Monday, June 17, 2019

"Love, Lies, and Azure Eyes" by Janis Thornton

Love, Lies, and Azure Eyes
by Janis Thornton

Love, Lies, and Azure Eyes by Janis Thornton

Love, Lies, and Azure Eyes by Janis Thornton is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

West Coast journalist Annie Sinclair’s career, not to mention her love life, has been on the skids far too long, when she returns to Logan Point, her small, Indiana hometown. She’s back to make amends with her elderly father, and to delve into the 25-year-old, unsolved murder of her high school classmate for a writing gig with a national tabloid.
Annie’s plans soon go awry, and her mettle is tested - first when her father warns her against digging into the past; and again, when she meets the Logan Point Ledger’s handsome, but exasperating, new editor; and again still, when she reconnects with her first love, who clearly wants to rekindle what once was.
But Annie’s most arduous test appears in the form of the earthbound spirit of a boy she once knew - the boy with the azure eyes accused of the murder she is looking into. He needs her to prove his innocence, so he can break the ties that bind him to the darkness. In exchange, he will set Annie free to realize that the love she yearns for is just within her reach … if only she will open her heart.

Johnny Lange dug his fingertips into the Cadillac’s padded leather dash and gaped squinty-eyed into the post-midnight fog that wrapped like a hermetic seal around the lonely stretch of Indiana Highway 280. As the vintage Coupe de Ville whipped through the white curtain of mist, Johnny looked for a little tear in the wispy wall that might reveal some sort of familiar landmark—a billboard, a crossroad, the pavement itself—anything that could help him determine his proximity to The Curve. But it was futile. He couldn’t even see the fancy, Flying Goddess ornament anchored to the hood five feet in front of his nose.
Turning to his classmate behind the wheel, Johnny’s anxiety spiked. Carter McKuen, the darling of Logan Point High, was sloshed to the gills and driving way too fast toward The Curve—the dreaded, cursed Curve. Grinning stupidly, Carter took a long pull of his imported beer and thrust the can back between his thighs.
“I was thinking,” Johnny said, “you might want to ease up on the gas.” He spoke with exaggerated deference, choosing his words with care. Nothing good could come from barking orders to a drunk.
“I’m pretty sure The Curve is coming up.”
If Carter heard, he didn’t show it. He only gawked at Johnny through droopy, hooded slits, then calmly slurred his intention. “I’m gonna take it.”
Johnny’s heart rate quickened. “Excuse me?”
“I’m gonna take that sucker at a hunerd … a f’kin’ hunerd.”
Adrenaline fired through Johnny’s veins. His survival instinct locked into gear. He eyed the speedometer. Ninety-five! What were the odds he could reason with Carter, convince him to stop this insanity?
Convince him to stop!
From nowhere, a prayer he’d heard once as a child echoed through his head: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no …” He flashed Carter a sideways glance. “…evil.”
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Guest Post by the Author
Fifty-Year-Old Mystery Inspires Novel and Brings Closure
Thank you for inviting me to introduce myself to your audience and to share a bit about myself and my newly released paranormal-romantic-mystery, Love, Lies, and Azure Eyes.
I’ve been writing since I was eight years old, back when I was creating little stories for a neighborhood “newspaper” for which I was reporter, editor, and publisher. Of course, “The Kentucky Avenue Chronicle” - circulation seven - quickly devolved into obscurity, but it was a start. <wink> I was 40 before I was brave enough to try my hand at fiction and enroll in a short-story-writing class at a nearby college. I was terrible at it, but I was bitten. And I improved.
Ten years later, I started the first draft of what would become Love, Lies, and Azure Eyes. Finishing it took another ten years. After that, I stashed it in a lonely spot on my hard drive, where it collected cobwebs (and a few dust bunnies) and patiently waited for its day in the sun.
Although Love, Lies, and Azure Eyes is my third published novel, it’s actually the first one I finished and the one that took longest for me to see in print. The 1965 unsolved death of my high school classmate is the inspiration fueling it. When I first started writing the story, I figured that since I would never know what really happened to my classmate, perhaps solving the crime in a fictitious setting would provide the closure I had always hoped for.
So, while the storyline differs considerably from the actual tragedy, it does give my protagonist, Annie, the opportunity to solve a similar murder. And that, in turn, allows me to live vicariously through Annie as she works her way through the clues and discovers the answers that I, like her, have wanted to know for decades: why and how my classmate died and who was responsible.
Writing this book also blazed a path for me to explore the related, true-life story of the boy accused of murdering my classmate. Sadly, a few months after her death, he was killed in a car crash and was never able to clear his name. In the book, he’s portrayed as Johnny, the earthbound ghost of that boy, who must prove his innocence before he can move on to the next plane of the afterlife.
And finally, of course, sparks fly when Annie meets Scott, the sexy new editor of her hometown newspaper, and voila! … I sure hope Love, Lies, and Azure Eyes gives readers the entertaining, satisfying read they’re always looking for.
And for me? It’s the long-awaited closure that eluded me for 50 years.

About the Author
Janis Thornton
Janis Thornton is the author of a true crime/oral history/memoir Too Good a Girl, as well as two cozy mysteries Dust Bunnies & Dead Bodies and Dead Air & Double Dare. She also is the author of two local history books and contributor to Undeniably Indiana. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Authors Guild, and the Indianapolis Writers Center. She lives in her Indiana hometown in the same house where she grew up.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of three ebook copies of Love, Lies, and Azure Eyes by Janis Thornton.

Amazon (Kindle Unlimited)

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