Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sci-Fi Spotlight: Twinkle by SJ Parkinson #Giveaway

http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/science-fiction-book-tour-giveaway-twinkle-by-sj-parkinson-73114-82814/


Virtual Book Tour Dates:  7/31/14 - 8/28/14

Genres: Science Fiction







Blurb:
The richest man in the world wants to celebrate the July 4th holiday as never before. In a bid to get into the record books, a global fireworks show is staged from orbit. Satellites drop pyrotechnics into the atmosphere, thrilling everyone from the Arctic to the Antarctic with their rich colors and massive explosions in every time zone.

The next day, people around the globe begin to lose their sight. Governments crumble, society degenerates, and infrastructure falls into chaos. Humanity finds itself stumbling in the dark and losing all hope.

A few fortunate individuals retain their vision. Attempting to deal with the growing despair around them, they come together to discover the true purpose and origin of the affliction. They race to find a cure before the world is subjugated under an invading power.



Excerpt:
Keith Hurst’s secure telephone rang, waking him from a sound sleep. He opened his eyes and looked at the LED clock on his nightstand. It said 3:12. As national security advisor to the president of the United States, middle-of-the-night calls were common. His staff did their best to filter out the less important matters until his morning brief, but there were times when an emergency forced sleep into second place.
Hurst grabbed the handset by the second ring. He had to wait for the encryption to handshake before he could say, “Hurst.”
“Good morning, sir. This is the night watch officer. We have several NSA intercepts from the following countries: India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Russia all placing their militaries on high alert. We’ve had sporadic reports of multiple air, car, and rail accidents, resulting in thousands of deaths. Many radio and television stations have gone off the air in those countries.”
Hurst snapped on his bedside light and sat up. “Accidents? Do we know the cause?”
“No, sir. The strange thing is, NSA claims many of the foreign military units that were signaled never acknowledged the alert. There also appears to be a major communication disruption with U.S. CENTCOM units in Afghanistan and our embassies in the aforementioned countries.”
“Are the comms being hacked, or is there some sort of natural phenomenon like sunspot interference?” Concerned about the call, Hurst looked at the empty space beside him. His wife had left him several years before, directly because of the election campaign and the late-night calls.
“No, sir. Not that we can see. The circuits are up, and the phones are ringing, but no one is answering.”
Hurst swung his legs out of bed. Has someone come up with a way to simultaneously disrupt communications with American bases, embassies, and headquarters, or is this some sort of terrorist attack? “Does NRO have anything on overhead imagery?”
“No, sir. No major troop movements in the CENTCOM area. In fact, NRO reports minimal movement overall.”
“I’ll be in the office in thirty-five minutes. I’ll want everyone in for an early brief for the president. Get the joint chiefs and SECDEF up to speed. Warn the Secret Service that we may be moving POTUS with short notice. If this is an attack, I want to stay ahead of it. See if we can get drone surveillance of any U.S. bases in Afghanistan ASAP. We need answers.”
“Yes, sir.”
Hurst hung up and hit the bedside crash button to summon his protection detail. This was no time for subtlety. He needed to be in the White House as soon as humanly possible.

Buy Links:





About The Author:
Mr. Parkinson was an Air Force avionics technician, a decorated veteran of the Persian Gulf War, and several United Nations peacekeeping missions. He has lived overseas in numerous countries and travels extensively. His novels have been praised for their realism and have sold in fourteen countries, winning multiple international awards.
“I don’t incorporate overt sex, profanity, or extreme violence in any of my writing. I prefer the story to be the main focus and want my novels to be accessible by all.” -SJ Parkinson



Author Links:


