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Archive for November 12th, 2007

Today I’m pleased to have on the spotlight Scottish author Maureen Fisher, who is on a virtual book tour promoting the release of her paranormal romantic suspense, The Jaguar Legacy. Leave a comment at the bottom of this post in order to be eligible to win a free copy of her book. To see her other stops, please visit the Pump UP Your Book Promotion Virtual Tours site.

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Maureen talks about herself…

“The skirl of bagpipes still brings a wee tear to my eye. An only child, torn by well-meaning parents from my beloved Scotland at the age of seven, I sailed to Canada, kicking and screaming. I immersed myself in the imaginary world of books for ten years, surfacing only to attend school (boring) and eat (much, much better). Unfurling my wings at the University of Toronto, I studied Fine Art between social engagements. Shortly after graduation, my first marriage precipitated a move to Ottawa where I succeeded in convincing the federal government to hire a Fine Arts specialist as a fledgling computer programmer. After a rocky start in the world of bits and bytes, I discovered bridge, downhill skiing, and women’s canoe trips.

“Three years of deciphering hex dumps (probably not what you’re thinking), wrestling with card decks, and developing computer programs to generate financial statements for the federal government convinced me that there must be a better world out there somewhere. Happily, I found it as a full-time homemaker and mom, raising two wonderful sons, orchestrating countless dinner parties, playing bridge, and reading romance novels. Eight years later, I plunged back into the business world to start a thriving management consulting business in partnership with my second husband. This marriage survived because my husband and I pledged never to work on the same project again. Ever.

“After a century in the consulting world, the joys of wearing snappy power suits, squeezing into panty hose, fighting rush hour traffic, and pushing elephants up mountains (metaphorically speaking) lost their appeal. I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up, but was certain it wasn’t a consultant. An avid fan of romantic suspense, I announced to my long-suffering husband, “I’m going to write a book.” A five-day course entitled “How to Write a Novel” was sufficient, I figured, to quit my day job, so I rolled up her sleeves and started to write. Fifteen rejections, six tons of chocolate, and ninety-five re-writes later, Lachesis Publishing acquired my prizewinning paranormal and first book, THE JAGUAR LEGACY.

“Between as many exotic trips as we can afford, my husband and I live in Ottawa where I volunteer for an addiction family program, paint landscapes, play bridge, and slave several hours a day over my computer to improve my writing skills.”

Visiter her website.

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Blurb:

Despite baffling panic attacks that devastated her career, journalist Charley Underhill barges in on a Mexican archaeological dig, bent on sniffing out a juicy exposé that will restore her reputation and earn enough money for her mother’s life-saving treatment.

Haunted by past betrayals, Dr. Alistair Kincaid isn’t about to let a smart-mouthed reporter leak word of his latest discovery, an ancient Olmec city, to the press.

A battle of wills and wits ensues. Strands from a past life intertwine with the present, drawing the couple into a vortex of chilling evil. Torn between redeeming her soul and betraying the man she loves, Charley faces impossible choices.

Excerpt:

Wracked with chills and nausea, the high priest lay on the stone floor of the sacred space, curled into a fetal ball. The fire flickered in the stone-ringed pit, its feeble flames barely dispelling the inky darkness.

His agony was more than the old familiar price of a drug-fueled trance. The communion with his bestial god had already shown him far more than he had ever expected, ever dreamed of, ever dreaded. Death approached, padding towards him through the jungle on sure, silent feet, just like the Master of Darkness, the Jaguar God he worshipped. A worm of apprehension writhed in his belly. His end would be violent and bloody. And it would be soon. Too soon.

Shuddering, he dragged himself to a sitting position and added fuel to the glowing embers. He had not yet finished with those flames — the same flames that had disclosed his death. The twigs caught hold. A sudden flare of temporary brilliance banished the crouching shadows, blacker than the far side of midnight. “This time, I shall harness your power to serve my purposes,” he whispered on a long, slow breath. “This time, you shall disclose the identity of my successor before all is lost.”

He chewed another peyote button and swallowed the pulp. Bile pooled in his mouth, leaving a bitter aftertaste, but the drug transported him deeper into his trance. Something inside expanded, and once again, dark energy surged into his body. He stared into the fire, knowing the flames would only provide the answers he sought if he could ignore the encroaching darkness that waited to pounce. He stiffened his spine. “Show me the answers I need,” he commanded, satisfied with the renewed note of authority in his voice.

In response, the flames parted to disclose the image of a woman.

He studied her face, shocked by a jolt of recognition. Sparked by the irony of his successor’s identity, a bubble of mirthless laughter escaped his lips. Even though this woman possessed the raw talent he sought, he had never once considered contacting her.

Flames flared in a shower of sparks that drew his attention to a flicker of movement in the heart of the fire. He found himself gaping. A second form emerged from the flames, dancing and shimmering, coalescing into a dark shape that dwarfed the woman.

The priest’s heart thundered in his ears. “Who are you, and what do you want?” he whispered, barely able to force the words out of a mouth so dry he could barely move his lips.

The mysterious figure expanded, its outline rippling and shifting, wavering and solidifying, until at last, the movement ceased. A feline face hovered, motionless, above the woman’s head. The phantom jaguar opened its mouth in a silent snarl.

As if stirred by an invisible hand, a bright burst of flames shot up amidst billows of acrid smoke, concealing both figures. When the air cleared, a pair of jaguars now writhed and twisted in a sinuous struggle within the pyre before fire consumed them.

A thick queasiness coiled in the priest’s gut. He sensed this would be no ordinary rivalry. The challenger would try to destroy the legacy of dark powers bestowed on the Chosen by the Ancients, and handed down from Master to Acolyte for over two millennia.

His trivial death no longer mattered. Before the darkness claimed him, he must summon his chosen successor to his side to prepare her for the battle ahead—the battle for supremacy.

Mesmerized, he stared into the fire, which danced in the low breeze carrying the heartbreaking fragrance of the Mexican jungle into the cavern. The flames would act as a conduit to the woman. She would hear and obey his summons, drawn by the potent lure of unlimited power.

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