes from suspect to victim when she’s targeted by a deadly enemy. And Sam’s mission goes from investigating an art crime to protecting the woman who’s begun to melt his heart. As danger looms closer, he’ll do anything to save her life—even if it costs him his own.

Links:

 

Connect on Facebook ~ http://www.Facebook.com/SandraOrchard

Subscribe to newsletter ~ http://bit.ly/OrchardNews 

Explore Bonus Features ~ http://sandraorchard.com/extras/bonus-book-features/

Buy Links For Perilous Waters ~ http://sandraorchard.com/books/perilous-waters/

 

Meet Me in Milwaukee, by Katy Lee

Hello Readers!  On April 26, 2014 I am heading to Milwaukee for a fun day out with romanceVey logo readers.  The event is put on by the fabulous and beautiful Barbara Vey, a blogger for Publishers Weekly.  Each year she holds an event called Barbara Vey’s Reader Appreciation Luncheon, and boy, do readers get appreciated!  If you love romance of any and all sub-genres, you don’t want to miss this day made just for you.  There will be gifts and favors and books and conversations and books and…well you get the idea.  But if you want the details, click on Barbara’s site here.

There will be 40+ awesome and talented authors, each with their own table, and readers get to choose the author they want to hang with for lunch.  Seats are limited on a first come first serve basis, which is why I am getting this message out to you now.  I don’t want you to miss your opportunity to sit with your favorite author…or perhaps, you want to meet new-to-you authors.  Go for it!  Head to Barbara’s website to check the author list and scroll down to sign up.

Me and Barbara at RWA
Me and Barbara at RWA

And if you’re still not sure, let me tell you about the Keynote Speaker.  Perhaps you’ve heard of her?  She’s goes by the name of Debbie Macomber.

Debbie Macomber is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of today’s most popular writers with more than 170 million copies of her books in print worldwide. Macomber brings to life the compelling relationships that embrace family, community and enduring friendships, filling her readers with a sense of love and hope.

Macomber is the author of more than 100 novels, most recently the instant #1 New York Times bestseller Starting Now, and The Inn at Rose Harbor; two bestselling cookbooks; numerous inspirational and nonfiction works; two acclaimed children’s books and the Mrs. Miracle Christmas novels.  She is also the author of beloved and bestselling series of novels set in Cedar Cove, Washington on which Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove, Hallmark Channel’s first dramatic scripted television series, is based. She is the recipient of a RITA® award; an RT Book Reviews Lifetime Achievement Award, and is a multiple winner of both the Holt Medallion and the B. Dalton Award. In 2010, the Romance Writers of America presented Macomber with their prestigious Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award.

And she taught me how to knit!  Seriously.  I owe all this fine handy work to her.

Katy Lee Books' Sock Monkeys
Katy Lee Books’ Sock Monkeys

She is a wealth of knowledge.  You will be so glad you came to hear her, and I will be so glad to meet you, either at my table or during the meet and greet!  Start planning today!  And stay tuned to see what my table favors will look like.  Oh, the possibilities!  And if you have any questions, feel free to ask. 

Harlequin’s Search for a Killer Voice

Announcing! The Search for a Killer Voice!

This is Katy Lee, and as many of you know, I sold to Love Inspired Suspense on one of their pitch contests. I have since gone on to sell two more books and hopefully many, many more to come. Seeing as I am a “success” with these contests, I can’t help but be a cheerleader for the latest and greatest contest, The Search for the Killer Voice. If you are an Inspirational Romantic Suspense writer, I do hope you will give it a shot and send your first page in.

Now, here are the details:

The Search for a Killer Voice photo

Love Inspired Suspense is on the search for some new superstar authors, and we want you! If you think you’ve got the chops to wow us with your high intensity, fast paced inspirational romantic suspense manuscript, we encourage you to pitch it to us in The Search for a Killer Voice!

