Friday, November 12, 2010

Welcome Mary Montague Sikes blog book tour.

I am thrilled to welcome my first guest author on her blog book tour, Mary Montague Sikes. I met Mary, known to us bloggers as Monti, when I took the blog book tour class last summer. She is a great friend, happy to encourage and give feedback and I know she is a fabulous artist and writer too.

Mary Montague Sikes is an award-winning author, freelance writer, photographer, artist, and teacher who loves to travel, especially to exotic tropical locations. The settings for her books and articles include Jamaica, Antigua, Trinidad, and St. Martin. Her most recent research trips carried her to Los Cabos on the western coast of Mexico, to Yellowstone National Park where she took over 500 photographs, and to Carmel-by-the-Sea where she marveled at photo opportunities wherever she turned.

The Fredericksburg, VA native is author of five award-winning books. She presents workshops on promotion and marketing to state and national conventions as well as to many local writers groups. Hotels to Remember, a coffee table book that includes the Jefferson Hotel, the Homestead, and the Hotel Del Coronado is illustrated with her artwork and photographs.

A founder of Virginia Romance Writers, she has served on the Board of Governors of the Virginia Writers Club and is a member and past president of the Richmond Branch of the National League of American Pen Women. Her poem and paintings are featured in Happy Birthday, Mr. Lincoln, an anthology of work by members of the National League of American Pen Women. She is included in Who’s Who in American Women.

Her paintings are exhibited widely in Virginia and are in private and public collections in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. Night Watch, her latest novel, was released earlier this year. Dangerous Hearts, a novella set in Virginia, was released by Red Rose Publishing in June.



Night Watch and the Passenger to Paradise Logo

A few months ago, my publisher, Oak Tree Books, created a logo for the Passenger to Paradise series. Night Watch is the latest book in that series and the first one with the logo on the spine. You can tell I really like the logo she made because I’m using a version of it with my blog title, “Notes Along the Way”.

The logo is especially perfect for Night Watch because my heroine is at the Trinidad airport not knowing what to do when no one appears to pick her up like she expected. I’m sure Lily would have been a little happier had she traveled with only one roller bag (like the logo shows) which is something I have learned to do. Instead, she has pieces of heavy luggage to tug around with her in a strange location.

What would you do if you were to land in a foreign country, expecting someone to meet you and no one does? That would be quite a dilemma especially if you could find no one willing to help you and your cell phone doesn’t work for whatever reason.

Maybe Lily should have planned her trip a little better. But Lily thought she had everything taken care of when she hired her trusted travel agent who made all the arrangements. Certainly, she will never use this travel agent again.

Would you have gotten in the car with the two strange men whose only identification as far as Lily knows are the logos on their shirts? Another dilemma, but she doesn’t know what else to do and she’s trying to develop her self-confidence as well as a career in photo-journalism.

What would you have thought if a stranger dashed toward you from a crowd in an airport and insisted you were someone else? Someone you never heard of?

Boy Mary…if a stranger ran up to me and said that I’d wonder how mush he’d been drinking. Doesn’t this book sound intriguing? I know I am looking forward to reading it.

You can buy Night Watch from Amazon.com

Please comment and ask Mary questions about her new release. Mary is giving away prizes to all who follow her blog book tour and make a comment. Jump over to her blog, Notes Along The Way, to read more.

44 comments:

DominicSFF said...

Hello Mary, and thank you for this interesting article :) The premise of the start of Night Watch is certainly intriguing, particularly to someone with SF&F leanings! If it doesn't give the game away, what genre do you think this book falls within? (or do you wish to defy pigeon-holing?!)

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Intriguing start to the book and cool premise! I think I'd have run away, but I'm suspicious that way. :) Thanks for introducing us to Mary, Nancy!

Jules said...

What a slew of teasing questions you present to us. I hate to say it but I probably would have thrown a piece of luggage at the approaching stranger :)

Thanks for the introduction to Mary :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

N. R. Williams said...

I'm a little late with my first comment. I over slept. But I do agree, I'd thought the guy nuts and wouldn't have gone with him. Isn't it great that characters are often more brave than we are.
I believe Mary will stop by on occasion to share her thoughts.
Thank you Dominic, Elizabeth and Jules for your comments.
NR

Monti said...

Hello Nancy,

I'm the one who's up late this morning and I'm on the east coast!

Thank you so much for having me as your guest today. I'm certainly proud to be your first guest blogger. Dani taught us a lot last summer, and I guess we learned to be daring and to put our feet in the water even when we were uncertain.

Dominic, thank you for your comment. I consider Night Watch a mystery with some paranormal elements that I leave open-ended so that you can believe or not.

Elizabeth and Jules, I agree with you about being suspicious. However, by now the airport is deserted and she has no one to turn to. Besides that, Lily is expecting someone from the resort to meet her, and these men are wearing shirts with the resort logo. She would have to be torn and confused and exhausted because it's near midnight.

N. R. Williams said...

That helps to explain why she'd go with those guys. A great premise. I'm looking forward to reading this series.
NR

Diana Cosby said...

Hi Monti,
Enjoyed the blog. Wow, I so did not know you were a founder of Virginia Romance Writers. I'm not surprised. You're an amazing person who continually inspires me. Take care and I wish you continued success! *Hugs*

Diana Cosby, AGC(AW), USN Ret.

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you for your comment Diana.
NR

Monti said...

Thanks, Diana. Yes, my husband and I went to a talk Nora Roberts and several other Silhouette authors made at the old Miller & Rhodes Tea Room in downtown Richmond. There were about 200 people at the event, so we decided to pass a paper around to get signatures of those interested in forming a group. And so it went from there, starting with a small group that grew and grew!!! It began that autumn day in 1986!

