Welcome to A Novel's Perspective-The blog of Christian Fiction author Jeff W. Horton!

Christian Fiction for the Entire Family...


Coming July 22nd through 26th

Blogger Book Fair 2013-Authors 

  • Barbara Billig     
  • Dan O'Brien     
  • Jerry Hatchett     
  • Jessica Jaster     
  • Julie Flanders 
  • Kimberly Gould 
  • Margaret Taylor 
  • Maryann Miller  
  • Nancy LaRonda Johnson  
  • Sandra Ulbrich Almazan  
  • Pipit Di 

Learn about some really talented authors, about their works, and about where to buy them!

Welcome Sandra Ulbrich Almazan!

About the Author

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan started reading at the age of three and only stops when absolutely required to. Although she hasn’t been writing quite that long, she did compose a very simple play in German during middle school. Her science fiction novella Move Over Ms. L. (an early version of Lyon’s Legacy) earned an Honorable Mention in the 2001 UPC Science Fiction Awards, and her short story “A Reptile at the Reunion” was published in the anthology Firestorm of Dragons. She is a founding member of BroadUniverse and a long-time member of the Online Writing Workshop for Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror. Her undergraduate degree is in molecular biology/English, and she has a Master of Technical and Scientific Communication degree. Her current day job is in the laboratory of an enzyme company; she’s also been a technical writer and a part-time copyeditor for a local newspaper. Some of her other accomplishments are losing on Jeopardy! and taking a stuffed orca to three continents. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband, Eugene; and son, Alex. In her rare moments of free time, she enjoys crocheting, listening to classic rock (particularly the Beatles), and watching improv comedy.

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Sandra can be found online at her website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads

Twinned Universes

Paul Harrison always wanted to play Hamlet, but he never expected he’d live the role first.

In the aftermath of a family tragedy on 21st century Earth, Paul discovers he’s the clone of Sean Lyon, his great-great-grandfather and a famous TwenCen musician. Suspecting his mother’s death was no accident, Paul comes up with a plan to trick the answers out of the great-uncle who had him cloned. But in order to make his plan work, Paul needs help from Sean himself—and Sean’s time is running out in the TwenCen universe next door. Although Paul’s family lives on the spaceship that travels between the universes, he’s never been allowed on TwenCen Earth. Now, with the help of his friends, his disguise-creating holoprojectors, and a quantum quirk, Paul must make his way to Sean while evading other time travelers who fear he’ll change the history of the TwenCen universe. If Paul is to achieve justice, he must not only risk his own life, but the wormhole connecting the universes. “To be or not to be” was a simple question in comparison....

Twinned Universes Excerpt –Sandra Ulbrich Almazan

Great-Uncle Jack turned around, pinning him with a glance. Before Paul could seek shelter by talking to someone else, Great-Uncle Jack came over. “Hello, Paul.” His dark eyes gleamed. “How are you feeling?”
Paul glanced at the urn. Mom had always buffered him when he’d met with his great-uncle before. He blinked against the moisture prickling his eyes, hoping he’d scrubbed away all traces of the tears he’d shed earlier. He couldn’t show weakness now.
“You miss her, don’t you, even if you don’t want to admit it,” Great-Uncle Jack continued. “You don’t have to look at me like that; I was a teenager too. None of us Lyons are good at showing our emotions.”
“I’m an actor. I can show all sorts of emotions: anger, joy, sorrow, fear….” Paul put on a dopey grin, caught his grandfather’s shocked stare, and let his face revert back to neutral.
“I’m not talking about acting.” Great-Uncle Jack draped an arm over his shoulders and tugged him towards the hall. “You need to express your deepest feelings.”
“Then I’d like to find out how she got exposed to that stupid virus.” Was it those ugly roses? And why didn’t Cass and I get so sick, even though we did have the same virus? Why didn’t I get rid of those flowers before Mom saw them? It’s all my fault....
Great-Uncle Jack paused to study a holo showing angels carrying people into clouds. When he looked at Paul again, his expression seemed more mask-like than a face mesh did. “It was an occupational hazard. Why don’t you take your mind off of things for a while and stay on Earth? There’s plenty of room in my penthouse. You could have all the latest stuff and go anywhere you want.” His grip on Paul’s shoulder tightened. “What do you say?”
Paul’s heart beat faster at the idea. After leave on Earth, the Sagan always seemed too confining. Once he turned eighteen, he’d have complete freedom. He’d have a lot more acting opportunities with Ramirez’s troupe; maybe he could even audition for a holo....
But Mom wouldn’t be there; she’d never accompany him to an audition or attend one of his performances again. There’d always be an empty seat in the audience where she should be. How could he think about acting or having fun on Earth when she hadn’t been laid to rest yet?
Paul sighed, but he shook his head. “Thanks for the offer. It sounds great, but Mom would want me to stay with Dad and Cass.”
“You’re old enough to make your own choices. You can do whatever you want—even if Jo wouldn’t approve.” Great-Uncle Jack lowered his voice and drew Paul near, like a conspirator. “I can give you more freedom on Earth than you’ll ever get in that cramped old spaceship.”

