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Thursday, 17 March 2016

☀☄ Breaking the Story: Scottie's Adventures [1] - Ashley Farley

Thank you for joining us on the Release Week Party for Breaking the Story, a Suspense by (, Leisure Time Books, 215 pages).

This is the first book in the Scottie's Adventures series.

PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis, trailer and excerpt below.   Read the first four chapters with Amazon Look Inside.

Don't miss the guest post penned by Ashley Farley - "Politics"

Author Ashley Farley will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.  


Synopsis | Trailer | Teasers | The Series | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

Synopsis

Passion, peril, and a scandal that will rock American politics.

Scottie Darden’s life is a disaster. Her marriage has become toxic, and her career as a photojournalist has stalled out. To attract the attention of the main players in the news industry, she needs a standout story with a unique perspective. What she finds is a scandal that could turn the 2016 presidential election upside down. But before she can release her damaging images to the media, Scottie must uncover the truth behind the photographs. She turns to handsome mystery man Guy Jordan for help. When they join the campaign trail in search of answers, their investigation quickly becomes deadly.

Hop on board for a wild ride of adventure where desire ignites, lives are threatened, and secrets are revealed.

Teasers

Excerpt | Guest Post: Politics |

Excerpt


1


      SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS HAD threatened much of the East Coast for most of the afternoon. Flights were delayed at all the major airports, many of them canceled until the following morning. After a turbulent flight and rough landing, Scottie was anxious to disembark the cramped airplane and head home to a hot bath and a big glass of red wine. For the past three days, she’d been covering the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.The master of ceremonies’ voice still reverberated in her head, and her vision’s spectrum was now limited to three colors—red, white, and blue. She was not enthusiastic about having to repeat the process for the Democratic convention in less than a week.
      Scottie flung her camera bag over her shoulder and wheeled her carry-on suitcase through the crowded terminal, down the escalator, and out into the sultry afternoon. Steam rose off the pavement from the recent rain, and the earth smelled like stewed garbage. A couple streaks of lightning lit up the dark sky, followed by rumbling thunder. As she darted across the road to the parking deck, she noticed a bank of clouds rolling in from the west, the promise for a stormy evening ahead. She located her car in the same aisle on the same level where she always parked. She popped her hatch and was stowing her luggage in the back when she noticed her rear passenger tire was flat.
      “Damn it!” Her voiced bounced off the concrete floor and ceiling of the parking deck. When the image of her AAA bill lying unopened and past due on her desk came to mind, she slumped back against the car. “This is great, just great. A perfect ending to a miserable trip.”
      Removing her cell phone from the pocket of her raincoat, she punched in her husband’s number. She wasn’t surprised when the call went straight to voice mail. She’d been trying to reach him all afternoon, but he hadn’t responded to any of her voice or text messages.
      She was too distracted with her phone to notice a man approaching until he was right in front of her. “That’s rotten luck. Can I help you?” he asked, the concern in his voice sounding sincere.
      Scottie recognized him from her earlier flights—both the one from Cleveland to Chicago then into Richmond.He was tall, over six feet, with a sandy crew cut and gray eyes. He appeared harmless enough in his conservative suit and capped-toe shoes. Even so, Scottie wasn’t in the habit of talking to strangers.
      “No, but thanks. My husband will be out in a minute.He’s collecting our luggage from the baggage claim.”Avoiding his gaze, she gestured toward the terminal.
      He rubbed his chin, seemingly perplexed. “That’s funny. I noticed you on the plane. I got the impression you were traveling alone.”
      So he’d noticed her just as she’d noticed him.
      Careful Scottie, she told herself. Remember you’re a married woman.
      He continued to rub his chin. “Unless, of course, the three-hundred-pound black man who was sitting next to you is your husband.”
      She threw up her hands. “Okay, you busted me.Nothing wrong with a girl trying to protect herself from the advances of strange men.”
      “As you should, but I promise you don’t need protection from me. I’m as harmless as they come.” He held his hand out to her. “I’m Guy Jordan.”
      “Guy? You’re name is really Guy, as in that guy.”
      “That’s me—the guy everybody loves to hate.”
      “Ha-ha.” She squeezed and released his hand. “I’m Scottie Darden. It’s nice to meet you.”
      His gaze traveled back to the flat tire. “Now that we’ve been officially introduced, are you comfortable with me changing your tire, or do you want to wait for your husband to come?” he asked with a hint of sarcasm in his voice and a little smirk playing along his lips.
      “Trust me, I have a husband. He’s just not answering his phone right now.” She waved her phone at him before shoving it into her back pocket. Turning her back on Guy, she began to remove her bags from the back of the car.“How hard can changing a tire be anyway?” she asked, lifting the hatch on the compartment that concealed her spare.
      “Not hard at all when you drive a Matchbox.” His genuine smile brightened his face. “Why don’t I hold the car up while you change the tire? We won’t even need to use the jack.”
      She held up a black metal diamond-shaped tool. “Is that what this is?”
      “On second thought, you’d better let me handle this.”He took the jack from her and set it on the ground beside the flat tire. Slipping out of his suit jacket, he rolled up the sleeves on his starched white button-down shirt. “Now, if you’ll hand me the owner’s manual from the glove compartment…”
      She reached for the door handle, and then stopped herself when she realized he was teasing her. “Are you always this fresh with married women you encounter in parking decks?”
      “Only the pretty ones.”
      She furrowed her brow. “There you go again.”
      “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.I totally respect the fact that you’re married. No more teasing, I promise.” He set the jack under the frame near the flat tire and pumped up the car. “How much did you pay for this go-kart anyway, a buck ninety-nine?”
      She ran her hand over the roof of her Mini Cooper.“I’ll have you know, I just traded my 4Runner for this fuel-conserving, high-performance machine.”
      “Why would you do that with gas prices at an all-time low?” he asked, as he loosened the lug nuts.
      “We have the ozone layer to consider, you know. I’m guessing you drive a Suburban.”
      “I live in DC. I don’t own a car.”
      Washington, huh? So he’d been in Cleveland attending the convention just as she’d suspected. His muscular body filled out his suit better than any politician she’d ever met.“Did the airline reroute you to Richmond because of the weather?”
      “Yep. The storms are more severe the farther north you go. Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, they’re all getting hit hard. I’ll probably spend the night in Richmond, and drive back in the morning. Any chance I can shack up with you?” His expression was serious, but his gray eyes lightened with mischief.
      Scottie burst out into laughter. “You’re incorrigible.You know that?”
      “That’s what they tell me,” he said with a wink.
      They bantered back and forth while they worked.Scottie helped by handing him tools and holding the lug nuts. Within minutes, he’d swapped out the tires and secured the flat in the rear compartment.
      “You can’t go far on this spare. Fifty miles max.”Removing a plaid linen handkerchief from his pocket, he mopped the sweat from his brow and then wiped the grease from his hands.
      “I’ll deal with it in the morning.” She slammed the hatch shut and turned to him. “All kidding aside, I don’t know how I can possibly thank you.”
      “I’m guessing your husband wouldn’t approve of me buying you a drink.”
      “Brad would be grateful to you for helping me out of a bind. I’m the one who should buy you a drink, anyway.” A loud rumble of thunder sounded in the distance. “But we should both get where we’re going before the weather worsens.”
      “Okay, then. I hope our paths meet again someday.”
      “Seriously, Guy, thank you for coming to my rescue.”
      He bowed slightly at the waist. “The pleasure was all mine, m’lady.” And with that, he slung his coat over his shoulder and wheeled his suitcase off toward the rental car lot.

