Hello everyone! Today I am so excited to welcome author Anna Martin to the blog. I am a big fan of Anna’s writing, and especially her newest release Jurassic Heart, which I will be reviewing later this week. Anna is here to talk more about that book as well as to share an exclusive excerpt and a great giveaway. So please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Hi everyone! Happy New Year! *throws confetti*
I met Jay at GRL2013 where I was a cherry-sticker newbie and she took such good care of all of us so I’m super excited to be guest-blogging here today. Plus, she might have said some lovely things about my novella that had just come out (Kid Gloves) which made me like her even more 😉
A few months later and I’m even more excited to be releasing Jurassic Heart on the world. I’ve wanted to write a ‘dinosaur book’ forever and I’ve just been waiting for the right story to come along. It might be clear by now that I’m a bit of a dinosaur geek and this book was the ultimate opportunity to write about something that I really love. The title is obviously an homage to Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park, although that’s where the similarities between the books starts and ends!
As I was writing, the different elements of the story fell into place at the same time – it’s a romance and a mystery and a whodunit, and I loved weaving all of those different threads together. As always, I really like creating a story with important and rounded secondary characters, and I kind of went to town with Boner (it’s a nickname – Boner is Nick’s best friend and fellow paleontologist), Mim, Sam and the “Goth Twins” River and Raven.
At the heart of the novel (pun totally intended) is Nick, who’s an expert paleontologist and fellow dinosaur geek who gets called to consult on a dig in Alberta. It’s there that he meets Hunter, an eco-conservationist who opposes the way paleontologists and archaeologists destroy landscapes in their search for bones.
The exclusive excerpt I’ve picked to share with you is from when Nick and Hunter first meet, and it hopefully gives you a little insight into the rumbly beginnings of their relationship.
I looked up as Boner jogged down the hill toward my site. I wiped the sweat from my head, reached for my water, and climbed out of the ditch. “What?”
“You need to get back up to camp.”
“Nothing,” he said, and I realized he was out of breath. “Hunter Joseph just turned up.”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake,” I groaned.
Hunter Joseph was the dark cloud over every dig in North America, and parts of South America too, if he managed to get down there. We never knew if he was going to turn up, and I’d been lucky—so far—that he hadn’t gotten in my hair on a dig I was running.
He was a famous conservationist and at some point had decided to get a bug in his ass about the work that I, and other paleontologists, were doing. To a point, I could silently concede that some of his arguments were valid. But most of the time he had no perspective, attacked blindly, and generally caused a mess.
As we trudged back up the hill, I cast my mind back over what I knew about him, which was actually very little, annoying the hell out of me. I hated going into a confrontation on the back foot, and I was sure Joseph would have done his research on me before coming down.
He was leaning against a small hybrid vehicle as we approached, one leg casually kicked over the other with his hands shoved in his pockets. I rarely felt intimidated by guys who were taller than me—despite being five foot nine, I was always able to hold my own—but Hunter seemed to use his height advantage to look down on me.
“Mr. Joseph,” I said as I approached, slapping on my I’m a professional, yes I am face and offering my hand for him to shake. He accepted, gripping it tightly and giving me a grim smile. “I’m Dr. Eisenberg.” And using my professional title wasn’t a mistake either. “How can I help?”
“I’m here to find out what you’re doing,” he said simply.
Joseph was the picture of casual outdoor elegance in tailored khakis and a navy-blue T-shirt. His long dark hair was pulled back from his face in a smooth ponytail, revealing a long line of muscled neck down to collarbones that peeked out from under the low dip of his shirt. Thick biceps caused the fabric to strain a little around the top of his arms.
I hated that he was exactly the sort of guy I normally went for: gorgeous, interesting, slightly dangerous…. He was far, far away from the concept of a bad guy—he wasn’t leather and motorcycles—but the reaction caused by our proximity to each other was not good.
I gave him a bland smile. “We’re digging up dinosaurs, Mr. Joseph. If you’re interested, I’m sure one of my grad students would be happy to tell you more.”
He blinked at me: game on.
“I’m a conservationist, Dr. Eisenberg,” he said slowly. “My mission in life, if you like, is to preserve areas of outstanding natural beauty from those who seek to destroy it.”
“That sounds like a very noble cause,” I said. “I’m sure if you take a look around, you will see that we’re taking very good care of the area and working within provincial and federal regulations on where we can dig.”
Joseph narrowed his eyes, telling me exactly what he thought of provincial and federal regulations. I didn’t blame him—they were sketchy at best. That worked in our favor, though, meaning the records we kept as part of our work already were more than sufficient if anyone wanted to find out more details of what we were doing.
