Monthly Archives: July 2015

Free Sample of a Free Book – Riverton Road Monday

Free - Image 1A WRONG WAY HOME – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 1

Prologue

 Anthony Benton

Anthony Benton wasn’t in the habit of walking across the lawn to his condo complex, especially not on a miserable night like this one. He valued his Bruno Magli’s too much for that. What if somebody saw him slipping and scrambling through wet leaves like a snake in the grass?

Good thing nobody important enough to care about would be out here in this damned weather. It was supposed to be spring, but you’d never guess that in this godforsaken place.

Spindly young trees whipped in the wind as far as their short trunks would bend while Anthony counted the weeks backward in his mind – one, two, three, four, a month. This crap had only been going on for a month. Aggravation made it feel a lot longer.

He woke up each morning with anger churning inside him. He could barely remember when he didn’t have to think about things like whether taking the straight route across the lawn was safer than the longer way around the curved sidewalk.

How could he have ended up in such a humiliating position? Scurrying from his car to his house like a scared animal. He’d worked too hard making himself into Anthony Benton for this to be happening. Worst of all, there was nowhere in this jerkwater town he could turn for help.

What was he supposed to say? “My dim bulb ex-wife is persecuting me?”  He’d be the butt of jokes from every hayseed in the county. Too many people envied him, and most of them were dim bulbs too. He’d have to put up with their sneers or be roasted all the more. That’s how it was in a place like Riverton.

The damp mist had turned into steady drizzle. Anthony cursed under his breath and walked faster. He’d left his umbrella in the car. A month ago he would never have made that miscal­culation.

He’d have had a plan all laid out in his mind with each step thought through and not a single flaw in the thinking. He’d have grabbed the umbrella from under the driver’s seat and had it at the ready in the outside pocket of his briefcase.

He’d parked under those dripping trees tonight because the walkway to the complex was only a few yards across the macadam from there. He’d done that because of her, to cut down on the chance she’d catch up to him between the car and the building, the way she did two nights ago.

She’d shouted and sniveled and grabbed at his clothes. He was sure some of his neighbors must have witnessed the scene from their windows. She’d made threats, too, said she’d get a gun and come after him.

He’d itched to pick her up and throw her as hard as he could onto the pavement right then. He was plenty strong enough to do that. He’d picked her up and thrown her before, but that was in private. If he laid a hand on her in public and somebody saw it, he’d be the one in trouble.

That’s how it went these days with bitches like her. They’d whine about being victims and everybody was on their side. But he knew what to do about that. When payback time came for all of this, he intended his revenge to be very sweet, with an extra measure of punishment for the soggy leaves on his car. And he’d make sure payback time came soon.

The wind picked up in a chill, wet blast down Anthony’s neck. He didn’t have a raincoat any more than he had an umbrella. He hunched as far as he could into his saturated shirt collar. Payback was on its way for this, too. He’d make her regret every discomfort he’d suffered because of her. He’d commit himself a thousand percent to that happening.

She whined about how unhappy he’d made her in the past. Those days would feel like a kindergarten picnic compared to what was coming in return for these past four weeks. With tonight at the top of his list of reasons for making her sorrier than she ever thought she could be.

He hated her so much it almost warmed him up on this frigid night. He hated her so much he’d love to choke her dead with his bare hands, squeeze harder and harder till he felt her bones snap under his fingers.

As soon as he could figure out a way to kill her, he’d do it, not with his own hands because he’d be too likely to get caught. He’d have her killed without a second thought or a single regret. He knew guys who’d do that for a price, one guy in particular.

The bitch deserved it, but that pleasure would have to wait. Right now all he wanted was to get out of this rain and into the classy condo he loved almost as much as he loved his car.

Anthony flashed on an image of Victoria opening the door the way she liked to do every now and then, wearing nothing but the fur coat he bought her last Christmas. She wasn’t anything like his ex-wife.

Victoria was the kind of woman who knew how to make a man feel good. He almost smiled. Maybe it was the vision of Victoria slowly opening the coat for him that caused Anthony to relax his cautiousness for just an instant.

Or, maybe he was forced to pay too close attention to his footing. The harsh Northern New York State winter, the first since this condo complex was com­pleted, had already heaved some flagstones out of line with the others, making for treacherous walking in the cold April rain.

