Traversing the Sahara – adventure and romance

Traversing the Sahara - adventure and romance

 

Like an ocean, the desert holds a magnetic pull that mesmerizes us. From Bamako to Mopti to Tombouctou to Goa and all the villages in between, I was forever captivated by the Sahara.

In Whispers Under the Baobab, I tried to convey the majesty of the desert as I had Flo flee for her life with young Josef as her guide.

Other authors have written more comprehensive tales of survival in the Sahara – Jane Johnson, for one. Her romance / adventure stories are captivating. Here are two that I particularly enjoyed.

 

 

 

 

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Rubber ducky reading

My little granddaughter has a collection of rubber duckies. She came home from her walk with Grandpa and showed me the latest addition – the pink one.

“Grandma, her name is Darla and she found your new book and is reading it.”

Gotta love the kid. Here’s the book she’s referring to. If you’ve read When the Sun was Mine, my new book, Whispers Under the Baobab is a sequel of sorts (perhaps companion piece would be a better description), for they do not have to be read in a particular order.

 

When high school graduate, Brittany Wright, gets a job cleaning at Happy Hearts nursing home, she is terrified of old lady Flo and desperately wishes she could be in college instead. As an unlikely friendship develops between the two, Brittany discovers that Flo is in grave danger. But, from whom and why? As Flo’s Alzheimer’s worsens, Brittany scrambles to save her. But, ironically, it may be Flo who saves Brittany.

 

When rebel leader, Sidu Diagho, learns that reporter, Flo Mc Allister, has died, he knows that her power to destroy him is still very much alive.

Flo was with him during the coup attempts and all these years later Sidu could yet be tried at The Hague with her notes the testimony needed to convict him.

And the girl, Flo’s friend? How much does she know?

Sidu will do what he must to destroy the evidence against him.

EMBRACED – on sale now.

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00038]

EMBRACED

CHARACTER: “God, I’m stupid. Whatever made me think Rice Krispies would lead me to an answer?” She sighed. Yet another failed attempt to identify the sounds. She dumped out the cereal, rinsed the bowl, and left it on the counter for morning.

SETTING: The play of clouds and moonlight over the water and mountains beyond calmed her. She licked her lips and tasted salt. From the heavily laden sea air or from tears? A few notes of music echoing across the water caught her attention. A bagpipe of all things.

SCENE ENDING SENTENCE: I don’t know why I think they’re messages from outer space.

EXCERPT 

“More drawings?” Curtis gestured at the papers she held.

Abby looked down at the pages and willed her hand to stop trembling. The three pages of code drawings seemed to shimmer and shiver with a life of their own. “Yes. Three pages. From Friday, Saturday, and last night. They’re pretty … they’re … pretty well done, I’d say.”

But Curtis was no longer listening.  He waved the papers she’d just handed him and almost shouted with excitement. “These are amazing. Way better than the first drawing you brought us.”

Abby stifled a small grin, but she had to agree. The drawings outclassed her scratches a million times over. “My friend developed instant artistic talent.”

“I’ll say.” Curtis shuffled the pages back and forth. He shook his head slowly and muttered “wow” over and over. Finally he looked up at her. “Miss D, thanks for getting so many. Now we have four to compare. We’ll see if there are any repeated patterns or sequences of symbols. Your friend is great to share these with us.”

“No problem.” Oh God, I’m such a liar. Of course there was a problem, and not just because she was lying to Curtis. My friend. How lame was that? The mere existence of the pages was the real problem. Some nights the clickings chattered incessantly in her fillings, almost driving her crazy. Those were the nights of very little sleep. The weekend had been eerily silent. That was a new phenomenon since Friday, no clickings, instead Coder Guy had begun leaving the pages filled with drawings. Either way—no escaping the code.

A while back, she’d grown tired of sharpening the pencil she used each night and replaced it with a pen, which was now almost out of ink. She’d have to remember to get out a new one tonight. Or maybe not? What would happen if there was no writing utensil?

“What’s so funny?” Curtis asked. Abby hadn’t realized she’d laughed out loud. The lack of pen wouldn’t stop her night visitor. She stifled another burst of laughter she knew bordered on hysteria. Truth was, much as the pages of code scared her, she’d be devastated if no more came. The person—being, alien, Coder Guy—was an integral part of her life now; his existence had established a rhythm that kept her balanced. Or so she thought. Maybe she was completely off her rocker.

