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MintonGA.jpgFrom his early childhood, G.A. Minton has always been a diehard fan of science fiction and horror. Whenever a scary movie was playing down at the local theatre, he was there in attendance with his friends, loudly screaming in terror alongside them. G.A. enjoys many hobbies, but the game of golf is one of his favorites, having lettered on his high school golf team. Besides writing, he also enjoys reading, traveling, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, working out, listening to hard rock music, and watching great movies—especially those genres that encompass horror, science fiction, mystery, and comedy. G.A. is married, and lives in Texas with his wife, a son and daughter, and two Bengal cats.

Strangely enough, it was only after G.A. was rear-ended by a drunk driver and suffered a closed-head injury, that he developed a newfound passion for writing (even though this story has the makings for a cheesy Stephen King horror novel, it is nonetheless true—he is now called “the savant horror writer” by his friends).

G.A. penned his first novel, Trisomy XXI, which oddly enough also has 21 chapters, in only three months. He begins with chapter one and writes in a freestyle manner—almost in a stream of consciousness—using no outlines, formats, or templates to assist him. The narrative flows freely from his vivid imagination, creating a thrilling tale of terror that is formed from an ordered sequence of events.

After his devastating car accident, G.A. suffered from both memory loss and problems communicating with others, which frustrated him to no end. After numerous visits with the neurologist and weeks of taking medication used by patients afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease, G.A.’s brain slowly began to mend itself. But now, after completion of the healing process, something was very different. G.A. noticed that he had developed this overwhelming urge, this compulsive drive to put on paper a story that had formed de novo in his mind. That’s how Trisomy XXI was born. One could surmise that the damaged neurons in G.A.’s frontal cortex had rearranged themselves into a different pattern, thereby enhancing the creative elements in his brain. God only knows. . .stranger things have happened!

G.A. has recently completed his second novel, a dark, supernatural tale of horror that takes Good vs. Evil to a whole new level. Currently, his brain is busy at work, meticulously processing the text for another story of the macabre—one that will both entertain and horrify its unsuspecting reader!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00001]Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, Trisomy XXI. To begin with, can you gives us a brief summary of what the story is about and what compelled you to write it?   

A: Trisomy XXI is a story about the thrilling adventures of Joshua Allen, a sixteen-year-old boy who was born with an extra chromosome—a genetic aberration known as Trisomy XXI, or Down Syndrome. When a serious accident leaves him in a coma at the hospital, Joshua receives a mysterious injection that endows him with supernatural powers. The transformed teen is linked to a string of bizarre, unexplained deaths that have both the town’s sheriff and the coroner completely baffled. But when a ghastly creature from another planet lands on Earth and begins its hunt for Joshua—viciously slaughtering anyone in its path in order to complete its deadly mission—Joshua and his friends are thrown into a world of horror that is totally out of control. What follows is a horrific life-and-death struggle with the seemingly-indestructible extraterrestrial being. The salvation of an entire race of aliens hangs in the balance!

I was inspired to write creatively after sustaining a closed-head injury when rear-ended in my car by a drunk driver traveling at 80 to 90 mph. Immediately after the accident, I suffered from memory loss and aphasia, a problem with expressing my speech and communicating with others. When the damage to my brain finally healed, I was left with an overwhelming desire to write a story, hence, the birth of Trisomy XXI. From my earliest recollections as a young child, I have always loved the genres of horror and science fiction.

Q: What do you think makes a good horror story? Could you narrow it down to the three most important elements? Is it even possible to narrow it down?

A: There are multiple components that contribute to the makings of a good horror story, so it is very difficult to narrow it down to only three essentials. I believe that three of the most important elements are fear, surprise, and mystery. Utilizing various writing skills, an author can use fear, especially fear of the unknown, as a tool to scare the reader. The element of surprise is another important component of any good horror story, if used properly. Mystery, often involving murder(s) with an unknown killer(s), can be used to keep the reader’s interest in the story trying to guess who is the culprit. When the elements of fear, surprise, and mystery are all combined in a synergistic fashion, then it makes for one helluva great horror story!