For this pitch opportunity, Love Inspired Suspense editors Emily RodmellElizabeth MazerShana AsaroGiselle Regus and Emily Krupin will be on the lookout for fresh talent. We invite you to show us that you’re the total package in these four stages:

1. Voice—Demonstrate that you’ve got the voice to keep readers on the edge of their seats by submitting your first page. Authors who wow us will move on to Stage 2.
2. Plot—Show us that your plotting skills are as strong as your voice by submitting your synopsis. Authors that have an amazing plot and conflict will move on to Stage 3.
3. Substance—Prove that the first page wasn’t a fluke by offering us a bit more of what you got and submitting three chapters. Authors who keep the story racing along will move on to Stage 4.
4. Full package—Convince us you’re the real deal by submitting your full manuscript. The sky’s the limit for these authors. A contract could be within your reach if you bring it all together into a rockin’ Love Inspired Suspense manuscript.

If you make it through, you could be the next contracted author for Love Inspired Suspense. But we won’t leave you to do it all on your own. We’ll be sharing helpful master class blog posts along the way telling you exactly what is required in a “killer” Love Inspired Suspense manuscript. And once we decide who will be getting a synopsis request, each editor will choose a team of authors. So you’ll know exactly who is looking at your book throughout the stages, and you can ask questions on our individual bio threads. Every author who makes it to stage 4 will receive an initial decision (contract, reject or revision request) on their submissions by August 8.

Here’s our timeline: 
ROUND ONE
February 12
 – START WITH A BANG round. Submit the first page of your inspirational romantic suspense manuscript targeted toward Love Inspired Suspense to LISPitch2014@harlequin.ca from today until March 14.
March 14 – All first pages must be in house. Editorial team will review the entries over the next 2 weeks and choose the most exciting voices to move on to the next stage.

ROUND TWO
March 28
 – HOLD ON TIGHT round. Editors will announce which entries will be moving on to the next round. Chosen entries will be selected by the 5 editors to form our teams. The authors on the teams will be invited to submit their synopsis by April 7 to the email box.
April 7 – All synopses must be in house. Editors will review the submissions from their team over the next 3 weeks and choose the ones whose plots back up the potential in their voice to move on to the next stage.

ROUND THREE
April 28
 – REEL US IN round. Editors will review the synopses and announce which authors on our teams will be going to the next round. Qualifying authors will be invited to submit their first three chapters.
May 8 – All entries of the first three chapters must be in house. Editors will review the submissions from their team over the next 3 weeks and narrow down the ones that maintain the intensity we saw in the first page to move on to the final stage.

ROUND FOUR
May 29
 – SEAL THE DEAL round. Editors will announce which of our team members will be going on to the final round. Qualifying authors will be invited to submit their complete manuscript. Authors who are not moving on will privately receive personalized feedback. Authors who are moving on will have until June 9 to submit their full manuscripts.
June 9 – All full manuscripts must be in house. Editors will review the submissions from their team and decide next steps. During the next 60 days, decisions will be made to contract, send a revision letter, or reject each of the stories. All authors who submit full manuscripts will receive notification of our decision within this time frame.

FINAL RESULTS!!
August 8
 – We will announce the results of the pitch in a blog post that wraps up the pitch, shares our thoughts on the highs and lows, highlights any sales and gives stats on the results for the full manuscript submissions.

Sound exciting? If you think you could rock this pitch, get ready to show us your stuff. Read our team bios, the info on formatting guidelines, and the blog on an amazing first page, then start those books. Be sure to follow the guidelines for Love Inspired Suspense. Only one entry per author, please. Deadlines are tight, so keep writing while you’re waiting to hear back. And if your book is complete now, don’t forget to tell us in your email. You never know. We might want to pounce on your killer voice right away.  Ready, set, GO!

Getting Back on your Luge

Olympic-RingsHappy Olympic Games! These two weeks every two years bring great excitement to my home. Winter or summer, doesn’t matter, we are glued to the games. We enjoy it all–wins, defeats, but especially the personal victories.

I’m sure you have all seen Shiva Keshavan get back on his luge as he raced down the course after falling off at a deadly speed . What an amazing victory, not to mention he’ll be known forever.

Stories like Shiva’s are the ones I can relate to. I think we all can. There we are, racing toward our dream, and Bang! We fall off course. For many, it’s the end, maybe out of fear or discouragement or anger. We say we tried, and no one will fault you, because you did.

