Jack Cannon's American Destiny

Rachel Thompson

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hank Quense's Two Cents on Visibility for #Authors & Live Book Signings @Hanque99 #AmWriting #PubTip

Hank Quense's Book Signing Horror Story

Two years ago, I had a new novel released and I was determined that I was going to sell a pile of paperback copies locally. I contacted a few libraries and two of them agreed to let me have a book signing appearance. The libraries did a great job and produced flyers to hang around the library.

At the first one, i sat behind a table with a pile of books and waited while the library’s patrons ignored me. Finally, an elderly man approached and looked over the books. I sensed a sale. I gave the guy a description of the book and he picked one up and sat down. He browsed through the book and read several scenes over the next ten or fifteen minutes. Then he stood up, said, “I didn’t bring any money,” put the book down and left. He was the first and last potential buyer at that signing.

A few weeks later, I had the second signing at a bigger library in a bigger town. Only one guy showed up, a member of a write group I belong to. We spent an hour chatting after which I decided to give up and go home. The other writer did graciously buy a copy of the book.

I think the biggest hurdle an unknown writer has to face is his unknown status. A flashy flyer in a library announcing appearance by an author no one ever heard of simply does not attract a crowd. A writer needs more than the flyer and best good wishes of the library staff. The writer needs to get a message out through the community because a lot of people don’t go to the library, or if they use the library, they may not stop to read the flyer. The flyer should be in local stores and other public places.

I haven’t had a book signing since then, but I’m willing to try one more time with Moxie’s Problem. This time, in addition to the flyers the library makes up, I’ll produce my own flyers and announcements and then make the rounds of the local shops and venues to spread the word. I’m hoping more than one guy shows up this time around.

I’m also exploring a different situation in which I join forces with one or two other authors and make it a joint signing.

Moxie's Problem

Do you enjoy untypical coming-of-age stories? Well, you won’t find one more untypical than Moxie’s Problem. Moxie is an obnoxious, teen-age princess who has never been outside her father’s castle. Until now. The real world is quite different and she struggles to come to grips with reality. The story takes place against a backdrop of Camelot. But it isn’t the Camelot of legends. It’s Camelot in a parallel universe. So, all bets are off!

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Fantasy, Sci-fi
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Hank Quense through Facebook & Twitter

Friday, January 16, 2015

Cheryl Rice on Daily Journals, Self-Knowledge & Self-Compassion @RiceonLife #Memoir #AmWriting

Why Writing is a Form of Personal Therapy

If someone asked me what three things I’d take if I were stranded on a desert island I would say, my dog Gracie for love and companionship, dark chocolate as my drug of choice, and a very large, spiral bound, unlined journal with an attached Paper Mate InkJoy pen for therapy.

Writing has always been a safe haven for me. Through it I have found a sanctuary of comfort, clarity and sanity. I remember writing my first poem, which I spelled “pome,” in Mrs. Hilderman’s second grade class. It was about a mouse with tickly prickly whiskers. Mrs. Hilderman chuckled when she read it and gave me the ultimate compliment when she hung it with a clothespin on a strand of twine that stretched the length of her classroom supply closet.

It didn’t take long for my poetry to grow in depth and drama as I grew into my awkward adolescence. Most of it was fairly melodramatic and maudlin but it provided a needed outlet for the loneliness and longing that suffused my days. My grandfather used to take fistfuls of poems that I had written into the bathroom with him and emerge with tears in his eyes and arms wide open. “Sherry,” he would say (my grandfather was the only person in the world I let call me anything other than Cheryl), “Please don’t tell me you’re as sad as these poems. I can’t bear it. Come here. Let me give you a hug.”

While my poetry served as an adequate outlet for my sorrows at the time, it was the daily journals I kept throughout most of my life that served as my gateway to self-knowledge and eventually self-compassion. In my late twenties I kept a journal addressed to my imagined future husband. It was a way for me to feel a hopeful connection to my eventual life partner and also to clarify for myself who and what I wanted in a partner. It’s amazing how many of the qualities and even characteristics – like being a lawyer and having two sisters – my real-life husband shares with the imaginary man I wrote to all those years ago.