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Available in eBook, paper, and audiobook formats

Welcome Margaret Taylor!

A First Love Never Dies: Book 1 of the Spi-Corp Series!

Read Margaret's interview with MACC, of one of the exciting characters from her novel, A First Love Never Dies: Book 1 of the Spi-Corp Series!

From Margaret Taylor:
So, since Jeff’s wonderful blog and books deal with cybernetics and sentient computers, I thought I’d introduce his wonderful fans to a character of mine named MACC.

MACC makes his first appearance in the Spi-Corp Series in Book 2, but don’t worry, you’ll get to see plenty more of him throughout the others as well.

Margaret: MACC, why don’t you tell these fine folks a little about yourself?
MACC: Must I? Really? *computerized sigh*. Fine. My name is Multi-Accentuated Computer Components, or MACC for short.

Margaret: I see. And what do you do?
 MACC: This again? How many times must I tell you, I run EJ’s station.

Margaret:  And who is EJ?

MACC: Erika John Starr Sisko Killkenny Jackson Macpherson, Princess Tecka to the Royal House of Mutarians, of course. Oh, and she’s my maker.

Margaret:  How did that happen?

MACC: Well, see here’s the thing. EJ is human and she likes to meddle. She really can’t help it, it’s just part of who she is. So, when she decided to build a second home in the stars for her people, the Mutarians, she needed someone to run it…and well, here I am.

Margaret:  And what exactly are you?

MACC: Probably the best way to explain it, for your limited human and non-human sort of minds, is I’m an organic brain wrapped with metal. I’m 3 miles high and 2 miles wide and a fortress if you must know. No one has ever breached my systems…well, except for that one time.

Margaret:  Oh? Tell us about that.

MACC: Well, see here’s the thing. There’s a young lady named Janel Canton. She was kidnapped from Earth a number of years ago. She managed to escape her abductors and was gallivanting about the stars for a long time. Eventually she was caught and turned back over to the Consortium though and just before they began torturing her, she took a drug called starra. *components shudder violently.* Nasty stuff that and well, it, I sort of got it on me…and well, I might, maybe, just a little bit, have gone completely schizoid and tried to kill everyone on board the station…maybe. I’m not really sure. I honestly don’t remember much about that time. EJ was nice enough to wipe my memory of it.

Margaret: Are you ok now?

Margaret:  MACC? Are you there?
Well, I suppose if you want to know more, you’re just going to have to pick up Book 2 of the Spi-Corp Series, Saving His Love, which is available through all the major eretailers and find out what happened.

Thanks for visiting with us. I hope you’ll enjoy the Spi-Corp Series as much as I did writing it and getting to know all the wonderful characters, computers and starships…

Excerpt from Saving His Love – Book 2 of The Spi-Corp Series…

Two days later and the first real sign that anything was wrong on the station came in the form of MACC’s inability to operate the lifts. Jake was one of the first stranded between decks four and five and he looked up at the ceiling the moment it jerked to an unexpected halt. He was on his way to medical, intent on resuming his vigil at Janel’s side. “MACC? What’s wrong?”
The computer’s throat cleared. “Nothing. Why?”
Jake couldn’t quite wrap his mind around the fact that he was talking to a machine but did his best. “I’m stuck. The lift just stopped.”
“Oh, I apologize.”
The small cube started up again without further comment but it was strange enough to detour from medical and seek out EJ. He found the Princess on the bridge and firmly in the middle of a very real crisis.
“Are you serious?” she bellowed at no one in particular. She strode to a console, red hair floating out behind her and punched angrily at the keys. “What in the all fires of Mutar Prime is happening to my station?!”
“We have fires on decks 12, 15, 22 and 25. Crew trapped in lifts everywhere, and deck eight just had a blow out,” someone replied.
“Are you serious!”
He stood in the back of the room and eyed Cresta as the Prince appeared in a puff of sulfur smoke much as EJ had a couple of days ago. It surprised him and he wanted to know how they could travel like that, but kept his questions for later.
“What is wrong?” Cresta inquired.
“I think the station may have gone insane,” Jake said, providing the best guess he had.
“Yes, starra,” EJ shouted over her shoulder. “It’s spreading through MACC’s systems like wildfire!”
“How is that possible? It’s a machine, isn’t it?”
EJ snorted. “Multi-Accentuated Conscious Components,” she explained on a snarl. “MACC.”
He cut a look up at the Prince, who shrugged and pointed at his sister. “She likes to meddle.”
“So, he’s sentient?”
Cresta laughed. “More or less. His components are biologically enhanced.” He waved a hand to encompass the bridge. “I do not understand it myself, but the station is more or less metal wrapped around an organic brain.”
EJ’s hands flew over one of the consoles. “And right now that brain is going psycho on us! Where is this counter-agent?”
Cresta’s lips hardened into a line. “How should I know?”
“Well, find out dammit! Before this place implodes and kills us all…”