Q: How did you go about plotting your story? Or did you discover it as you worked on the book?

A: After my brain healed from the devastating car accident that I was involved in, I have fortunately been able to conceptualize the storylines for my novels as I write—similar to a free-flowing stream of consciousness—thus allowing the creativity of my mind to function as if it were on autodrive.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist and how you developed him or her. Did you do any character interviews or sketches prior to the actual writing?

A: Joshua Allen, the sixteen-year-old boy with Down Syndrome and the protagonist of Trisomy XXI, was invented in the grey matter of my mind. The character was loosely based on a mentally-challenged cousin of mine, who I shared many wonderful experiences with during my childhood years. Unfortunately, he succumbed to cancer as a young man a long time ago.

Q: In the same light, how did you create your antagonist or villain? What steps did you take to make him or her realistic?

A: Without giving away any of the storyline, there is more than one antagonist in Trisomy XXI. The main antagonist, though, was horrifically spawned from the deepest reaches of my inner mind!

Q: How did you keep your narrative exciting throughout the novel? Could you offer some practical, specific tips?

A: That’s why it’s called creative writing! As an author, it is imperative to not only create life-like and interesting characters, but also to develop their personalities. Be sure to make their dialogue both engaging and thought-provoking, and don’t forget to leave something to the reader’s imagination. Leave enough information out of the story in order to pique the reader’s curiosity—provide just enough of a savory taste to stimulate their appetite.

Q: Setting is also quite important and in many cases it becomes like a character itself. What tools of the trade did you use in your writing to bring the setting to life?

A: The setting, especially in a tale of horror, sets the mood for the story, and enables the writer to intertwine the plot to the setting. If the setting is based on a real location, it helps if the author is familiar with its geography, terrain, etc. Make sure that the setting you choose for your story will have the proper atmosphere for your genre.

Q: Did you know the theme(s) of your novel from the start or is this something you discovered after completing the first draft? Is this theme(s) recurrent in your other work?

A: When conceptualizing the storyline for Trisomy XXI, the underlying messages or themes fell into play as I concocted this thrilling tale of horror, science fiction, and mystery. Without getting too esoteric, I try to relay positive fundamental messages of goodness, morality, and humanity that will transcend every culture of man living on this big blue ball we call planet Earth.

Q: Where does craft end and art begin? Do you think editing can destroy the initial creative thrust of an author?

A: The craft and art of writing should blend together, becoming one, creating an art form that can be enjoyed by its reader. The editing process should be accomplished so as not to detract from or eliminate any of the unique creativity that its author has contributed.

Q: What three things, in your opinion, make a successful novelist?

A: Writing talent, discipline, and creativity (a little luck along the way never hurts, either)!

Q: A famous writer once wrote that being an author is like having to do homework for the rest of your life. What do you think about that?

A: For me, I don’t view writing as having to do homework. I have a passion for writing, and fortunately for me, it comes quite easily. I am able to pen my novels freestyle, almost in a stream of consciousness, relying on no outlines, formats, diagrams, or templates for assistance—the narrative is able to flow freely from my imagination, ending up with a storyline that contains an ordered sequence of events. To me, it’s a creative art form, much like painting—each stroke of the brush is analogous to writing a sentence. When the artist has delivered enough brushstrokes to the canvas, a beautiful painting is created, similar to an author penning a given number of sentences together to produce a thrilling novel.

Q: Are there any resources, books, workshops or sites about craft that you’ve found helpful during your writing career?

A: Read, read, and then read some more—it’s all about learning, and fine-tuning your craft. Select any pertinent information about writing on the web, in book form, or through a workshop that you think will be beneficial for you, and would help to make you a better writer.

Q:  Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers about the craft of writing?