Writing became most therapeutic for me in the wake of losing my mother. When I was mired in unprecedented grief I could bring my sorrow and anguish to the page without worrying I was burdening anybody else. I would write my feelings of course, but I also would write letters both to my mom and from my mom to me. I even wrote a letter from me to my unborn child. I cried as I wrote many of these letters but that cascade of words and tears provided tender comfort and healing to my wounded heart.

Another powerful writing experience was when I gave myself permission to write in an unlined journal. At first I was reticent and kept trying to write in straight imagined lines – as if someone would strike my hand with a ruler if my words weren’t straight. But once I got over that I found the experience quite liberating. I could write in circles, I could turn the page on its side or upside down, I could add drawings if I liked. The freedom was indeed therapeutic as it lessened my self-imposed rigidity and broke me free from rules I didn’t even know I had been following – ultimately allowing for a catharsis and clarity I hadn’t even known I was seeking.

Writing was even therapeutic for me when I was actually in therapy and wanted to take what I was learning in sessions deeper. I wish I could say my journal didn’t talk back but the amazing thing is it did! It would offer a fresh realization – like maybe it wasn’t my fault that I couldn’t heal my father – or some much needed self-compassion when I was grieving my mother.

So, yes – I’m sure that if I was indeed stranded on a desert island I’d find meaning and a therapeutic sanctuary in my journal. I may even discover a way off the island.

Where Have I Been All My Life

Where Have I Been All My Life? is a compelling memoir recounting one woman’s journey through grief and a profound feeling of unworthiness to wholeness and healing. It begins with the chillingly sudden death of Rice’s mother, and is followed by her foray into the center of mourning.

With wisdom, grace, and humor, Rice recounts the grief games she plays in an effort to resurrect her mother; her efforts to get her therapist, who she falls desperately in love with, to run away with her; and the transformation of her husband from fantasy man to ordinary guy to superhero. In the process, she experiences aching revelations about her family and her past—and realizes what she must leave behind, and what she can carry forward with her.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Cheryl Rice through Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

#Excerpt from WITNESS TO MY HEART by Loni Flowers @LoniFlowers #AmReading #Romance #BYNR

“Do you know how great that bathing suit fits you?” he commented.

I was surprised by the unexpected compliment. “Thanks. It’s definitely not the bikini I should have been wearing, according to Caroline.”

“You can see just as much in a bra and panties, which I’ve already seen.”

“Only the bra,” I corrected him.

“Personally, I’ve always preferred a woman in a one-piece. The way it molds to the skin… perfectly outlining every delectable curve on her body. There’s only one thing sexier than that.”

“Oh yeah? And what is that?”


When I didn’t respond to his answer, Max plucked my empty bottle from my hand and set both bottles on the on top ledge of the pool behind my shoulder as he moved in closer. “Shall I get you another?”

I shifted back a bit. “No, I’m good. I hope you’re not trying to get me drunk so you can have your way with me?”

He took another step closer. “You accepted the beers. I didn’t make you drink them, or ask you to get in the pool. And I would never force myself on a woman just to get what I want.”

“Is that because alcohol makes it so much easier for you?” I retreated another step and my back reached the tiled side, indicating I had nowhere else to go.

“The alcohol means nothing; and the fact that you brought it up tells me you’re trying to find an excuse. What I’m trying to figure out is: do you want me more right now? Or that day I pushed you against the wall? Or was it when you came out of the bathroom last night, dressed in a tight, little tank top and shorts?”

My heart started racing at his sudden forwardness, but I couldn’t let him get to me. “I see the decent conversation we enjoyed tonight has ended. Now you’re full of delusional assumptions.”

“Your eyes give you away.”

As soon as he said that, I stared into the water. There was only about an inch of space between us.

“And so does your breathing. I affect you more than you realize, or will admit.”

“You’re so full of yourself. I just met you. I don’t even know you.”

“I’m only stating the facts. You want me and you can’t even admit you do.”

“I do not! I’m not sure what gave you that idea.”