Whatever the case, she didn’t want to lose that contact. Coder Guy’s presence warmed her, kept her from feeling alone and lonely.

 

A reader or a writer, which would you rather be?

Oh boy, I have to say I dislike either/or questions because most of the time I want both. Greedy, I guess, but I can’t imagine writing without reading and I lived too many years of reading without writing to stop now.

As a kid I always had my nose in a book. I carried it around while I dusted around the ornaments and doilies. Of course my mother made me put the book down and dust properly. Putting a book down was agony!

Each Christmas Eve we were allowed to open one present. Good thing it was obvious by feel which was the book. Problem was I finished reading it that evening, but then I could always reread it Christmas Day.

Sometime during my teens the desire to write began to loom in my heart. But, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I followed that dream. And now, here I am with three books published, and the fourth a work in progress. Now, I can’t imagine a day without writing.

There are many joys in writing—creating the story, the characters who become friends, playing with the plot line, throwing in a fight or two, and of course a love triangle (that’s the romance, right?). In my story, I have the fun of adding magical elements with the otherworldly characters who give the heroine special powers.

And you? How do reading and writing fit in your life?

Excerpt From EMBATTLED

I’ll be publishing my third book soon. Here I take you back to the first.

She struggled through the thick vegetation, swinging the machete awkwardly, working her way towards her destination. Vines wrapped themselves around her legs. She yanked at the long skirt of her dress to free herself. She swung the machete again, and pushed through the narrow opening she’d created, ignoring the thorns that scratched her bare arms and shoulders. “Suitably dressed, I am, I am.” A spider web enveloped her. The machete cut through it easily enough, but remnants clung to her skin.

The sounds of battle assaulted her senses. Her heart pounded and caught in her throat with each pop of gunfire and thudded with each howl of pain. “Oh Lord, what am I heading into?”

She plunged on and burst into the clearing with a final swing of the machete that nearly toppled her. She pulled the heavy knife back, nicking her shin, but pushed ahead yelling, “Favór ida, stop! Stop!” She waved the unwieldy machete and forced her way between the combatants. Cries of rage rose from them. She watched the arching swing of machetes above her head, cringed, and waited for the killing blows. “Stop, Stop.” She yelled. The men dropped their weapons, fell back, and let her through.

*

Too damn antsy to go back to work, she paced her living room, poured a stiff drink, downed it, and paced again. She kept looking at her hands, expecting to see them covered in blood. Her shin burned from the scrape she had first noticed in the shower.

The television droned in the background. “The sharp report of gunfire, screams of the maimed and dying, wails of grief; replaced by birdsong. Traces of blood and body parts gone, erased by the scavengers. The jungle has reclaimed its ascendancy over man. More importantly, this extraordinary woman, la madame des miracles, as the natives are calling her, has lived up to that name. She has indeed effected a miracle. Proof is as near as the village just beyond those trees where tribal leaders are now debating peaceful coexistence.”

She sank to the sofa, every nerve taut, every muscle quivering. Could that have been me? No way! She squeezed her eyes shut. The jungle battle replayed on her eyelids. That was her, madly waving the machete. She held her face in her hands, inhaled deeply, smelled blood, and felt the jungle close around her.

“Oh, my God! What’s happening to me?”

Yes, I’ve Written a Book

Formal launch

Monday, Feb 6

Enter to win a free copy on my contact page at

www.emandyves.com

 

 

Yes, I’ve written a novel. In fact I’ve written 3.3  novels. The point three is for the one in progress.

What prompted this frenzy of activity, the hours hunched over a keyboard, the rewrite after rewrite, and the attendance at three writing conferences and various workshops, not to mention all the seminars and all the reading about writing?

Ages ago, I lived in Mali, at that time the fifth poorest country in the world. Every moment of every day, I wished… Hey! There was an idea. I could write a book about the Mali I always wanted to see, about waving a magic wand to make it so. Of course, I’d have to throw in a little (or a lot of) hot sex and romance too. Maybe a fight or three, a little sci-fi time-travel stuff, or a fairy godmother, or… The possibilities were endless.

And so it began. Little did I know that “the book” would take over my life. When I finally finished the first novel (although it seems one could revise forever), I was so attached to my characters that I couldn’t leave them behind.

And so it continued. Book two morphed into book three and that morphed into book four—the 0.3 I mentioned earlier. Right now I intend book four to be the “happily ever after” ending, but I’m not precluding a book five or even six. An author never knows what her characters may demand of her.

Website:   www.emandyves.com