• Virtual Book Tour

    No Innocent Affair by Edward F. Mrkvicka Jr.

  • Science Fiction

    Renegades by Sara Mason

  • Inner City Strength by Dwight Slaughter

    Sometimes the game is all you have to save your life.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Do You Believe In Magic? Adela Arthur and the Creator's Clock by Judyann McCole (Book Tour & Giveaway)



ADELA ARTHUR and the CREATOR’s CLOCK
by Judyann McCole

Welcome to BK Walker Books Etc. I'm so happy you could join me today at The Seattle Library

BK: Looking out the nearest window, describe the scene you see.
JM: People dancing in the rain.

BK: Tell us about your office. Is it a mess like mine, or is everything in its place?
JM: That depends on what day of the week it is. Friday's and Monday's it's super clean the rest of the week I can't even find a highlighter.

BK: What is a must-have, such as coffee or a favorite pen, that you need to write?
JM: Warm fuzzy sock. I love the cold and no matter the season my house is at 70 and I need my socks.

BK: Do you like to write in silence, or do you need music or background noise?
JM: I need chaos, not total chaos but enough that it punches me into my own world.

BK: Tell us a bit about your hero/heroine, and their development.
JM: My Heroine, Adela Arthur, has just turned 16 and Jumper. Meaning she always reacts and never really thinks to much about her actions. She is very level headed and passionate about the people around her. But because of that she has the tenancy to make their problem's her problems. She wants to save everyone. Through out the book you realize she's has a lot of fight within her.

BK: As a writer myself, I'm always curious how other writers get through stumble blocks. When you find a story not flowing, or a character trying to fight you, how do you correct it?
JM: First thing I do is step away and lay down. I try to think about them as people and what is causing them to act that way. Everything is cause and effect. Something I wrote may have cause this so I try read think over the my choices.

BK: Using the letters of your first name as an acronym, describe your book...
Oh this is hard.

J- Journeys
U- Unity
D- Darnkess
Y- Yearning
A- Anticipation
N- Necessity
N- New Words

BK: How did your writing journey begin?
JM: I'm not sure. I think it's something I've always done. One moment I was telling bedtime stories to the kids I babysat. The next I was writing them down at 14. I never really thought I was "writing". It wasn't until one of my teacher's comment on it when I was in high school did it really click for me.

BK: Using the letters from the word, Summer, how would friends and family describe you?
S- Sassy
U- Unique
M- Multi-talented
M- Motivating
E- Empathetic
R- Rare

BK: What is the craziest thing you've ever written about, whether it got published or not?
JM: The craziest thing would be a short story i'm working on now about a boy finds can bring dinosaurs back to life. It's for a kid I babysit who LOVES!

BK: Tell us one thing you've done in life, that readers would be most surprised to know.
JM: I've gone skydiving twice.

BK: What can we expect from you in the future?
JM: I have another novel coming out this year by Tri-Destiny Publishing called Moonrise which follows the romance between an Angel and a Human.


This or That...

Coke or Pepsi?
Neither. I'm a sprite girl. Sorry

Night Owl or Early Bird?
Night owl

Fantasy or Mystery?
Fantasy

Pen/Paper or Computer?
Pen/paper

Pizza or Burger?
Burger

Rock or Country?
Rock

Chocolate or Vanilla?
Vanilla

Beach or Mountains?
Mountains

Thank you so much for having us as one of your stops today. It has been great getting to know more about you and your book, and wish you the best of success!






About The Author:

Judyann McCole Is…Roman Catholic

A lover of Books, Florence + Machine, The color Teal, Asian Food, Chocolate, Pandas, and The Rain.

Also A fan of writing in odd places like in bathtubs, under staircases, in a tree, or maybe zoo.

I was born in Montreal, Canada and a few years later my parents moved home to the States where I’m currently attending College.

