Friday, June 14, 2013

Stone Of Heaven Excerpts and More Images That Inspired The Story


Book One of the Carswell Adventure Series  
The Recluse …
Tori Carswell treasures her solitude and simple life.  Her identical twin, Abby Carswell, is the polar opposite, seeking increasingly risky adventures.  Now Abby has put herself in mortal danger, captive of an ancient Mayan cult.  Her only hope?  Woefully under-prepared Tori.
And the Treasure Hunter …
Reid Hunter, good-natured and currently broke, aims to beat his ex-partner Abby to the fabled blue jade known as the Stone of Heaven.  But when reclusive, aero-phobic Tori overcomes her fear of flying and tracks her sister to a well guarded tomb deep in the Yucatan rainforest, he realizes Abby is in serious trouble.
Can Opposites Accomplish the Impossible?
Abby no longer trusts Reid. Can Tori risk doing so now, and join forces with him to save her sister?  Or will Reid put riches before life and love? 

Deep in the Yucatan jungle . . . 
Siesta forgotten, Jacinto pushed the broad leaf aside and saw several blue pebbles twinkling in the sunlight. 
Scooping them into his palm, awed that they glowed so brightly, he was certain they must be worth much. He carefully pushed the pebbles deep into the pocket of his pants, making sure they were safe, then scrabbled in the sodden underbelly of the rainforest for more. 
As he dug deeper into the mud, a sting crossed his palm. He jerked back his hand, fearful an asp had bitten him. But a gash, not bite holes, bled through the mud covering his palm. Relieved, he carefully started to dig deeper. 
Soon the broken edge of a thick blue stone poked above the mud. 
Excited that it had to be more valuable than the pebbles and forgetting caution, Jacinto thrust his hand deep into the muck, folding his fingers around the object, holding tight despite the sharp edge slicing deeper into his palm. 
Freeing the egg-sized piece, he wiped his prize on his shirt and stared with awe at the intricately carved corner, broken off something he couldn't imagine. Spitting on the carving and rubbing it with his thumb, he cleared off most of the muddy haze and held his treasure up to the sun, playing it back and forth in the strong light. The blue stone's glow was mesmerizing, seeming as if the sun itself were trapped inside. "¡Madre de Dios!"

Little took Reid by surprise, but the woman standing in front of him did the trick. He pushed back his hat and crossed his arms, giving himself a second to think.
"Victoria Carswell, as I live and breathe, you actually exist." Leaning back against the plane's door, he scanned her from head to toe, taking his time, enjoying the view.
She really was the identical twin of Abby. A fraction taller, a bit thinner, her hair a bit longer. His gaze was drawn to her mouth as she licked her lips, completely unaware of the invitation she offered even as her gray eyes with those mysterious ebony flecks held a look of suspicion and wariness. Yet they didn't hold the razor-sharp glint Abby's now often held.
And when Tori blinked, for that split second following, she revealed a hint of melancholy buried deep in her soft gray gaze.
His gaze narrowed on the antique butterfly sword she held. "Nice sword. Who were you expecting?"
"Not you." She moved back a step and brushed against the papers on the desk.
All Reid's other thoughts fled when a glimmer of blue peeked out from beneath the edge of one of the stacks of paper.
Was it the jade? Was it what the boy Jacinto had shown Abby? Could it be his luck had finally turned?
He took a step toward her, and she moved back farther. Another step forward by him and a step backward for her, almost like a tango, until she was pinned against the desk. Right where he wanted her, the confusion in her eyes exactly what he wanted her to feel. He leaned toward her, focusing on her mouth while he palmed and pocketed the jade.
Euphoria swept through him, and he wanted to dance, pump his fists and crow at the top of his voice. This was the drug of treasure hunters. It didn't matter at the moment that he hadn't found it first, it mattered only that he was holding it. The jade was real and he had a piece of it.
He even wanted that kiss he'd feigned to Tori, wanting to wipe that confusion off her face and replace it with satisfaction.
Instead of doing any of what he wanted, he straightened. "Where's Abby?" he asked, his voice normal, his pulse still hammering.
"You're following her, you should know. Have you seen Dr. Sanchez?"
"No, I assume he's in his dusty museum. And by the way, I got here first, I never follow," he said, leaning next to her against the desk, amused as she shifted away from him.
Wait, what was that she said? "Whoa, back up a bit. Why would you think Sanchez is here?"
"Because Lupe told me he was heading for Chuca. I thought the plane out there might have been his."
"It's not, it's mine. You met Lupe?"
"She was at the airport to pick me up."
"And where is she now?"
Victoria shrugged.
Stunned, Reid realized what she'd said. "Wait, you're telling me you flew down here? Christ, Abby must be in some trouble for you to get on an airplane."

To Buy Stone of Heaven:
To contact L. A.

This is not my photo, but gives you a good sense
of the scale of El Castillo and its location
to the cove below.
This is an aerial view of the main ruins,
only a part of the vast archeological site.

Museo Nacional De Antropologia in Mexico City

Olmec head on the grounds of the museum.

This is on top of the museum.

This is a reproduction of a temple
on the museum grounds.


  1. Just stunning, Leslie Ann! Both the pictures and your writing sparkle. I'm so excited for are such a talented writer. The very best to you in your journey with Stone of Heaven. Cant' wait to read it!!!!

  2. More pictures! I love it!

    The descriptions in the story fit the actual pics. Adding this extra visual piece is nice.

    Any pictures of the blue jade?

  3. Lisa, you're making me blush. Thank you for your enthusiasm, it brightens my day and makes me believe I might really be a good author :)


  4. Audra,
    Yep, I tried to bring some pictures of places that were in the book.

    Duh, I'll look for pix of blue jade, good idea.


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