Find Margaret Taylor on the Internet!

Welcome Maryann Miller!

Boxes for Beds

January 1936

"Hush little baby, don't you cry ... " The plaintive melody whispered in the otherwise resounding silence.
One small candle flickered atop the dust-­encrusted chest of drawers, the feeble light unable to dispel the gloom born of the murky darkness. The yellow flame wafted in a sudden draft, casting macabre patterns on a precarious stack of old boxes supported by an intricate network of cobwebs. The pale light briefly touched a figure hunched over an open trunk.
The figure loomed more like a shadow than a real person and reached out a hand to lightly trace the features of the tiny bundle nestled within the trunk's musty interior.
"Would you listen to me? Singing to a doll-baby just like you was real."
Wide, unblinking eyes stared back.
"Sometimes I wish ... but no. It's better this way. If you was real, then I'd have to tell you to hush for sure. The Man don't let me play with no real babies. Says I might hurt 'em. But he don't know. I can be real gentle. Ain't my fault those others broke. You ain't gonna do that are you?"

Thus begins, Boxes For Beds, a new, independent release from the award-winning author, Maryann Miller. This historical mystery is set in Arkansas when the mob ruled Hot Springs, and a corrupt sheriff has to find who is making babies disappear. Why not pin it on the do-gooder Yankee that just moved from New York? Leslie Richards came to a small town near Hot Springs to find some peace in a rural setting and finds anything but.
Maryann Miller has been writing all her life and has numerous books published in fiction and non-fiction. She is currently working on the third book in the Seasons Mystery Series that debuted with Open Season in 2010 and followed with Stalking Season in 2012. Both have received rave reviews from Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus, and Library Journal. 

Buy link for the book: Buy it on Amazon

Visit Maryann at her Website  and Blog   and follow her on Facebook   and Twitter         

If you visit Maryann Miller's  blog during the Blogger Book Fair and leave a comment, you will be entered into a drawing for an advance copy of Stalking Season, the second book in the Seasons Mystery Series, or an e-book of your choice.     http://its-not-all-gravy.blogspot.com/

Welcome Jerry Hatchett !

Bio and Books: Jerry Hatchett was born and grew up in the creatively fertile Mississippi Delta. After plenty formative years in the Magnolia state, he writes now from Houston, Texas. His specialty is writing tales you can't put down, plots that capture your attention early and never let go, populated by rich characters you can cheer for and against.


Are monsters born or created? Is it possible for mortal man to bring about the apocalypse of Armageddon? Technology and insanity combine to create a very bad week for the United States and the world. In this can't-put-it-down thriller, tech celebrity Matt Decker is on top of the world until his flagship creation, the system that runs the U.S. power grid, suffers a crippling cyber attack. The week is all downhill from there, with the USA and eventually the world suffering from escalating disasters that stretch from New York to Israel to the "sulfurous scarps of hell."

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Welcome Nancy LaRonda Johnson !


Nancy LaRonda Johnson is a passionate writer of Christian and other fiction and poetry. She has written short stories, poetry and personal journals most of her life, and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a Juris Doctorate.

Her first book, the literary Christian speculative novel, Anticipation of the Penitent, reached the finals in the Indie Publishing Contest sponsored by the San Francisco Writer’s Conference 2012, and is receiving high acclaim. Salted With Fire, a book of flash fiction and poetry, is her second publication.

She is working on several projects, including a sequel to Anticipation of the Penitent. Visit her website at www.nancylarondajohnson.com.
Anticipation of the Penitent

Synopsis: Anticipation of the Penitent
 When Alezea is trapped by the Devil, she bears him a son and knows her life will never be her own. She is the mother of Thomas, a man reared by Satan to be a killer of life’s most innocent – little girls. Alezea lives detached from the horrors committed by her son and from her domination by the entity who uses her as he pleases. Until she meets Martha who shows her a way out. Now Alezea will risk her very soul to free Thomas from his father. The fight to save her son will either redeem Alezea or destroy her forever.

Rachel knows Thomas’ history, yet she believes her presence can transform him. Her belief in Thomas might send her fully into the Devil’s realm or provide an opening for God’s miracles in both of their lives. In a scheme to continue his father’s line, Thomas may ruin his alliance with Rachel or rend himself from the dominion he was born to hold. The impulse to contrive his future takes Thomas to new heights in his lifework as a killer, pushes him toward maturity, and forces him to encounter the astonishing truth of his heritage.

Anticipation of the Penitent depicts the battle between good and evil in one family until it is rendered to its destined completion. Only then will it be known whether Alezea succeeds in her struggle for a life free from Satan’s control.

Short blurb:

When Alezea is trapped by the devil, she bears him a son and knows her life will never be her own. She is the mother of Thomas, a man reared by Satan to be a killer of life’s most innocent – little girls. When Alezea finds a way out, she will risk her very soul to free Thomas from his father. The fight to save her son will either redeem Alezea or destroy her forever. Rachel knows Thomas’ history, yet she believes her presence can transform him. Rachel’s belief in Thomas might send her further into the devil’s realm or provide an opening for God’s miracles in both of their lives.

Salted With Fire

Synopsis: Salted With Fire
 Black magic, murder, insanity, humor, honor and devotion. Salted With Fire is a journey of flash fiction and poetry that shows my writing transformation from worldly to wanting to please God.

Flash fiction is my passion; poetry is my release. I love creating a complete story, with a beginning, middle and end, with twists, humor, drama, compassion and horror, all under 1000 words. Salted With Fire isn’t just a book of stories and poetry, it is my journey as a writer, from writing only for the mere joy of it regardless of the message, to writing stories that highlight God’s will for people, even if the stories themselves are not religious in nature.

Inside are fifteen flash fiction pieces and twelve poems with full-color pictures, and short Biblical discussions after each story.

 Available in print and eBook:

Purchase Links:

Nu Revelations Christian Books and Novelties
22431 Foothill Blvd.
Hayward, CA 94541
(510) 397-0474

The Book Shop
1007 B St.
Hayward, CA94541
(510) 538-3943

Pegasus Books
1855 Solano Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94707
(510) 525-6888

ISBN# 9781479258550
Publisher: Writer's Mark Publications
Pages: 304
Price: $15.95 for print; $4.99 eBook