“The gaze in your eyes, your increased breathing, your mouth, hell your whole body reacts to me when I’m around. I can even smell it on you!” Max raised his arms and put them on each side of my head as he gripped the ledge with each hand. Water trickled down his arms and dripped back into the pool. “When I’m this close, your body sends out pheromones and signals, like it is calling me. Your hands find their way to my skin… like now.”

My hands were pressed against his chest. Like a magnet, they were drawn to him over and over again without any forethought on my part. Closing the gap between us, Max pressed his body against mine and I found it hard to resist the moan that nearly escaped my mouth.

Leaning down, his lips barely brushed mine when he spoke. “And right now, you’re wondering what it would feel like to have my lips tasting yours. Possessing you. But I won’t take what I want, Abi. So, tell me… what do you want?”

Witness to my Heart

Keep a low profile. That's what Abigale Peterson was supposed to do, especially when the person she was being protected from was one of the world's worst crime lords. After seven years in the Witness Protection Program, she felt no safer now than she did when she was seventeen. Revenge was rarely forgotten when it came to a professional criminal like Zerilli.

Low profiles meant no social life and definitely no love life.

Paranoia and lies became daily habits, going against everything Abigale believed in, but they kept her safe. They kept everyone safe.

Until a house fire puts her out of that safety and into the arms of a stranger. Max Smith is sexy, smart, and has major attitude. He’s the only one who seems to get her. He calms her fears and comforts her from her nightmares. But he also sees right through her lies.

Before Abigale can stop, she’s in too deep; confiding too much and breaking the one rule she promised herself to uphold: Never fall in love.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Romance
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Loni Flowers through Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Madi Brown's Thoughts on the Visual Reader & a Good Book Designer @Madithe1brown #Wwed #ChickLit

Why Book Covers Are So Important

Unless you don't have eyes, people are visual. If there's a handsome guy sitting  across  from me during my daily commute on the train, I'm going to look. If I'm away on vacation, I'm going to appreciate the beautiful sights around me, because I know that I'm there to relax. If my mom bakes one of her yummy peach cobblers, I'm going to feast on it with my eyes first, and then I'm going to devour it. In the world of books, book covers work in the same way. There are probably millions of them out there, but most readers are only looking for one title. Just think, your book cover is going to be the very first thing that a buyer will see. If you're suddenly feeling the pressure of of just  how important a book cover really might be, then continue to read on.

“I've penned a stellar novel. People are going to love me once they read what I've written.” Plenty of authors are probably thinking the exact same thing. But how are you going to let people know about this stellar body of work that you've just created? I'll tell you how.  You're going to  have a fabulous book cover that will make your book stand out from the rest. And don’t worry, I get it. Writers aren't book designers, but here's where you bring in someone to help with bringing your vision to life. Outsourcing can be your new best friend.

How to  Find a Book Cover Designer That Fits Your Needs

I'm pretty infatuated with the book cover for my debut novel, The Truth About Emily, but it wasn't a one step process of knowing what I wanted straight away. It started with me doing research. Think about your storyline or nonfiction topic. Jot down some ideas so that you have a place of reference to pull from. Do you have a title already? Great. If you do, then keep that in mind too, because it's another source. Now go online and begin looking at other people's book covers.  Are they popular authors? Ask yourself what it is, if anything, that's drawing your eyes to it. How do you feel about the colors, the images, the font style, and the font size? Also, check out some of the books that you've previously purchased; specifically on the strength of its book cover. What caused you to click on buying it? Next up, what you want to do, is take all of that information and keep it somewhere safe. We'll come back to it.

Now you'll need to find yourself a competent book cover designer. Fiverr (an online company that will do almost any task for you for $5.00) has loads of  people on there who can assist you for a bargain, but just remember that most of those people specialize in quantity over quality. By this, I mean that you might end up with a book cover identical to someone else or it may have an appearance that looks manufactured. This isn’t to say that there aren’t  some gems on there, but you'll have to diligently seek them out.  As for myself, I chose to go with a freelancer. I was drawn to the element of selection in having access to a host of talented designers with exceptional portfolios  and being able to make a choice based on a price that I’ve set. My final winning pick was Gavin Pledger, Creative Soutions King).