Giveaway:
One Lucky Winner Will Win All 3 Books in The Legionnaire Series and Another Lucky Winner Will Win Two Science Fiction Books – Twinkle and Predation – By SJ Parkinson.
The giveaway will run the length of the tour. Open internationally. Enter through Rafflecopter.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Calculated Risk by K S Ferguson: Mystery/Sci Blog Tour, Guest Post, & Giveaway

http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/mystery-book-tour-giveaway-calculated-risk-by-k-s-ferguson-71814-81514/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 7/18/14 – 8/15/14
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Sci-Fi





Blurb:
Rafe McTavish, charming self-made businessman, owns the most successful private security firm in the galaxy. Estranged from his family since his wife's bloody suicide fourteen years earlier, he's honor bound to find out why his brother-in-law, CEO of the family mega-corporation, has jeopardized the company by purchasing a dilapidated deep-space mining station. Arriving at the station to investigate, Rafe takes on hostile miners, faces accusations of murder, chases a blackmailer bent on his destruction, and matches wits with a beautiful corporate-hating computer hacker, Kama Bhatia, who just may be the love of his life—if they both survive.

Excerpt:
“I apologize for disturbing you outside our normal communication channels,” Kama said, acknowledging their unsecured line. “I wanted to let you know that I’d arrived safely. I would have contacted you sooner, but the station experienced communication issues.”
One almond-shaped eye twitched. “Issues?”
“Yes, but it didn’t prevent me from sending your… birthday present. It’s on a cargo drone headed for Earth orbit. It left here shortly after I arrived. I wasn’t able to check your present’s condition.” She held her breath.
Samir went very still. She expected frost to form on the view screen so cold was the displeasure in his gaze. He hated complications, and she’d barely started listing them.
“Inconvenient. I’ll see the package is retrieved.” He smoothed the front of his immaculate gray suit with long, thin fingers.
She plunged on. “Unfortunately, your present isn’t complete. Pieces are missing, and other collectors have taken an interest.”
His hand stopped in mid-stroke. “Other collectors?”
Kama swallowed. Sweat moistened her palms where they rested on the console. He really wouldn’t like the next news. “There’s also a problem with the grant work I’m to do here for Independent Mining. Seems EcoMech claims to have bought the place, and Leon Goldman came in person to take possession. He has Rafael McTavish in tow.”
The intensity of Samir’s stare rocked her back from the console.
“Is Mr. McTavish aware of your presence?” he asked in a deadly calm voice.
“We’ve been introduced.”
“It’s a large station. Enjoy those parts where Mr. McTavish is not found,” he ordered, his brows pulling down.
“Well, that’s the thing,” she said, her voice rising in pitch. “There’s a bit of a shooting war going on here, and he’s been taken prisoner by the miners.”

Buy Links:

About The Author:
K S Ferguson has already published one critically-acclaimed novella, Puncher’s Chance (co-written with James Grayson,) which appeared in the June 2006 edition of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, America’s longest-running science fiction magazine. She enjoys writing suspense and murder mysteries in futuristic and fantasy settings, and also writes fiction in the guise of technical manuals for unfinished software—otherwise known as help documentation.

Author Links:


Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Guest Post by K S Ferguson:
 
Thanks for inviting me!

For me, the joy of mystery fiction lies in the challenge. Of course it's a challenge to plot and write a satisfying mystery—how to balance characterization against action, setting against pace, complexity against accessibility—but the real satisfaction comes from setting a challenge for readers. Regardless of genre, most everyone likes to guess how a story will end (how will the hero get the girl, how will the evil queen be defeated?), but in a mystery story this is more than an idle pastime.

A mystery story is about a contest between the writer and her audience—it's me throwing a gauntlet down to you guys. Your average mystery reader is smart and analytical and enjoys the challenge of sorting the clues from the red herrings, getting inside the characters' heads and using what's there to pull the puzzles apart and get to the answers—and before the hero manages it, if possible.

The struggle on the page between Detective and Villain is matched off the page in the contest between reader and author. No one wants to work out a mystery in the first ten pages and be proved right—there's no satisfaction in solving a puzzle that's too easy. Equally, not many readers seem to enjoy finding out they were a million miles away from unmasking the killer. As a writer, pitching a mystery at that perfect level is the most mouth-watering challenge in the world, and the most scary.