Book Trailer:
Welcome Julie Flanders!
Image of Julie Flanders
Cover for 'Polar Night'
When Detective Danny Fitzpatrick leaves his hometown of Chicago and moves to Fairbanks, Alaska he wants nothing more than to escape the violence and heartbreak that left his life in pieces. Numbed by alcohol and the frozen temperatures of an Alaskan winter, Danny is content with a dead-end job investigating Fairbanks' cold cases. That all changes when a pretty blond woman goes missing on the winter solstice, and Danny stumbles upon some surprising connections between her disappearance and that of another Fairbanks woman three years earlier. Forced out of his lethargy, Danny sets out to both find the missing woman and solve his own cold case. The investigation points Danny towards Aleksei Nechayev, the handsome and charming proprietor of an old asylum turned haunted tourist attraction in the Arctic town of Coldfoot. As he tries to find a link between Nechayev and his case, Danny's instinct tells him that Nechayev is much more than what he seems. Danny has no idea that Nechayev is hiding a secret that is much more horrifying than anything he could ever have imagined. As his obsession with finding the missing women grows, Danny finds his own life in danger. And when the truth is finally revealed, the world as he knows it will never be the same.
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My Interview w/Julie Flanders
Question 1: -Tell us a little about yourself.
I live in Cincinnati and work as a librarian at a small college. I’m an animal lover and run a blog called Cincinnati Tails which is devoted to animal rescue and animal welfare issues.
Question 2: - How long have you been writing?
I’ve only been writing seriously for about 5 years or so. Before that I always had stories in my head but I never considered writing them down because I never viewed myself as a writer.
Question 3: - How did you get started? Tell us about your journey to publishing.
The thing that really made me start taking writing seriously was when I volunteered as a writer for Best Friends Animal Society, which is a nationally known rescue organization located in Utah. I was able to volunteer virtually and write feature stories for their website. I loved the experience and loved meeting so many great people and writing about their rescue efforts. I realized I really enjoyed trying to find the right words to tell a story in the best way, and everything else took off from there.
Question 4: -What's the name of your most recently published title? Tell us about it!
My most recently published title is also my first title, and it’s a supernatural thriller called Polar Night. It takes place in Alaska during the dead of winter and pits a Fairbanks detective against a frightening foe who may or may not be human.
Question 5: -What was your inspiration for it?
I had a dream where I was on an ocean liner in the 1920s and I met a man who told me about a woman he had loved and lost in Russia during World War I. It was a long way to get from there to the finished story, but if you read it you can see how that beginning became the book.
Question 6: Did you identify with one of the character in the book? If so, which one?
Not really, but if I had to pick one it would be the detective, Danny Fitzpatrick. I haven’t experienced the tragedy in my life that Danny has, thankfully, but I can relate to his cynical nature and to his tendency to be a loner.
Question 7: What are you working on at this time?
I’m working on polishing up my next novel, which is called The Ghosts of Aquinnah. It takes place on the island of Martha’s Vineyard and crosses back and forth between the present and the 1800s. It’s a ghost story combined with a love story and some elements of mystery.
Question 8:  Where can readers buy your book?
Polar Night is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Indiebound, and Kobo.
Question 9: What book are you reading right now?
I’m reading Suspect by Robert Crais. My sister recommended it to me because I’m such a dog lover and a dog plays a prominent role in this book.
Question 10:  Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
My advice would be that it’s never too late to find your way as a writer. I didn’t start taking all of this seriously until I was on the wrong side of 40 but now I’m happier and more fulfilled than I’ve ever been. If you love to write, keep doing it and don’t give up.
Question 11:  What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love to read and I’m also addicted to television. I love to walk and enjoy taking my dog out on adventures with me.
Question 12:  Any authors or books that inspired you and your writing?
I find Stephen King’s On Writing and Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird very inspiring when it comes to writing. I think my writing has been inspired by King in some ways because I love stories that bring the paranormal into the “real” world.
Question 13:  Any future writing plans you can share?
I hope to finish a sequel to Polar Night called is tentatively called Polar Day. It’s given me fits but I hope to get it worked out soon.
Question 14:  One of your favorite quotes - (Either a general quote or from one of your own books!)
My favorite quote is “It is never too late to be what you might have been” from George Eliot.
Where can we find you on the internet?

Please visit me at: 

About the Author:
Julie Flanders is a novelist and a freelance writer. Her debut novel, the supernatural thriller Polar Night, is now available from Ink Smith Publishing. When not writing fiction, she loves writing about animals and animal-related issues and she runs the animal rescue blog http://cincinnatitails.blogspot.com/ Find Julie online at http://julieflanders.blogspot.com/"target="_blank">http://julieflanders.blogspot.com
Welcome Jessica Jaster!
D005 has been a part of a secret government program known as the Delta Project her entire life. She has been genetically modified to be stronger, faster, smarter and to heal faster. Trained in hand-to-hand combat, weaponry and battle tactics, she has been worked to physical and mental exhaustion every day of her life. Raised without love or care of any kind, she has no idea what it means to be happy – to be free. And now she has run away. But then she wakes up on the rocky shore of the Missouri River with no memory of how she got there, or why there are bullet wounds, scratches and bruises riddling her body.
Her entire past has become a blank sheet except for a recurring nightmare of her running through the woods with dogs chasing her and voices shouting at her that she can never hide. As she struggles to understand the kind of life she has never had, emotions she has never felt before, and the mystery of her past, she is helped by Brianna Hartman and Reid Phelps – the two teenagers who discover her. When she goes to live with Brianna at the Hartman Ranch, she must also learn to deal with Bri’s brother, the gruff Cormac Hartman, who is running from his own past. He seems to hate her from the word go, but when she discovers his crude attitude is just his way of dealing with the hurt he is feeling, she decides to make it her mission to draw him back into life. Then a mysterious stranger comes to the ranch and her new world comes crashing down around her as her past comes back to haunt her.
Jessica Jaster lives in Iowa with her husband and her (currently) one year old and two year old, as well as their cat, Pandora.
Jessica graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Anthropology.  Yes, she realizes that there is a big difference between Anthropology and writing young adult novels.  She actually tried for an English major (well actually, it was Criminal Justice, then English, then Anthropology), but the classes she had to take just did not fly with her.  Although, since Anthropology is pretty much just the study of humans and human culture, it could tie in with her novels in some way. She has always had an over-active imagination and has been making stories up in her head for herself for as long as she can remember and finally decided to start writing them down (when she is not busy chasing the two little ones around anyway) and sharing them with anyone interested. Most ideas she has so far for her novels are for young adults - some fantasy, some science fiction and some normal contemporary story-lines.
Jessica Jaster is author of Delta Project: Hide and Delta Project: Rescue (Book 2).
And in the middle of the night, when her nightmares disturbed her sleep, she would go out to the swing on the front porch and would soon be joined by Cormac and they would sit swinging gently with Darwin either between them on the seat or at their feet.  They never talked.  Just swung together, enjoying that comfort and understanding they had discovered that first night.  Sometimes after waking up after dozing off for a bit she would find herself nestled against Mac’s shoulder.  She was slightly embarrassed whenever this happened and always waited for him to tease her about it, but he wouldn’t.  He never even brought it up.  Although the frustration, confusion and fear she felt about her past still plagued her – it was getting pushed more and more into the background and she found herself enjoying her new life more and more. 
One day Weston was out in the yard with Toby, trying to teach Darwin how to play fetch when she saw a red Jeep roaring up the long driveway to the house.  “I wonder who that is.”  She said to Toby. 
Toby looked up from Darwin and the ball, squinting at the Jeep.  He shrugged his little shoulders.  “I’m not sure.”  He said simply.  As they watched, the Jeep pulled to a stop in front of the porch and a man hopped out with a cell phone to his ear and a big smile on his face.  He was wearing jeans and a grey t-shirt.  He was not as tall as Mac, but not by any means short, he had a stocky build and sandy brown hair.  The front door suddenly swung open as Mac burst out, also holding a cell-phone up to his ear, a broad grin stretching across his face.  When their eyes met they both flipped their phones closed and coming down the porch steps, Mac embraced the man briefly and they began an animated conversation. 
Weston did not have a good enough view of either of the men to be able to tell what they were saying – lip reading had been a talent she apparently had that they had discovered.  “I’m not sure who that is either.”  She said to Toby.  “But apparently Mac knows him.”
Toby frowned.  “He doesn’t look like anyone from town.  Maybe he is one of Mac’s friends from the army.”  If that was the case, Weston hoped that dredging up those memories was not too hard on Cormac. 
Their conversation appeared to have become more serious from what she could see of the expressions on their faces.  Mac suddenly turned, scanning the yard and stopping when his gaze landed on her and he pointed in her direction.  Who was this guy?  And why were they apparently discussing her?  When they started walking in their direction, she and Toby looked at each other.  Weston shrugged her shoulders to indicate she was not sure what was going on.  Both men appeared grim as they approached. 
The man with Mac looked her up and down in open curiosity as they came to a stop in front of her and Toby.  Cormac cleared his throat, looking somewhat uncomfortable for the first time since Weston had met him.  “Pipsqueak, this is Jackson Farleigh, an old friend of mine.”
Jackson held out his hand and she reached out with her own to shake it.  “Hello.”  She said, giving him a reserved smile.
He smiled kindly at her.  “Hello Weston.  It is a pleasure to meet you.”
“You as well.”
Mac snorted.  “What did I tell you Jax?  Way too polite.”
Weston frowned at him.  “Now Mr. Hartman, there is not a thing wrong with being polite.”  Mac scowled at her while she gave him an innocent smile and Toby and Jackson howled with laughter.  Mac absolutely hated being called Mr. Hartman.
