Dr. Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)


The United States lost an icon today when Dr. Maya Angelou passed away. If, somehow, you haven’t read I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, it needs to go to the top of your TBR pile. In the meantime, listen to her perform one of her famous poems, And Still I Rise.

May you rest in peace, Dr. Angelou.

Covert Series Giveaway

covert cover cracked
I’m thrilled to be the weekend spotlight author for Ebook Escapes! I had fun answering the questions and talking about the series, so head on over and see what I had to say.

And no, I still haven’t figured out how to make the Sims people move. If anyone has any tips, I’m open to hearing them!

Ebook Escapes is also hosting a giveaway: one winner will win the first three books in the Covert Series: Covert Assignment, Covert Interview, and Covert Cover Cracked. Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

The New Look of the Covert Series

Covert Series Books 1 - 3

 

I’m sure many of you noticed that the Covert Series had a new look with the release of Covert Cover Cracked. Just so we’re clear: there are NO changes to Covert Assignment and Covert Interview. They’re the same books that came out in November: only the covers are different. I don’t want anyone to accidentally buy the books twice; I can imagine how that would be a little, well, upsetting.

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am to see Elle’s third book come out. This is where she finally gets her HEA! I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrating it’s been to deal with all the delays; I intended for this book to be out by Christmas. Production issues, and then health issues on my end, caused quite a hold up. I’m sorry for that!

There are some questions I keep getting, so I wanted to take this opportunity to answer them.

The first is about Elle’s love life.

Q: Is Elle going to find the right guy or just keep dating guys?

A: She IS going to find the right guy. She finds him in Covert Cover Cracked. Although Elle thought she had her “adult life” all figured out in college, what she had to learn was that the possibilities out there in the “real world” were greater than she ever imagined. In Covert Assignment her relationship with Preston was part of “opening up that door,” so to speak, to all these possibilities she hadn’t considered.  It didn’t necessarily make him the guy she should settle down with. In Covert Interview Elle learned that the hard way, but she came back from her disappointment. I think this is a key experience in growing up, which is why I had her go through that.

Another question I’m getting asked a lot is what’s going to happen next in the Covert Series.

Q: Is the Covert Series a trilogy that’s going to end?

A: Initially, that was my plan. Yet Covert Cover Cracked didn’t work, partly because I had too much planned for that book. By the end of Covert Cover Cracked, Elle is set up to have the life she wanted, both personally and professionally. The one thing she hasn’t really dealt with, however, is her family. In my experience, family issues have a way of rearing their ugly heads just when we think we’ve moved beyond them as an adult. It’s what makes the holidays and big events like weddings so stressful. Elle will be no different. There’s also the little complication of Michael Kagen (make sure you don’t miss the epilogue in Covert Cover Cracked). Elle and Reese aren’t going to have an easy time of it when they’re ready to take the next step. Her personal and professional lives will REALLY collide in Covert Series Book #5.

Then I had an idea for another book in the Covert Series, involving some other characters. The idea just will not leave me alone, which tells me I need to write it. So it’s going to be Covert Series Book #4.  Stay tuned: I bet you can’t guess what it’ll be ;).

One other change: Amazon Prime members can now borrow any book in the Covert Series for FREE.

Win A $50 Gift Card & Learn About Great #books #amreading

WIN $50

Happy Monday! I’ve got some exciting news coming up very soon, but why not kick off the week with a giveaway? I’m always on the lookout for a different book to read, and who doesn’t want a gift card?  HELLO. Today we can combine the two! Welcome to the April Easy Money Giveaway. First, take a look at an amazing book that’s one of the giveaway sponsors.

How To Save a World From Dying

by Carl S. Plumer

How To Save A World From Dying
When the women of his dreams is kidnapped by giant demons from outer space (you read that right), a comatose hero must awaken from his coma, come to terms with his robotic upgrades and save his girl AND the planet. By the end of the tale, both lovers are transformed in ways they never could have imagined. A love story set in the future where anything can, and pretty much does, happen.

Scenes of extreme violence
Mild sexual content
Parental Guidance Suggested

Genre: Science Fiction
Subgenres:

  • Dystopia/Utopia
  • Post-Apocalyptic Love Story
  • Technology, Virtual Reality, & Artificial Intelligence
  • Alternate History
  • Horror
  • Humor

Buy Now! 

About the Author: CARL S. PLUMER was born in New York City, holds advanced degrees in writing, and has spent his life surrounded by words. He’s delivered newspapers, worked at a printing press, managed a bookstore, taught writing, wrote for literary magazines, published technical and fiction books, and has always considered himself a writer. His first novel, Mad About Undead You, was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarterfinalist and a National Indie Excellence Award Finalist.

You can enter the April Easy Money Giveaway at: a Rafflecopter giveaway!

 

Meet Agent Elle Paquet: Covert Cover Cracked Sneak Peek

Covert Cover Cracked EbookI am about 99.99999% sure this is how the opening will go, but keep in mind that until I hit “publish,” things could change. A little. But this won’t ;). Meet Agent Elle Paquet in this sneak peek at Covert Cover Cracked!

The cell phone vibrated in Elle’s pocket. Dammit, she’d forgotten to turn it off. Elle checked the text.

Whatever’s in the stacks 2nite will still b there 2morrow. Come play with me.