Guest Post: Politics


     I worked hard to make certain Breaking the Story is unbiased in terms of politics.  While my novel is a romantic political suspense, my message is more about the importance of integrity in journalism than anything else.  With the 2016 presidential election on the horizon, I thought it’d be fun to give my readers a break from real-life politics—the debates, incessant phone calls, and endless stream of television commercials—with a sexy scandal within the political arena.
     While I am a bit of a political junkie, I do my best to keep my opinions to myself.  Nobody likes a know-it-all, especially when it comes to something we feel passionate about like politics, religion, and sports. I recently had the opportunity to attend the Mock Convention at Washington and Lee University in Virginia where my daughter attends college.  Since 1908, every four years, student volunteers at the college have hosted a mock political convention, complete with roll call, for the non-incumbent party.  The school holds an amazing record of accuracy in forecasting the party’s nominee.  They have only been wrong two times since 1948.
     For Mock Convention 2016, over the course of two days, student organizers brought in world-renowned speakers like Newt Gingrich and Dick Cheney to address conservative issues relating to the Republican Party.  This inspiring lineup imparted their wisdom upon this impressionable group of young people, not by forcing their opinions on them but by empowering them to be good citizens.  The universal appeal was for these kids to get out and vote, regardless of party. Educate yourselves on the issues facing our nation—the $19 trillion debt, the immigration crisis, foreign affairs.


     I had an opportunity to talk with many of the students, most of them my daughter’s friends, while I was at the convention.  Understandably, politics was at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Many of these students have listened to documentaries and news reports, read the continuous stream of social media tweets and Instagram post concerning the state of our nation.  I was not surprised to learn that these students had mixed emotions concerning politics, but I was comforted to see how much they care.  These millennials are the future of our country.  They owe it to themselves and their future spouses and children to explore their options and make an educated decision before they vote.  Regardless of age, we each have the responsibility to pick the candidate that best represents our principles.  Don’t take a candidate at surface value.  Listen to the debates.  Visit their websites.  Find out what they really stand for.  Voting is a privilege and every person’s vote counts

Breaking the Story
Available NOW!

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The Series: Scottie's Adventures

Click on the book cover to Look Inside the book on Amazon and read an excerpt.


Merry Mary [0.5]

A young woman longing for a child stumbles upon a Christmas miracle.

Investigative journalist Scottie Darden is photographing the homeless for her Lost Souls series when she makes a discovery that could change her life forever. Under a makeshift tent in subzero temperatures in a downtown city park, she finds a woman's dead body with her infant child. Without her cell phone to call for help, Scottie makes the split-second decision to take the baby home. Her initial instinct is to provide the baby with food and shelter until her family can be located. But as her fondness for the baby grows, she finds herself facing a life on the run or worse—prison time for abduction.

Curl up with Merry Mary this holiday season. A heartwarming story of the powerful connection between a caring soul and an innocent child in need.

[Published 15 October 2015, 98 pages]

About the Author

Ashley Farley is a wife and mother of two college-aged children. She grew up in the salty marshes of South Carolina, but now lives in Richmond, Virginia, a city she loves for its history and traditions.

After her brother died in 1999 of an accidental overdose, she turned to writing as a way of releasing her pent-up emotions. She wrote SAVING BEN in honor of Neal, the boy she worshipped, the man she could not save. SAVING BEN is not a memoir, but a story about the special bond between siblings.

HER SISTER'S SHOES—June 2015—is a women's novel that proves the healing power of family.

Merry Mary—October 2015—a holiday novella, a young woman longing for a child stumbles upon a Christmas miracle.

BREAKING THE STORY is scheduled for release on March 17, 2016. A romantic political suspense. Passion. Peril. And a scandal that will rock American politics.

Follow Ashley Farley:

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Giveaway

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