Whatever the distraction may have been, Anthony didn’t hear the footsteps behind him or sense the jagged rock lifted above his head as he finally reached the top of the stairwell leading down to the basement service door that was the building entrance closest to the parking area.

He did have time to feel the edge of sharp pain and hear a voice echo out of long-ago memory. It was his mother calling to him, though she’d been dead a dozen years.

“Be careful, Tonio!  Don’t fall!”

Then everything went black and silent for Tonio Bento, aka Anthony Benton, and would remain that way forever.

RR

 A Wrong Way Home – the eBook – is FREE at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T9RVGGC. Also at Barnes & Noble and iBooks and KOBO. This is my 12th novel and I’m thrilled to make a gift of it to you. Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.

 

Poking Around & Making Lists – Orr What? Wednesday

Cliffhanger imageI’m a member of the generation just before the cusp of tech-everything. I was born into pages between hard covers. I’ve lived through soft covers and back into hard ones again. Only now they enclose computers and devices.

I’ve spent too much time hanging off the edge of that cusp. Barely keeping up. Certainly not abreast of the new thing. And there always is a new thing.

Still I’m feeling more in control where I am these days and not because my arm muscles are any more equal to hanging onto the edge of things. I simply have a better fix on where the new tech and the old non-tech fit into my hierarchy of needs.

Succinctly put – new tech for me is about poking around. While old non-tech is – as it always has been – about making lists.

A visitor to my office glanced at my laptop one day and made this remarkable statement. “Do you realize you have the Library of Congress on your desk?”

I did not realize that but it has stuck with me ever since as a pivotal piece of information. Because I know what I’d do if I were left on my own in the Library of Congress with nobody around to badger me with the rules. “Don’t touch that.” “Stay out of there.”

Without those guardians and gatekeepers admonishing me to behave I know exactly what I’d do. I would Poke Around.

The deluge of marketing I’ve created recently – in the preparation for and the wake of launching one book and taking another permafree – has taught me something crucial.

New tech is the seventh heaven of poking around. Not so much for finding answers as for ferreting out directions and discovering approaches.

Poke around over here and you are sent over there. Everywhere you go there’s information. Google a question. Get pages of possibilities. Each page an overstuffed attic of cubbyholes and corners – for poking around.

That’s where old non-tech and Making Lists come in. I cull the pieces of information I’ve poked loose from my new tech explorations. The ones most relevant to my projects. Then I write them down. You read that correctly. I write them down with a pen on paper. Remember them?

I’m personally best satisfied when collecting my cullings in notebooks. Maybe because as a writer I possess a primal urge to see my words in print on pages between covers.

Of course the pages within those covers are in turn covered with lists. I don’t know a multi-tasker worthy of her personal organizing system who doesn’t live by lists.

Thus the Library of Congress meets the moleskin-clad number I carry in my handbag and I am at ease. Perhaps not on the cutting edge but not stretching my poor arms into rubber strings either. I poke around and make my lists and am well served by both.

Now all I need is – well I guess – nothing. Except maybe world peace and a trust fund. We’ll chat about those another time.

RR

 A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – is available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZBOTH5O. The eBook version of Book #1 is FREE. A Wrong Way Home – at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T9RVGGC and other digital retailers. These are my 12th and 13th novels and I did a lot of poking around and making lists with both of them. Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.

 

THIS BOOK IS FREE!

THIS BOOK IS FREE!

A Wrong Way Home – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 1 –

GET A FREE EBOOK at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T9RVGGC

Free Book image 2“I loved it. AND I’m looking forward to reading the next in this series. The story was fast moving, believable, exciting, and well-developed. It’s important for me to like the characters in a book, yet they have to have some flaws, be three dimensional and “real.” Alice Orr delivered.” Amazon Review.

This is the first time I’ve made a book Permafree. A Wrong Way Home – the eBook will be a gift from now on to everyone. That’s how much I want to introduce you to my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series. This is Book 1 of the series.

“Romance, murder mystery, suspense, and in this book a heroine who is able to take care of herself and doesn’t need to be rescued by the hero. Can’t wait to see how the series grows.” Amazon Review.

Free Book image 1I’m thrilled by the enthusiastic reviews that have greeted A Wrong Way Home and welcomed me to the world of series writing which I love. Diving deeper with each book into the family and the small town and the deadly intrigues that are the core of the series are an adventure for me.

