Monday, February 17, 2014

The Ugly Tree Book Series Highlight & Excerpt by Tamara Lyon

I'm excited to present to you "The Ugly Tree" Book Series. The Ugly Tree was a finalist in the Midwest Book Awards! The books were also a finalist in the 2011 New Generation Indie Award! 

~Book 1 - The Ugly Tree~

Considering Cane Kallevik’s rocky start, her life has been normal under the watchful eye of Grandma Betty.
Freckle-faced, scrawny, and almost sixteen, Cane has ants in her pants. When she’s not running five miles at a crack, she’s riding her bike around the rural farming town of Savage, Illinois and engaging in a secret warfare with her former best friend, Mikayla Atwood. The biggest thorn in her side is Jenny Ryanne Schaeffer, her employer, who Cane has nicknamed Jelly Roll for painfully obvious reasons.

When Justice Price, Jelly Roll’s gorgeous, older nephew rolls into town, Cane is convinced that their age difference is a minor inconvenience. On the first day they meet, she invites him for a nighttime rendezvous. Despite the tornado warnings that evening, she leaves her house, hoping by some miracle that Justice will show up. While she’s waiting, a tornado of epic proportions slides right by her, leveling everything in its path.

Cane’s house is destroyed, and Grandma Betty is in a coma. Out of necessity, Cane moves in with the Schaeffer family and spends the summer falling in love with Justice, keeping vigil at Grandma Betty’s side, fighting with Jelly Roll, walking a fine line between love and hate with Mikayla, and discovering scandalous secrets about Mikayla’s mother, Annette.

Cane endures a summer of waiting, loving, and longing. In a dramatic conclusion her world literally goes up in flames, but instead of losing everything, she finds exactly what she’s looking for in the most unexpected way.“

~Book 2 - Cane's Justice~
In this sequel to the award-winning The Ugly Tree, Cane has always known that the handsome and sweet Justice Price, was the one. So, when he pops the question and offers her everything she's ever wanted and more, she readily accepts. But, when Cane learns a secret about Justice she panics, insists she needs some time to think things through and leaves for the summer, breaking Justice s heart and her own. Now in Colorado and living with her college roommate, a successful business woman who owns two companies, Cane takes a position for Caprice as both a maid and marketing co-chair with Caprice's musician cousin, Nikeo. It isn't long before he and Cane develop an adversarial friendship wrought with sexual tension that leaves them both on edge. Though her heart still belongs to Justice, Cane can't deny her attraction to Nikeo. While she's trapped in a love triangle of her own making, Cane discovers that Justice may be in love with someone else. Will she find her happily ever after with Nikeo or Justice? Or will she lose them both? 

 ~Book 3 - The Road To Justice~ 

Feisty and impatient marketing maven Cane Kallevik is desperate to mend her relationship with Justice

Price, slip her engagement ring back on, and sprint to the altar. Justice’s feet aren't just cold, though, they’re frozen.
Still reeling from Cane’s summer fling with dangerously attractive bad boy Nikeo, Justice claims he needs time. But is it really time he wants, or their curvaceous and bubbly co-worker Susan, with her bottomless supply of adoration and baked goods? 
When Cane’s not seeking advice from Rhonda Riddle at the psychic hotline or planning ad campaigns for Schaeffer Dairy, she’s counseling eighteen-year-old Jocelyn Schaeffer through a tabloid-worthy scandal and keeping secrets for her best friend, Mikayla.
Just when Justice seems to be coming around, tragedy strikes, and at the worst possible moment Nikeo shows up on Cane’s doorstep . .