But what if you get back on the course? What if you use every last ounce of determination to take one step toward the goal again? Or in Shiva’s case, get that luge back under you. What if you move every part of your mind, body and soul until you are back in the race again? There’s still no promise of a win, but I think it’s safe to say you sure will be remembered differently.

You’ll be remembered as the one who got back on the course and back in the game. A victory in itself.

So, whatever it is you are racing toward. Expect to be pushed/knocked/beaten off course. It’s a given, and everyone will even expect you to accept it.

Be the one they remember who didn’t.

Keep moving and play hard, and enjoy the games!

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Grave Danger by Katy Lee: Cover Revealed!

I don’t think I will ever tire of receiving my book covers. It is such an exciting email to receive. Although, I will admit I open them slowly and with one eye shut. It’s kind of like one of those trick cans that might or might not explode snakes in your face. Do you remember those? When my brother was little he thought “tricking” people, or I should say me, into opening them was the funniest thing. Me: not so much.

But back to the unveiling of Grave Danger. My childhood scars can wait. My point is, when I receive the email with my book covers, I really don’t know what the art department put together to express the story I have written. So that moment of clicking Open Attachment is definitely a breath-holding moment.

It soon becomes a sighing-smile moment, though. I shouldn’t fret. The artists know the market and what the readers like. I can trust that to be so. They have mine and the publisher’s best interests at heart.

And now for the second book that takes place on Stepping Stones Island, Maine, where the lobster traps are always full and romance awaits even the hardest of hearts. Here is Grave Danger.

9780373445974 (1)

BONES OF CONTENTION

When skeletal remains are found on a small Maine island, forensic anthropologist Lydia Muir is sent to investigate. It’s Lydia’s job to determine whether the homicide happened long ago—or more recently. Island sheriff Wesley Grant seems sure the murder didn’t happen on his watch. But when Lydia uncovers the victim’s identity, someone goes to great lengths to get Lydia off the island. Wes vows to protect her, but is the handsome lawman holding something back? To help catch a killer, she’ll have to trust him—or become the next victim.

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

And now to show how the art department at Harlequin carried the seascape scene over from book one, Warning Signs, here is the first cover in the Stepping Stones Island series.

Warning Signs Cover

After these two, I am looking forward to seeing the cover of book three, Sunken Treasure, which will release in September. (I’m sure I don’t need to tell you what that one is about.) Maybe I’ll open that email with both eyes open. Maybe.

Readers, I do hope you will check out Grave Danger this coming May. It is available for preorder, and you can add it to your Goodreads TBR pile now by clicking here.

Thank you for stopping by for the unveiling!

No One to Trust by Lynette Eason: Romantic Suspense Review

No One to Trust is the type of story that reminds me why I write romantic suspense. EasonNOTTWOW! pretty much sums it up. From the first page to literally the last word on the last page, the book it tightly plotted, full of surprises, and creatively written. Lynette Eason is off to a great start with this new series called Hidden Identity.

Here’s a bit of the details:

Summer Abernathy wakes up one morning to find her husband missing, three men in her home intent on finding him, and the life she’s been living based on a lie. Which Kyle Abernathy did she marry? The computer programmer she met in line at the bank? Or the one who was apparently using that image as a cover story?

The search for her husband–and answers–takes Summer ever deeper into a world of organized crime where people are used one moment and discarded the next. And with her deepest relationship of trust already shattered, Summer doesn’t know who to believe.

And when it says “discarded” lives, they mean it. Just when I warmed up to a character…bang, gone, or something happens to them that causes heart pangs. And speaking of heart pangs, the romance thread of the story is a real heart-wrenching story line. The author carries the conflict through and never makes it forced, but keeps the emotions real and human, betrayal being one of the main themes in the book.

I give this story 5 stars, and am looking forward to book two: Nowhere to Turn this fall.

*Thank you to Revell, the publisher, for sending me a copy for my honest opinion of the book. I will cherish it as a keeper.

 

Martin Roth’s Brother Half Angel is .99Cents

Martin Roth is the author of numerous books. The Kindle edition of his novel “Brother Half Angel” is part of a special promotion from December 1 to December 16, reduced in price from $3.99 to $0.99.

Book Launch

Martin, please tell us about “Brother Half Angel.” In particular, where does the title come from?

BHABrother Half Angel is the name of the book’s hero. He’s a very abrasive Korean-American military man who lost his forearm in a mission that went tragically wrong. The angel tattoo on his arm became just half an angel, and hence his name.

He is now the leader of a secret new church military order, dedicated to helping Christians under attack around the world. In the book he is dispatched urgently to China, where an underground seminary is under siege from fanatical sword-wielding members of a local cult who still pay homage to the bloodthirsty extremists who tried to expel all foreigners from China in the nineteenth century.

And this book is part of a series, is that right?

Yes, it’s the first in a series of international thrillers. So far there are five in the series, each taking place in a different part of the world.

Are they just an exciting read, or are they something more than that? Do they have a message of some kind?

They definitely have a message. I am very concerned about the issue of the persecution of Christians, and the books focus on that. I am trying to show readers that persecution is a living reality for Christians in many parts of the world.

So the first book in the series, “Brother Half Angel,” looks at China. The second, “The Maria Kannon,” is about North Korea. The third, “Military Orders,” is not so much about persecution, though it does discuss religious freedoms in Tibet. And the fourth and the fifth books are about Muslim persecution of Christians in Africa and in Egypt.

Do Christians in the West care about all this persecution that is taking place?

A lot do. But sadly I also think that some Western Christians really do not understand how many of our Christian brothers and sisters – particularly in the Muslim world – are facing levels of persecution that are almost as bad as at any time in history.

In countries like Egypt and Syria, where the church has existed for many centuries – long before the Muslim religion even came into being – Christians are being forced out of their homes and are being forced to flee. I hope my books might raise awareness of these issues.

Please tell us a little about your own background?

I’m a long-time journalist. I lived in Tokyo for 17 years, much of that time working as a foreign correspondent. It had always been my dream to write novels, and now I’m living in Melbourne, Australia, with my family, and I’m fulfilling that dream.

How can people buy your books?

I have an Amazon page (https://www.amazon.com/author/martinroth) and my own website (http://www.authormartinroth.com).

But “Brother Half Angel” is part of a special promotion being organized by a writers’ group of which I’m a member, the John 3:16 Marketing Network. Not only is it reduced in price, but if you go to a special landing page between December 1 and December 16 (http://www.john316marketingnetwork.com/christian-book-launches/) you have the chance to win prizes.

Brother Half Angel

A military operation gone tragically wrong. An elite commando loses his forearm. The angel tattooed onto his arm is sliced in half. And the man acquires a new nickname.

Brother Half Angel is the leader of a secret new church military order, dedicated to helping Christians under attack around the world.

In this book, the first in the Brother Half Angel series, he is dispatched urgently to China, where an underground seminary is under siege from fanatical sword-wielding members of a local cult who still pay homage to the bloodthirsty extremists who tried to expel all foreigners from China in the nineteenth century.

But at the same time the seminary has its own internal divisions. The director, Uncle Ling, a hero of the underground Chinese church, holds secrets that he cannot reveal.

And now the tensions are threatening the marriage of idealistic young American missionary Daniel Westloke and his wife Jenny.

Relentless suspense is the hallmark of this gripping thriller.

But it is also a book that raises serious questions – how far can Christians go to defend themselves? When should they turn the other cheek? What happens when a Christian kills in self-defense? And should those who live by the sword really expect to die by the sword?

More About Martin Roth

Martin Roth is a veteran journalist and foreign correspondent whose reports from Asia Martinhave appeared in leading publications around the world, including the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and The Guardian. He is the author of many books.

His Brother Half Angel international thrillers focus on the persecuted church. They feature Brother Half Angel, an abrasive former military man who heads a clandestine new military order that is dedicated to fighting for the rights of persecuted Christians around the world.

The five books in the series are “The Coptic Martyr of Cairo,” “Brother Half Angel,” “The Maria Kannon,” “Military Orders” and “Festival in the Desert.”

He is also the author of the Johnny Ravine private eye series, with “Prophets and Loss,” “Hot Rock Dreaming” (Australian Christian Book of the Year finalist) and “Burning at the Boss,” and the Feisty Ferreira series of financial thrillers – “Tokyo Bossa Nova” and “The Kalgoorlie Skimpy.”

He lives in Australia with his Korean wife and three sons.