Tag Archives: Book Launch

A Year of Summer Shadows – Riverton Road Monday



A Year of Summer Shadows - Final Cover -JPG file smallThe memory rush didn’t happen immediately.  Todd unlocked the door while Hailey stood behind him on the wide veranda.  He swore softly as he fumbled with the key.  He’d had some trouble getting it in the hole, and when he did the key wouldn’t turn.  She wondered if he might have had a drink or two earlier, before the club.  She took a step backward and pretended to look out over the vast lawn toward the street.  She didn’t want him to know she’d observed his fumbling.  She was that careful of people’s feelings, at least some people’s feelings.

He turned and looked at her, a fleeting glance in the dim light from the carriage lamp wall fixtures on either side of the double, glass-paned door.  Each of the two panes was etched in a smoky pattern of scroll shapes around an M for Massey in script at the center of the design.  Hailey didn’t so much see as remember that monogram in the dim light, but she could see the expression on Todd’s face.  His eyes were uneasy and his smile unnatural, as if to convey that everything was all right while he felt anything but.  Hailey understood then that his problems with the key had nothing to do with how much he’d had to drink.  Todd was nervous.

She wondered if he might be thinking about how she’d never been invited to this house when she was growing up in Riverton.  She and Todd had gone through junior and senior high school together.  He and his family gave lots of parties in that time, but Hailey hadn’t been on the guest list for any of them.  She wasn’t the sort the Masseys wanted in their circle, not back then anyway.  She felt a stir of anger, not untinged by triumph as he finally succeeded with the key.  She was here now, wasn’t she?  If there was ever to be a concrete Riverton affirmation of her current status as a successful woman, a hometown nobody who made good, standing here on this veranda just might be one.  Walking over the thres­hold into the Massey house was another.

She had actually been here once before, but that didn’t count because she was only tagging along with Julia at the time.  Her mother Virginia had insisted on it as one of her very occasional attempts to make a silk purse out of Hailey’s sow’s ear.  The evening didn’t turn out well, but the full picture of its disas­ter didn’t become a visual recollection until Hailey was inside the house and Todd had switched on the lights.  They were standing at the top of the two carpeted oak steps that led down into the gra­cious living room.

Hailey didn’t remember this room at all.  She’d been a junior in high school at the time of her one previ­ous visit.  She imagined the place had been redecorated since then, maybe more than once.  Mrs. Massey had always been known for her exquisite home.  She was most likely the type who updated that exquisiteness, and added a notch to her reputa­tion as a decorator, regularly.  What Hailey guessed to be an Aubusson carpet on the living room floor attested to that reputation being well de­served.

Hailey turned away, partly to squelch the distaste she generally felt in reaction to shows of wealth.  That was when she saw the staircase and the memory picture came.  She’d brought her friend Lucy with her that one other time she was here.  Hailey had understood she was the poor friend Julia had been forced to drag along to the Massey party. Hailey would be on her own once they got here.  The thought of that had terrified her.  What if nobody spoke to her?  That was entirely possible among the snobby types Todd and Julia hung out with.  Hailey knew how humiliating such a snub would be.  Her solution was to bring Lucy.

Even at the time, Hailey wasn’t sure why she’d picked Lucy for that honor.  Maybe because Lucy would jump at the chance to rub shoulders with Todd and his rich friends.  Hailey had been right about that. Lucy was in her glory, or so she thought.  She’d come dressed in her version of high style – a low-necked, tight-bodiced, short-skirted dress and too-high heels.  Her toothy smile clearly signaled that she was ready to make that shoulder-rubbing quite literal with whatever guy might indicate an interest.

Hailey only half-noticed Lucy’s mention that she was going upstairs to “powder her nose” before she’d hip-swayed off and Hailey suddenly realized she was alone.  Just as she’d feared, nobody spoke to her.  Nobody seemed to notice she was there.  Julia had long since disappeared into a crowd of her cronies.  By the time Lucy started back down the staircase from the second floor powder room, Hailey was anxiously awaiting her return.  She smiled upward at Lucy whose own smile swept the room in accompaniment to what she obviously intended as a grand entrance.

Lucy’s smile faded only a little when the slip first happened, and a slip was what it had to be.  If she’d caught her heel in the stair runner, she would have pitched forward.  Instead, she went down backward, onto her rump, but she didn’t stop there.  She continued to slide down the stairs, from one to the next in a bouncing motion, all the way to the bottom.  Hailey should proba­bly have run to the rescue, but she didn’t.  All she could think of at the time was how much she hoped no one would remember she’d come to the party and how much more likely it was that they’d never forget.


 A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – Mark & Hailey’s Story – Launches with summer on June 22nd at amazon.com/author/aliceorr. This is my 13th novel. When you read it see if you can figure out why this scene didn’t make the cut. Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.


Why I’m Counting Down to Summer – Riverton Road Monday

A Year of Summer Shadows - Final Cover -JPG file smallIt’s all about the learning curve – or at least a lot of it is about the learning curve. And independent publishing has a steep one. In fact getting my own books out there is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

A Wrong Way Home is out there in the world right now. I needed my ice axe for scaling that mountain because it was almost vertical and sometimes I felt cold and alone and desperate for a toehold. I slipped – meaning I made mistakes. So many that I’m releasing a revised version later this year. But it will still be Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series – Book #1.

A big thing I learned on this curve climb is that it’s a good idea to write a series. Current wisdom is that readers love reading a series. What’s most important to me is that I love writing a series. I live in Riverton as surely as my characters do. When the Kalli family sits down to dinner I’m right there with them putting my two cents into the conversation then writing it down.

Book #2 – A Year of Summer Shadows – was even more fun to write. I’m hooked deeper in than ever. I want to order a scone at Ginny’s Coffee Corner. I want to stroll around the Promenade in the July sun. But most of all I want to save these people I’ve grown to care so much about from the dangerous force that murders Finley Yates in the Prologue and is hell-bent to kill others too.

Plus there’s Mark and Hailey’s love story. I’m reminded of an old song. “If you don’t believe I love you look at the fool I’ve been. If you don’t think I’m sinking look at the hole I’m in.” These two could sing those lines to each other on every page. Or we could sing those lines for them as we wonder how they can possibly get as together as we want them to be.

Now I’m wondering how I’ll stand the wait until June 22nd. That’s a big day for me. A Year of Summer Shadows launches – along with summer on June 22nd. I’ve got a lot more climbing up that steep learning curve before then. The most precarious part is getting the word out that this launch is happening. The first step on that path is telling you about it here.

I’ll edge out further onto a perilous perch and ask if you’d like me to send you an Advance Reading Copy so you can review the story on Amazon and Goodreads. Wow! Am I in danger of falling off this mountain Orr what? If you’re interested just email me your regular/ground mailing address at aliceorrbooks@gmail.com. I’ll send you the print version and sign it too.

I’m suddenly feeling a bit oxygen deprived from the altitude and I need to save my breath for counting down. One day. Two days. Three days. Before I know it June 22nd will dawn. It will be the second morning of summer and the first day A Year of Summer Shadows steps all the way off the ledge into the world. I’ll be there. I hope you will too. Mark your calendar please.


Forgive me for mentioning one more time that my next story is A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – Mark & Hailey’s Story. Launching with summer on June 22nd at amazon.com/author/aliceorr and on other digital platforms too. This is my lucky 13th novel.  Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com


My First Fiction in 16 Years

Before my new suspense-romance novel A Wrong Way Home came out, I’d published eleven novels and two novellas. But that was a fairly long time in the past. In fact, the last of those fiction books appeared sixteen years ago.

First GrandchildThat time period has special significance for me. Sixteen years ago, my first grandchild was born. One look at her, and I fell in love, so deep I could no longer write fiction. For me, creating stories came from that same deep place, and now that place was otherwise occupied.

I’d been a publishing author and a very busy literary agent for a long time by then. I’d enjoyed both of those roles immensely. But this new incarnation was a whole different level of pleasure altogether. There was only one thing I could do. I gave up my publishing world careers and became a professional grandma.

I’ve never regretted that choice for a moment, and now I have another reason to be happy I made it. I spent most of those sixteen years immersed in my family. They became the thing I cared about most and knew best. It’s not surprising that my new novels are all about family, too.

My Riverton Road Romantic Suspense series tells the stories of the Kalli family — specifically, the stories of the four handsome Kalli brothers. At the heart of everything they do, and a lot of what they’re conflicted about, is their family. It was the same with our family.

We didn’t have murders to contend with like the Kalli boys do, but we did have tempestuous times, especially between me and the love of my own life. I like to call him Sweet Jonathan, except when I might be entertaining some murderous fantasies myself.

We are very much in love all the same, just like the couples I write about on Riverton Road are very much in love. So, you might say I didn’t really leave my storytelling life behind during those sixteen years. I was just doing research.

Find my books at amazon.com/author/aliceorr.

Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com