When Toby and Jackson quieted down Mac cleared his throat and shifted from foot to foot, looking uncomfortable again.  “Hey Pipsqueak could you come with us to the house – there is something Jackson needs to talk to you about.”
“Um, sure.”  Weston replied, looking between the two men quizzically.  They turned to head inside when Mac noticed Toby trailing after them.
“Hey bud, could you actually stay out here – at least for a little bit.”  Toby looked disappointed, but nodded anyway.  “Why don’t you keep Darwin out here with you too?”  He added with a nod at the puppy following them.
“Okay Mac.”  Toby said and trotted off happily with Darwin in tow. 
Mac led them to the living room where Brianna and Reid were already sitting on one of the couches working on homework.  “Jackson!”  Bri squealed when she spotted Mac’s friend and she jumped up to hug him.  Reid and Jackson shook hands next, after being introduced.  “What are you doing here Jackson?”  Bri asked.
Jackson glanced at Weston.  “I’m actually here to talk to Weston.”   Bri’s mouth formed a little ‘o.’
“What is it that you needed to talk to me about?”
“Pipsqueak, Jackson works for the FBI.”  Mac said.
“He is the one I had looking into the missing person’s files.”
“Oh!”  She exclaimed.  “Did you find something out?  Did you-“  Weston trailed off as she realized that they would not have been so grim if he were here to deliver good news.  Her eyes flew between the two men as they shared a look.
Mac nodded at Jackson, then gave a sad sigh and said to Weston.  “Maybe you had better sit down Pipsqueak.”
“I’ll stand.”  She said firmly.
“Pipsqueak.”  Mac said in his warning tone. 
She ignored him and turned to Jackson.  “What did you find out?”  She demanded, fear gnawing at her.
Jackson gave her an apologetic smile, and then sighed, shaking his head.  “I’m sorry Weston, but the thing is,”  He hesitated,  “the thing is that I couldn’t find any files having to do with a girl matching your description.”  Weston stood stock still, frozen.  Jackson continued, “I’m sorry but there does not appear to be anyone looking for you.”
She was frozen, numb, her eyes wide.  “No one.”  She whispered.
“I’m sorry Weston.”  Jackson apologized again.
“No one.”  She repeated.  There was not a single soul out there looking for her.  Not a mother or a father.  Not a brother or a sister.  Not a grandparent or any other kind of relative.  Not even a friend.  She didn’t have anyone.  She was all alone.  Something started breaking inside her.  She started trembling and was having trouble getting air to her lungs.
“Oh, Weston, I’m so sorry.”  Brianna whispered, her hand clutched at her chest.  Why did everyone keep saying that?  Bri moved forward to embrace her, but Weston jerked backwards.  “Weston?”  Bri questioned.  “Are you okay?”  Okay?  Okay?  Of course she wasn’t okay.  She didn’t have anyone who loved her.  She probably didn’t even have a home to return to.  Her lungs felt like they had quit working and she gasped for air.  “Weston—Weston-“  She heard Bri calling to her and felt her hands on her shoulders.  She was shaking her gently.  “Weston!”  Air.  She needed air.  Pushing Bri’s hands away, Weston stumbled backwards.  Turning on her heel, she fled the room.  “Weston!”  Bri called after her.
“Bri!  Leave her be.”  She heard Cormac say firmly to his sister.
Weston ran out the front door, past a stunned looking Toby and a yipping Darwin and into the forest.  Once there she ran faster, flying blindly past trees.  Not knowing where she was going.  Not caring.  Finally, she collapsed next to the creek and buried her face in her trembling hands.  How could there not be anyone?  No one at all?  She truly was all alone in the world.  What was she going to do now?  Bri and Mac had said she could stay as long as it took to find her family.  But she didn’t have a family.  Would they kick her out?  Where would she go if they did? 
She sat there for a long while, lost in her thoughts.  Then suddenly she heard branches snapping.  Weston’s head popped up and her eyes darted around in alarm.  There was the sound of a horse’s snort and she breathed a sigh of relief when Mac burst through the trees atop his big chestnut.  He pulled up next to her, staring down at her, his expression unreadable.  Weston lowered her gaze to the stream.  She heard his feet hit the ground as he dismounted and his footsteps as he approached her.  Her pulse sped up and her breathing grew ragged.  What did he want?  What was he doing there?  Was he going to tell her how much time she had to get off the ranch?
She jumped slightly in surprise when his arms came around her and he pulled her up against his strong chest – where she had always felt safe.  “You know, it is okay to cry Pipsqueak.”  He said quietly against the top of her head.  And just like that, the pent up fear, confusion and pain she had been holding in since this had all begun came pouring out.  The tears sliding down her cheeks as she clutched his t-shirt tight and buried her face in his neck.  Mac didn’t say anything else – just held her in his arms, rocking them slightly with his hand occasionally running down her hair and back. 
Her sobs finally quieted, but he still held her.  Then he held her back away from him, looking down at her seriously.  Weston thought that he was pushing her away.  That he was mad at her.  But then his hand came up and cupped her cheek, his thumb brushing against her wet cheek.  Her breath caught in her throat as she gazed up into his darkening grey eyes.  Involuntarily her teeth started gnawing on her lower lip.  Cormac groaned and pushed her hair back behind her ear before standing up.
 “Come on.”  He said, reaching down to grab her hand and pull her to her feet.  “Let’s get home.” He arched an eyebrow as he got a look at her.  “We should probably get you cleaned up anyway.”
Weston looked down to see what he was talking about and realized that she was filthy and all scratched up from running through the trees.  “Oh,”  She said.  “Oops.”
Mac chuckled as he led her over to his horse.  She hesitated because while she wanted to learn to ride, no one had the time yet to teach her.  Before she could ask what to do, Mac grabbed her around the waist and hoisted her up into the saddle, then climbed up behind her.  Her cheeks warmed as one of his arms pulled her tight against his chest.  He grabbed the reins with his other and clucked to the horse, turning it back to the ranch. 
Weston’s mind buzzed with a million thoughts. One of which was how much longer he would let her stay at the ranch.  At that thought, however, she froze as she remembered what he had said at the creek and a small smile settled on her lips as she relaxed back into his chest more.  Yes, she thought and repeated his words in her mind, let’s go home.  

