Life Defined

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Blog Tour Stop: "Conviction of the Heart" - by Alana Lorens

Good Day to You, Bloggers, Readers, Writers, and [insert plural noun here]...

It's been an interesting beginning to the week thus far, no? Indeed, it has. So many ventures to be made, yet several past us and awaiting the history books (or, at least, marking chapters in our lives, however great or small). But today marks a great one, for I have a wonderful author I would like to introduce to you all: Barbara Mountjoy - writing as Alana Lorens! Her next release is a romance novel titled, Conviction of the Heart, and it will be out in four days' time (June 8th) through The Wild Rose Press. Also, be sure to check out the Giveaway listed in the middle of this post! Results to be announced once the blog tour is complete~

So, Ms. Mountjoy, I understand you've led a busy life. Would you mind telling us a little about yourself and how your life relates to your writing? 

            Back in my Miami days, I used to be married to a cop. As a lawyer, this was sometimes helpful and sometimes really not.

            For one thing, there was no such thing a “inappropriate” dinner conversation. Our growing children heard about bloody car accidents and deal bodies and “hypothetical” discussion about cases and procedure right along with their instant macaroni and cheese. (With two parents out working such long hours, who had time to cook real food?)

            Unless you work for the District Attorney’s office, the police don’t have much use or respect for you as a lawyer. If you’re an “ambulance chaser”, you’re likely in their way while they’re trying to do their work, and if you’re a family law attorney, you’re either going to gum up one of their cases—or worse, maybe represent one of their spouses.   

            In fact, it often becomes a matter of oil and water—or at the extreme, dogs and cats.
            As I concentrated more on family law, and particularly cases with domestic violence in the homes, I discovered that more often than not, the police only contribute to the problem. I would instruct clients to call the police immediately if they felt unsafe. The police would put the call on a back burner, particularly if it was an address they thought they’d visited enough that month. Or when they’d show up, despite the hours of training they all have to determine who’s the aggressor in a case, when the combatants blamed each other, the police would just threaten to arrest them both and put their kids in foster care.  So the victim backs off, not wanting to lose her kids, and the abuser wins. The cops leave, and there they are at a Mexican standoff.

            So in CONVICTION OF THE HEART, when family lawyer Suzanne Taylor meets police lieutenant Nick Sansone, she’s understandably reluctant to engage. But one domestic violence victim in particular brings them together, and the repercussions of working her case resonate through both their lives, threatening to tear apart their new-found trust and relationship apart. For her, the question becomes, will she pull back into herself and protect her family, or will the challenge bring out her mama grizzly, enough to defend her family, and Nick too, against this criminal abuser.

 Wow - it sounds like a powerful piece. And luckily for readers, you're holding a SUMMER CONTEST for - not only Conviction of the Heart - but another title you're releasing this July, Second Chances. Can you let us know how readers may enter?



CONVICTION OF THE HEART (release date June 8, 2012)

And SECOND CHANCES (release date July 2012)

The first and Second books of the Pittsburgh Lady Lawyer Series!

Come by the following blogs or live book-signings and leave a comment to be entered in a drawing—at the end of the tour, Alana will give away one ebook copy of each book and one paperback copy of each book—Four lucky winners! Check out all the websites at

What a wonderful opportunity! And now, to let readers get a taste of your work, would you mind sharing with us an excerpt and a bit about Conviction of the Heart?


Family law attorney Suzanne Taylor understands her clients’ problems—her own husband left her with two babies to raise alone. Now that they’re teenagers, her life is full. The last thing she wants is the romantic attentions of a police lieutenant, no matter how good-looking.

Lt. Nick Sansone is juggling the demands of a new promotion, and doesn’t need complications either. But when he sends a councilman’s battered wife to Suzanne for help, he realizes he wants to connect with the lovely, prickly lawyer on more than a professional level.

They are soon confronted with a different battle, when the abused woman's husband threatens retribution. The powerful, well-connected councilman can damage both their careers—not to mention hurt those they love. Can they bend enough to admit they need each other in a time of crisis? Or will a husband’s revenge take them down before they ever get a chance?
When they arrived a short time later at the expensive Shadyside Morgan home, they found the door standing open. Nothing was amiss in the beautifully-landscaped front yard and no one came out at the sound of their car doors closing.
            Nick’s eyes took on a troubled look. “You two stay here,” he ordered. He tucked the envelope under his arm before he removed his pistol from its holster. He disappeared inside the large brick house.
            “Oh, my God,” Maddie gasped. “What’s he going to do?”
            Suzanne shushed her, pulling her behind the parked car, now a barrier between them and the house. “If someone’s broken in, they might still be inside,” she whispered. “Nick will find them. Don’t worry.”
            Expecting to hear shots any moment, Suzanne was relieved when Nick poked his head out the door and beckoned them to come in. “Don’t touch anything,” he warned as they came to the front step.
            “Don’t—what happened?” Suzanne asked. Then she saw.
             The house looked as if a poltergeist had been through every drawer, every closet. Maddie's clothes were scattered around the living room, slashed to pieces. Furniture was overturned. Some of the children's toys were burned in the middle of their bedroom floor.
            But that wasn’t the worst of it. Scrawled across the front of the kitchen refrigerator, in what looked like blood, were the words, “You're dead, bitch.”
            Maddie had managed well until then. Her knees seemed to fold up, and she fell in the middle of the floor and cried as if her heart was broken.
 Thank you for stopping by today, Ms. Mountjoy. It's been a pleasure having you.

Find out more about Barbara Mountjoy and her writing as Alana Lorens (and don't forget to participate in the Giveaway!):


  1. I love the cover of your book! So well done! And the idea of the lawer and police man is brilliant!

    (To Rachel)

    Thank you for your comment! And I am glad you like the idea of illustrations! I am very excited for it 8-D

    Yes, I think you will like North and South. It is like of like Pride and Prejudice, but Mr. Thornton ( I think) is cooler then Mr. Darcy.

  2. Thank you Ms. Baillot-- This is one of my favorite covers too! I'm trying to follow the "write what you know" theory, and in this book it seems to have gone well. Thanks for coming by.

  3. And thanks to Rachel Hunter for hosting me today...I love the warmth and support of the Hydra authors group!

  4. It's my pleasure, Barbara (aka: Ms. Lorens). I'm always glad to help in any way that I can. Congratulations again on your upcoming release! :)

    Ms. Baillot: Yes, keep me posted on the illustrations. I always love to see new 'reveals'. (And I'll keep my eye out for "North and South" in the meantime. Er - 'two' eyes).


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