A: In order to better hone your craft, read as many books by different authors as you can. If you truly have a love for writing, don’t allow yourself to get discouraged—and most importantly, never give up. Perge!

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Title: TRISOMY XXI

Genre: Horror/Sci-fi/Mystery

Author: G.A. Minton

Website: http://www.worldcastlepublishing.com/author_g_a_minton.html

Publisher: World Castle Publishing

Purchase links:

http://amzn.com/B01D3OSZ38 for eBook at Amazon

http://amzn.com/1629894443 for Paperback at Amazon

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/trisomy-xxi-g-a-minton/1123520769?ean=9781629894447 for eBook and Paperback at Barnes & Noble

https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Trisomy+XXI for eBook at Smashwords

http://www.worldcastlepublishing.com/author_g_a_minton.html for Paperback and eBook at World Castle Publishing website

https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/trisomy-xxi for 5-Star Reviews at Readers’ Favorite

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29546925-trisomy-xxi?from_search=true&search_version=service for 5-Star review of TRISOMY XXI at Goodreads website

About the Book:

Sixteen-year-old Joshua Allen was born with an extra chromosome—a genetic aberration known as Trisomy XXI, or Down Syndrome.  A serious accident leaves the mentally-challenged adolescent in a coma at the hospital, where he receives a mysterious injection that endows him with supernatural powers.

The transformed teen is linked to a string of bizarre, unexplained deaths in town that have both the sheriff and the coroner baffled. A ghastly creature from another planet lands on Earth and begins its hunt for the teenager—viciously slaughtering anyone in its path in order to complete its deadly mission.

The salvation of an entire race of aliens is in the balance, as Joshua and his friends are thrown into a horrific life-and-death struggle with the seemingly indestructible extraterrestrial being.

TRISOMY XXI provides an epicurean feast of horror, science fiction, and mystery—all seasoned with a pinch of humor that will satiate the appetite of even the most gourmet of readers. If the likes of Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Michael Crichton were ever to have collectively penned a spine-tingling tale of horror, this would be it!

Delivering a roller-coaster ride full of thrills for its unsuspecting audience, TRISOMY XXI will intrigue every intelligent reader with its alluring array of unforeseen twists and turns. Packed with tension and excitement, this chimeric version of Alien meets The Thing is a powerful story that is guaranteed to capture your immediate attention. You won’t be able to put this book down!

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We’re happy to be hosting A. Star’s WISH FOR ME Book Blast today! Please leave a comment to let her know you stopped by!

Wish For Me

Title: WISH FOR ME
Author: A. Star
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 172
Genre: Steampunk Fantasy Romance

When the snarky Glory St. Pierre discovers the gold mechanical vase in her deceased grandmother’s basement, she has no idea that she has uncovered a priceless treasure: a genie lamp. With a real genie inside. A very sexy genie with a not-so-sexy grudge against the entire human race.

Irving Amir hates being called a genie. He’s a Djinn, and he is none too happy to be in the service of Glory, who is as intolerable, and beautiful, as humans come. Now he owes her his gratitude for freeing him and three wishes. Damn his luck.

But an arrow through the shoulder alerts Irving to the fact that he is being hunted, and after a truce dinner with Glory ends with them both almost being killed, hating each other goes right out the window. As feelings change and love starts to develop, they must dig through the secrets and lies to find the truth…a truth neither of them will ever see coming.

WARNING: Not suitable for ages 18 and under. A significant source of bad language, sexy times, and dirty jokes. If you suffer from a lack of a sense of humor, take with plenty of wine. If the symptom persists, see a doctor.

For More Information

Book Excerpt:

“Irving…” I breathed.

He brushed his lips over mine. “Yes?”

“What are you doing?”

He chuckled. “I’m sure you are quite aware of what I’m about to do.”

“But you’re injured,” I tried. “You should be resting.”

“The only thing I should be doing is this.” And he kissed me, slanting his mouth over mine and taking full advantage of the power he wielded over me.

