Tuesday, November 13, 2012

To Catch a Bad Guy by Marie Astor

Marie Astor's latest romance novel "TO CATCH A BAD GUY" is my feature excerpt for the day. Cannot wait to read this one!  And check out the end of the post for a great contest. 

Dennis Walker was giving himself a mental browbeating for nearly blowing his cover. What on earth had possessed him to get all mushy with that stand-offish girl whose computer he had been fixing or, to be more specific, bugging? Well, actually, Dennis knew perfectly well what had possessed him. The girl was damn good-looking, and if he had to admit to having any weaknesses, it was to not being able to pass by a pretty skirt without looking and, preferably, much more than just looking. Still, this was work – not play, and if he wanted to get that promotion he had set his eyes on since he had started his career in the Department of Treasury Investigations Unit, he’d better get his mind out of the gutter and get focused on the game.
Still, even with today’s minor lapse, Dennis could afford to pat himself on the back: he had already tapped into the most critical employees’ computers, and the data that he needed to substantiate the case was flowing in. The most difficult part of his assignment would be to remain undiscovered, which, as the morning had shown, was going to be much trickier than Dennis had anticipated. Playing the role of Dean Snider was proving to be more challenging than he had expected. Dennis was a naturally social creature who was keenly aware of his masculine charms, which he enjoyed exercising on members of the female sex with great success. Dean Snider, on the other hand, was a mousy and shabbily pathetic excuse of a man who was afraid of his own shadow – a role that Dennis detested playing, but was determined to excel at, lest his boss prove to be correct in his initial intention to give the assignment to Laskin. Dennis scratched his neck, which was beginning to chafe from the rigid collar of his cheap shirt, and focused his attention on his computer monitor.
As a senior member of the IT department at Bostoff Securities, Dennis had the administrative rights to his computer and to those of the firm’s employees, which allowed him to install the data gathering software on the employees’ machines and receive real-time data feedback on his machine. The fact that his desk was smack in the middle of the trading floor made matters difficult. With a title like Chief IT Analyst, Dennis had expected to be allotted an office or at least a cubicle, but apparently Bostoff Securities was short on real estate. Thankfully, the software was transferring the data over a web-based connection to the server that the Treasury Department had sourced out for the investigation. The initial prep work of data sorting was to be conducted by junior analysts at the Treasury, and in the evenings, after having spent the day behind his desk at Bostoff, in the privacy of his home office, Dennis would catch up on the reports prepared for him. A work schedule that intense would pretty much eliminate any presence of social life for the duration of the assignment, but Dennis was used to making sacrifices when they were worth it. 


Author Bio:

Marie Astor is the author of contemporary romance novelsThis Tangled Thing Called Love, Lucky Charm,On the Rim of Love, romantic suspense,ToCatch a Bad Guy, and a short story collection, A Dressin a Window. Marie is also the author of young adult fantasy adventurenovel,Over the Mountain and Back.

If you would like to learn more about Marie’s writing, please stop by herwebsite:www.marieastor.comor visither on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/marieastorcollection

Books by Marie Astor:

This Tangled ThingCalled Love– a contemporary romance about overcoming one’s inhibitions,learning to tango, and finding one’s true love match.

Lucky Charm– a humorous contemporaryromance about love, luck and friendship.

On the Rim of Love– a contemporary romance about the unexpected power of love.

A Dress in a Window– a collection ofshort stories about love, coincidences, and fate.

Over the Mountainand Back young adult fantasy adventure novel about a boy who takes hissnowboard for a ride and finds himself in a magical, hidden world he never knewexisted.

Connect with Marie!
 Twitter: @marieastor

To Catch a Bad Guy 

 Janet Maple's stellar career ended with a layoff and her boyfriend of almost five years told her that he wants to be just friends. When she lands a job at one of New York's premier boutique investment firms, Janet begins to hope that her luck is finally turning for the better. Not only is she happy with her new paycheck, but things also seem to be looking up on the personal front, as the company's handsome attorney expresses keen interest in Janet. However, her euphoria is short-lived, as Janet soon discovers alarming facts about her new employer's business tactics. When her boss dismisses her suspicions as groundless, Janet finds herself confiding to a cute IT engineer, Dean Snider. The closer she gets to Dean, the more Janet is tempted to break her rule of not dating co-workers, but what she doesn't realize is that everything she knows about Dean, including his occupation and even his name, is a lie.