I also love writing mysteries because of the genre's amazing flexibility. While a lot of fiction genres can be quite prescriptive, mystery plays nice with everyone. Everyone has a sense of curiosity that a good mystery will tweak, just as everyone's sense of justice is aroused by the eternal battle for the truth.

Crossovers with genres like history, sci-fi, and speculative fiction are as natural as they are satisfying, because mystery is universal across the world and across history. The tangled web of lies and obfuscations, the dogged detective matching wits with the criminal, the search for truth against the odds and against the system; these are universal concepts that apply in any time, any place, and any reality. I've written murder mysteries in settings as wildly varied as the space-borne near-future of Calculated Risk and its sequel, Hostile Takeover, and the demon-haunted streets of 1960s California in No Place Like Hell. There's no end to the places a good mystery can take you, and that's what excites me when I get up each morning to write.

What about it, readers? What do you love about mysteries?

  

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Reluctantly Undead by Rayne Rachels: Paranormal Romance Spotlight/Giveaway

http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/07/06/paranormal-romance-book-tour-giveaway-reluctantly-undead-by-rayne-rachels-71614-81314/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 7/16/14 – 8/13/14
Genres: Paranormal Romance






Blurb:
Ember Winterstone is not having a good night. She wakes up in a dumpster. Her neck hurts where her date used her as a meal. Vampire hunters chase her, and the other vampires think she is the real queen, especially since she is a day walker, eats food, drinks almost no blood, and stands up to Zophia, the psycho vampire queen.
Ember’s problems have just begun.
Her mother has kept a couple of major secrets from her, the two men who make Ember drool refuse to claim her, and the psycho vampire queen decides Ember must die.


Excerpt:

The night I died, I woke up into a world I thought only existed in the warped minds of screenwriters in Hollywood and romance authors who wrote about the dark, tortured soul looking for his or her soul mate. I mean, get real. Vampires and werewolves are stuff of myth and legends.  Right?
Wrong. Wrong! WRONG!!
Vampires are REAL.
How do I know this?
The night I died, I woke up as a vampire. But of course, leave it to me to screw up the whole process.
Okay, I am rambling. Sorry about that, and I am sorry for apologizing, and I—you get the idea.
By the way, I’m Ember. Ember Winterstone.
I know what you’re thinking. Ember the Vampire. I guess you are waiting for me to burst into flames. Ha. Ha.  The jokes are not funny. I did not pick my name. That honor is my parents’ fault; or rather, it was my mom’s fault. I do not know much about dear old dad. Mom doesn’t have any pictures and she never said much about him other than he was special and he had duties that came before their love, but he loved us very much and wanted us to be happy.
I guess it was her way of making excuses for a deadbeat dad.
Then, my mom married Henry Taylor when I was ten.
She said I wasn’t happy because I didn’t have a father and it was her job to make sure I had one.  I think mom was lonely. Memories don’t keep you warm at night. Anyway, I ended up with a weird stepfather and an even weirder, older stepbrother.
I don’t have a lot of time this afternoon, lots of things to do to prepare for the Halloween Ball, but I need to get my story down on paper.
First, I am a reporter. My job is to tell stories, to get the facts into print so people can read it. Second, I want to be the one telling my story so it is accurate. So many biographies have errors or they make the person sound more heroic than the person really was. Third, it gives me a way to sort out the details and make some sort of meaning from everything that has happened to me. Call it a therapeutic activity, if you want.
Where does my journey begin?
That’s easy.
It began on the day I died and woke up.




Buy Links:


About the Author:
Rayne Rachels lives in Texas with her husband and two very demanding cats. When she isn’t creating stories, she can be found reading and honing her photography skills. Rayne enjoys taking road trips, especially to the coast where she fishes every chance she gets. She also enjoys visiting flea markets and playing poker.