I wish it had only been a kiss though, but it was so much more than that. I couldn’t define it. All I knew was that he made me want to spend all of my wishes on his lips, keeping them soft and perfect and available to me twenty-four hours a day. I fell into the kiss, allowing my arms to encircle Irving’s waist and my nails to claw his back.

Damn, his lips were soft. Like homemade whipped cream and strawberry drizzle. I whimpered as he deepened the kiss and his tongue slipped between my lips and tangoed with my own. My hands moved from his back to his head, and I tried to give back as good as I was getting. But I couldn’t get close enough. I wanted more of him. All of him. Damn, if he didn’t start taking my clothes off soon, I was going to implode and bathe the room with my desire.

But when he pulled away, I felt relieved, like I had just been saved from making a terrible mistake. How I could feel that way after a kiss like that blew me. I didn’t know where the feeling came from. I wasn’t the type of girl who ran from a man like Irving. A man with a sexy accent and eyes that could sear my soul. A man with a smile that put the world on pause. A man with a body that I could spend days riding like a roller coaster that never stopped. So why did I want to escape him all of a sudden? What the hell was wrong with me?

“Glory, I–”

“Please don’t ever do that again,” I interrupted. I looked up into Irving’s violet eyes and hoped he could hear my plea.

He frowned. “Do what?”

“Kiss me, dumb ass.” I pushed at his chest, but he refused to budge. “Move.”

“You did not enjoy my kiss?” I almost laughed at how wounded he looked.

“It’s not that. I just don’t want you to do it again.”

“Because you did enjoy it?”

I glared. “No.”

A slow smile stretched across Irving’s lips. “You are the worst liar, Glory St. Pierre.”

“Get the fuck off me, Irving.”

About the Author

A. Star

A. Star is a fan of dirty passion. She loves to read it, and she damn sure loves to write it. She is the author of the Mythos: Gods & Lovers series and the Djinn Order series. She is a night-owl and a coffee junkie, and the only sneaker she would be caught dead wearing are Converses.

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INSIDE THE BOOK

 

Title: The Devouring God
Author: James Kendley
Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse
Genre: Supernatural Thriller
Format: Kindle/Paperback
Runaways in southern Japan are stripping the flesh from their victims, and only a disgraced former detective can stop the spreading madness in this dark and thrilling sequel to The Drowning God.It’s been three years since security guard Tohru Takuda and his reluctant band of monster hunters defeated the Kappa of the Naga River. Now, a mysterious artifact is driving innocents in Southern Japan to flay their friends alive, and the grisly murders turn Takuda’s world upside down. Disheartened and impoverished, he struggles to lead his rag-tag team to find the artifact before it poisons the entire nation. Takuda is caught between the police, the bloodthirsty murderers, and forces conspiring to harness the artifact’s horrible powers.

And all the while, he must watch his back, because the most dangerous killer may be lurking among his own men…

ORDER INFORMATION

 

HarperCollins
Amazon
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MEET THE AUTHOR

James Fendley

James Kendley has written and edited professionally for more than 30 years, first as a newspaper reporter and editor, then as a copy editor and translator in Japan (where he taught for eight years at private colleges and universities), and currently as an educational publishing content wrangler living in northern Virginia. He has a taste for the macabre, and he hopes you do, too!

For More Information

Visit James’ website.

Connect with James

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Inside the Book:

Title: Singapore Secrets
Author: Irene Onorato
Publisher: eLectio Publishing
Genre: Romance
Format: Ecopy/Paperback

Secrets . . .

Angry because her father, Louisiana Senator Jacob Windsor, has announced his engagement to Hollywood starlet Kara Bordeaux, Julia Windsor decides she’d rather leave home than be subjected to heightened security and a deluge of paparazzi. She travels to Singapore, severs all communication with those she’s left behind, and chooses to live a life of anonymity.

When Julia meets handsome Gabriel Davenport, she keeps her true purpose for being in Singapore a secret. The friendship that develops quickly evolves into something much deeper.