By now ,you’ve found yourself a book cover designer (as far as the work contract is concerned, make sure that you add in how many times they’re willing to revise. Negotiate a flat fee). The first thing that they’ll want to know is what creative direction you’d like them to go in. This is when you whip out the notes that you’ve been compiling for your project. It’s your starting point. Don't be afraid to let them know what works for you, and what doesn’t. A really good book cover designer will be as excited as you are in getting right!


"If you LOVE New York, if you’re a name-dropping, fashion fiend careerist; fed up with serial dating, plagued with a thirst for sex, then you’ll totally stalk me for what I've penned.” - Author, Madi Brown


29-year-old Emily Greene looks the part, but she’s still working on becoming a modern-day woman. Not that she’s one to back down from a challenge, but living as an eternal work-in-progress wasn't exactly the goal that she had in mind. It’s a harsh but true realization---the idea that that time isn't on her side, and the notion that wanting to have it all, doesn't mean getting it. The verdict is in; with zero prospects for a relationship and a stalled blogging career, Emily has every reason to believe that she’s been living a life too humdrum for her own good.

Making the change won’t be easy. She’ll have to do whatever it takes; start dating like a man, become more selective about which RSVP's she accepts, and work even harder at getting her dream job.The payoff’s huge; a modern twist on a storybook ending, but gains don’t often come without risks. In the here and now Emily just may be forced to choose...It’s got to be one or the other----the profession that she’s always wanted, or the love that she’s never had.

˃˃˃ Praise for Madi Brown &

her debut novel, The Truth About Emily

"The added depth of character promises complexity but wraps everything in the saucy cloak of Emily's evolving personality and newfound beliefs about life, love, and the real nature of happiness. And this is where The Truth About Emily outshines many competitors, making it a recommended read for those seeking more than a standard romance novel." - D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Reviews

"This book has just about anything a girl would love to read about. If there's anything Emily Greene has is ISH and lots of it, oh the ending... This book is a total keeper, just anything about fashion to relationships to friends and family." - Y. Sanchez, Goodreads

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Women's Fiction
Rating – PG18
More details about the author
Connect with Madi Brown on Facebook & Twitter

Friday, December 26, 2014

TOUCHING MADNESS #Excerpt (River Madden #Series) by K S Ferguson #Fantasy #AmReading

I cowered at the hooves of the eight-foot tall demon, wallowing in the soot and debris of the apocalyptic cityscape. He frowned at me, and his mouth formed words, but I couldn't understand him. Hoards of translucent black cloud nightmares rose and fell through cracks in the scarred ground, widening the fissures with each pass. They roiled around us, cutting off light coming from a source that I couldn't identify. I opened my mouth to scream, and one of the nightmare clouds poured in, clogging my throat, filling my lungs with ash, and shooting burning cinders up through my brain. I thrashed, trying to get to my feet so I could run, but I no longer had legs.

I jerked awake, thoroughly tangled in the space blanket, my legs numb, and looked into a pair of amber eyes that stared back at me along the blade of a big, scary military-type knife pointed at my throat. I swallowed hard. Boy, had I screwed up.

"Hi," I said.

She didn't blink. My God, she was beautiful in the pre-dawn light glowing through the windows. No human looked that perfect. Was she real? I freed my right hand and ever so slowly raised my index finger to the tip of the blade while she watched. When I pressed lightly against the point, it pricked my skin. I pulled my hand back. Blood welled from the tiny cut. Yep, real. Shit. She'd taken me prisoner.

"We're surrounded by cops," I said. "If you stick me, I'll scream like a girl."

Ah, crap, why'd I used that expression? She probably screamed like an Amazon warrior. How'd she even lift a knife that big? She was such a tiny thing. All the cops I'd met were big louts. But she had the drop on me, and the knife was a lot more threatening than her wand thingy.

"Who are you? Where are we? How'd I get here?" she asked. The taut muscles around her eyes telegraphed fear, and the knife trembled in her hand.