Author Links:
Blog
Twitter
Pinterest
Goodreads


Giveaway:
Enter to win one of two $10 Amazon gift cards! Open internationally. The giveaway will run the length of the tour. Enter through Rafflecopter.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Fog Index by Pat Jourdan: Short Stories Spotlight

http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/literary-fiction-book-tour-the-fog-index-by-pat-jourdan-72814-8414/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 7/28/14 – 8/4/14

Genres: Short Stories, Literary Fiction



Blurb:

A painting is a suspected forgery and an hotel disappears; people try to make sense of strange events but cannot unravel them.
 

Excerpt:

Tenements were like giants’ houses but really they were buildings that managed to cram entire families next to each other on landings. I had to walk along those concrete balconies, counting out the front doors. However, the only way up was by steep stone stairs. Old men slumped in corners of the landings, drunk, asleep, passed out. More stray dogs snarled, interrupted in their staircase naps.

Bits of graffiti told that G+N, true. Billy is a…(crossed out.) Everyone had to walk past this every day until it became lost in history, which would take about five years.

“Coming back from school, they wait for me on the stairs, the lads, at times, and go to grab my school beret and swipe my satchel,” Marianne said, “But I always fight them off, and they’ve stopped doing it now, really.” Perhaps they had seen her going off in full Everton glory and came to respect her as a fellow supporter. Winning the scholarship and getting to grammar school was where she had betrayed them and they had to make it obvious. No one was supposed to escape, leaving them kicked aside.

Wind gusted up from the river and from the third balcony, looking across, large ships glided past, a hint of black and white glamour. Seagulls yapped and perched on anywhere high enough to satisfy their pride. The Mersey knitted them together; most of the men here worked on the docks and warehouses. Old women, wrapped in fringed black shawls, leant over the balcony, looking at the large concrete patch below them.

What should have been a lawn or playground was a decaying potholed area where some boys played a desultory game of football. Their shouts echoed up. The women had faces like pug dogs, riddled with lines, greying hair scraped back into a bun. They gave me a grunted “hello” and went back to surveying their echoing kingdom.


Buy Links:





About The Author:

Pat Jourdan, born in Liverpool, studied painting at Liverpool College of Art, with several exhibitions held since. Winner of several prizes, including the Molly Keane Short Story Award, second in the Michael McLaverty Short Story Award, Quality Women’s Fiction and widely published in magazines. Editor of The Lantern Review. “Little-known but gifted poet of the Liverpool School” – Ian Mc Ewan,in “Saturday.”

Novels “Finding Out” and “A Small Inheritance” and short story collections “Average Sunday Afternoon,” “Rainy Pavements,” and “The Fog Index.” Also seven poetry collections.



Author Links:






Thursday, July 31, 2014

Win $229 #Giveaway

It's time for August's $229 Kindle Giveaway Hosted by I Am A Reader. Enter to win 1 of 2 great prizes both valued at $229. Winner’s choice of a Kindle Fire HDX or $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 Paypal Cash!

 The first prize is available via the rafflecopter below. The 2nd is available only to those share this giveaway. You can find info on how to enter the 2nd giveaway in the rafflecopter.