Lyle. There was no way that was gonna happen. Elle was a little over six hundred miles away from Norfolk in Bermuda. She didn’t have time to send any kind of reply, so she just powered off her phone. She’d have to tell him she hadn’t gotten his message: no reception in the stacks or something like that. For a fleeting moment she felt badly about the lie but didn’t have time to dwell on it. It was part of the job. Right now, she had to focus.

The elevator dinged and the doors slid open. Elle leaned into the heavy cleaning cart and pushed it out. The waiting hotel guests were forced to step back to accommodate the cart, but not one of them looked at her. She was careful not to look them in the eye, either, instead focusing straight ahead. As Mason had told her, “The help doesn’t look guests in the eye.”

Elle tried not to twitch. The starched uniform was itchy. Surely this resort could afford fabric softener? Not for the staff, apparently. She tightened her grip on the cart, determined not to scratch. Being a housekeeper truly was the idea cover, even if it didn’t fit in with her fantasies of herself in a sleek black leather outfit, sprinting through hallways.

Fourteen-oh-one on the right.
Fourteen-oh-two on the left.

“Suite fourteen-fourteen will be on your left, Bookworm. Stay focused.”

The blast of Mason’s voice in her ear caused Elle to jump, despite her training, as she gritted her teeth. Like he needed to rupture her eardrum with that intel. She should’ve checked the volume on her earpiece while assembling her gear. It was one more thing she’d have to remember for the next op.
It was the codename “Bookworm” that had her gritting her teeth, however. Mason was still pissed about her becoming field rated. He’d spent her entire year of field training predicting her imminent failure.

Elle stopped at fourteen-fourteen. She took out her programmed key card and slid it into the lock, pushing the handle down when the light flashed green and the lock clicked. The door was unlocked. She remembered to push down with her wrist, rather than her hand, to avoid leaving fingerprints before pushing the door open.

“Housekeeping,” she murmured as she pushed the door open wider and pulled the cart in behind her. Like anyone was going to hear that. “Housekeeping!” Her voice was louder this time. Even someone in the bedroom would hear that.

“Target is still having drinks in the first floor lounge,” Mason said, “as noted thirteen minutes ago.”

Elle rolled her eyes. Yeah, he was pissed. She couldn’t come back with a retort because she had to stay in the habit of not responding verbally unless absolutely necessary. There was always a possibility someone was still in the hotel suite. The lights were on, but the TV wasn’t. The sound of the door shutting seemed unnaturally loud. She walked through the sitting room; the plush carpet swallowed her footsteps.

The door to the bedroom was partway open. Elle reached to open it further, again being careful not to touch anything, only to find a messy- but empty- bed and an open suitcase.

Noiseless steps through the bedroom to check out the bathroom.

Empty.

Time to get to work. Elle got out her latex gloves and pulled them on, snapping the latex against her skin to make sure the fit was snug.

“Remember your gloves, Bookworm. No prints.”

Elle again jumped at the unexpected direction but bit back a response. She couldn’t resist holding up her gloved hands, however, waving her fingers, making sure the tiny cameras in her stud earrings could pick them up for him to see.

“Keep moving, Bookworm. Get to the suitcase.”

Like she was just going to stand there wiggling her fingers. Elle slid open the door to the closet and moved another suitcase. Below that, on the floor, was a third suitcase. She crouched down, unzipped it and lifted the top, revealing neatly folded clothes. She lifted the clothes out, taking care to keep them folded, and set them down on the floor. Underneath the clothes were two stacks of folders. She lifted those out, careful to keep them in their stacks, and set those down on the floor besides the clothes.

“There’s the false bottom,” Mason said.

Geez, really? Elle gripped the sides of the suitcase and lifted, revealing a hidden compartment. She felt around the back side of the suitcase until her fingers pressed on something that clicked. She pushed what looked like a button, and it came out with a dime-sized disc attached. She held it up to ensure the cameras caught it.

“Bookworm has acquired the disc.”

Elle reached into the pocket of her apron and pulled out a palm-sized disc scanner. She fit the disc into the circular indented space: perfect fit. The tech guys at Langley were good. A tiny green dot lit up, indicating the scanning was occurring successfully.

“Data transmitting,” Mason said.

Despite its size, this disc contained a lot of information. Elle knew she would be there for a few minutes.

“Target has wrapped up his drinks and is leaving the lounge. Stay in position, Bookworm.”

What? He had only just gone down there. Elle forced herself to inhale and then exhale, forcing her shoulders down. No panicking with Mason listening in. She would be damned if she gave him any justification to pull her out of the field now.

“Target is at the elevators. Forty percent of the data has transmitted.” He was in a truck across the street and had “eyes” (which meant cameras) set up throughout the hotel, so he could watch their target pretty much anywhere in the building. He didn’t have eyes in the suite due to a last-minute room switch.

Forty percent.

He was right downstairs, and they didn’t have half of what they needed yet. Shit, shit, shit. Elle resisted the urge to stand up and pace. She realized she had left her cleaning cart in the living room of the suite. If they got in here, how would she explain being in here with her cart in the other room? She should’ve brought the cart back into the bedroom with her. Quadruple shit.

“Target is getting into the elevator. He’s going to floor fourteen.”

Elle could feel a trickle of sweat drip down her lower back.

“Sixty-five percent of the data is transmitted.”

This disc scanner needed to start scanning faster than the blink of an eye, dammit.