“What?” asked Tuyen.
“Something doesn’t make sense here. Right over there should be Machala , Ecuador a sizable city.” Tilting the wings slightly, he pointed to the location, “but as you can see for yourself, there’s no sign of it. In fact, there isn’t any sign of people at all. I’ve flown over Machala several times in the past and this bay looks like the right one, but it’s somehow different. I’m going to fly up north and try landing near Guayaquil an even larger city. Besides I need to get this plane on dry land and assess any damage.”
“Grady, I haven’t been able to get anyone on the radio either. There’s nothing. I’ve searched many bands and there is just nothing. No chatter at all.”
When he was unable to spot any airports, he finally landed the plane in the large river that emptied into the bay. Extending the wheels, he drove up on shore. After shutting the engines down, he got out to begin his inspection. Both Tuyen and Carson went with him. Lush dark-green jungle foliage ended a few yards from the sandy shore.
“Grady, while you check the plane I’m going to look around a little,” Mr. Naplier said.
“I wouldn’t advise going into the jungle Mr. Naplier. Especially not alone,” Grady advised.
“No, I’m just going to walk along the beach. And please, call me Carson.”
“Okay, Carson , but stay close.”
He didn’t find any major damage and looked up at Carson ’s shout. When they joined him, Carson pointed to the tracks on the beach. They came from the jungle, to the water, and then led back into the jungle. The tracks were the right size and shape to be made by a person.
“Well I guess there are people around here. Maybe we can follow these tracks and find a village. Then maybe they can tell us where we are. If we’re really lucky, they may have a radio,” Grady said.
“Grady, I’ll remind you that I’m hardly dressed to go hiking through the jungle. Besides it’s going to get dark soon.” Tuyen nodded toward the setting sun.
“I think we should sleep in the plane and get an early start in the morning. Does everybody agree?” He looked at Tuyen and Carson who both nodded in agreement.
They stood facing the jungle and listened to the sounds of the birds chirping. Grady wondered how far they would have to walk before they found the village. The chirping stopped and the jungle grew quiet. Almost eerily quiet. The three of them nearly jumped out of their skins when an ear-splitting roar broke the silence. Dashing back to the plane they scrambled onboard. Tuyen looked at first Grady and then Carson in fear.
“What the fuck was that?” she asked.
Carson shrugged. “I have no idea. I’ve never heard a sound like that before.”
“I don’t know either, but I don’t want to be on this damn beach when we find out.”
Hurriedly, Grady went through the startup process and soon the engines roared to life. Turning the plane, he headed out into the water. When he was several hundred yards from shore, he slowed the engines and let the plane drift. Looking around, he spotted what he was searching for. The island was large enough to have some good-sized trees but small enough, he hoped, to be uninhabited by any large creatures. He had Tuyen idle up the engines to hold the plane in place. He stripped to his boxers and waded to shore with a rope that was attached to the nose of the plane.
After tying the rope off to one of the trees, he returned. Slowly, Tuyen idled down the engines and finally shut them down when they determined the rope would hold the plane in place. With the engines silenced, it was very quiet on the water. So quiet that they could easily hear the jungle noises in the distance. In addition to the normal chirping of birds and other sounds, they could not identify, several more loud roars, split the air.
Grady climbed back onboard, nodded to Carson along the way and squished to the cockpit in his wet clothes. “The current isn’t strong but to be on the safe side, I’m going to tie off another rope,” he announced. “In the meantime, how about getting out some blankets and pillows for us?”
Tuyen made an awful face. “You’re asking me to go back in that cabin alone with Mr. hands? You know how much I dislike him.”
“You could always go wading in your mini and tie off the plane partner. This is South America though, and there are many fine aquatic creatures that may be in the water Do I need to remind you you’re wearing a mini that is open at the bottom.”
“Ick that is a disgusting thought. Point taken though.” Tuyen tightened her lips. “Just be certain you hurry back if you want to find our passenger in one piece.”
To his relief when he returned from tying off the second rope, both Tuyen and Carson were in one piece. Blankets and pillows were stacked on one pair of seats. After raiding the snack supply for a meager supper, they sat talking and listening to the jungle sounds.
Now that you’ve had a sneak peek at G. E. Stills new book, Zumia, WHO IS READY TO WIN?
Ladies and Gents, G. E. is offering ONE LUCKY WINNER a chance to receive a From the Distant Past spiral notebook. FYI: From the Distant Past is also available at Amazon. 🙂
You’ll have until THURSDAY (midnight, central time) to enter. FRIDAY morning, I will post the winner’s name and attempt to message you. Please follow the comment thread or come back on Friday to see if you are the lucky recipient of this amazing prize.
Knox Masters is a quarterback’s worst nightmare. Warrior. Champion. And…virgin. Knox knows what he wants–and he gets it. All American Football player? Check. NFL pros scouting him? Check. Now, he’s set his sight on two things. The national title. And Ellie Campbell. Sure, she’s the sister of his fellow teammate, but that’s not going to stop him. Especially not when he’s convinced Ellie is the one.
…but he’s never met her before.
Knox has no intention of losing. Ellie has no intention of giving in.
She is one week from graduation when her visa is unexpectedly denied. Given thirty days to leave the country, she must face the one thing she cannot survive again—saying goodbye and leaving her home. Yet within minutes of her world shattering, she meets a man with the power to piece it back together.
After finishing his tour of duty in Iraq, Aiden Hale traded battlefields for boardrooms, becoming one of the most successful venture capitalists in the nation. But all his wealth can’t buy him reprieve from the horrific memories of war. The only thing that gives him peace is a painting of Elisa.
Drawn together by their invisible wounds, they begin a passionate affair as they race against the clock to defy their pasts—and fight for their future.
Warning: Contains a blistering exploration of desire, sacrifice, and redemption…and love’s power to equalize us in ways laws cannot.
1. For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and
tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?
Over the years, Melanie Merton has used every trick and ruse to repel overeager gentlemen callers without ever revealing the real reason she won’t say yes to an offer of marriage. When neighbor Walter George jumps to her defense against slurs cast by suitor number twelve, he also pries into her past—uncovering the circumstances around a tragic loss in her childhood and her aversion to being touched by anyone. But even protective Walter must be kept at a distance for his own good, because despite a growing attraction between them, Melanie must deny him too.
Unlike other men his age in Brighton, Walter George hadn’t considered Melanie Merton for a wife because he was convinced he’d never have a chance to impress his haughty neighbor. But that was before he understood her better, before he uncovered why she kept friends and suitors alike at bay. The right husband could restore the woman he sees into some semblance of the fun-loving child of his memory, but would Walter stand a chance or become just another unlucky suitor?
Melanie Merton hated her life. She hated the clothes she wore. The house she lived in that was no longer hers to manage. The smiles she had to bestow upon her brother’s friends while overlooking their scowls. Even without the responsibilities she’d always enjoyed, and the hours on her own, she never had a moment’s peace. She just wanted a quiet morning, and that never seemed to happen lately unless she confined herself to her bedchamber.
Today, she was entertaining Mr. Linus Radley until his sister, Julia, her new sister-in-law, came down that morning. The forms of proper behavior that had been drilled into her head since she was a young girl made it impossible for her to say what was really on her mind, even when she wanted to. She was too polite to ask Mr. Radley to go away until a more reasonable hour of the day, and had ordered tea and cake to fill the endless minutes until Julia relieved her of this duty.
“It looks to be a lovely day for a stroll,” Mr. Radley said suddenly. “Might I entice you to venture out with me to look upon the sea? With your maid, of course.”
Melanie sighed with what she hoped sounded like regret and not irritation. She would not go out walking with Linus Radley, with or without a suitable chaperone. She had seen enough of him in the past weeks not to want anything more to do with him than she absolutely had to. He was a bully. “Unfortunately, I am otherwise engaged today.”
Dear God, the man wants particulars.
Before you run off, Heather and I would love for you to enter for a chance to win a $25 Amazon.com gift card. Click on the following link and enter today…
Research scientist Shea Caldwell has always had a thing for security consultant, Derek Oneiros. He’s smart, handsome, and built like a Greek god. As attracted as she is to him, though, she’s afraid to let him into her bed – because she’s dangerous when she sleeps.
Derek is known among his brothers as “The Machine,” yet his carefully cultivated control is put to the test whenever he’s around Shea. The woman is as beautiful as she is intelligent, but they’ve always kept things professional – until Derek learns why. Shea is sleepwalking again, but what she doesn’t know is that he may be the only one who can help her. For heis a Greek daemon, and he’s charged with protecting her dreams.
With Shea threatened, Derek makes things personal, and their nights together turn steamy and intimate. He’s ready to battle against the Somnambulist that’s been controlling his lover in her sleep, yet is the night creature really causing all the harm? When Shea’s groundbreaking research notes are stolen, it’s clear that other evil forces may be at work.
A haunted library is no place for a girl who can see ghosts, but when Verity Long stumbles on a dead body in the middle of the main reading room, she has to believe someone…even a dead someone…must have witnessed the crime.
Her ghostly sidekick Frankie warns her to stay out of it. The very alive, very handsome deputy sheriff, Ellis Wydell, inadvertently places her directly in the middle of it. And her ex-fiancé, Ellis’s brother, is back with an agenda of his own.
Undaunted, Verity presses forward, uncovering scandalous secrets, long-forgotten ghosts, and a shocking trail of clues that places her directly in the path of a killer.
After his mother dies, rock star Ace White—lead singer of the red-hot band Wicked White—is done with the celebrity game. The phony people, the meaningless one-night stands: he doesn’t want any of it anymore. Quitting in the middle of a sold-out tour, Ace sets out to find some place—any place—where he can be alone.
Aspiring singer Iris Easton’s life has never been easy. First, her mother walked out on her when she was a kid. Now she’s buried in debt, weeks after losing her beloved grandmother. When a mysterious and sexy new guy moves in next door, Iris can’t help but be drawn to his soulful gaze. She can tell there’s something from his past haunting him—something he’s not telling her.
Just as Ace starts falling for Iris, the media go on a worldwide hunt to find the missing rocker. Will true love conquer all, or will the truth be the very thing that tears the couple apart?
The only reason why I gave this a 2 instead of a 1 is because of Birdie and Adele. I liked those two supporting actresses.
My life is simple. I work hard, dream big, and play often. I live in Botetourt County, Virginia with my husband and son. I strive daily to be the best wife, mother, and writer that I can be.
I want happily-ever-after. I want to believe in the basic good of the world. At the end of the day, I want to be proud of myself!
That’s me. Pretty boring, right? I started writing as an outlet to horrible teenage hormones. Lol. It is, and has always been, my escape from reality.
Eric Teague is moments away from making history. Thanks to him, the world of gaming is about to experience technology like it has never seen before. When his new establishment, Against the Game, opens, playing video games will be a thing of the past.
At Against the Game, players experience the game as if it is real in a virtual reality. There is no TV, no console with wires and controllers. The game feels absolutely real. Kids get so much more than puppeteering cartoonish characters through a game of basketball. No matter the person’s health or physical ability, they will be the characters in a world without limits and they will experience what it is really like to compete as a pro ball player.
During test trials, kids called Against the Game “amazing,” “fantastic,” and “miraculous.” One kid declared it was the best experience of his life. Indeed, everyone knew it was going to be something big enough to alter the whole gaming industry. For Eric, it meant a long awaited dream come true.
But, all too soon, reality breaks into Eric’s moment when something goes terribly wrong. He and his best friend Lacey get trapped in the virtual reality of the supercomputer behind his establishment. It is definitely no longer just a game. The danger is real. The consequences are real. And, Eric and Lacey’s fight for survival is more than real.
To live, they must win, and to win, they must overcome the biggest challenge of all: to trust and to love.
There were more than a couple snakes, more than ten, upwards of even hundreds. There had to be thousands of them. The dirt of the tunnel was hardly visible beneath the reptiles. Indeed, the floor looked as if it moved.
It would be impossible to walk through them without getting bit. Would he have time to hit the button before he died in the game? He had to get out before the venom killed him. That was the only way he would survive.
He looked down at his bare feet and cringed. No matter, he had to do this! There was no other way out of there. He had to get to that red exit button so he could save Lacey and Paula. Nothing else mattered.
Why wouldn’t his damn feet move?
Taking a deep breath, he strived for courage. He pictured Lacey in his mind, reminding himself what he was doing this for. She needed him and he would not let her down.
After one more breath, he took one hesitant step forward, burrowing his foot slowly down between the snakes, feeling for the floor. He had to use his toes to ease in between them, even scoot a few out of his way. If he could manage not to hurt them, maybe he could avoid a bite. Maybe.
He had to force himself not to jerk away from the feel of the snakes sliding against his bare foot. This was absolute torture. It was hell.
Finally, he placed his foot to the floor and moved forward with the next foot. One step was down and he wasn’t bitten. He tried to move as little as possible, but he was helpless against the trembling that violently shook him.
Eric didn’t consider himself a coward. Only an idiot wouldn’t have been scared. He was smart enough to know he was probably one step closer to his death.
His foot hit the floor again, so he attempted step number three. He held his breath through the next few steps when he felt some very large snakes in the mix. It had to have been a python. At least that kind of snake wasn’t poisonous. The bite wouldn’t kill him. It would just cause a lot of pain.
Eric winced when he felt a sharp pain just above his left ankle. It was a snake bite. He tried hard not to jerk away, afraid that would cause more bites. It hurt so badly. This snake didn’t give a quick bite and recoil. No, it bit and started chewing.
Without any other choice, he ignored the pain and kept going, dragging the snake along. His next step was wobbly and he stepped down on a snake. It bit, a quick attack this time, not clinging to him like the other one. Then, he felt another bite. Maybe it was a different snake or maybe it was a second bite from the same one.
It was time to get moving. Going slow wasn’t working anymore.
He quit worrying about where his feet went and started moving faster. Leaping over the snakes and landing softly became the new strategy. He had to get to that exit sign as quickly as possible.
The snakes continued to bite him with just about every step he took. He kept close to the wall and used one hand for balance so he didn’t fall. If he went down, he wouldn’t get back up.
He started feeling nauseous. His head started swimming and he had to lean on the wall more and more as he went. Who knew what kind of snake venom he had in his blood stream by now? He knew one thing was for sure. He didn’t have much time or he was not going to make it to that button.
The distance seemed more and more impossible to him even though he was now three quarters of the way there. He didn’t think he would make it before he passed out. He hated damn snakes. He did not want to die this way!
His feet grew slick beneath him and Eric knew the moisture was blood, his blood. His hands began to tingle and he realized he had bites there as well. Were these stupid snakes jumping now?
Three more steps and he went down. He couldn’t help it. His legs just gave out. He had no choice but to start crawling.
The reptiles went into a biting frenzy, attacking him everywhere at once, and he let out a scream. Many of them stayed attached, flopping against him. The pain was everywhere now. He couldn’t distinguish one bite from the next. He hurt all over.
It was definitely a miracle that he made it to the end of the hall, but he did. The exit button sat above his head, ready for him to push it, but he couldn’t get up. He tried. The tingling that was in his hands had spread everywhere. He was numb, whether from a side effect of venom or from a state of shock, he couldn’t be sure.
“Come on!” he growled at himself.
He tried again, digging his fingers into the wall to pull himself up. Again, he thought of Lacey. He couldn’t let her die because of his creation. That was unacceptable to him.
He shook violently, but his body did rise. He used his very last burst of energy to slam his fist into the exit button. Then, he let himself fall into unconsciousness.
See, no fun. That’s why 2.0 is needed, if not for others reasons……….
I won’t go into too many details because I don’t want to spoil the ending but there’s more potential to Against the Game (game) that even Eric had envisioned.
Eric is a brilliant man. This is a brilliant book and I am officially a FAN of Destiny Booze.