I don’t know why I never thought about writing. As I was searching for a niche in everything else I was also writing stories about a girl searching for where she belongs and people my age going on wild adventures. One day a teacher of mine, Ms. E. McAllen, asked me what I loved to do and it finally hit me. I love being a storyteller. But I was afraid no one would want, or care to read what I had to say. Until another teacher, Ms. K. Cole gave me the pep talk that changed my life.





Book Genre: Young adult fantasy

AGE: 13 up
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: July 26th, 2013

Book Synopsis:

To Who Ever This May Concern;

I wish I could tell you the contents of this book were purely fictional. That I, Adela Arthur, was just a normal sixteen year old from Portland and that dragons, giants, elves and mermaids were just myths. I wish these were legends shared from crazy old grandparents to crazy old grandparents around campfires. After all, that is what I used to believe.

I never would have thought they lived on the other side of our mirrors in a world called Cielieu. But they do…

I never would have thought there were humans, better known as Volsin that lived among them with the ability to create light from a single thought. But there are…

I never would have thought I was one of them… But I am…

I am the last Arthur and I was brought to the human world after a Volsin, filled with greed, began to strip the light from our kind.

The human world was supposed to be a safe haven… but he’s found us and the only way to stop him is to go back to Cielieu and begin training as a student in the Elpida Castle of Light.

Like I said I wish the contents of this book were purely fictional and not my life…

ADELA ARTHUR




Preface

S he ran because she had no other choice. She feared what would happen if she dared to stop. There was no time to think. There was barely any time for her to breathe. On her broken ankle, she ran. With her bruised arms, she ran. With her bleeding sides, she ran because she knew today was the day she was meant to die.
Her bare feet, covered with everything from wet dirt to dried, dead leaves to cold ice, took her farther into the forest. She jumped over the dark fallen log, not caring that the bottom of her pants snagged on the tip of it. She went on, running deeper, running faster, trying not to think. Thinking would stop her. Thinking would make her want to survive. Thinking would cause her to fight, and today she could not fight. She heard the screeches; she had seen their dark eyes. They were confirming what she already knew in her heart to be true. Today was the day she was meant to die.
Snow fell gently on her like small glimpses of hope. She loved the snow. But even today it, too, was against her. It knew. It blanketed the ground and froze her to her core. She slowed, but she didn’t stop running. Slowing was a mistake, though. Now she could feel the fatigue as it crept up inside her. She could feel the pain as it came into her ankle like burning knives slicing away at her. As the screeches rang through the forest, they too chilled her. Whether she slowed or not, she was meant to die today.
However, she had one choice, one option. What was to be her final ground? She had the choice of where she could die and it wasn’t going to be here. It wasn’t going to be in the depths of the dark forest. It would not be fatigue, or hunger, or even the evil creatures that dwelled inside that forest. She couldn’t die here. It wasn’t good enough.
She ran, but again her pace slowed. What a fatal flaw that was, for now she tripped over the root of a skillful hidden tree. Her body hit the iced-over, snow-covered ground, adding even more injuries to her collection. She touched her lip; seeing her blood on her hands shocked her, stilling her. She was bleeding everywhere, but for some reason that blood was what stilled her. That was her final fatal flaw because now she stopped running. Running had calmed her and now that was gone. A dry sob broke through her lips before the tears came. They broke so quickly they burned, blinding her.
She could think now. She knew to what her actions would lead. She knew she could hurt them all. But it had to be done; it was the only thing left to do. They would hate her. They wouldn’t understand. They would have told her there was another way, but there wasn’t. There just wasn’t. They wished for it to be innocent, clean, easy—but it couldn’t be. She knew there wasn’t another way. They knew there wasn’t another way. But they hoped, they prayed, but most of all, they feared. That they too were like her, that they too were only prolonging their agony. It wasn’t always like this. I promise you it wasn’t always like this. There use to be laughter and harmony, absolute and unfathomable harmony. They wanted that back. They needed that back. So she had to die today.
She heard it. She heard his foot upon the snow. Lifting herself from the ground with great ease, for she no longer hurt, she turned to him, all the anger in the world directed at him. He—with handsome red eyes and blond hair—he was the reason she would die today.
I am not sure if you are the most reckless girl I have ever met or the wisest.” His soft, gentle voice rang out—his voice never much higher than a whisper. It was a deceiving voice. It was the voice of a friend, a brother, a father; it was a voice of someone who cared.
This you won’t win. Haven’t you heard? Light always wins. You scare and you terrify, but in the end light always wins. So you are the most reckless man I have ever met, for trying to do the same thing so many others have tried and failed to do,” she told him through her own tears.
He simply circled her before speaking again. “Now who lied to you, my dear? There is no such thing as failure. I have simply discovered ways that did not work.”
She looked forward, not speaking to the man behind her. There was no point wasting the few precious breaths she had left. Her tears flowed from her eyes, rolling down her cheeks like miniature waterfalls. He was the reason she would die today.
How tragic it is that you will not be alive for me to impart such a lesson upon you.” That was the last thing she heard before the darkness came. She hoped; she truly hoped she did not die today for nothing.











Monday, July 29, 2013

Escape: A New Life by David Antocci Book Tour



Escape: A New Life
by David J. Antocci


About The Author:


David J Antocci is a noted wordsmith, blogger and author. His work can be read regularly on the Worcester Telegram and Gazette website where he has spent many years writing about the trials and tribulations of being a real life Mr. Mom.  While his first love is music, he has put down the guitar in recent years in order to pour his passion into writing… and the gentle tap of the keys on his laptop are much less disruptive late at night when the children are sleeping. The ESCAPE books are his first published foray into fiction. He lives in New England with his beautiful wife and children.








Book Genre: Thriller, Action/Adventure
Publisher: Independently Published by David J Antocci
Release Date: June 30th 2013
Amazon

Book Synopsis:

After saving a drowning man during a savage storm, Abby wakes up in a tropical paradise in a fight for her life. She has no idea how she got there, and notices changes in herself that she cannot explain. Haunted by unsettling dreams of her past, she sets out to escape, joined by Eric, who finds himself in the same quandary. Standing in their way is a madman, and his band of willing followers, with a mind set on murdering their unwelcome visitors. An eccentric hermit who has been living there for years offers them refuge, but they must deny his generosity. Escape is their only option.  Yet, they discover this deceptive paradise is harder to leave than they had ever imagined.  One mystery leads to another, until their escape throws them into even greater danger as Abby’s frightening past finally catches up with her.  Her escape is only the beginning.





HER EYES FLASHED open with a start as she gasped for air. Heart pounding, she reached up and felt her moist face. Her eyes were wide open, yet she saw nothing. Blackness surrounded her. She heard what sounded like white noise all around her. Reaching down to feel her body, she found that her skin was cool and wet. A blinding white light streaked across the black sky above, forcing her eyes closed for a moment. Rain. She realized that she was hearing rain beat down all around her.
She sat up, with some effort, her muscles felt very sore. She felt her stomach and thought that it seemed smaller than it should be. Odd. With another flash of lightning, she saw waves pounding the beachhead in front of her. Consumed by confusion, she struggled to remember where she was. How did I get here? Through the haze, she knew one thing. She was soaking wet and feeling a chill. She needed a place to dry out.
Behind her she saw only trees and darkness. Ahead, she saw the blackness of water as far as her eyes could focus. To her left, she spotted a cliff jutting out of the water and up into the emptiness of the sky. There were a number of trees pushed up against what looked like an overhang off the side of the cliff. That’s probably the driest spot around here, she thought. Pushing her wet hair out of her eyes and running her fingers through it, she couldn’t help but think that it seemed a little longer than it should. She assumed that was because it was wet. Where the hell am I? Her thoughts were fuzzy and she could not put the details together, as hard as she tried. She wrapped her hair around itself in a quick ponytail to keep it out of the way.
Still sitting on the sand and looking around, she wondered if there was anyone else out here. “Hello?” The crash of the waves and sounds of the storm drowned out her voice, even to herself. “HELLO!” Listening, she heard nothing. Wait, was that someone calling? Looking left and right as the lightning continued to flash, she saw no one—only empty beach for about a hundred meters in each direction. The sand pushed up against the cliffs on the left, and the tree line came out to meet the water on the right.
She put her left hand on the wet sand and her right hand on her thigh to brace herself to stand. Her right hand felt something hard and leathery. Her fingers traced the object. If she did not know better she would say it was a knife. Perplexed, she wondered, why would I have a knife strapped to my thigh?

She managed to stand, though confusion still reigned over her senses. The rain and waves both let up for a few seconds. There it was. Someone was definitely shouting. It was coming over the water.







Friday, July 26, 2013

An Organized Mess! Interview & Giveaway with Yolonda Tonette Sanders - In Times of Trouble


In Times of Trouble
by Yolonda Tonette Sanders


Welcome to BK Walker Books Etc. I'm so happy you could join me today.

BK: Looking out the nearest window, describe the scene you see.

I see trees gently blowing in the wind. Squirrels are running up and down the trees and eating the peanuts my husband throws out to them each morning.

BK: Tell us about your office. Is it a mess like mine, or is everything in its place?

Ha! I would categorize my space as an organized mess. My desk has papers all over the place and yet I still know where everything is. The desk is pretty much the messiest part of the room.

BK: I love it - "Organized Mess", I'll have to remember that one :). What is a must-have, such as coffee or a favorite pen, that you need to write?

I must have water and scrap paper. The water is definitely needed as I drink at least 6-8 glasses each day. When I am writing, I often find myself talking out loud, repeating character lines and so my mouth sometimes get dry. The scrap paper is for me to jot down ideas when I am not ready to pursue them at that particular time. Usually these ideas are about something that will occur later in the story on which I am currently working.

BK: Do you like to write in silence, or do you need music or background noise?

Most of the time, I write in silence. I turn off the television and silence my phone. If I cannot silence my phone because I need to be available for kids or my husband should one of them call, I am generally pretty good at ignoring other calls. I have special ringtones programmed in my phone for several people, thus I don’t need to look at my screen to know who is calling. There are times when I cannot avoid having background noises because other people are in the house. In those instances, I have learned how to black out things around me in order to focus.


BK: Tell us a bit about your hero/heroine, and their development.

In the beginning, Lisa is very self-righteous. She seems to have a motto of “once guilty, always guilty” because she is unmerciful to anyone who has made a mistake in life. As the story progresses, I really like the way she develops a sense of compassion and humility. Unfortunately, it takes a crisis for her to get there, but she does.

BK: As a writer myself, I'm always curious how other writers get through stumble blocks. When you find a story not flowing, or a character trying to fight you, how do you correct it?

I move on and begin working another scene. I often find that this helps me connect the dots to other parts of the story. Or, I realize that the part on which I was stuck will not work and I come up with a completely new idea. The bottom line is that I keep going. I never completely stop. I press my way through until something works out.

BK: Using the letters of your first name as an acronym, describe your book...

Yummy
Organized
Loveable
Outstanding
Natural
Different
Admirable

BK: How did your writing journey begin?

It began with one single idea that would not leave me alone until I made a commitment to pursue it. My first novel, Soul Matters, was the start of my officially becoming an author.

BK: Using the letters from the word, Summer, how would friends and family describe you?

Smart
Unique
Motivating
Multi-dimensional
Endearing
Reliable

BK: What is the craziest thing you've ever written about, whether it got published or not?

I don’t think I have ever written about anything truly crazy as my writings have all been purposeful. Now, if you include the chronicles of my personal journal, that might be a different story as I have used it to vent from time-to-time. In that case, I am sure there are plenty of crazy things documented, which will never be published! I would tell you what I wrote, but I have sworn myself to secrecy. lol

BK: Tell us one thing you've done in life, that readers would be most surprised to know.