“I highly recommend this page-turner which is romance and suspense at its best.” Amazon Review.

Click the amazon.com link to get your free eBook http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T9RVGGC or go to my website for your free eBook from Nook or iBooks or Kobo and more. Find them at www.aliceorrbooks.com on the home page under the book cover of A Wrong Way Home.

AliceOrr_AWrongWayHome_POD[1][1]RR

 A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 is also available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZBOTH5O. Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com.

 

The City Romances Your Book – Ask Alice Saturday

Sunset Downtown NYC SkylineQuestion: How do I get attention for my little book in a big town?

Answer: First you stop thinking of your book as little. Definitely never speak of it that way. After you get over that – Persist Till You Prevail. Persist at your marketing plan which works the same way anywhere. It works from the inside out.

Walk out your front door. Look up and down the street. Don’t look at tall buildings or hurrying crowds. That’s how a tourist sees a city. A local resident sees it as a collection of neighborhoods. Each one different – like a collection of small towns.

Walk down your street. Really look and really see. Walk to the nearest coffee shop and sit down with your notebook. You did bring a notebook. You’re a writer after all. Order a java or fancy bottled water or – in my case – a Diet Coke and write these questions in your notebook. Answer them there too.

  1. What is the Spirit of my neighborhood? Trust your instincts. Don’t overthink. You might want to re-word this as – What is the FEEL of my neighborhood?
  1. What gives my neighborhood this Spirit and Feel? Be specific. You’re talking about overall uniqueness then breaking that down into these component parts. The organizations that function here. The stores and businesses that thrive here. The places where people gather here – people of all ages – including the elders. The places of worship – all denominations of worship and spiritual groups. Plus the venues that you brainstorm on your own.
  1. Where/how can I find out about my neighborhood? Is there such a thing as a paper and print yellow pages anymore? Maybe a Business to Business edition? And don’t underestimate the giveaway papers and pamphlets. Everything going on around you is in one of those. This is micro research – the Open Sesame to a neighborhood fan base.
  1. What do I have to offer that will appeal here? What about your story could strike a neighborhood note? Every situation and location will be individual to you and your place. Think – Imagine – Find your way to being noticed here.

For example my media mentor Maria Ferrer has a wonderful idea for my series set in Riverton NY. The town has a café called Ginny’s Coffee Corner that figures prominently in each story. Maria says to hold events in a coffee shop in my neighborhood and dub it Ginny’s for the day.

I’ve taken a step in that direction by offering giveaways of my favorite coffee mug. Go to my website www.aliceorrbooks.com. Sign up for my newsletter where you’ll find out how to participate in the “I Want to Share a Cuppa with Alice” coffee mug raffle.

I think you get the idea. Start from your home base to find your first fan base and reach out farther from there. Tell your fan base folks to spread the word beyond your address and your address book to theirs. And so it goes. You romance your home city. Then you and your books move on to romance the world.

RR

A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – is available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZBOTH5O.  Book #1 – A Wrong Way Home – the eBook – is FREE at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T9RVGGC. These are my 12th and 13th novels and they’ve had a true romance everywhere from the start. Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.

 

Ginny Gives Us the Skinny – Riverton Road Monday

Interview with Ginny Simmons at Ginny’s Coffee Corner in Riverton NY

Go Confidently Mug on DeskCurious Questioner: Excuse me, Ginny. I understand you own this place. Could we possibly sit down for a minute and talk?

Ginny Simmons: We can talk, honey. But I hardly ever sit down. Why don’t you just try to keep up while I take care of my paying customers?

CQ (Hurrying after Ginny between pink and white booths as she refills mugs from the carafe in her hand.): What’s it like to be a woman running a business in a town like Riverton?

GS: Good morning darlin. (Ginny bends over a table while the man she’s greeted with a smile and a wink stares as if in a trance at her ample cleavage.)You just let me know if there’s anything else you need.

CQ (Still shadowing Ginny as she leaves that table and steps back to survey the room with booths along one side and a counter along the other.): Do you always flirt with your customers like that?

GS: Honey, you asked me what it’s like to be a woman doing business in this town. My business is hospitality and most of the people who come in here in the morning are men on their way to a long day of working hard. My job is to put a little lift in their step and a big smile on their faces.