I rubbed my prickling wrist tattoos against my jeans and caught a whiff of something burnt. I glanced around the kiosk. Up near the ceiling, a trace of shapeless sooty cloud leaked out through the crack around the door. My mouth opened, closed.

"Do you smoke?" I asked, hoping she'd tell me she did. The cloud could have been cigarette smoke even if it didn't smell like tobacco… purposeful cigarette smoke, on the dark side. A hallucination. Not real.

A frown joined her stare. Oops. I'd wandered off topic. What had she asked? Who are you? But her team had that tracking device that reacted to me. How could she be looking for me but not recognize me?

"I brought you here so they wouldn't shoot you. I had to hide you while I led him away." I gave her a tentative smile and waited for her to gush her thanks for saving her life. Maybe she'd be so grateful, she'd tell me about the tracking device—and point that big knife some other direction. Then I could get away before she figured out who I was.

She added narrowed eyes to the stare and the frown. I chewed my lower lip. Maybe I wasn't communicating as well as I'd hoped. I felt woefully inadequate talking to someone as lovely as her, especially someone carrying a dangerous weapon. It could have been worse—at least I hadn't degenerated into word salad or spoken in rhymes.

Touching Madness

Light bulbs talk to River Madden; God doesn't. When the homeless schizophrenic unintentionally fractures a dimensional barrier and accidentally steals a gym bag containing a million dollars, everyone from the multiverse police to the local crime boss—and an eight-foot tall demon—are after him. Can he dodge them long enough to correct his mistakes and prevent the destruction of three separate dimensions? If he succeeds, will the light bulbs stop singing off-key?

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary, Urban fantasy
Rating – R
More details about the author

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Erin Sands on How #Writers Become Better Through Exposure & Feedback @TheDunesBook #AmWriting


We have all heard someone throw out the, “I should write a book” line. Heck, I’ve even jokingly said it myself whenever a friend asked me about a subject I felt pretty well versed in. I should write a book, five little words that are easy to say, but those of us who have dared to plunge into the deep and surfaced with book in hand have learned that the journey from idea to author is no small feat.

The most important aspect of any book is good writing. Whether you are an indie writer or a best selling author, the litmus test remains the same; is the book well written? The answer will be found on page one of your manuscript, which is why every author must get comfortable with a very simple truth. A first draft is merely that, a “first” draft. Excellence comes from writing, re-writing, re-writing again and then re-writing some more after that. There were many times while writing The Dunes that I would give a draft to my husband and he would shake his head indicating that it was not good enough yet. As infuriating as that was, he was absolutely right. It made me go deeper, search for better words and a clearer vision of how to share my ideas with readers. Writers become better through exposure and feedback from editors and people we trust. It is a part of the process that should never be avoided. http://bit.ly/1pwryZK

The aesthetic design of your book is also essential. The cover of your book is your first “hello” to the reader. It is your 3-second commercial and it needs to give readers insight into your story at a glance. Finding someone who is able to graphically illustrate the heart of your book is key. I worked with my cover designer for months before we finally settled on a cover that I believed masterfully articulated the beauty and the transformative nature of The Dunes. Getting the interior design of my book just right was also an integral aspect in my publishing journey. The choice of font, the font size, the layout and page color are all things that can make your book flow seamlessly in the readers mind or be disruptive and jarring. It is important to take the time to make sure that those choices compliment your book and allow for the experience you want your readers to have. http://bit.ly/1pwryZK

Another important aspect of publishing is one that I am still learning, the necessity of marketing. Finding unique ways to spread the word about your book requires creativity and tenacity. These days, utilizing social media is paramount, but a “following” isn’t born over night. It is important to be consistent and patient. This process is indeed a marathon. Also, never discount the grass roots approach. Networking with other authors and good old-fashioned word-of-mouth are still priceless tools for any author.


Born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised in the Bay Area of Northern California, Erin grew up with an innate love for dance, theatre and the written word. A graduate of Loyola Marymount University, Erin began her career in the arts as an actress and choreographer. After booking several notable roles in television and film, Erin began to use her gift of writing in blogs featuring political and social commentary, as well as developing content for theatrical use.

Although The Dunes, is a divine departure from Erin’s previous writings it is by far her most cherished work to date. “I wrote The Dunes initially as self therapy because I needed to release some painful experiences and disappointments from my past. I had this thirst to walk in the complete fullness of life with joy as my constant companion. I had no idea what effect it would have on other people. But when I saw people read it and be released from fears that had held them back for years…when I saw people forgive and be able to walk in the freedom forgiveness brings…when I saw people commit and serve and how those things opened up new opportunities in their life, I was just humbled. Humbled by the awesome power of God and humbled that I had been allowed to go along for the ride”.

When asked why she writes, Erin pauses and reflects on the truth of her heart. “I write because although I am only now beginning to truly love the process, I have always loved the outcome. Like a composer, words become my notes. I string them together in song eliciting the response of my reader, grafting a picture of my soul. Where besides the written word can you effect change so utterly and so succinctly? What besides the written word can pierce the universal collective mind? Everything begins with a thought, but it isn’t until that thought is articulated in written word and those words passed down can life changing movement happen. It must be written, it must be expressed on tablet, and when it is, we all become greater, whether the writing be genius or fatuity, it has evoked thought and debate. Why wouldn’t I want to be apart of that phenomenon? Why wouldn’t I want to share my story, give my testimony…add my paradigm to the mix? Whether it is a novel, a poem, an essay or an article, it is humanity visited. An insight into a new or sometimes shared truth. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God. And with that I live my life”.


If there was a journey that could masterfully change your life in seven revelations...would you take it? 

In life, sometimes the kernels of wisdom and the richness of revelation can be found in the most innocent of stories; and so it is with The Dunes. Join one man and one woman in an exquisitely simple yet remarkably profound journey as you discover with them that the mountain you must climb in order to live the abundant life of your dreams is located squarely within your heart. 

Illuminated in seven revelations; The Dunes carries the reader on a journey to not only examine the obstacles that are holding them back in life but to conquer and over come them as well. With each revelation The Dunes intimately calls on the reader as the journey companion to face a challenge…a dare if you will that requires an uncompromising commitment to change. In the family of faith-based self help books, The Dunes stands alone, simultaneously taking the reader from fiction to life and back again, equipped with a tailor made journal for the readers inner most secrets and reflections. The Dunes is part allegory, part testimony and part journal, but the best part is the healing it offers your heart. When you’re ready to step out of your comfort zone and step into the miracle of your life…The Dunes awaits. 

CAUTION: Readers of this book are subject to significant changes for the better. Side effects may include frequent smiling and enjoying life in every season.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Non-fiction
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Erin Sands on Facebook & Twitter

#Excerpt from SAGA OF THE NINE : Area 38 by Mikey D.B. @mikeydbii #Dystopian #Thriller #MustRead

Normally the same few people get put on stage; the same citizens who don’t abide by The Government’s law, but occasionally there’s the exception of others who have strayed from the path.  Tonight, the exception is a boy and girl who both can’t be over the age of ten.  The two lines face their audience and as the Area Leader approaches to mount the stage, the gathering claps for him.

Christopher Stone, son of Stewart and Bethany Stone, the barbaric founders of the PPA.  Rumors and assumptions are all anyone has of that family.  Nobody even knows if he has siblings.  The only member of the Stone family that anybody in Area 38 has seen is Christopher himself.  From a distance you can’t tell how pale his skin truly is.  On the giant screens flanking the stage, you see that he’s whiter than the average citizen, but until you stand next to him you won’t know how close his complexion resembles a ghost.  Jackson’s stood that close once and he’ll never forget that night.

“Welcome to the Gathering my brothers and sisters.”  Christopher’s voice is projected throughout the room of City Hall as he extends his skeletal arms out.

“That’s new,” Joe whispers.  Usually he just says “Welcome” without the whole brother and sister thing.

“He doesn’t believe that we are his brothers and sisters,” Jackson whispers.

“Nah, he’s just sayin’ that ‘cause he’s ‘bout to do somethin’ horrible.  Get on our good side and all.”  And Joe’s right.