Sometimes I act silly and make up raps about random things for absolutely no reason at all. No record company will be offering me a contract for any of my raps. I know that I am horrible (so does my familyJ)! It’s just for fun.

BK: What can we expect from you in the future?

My next release in April 2014 will begin a mystery/suspense series. I also have a young adult story that my agent is currently shopping.


This or That...

Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi

Night Owl or Early Bird? Both at times, but most often early bird.

Fantasy or Mystery? Mystery

Pen/Paper or Computer? Computer

Pizza or Burger? Pizza

Rock or Country? Country

Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate

Beach or Mountains? Beach


Thank you so much for having us as one of your stops today. It has been great getting to know more about you and your book, and wish you the best of success!

Thank you for being a wonderful host. This has been fun.

BK Walker




About The Author:

Yolonda Tonette Sanders took a leap of faith in 2004 when she resigned from her job with the State of Ohio after only three and a half years to focus more on writing. It was a leap that she has never regretted. In 2005, her debut novel, Soul Matters, was published by Walk Worthy Press and Time Warner (now Hachette Book Group). In 2008, her second book, Secrets of a Sinner, was published by Harlequin/Kimani Press. That same year Yolonda started Yo Productions, LLC, a Christian based literary services and theatrical entertainment company, which she used to launch and create her first stage production. The theatrical version of Soul Matters debuted successfully in September 2009 at the Capitol Theatre in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Since then, Strebor Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, is planning to release four of Yolonda’s titles by April 2015. Currently, Yolonda resides in Columbus, Ohio and is the loving wife of David, proud mother of Tre and Tia, and joyful caregiver of her mother, Wilene.


Genre: Christian | Contemporary | Inspirational
Publisher: Simon and Schuster/Strebor Books
Release Date: April 23, 2013

Book Description:

Divorced, single mother Lisa Hampton is grateful for a fresh start after a humiliating scandal forced her to relocate from Maryland to Ohio. Her biggest issue nowadays is dealing with her rebellious teenage daughter, Chanelle, who is one smart comment away from being toothless!

Other than the stress of dealing with Chanelle, life is perfect. Lisa has a new beau and a steady job that allows her the opportunity to rub shoulders with very wealthy and influential people. She is best friends with Isaac and Olivia Scott, an extremely rich and powerful couple.

When Chanelle accuses the Scotts’ son of rape, Lisa learns how quickly her friends become enemies as Olivia and Isaac use their wealth and power to manipulate justice. The Scotts prove that they are willing to go to extreme lengths to protect their son, even if it means destroying both Lisa and Chanelle in the process.

Excerpt 

Hearing the sound of her mother's footsteps descending the hardwood stairs, Lisa leaned back on the sofa so as not to appear overly anxious.
"Chanelle still hasn’t made it home?” Her mother’s wire-framed glasses rested at the tip of her nose while a large green robe concealed her body.
  "Nope. . ."
  "Did you call Jareeka’s?”
Yes; her father said that she and her mother are away for the weekend.” She felt herself tensing with every word.
What about RJ? Have you called him?”
He hasn’t seen her either.”
Well, don’t come down too hard on her. Maybe she didn't know Jareeka was out of town and when she found out, she decided to hang with one of her other friends instead. Now she should’ve at least called and told you, but she was probably so happy to get out the house that she forgot. Poor thing; it seems like she’s always on punishment. Sometimes I think you’re too hard on that girl. I don't want to meddle—"
  "Then please don't," the thirty-eight-year-old interjected in the most respectful tone that she could conjure up with a clenched jaw.
"All right. I'll keep my opinion to myself, but I was merely going to say that you may want to consider extending Chanelle's curfew. She’s practically an adult and it’s time you start treating her like one. Maybe then you’d be less likely to run into this problem."
 An electrifying jolt shot through Lisa’s body. The way she disciplined Chanelle had become a constant point of contention between her and her mother. Thank goodness Hattie would soon be moving into her own apartment! Lisa could not wait!
That makes absolutely no sense!” she fired back. “What she is, is irresponsible. Why should I reward her for not being able to honor her curfew? And anyhow, she wouldn’t have been on punishment recently had she not been so smart at the mouth.”
I wonder where she got it from . . .” her mother replied cynically, quickly disappearing into the kitchen and returning moments later. “Good night."
  "The same to you,” Lisa replied, continuing to stew as the clock read 1:21 a.m. The only other noise she heard was the emptying of the automatic ice machine until ten minutes or so later when a car pulled into the driveway. Lisa’s heart began racing when she saw flashing blue and red lights from the window. It wasn’t her car as she had thought, but a police cruiser. A gut-wrenching fear fell over her. Had something horrible happened to Chanelle? She felt guilty about being so angry and the missed curfew was now a minor issue compared to the concern that her baby might be lying in the hospital somewhere. Lisa was horrified by the unlimited possibilities of things that could’ve happened to her daughter. The pit of her stomach knotted as she sprang from the couch and raced to the front door.





Friday, July 19, 2013

Western Roundup 2nd Annual Blog Hop - 3 Louis L'Amour Books Giveaway



Second Annual Western Roundup Giveaway Hop

July 19th - 31st 2013


A big Thank You to our host MK McClintock!

It's a blog hop, so please just follow the blog and enter via Rafflecopter below. I am giving away some like new (read once) 
Louis L'Amour Books:



In Ride the Dark Trail, Louis L’Amour tells the story of Logan Sackett, a cynical drifter who changes his ways to help a widow keep her land.

Logan Sackett is wild and rootless, riding west in search of easy living. Then he meets Emily Talon, a fiery old widow who is even wilder than he is. Tall and lean, Em is determined to defend herself against the jealous locals who are trying to take her home. Logan doesn’t want to get involved—until he finds out that Em was born a Sackett. Em is bucking overwhelming odds, but Logan won’t let her stand alone. For even the rebellious drifter knows that part of being a Sackett is backing up your family when they need you.




In Galloway, Louis L’Amour tells the story of two brothers who must struggle to survive in a wild and beautiful land to build themselves a ranch and a future.

Trouble was following Flagan Sackett with a vengeance. Captured and tortured by a band of Apaches, he escaped into the rugged San Juan country, where he managed to stay alive until his brother Galloway could find him. But the brothers were about to encounter worse trouble ahead. Their plan to establish a ranch angered the Dunn clan, who had decided that the vast range would be theirs alone. Now Galloway and Flagan would face an enemy who killed for sport—but as long as other Sacketts lived, they would not fight alone.






In Lando, Louis L’Amour has created an unforgettable portrait of a unique American hero.

For six long years Orlando Sackett survived the horrors of a brutal Mexican prison. He survived by using his skills as a boxer and by making three vows. The first was to exact revenge on the hired killers who framed him. The second was to return to his father. And the third was to find Gin Locklear. But the world has changed a lot since Lando left it. His father is missing. The woman he loves is married. And the killers want him dead. Hardened physically and emotionally, Lando must begin an epic journey to resolve his past, even if it costs him his life.










Enter via RC below, then follow the links in the Linky to visit more blogs and enter for other awesome giveaways! Good Luck! :)











Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Secret Guardian by Wes Dodd (Book Tour & Giveaway)


The Secret Guardian
by Wes Dodd



Wes Dodd was born in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1958, currently residing in Southside Virginia. He has two daughters and three grandchildren. Within the last couple years he has discovered a passion for creating and breathing life into great stories. He has published three novels: The Crimson Key, a mystery, The Secret Guardian, fantasy and Saving Faith, a romantic thriller.












The Secret Guardian
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: CreateSpace & BookTango
Release Date: April 2013

Book Description:

A Sacred Society exists amongst us all. Believed only as a myth—its origin thrives in secret. Once transformed, each generation of its members become the elite of our society—some for good and some for evil as well. Troy Anthony, unknowingly and somewhat unwillingly, is about to join the elite, like his father before him. It takes a close family friend to ultimately expose the Secret to Troy, revealing his true destiny, and then she becomes a valuable ally. They inadvertently share a unique bond—one of which many doubt its very existence. Troy is taken to two magical places where he learns many secrets of the world, many of which we all have been curious about. It becomes an epic battle where Troy clashes with an evil tyrant, his father’s assassin, a distant cousin sharing many of Troy’s unique abilities.






Claire Anthony suddenly rose up in bed, escaping the nightmare which held her hostage. Breathing heavily as if running from fear, she threw back the deep heavy quilts and sat nervously on the edge of her bed. Still shaken, beads of sweat rolled down her forehead, gently sloping along her narrow cheekbones. Her silken auburn brown hair was drenched along the hairlines. She sighed heavily as she glanced at the clock on her night stand—2 a.m.
This was not a rare nightmare, but rather a recurring one, brought on by a Secret she had kept for many years, an ancient secret known by only a few. She needed to reveal the Secret to her son, Troy, even sooner than she wished. The Secret would change their lives forever if Troy decided to fulfill his destiny—like his father before him.
She noticed a mysterious shadow lingering on her rug from the bright moon shining through her window. Driven by curiosity, she walked to the window to take a peek, as if searching for someone or something in particular. The brilliance from the moon illuminated the entire farmyard, almost like day. After a thorough examination and seeing nothing out of the ordinary, she quietly returned to bed. She once again buried herself within heavy handmade quilts passed down to her from her grandmother, most of which Claire as a child watched her make.
Claire and her son, Troy, lived on her grandparents’ farm in Virginia where she was raised. She lost both of her parents in an auto accident when she was barely eight years of age. When her grandparents both passed, she inherited the farm. She and Troy moved back there after the loss of her husband, Bruce, in the North Tower during the 9/11 attacks in New York City. Much like herself, Troy had to deal with death at a very early age. After the tragedy and some healing time, she thought it best to get her son out of the city, which prompted her move back to the farm. The farm was nestled in a small valley amongst the Blue Ridge Mountains near the sleepy little town of Sweet Springs. Claire recollected the good times she had growing up there. The clean fresh country air and the friendly people made it a perfect place for raising her son and teaching him strong values. The beautiful scenery and a laid-back lifestyle made it perfect for her as well.
Claire was a slender woman of forty years, about five-and-a-half feet in height. Her vivid green eyes and captivating smile made everyone take notice when she entered a room. Even with hints of gray blending in with her auburn brown hair, she appeared to be at least ten years younger than her age. Many men had come calling on her, but she had turned them all away—graciously.
The next morning dawned cool and crisp with a bite in the air that rendered noses and cheeks rosy red, much like good old Saint Nick’s. The heavy frost had the appearance of a coating of freshly fallen snow. As the sun peeked over the horizon, the trees sparkled and glimmered as if infused with magic. The hillsides were speckled orange with pumpkin patches. The valley was consumed with the fragrance of seasoned oak and hickory burning in fireplaces. In the home of Claire and Troy, the aroma of freshly cooked bacon filled every room—making your tongue tingle, mouth water and stomach cry.
This aroma awakened Troy every morning at 6:30 sharp. He would always leap out of bed, bounce down the stairs, and be at the table anxiously waiting before his mother could finish preparing breakfast. This morning was oddly different. Claire had finished cooking and Troy was not yet at the table. She glanced at her grandmother’s antique clock on the old mantle—6:45. She was astonished, for she had never had to call him for breakfast before. She made her way to the hallway, then called up the stairs, “Troy, are you up yet?”