"Nikeo and I—we aren't so much a match made in heaven as a match made in hell. Dancing with the devil may be exciting, even desirable, but when the tango ends, those flames would cremate me, body and soul.
Believe me. That’s only a taste of things to come,” I interrupt her. “Here’s the deal. If you don’t find a way to gather every last photo and videotape that’s circulating—and I mean every last one, even the originals—I’m going to find a million and one ways to make your life a living hell. I will embarrass you. Mortify you. Disgrace you. Humiliate you. If I were you, I would be terrified, because I’m sickly creative, highly motivated, and am willing to go above and beyond to make your life miserable if you don’t cooperate.
His words prompt my heart to go all gooey, like a piece of melted caramel. I spin around in his arms. Our eyes lock, but that isn't the only thing I want locked together. I know what Grandma Betty said about everything going wrong because of sex, but I have to believe that the opposite is also true. Everything can go right because of sex, can’t it? Because all I want right now is to throw Justice down on this basketball court and demonstrate my agenda in detail
Nikeo steps out into view, and he and Justice are facing each other in the crowded hallway, having a nonverbal showdown with me stuck in the middle. We’re a century past the Wild, Wild West, but if either of these men had a gun, I have no doubt they would be seeing who had the faster draw and trigger finger. I've never seen them together, and now that they are, their differences in appearance and in personality astound me. Bossy and brooding green-eyed Nikeo squares off against calm and truthful blue-eyed Justice. A true bad-guy-versus-good-guy scenario unfolding in front of me.Which is why I’m completely thrown for a loop by what happens next.
The next thing I remember, I’m waking up in Justice’s arms. He places me on a bed.
“Where am I?” I ask groggily.
“In your bedroom.”
I’m picturing the spacious master suite with the tray ceiling and beautiful chandelier that Justice let me pick out of a catalog a few weeks ago. “At our house?”
“No, in your apartment.”
“My mattress is in the hallway.”
“I came back here and set everything up while you and Grandma Betty were at the hospital. I also filled your prescription. It’s sitting on the counter in the kitchen.” He gently pulls off my shoes and socks.
My brain slowly catches up with the situation. “Did Susan take you?”
“She dropped me back at my house. I took the truck.”
I prop myself up on my elbows. “I know that you still love me.”        
“You’re absolutely right.” He smiles, and those two dimples that I love so much pop into place on his gorgeous face. “I do love you. I’m going to get you a glass of water, an ice pack, and your medication. I’ll be right back.” He stands and leaves the room.
Regardless of all the issues we’re having, and trust me, there’s a heap of them, I know that this is indeed true. He takes care of me with such tenderness and always aims to make my life easier.
Every time he drives my car, he fills it with gas, checks the oil, and makes sure that I have windshield wiper fluid.
Because I’m perpetually freezing, he keeps a blanket stashed in his truck for “Cane’s emergency freezing purposes,” as he calls them.
Three weeks ago, on my first day at Schaeffer Dairy, there was a gift on my desk when I arrived at work. The card read, “It’s like a meat locker in this place, and I can’t have you freezing to death. Stay warm.” I ripped open the box; he’d bought me a fuzzy white blanket covered with cute green frogs, my second favorite animal next to golden retrievers.
He recognizes that I’m a terrible sugar hound and would most likely commit homicide for chocolate, so when we split a dessert, he lets me eat as much as I want and without fail gives me the last piece.
A few years ago on a breezy summer night, we stopped at one of the Schaeffer Dairy stores to get a triple chocolate cone. We decided to eat outside at one of the picnic tables, and I was holding my cone with one hand and keeping my long hair captive with the other. Justice set his chocolate malt on the table and walked behind me.

“I’ve got this,” he said. He took my hair out of my hand, gently raked it into a ponytail, and fastened it with a band.

~About the Author~

After graduating from Northern Illinois University in 1996, Tamara Lyon pursued a career in
the computer industry and worked at Compuware Corporation in Milwaukee, WI. When her son was born, she decided to leave the corporate world behind and actively pursue her dream of becoming a novelist. While putting her husband through medical school and residency and raising her son, Lyon has been writing novels in addition to running a successful cleaning business. With four women’s fiction titles under her belt, The Road to Justice, Cane’s Justice (sequel to The Ugly Tree and released July 2, 2013), The Ugly Tree (2011 Indie Finalist, Eric Hoffer Finalist, Midwest Book Award Finalist), and Fixing Forever Broken (IPPY Bronze Medal winner) and more to follow, she understands what it means to persevere despite life’s obstacles. Although she continues to write, she has also entered the speaking arena. Her speech titled, Giving Your Dream Wheels, chronicles her personal story and the importance of finding your dreams and making them come true one step at a time.

~Author Links~

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