Welcome  Barbara Billig!
Barbara Griffin Billig Welcomes You to the Blogger Book Fair!
About Barbara:

Barbara Griffin Billig graduated from Washington University in St. Louis at age nineteen with a degree in biology and chemistry. She taught for several years in St. Louis before moving to Southern California. There she owned a variety of businesses including pet shops, restaurants, and a real estate brokerage firm. Deciding to take a sabbatical from the business world for several years she wrote, in conjunction with another teacher, Bett Pohnka, "The Nuclear Catastrophe", published in 1977. This fiction novel of survival and suspense portrayed what ultimately came to pass with 3 Mile IslandChernobyl, and the Japan Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown. The 1st edition is still available in libraries today. A new updated 3rd edition of "The Nuclear Catastrophe" is now available. In paperback the book is also published under the title "The Disquiet Survivors of the Nuclear Castastrophe.
                                       The Nuclear Castastrophe

Author: The Nuclear Catastrophe (a fiction novel of suspense) also published as:
            THE DISQUIET SURVIVORS of The Nuclear Catastrophe

Visit her website at: BilligReadersandWriters- http://billigreadersandwriters.wordpress.com/A new FICTION NOVEL for EVERYONE – written for your entertainment & to raise nuclear awareness. Now that the Fukushima nuclear disaster has happened, we know how dangerous these nuclear plants can be.
THE NUCLEAR CATASTROPHE is set in Southern California and deals with characters caught in a disaster that they thought could NEVER happen. Ben, head of Whitewater Nuclear Power Plant & his pregnant wife Sara live in San Mirado, near the ocean. One fateful day the unexpected happens…..Ben and Sara, the plant workers, the people living in San Mirado and those in adjacent cities all have to make decisions as to what to do, where to go. Their choices have both good and bad consequences.

This fictional story brings home the reality of what would or could happen. History has shown us time after time that……what can go wrong….will go wrong. What would YOU do? Your answers may be different after reading this novel. Read how these characters faced difficult choices – and decide what you would have done – or will do.

This book is available at Amazon.com as an ebook (Kindle version) or in paperback. Kindle books can be downloaded to The Kindle or to a PC or Tablet, Notebook, or Smartphone. Visit Amazon.com to download a free Kindle app that allows this book to be read on a PC, Tablet, Notebook, or Smartphone.

This fiction novel is meant to entertain and to educate. Very little has been written on this subject that is not a deep non-fiction book. Yet, there are 442 nuclear power plants operating or under construction in the world as of January 2011. The United States has 104. Whether it is a terrorist dirty bomb or a nuclear melt down – we should know what is happening and be prepared. I hope you will take the time to read this.

What some of the readers have said:
“I enjoyed this book because it could happen. I think anyone living in a state with a nuclear reactor exists should read this.”
“A frightening tale of survival. You never really think about the events that take place after you have been stripped of normal day to day resources. No police, hospitals, you are your own 911 and now have to protect yourself against the world.”

“A worthy read! This is a book whose vivid, thought-provoking images have stayed with me even months after reading it! It helped me to better understand the potential repercussions of a nuclear disaster.”
Web page: http://mysite.verizon.net/resrrmof/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BarbaraBilligTheNuclearCatastrophe

Follow on twitter: @Barbarabillig

Available for Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004WDRWXY

On Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/barbarabillig/nuclear-catastrophes/

Read an excerpt now: http://bit.ly/pY8HxX

Available also as THE DISQUIET SURVIVORS of The Nuclear Catastrophe in Paperback

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