Julia marvels that she’s traveled halfway around the world to find love with an American man. But will that love endure when she discovers that Gabriel is a former Special Forces sergeant hired by her father to protect her?

 

 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg 

Meet the Author

Irene Onorato was born and raised in Bronx, New York. Her father, a first-generation American whose parents were born in Italy, was an Army veteran who had served with the 178th combat engineers during WWII. He told numerous stories of battles, hardships, tragedies and triumphs. The glimpses he gave into the hearts of many American warriors would later become the inspiration for much of Irene’s writings.

In 1972, a few months after graduating high school, Irene met James Onorato, a soldier who had just returned from Vietnam. After dating two weeks, they married, raised three children, and are still happily married today.

Irene and James, both radiation protection technicians, retired from the nuclear power industry in 2014 and now reside in Louisiana.

 

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Wild WithinTitle: WILD WITHIN
Author: Christine Hartmann
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Pages:
Genre: Romantic Suspense

A year after a family tragedy, Grace Mori embarks on the journey of a lifetime…

Two thousand, six hundred miles of blistering heat, wilderness, and soul searching—that’s what Grace signed up for when she decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s not a voyage for beginners, but with no husband and her family still recovering from her bother’s death, Grace is more alone than ever.

This trail meant something to her brother, and she’ll hike it in his memory, but she can’t do it alone. So with her brother’s gear and a small group, Grace takes the most important first steps of her life.

Grace finds something more than peace and magic on the trail…

When her first day of hiking ends in heat stroke, Grace is rescued by a handsome, red-haired hiker who calls himself Lone Star. Grace has an immediate connection with him, and their brief encounter leaves her fearing her soul mate has slipped through her fingers. Although he vows to keep in touch, Grace doubts she’ll ever see him again.

When fears become reality, the only people Grace can rely on may be killers…

Grace is surprised to find notes left at supply posts along the trail. Lone Star’s eloquent letters keep Grace going, clinging to the hope she’ll find him—and happiness—at the end of her journey. But as the trail becomes more perilous, menace grows within the group. And when Lone Star’s letters mysteriously stop coming, Grace fears the worst.

As tensions flare and a killer emerges, Grace must battle to survive…and reunite with the man she’s sure is her future.

For More Information

  • Wild Within is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

First Chapter:

Early morning sun scorched the grimy car hood and forced its way through the window to burn Grace’s bare arms. She fidgeted as she watched the arid plane of sagebrush and light brown dust roll past. The landscape differed completely from the grassy hills, eucalyptus trees, and fog around her native San Francisco. Occasional yucca plants shouldered their way between low scraggly bushes with more branches than leaves. Small boulders peppered the area, looking like enormous grey cottage cheese curds among rolling, sere hills.

This countryside puts the wild in wilderness.

The car bounced past dry pastures and scruffy woods.

Maybe I should have spent more time reading those trail guides?

A glimpse of the Mexican border made her sit up straight.

Who cares? I’m here.

Grace bounced in her seat with excitement.

This is it.

Grace and her friend Celine were the only people at the five square wooden posts that marked the southern terminus of the 2,665-mile Pacific Crest Trail, a route leading from Mexico to Canada. A few yards away, wind forced its way through the steel border fence like the sound of screeching tires. Celine snapped a few pictures as Grace removed the spiral hiker register from its protective metal box. On the first empty page she wrote: Kenji, you’re with me.

She signed with more bravado than she actually felt.

Grace spurted back to the car. “I want to get going.” But her backpack, resting in the backseat, was in less of a hurry. She coaxed it onto her shoulders with much grunting and straining and stood, slightly bent, for one final snapshot.

“I’ve never lifted anything this heavy. What was I thinking? It’s not a trip to Macy’s where I can throw all the heavy stuff into the trunk.”

“You were thinking you might need some supplies.” Celine surveyed her. “Because you’re going to be in the middle of nowhere. For months.”

