Monday, September 16, 2013

Book Blitz: Heist by Laura Pauling

Choosing the Gardner Heist

I love heists - any and all kinds: art theft, diamonds, bank robberies, con stories…etc. Some of my favorite movies and books involve a heist of some sort. So a few years back, I decided to write about one. But which one?

I turned to my best friend in times like this - Google. I plugged in the words, famous art heist. And on the very first page I found the Gardner Heist. I still didn’t think much of it, but I clicked on it, and the word, Boston, flashed on the screen. What? There was a famous heist in a museum in a city near me? The decision was made.

Of course, I knew absolutely nothing about the museum or the heist.

So, the research started. I read nonfiction books and learned the ins and outs of the crime. It truly was fascinating. At that point in time, the heist was coming on twenty years - and it had never been solved! That hooked me even more.

This was an amazing opportunity for me. My books have been set in Paris, Greece, Prague, and the ruins of the ancient Maya. I had to learn what I could of those settings from blogs, books, Youtube videos…etc. It was incredible to go to Boston, walk through the museum, stroll through the Public Garden, ride the T - all settings in my story. Of course, soaking in the atmosphere and scribbling down details I’d be sure to forget otherwise.

You’ll find all those details in Heist. Plus, you’ll walk through details of one of the most famous art heists.


Have you always known you wanted to be a writer?

No, I haven’t. I’d love to say I’m one of those writers that wrote her first story when she was 3 months old. But, I’ve always loved a good story. It wasn’t until I was home with my kids that I got the urge to create my own. Before then, though, I always had a creative outlet. I loved putting together small photo albums. I quilted - for a little bit, even finishing a wall hanging. And I put a lot of time into the children’s ministry at my church, planning events. The earliest creative memory I have is designing a line of cards to sell in the neighborhood.

What’s a recent book you’ve read that you absolutely loved? And what will you be reading?

The last book that I couldn’t put down and loved was Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank. A book I’m looking forward to reading soon is Nomad by J.L. Bryan - another time travel thriller.

What do you like to do in your free time? Any other creative pursuits?

Right now, outside of writing, my time is spent with my family and my kids. I enjoy hanging with them, especially because every time I blink, they seem to get a year older. I still participate in my church, co-leading the middle school youth group too.

Will there be a sequel to Heist? Or will you be working on something new?

Right now, Heist is a stand-alone novel. If I were to write a sequel it would be from Jetta’s point of view on one of the alternate time lines. When I hit this alternate time line in Heist, I realized there was a lot more to tell there. And, of course, other heists to write about.

I’m eagerly planning, plotting and outlining an adult light-hearted romantic mystery. We’ll see what happens when the writing starts. I’d love to turn it into a series.


Jetta stops. The March breeze blows strands of hair across her face, partially masking her eyes. People walking to work flow around us. “How would you know about that?”

I stammer. How did I let that slip? The answer comes immediately and I blurt, “A psychic used to live in the coffee shop.”

Jetta crosses her arms, and her eyes narrow in on me with a dangerous look. “And you picked up some tricks?”

“Just a few here and there.” The doubt in her eyes forces me to scramble for a way out. A distraction. “Do you want me to read your palm?”

She pulls me out of the flow of pedestrians and holds out her hand, disbelief in her eyes. “Leave out the bad crap, ’kay?”

I wipe my sweaty palms off on my jeans then grab hold of her wrist. The contact sends tiny bolts through me. My gaze travels up to her face, her creamy skin, the lips that seem so kissable. I gulp. “No prob.”

“Why is your hand trembling?” Jetta asks.

I puff out my chest and make my voice as serious as possible. “It’s the psychic power getting ready to be unleashed.”

“Should I be scared?” Jetta whispers mockingly, her voice breathless.

I wink. “You’re in the hands of a professional.”  

“What a cheesy line.” She rolls her eyes. “Hope you can do better than that.”

“Don’t disturb the master while he’s at work.” I raise my voice and manipulate my voice to sound like a gruff old man. An elderly lady flashes me a strange look.

Jetta giggles, light radiating across her face. Her eyes sparkle.

Slowly, I trace my finger down a line that stretches across her palm. My fingers tingle. The overwhelming smell of peaches comes to me. “You like peaches.”

“That’s my body spray.”

I clear my throat and try not to look at her soft pink lips. I trace a line that runs diagonal opposite her thumb. “Creativity flows through you like a mountain spring.”

“You already know I like art. Doesn’t count.”

I throw her a stern look, which produces another round of giggles. “Fine.” I search for the right words to save Jetta from her grandmother. I’m the only one who can warn her. I wish I had that kind of power in Dad’s life. In Stick’s life. “Stay away from art festivals today.”  

“Why would I go to an art festival? I just moved into town. And that doesn’t count because that’s like saying, ‘Don’t climb Mt. Everest during lunch break.’”

“You’re testing the powers of the Great Fiasco.” I think hard about what to say next. This might be my only chance. What simple fortune will protect her?

“Does my hand say anything about being late to school on my first day?” she demands.

“Zippo. But wait,” I pull her hand closer, “I see a silver Mercedes.”

Jetta’s breath catches in her throat. “And?”

“Stay close to your friends so trouble won’t find you.”

She yanks her hand back as if I shocked her. She smoothes her hair and fiddles with the bow. Her face pales as if she has secrets in her life—reasons to be in trouble.

“This is silly,” she states and forges a path down the sidewalk, ending the conversation. “Let’s go. I need time to pass in my transfer records.”

I follow, trying to not watch her hips sway with every step, and suppressing the curious feelings beating with my heart.


Can one decision change the past?
 Jack Brodie has a sixth sense that someone has been watching him. Following him.

One night he travels back in time to one of the world’s largest art thefts, known as the Gardner Heist. Why that one moment in time? And what does it mean for Jack?

When he returns, his world is different. His best friend is rougher, meaner. His dad hasn’t been around in years. And then there’s Jetta. The girl who took over his heart the moment she stepped into his life. No one is safe.

Each time Jack goes back to the heist to fix his mistakes, he returns to face the fallout. Disaster strikes in the present until Jack must make a choice. His family and his own happiness. Or the girl he loves. Except, he learns that his sixth sense was right.

Someone has been watching him and wants him dead.




Laura Pauling writes young adult fiction. She lives the cover of suburban mom/author perfectly, from the minivan to the home-baked snickerdoodles, while hiding her secret missions and covert operations. But shh. Don't tell anyone!

Her YA Circle of Spies Series includes A SPY LIKE ME and HEART OF AN ASSASSIN. Book three, TWIST OF FATE will be released in the fall of 2013.

HEIST, a young adult, psychological thriller, will be released the summer of 2013.

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