August Kindle 2014  
Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)
  Or $229 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)
  Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)
  Sponsor List I Am A Reader Feed Your Reader Author Kimber Leigh Wheaton Author Inger Iversen Candace's Book Blog I Love to Read and Review Books :) {A Leisure Moment} A Casual Conversation about Our Love for Literature J.L. Weil Kelly Walker Talia Jager, Author Jessabella Reads Laurie Treacy, Author Claudia Burgoa When I Grow Up I Wanna Write A Kids Book Kimber's Life More Than a Review Lori's Reading Corner Author Ann Swann Dana Masting Bonnie Blythe Pure Romance Bella Street Weird Romance Morgan K Wyatt Njkinny's World of Books & Stuff Reviews from a Bookworm BookBunnyPR Jenn's Book Reviews and Giveaways Me and Reading Words Wit and Wisdom Marie D. Jones Good Choice Reading A & E Kirk, Author Margo Bond Collins Christian Bookmobile Biscuit & Books BOOKTUBE Illusio & Baqer Bound 4 Escape Helen Smith (author) Gin's Book Notes Author FA Michaels Author Steven Brown Against Idleness & Mischief Rayna Noire Author Deb Atwood Laurie Here Danielle @ Coffee and Characters Author A. Wrighton Chelsea Author Promotions ExtraordinaryReads Author Lynda Raymond LeahSay's View    

Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Giveaway here: http://www.iamareader.com/category/kindle-giveaway-sign-ups    

Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire 7" HDX (US Only - $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International). There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7", $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash. Ends 8/31/14   Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Dystopian Spotlight: An Etiquette Guide to the End Times: A Novella by Maia Sepp

http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/dystopian-book-tour-giveaway-an-etiquette-guide-to-the-end-times-a-novella-by-maia-sepp-71014-72414/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 7/10/14 - 7/24/14

Genres:
Sci Fi (Dystopian)








Blurb:

Good manners never go out of style…do they?

There aren’t any zombies (yet), but the world is still at the brink of destruction: It’s 2028 and global warming has led to rising oceans, crazy weather, and resource scarcity. On top of that, someone just turned the Internet off. Seeing as how it’s humanity’s last chance to turn things around manners are, understandably, a bit frayed.

Bookish etiquette buff Olive O’Malley is busy microfarming her urban property and minding her own business (and her chickens) when the government comes calling. Their goal is to push the populace towards carbon-neutrality while keeping kvetching to a minimum, and they come with a proposal: transition Olive’s popular etiquette column to a radio show for the masses, and they’ll help Olive find her grandfather, who’s gone missing.

Olive doesn’t trust the hipster government officials who try to bribe her with delicious-but-probably-a-little-evil chocolate pastries, and declines their offer. (Politely, of course.) But they won't take no for an answer, and soon Olive is knee-deep in turmoil, eco-terrorism, and missing chickens. Now she has to untangle herself from their demands and figure out how to make sure her family (and her poultry) are safe before it’s too late.


