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Archive for the ‘General Information’ Category

Political Thriller/Suspense
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When former naval intelligence officer Jack Steele opens a letter from his aunt, he makes an immediate decision to head to Nome, Alaska. Although he hasn’t seen Marie in twenty years, he’s concerned when she tells him her husband, Uncle Jimmy, is in trouble. From the moment Jack picks up that envelope, he knows he’s about to enter a situation better left alone. But loyalty to family is stronger than a gut feeling.
Jack, a private investigator with Connor, Steele & Harrison Private Investigation Agency lands in Nome and discovers that Lindberg Research Corporation has been using the people of that city as guinea pigs to perfect mind-control research. He has stumbled onto a massive conspiracy that has held hostage the noble people of Nome. The plot threatens America’s way of life, the life of the vice president of the United States, and Jack’s own survival.
Alone and without his usual resources and special equipment, Jack is over matched and is nearly killed before he can even scratch the surface of what’s really taking place in Nome. Jack must elude an ex-Special Forces Green Beret—a man who has sworn over his dead son to kill Jack—and work around local law enforcement and other mysterious forces in order to save the people of Nome and the vice president of the United States.
About the Author
Dennis Quiles earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in business administration. A US military veteran and a veteran of the protection business, he is the director of global security services for one of the world’s largest multinational corporations. Quiles and his wife have three children and currently live in Illinois.
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Have you ever wanted a quick reference book that covered everything from grammar to the ins and outs of publishing a novel? Look no further!

‘Practical Tips for Every Author’ is chock-full of one hundred hints, tips, tricks, lessons, and many other facets of the writing industry in this all-in-one tutorial book.

Covering everything from grammar, punctuation, prose, style, parts of speech, and composition to marketing, formatting, tips on query letter writing, submission guideline help, assistance with the legal in and outs of publishing – to writing the dedication, blurb, acknowledgements—and everything in between!

Over three and a half years in the making, Steve Soderquist has stuffed one book full of everything the beginning author needs to get his or her book written, edited, formatted, sent to publishers or self-published, distributed and marketed. An extremely handy guide for the experienced author as well, to brush up on key components for all things book-related.

Add this helpful guide to your library today!

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Foundations, LLC    Amazon Kindle    Amazon Paperback

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‘Practical Tips for Every Author’ was written by Steve Soderquist, the co-owner of Foundations, LLC and has written and published five novels, one novella and a children’s short story. He has edited, formatted, and distributed over fifty books for some of the best-selling authors of today. He will freely admit to his rather unorthodox style of teaching English but the results from those whom he has taught in seminars, webinars, and workshops speaks for itself.

He lives in Brandon, Mississippi with his beautiful fiancé, business partner, and fellow author and editor/illustrator Laura Ranger.

Steve Soderquist

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ReleaseCanvasSoul
Canvas of the Soul
Author: Melissa Taggart
Release Date: March 17th 2017
Publisher: Extasy Books
canvasofthesoul

 

Canvas of the Soul continues the heartwarming journey of Lindsey and Jason as career, unplanned pregnancy and relationship issues test the strength of their marriage and love for each other. Through their darkest hours of loneliness to the joys of renewed love, their story serves to inspire and uplift.
 
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Amazon: link coming soon
Barnes & Knoble: link coming soon
Extasy Publishing: http://ow.ly/Gx83309otWT
 

A year later, Jason and I still own the gallery. His success surprised even us, and his art has become something of a cult to the point where he is now a celebrity… magazines, radio, and even television interviews. It was a lesson that hard work and dreams can go hand in hand. Success became a reality for us, and we made enough to build our one-story dream home with the luxurious bedroom and bathroom I had always wanted.

Max is still with us and has a huge back yard as his domain. But he’s an older boy now and doesn’t run around like he used to. He either sleeps in my lap or at Jason’s feet when he’s home, but that’s not too often these days. Change is good, but sometimes it comes at a price.

Today Jason and I were supposed to take Max to the vet for a check-up, but Jason was too busy finishing a commission for a client. So I left work early to pick Max up. As always, he was waiting by the door when I got home, his tail wagging his usual greeting.

“Ready to go for a ride?” I asked, petting his head.

I rolled into the kitchen to grab a drink and Max’s leash. He waddled in behind me and went straight to his food bowl, looked at it, and then expectantly at me.

“Nice try, buddy,” I said. “We can’t be late for the appointment.”

We had only waited in Dr. Dean’s office ten minutes before we were called in. Max followed me into a pale green room decorated with dozens of client pet photos and thank you letters. He sat anxiously by my feet, his ears and nose working overtime at all the sounds and strange smells.

A moment later, Dr. Dean, a cheerful redhead in her forties, came in.

“Good to see you, Lindsey,” she said, lifting Max onto the table. “How’s my favorite patient today?”

“He’s doing great. Appetite’s good. Just a little slower than he used to be.”

“That’s normal for a dog his age,” Dr. Dean said as she examined Max. “You and Jason take such good care of him he could live well past the normal life expectancy.”

“Well, that’s good to hear.”

Considering that Max was my companion most of the time, it was very good news.

After Dr. Dean had finished the exam, she set Max back onto the floor. He waddled toward me and nudged my hand as if seeking reassurance.

“Good boy,” I said, stroking him. “See, that wasn’t so bad, was it?”

After we had left Dr. Dean’s office, we headed to the gallery to see what Jason was up to. I parked at the reserved space in the front. A well-dressed client emerged carrying a wrapped canvas. Max and I had barely reached the door when Max barreled through and took off to Jason’s office.

“Hang on, Max!” I cried, watching him furiously waddle away. He scratched at the door until it partially opened and he squeezed through.

Macy, Jason’s little sister, appeared from the store room and laughed at Max’s vanishing butt.

“Hey, Linds, good to see you! Jason’s just on the phone with a client. He shouldn’t be long.”

She sat at the reception desk, a lovely frosted glass u-shaped unit decorated with plants and a few small pieces of Jason’s art. As I rolled toward her, I noticed some new paintings displayed beneath suspended lights.

“Looks great in here,” I said. “Is that new?”

Macy nodded while putting away a few files. “For a private showing tonight. That’s the client he’s on the phone with.” She paused to glance up at me. “Who would have imagined that Jason’s work is a hit in China?”

 
Book 1
Canvas of the Heart By Melissa Taggart
 
Georgia native Melissa Taggart is a believer in tackling challenges. Diagnosed with CP at the age of three months, as a child she discovered that writing offered her a way to deal with a speech impediment. It not only paved the way for better communication, but she transformed a challenge into the voice of a writer eager to teach the world that people with disabilities are people with the same lives, loves and longings as anyone else. Through Melissa’s amusing, insightful and touching stories, she addresses issues and common misconceptions in a way that will open the eyes and hearts of readers everywhere. Her goal is to deliver her special message with humor and candidness, as well as bring greater awareness about the real world of the disabled. When Melissa is not busy creating the universe of Lindsey, Jason and Max, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She also volunteers part-time in a first grade classroom helping the kids with worksheets and games and other activities.
Facebook Author Page: http://ow.ly/aQk0309oteM
Book Page On Facebook: http://ow.ly/4OcL309otn5

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YA Fantasy
Date Published: March 14, 2017
Seventeen-year-old Violet Fairdale has one job: protect humans from dangerous fae. It’s a job she’s good at—until the cute guy whose life she just saved follows her back into the hidden world of magic. Now she’s broken Guild law, landing herself in a whole lot of trouble. The last thing Vi wants to do is spend any more time with the guy who got her into this mess, but the Guild requires that she return Nate to his home and make him forget the magical world he’s discovered. Easy, right? Not when you factor in evil faeries, plenty of mystery and intrigue, and inconvenient feelings of the romantic kind. Vi is about to find herself tangled up in a deadly plot that threatens not only her own life, but her entire world.
Excerpt
 
I cry out as the boy grabs hold of my arm. I stumble on the invisible path, my mind loses hold of my destination, and I tumble out of the darkness and onto the forest floor. I don’t usually exit the faerie paths so clumsily, but I don’t usually have a human boy on top of me.
I lie there blinking as the reality of what just happened strikes me like a slap in the face.
A human.
In the fae realm.
And I’m the one who brought him here.
No no no NO.
I give the guy a good kick and he lands on the ground beside me with a groan. “What did you do that for?” I yell, jumping to my feet. “You can’t follow me through! That’s not how this works.”
He sits up and stares at his surroundings—the wildly tangled trees; the creeping mist; the shifting smoke-like colors in the yuro plants’ leaves—with a mixture of horror and awe on his face. “That … was …”
“Probably the most idiotic thing you’ve ever done.” I doubt he’s listening to me though.
“I think you were right about the dreaming thing,” he says. “There’s no way this could be real. Am I high on something?”
“Ugh.” I clench my fists so tightly I can feel my nails digging into my skin. “It’s magic, you moron.”
He looks at me and frowns. “There’s no such thing as magic.”
“Well, you probably think there’s no such thing as faeries either, and yet here I am.” And here he is. In my forest. My home. I kick a flurry of leaves into the air. Their colors shift rapidly in protest, cycling through an endless palette: lavender, magenta, burgundy, sienna. I bury my face in my hands. I have so failed this assignment.
“No way,” he says, rustling the leaves as he stands. “You can’t be a faerie. You’re way too big.”
I lower my hands. “Excuse me?” I’ve been called many things in my seventeen years, but ‘big’ has never been one of them. Quite the opposite, in fact.
“Aren’t faeries supposed to be, like, really tiny? With wings and a wand and faerie dust?”
“I’m not Tinker Bell!”
He takes a step back. “Okay, okay. Since this is a dream, I guess you can be whatever you want to be.”
“Did it feel like a dream when I kicked you just now?”
“Actually, that did kind of hurt.” He rubs his leg.
I shake my head. “This is such a mistake. You should not be here.”
“So you don’t have wings then?” he asks, completely ignoring what I just said.
“Sure I do. They’re in my pocket.”
“Really?”
“No!” I’m trying to think of the best way to fix this, and I wish he’d keep quiet.
“Oh, wait, you do have a wand though. I saw you using it on my wall.”
“It’s not a wand, it’s a stylus. Just a stick, really.”
“But it—”
“You know, if it weren’t my sole purpose in life to protect humans like you from crazy magical fae, I’d leave you here to find your own way home.”
“Is that what you were doing in my room?” he asks after a moment.
I sigh. Why am I telling him any of this? “Yes. I was on assignment.”
“I was your assignment?”
Wow, you catch on fast. “Yes.”
He hesitates a moment, then grins. “That’s kind of hot.”
About the Author
Rachel Morgan spent a good deal of her childhood living in a fantasy land of her own making, crafting endless stories of make-believe and occasionally writing some of them down. After completing a degree in genetics and discovering she still wasn’t grown-up enough for a ‘real’ job, she decided to return to those story worlds still spinning around her imagination. These days she spends much of her time immersed in fantasy land once more, writing fiction for young adults and those young at heart.
Rachel lives in Cape Town with her husband and three miniature dachshunds. She is the author of the bestselling Creepy Hollow series, and also writes sweet contemporary romance under the name Rochelle Morgan.
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Origins

Origins by AD Starrling Banner

Origins

by AD Starrling

Book Blast is March 14, 2017

Synopsis:

Origins by AD Starrling

The gifts bestowed by One not of this world, to the Man who had lived longer than most.

The Empire ruled by a King who would swallow the world in his madness.

The Warrior who chose to rise against her own kind in order to defeat him.

Discover the extraordinary beginnings of the Immortals and the unforgettable story of the Princess who would become a Legend.

In a time when sickness covers the world in shadows, Romerus, descendant of the first man and woman to walk the Earth, ventures into the desert to find a cure for his dying sons. The gifts he receives from the mysterious stranger he meets on his crusade turn his children into beings who can defeat death itself, carving a destiny that makes them Immortal kings of an empire spanning hundreds of years and thousands of leagues.

Mila, third daughter of Crovir and last-born grandchild of Romerus, knows the evil that resides in the heart of her father. When she dares challenge his increasing tyranny by sparing the life of a human governor, his twisted fear of her grows, triggering a chain of events that culminates in her witnessing his final, unforgivable sin. Accused of a crime she did not commit and forced to flee the empire of her birth, her path collides with that of an enigmatic captain who proves to be more than he claims.

As the promise of war darkens the lands, the most powerful and fearless of all the Immortals must shatter old alliances and create fresh ones in order to forge a new destiny for her kin and mankind.

Origins is the compelling fifth installment and genesis story of AD Starrling’s multi-award-winning, action thriller series Seventeen. If you like high-octane adventures that combine intrigue, history, and a dose of the paranormal, then you’ll love the world of Seventeen.

Book Details:

Genre: Action Thriller, Supernatural Suspense
Published by: AD Starrling
Publication Date: February 21st 2017
Number of Pages: 324
ISBN: 0995501327 (ISBN13: 9780995501324)
Series: A Seventeen Series Thriller, #5
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | iTunes 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

3156 BC

It came on the wind, the wild, shrill call of a hawk. In the valley below, soldiers paused, weapons aloft, hands crimson with the blood of their enemies, their own bodies weeping from stabs and slashes. The sounds of war abated for a frozen moment.

Heads rose. As one, the men stared at the peak of the ridge to the east. Hearts that already raced from combat accelerated with fear and awe as they beheld the figure on a large, black horse clad in plates of armor. A murmur ran through the troops gathered on the bloodied battleground.

‘The Red Queen! The Red Queen is here!’

Slowly, it grew, until it became a chant, a frenetic chorus that energized one army even as it sapped the other of its remaining strength.

The figure on the horse raised her arm in the air. The broadsword in her hand glimmered, impossibly big in her grip, the metal catching the sun at her back and casting sparkling jets onto her gilded battle suit and chainmail tunic. On her shoulders, a cape fluttered in the wind, blood red under the golden light. On her head and limbs, polished bronze gleamed. The soldiers held their breath.

She brought her sword down and pointed it at the battlefield, heels digging sharply into the flanks of the fearsome beast beneath her. The horse neighed wildly and reared up on its hind legs before bolting down the hill toward the soldiers.

The rest of the Red Queen’s army came behind her, weapons glinting, the beats of their horses’ hooves making the ground tremble, their cries darkening the sky. Above them, an armor-clad hawk hovered, a silhouette against the dazzling orb. It shrieked once more before diving after its mistress.

Excerpt from Origins by AD Starrling. Copyright © 2017 by AD Starrling. Reproduced with permission from AD Starrling. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

AD Starrling

AD Starrling’s multi-award-winning thriller series Seventeen combines action, adventure, science, and a dose of the supernatural to make each book an explosive, adrenaline-fueled read.

When she’s not busy writing and reading, AD can be found looking up exciting international locations and cool science and technology to put in her books, eating Thai food, being tortured by her back therapists, drooling over gadgets, working part-time as a doctor on a Neonatal Intensive Care unit somewhere in the UK, reading manga, and watching action and sci-fi flicks. She has occasionally been accused of committing art with a charcoal stick and some drawing paper.

Find out more about AD on her website www.adstarrling.com; where you can also sign up for her awesome newsletter and never miss her latest release. You’ll also get a chance to read advance copies of her forthcoming novels, have access to sneak previews of her work, participate in exclusive giveaways, and get special promotional offers.

Catch Up With Ms Starrling On Her:
Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!

Tour Participants:


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Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for AD Starrling. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on March 13th and runs through March 21st, 2017.

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Lala Pettibone’s Act Two by Heidi Mastrogiovanni

Lala Pettibone, a forty-something widow whose outrageous antics befit women half her age, has been imagining her sexy boss, Gerard, is as smitten with her as she is with him. Enter Gerard s fabulous girlfriend from Paris. After spending the rest of the day drinking wine straight from the bottle, Lala attends the monthly meeting of her Greenwich Village co-op, where the residents are informed that a toxic wasteland has appeared in the building s basement and everyone needs to pony up forty grand by the end of the week. Ever the one to make limoncello out of lemons, Lala reluctantly decides to sublet her apartment and visit her Auntie Geraldine in Los Angeles. Good things come her way in sunny LA, including Dr. David, a handsome veterinarian, and inspiration to transform her previously rejected, uproarious, screenplay into a novel. Lala Pettibone’s Act Twois a wonderfully hilarious, second coming-of-age novel. Bridget Jones has absolutely nothing on Lala in the Late-Bloomer-With-Maybe-Lots-of-Potential Department.”

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Author’s Bio

Heidi Mastrogiovanni is a dedicated animal welfare advocate who lives in Los Angeles with her musician husband and their three rescued senior dogs, Chester, Maggie, and Squeaks. She loves to read, hike, travel, and do a classic spit-take whenever something is really funny. Heidi is fluent in German and French, though she doesn’t understand why both those languages feel they need more than one definite article.

Heidi is a graduate of Wesleyan University and was chosen as one of ScreenwritingU’s 15 Most Recommended Screenwriters of 2013. The comedy web series she writes and produces, Verdene and Gleneda, was awarded the Hotspot on the Writers Guild of America’s Hotlist. The podcast she is working on with “a sublimely fabulous co-host, an insanely superb producer, and two of the most brilliant voice talents in the history of…um…voice, I guess,” will be released in 2017.

Heidi loved living in New York City for sixteen years after college, and she loves living in Los Angeles now because, “Let’s be frank, the weather is gorgeous here. I mean, crazy gorgeous.”

Heidi has traveled extensively in Europe, and studied in Heidelberg for a semester as an undergraduate. “The word ‘studying’ should really have quotation marks around it,” Heidi confesses, “unless drinking huge amounts of beer and flirting outrageously in slurred German count as studying. Which, in a sense, I guess they do, because is there really a better way to learn a language?”

Thanks to the years spent in Manhattan, Heidi is a dedicated walker, with the philosophy that no trek is too great to be mastered and savored. “And that’s kind of a metaphor for life, don’t you think,” Heidi has often been heard to pant when hoofing it for distances that any native to Southern California might dub utterly absurd by any reasonable standard.

Lala Pettibone’s Act Two, Heidi’s first published novel, embraces the themes found in all of her work… It’s never too late to begin again, and it must be cocktail hour somewhere.

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I would like to thank Paxton at PR by the Book for sharing the information on this book. Make sure to check out #LalaPettibonesActII.

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Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Date Published:  February 5, 2017
Publisher: Carrick Publishing
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An environmental activist is murdered on a street in Manhattan after a protest. NYPD homicide Detectives Chen and Castilblanco get the case. While pursuing the clues to find those responsible, they discover the activist’s boyfriend is in danger because he has key information that will expose an international conspiracy involving Europe, Russia, and the U.S. As the tangled web unravels, an old nemesis of the detectives makes his appearance.
Other Books in the Detectives Chen & Castilblanco Mystery Series
Published: October 2015
NYPD detectives Chen and Castilblanco continue their adventures in this sixth novel in the series. Castilblanco’s relative Teresa and Nasir are an item, but Nasir kills Teresa’s taunting and jealous ex-boyfriend in a fight. When they look to Nasir’s friends for help, those friends kidnap the two fugitives who become involved in a terrorist plot.
While the two detectives try to find Teresa and prove her innocence, a case in a different precinct involving a different Castilblanco relative surfaces. The cop’s uncle, other detectives, and the Coast Guard help sort things out, including the connection to an old mafia family.
Published: 2010
The murders of a Wall Street broker and a Navy SEAL in Manhattan only miles and minutes apart seem unrelated, but two homicide detectives discover a connection. As the strange cases merge and they chase down the killers, even with federal stonewalling, they uncover a terrorist plan to destroy two American icons and generate a financial crisis bigger than the Wall Street implosion of 2008. Hiding in the background are webs of international intrigue taken from today’s post-9/11 world.
Published: March 2012
Steve Moore gives a new meaning to “narco-terrorism” in this new thriller that has your favorite NYPD homicide detectives Rolando Castilblanco and Dao-Ming Chen thwarting another terrorist plot, as they did in The Midas Bomb. Castilblanco uses his old Navy SEAL skills to good effect and Chen takes on a new sexy and independent role against the combined forces of al Qaeda, a Mexican cartel, and neo-Nazi militia members.
Published: May 2013
With Teeter-Totter between Lust and Murder, Steve Moore continues the “Detectives Chen and Castilblanco Series.” The sleuths of The Midas Bomb and Angels Need Not Apply will embroil you in action and suspense yet again.
As a mystery novel, it is a dark probing into the nexus the crime underworld sometimes enjoys with the rich and powerful. Chen is arrested for the murder of a senator in circumstances that seem to leave no doubt of her guilt, but Castilblanco helps prove her innocence.
With this new crime novel, Steve continues the saga of your two favorite detectives as they and their companions fight the corrupting influence of the illegal weapons trade.
Published: March 2014
Aristocrats and Assassins continues the “Detectives Chen and Castilblanco Series.”
NYPD detectives Chen and Castilblanco leave their comfort zones once again. Chen goes to China where she helps the DEA track down a money laundering scheme. Castilblanco is in Europe on vacation with his wife. They meet up to thwart a terrorist who’s kidnapping members of the European royal family. What relation does he have to the money laundering scheme? Why does he have a vendetta for Castilblanco? What’s his real agenda? Join Chen and Castilblanco on a tour of Europe you won’t find in Frommer’s.
Published: November 2014
Chen and Castilblanco are back in the Big Apple.  They begin to investigate the murder of a SOHO art dealer, delve into the shadowy world of art thieves, and discover that stolen artworks can be used as collateral to finance some dark entrepreneurship.  The Collector is book five in the Detectives Chen and Castilblanco series.
Excerpt

 

Excerpt from Steven M. Moore’s Gaia and the Goliaths, #7 in the “Detectives Chen and Castilblanco Series”, Carrick Publishing, 2017:
Chapter One
Dr. Guillermo Sanchez ran with EMTs as they guided the gurney through the halls on the way to one of Bellevue’s ORs.  His job was to stabilize the shooting victim for the surgeon, but stabilize wasn’t the right word in this case.  The young woman flat-lined twice before the surgeon arrived.
“Wash up, Guillermo,” said Dr. Wilson. “I’m going to need your steady hands.”
Guillermo Pedro Sanchez was ending his first year as ER intern.  He had already informed Wilson where the gunshot wounds were.  The most serious ones were around her left breast.  Had they done damage to the heart?  The flat-lining indicated that they had.
He was in the seventh hour of his first shift.  Unruly black hair and a need for a shave combined with a blood-stained smock made him look like an old-fashioned Italian butcher from an old ethnic neighborhood of New York City, but he had grown up in a rich family in Marblehead, Massachusetts.  A brother and sister had attended Harvard all the way through to MBAs and now worked in the corporate world.  He was the youngest and had attended Tufts; he’d always wanted to work in an ER.  Now he was an intern in one of the busiest.
They were soon embroiled in the operation.  The abdominal cavity was filled with blood—a massive leak somewhere threatened this woman’s life.
“Let’s do a transfusion,” said Wilson, “and patch tears if we can.”
“Is it her heart?” said Sanchez.
“I can’t see a damn thing.  Suction!”
They worked feverishly.  Desperate minutes became intense hours.
***
Gaia Papadakis’s last memories were about a dark street near NYU.  She had been a bit tipsy.  After the protest march, they went to a bar to celebrate.  No one was arrested during the protest, but all the same they made the news on all local TV channels.
People were now interested in global warming despite naysayers in big corporations and the nation’s capital.  Many were also asking questions about oil spills, fracking, and pollution from power plants.  Her group Clean World tried to guide and coordinate the dialog.
Many conservatives supported companies Clean World was protesting against, while progressives were more on the side of protesters when not beholden to corporate donors.  Many energy companies were owned by one huge energy conglomerate, Wilson-Myers Energy Corporation.  Emotions ran high during the protest, but she gave the cops more credit than some co-marchers—the former kept the march peaceful and seemed impartial about whom they hauled away when tempers flared and violence ensued.
She had recognized some opposition leaders and activists trying to appeal to spectators; they played on people’s fears, focusing on loss of livelihood if the conglomerate’s companies went under.  She knew their argument was specious—she had written white papers that proved the conglomerate could, in a period of ten years or so, improve their environmental record without losing revenue.  Other white papers showed what would happen to the Earth if conglomerates like Wilson-Myers didn’t change their polluting ways.
Most in the crowd, though, ignored the opposition and were friendly to protesters.  She knew Wilson-Myers hated that and the progress environmentalists were making.  The conglomerate was spending money right and left to stop them and writing most of it off to advertising.  That same money, probably even less, could be used to change its bad environmental record.  It was a question of priorities.  Companies spent tons of money trying to “educate the population”—translation: attack science and deny global warming.  And they had sycophants in Washington to push that agenda.
At the bar, they had toasted their better-than-average success with the protest.  She left around 2 a.m.  Her small apartment wasn’t far away, so she walked.  She was city and street smart, but her shooter was more efficient than your average gang member or mugger.  An SUV sped by and a shooter sprayed her body with an automatic weapon, leaving her sprawled on the sidewalk and her mind fading into darkness as she still wondered why.
***
“We’re in trouble,” said Wilson, glancing at monitors.  “We need to give her an artificial heart, but there’s no time!”
            “No repair’s possible?” said Sanchez.
            “Let’s try to pull her through,” said Wilson.  “We’re heading for a train wreck here!  Full replacement, ladies and gentlemen!”
            More hours of painstaking, mind numbing surgery.  Another cardiac surgeon joined Wilson, and another intern arrived to help Sanchez clamp, suck out fluids, sew stitches, and keep an eye on instruments, although OR nurses also helped in that too.  The team grew; it was a team effort.  Wilson was the quarterback marching his offense down the field with time running out.
After nine hours of surgery, they had the victim on an artificial heart.  That would only be the start of her odyssey.  She would now go on a list of patients who needed a heart transplant.  That was another race against time.
            “Good work,” Wilson told Sanchez as they were cleaning up.  “You have a fast and sure suture technique.  Maybe you should change to surgery.  By the way, I’m sorry I ignored your questions in there.  I’m afraid I become less professorial when I’m saving someone’s life.”
            “No need to apologize,” said Sanchez.  “They were stupid questions.  Her heart was beyond repair.  What chance does she have now?”
            Wilson glanced at him, raising a bushy eyebrow.  “Don’t become emotionally involved, Guillermo.  You need to maintain a professional detachment.  There’s only a ten percent chance she’ll make it.  She’s likely to throw a clot, for example, considering circumstances.  And we might not find a donor in time.”
            “It seems so unfair.  What is she, mid-twenties?”
            “If she’s more than thirty, I’d be surprised.  She pissed someone off enough she might as well have been a grunt in the Middle East invading a terrorist camp without a gun or body armor.  Yeah, it’s unfair.  You can be a recluse most of your life but still have a truck mow you down crossing a street in Manhattan.  What about a surgery internship, if I can change the subject?”
            “I can help more in the ER.”  Sanchez smiled.  “I’ll have lots of practice in Manhattan.”
            “Are you just afraid of overspecialization?  You’d be an ER surgeon soon enough.  You can help sicker people as a cardiac surgeon on ER call.”
            “I’ll think about it.  But you can’t determine my skills just from one session.  I didn’t do very much.”
            “Often enough you provided a skilled third pair of hands when I needed them.”  Wilson looked around and lowered his voice.  “That other intern was all thumbs.  Between you and me, he’s not going to last long in this intense environment.”  He raised his hands and flexed his fingers, watching water drip off.  “I’ll take these any day over a robot’s.”
            Sanchez thought that was a bit egotistical but said nothing.
***
“You’re too young to be a doctor,” Gaia Papadakis said, her voice a raspy whisper.  Sanchez had just removed the tube from her throat.
“You’re awake.  You’ve been through a lot.”  He took her pulse again the old-fashioned way.  “A bit weak.”  His thick eyebrows arched.  “How do you feel?”
“I feel like I was run over by a subway train.”
“Something comparable on the street and right here in the ER.  You’re lucky to be alive.  You were in good shape, though, and that helped.”
“I work out when I can.  Gym and jogging.  Do you work out?”
“When I can.  Don’t talk too much.”  He showed her the call button.  “If you have a problem, use that.  Someone will come running.  Don’t be timid with the morphine pump either.  Control your pain.”  He waved toward the door.  “I have some other patients to see.  It was a busy night in the ER apparently.”
“What happened?”
“Other than your being shot, I don’t know.  About that: when you’re up to it, NYPD will want to interview you.  Don’t worry about it, though.  They have to go through me first.”
Nice smile, she thought.  God, he’s young and handsome.  Where’s he been all my life?  He had beautiful curly locks like her Zorba.  She wanted Alessandro by her side holding her hand now that the doctor had reminded her of him.
“Did you participate in my surgery?”  He nodded.  “Say, can you hand me my purse?  I’d like to check my smart phone.”  He handed her the purse, watched her rummage around, but turned to the PA system’s speaker over the door when his name was called.
“I have to go.”  She nodded, flashing a tired smile.
She watched him leave, deciding it might be worth being shot in order to meet him.  Sorry, Alessandro, you’re thousands of miles away.
            Hours later in midafternoon, she woke from a deep sleep feeling panic.  She knew something was wrong.  She took her last gasp as she fought her descent into sweet oblivion.
About the Author

Steve Moore is an ex-scientist who has lived abroad and seen a lot of the world. His fiction reflects his interest in the human condition and how good people everywhere react and fight evil. He is now a full-time author who lives with his wife in New Jersey, but he has resided in Colombia and Massachusetts and other states in the U.S. He’s a native Californian. He loves to hear from readers and authors.
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