Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Treasure of the Battersea Bluffs

Our special guest today is Sarah Norkus. Sarah is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and Toastmasters International.  She has published four books, The Eleventh Summer, a creative non-fiction, Until the Wind Changes, a young adult coming of age journey, and two historical fiction/fantasy novels, The Secret Diary of Sarah Chamberlain and Treasure of the Battersea Bluff. She spent her childhood in the horse country of Lexington, Kentucky and now resides in Virginia with her husband, Michael.


In the old factory district of Petersburg, near the Appomattox River, sits a rundown Palladian Villa known as Battersea. Hidden beneath the floorboards of the east wing lies a skeleton that hasn’t been disturbed for two hundred and forty years.

During the Battersea Days celebration, a panicked mare charges through the villa and opens a hole in the floorboards with her plunging hooves.  Sixteen year-old Emily Grace and her boyfriend, Josh, stand frozen beside a display table as the horse is captured. Curiosity overshadowing caution, Em steps over to the hole and peers inside.  Spying something in the cavity, Em reaches under the planks and unknowingly grasps the delicate finger bones of a skeleton.  A vision explodes in her mind. A young girl in colonial style clothes struggles with a man twice her size. The man slaps her and she falls, hitting her head on a stack of bricks. Em jerks her hand back in horror as she begs, “no, God, no.” She pushes to her feet and vertigo hits her with a vengeance. She staggers a few steps, collapses to the floor, and passes out. When Em awakens, she knows immediately that something is wrong. The display table has disappeared along with the panes of glass from the windows. And it’s quiet as a tomb. She looks through a pane less window. Two hundred people have vanished into thin air.

 In Treasure of the Battersea Bluffs, Em and Josh are unwittingly whisked back in time to the eighteenth century.  As the teens struggle to save the life of the young girl from Em’s vision, their interference incurs the wrath of her would be assailant, Angus Blackburn, and inadvertently draws the teens into his obsessive search for a Scottish Lord’s stolen gems.


 Sam pulled Em off his shoulder dropping her in a puddle at his feet. Blackburn picked up the knife he had dropped to grab the cart horse’s halter and shoved it back into his boot. He strode to Em and yanked her to her feet. With a self-satisfied grin, he brought the pistol up to her temple. He glanced over at Ezra as he twisted to his knees and tried to push to his feet.

“Sam, it does appear as if Ezra wishes to gain his feet. Pull the rope taut to assist him.”

Ezra felt himself being pulled up, the rope strangling him until he gained his feet, and then the rope slackened again.

“Now, lad, your choice.”  Blackburn’s voice was rich with triumph. “Shall I hang the Negro or shoot the lass?”

Josh’s mind went blank with shock.  Ezra stood with the noose around his neck and his face full of defiance. Em was plastered against Blackburn, the pistol to her head and her face a mixture of fear and anger.



Thursday, April 23, 2015

Drawn Together

Today's special guest is Amelia Swan. Amelia writes contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and new adult romance. She’s interested in characters that are smart, sincere, and somewhat artistically inclined. All of her heroines are girls she could totally see herself being friends with.


Hailey Sommers is only home from New York for a few months. So when she reconnects with the one guy she can't forget, will she be able to walk away...again?

Hailey can’t wait to get back to New York City. There she’s a hip children’s book author with a healthy social life. Being back in her hometown of Medford only reminds her of the less-than-cool girl she used to be. Until she runs into Cody, her old partner-in-crime in high school art and the boy she lusted after all four years.

Cody West has everything he could want in Medford, except Hailey. When she left for the big city, there was a hole in his life no other girl could fill. But he’s not sure he wants to open himself to the pain if she leaves again.

A chance encounter at the town coffee shop reignites the chemistry between the pair and is almost enough to make Hailey forget how much she wants to return to the city she’s grown to love. Almost. Wanting it all, Hailey plans to bring Cody back to New York with her. The only catch is that she’s not sure he’ll agree…


I looked up from my netbook screen and there he was: Cody West. The boy I’d lusted after throughout high school. The boy who’d changed my life and didn’t even know it.

He’d grown up since I last saw him at Jessica Mitchell’s graduation party. His sandy hair still cascaded down his forehead, but it no longer perpetually hung down over his big brown eyes. Four years of high school football had kept Cody in shape back when I knew him, but four years of college football had added a little bit of bulk to his lean frame. At least, I assumed he played in college. I knew that he headed off to Temple with a sports scholarship.

Rocking back onto his heels, Cody scanned the glass pastry case, probably looking for something sweet to accompany his coffee. He tossed his hair to the side as he inspected the contents of the case. He always liked sweets. He and I used to pass bags of candy back and forth while Mrs. Cole, our art teacher, wasn't looking. After taking a sip of my cappuccino, I smiled at the memory, glad for the first time that I was back in Medford.


The other day I was wondering who would play Cody and Hailey in a film adaptation of Drawn Together...and that’s when I realized that I’m not familiar with a lot of today’s young actors. So, I was in the car with my husband the other day, and I asked him to name some actors. His answer: Jake Gyllenhaal. Jake Gyllenhaal is 34 years old! He’s older than we are! But he was definitely considered a hot young actor back when we were in high school and college. Boy, did that make me feel old.

So I had to do a little research. Ultimately, after some help from Google and IMDB, I found a couple of actors who would be perfect for the roles of Cody and Hailey.

I think Hailee Steinfeld would be the perfect candidate for the role of Hailey Sommers (and not just because they share the same first name and the same initials). Steinfeld has the long dark hair and the girl next door beauty that are required of the actress chosen to play the part. She is roughly the same age as Hailey, so I think that would make her portrayal more believable.

Tyler Posey of Teen Wolf fame would be an excellent Cody. The actor doesn’t have Cody’s blue eyes, but that’s why colored contacts exist. When Posey’s hair is long, he has the same boyish good looks that make Cody irresistible to all the girls in Medford.


Buy Links:

Amelia Swan will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway