Schedule and Assignments
May 30--Mel's Shelves (Book spotlight post + snippet--book 1)
May 31--Katie's Clean Book Collection (Book spotlight post + snippet--book 2)
June 1--Reading Is My SuperPower (Book spotlight post + snippet--book 3)
June 2--Smiling Book Reviews (Review, Author Interview (Singing Librarian Books asks the questions))
June 3--deal sharing aunt (Author Interview (You ask the questions))
June 4--Singing Librarian Books (Review, Author Interview (Singing Librarian Books asks the questions)
start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the investigation. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer.
Or die trying...
The FBI arrives on the scene. Sarah realizes this bombing could have even bigger implications. Searching for the bombers, Sarah is introduced to the world of terrorism. She fears that the bombing and her parents’ disappearance are connected and terrorists are involved. To make matters worse, the bombers are determined to finish the job. Can the Super Spies find the bombers before it’s too late?
determined to find out what that connection is. The Super Spies embark on a journey that leads them into a web of corporate corruption at its highest level that leaves innocent victims in its wake. Can they find the proof they need to stop the greedy corporation before it’s too late?
Lisa Orchard grew up loving books. She was hooked on books by the fifth grade and even wrote a few of her own. She knew she wanted to be a writer even then. Her first published works are the “Super Spies Series.” These stories revolve around a group of friends who form their own detective squad and the cases they solve. “The Starlight Chronicles,” is the next series that Lisa created with musical misfit, Lark Singer as her main character.
Lisa resides in Michigan with her husband, Steve, and two wonderful boys. Currently, she’s working on the next book in the Starlight Chronicles Series along with a few new ideas that may turn into stand-alone novels. When she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, running, hiking, and reading.
(Insert interview here or include the interview via SLB Tours below.)
1. How did you get started as an author? What or whom inspired you?
I've known I wanted to be a writer since fifth grade. I would have to say books like the Nancy Drew series and the Bobbsey Twin series inspired me.
2. What writing project are you currently working on? What can you tell us about these projects?
I'm working on a upper Young Adult Thriller. I've just completed it and I've sent it to my third Beta reader. I've gotten great feedback from the first two, my sister's the third one, and she's the toughest. :)
3. What authors inspire your writing?
I would have to say Celeste Ng, Gail Forman, Jodi Piccoult, and Harper Lee
4. What period of history interests you the most? Does this influence your writing?
I'm very interested in the World War II period of history. I haven't written a story during that time, but I love reading them. My favorites about that time period are "All the Light We Cannot See," "The Nightingale," and "The Book Thief."
5. What inspired the idea for the Super Spies Series?
I would say my own desire to be a detective when I was a teen. My friends and I formed our own detective squad and even did some investigating. When I looked back on those experiences, they sparked the ideas for the Super Spies. I've got a great idea for a fourth book, but I've got to finish a couple of projects before I start it.
6. Do you write full time or part time?
I write part time and work part time
7. Where is your favorite place to write?
In front of the fireplace when there's a fire in it during the winter. During the summer I like to either sit out at the picnic table or in front of the window so I can look outside.
8. How frequently do you hear from your fans? Do you have a fun and/or weird fan story you can share with us?
I hear from them occasionally, usually during a writing workshop. I hear more from the parents, and they're always telling me how much their child enjoyed my stories.
Here's my fun fan story, I had a mother of a reluctant reader contact me. Her daughter would always fight her when it came time to read. Out of desperation, she decided to try my first Super Spies book, "The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer." Her daughter loved it. She read it twice and then proceeded to read the other two books in the series. She even plays "Super Spies" with her friends. That is such an awesome feeling when you know someone enjoyed your work that much. :)
“Do you know who that was?”
Sarah Cole whirled around and spied a tall, skinny girl standing a few feet behind her. “Are you talking to me?” Shading her eyes, Sarah cocked her head to get a better look at her.
The skinny girl nodded, her mop of wild curls dancing with her movements. “Yeah, do you know who she is?”
Sarah gazed down the street at the wizened old woman shuffling away. She wore a faded housedress, which appeared to have been slept in for at least a couple of nights. It looked like the wrinkles had wrinkles.
The woman’s hair was a listless gray, trapped in a feeble bun at the nape of her neck. Some of it had escaped and trailed behind her as she walked, the limp strands swaying with the old woman’s faltering steps. Minutes ago, Sarah had helped her with her cart—it had gotten stuck on the doorjamb as she left the corner drug store.
Pulling her honey-colored hair out of her eyes, Sarah spun and studied the skinny girl, not quite sure what to make of her. “No, I don’t.”
Sarah continued her scrutiny and noticed the skinny girl stood at least five inches taller than she did. Her curly hair burst from her scalp in a frantic frenzy. She looks like an exploded cotton swab. Pursing her lips, Sarah suppressed a bubble of laughter.
“She’s the Cat Lady,” the bony girl said, an expression of guarded curiosity mixed with fear on her face.
“Who’s the Cat Lady?”
The skinny girl pointed at the old woman shuffling away. “She’s a crazy lady. A witch.”
“A witch?” Sarah scoffed. “I don’t believe in witches.”
“It’s true,” the skinny girl whispered emphatically. She stared at Sarah, her dark eyes reflecting the conviction behind her words.
“I don’t believe you.”
“No one has seen her in years. She never leaves her home.” The skinny girl glanced toward the Cat Lady again, and then walked closer to Sarah.
Realizing the skinny girl was scared, Sarah glanced down the street a second time. She watched the hunched, old woman make her painful shuffle down the sidewalk. The Cat Lady didn’t look dangerous to Sarah. She appeared to be a weary old lady making her way home.
“There’s no such thing as witches,” Sarah said.
“She’s a witch, an evil witch,” the scrawny girl insisted. She nodded her head again, sending her dark curls into another wild dance.
Sarah glanced down the street a third time and watched the old woman limp away. She didn’t look like she had the strength to pull her cart, let alone perform black magic. “How do you know? Does she practice voodoo or something?” Sarah smirked at the skinny girl, realizing she had a flair for the theatrical. “And if she never leaves her home…why is she out on the street now?”
The girl opened her mouth to speak, and then shut it again as if she realized Sarah had a point. “Well…the delivery boy must have quit.” She pulled on a wayward curl and frowned. “Because there’s no way she leaves her home. I haven’t seen her in years.”
“Uh huh,” Sarah said, raising her eyebrows and pursing her lips.
The skinny girl must have seen the doubt in Sarah’s expression, because she crossed her arms over her bony chest and moved another step closer. “Just let me tell you the whole story; I’m sure you’ll change your mind. My name’s Jacqueline Jenkins.” She drew out the syllables emphasizing her name like a movie star or the Queen of England, JAAAQUELEENE JEEENKIINS. Jutting out her hip, she faced Sarah as if she were posing for a magazine. “What’s yours?”
“Sarah Cole.” Speaking through tight lips, Sarah was able to stifle another bubble of laughter.
“You can call me Jackie, though. That’s what my friends call me.” She studied Sarah for a moment. “You’re new in town, aren’t you?”
“Yeah. We’re staying with my aunt and uncle while my parents are on vacation.”
“Me and my sister, Lacey.” Sarah scrutinized her surroundings. “Is this the whole town of Harrisburg?”
“Yep, this is it.” Jackie opened her arms wide as if she were presenting the town to her.
Sarah stifled another giggle. She looks like Vanna White on the Wheel of Fortune.
“Where are you from?”
Sarah cleared her throat and sighed. She wasn’t looking forward to being stuck in this podunk town for the summer. Looking down the street, she realized there were only two traffic lights in the tiny burg.
“We’re from Walker, you know, the big city.” Sarah held up her hands and formed quotes with her fingers when she said the words ‘big city’. “Do you guys have a bookstore?”
“Nope, but we do have a library.” Jackie pointed to a weathered old building standing on the corner. “But no on33e goes there this time of year.”
“Why not?” Sarah’s spirits sank even lower as she realized she wouldn’t be able to buy her true crime novels.
“Because, it’s summer, silly.”
Sarah rolled her eyes. “Oh, I thought you were going to say it was haunted by the Cat Lady.”
Jackie cracked a wide grin. “Nope, she never comes out of her house.”
“Except for today.” Sarah shot Jackie a skeptical look.
“Once I tell you the whole story, you’ll be a believer.” Jackie hooked her arm through Sarah’s. “Good thing you ran into me, otherwise you would have gone the whole summer without this knowledge. Come on, let’s follow her home.”
Sarah chewed on her thumbnail. “I don’t know—”
“What do you mean you lost them?” Sarah Cole fidgeted as she waited for Agent Gray to answer. I can’t believe it! He lost the only clue to our parents’ location. What is wrong with this picture? Agitated, Sarah shifted in her seat and chewed on her lip. She was uncomfortable in the folding chair and rearranged her petite frame so she wouldn’t feel the cold metal against her bare legs. Shivering, she glanced around the all-too-familiar room.
The gray cement block walls no longer gave her that creepy, closed-in feeling she used to get when she first came to the interrogation rooms. She remembered the first time she’d been in that tiny space. It had been the day she’d discovered the Cat Lady’s dead body. Sarah shuddered at the memory and then smiled when she remembered forming the Super Spies and bringing the Cat Lady Killer to justice. Glancing around the room again, she realized she’d been in this room quite a bit these last few weeks, not only during the Cat Lady investigation, but the High School Bomber investigation as well. Shivering again, Sarah rubbed her arms but she really wasn’t cold. Her mind filled with the image of the bomber the Super Spies had helped apprehend just a week earlier.
Wow! Was it just last week?
She tugged at a lock of her honey colored hair, then brushed it away with an impatient hand. She sighed and glanced at her younger sister. Lacey sat beside her with her legs crossed, jiggling her foot at such a rapid rate it seemed like her whole body was electrified. She caught Sarah’s eye and for a moment her eyes glittered like emeralds before she shifted her gaze to Aunt June, who had placed her hand on Lacey’s leg in what appeared to be an attempt to quiet her. Sarah shifted in her chair and sighed again.Are we ever going to find Mom and Dad?
A commotion out in the hall drew everyone’s attention. Sarah leaned forward and craned her neck to see what was happening.
“Chief, we’ve got an OD!” An officer yelled.
“What?” Chief Johnson yelled as he rushed by. “An OD on what? Give me the details.”
“The parents found their son unconscious in his room this morning, and an empty bottle of prescription medication on his bedside table.”
“What was it?” Chief Johnson asked.
“Who makes it?”
“Ah… Piper Drugs.”
“Call Poison Control with the name and manufacturer and ask them what to do about an overdose. Instruct the parents to get their son to the hospital pronto,” Chief Johnson ordered.
“They’ve brought him here.”
“What?” Chief Johnson exclaimed.
The sound of policemen rushing through the hall pulled Sarah and her sister out of their seats. They hurried to the door, unable to stifle their curiosity. Peering down the corridor, Sarah caught a glimpse of a young man sagging between two officers as they desperately tried to keep him on his feet. One officer gently slapped his face while the other officers held him up. The young man blinked and then gagged, puking on the officer in front of him.
The rancid stench of fresh vomit filled the air. While plugging her nose, Sarah ducked back inside the interrogation room, followed by her sister. Sarah closed the door, hoping it would keep the smell from penetrating the room.
“Did you hear that, Lace? Piper Drugs! That’s the company Dad works for,” Sarah whispered in her sister’s ear before proceeding back to her seat.
Lacey opened her mouth to speak, but closed it when Agent Gray cleared his throat and motioned for them to sit down.
He continued his conversation as if they hadn’t been interrupted. We were on our way to the location of the ping… but before we got there it disappeared.”
“So, what does that mean? Did you find our parents or what?” Sarah blurted out as she sat down. She stared into Agent Gray’s icy blue eyes, trying to read his mind.
“It means…” Agent Gray took a deep breath and seemed to reign in his annoyance. He shifted his large frame gingerly as if the chair was too small and he feared he would topple over at any moment. “That the phone was either turned off or it died, and without the ping we can’t locate it.”
Sarah slumped down, crushed by disappointment.
“Exactly how does pinging work?” Aunt June asked, leaning forward and looking past Lacey. She gave Sarah the evil eye, silently telling her to be still.
Sarah rolled her eyes and sighed. Staring at her aunt, she was struck by the resemblance to her mother. The same blonde hair and green eyes, they looked so much alike that Sarah swore they were twins. They even had the same worry line between their brows. It made its appearance now on Aunt June’s face.
“Pinging is where we can triangulate a cell phone’s location. By triangulate I mean we can find out which cell phone towers were accessed by the phone when it tried to make a call, and this will give us a general idea of the phone’s location.”
Aunt June bit her lip. “I see, so what happens now that you’ve lost the signal?”
“We’ve still got the ping set up so if the phone is turned back on, we’ll be able to continue our trace.”
“Where did the ping show up?” Sarah demanded and received another glare from her aunt.
“Somewhere in the vicinity of the town of Alden.”
“Alden?” Sarah locked eyes with her sister and then spun back to face the agent. “That’s up north. We went camping there one summer.”
“That’s right,” Aunt June said. “It’s about a two-hour drive from here.”
“How in the world did their cell phone get up north when they disappeared on a Caribbean cruise?” Sarah frowned and bit her lip. Questions whirled through her mind so fast she couldn’t make sense of them. “I mean the last we knew they were down in Florida.”
“Yeah, what’s going on?” Lacey asked, nervously twirled her long blonde hair.
“How did their phone get from Florida to Alden?” Sarah exchanged a perplexed look with Lacey.
A whoosh of roiling hot air lifted Sarah Cole and flung her against the kitchen wall like a fumbled football. At the same time, the windows burst into millions of pieces, showering everything with tiny shards of glass. Sarah crumpled to the floor, still clutching the phone. She lay there stunned, unable to inhale or exhale.
“Sarah! Sarah!” her younger sister, Lacey, screamed from the bathroom, where she’d been drying her hair. The ringing in her ears was so intense, Sarah could barely hear her. Groaning, she opened her eyes and saw only red through her right one. Dread rippled through her body. “Sarah! Sarah!” Lacey cried again.
Sarah dropped the phone, and put her hand up to her eye. She fingered the area gently before pulling her hand away. Blood. “Lacey,” she croaked, unable to manage more than that.
“Sarah! Where are you?”
“The kitchen,” Sarah said, finally able to breathe. She blinked her eyes twice and her vision cleared. Relief flooded her body and she wilted against the floor.
“Holy Moley!” Lacey shrieked. Sarah jumped at the sound of her voice. She didn’t realize Lacey had come up the stairs and into the kitchen. The ringing in her ears was almost gone. “You’re bleeding!”
“No kidding,” Sarah said, covering her right eye with her hand and glaring at Lacey with her uncovered one. She brushed her shoulder length blonde hair away from her face and gasped at the blood running down her arm.
“We’ve got to get you to the hospital!” Lacey screamed in a voice edged with hysteria. “Stop freaking out!” Sarah gave Lacey the old one-‐‑eyed glare again.
“Sarah, there’s blood everywhere,” her sister whimpered as she wrung her hands. She gazed around her. “What happened? Did our furnace blow up or something?”
“I don’t think so.” Sarah shook her head, dust particles and slivers of glass cascaded to the floor. She furrowed her brow and absentmindedly brushed off her clothes. “I think something exploded outside. Help me up.” Lacey held out her hand to Sarah and pulled her into a sitting position. Blinking, Sarah gazed around the kitchen. On most days it was a sunny room with pineapple wallpaper and pine cabinets. It was the most popular room in the house—everyone congregated there during the holidays. Sarah blinked again. Dust floated through the air and glass littered the yellow linoleum floor. She groaned and turned her attention to her arm. As she examined the blood running down it, another wave of panic flooded through her body. Sarah’s legs wobbled when she stood and she stumbled as she reached for a kitchen towel that lay on the counter. She used the soft cloth to blot her eye. When she pulled the towel away, she was shocked to see the amount of blood that had soaked into it. Sarah gulped, trying to swallow her fear as beads of sweat broke out on her forehead. With unsteady feet, Sarah stumbled into the hall where a mirror hung. She was afraid to look. Taking some deep breaths, she stared into the cracked mirror and noticed a cut in her eyebrow. The amount of blood that seeped from the cut was enormous compared to its small size. Lacey walked past Sarah on her way to the den. The crunch of glass under her sister’s feet caught Sarah’s attention, and she sighed. Thank goodness we had our shoes on. A wave of relief washed over her body and she exhaled another deep sigh. The girls hadbeen getting ready for school when the windows exploded and covered everything with glass.
“Sarah, come here! You’ve got to see this!” Lacey yelled. Sarah whirled around and spotted her sister walking from the den—her eyes were round and full of shock. “I think all the windows have been smashed. Come and look.” Holding the towel against her cut, Sarah followed her into the den.
“Holy crap!” She gazed into the room. Shards of glass covered the furniture and the floor. The sun streamed through the window, shining on the jagged bits embedded in the carpet. It appeared as if tiny diamonds were buried within the fibers. “What in the world happened?” Sarah shook her head.
“I have no idea.” The shrill ring of the phone made Sarah jump. She dashed back to the kitchen and found the phone where she had dropped it earlier. “Hello?” “Sarah?” “Jackie?” “Yeah, it’s me.” Jackie’s voice eased some of the tension in Sarah’s body. Jackie Jenkins was her best friend. They had met when Sarah and her sister moved in with their aunt and uncle three months earlier. Sarah glanced down at her legs and for the first time saw tiny nicks where she had been hit by flying glass. She bent down and examined the cuts further. They were not deep, and were already clotting. “All of our windows exploded! Do you know what’s going on?” Sarah asked. “There was an explosion at the high school.” “There was an explosion?” “Yep.”
“How do you know? Was it a bomb?” Sarah brushed her hair away from her face and watched as more dust cascaded to the floor. “I heard it on the police scanner.” “Was it a bomb?” Sarah asked again. “They don’t know, but what else causes an explosion?” Jackie said with a voice edged with apprehension. “Crap,” Sarah gasped, as the energy seemed to drain from her body, replaced with heavy dread. Sagging against the kitchen wall, she clutched the phone as if it were a lifeline. “Uncle Walt.” She choked, and then turned toward Lacey and stared. “Sarah? Are you there? Are you all right?” Jackie yelled from the phone. “Sarah?” Lacey’s lip quivered. Tears welled in Sarah’s eyes as she spoke to Lacey. “There’s been an explosion at the high school.” “What? No way!” Lacey shook her head and swung away. “Sarah, I’m coming over!” Jackie screamed. Sarah nodded numbly as she watched Lacey. Her sister’s breathing was labored and her face turned pale. “I feel like I’m going to faint.” Lacey’s knees buckled and she reached for the kitchen chair. “Put your head between your knees!” Sarah dropped the phone, grabbed Lacey and helped her to the floor. She gently pushed Lacey’s head down between her knees. Her sister’s face and knees disappeared behind the curtain of her long blonde hair. “Now, take deep breaths.” Lacey inhaled deeply and let her breath out slowly. The two girls sat like that for a few minutes, Sarah holding her sister’s head down and Lacey breathing. “Thanks. You can let go now.” Lacey raised her head and smiled at Sarah. Sarah nodded and peered into her sister’s green eyes that were so much like her own. “Better?”
“Yeah.” Lacey let out a long shudder. She sat back on the floor. “I’m not ready to get up yet.” “Jackie’s coming over.” Sarah picked up the phone and pushed buttons with a shaky hand. “Who’re you calling?” Lacey whimpered. “Uncle Walt’s cell.” Sarah listened to the phone ring, as her stomach tightened into a knot. “It went right into voicemail.” She gulped as the enormity of the situation hit her. Fear ate away at her self-‐‑control and her stomach clenched tighter. Taking some deep breaths, she wondered what she should do next. Without a doubt, Sarah knew that Lacey was going to lose it at any moment, and someone needed to take charge. “We have to call Aunt June.” The quiver in her voice betrayed the fear she tried to hide. “I hope he’s okay,” Lacey whimpered and then sobbed as she sagged against the cabinets. Rocking back and forth, she tried to calm herself. “I’m sure he wasn’t near the explosion.” Sarah cast a sideways glance toward her sister, hoping to reassure Lacey, but her words rang false in her own ears. “He went to school early today,” Lacey whimpered as she rocked. She rubbed her hands together as if they were cold. Sarah dialed her aunt’s office and waited for Beatrice, the receptionist, to answer. Pacing, she chewed on her nail. What was taking Bea so long? While Sarah waited, the wails of police sirens and the blare of fire truck horns filled the air as they rushed past. Panic gnawed at her gut. She fought to keep it at bay and won for the moment. Beatrice answered the phone and informed Sarah that her aunt was with a patient. “Bea, this is an emergency.” Sarah’s voice cracked. “I really need to talk to her.” “I’m sorry Sarah. I didn’t recognize your voice. Just a second. I’ll interrupt her session.”
Sarah waited on hold, listening to the elevator music filtering through the phone. She paced and chewed her nails. “Let’s go in the den.” Lacey, still wobbly from her near faint, stood and clung to Sarah, as Sarah guided her into the den. “Turn the TV on and see if there’s anything on the news,” Sarah instructed. She paced back and forth while her sister stumbled toward the TV. Lacey walked hunched over and slow. With a trembling hand, she finally pushed the power button on the television. Stifling an irritated sigh, Sarah peered at the TV and caught a glimpse of a scroll at the bottom of the screen. It said Harrisburg High School and Jr. High School closed today due to faculty meeting. Please stay away from the High School. There has been an explosion and emergency personnel need to be able to get to the scene. Sarah stifled a growl of frustration. That’s it? That’s all they’re going to tell us?
(Insert review with FTC disclosure here.)
HTML code: <a class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d26850c589/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="d26850c589" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_c1m9fu5l">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
May 30--Mel's Shelves
May 31--Katie's Clean Book Collection
June 1--Reading Is My SuperPower
June 2--Smiling Book Reviews
June 3--deal sharing aunt
June 4--Singing Librarian Books
SLB Tour Kits will be posted here by the Friday before the tour begins.