You are an inspiration!!! Congratulations on your new best seller and continued success. Hugs back.

Helen Ginger said...

The book sounds interesting. I wouldn't want to be in your protagonist's situation. I'm a wimp, but it's fun to live vicariously through a character who's not.

Monti said...

Hi Helen,

I agree. It's great to have a character who is braver and more daring than we dare to be!!!

Thanks for commenting.

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you Helen for stopping by and leaving a comment. It means a lot to me and to Monti too.
NR

Patricia A. Timms said...

Night Watch sounds like a very interesting book. The whole time I was reading this blog I was wondering what I would do. Now I'm going to be thinking about this all day. Love it!

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks for leaving a comment Patricia. I agree, the questions Mary (Monti) asked make the imagination want to learn the answers.
NR

Monti said...

Thanks for your comment, Patricia. Often, we don't know what the right decision is until it's too late. Sometimes we make the right decision and then regret it for a while. That's the way I felt about the Writer's Cruise that many of the other Oak Tree authors planned to take. Because I don't like being on boats and am claustrophobic I decided against going. Then, I regretted that decision because I wanted to be with the writers for the writer's conference on board the Carnival Splendor! Well, as you can see, my decision was the right one after all. The trip was supposed to start this Sunday, and, of course, it was canceled because the equipment was not available!

Marian Allen said...

I'm reading the book, and it's understandable that Lily would go with those guys under the circumstances, even though she felt uneasy about it. I probably would have done the same thing.

As for the guy coming up to me in the airport, considering what this guy looked like, I would probably have said, "Uh, who did you say? Yeah, yeah, that's totally who I am." ;)

Marian Allen

Monti said...

Oh, Marian, do I ever love your response!!!
Thanks so much for commenting!

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you Marian for stopping by and giving us an insight into this book. Great.
NR

Monti said...

Nancy, I apologize for not telling you about the contest. I thought you knew. It came as an after thought when I read about someone else's contest. I love prizes and it's always fun to have a chance to win one!

N. R. Williams said...

I'm just glad I added it Monti. I will share this in my side bar too.
NR

Liz Fichera said...

Great hook and interesting story questions. Nice learning more about your books!

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment Liz.
NR

Kelly said...

Intriguing premise! Now you have me in suspense...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Not commenting to enter but I look forward to hosting Monti on Monday.

Morgan Mandel said...

Scary thought about being alone in a foreign country. I can't even find my way around my own neighborhood at times.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com
morgan@morganmandel.com

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you Kelly, Alex and Morgan. It is an intriguing premise and I too wouldn't want to be stranded in a foreign country. I wouldn't want to be stranded in Downtown Denver. LOL
NR

gideon 86 said...

Sounds like a GREAT read. I traveled extensively and I can just imagine who I'd feel.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and letting me know Nancy. And for posting my blogfest.

Michael

Bob Sanchez said...

Hi, I'm not sure how I'd react. Do people in this country speak English? Do I have any money? To that person who insisted I was someone else, maybe I'd just laugh and say, "Oh, I get that all the time!"

This sounds like a fun book!

fire in the hooooole said...

wow, wow... u'v introduced an artist. she's really an artist. hope to meet her one day. and yes the book sound intriguing, ill try to look at it in bookstores. nice post anyway,

N. R. Williams said...

Hey Michael, I had to post and join in a Harry Potter blogfest. Thanks for leaving a comment too. Mary's book does sound great.

Those are excellent questions Bob. Thank you for dropping by.

Yes, fire in the hoooole...Mary is an artist and a writer. I am glad you came by and left a comment.
NR

Monti said...

Thanks, Kelly, Morgan, Michael, Bob, Liz, and Fire for stopping by. Just got back from art opening event in Petersburg, VA. So hard to choose, but I love both art and writing. Do we have to choose our passions?

Lynda Young said...

The book sounds interesting. It's amazing how many writers are also artists.
:)

Monti said...

Thanks, Lynda! Yes, that's true. Can't seem to stop creating something. At least the paintings I'm making now are smaller than the 4 x 6 foot ones I used to create! Smaller is more manageable.

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you for your comment Lynda. Monti, I love that you paint too.
NR.

Clarissa Draper said...

I think it looks like a lovely book. I sure do love the covers. The author is talented!

CD

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks for dropping by Clarissa. You're absolutely right about the covers.
NR

L'Aussie said...

Hi! This was a great guest interview and I enjoyed it so much. I learned a lot about Mary and about this new book which I'll enjoy reading. A brave protagonist.

Thanks NR, for having Mary on your 'show'..:)

Monti said...

Thanks, Clarissa and L'Aussie for your comments. I once wrote a blog post about the importance of covers to readers as they select a book. The cover and the back material both influence the purchase, according to comments I received then.

Monti said...

Thanks, Nancy, for having me on your very active blog. You have done an amazing job! Love the bright blues!

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you L'Aussie, it's always great to have you stop in and leave a comment.

Monti, it was wonderful to have you as my first guest author. Great success for the future.
NR

Patricia Stoltey said...

I really like the plot idea, Monti. And thanks, Nancy, for hosting Monti on her tour. It's so much fun to follow our blogger friends and learn more about them at each stop.

Monti said...

Thanks so much Patricia for commenting. I really appreciate you and Nancy for having me as your guest!

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks for stopping by Patricia. It is wonderful to be able to support each other.

Monti it was great having you.
NR

Susanne Drazic said...

Interesting post. I enjoyed learning about the author and her books.