“There are some who believe those regulations are insufficient—” he started, but I interrupted him before he could get any further.
“I know that to be true,” I said. “However, at present, it is within those laws that we are obliged to work, and we do. If you want to go about changing those laws, then you need to speak to people far more important than me. Unless I can help you with anything else…?”
He looked at me and scowled. Oh, it was on.
“Cut the crap, Eisenberg,” he said. “You know why I’m here.” I raised an eyebrow at him. “You systematically destroy the landscape when you dig and you make no effort to restore it when you’re done. You tear down trees and ruin habitats and landscapes.”
“If you have a problem with the way we dig, Joseph, then you need to take that to the Environmental Protection Agency.”
“I will,” he said.
“But they’ll want evidence,” I said, taunting him now. “And you’re not going to find that here. I run a clean ship, everything is done by the book, and you’re wasting your time. Now, get off my fucking dig before I have you thrown off.”
I started to walk away and managed a few steps before he called me back.
“Eric White didn’t, though, did he?”
I turned slowly to face him, noticing more than one of my undergrads was watching the exchange. Great.
“Eric White didn’t do what?”
“Didn’t run a clean ship.”
The last piece fell into place. Hunter Joseph wasn’t here to close me down, he was here to close Eric down. That made a lot more sense.
“Eric White is no longer in charge,” I said calmly. “I am.”
He stared me down, clearly attempting to regain some control over the situation. I wasn’t going to give it to him
“I’ve set up a petition,” he said.
I got the impression he was trying to get a rise out of me. I couldn’t figure out why. I gave him a hard, level stare. “A petition for what?”
“From local people, to apply pressure to those who destroy the landscape to adequately restore it before moving on.”
“How dare you.”
“How dare I what? Do my job?”
“No, sabotage mine!”
Joseph shook his head. “When you do your job properly, there won’t be any need for me to be here. The petition is only necessary to get you to do what you should be doing anyway.”
“And who are you to tell us how to work?” I demanded. “People have been digging up dinosaur bones for a hundred years now. Do you really think you’re going to change that on your own?”
“One step at a time, Dr. Eisenberg,” he said calmly.
“You’re unbelievable. You have no right to be here.”
“I have the same rights as you,” he retorted. “More, maybe. Who knows what sort of damage you would do to this area if it weren’t for me stopping you.”
I took a deep breath, reminded myself that my team was watching, and forcibly unclenched my back teeth. “I’d like you to leave now,” I said, forcing evenness into my voice.
Saying nothing, he paused for a moment, then acquiesced, climbed back in his car, and drove off. I watched his car as it followed each of the cutbacks along the hill, wondering if it was coincidence he’d turned up such a short time after Eric had been beaten up. For some reason, I had a feeling this wasn’t the last I’d see of Hunter Joseph.
All throughout January I’m hosting an EPIC GIVEAWAY for Jurassic Heart swag. It will contain a signed copy of Jurassic Heart, a copy of one of my favourite novels – Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, and several other bits of dinosaur related goodies. To enter, simply send me a message through my website HERE with your name and email address. Please be aware that this is a giveaway for real-life stuff, so if you win, you’ll need to share your address for me to post it to you!
Find more details about my new novel Jurassic Heart at my website:
and don’t forget to follow me on twitter @missannamartin
When paleontologist Nick Eisenberg learns that someone thinks they have found velociraptor bones in Alberta, his curiosity overrides his desire to stay in London. After all, he’s one of the world’s leading experts on prehistoric predators and has always wanted to look for the velociraptor’s North American cousins. There’s only one problem: eco-conservationist Hunter Joseph. While Nick supervises the dig, Hunter rallies support from the locals to oppose the way the team is destroying the landscape in their search for dinosaur bones.
Nick and Hunter just cannot get along. Hunter is self-righteous and pouty. Nick is narrow-minded and geeky. But they have to figure out how to work on the same site without killing each other, especially since someone else out there seems determined to cause Nick more problems than he could have ever imagined.
Anna Martin is from a picturesque seaside village in the south west of England. After spending most of her childhood making up stories, she studied English Literature at university before attempting to turn her hand as a professional writer.
Apart from being physically dependent on her laptop, she is enthusiastic about writing and producing local grassroots theatre (especially at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she can be found every summer), travelling, learning to play the ukulele, and Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk.
Anna claims her entire career is due to the love, support, pre-reading and creative ass-kicking provided by her closest friend Jennifer. Jennifer refuses to accept any responsibility for anything Anna has written.
Anna is giving away a bunch of goodies during her blog tour. This includes a signed copy of Jurassic Heart, a copy of Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, and other dinosaur related goodies. To enter, send her a message through here website HERE with your name and email address.