“Thanks for the reminder.” Grace straightened with effort. “I’ve been waiting almost a year for this. They say your pack gets lighter as you get used to it. So where’s the trail?”

Celine shrugged. Grace searched the monotonous sand and brush.

“I’ve got the map on my cell.”

But the phone wouldn’t turn on. Grace depressed the controls repeatedly. The screen remained as black as its case.

Come on. My paper maps are buried in my pack.

She took a mental inventory of what lay above them: a one-person tent, a sleeping bag and mat, a wide-brimmed sun hat, extra socks, the head of a toothbrush, all-weather matches, a travel-size deodorant stick, her mother’s homemade rice cakes, and Kenji’s apartment key fastened with a twist tie to the zipper of a first aid kit. The idea of spreading everything out at the base of the monument made her ill.

She pushed more buttons.

Don’t die now.

The screen flickered. She fiddled more and the contrast increased.

“Typical me.” Her hands shook a little as she pinched the trail map to zoom in on her location. “I turned down the brightness last night to save energy. For a second there, I thought I was going to faint. That would’ve made a good Facebook post. Grace Mori’s one second thru-hike of the PCT.”

Celine grinned and poked Grace’s arm. “It’s good to get all the mistakes out of the way at the beginning. Now try to make it through the rest of the day without any more.”

Grace stepped into the sparse brush.

“I already miss you as much as I miss your brother,” Celine called after her. But the wind whipped away her words.

On the trail, Grace’s pent up excitement gave wings to her hiking shoes. They floated across baked earth that meandered through scrub and around boulders. She raced securely down descents and sailed up ascents.

This is so easy.

She covered the next two miles in under an hour. Her initial destination was Lake Morena County Park, eighteen miles away. But her thoughts were of the Canadian border.

Twenty miles a day, for the next four months, before the northern mountains become impassable with snow. In this heat, that idea feels like a mirage.

She looked at her watch.

Nine thirty. Ten more hours of daylight. So I’ll get to Lake Morena with time to spare.

At first, the white circle rising in a cloudless blue seemed a happy part of the scenery. But bit by bit, the sun blazed an ever fiercer hole in the sky. Her short black hair melted into her head and burned her fingers when she touched it.

I should never have given up lightening my hair. Apparently blondes do have more fun, even in the desert.

Her legs pistoned in long strides that searched for cover. But nothing afforded shade.

A tree. A bush. A houseplant, for goodness sake. I’ll take anything.

The trail eventually crossed a highway and meandered through a grove of cottonwood trees. There, Grace slung off her pack, dropped beside it, and dug through her gear.

She squashed a cream-colored hat onto her sweaty brow. Her parched lips drained a water bottle. A rough trunk supported her back.

My shoulders ache. My feet hurt. And this pack weighs a ton. Why did I throw in everything I thought might come in handy? Pre-moistened body wipes? Am I really going to need those out here?

The previous night, she and Celine had discussed her strategy. “I read somewhere a person hiking in direct sun needs at least a gallon of water for every ten miles.” Grace laid out her water containers on the hotel bed. “But one gallon weighs eight pounds. I’ve got a two-gallon collapsible water container and two one-liter bottles. Do you think I should fill them all? That’s close to twenty extra pounds.”

“I think you should follow the rules.”

“That’s a lot of extra weight.” Grace hefted a container from the hotel sink. “Maybe I’ll fill two bottles and leave my larger container partially empty. I’ll drink a lot before I start. And Hauser Creek is on the trail. I can get more water there.”

Celine pursed her lips contemplatively and tossed an empty bottle to Grace. “What if there’s no water in the creek?”

“Then they wouldn’t call it a creek.” Grace chucked the bottle back at her. “It’ll be fine. Like I said, I’ll hydrate like crazy before we set out.”

In the morning, after a brief rest under cottonwoods, Grace continued her hike. She chased lazy clouds in search of shade. They vaporized before she reached them.

Why did I wear pants?

She longed for the hiking skirt in her pack. Then the trail narrowed, and waist-high chaparral brush clung and tore as she battled through. Rough, aggressive limbs and thick, unforgiving leaves pulled at her hiking poles. Grace held them above her head, unable to see her feet. After five minutes of struggle, she reached the other side. Her face dripped with sweat. She looked down.

I love you, pants.

Grace drained her second water bottle as she climbed. At the top of the hill, she paused. Perspiration dripped into her eyes and mouth, but she was too hot to care. In the distance, the border wall and Mexican mountains were still clearly visible. She thought of fishing out her phone for a picture.

Too much effort.

The path leveled out. Her pace slowed. The heat irritated her.

I should have had my hat on from the beginning. Why didn’t I start hiking earlier in the day? Where the heck is Hauser Creek? I need more water.

She wiped a hot tear from her cheek.

What a mess. But there’s no point in crying. Come on Grace.

Grace was the kind of person who prided herself on being someone people could count on. When her mother’s first attempt at baked Alaska set the kitchen window curtains aflame, teenage Grace doused the inferno in chocolate syrup, then helped her mother take down the gooey mess.

“People in Alaska originally lived in igloos. They probably didn’t have window curtains.” She wiped the counter with a Lysol-soaked dishrag. “Some desserts don’t translate well across climate zones.”

As an adult, Grace volunteered her services as a psychologist for the Friday overnight shift at the Berkeley women’s crisis hotline. There, she comforted agonized rape victims, beaten girlfriends, and conflicted housewives with a sympathetic ear, sensible advice, and a list of referrals she’d personally vetted.

“You’re ready to move out? Don’t forget to take his Rolex. He owes you big time.”

And when tragedy struck her family a year ago, it was Grace who negotiated with the funeral home and the florist. Phoned relatives in San Diego, New Brunswick, and Tokyo. Late at night, in bed alone, she lay exhausted but sleepless.

“How am I going to get through this by myself?”

That blistering day on the trail, she began to lose faith. The merciless, prodding sun became her enemy. It evaporated her enthusiasm, diminished her stamina, and gnawed at her judgment. Her feet dragged along the sandy path without any of their initial eagerness. She refilled her water bottles from the large container in her pack and ignored the voice that told her she would soon run out of fluids.

After another mile, the trail merged with a Jeep road. In the distance, Grace saw a disappearing cloud of dust.

That was a car. I could have asked them for a ride. Maybe they had air conditioning. Some extra water. Maybe they were on their way back to San Diego and would have taken me to a hotel. I could have started the trail again in a few days, when it’s cooler.

She checked the phone’s GPS. Four miles to Hauser Creek.

I’ll make it if I ration my water.

By the time the trail dove into Hauser Canyon’s shaded grove of oaks and sycamores, Grace hated the sun more than she’d ever hated anything. She squinted at the wooded valley. But the only hint that a creek had ever flowed across the parched land was a strip of slightly darker sand meandering through a pile of rocks. Grace’s knees wobbled.

Even in the shade, sweat poured down her face.

It’s past noon. I should eat.

She felt nauseous. Her head pulsed like molten lava in a live volcano crater.

I need to rest.

Her shoulders shrugged out of the pack straps and she sank to the ground. Before thinking better of it, she drank the rest of her water. A small Japanese folding fan, the parting gift from her sister, offered some relief. The hot desert air drew out the fan’s sandalwood scent. The breeze evaporated her perspiration.

She kicked off her shoes and socks, then changed into her skirt. But after thirty minutes of inertia, sweat still dripped from her chin. Sitting made her dizzy, so she lay down. The violent sun tortured her through the leaves, shafts branding her face and body like flames.

I need more water. Have to keep going. A road’s not far ahead. If I lie down in the middle, somebody will find me.

But the idea of crawling out of the partial shade into the glaring sun was too much.

Bees droned near her head.

What’s that? Airplane? Maybe they can see me down here. Call in a rescue.

Her mind drifted up, into the sparse tree branches. It hung there briefly. Then ascended into the smoldering, cloudless sky.

Later, another idea broke through her confusion.

I’m going to die. On my first day on the trail. Kind of a waste. All this equipment. All that money. Geez, I could have spent it on those cell phone-operated blinds for the living room instead. There was that coupon in the Saturday clipper magazine…

Her tongue ran along dry lips.

Hmm. I’m licking a lizard. I wonder if he’ll lick back.

Then Grace thought of nothing.

Giveaway!

Christine is giving away 2 $25 Amazon Gift Cards & 20 Wild Within Coffee Mugs!

Terms & Conditions:
• By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
• Two winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Card & twenty winners will be chosen to receive one Wild Within Coffee Mug
• This giveaway starts April 4 and ends June 30
• Winner will be contacted via email on July 1.
• Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

 

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MI

 

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SYNOPSIS

Which would be worse, knowing that your dead sister has come back to life and is now a serial killer or that someone else is the killer….and that person is you?

Six months after Linda’s sister Elizabeth killed herself, Linda has finally gotten her life back to some semblance of normalcy. Until a killer appears who is stalking men … a killer who resembles Elizabeth … a killer who seems somehow familiar to Linda.

And, to make matters worse, Steve, her old high school crush and now a detective, is assigned to this case. He’s asking Linda all sorts of questions, questions Linda couldn’t possibly have an answer to.

There’s no reason for him to be investigating Linda. She couldn’t possibly have anything to do with this.
Could she?

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PURCHASE

Amazon

michele pwABOUT THE AUTHOR

When Michele was 3 years old, she taught herself to read because she wanted to write stories so badly.

As you can imagine, writing has been a driving passion throughout her life. She became a professional copywriter (which is writing promotional materials for businesses), which led to her founding a copywriting and marketing company that serves clients all over the world.

Along with being a copywriter, she also writes novels (in fact, she just published her first novel, a psychological thriller/suspense/mystery called “The Stolen Twin” and her second novel “Mirror Image’” is set to be published in May 2016) plus, she is also the author of the “Love-Based Copy” books, which are a part of the “Love-Based Business” series and cover both business and personal development.

She holds a double major in English and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently she lives in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona with her husband Paul and her border collie Nick and southern squirrel hunter Cassie.

 

Inside the Book:

Title: The Weekend Warriors
Author: James W. Burke Jr
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: Suspense
Format: Ebook

Married with two children, Michael Patrick Fitzmaurice, Major, Infantry, US Army Reserve, is going to war. Bound for Ramstein, Germany, he and his troops, who never expected to be on the frontline, must now stand in battle alongside their active-duty counterparts. It’s the mid-1980s and the United States is under the leadership of a new president who continues its post-Vietnam withdrawal from the world stage. Domestic affairs are the administration’s priority, while international affairs are given short shrift. In Western Europe, this disengagement of the United States causes turmoil and indecision. The Soviet General Staff observes these conditions and sees an opportunity in the West’s disarray. They believe one strong, overwhelming offense, launched violently and without warning, would overcome NATO’s defenses before the alliance could react. Once the Soviet forces seized their objectives in West Germany and the Netherlands, NATO would be forced to sue for peace on Soviet terms. Even if the United States could react to the offensive, its support would never reach the battlefield in time to affect the outcome. And, once the Soviet forces held their ground, the demoralized people of Western Europe would never rally for a counter attack. To meet this threat and support its allies, the United States mobilizes large numbers of reservists and National Guard troops—women and men like Mike who fight to defeat the Soviet onslaught and repel the invaders.

Meet the Author:

James W. Burke Jr. is a graduate of the US Military Academy and the Army Command and General Staff College. He served more than twenty-five years in the Army, National Guard, and Army Reserve. Burke lives Kennebunkport, Maine, with his wife, Kate.

Giveaway

James is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins May 23 and ends on June 3.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on June 4.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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