Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Her summer plans didn't include secrets and danger... - Laying Low in Paradise (The Casteloria #1) by Kristy K. James

Published: September 17th, 2014
Cover Artist: Vila Design


He's hiding out because someone wants him dead...

Cameron Rafferty is keeping secrets. Dangerous secrets that could endanger the lives of everyone around him. His plan was simple...keep a low profile until the would-be-killer was found. And it was working - until an accident changed everything. Before he knows it, he finds himself becoming more involved with the family next door, and wishing for things he shouldn't. Things that will put their lives in jeopardy, too.

Her summer plans didn't include secrets and danger...

Spending summers on Bois Blanc Island was a tradition for author Laura Keane and her young son. Filled with special memories of the husband she'd lost to war, she looked forward to days of reminiscing, playing, and working on her newest novel. She didn't expect this year to be any different - but that was before their sexy neighbor came to her rescue like a knight in shining armor. Will that armor be tarnished when she finds out what he is and why he's living next door?

Hi, I’m Kristy, and I’m a writer-a-holic.

I’ve been writing since I was in the ninth grade – unless you count the plays written for my siblings and cousins to perform for all of our parents before I turned ten, and then it’s been a bit longer. So there’s no doubt this is what I was meant to do, and it’s something as necessary to me as breathing. Okay, maybe not quite as important as breathing, but it’s a huge part of my life.

So huge that when I was injured in a car accident in 2008, I was afraid I’d lost it forever.

For two years, I couldn’t write. The stories were there, I just couldn’t get them out of my head and onto the computer screen. Instead, my life was filled with various tests and therapies, and I was exhausted and in pain. The only goal I had was to get back to normal. And when, after giving 100% to that, I was told to set my sights on 80%, because that’s probably all I could expect, I worked even harder. If giving it my all wasn’t good enough, then I’d give more … because I was getting everything I’d lost back. And that included the writing.

Laying Low in Paradise was an experiment. I’d tried to work on a couple of books started before the gentleman ran a red light and totaled my van, but the words wouldn’t come. I knew where I wanted to go with each one, but there was a wall I couldn’t break through, and so I thought, maybe if I try something new…

The first chapter was born from a hint of an idea. There was no outline, no plans to continue beyond that point. Nothing. I just wanted to see if I could do it.

Since that landmark day in 2010, I’ve written eleven more books, as well as a few novellas and novelettes. Among them is Laying Low in Paradise. The rest of the story was buried in my brain, and I couldn’t be happier that it was.

I thoroughly enjoyed finishing Cameron and Laura’s tale, but was surprised to find how much readers loved them. So much so that I received many requests to write stories for two other characters – Finley Hughes and Nolan Campbell. After thinking about it – for nearly a year – I decided to do exactly that. Last month, Nolan’s story hit the virtual bookshelves, and Fin’s is due out sometime in 2015.

The sixth anniversary of the accident was nineteen days ago. When I look at my life, before and after, I realize that what I thought was one of the worst things that could have happened actually turned out to be one of the best. Now I know I can do whatever I set my mind to – including making the stories that play out in my head come alive in however many books I’ll ever wish to write.



“Sometimes I wish I could just wiggle my nose or nod my head,” Laura Keane sighed, pulling into the parking spot that would be home to her seven-year-old Jeep Cherokee for most of the summer. “The traffic was brutal – and it’s not even a holiday.”

“Well, I know you know how to nod your head, but I don’t know how that, or wiggling your nose, could have helped,” twelve-year-old Sam said vaguely.

A quick glance his way, and Laura couldn’t hold back a grin. Even before the words left his mouth, he was throwing the passenger door open and scanning the marina for the boat, her references to Jeannie and Samantha already a memory.

Since heading out from Lansing at six that morning, Sam had been anxious for the long drive to be over. Not many boys on the brink of becoming a teenager would look forward to a summer of relative solitude on Bois Blanc Island. But every year he couldn’t wait to arrive, and then he dragged his heels when it was time to head back home for the school year.

Of course, some of his best and happiest moments with Jake had taken place on that little stretch of beach, so that probably explained his enthusiasm. Even though she’d had several videos of their family burned to a DVD, sometimes she was afraid that he would forget the father who had loved him so very much. Maybe Sam was afraid he would, too.

“There it is!” he exclaimed, yanking the back door open. “Mr. Benton has it ready for us.”

Rather than pointing out the fact that she paid Mr. Benton well to not only store the boat, but to have it ready for them when they needed it, Laura opened her door, taking a moment to savor the familiar sights, sounds and smells before she got out.

Gulls soared overhead, screeching as they circled above the beach, on the lookout for the tourists who kept them supplied with pieces of sandwiches and other treats. Waves lapping up on shore, the brisk breeze blowing in across Lake Huron. She couldn’t imagine a more beautiful place on earth to spend a long, relaxing vacation.

“Hey, Mom! C’mon. Help out a little here, huh?” Sam asked impatiently.

Laura quickly exited the jeep and pulled a couple of suitcases from the back, while her son loaded himself down with plastic grocery bags.

“We don’t have to get it all in one trip,” she reminded him.

“No, but the quicker we load the boat, the quicker we can get home,” he said logically.

“Just don’t hurt yourself.”

They hurried down to the dock, depositing the first batch of supplies in the boat before heading back up for the rest of their gear.

“Good morning, Ms. Keane,” Henry Benton called from his lounge chair on the beach.

“Good morning, Mr. Benton. How are you today?”

“Couldn’t be better,” he assured her with a grin. “Need some help there?”

“Thanks but we’ve got it. It feels good to be moving around after that drive.” Henry Benton must be nearing seventy and, though he appeared to be in excellent health, Laura worried about him hauling anything heavier than his fishing pole.

“Couldn’t have picked a better day for it though. Clear as a bell since I got up this morning. Not a cloud in the sky.”

“Can’t argue with you there,” she said with a laugh, adding three of the seven bags of groceries to the boat. “Wish I could say the same thing about the freeway.”

“See a lot of clouds on the road, did you now?” Henry teased.

“Ha-ha.” She heard Sam snicker behind her. “I wish it had been clear, but there were about ten million cars, trucks, SUV’s, semis, and motorhomes. You name it, and they were on the road.”

“That’s true,” Sam laughed. “And they were all out there just to aggravate my mom.”

“That what she thinks?”

“Yup.” Both Henry and Sam had a good laugh over that, as the last of the groceries were removed from the Jeep. Laura locked it up, and they wandered back down to the dock.

“Do you know if anyone is occupying the other chalets yet?” she asked, stopping for a moment to chat with Henry.

“As a matter of fact, Ben Pommeroy was telling me just the other day that he rented all three of them for the whole summer. Looks like you and the boy will have neighbors.”

“I sure hope they’re quieter than that bunch from last year,” Laura muttered, shuddering at the thought of another invasion of college boys with a penchant for loud music and late night partying. It had been a solid month of hell on earth, and one she didn’t want to repeat.

“No worries there. Ben said they’re all adults and they seemed like good, respectful people.”

“Well that’s a relief.”

“He also said they’d liked to have rented your place, too. Said he was going to offer you ten thousand more than he did last year.” Laura shook her head when Sam’s gaze met hers.

“I’m afraid poor Ben is going to be disappointed again. The chalet is not, and never will be, for sale. It was nice seeing you, Henry.” She nodded toward the boat where Sam was drumming his fingers impatiently on the steering wheel. Henry grinned.

“Nice seeing you, too, Ms Keane. Safe trip. You get your satellite turned on?” Laura nodded. “You’ll be wanting to keep an eye on the weather station. They’re calling for a doozy of a storm system to move in around Thursday. You might want to get over here before it hits to stock up on some supplies.”

“If it gets bad, we’ll just make do with whatever we have on hand. If it lasts too long, Harpers will do in a pinch.”

About the author: 

Kristy K. James' first goal in life was to work in law enforcement, until the night she called the police to check out a scary noise in her yard. Realizing that she might someday have to investigate scary noises in yards just as dark as hers if she continued on that path, she turned to her other favorite love...writing. Since then her days have been filled with being a mom and reluctant zookeeper (7 pets), creating stories, and looking for trouble in her kitchen.

Author's Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Kristy K. James said...

Thanks so much for letting me share Laying Low in Paradise with your readers. :)

CCAM said...

Always in mood for some love, danger and secrets that could spoil everything; Thank you