CQ: And they know there’s nothing more to it than that?

GS (Turning with a hand on her hip toward CQ): Well, honey. If they don’t, they aren’t old enough or smart enough to be drinking anything with caffeine in it.

CQ: I’ve heard you know a man named Gus Kalli. Is he old enough and smart enough?

GS (Starts to walk away then doesn’t.) Gus Kalli is more than enough of just about everything. But most of all he’s more than enough of a man to take care of his family. Those four handsome hunks of son he has couldn’t have a better father than Gus. He’s been known to take in strays too, kids and even adults who need the kind of family that gives a hoot what happens to you. His wife Angela’s a good sort too. If she wasn’t, I might take a run at Gus myself. But she is, so I won’t. You can quote me on that.

CQ: It’s my understanding that the Kalli’s have been in the middle of serious trouble more than once. The kind of trouble that has go do with murder. What do you think about that?

GS: Well there, honey. It seems to me you shouldn’t talk about understanding much of anything if you don’t know life’s got trouble in it for everybody, here in Riverton and everyplace else in this world. You’ve just got to have what it takes to stand up on your hind legs and take care of business. The way the Kalli’s always do and the way I’m going to do right now.

GS flashes a smile and a wink before leaving CQ behind and moving on to the two gentlemen in the next booth): Good morning sweethearts. What can I do for you today?

RR

 A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 is available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZBOTH5O, This is Alice’s 13th novel. Stop on over for a cuppa at Ginny’s Coffee Corner and a good read too. Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com.

Win a mug like the one in the picture above by sending an email to aliceorrbooks@gmail.com that says “I want to have a cuppa with Alice.”

 

Let’s All Be Free at Last – Ask Alice Saturday

Celebration image 5Question: It’s Independence Day. What do you want to be free of as a writer?

Answer: I wish for myself and all of my writer friends to free ourselves from the tyranny of our expectations.

I launched a book several days ago. Yet my celebration of that accomplishment is shadowed by my disappointment with myself. What did I not do well enough? What did I do too much?

I’m not saying a thorough debrief isn’t called for at the end of any major undertaking. Of course we should evaluate. Of course we should learn from our mistakes.

What I am saying is this. I find myself and too many other writers failing to congratulate our achievements. Failing to say – “I did that just right.” Or even – “I did that just right enough.”

Someone else had to remind me. “Look how far you’ve come in the past year. Look how much you’ve learned.” Typically I responded with a litany of my sins of omission. The things I’d left undone.

I was altogether wrong in that. A backward glance was in order. As I have absolutely no doubt it is also in order for you. Where were you a year ago today? Where was your career twelve months in the past?

Stop a moment right now. Take out a piece of paper and a pen. Cast yourself back a year. Ask yourself this question. “A year ago what were the 3 things I most wanted to accomplish in my writing career?”

Don’t overthink it. Let your first 3 thoughts be your best 3 thoughts. Write each down and leave a generous space blank after it. Put the paper aside and come back here with me for a bit.

In my opinion the worst of our sins of omission is committed when we fail to relish our experience. Stop another moment now and consider what it is we do. We set down words in a configuration that is brand new. Entirely our own creation.

We invent stories. We articulate thoughts. We build pictures from syllables. And if we are doing these precious activities as we should – we enjoy most of it.

This is a gift we’ve been given. A gift worthy of recognition and reveling. When we fail to do so we’ve fallen victim to the tyranny of our own expectations. We have forgotten to honor what we did accomplish by wallowing in what we haven’t yet accomplished.

Return to the piece of paper and your 3 hopeful ambitions for the year just past. After each one record every step you’ve taken along the path to that goal. The short steps – the long strides – the hops and hobbles in between. I’ll do it with you.

Fill the blank spaces. Carry onto the back of the page and across the desk and up the wall. Crowding the room with a record of our writerly deeds. We’ll read them over. Recognize and revel. Then we will have triumphed over tyranny and be free at last. Happy Independence Day.

RR

My current novel is A Year of Summer Shadows – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 2 – available in eBook and paperback at amazon.com/author/aliceorr and other outlets online. A Wrong Way Home – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 1 – the eBook – will be free for download soon at those same outlets. These are my 12th and 13th novels and I set myself free at last to honor them both. Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com.