Excerpt:
Chapter One—In the Land of Victory


My superhero power is definitely not sleeping. When I was looking for a house, my realtor rhapsodized about this bedroom’s perfect southern exposure, about the tastefully herbaceous wall treatment and charming old-world feel. Right now my room could be more accurately described as a floral-wallpapered sauna, full of an impossible heat, like three Julys stuffed into one. It isn’t helping.
I watch the overhead fan stop again, gyrate, and then restart before I roll over, the sheets coming with me. After a minute I shift to the other side, flinging the covers away with a sigh. The fan finally grinds to a halt, probably the victim of a wiring problem I haven’t been able to pin down, although lately I’ve been thinking it might just hate me.
I relocate to the living room and angle the pedestal fan my way. God, it’s hot. I close my eyes and lean back on the couch for a minute, hoping sleep will take me. The sofa is a faux leather hand-me-down that’s supple after years of wear, smelling faintly earthy, soft against my skin.
Eventually I switch the TV on. Our cable hasn’t worked properly in months, the service so erratic it’s like the people running the company are legless, as my grandfather Fred would say—a charming Irish way of saying spectacularly drunk, even though my grandfather hasn’t seen Ireland since he was a child. My eyes land on Fred’s easy chair, a pale green monstrosity he could barely squeeze through the front door when I finally convinced him to move in with me. His pipe, his books, and his old-man slippers are still where he left them.
After flipping through a bunch of static, I shut the TV off and switch to the radio, which promptly announces it’s five-thirty in the morning. I ponder what to do next, discarding juggling, mind-reading, and origami, although I spend more time thinking about mind-reading than I probably should, considering I’m the only one here. Finally I pull my computer tablet onto my lap and turn it on. I write an etiquette column for a spunky arts and culture website, and my latest instalment is due on Friday; other people’s problems are always a delightful way to get my mind off my own. I start to page through the letters, which all start with Dear Olive. Dear Olive, I’m convinced my neighbour is milking my goat. Dear Olive, my neighbour’s windmill is keeping me up at night. Dear Olive, my wife is hoarding solar panels. What do I do?
Three crashing noises erupt above my head, each more ominous than the last. I wait for it to stop, but twenty minutes later I’m clinging to the side of my house, staring down a pair of raccoons who seem intent on defiling my solar array. For a long while it’s just the three of us, locked in visual combat, but it’s my roof and unless they start paying rent, they’ve got to go. Eventually they get spooked by the noise of the six a.m. domestic surveillance drone overhead, which would make this the first time I’ve ever been happy to see a drone. I watch as it starts its first pass of the morning. They’re smaller than the military version—sleek, modern, ever-watchful. Rumour is they’re even biodegradable, although that hasn’t exactly endeared them to anybody.
After the raccoons finally lumber off I pull myself onto the roof and take a look at the solar panel they’ve sullied, the wires connecting the array to my house almost stripped. It’s not easy to carry out rooftop repairs quietly at six in the morning, and it definitely wouldn’t be polite to wake anyone up, but I don’t want to be back up here tomorrow, either. If I leave the panel like this, they’ll come back and finish the job, I know it. They’re organized.
I look up when a new-fangled Town Car, still boxy and authoritarian but now electric-powered, turns onto my street. I watch it as it goes; there are almost no cars on the roads these days, and the sight makes a faint sense of unease pulse through me. I hope whoever’s in that car isn’t carrying bad news for one of my neighbours.


Buy Links:
Amazon
iTunes
Google
Kobo
Barnes and Noble 







About the Author:
Maia Sepp is an author of humorous contemporary and dystopian fiction. She left the tech sector to write about sock thievery, migraines, the future, and…the tech sector.
The Sock Wars is her debut novel. The first chapter of The Sock Wars was published as a short story/novel excerpt titled Irish Drinking Socks, and became a Kobo bestselling short story. The Sock Wars has been a top-100 digital bestseller on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the iBookstore, as well as a genre and Writing Life bestseller on Kobo. It is available in print and ebook formats.
Maia’s second novel is The Migraine Mafia, a story about a nerdy thirtysomething’s quest to come to terms with a chronic illness. It is available online everywhere in print and ebook formats. It has been a genre bestseller on Kobo.
Her latest is a humorous near-future dystopian novella, titled, An Etiquette Guide to the End Times, available now!


Author Links:
Website
Twitter
Facebook 




Giveaway:
Enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card! The giveaway will run the length of the tour. Open internationally. Enter through Rafflecopter.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Cascade Preppers by A. R. Shaw #Dystopian Spotlight & #Kindle Ebook Deal

http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/dystopian-book-tour-the-cascade-preppers-by-a-r-shaw-7914-72314/


Virtual Book Tour Dates:   7/9/14 – 7/23/14
Genres: Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, SciFi
Series: Graham’s Resolution, Book 2
Tour Promo Price: $.99 Countdown Deal:  7/10/14 – 7/17/14





Blurb:
What the world dreads most has already happened. Now, there is only survival. 

In her dystopian and post-apocalyptic bestselling novel, The China Pandemic, A. R. Shaw created a realistic world after a much too plausible pandemic event. Now, the remaining must not only survive but thrive or risk complete extinction. The story moves forward with...

The Cascade Preppers

Graham is back in book two of the Graham's Resolution series. In the tiny town of Cascade, Washington, the members of Graham's camp endure a severe winter season. Meanwhile, The Prepper community remains dedicated to isolation and maintains their benevolent relationship. Tensions rise when tragedy strikes. The human traits of community and compassion are pitted against instincts to survive. Will they be doomed by their own efforts to coexist? Read the ongoing saga of Graham's Resolution, Book 2, The Cascade Preppers, for the startling revelation.