“Do you think--?” Joe cuts him off, but nods his head, to answer the unfinished question.  They both know who will be punished the worst.

“Tonight,” Christopher continues, “I have the heartbreaking responsibility of reminding you all of the law.  There are your typical drunks that infringe on the law by attacking PPA members,” he says walking in front of two middle-aged men and pushing them each with his bony finger.  As he does, four of the PPA privates on stage beat the two men senseless with their fists, elbows, knees, and feet.  They’re both unconscious within a few short moments.

He continues down the line of citizens.  “There is the individual who tries to seduce the members of PPA.”  He now touches a young lady with the same white finger and two more PPA privates, one of them being a woman, beat her.  “There are the citizens who complain about being too frail to work.”  He doesn’t attempt to lay his finger on the crippled and injured couple, but four PPA privates take their turn beating the aged citizens.

He finally stops his waltz and stands in front of the little boy and girl.  “And then there are the thieves of the community.”  A long moment passes as if he wants everyone to take in the cruelty of what’s going to happen next.  He pulls out a 13-inch metal rod from within his coat, and his long thin fingers wind around the handle.  There are no more PPA privates on the stage to beat these children.  That doesn’t matter to Christopher.  He planned it that way, he personally wants to punish these two; and he does.

Not being able to watch, Jackson shifts his focus to the dark, wooden floor in order to save his eyes from the awful sight.  However, there’s nothing to save his ears from the children’s screams and cries for help.  If he covers his ears, they’ll see him and then he’ll be up on stage instantaneously for not learning of the consequences in a proper manner.  He would even walk out, but the guard at the exit would shoot him if he did.

The cries abruptly stop, but the sound of the rod bluntly hitting flesh doesn’t.

This whole thing is wrong.  Everybody in this room knows it but nobody does anything about it.  What can they do?  They can’t prove that what the PPA is doing is evil and barbaric.  They only feel it.  Jackson can feel it, and it makes him sick to his stomach.

Finally, it ceases.

“What is the law?”  Christopher demands.  Jackson looks up to see him wiping his bare knuckles and rod clean with a black handkerchief.

In unison, the gathering says, “The law states: one, no disrespectful acts towards The Government or the members who uphold it.  Two, praise The Government by our actions and with our words.  Lastly, live, work, and if needs be die, so that The Government may continue to prosper and bless.”

Saga of the Nine

Change affects everyone and it is no different for Jackson. Living in Area 38 for as long as he can remember, he knows of no better way to exist than under the tyrannical rule of Christopher Stone, son of Stewart Stone from The Nine of The United Governmental Areas, aka The UGA. This all takes a dramatic turn when Jackson finds a red, metal box buried in his yard, filled with illegal artifacts—journals, a Bible, CDs, etc.—that are from a man of whom he has no recollection of: Mica Rouge.

 The year is 2036 and Mica, unlike Jackson, does know of a better way of life but is torn apart as he sees his country, The United States of America, crumbling from within by group known as The Political Mafia. The Mafia has infiltrated levels upon levels of governmental resources and it is up to Mica and a vigilante group known as The USA Division to stop them and their dark Utopian vision. To their demise, and at the country's expense, The Division fails and has no choice but to watch The Constitution dissolve and transform into The UGA.

In a final stand, having not given up hope, Mica and what is left of The Division, give one final fight in Colorado, or better known as Area 38. However, all is lost as The Division is betrayed by one of their own, Stewart Stone. Mica is left with no choice but to hide in exile, leaving what little history he can of himself and the great United States of America, with his wife, long time friends, and newly born son in hopes that they will one day finish what he could not.

Jackson, having found this legacy twenty-seven years later, decides to start the war that will end The Nine, and he with an outcast group known as The Raiders, begins his fight with Christopher Stone in Area 38. Filled with betrayal, unity, despair, hope, hate and love Area 38 follows both Mica and Jackson in their attempts to restore what they believe to be true freedom, and where one fails, the other rises to the seemingly impossible challenge.

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Genre – Dystopian Thriller
Rating – PG13
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