Dennis Walker is a top-notch white collar crime investigator who will stop at nothing to put culprits away. When an opportunity for an undercover assignment at one of New York's premier boutique broker dealers comes up, Dennis jumps at the chance, adopting a persona of geeky IT engineer, Dean Snider. While he may be an ace at his job, years of experience fail him when Dennis meets Janet Maple and finds himself torn between his professional obligations and his personal desires. Will he have to choose between his feelings and duty, or will he find a way to satisfy both?

**Everyone who leaves a comment on Marie’s tour page will be entered in the giveaway! Anyone who purchases their copy of How To Catch a Bad Guy before November 19 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries! Three individual winners will receive a piece of jewelry shown below, and one bonus winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card! Please note this is open to US residents only.**

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pet Peeves: A guest post by author Debbie Dyke

I have quite a few pet peeves.  I can’t stand overly poetic descriptions of weather, scene settings and characters.  When I’m read a novel and come to an entire page of description I find it excruciating to read and will in all likelihood put that book down. I find it annoying when a writer has to describe every little thing in great detail so nothing stands out. 

Another pet peeve one is writing in the passive voice. It makes the writing boring and removed.  For example: The Bloody Mary is being drunk.  This is dead space.  Much better to write, “Gina drinks the Bloody Mary in one gulp.”  The active voice makes the words more exciting and clarifies who is doing the action. Too often writers fall into the passive voice and soon the story comes to a screeching halt.

I also get peeved when a writer has to mention what the character is thinking about and what's about to happen and how this pertains to his/her past. This dumping of the stream of consciousness detracts from the story. It’s much better to show than to tell.

Here are a few other pet peeves:

Too many metaphors.
Repetition with words.
Too many curse/swear words so they have no impact

I saved the worst one for last:  coincidences.  I can’t stand contrived coincidences.  I hate it when Uncle Guido shows up near the end of the novel  to take care of  the ‘situation’ or when the newspaper falls into the characters hand  with a photo that provides a key piece of information to solve the mystery. Maybe you think it’s just luck. I don’t think so. It’s just lazy storytelling.  Coincidences do happen in real life, but in a novel if it isn’t organic then it simply doesn’t work. These contrived coincidences are highly improbably and the events are simply disguised as happenstance.  Destiny doesn’t happen this way. When coincidences in a story don’t  ring true the reader will feel duped especially when they are used as major plot point.  It breaks the unwritten contract with the reader.

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss my journey with you.  I hope you enjoy reading The Bloody Mary Club and come away with an appreciation of all things financial! 

You can keep up with me by visiting my website:  www.DebbieDyke.com, or dropping in on my blog: http://debbiedykebooks.blogspot.com/  and find  me on Facebook at: DebbieDykeBooks.


 Debbie Dyke, Author, The Bloody Mary Club!

Check out Debbie's book, The Bloody Mary Club:

 A Fiscal Thriller Set in Historic Old Town Alexandria, Virginia Stock market meltdown. United States housing bubble. Global financial crisis. Chief executives cooking the books. Who can you trust for financial advice? Gina Van Story, a savvy 40ish investment advisor to the rescue. She can spot a trend on the market and jump on it like a cat. She dreams of grabbing the bull by the horns and is on the hunt for one final big score. Gina and her three best friends form the Bloody Mary Investment Club and come face-to-face with corruption in a David and Goliath struggle when their stock portfolio turns deadly…literally. Over made-to-order Bloody Mary cocktails at historic Gadsby’s Tavern, Gina takes her friends under her wing and teaches them the ins and outs of the stock market. Trouble begins when, following Gina’s bullish advice, they become majority owners in the local bank and then stubbornly turn down a lucrative buyout offer. Not only will money and greed challenge their friendship, they will have to get smart fast and figure out how to turn the tables on the charmingly seductive, yet evil, banker who wants control of their stock by any means necessary – including murder!


Author Bio:

Debbie Dyke is a novelist and businesswoman from Alexandria, Virginia, and has a background in military intelligence, the stock market, executive recruiting and writing.   An Army brat, she’s lived in Turkey, France, Germany, Italy, Albania and Holland. She graduated from the American High School in Naples, Italy then attending University of Maryland, Munich Campus.  She graduated from Georgetown University and holds a Bachelors of Science and Masters degree in National Security.  Debbie has two grown children, Lisa and Jordan and has been married to Michael for over thirty wonderful years. Debbie has written 5 screenplays, one Wall Street calendar and two novels. 

1. $10 Amazon gift card
2. Bloody Mary Gift Basket (US only) OR
3. Three winners will receive a copy of The Bloody Mary Club**