Excerpt:
Chapter 1

The early winter sky cast in vibrant lavender led to piercing blue north of the horizon. It was as cold as hell is hot, if you can imagine the heat of hell as freezing. Graham pulled in the weighted line, hand over hand. He wrapped the twine from hand to elbow while staring down the murky blue ice hole of the frozen lake. The brown trout came squirming its way up the ice tunnel towards him, till it met its last fate.
Sam reached out and grabbed the greedy guy that currently hung in midair. Tearing the hook from its mouth, he dropped the frigid fish into a pail with its brothers. They went for quantity over size when fishing in the shallow waters beneath the ice, but the chore of getting enough to feed them all had taken a little longer than usual this morning. The sky had already gone from deep plum with a moon encircled in a fine mist to daylight so intense, eye protection and extra layers of fur to contain the fleeting warmth were called for.
Once they’d caught enough for everyone’s breakfast, they silently gathered their gear to make their way back up the trail to camp. Like any two men who’d worked the same routine, they would perform their job without uttering a single word with regards to the task. “Get your nose out of there, Sheriff,” Graham gently warned the dog in a worn, low voice as he caught him peering into the bucket. “You’ll get your share.” He tousled the dog’s head and picked up their morning haul. Sam came up behind him with the other lines after he’d covered the ice holes with spare plywood to keep them from freezing over too much.
Ready?” Sam asked.
Yeah.”
They crunched along the reliable crust as their boots echoed in the vast open until they met the trail between the trees. Mark had recently finished clearing the paths from that night’s continuous onslaught of snow.
As they walked up into the clearing, Bang, dressed in his snow gear from head to toe, tossed scraps to the chickens as they scampered all around him eager for their meager delicacies. Sheriff ran up ahead to help out his young friend. Amused that the dog didn’t understand why they kept the birds caged, nor why he wasn’t allowed to visit with them inside the coop, Graham laughed. The hens often ran away and rudely, collectively, scurried to the other end of their enclosure when Sheriff came to greet them each morning.
Graham called out to Bang, “Make sure you give them fresh water.”
I always do,” Bang replied looking put out by the unnecessary reminder, then his expression changed. “Mark told me to tell you, Ennis isn’t up yet.”
All right, thanks. I’ll give him a hand.” The two men walked in silence past the front of the cabin. Sam seemed to be pondering something which wasn’t unusual for the man. After spending the entire day with him, other than a nod or an occasional word, he didn’t say much, but Graham always suspected Sam was either thinking ahead or mourning his daughter. Whether he’d ever let another in on his thoughts, was anyone’s guess, so it surprised Graham when he spoke up.
 “You know, he won’t see another winter. You might want to be prepared for that, Graham.”
Graham spoke softly. “Yeah, I’ve pretty much figured that out.” “We’re losing him a little each day. He rarely talks, but when he does it’s always warnings. Like, he’s trying to give us as much as he can before he goes.” Graham stopped in mid-stride and scuffed his boot at the ice, sending crystals a few feet forward. “I’m thankful we had him for as long as we did.”
Sam clapped him on the back in understanding. He liked Ennis too. The old man had even shown Sam a thing or two about carving the little wooden figurines he made for Addy, the daughter he could see and hear, but never again touch. If a man taught you something useful in life, he was a keeper in Sam’s book.



Buy Links:





About the Author:
A. R. Shaw, born in south Texas, moved to Washington State in the late eighties. Always writing quietly in what little spare time available while participating in the U.S. Air Force Reserves as a Radio Operator and business owner. Only now embracing a writing passion full time and finding a place in the author's community, Shaw has found a following of avid readers along the way.



Author Links: