Book of the Month revealed…….

2016 is under way, and I am a nearly a week behind on my January e-mail posting for the Book of the Month Club. I just finished a new interview for my Smashword profile and set up the code for “Uncharted Storms.”

Here is the link. http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jackieanton to my page. Take a look at the interview while you are there, and then scroll down to “Uncharted Storms.” click on the title, and then enter code RY22U at check out. Save big on the e-book for only $.99.

If you prefer an autographed paperback mailed to you complete with a bookmark go to this link to place your order on a secure site. http://mkt.com/jackie-anton/
Please note: books are mailed only to readers in the U. S. Paperback is reduced through January 31, 2016 for 50% of the retail price. Purchase for only $3.50 plus a small mailing fee.

These offers expire 1/31/16.

If you would like to sign up for my Bookworm Newsletter and take advantage of Book of the Month Club for the rest of the year, e-mail your request to talesbyjackie@yahoo.com.

Uncharted Storm FINAL

 

 

Title:Uncharted Storms:
Sub title:Short Stories of Hearts at Risk

Genre: YA thru Adult

Science fiction, Adventure, Romance

 

Blurb:
Weather is our constant companion, and when it behaves like a benevolent parent we pay little attention to it. Angry or out of control it becomes terrifying and can change the landscape as well as lives. So I asked my characters to take a ride on the wild side of weather. “Uncharted Storms” takes readers on a journey from a gentle summer rain to raging storms in the cosmos.

What if? Erica’s world didn’t come to an end in 2012 while she was in middle school? She manages to make it through college before an apocalyptic event changes her life forever. The science fiction story Terra Beyond 2012 shares Erica’s voyage.

What if? You and your best friend were traveling down the highway on the way home from an extended trip when you are caught in a blinding thunderstorm, and then are hit by lightning? To make matters worse you are injured, and wake in a strange world. Find out what happens to Chris in the tale Riding Lightning.

What if? You were on your way to meet a friend for dinner and caught in a flash flood? That is exactly what happens to Alexandra in the story Flashflood Texas Style.

What if? A boy you haven’t seen in two decades winds up sitting on your front porch? Find out what Casey comes up with on A Rainy Night.

What if? You were caught in on icy, drifted, walks and streets when a skidding car comes directly at you? Find out what happened to eighteen-year-old Annie when she is hit from behind in the short story A Tumble in the Snow.
And if you opted for the paperback version, enjoy the bonus story Wicked Winds.

 

Jackie Anton 2015author photo  2ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Last year began a new marketing effort for Ms. Anton. The marketing hat isn’t as comfortable as her role as a writer, but with three award winning books the sales online lag far behind sales at events and book signings. With the expansion of Smashwords global reach she will try to expand her online marketing in 2016. Keep your eye on this blog for updates. Author Anton also added speaking engagements to her schedule last year, along with visits to book clubs, and scheduled events. She is now scheduling for the first half of 2016 and will travel. Contact at her email for available dates.
Here is some Youtube Fun and a Radio Spot For next months Book of The Month Club.
You Tube This:
Cassandra t: http://youtu.be/_kF_zqq0Uus
Sox Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/ZDGRfxDzOvs
Uncharted Storms http://youtu.be/CTdtZIsYDUM
Bella Training #1 http://youtu.be/cnxmvZOun4w

Wind River Refuge Cover 4613

 

Wind River Refuge Radio Commercial:

 

Book Links:
Janton’s Square Market Place: http://mkt.com/jackie-anton/
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jackieanton
Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/jackieanton
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/jackieanton
Barnes and Nobles: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/uncharted-storms-jackie-anton/1118931568?ean=2940045770101

The hazards of time travel..

 Have you ever run into an epic storm, been injured, and awakened in a strange place? A lot of folks experience confusion when reality finds them in a hospital, but Chris’s medical aid is not what you would expect.Riding LightningRiding Lightning

Chapter One

A lightning flash followed by the earsplitting sound of an exploding electrical transformer jolted Chris from her slumber. Now, bolt upright in the passenger bucket seat of the one-ton Ram crew cab, she turned toward the driver. “Where are we?”

“Damned if I know,” her gray-haired boss growled in frustration. “I can’t see a worth spit in this deluge. We may have missed our turn off. The GPS is worthless, and all I can get is static on the CB.”

Chris gave her iPhone a try. “No cell reception either! Can’t we stop until the storm eases up?”

“Don’t you think I would if I could find a spot to pull this rig off the road?” He had to shout to be heard over the thunderstorm and the CB static. “See if you can raise someone on that thing. Could be there is a place close by that we can put up for awhile.”

Chris unbuckled her seat belt to reach the unit, which was positioned closer to the driver’s side, and was occupied checking the bands most used by truckers when she heard Mr. Russell curse. She glanced up, but could barely discern the red hood of the pickup, let alone the road in front of it. Then a flash of lightning revealed a semi coming toward them. It was straddling the centerline, or where she estimated it should be. The driver of the oncoming eighteen-wheeler corrected his path at the last moment to avoid a head on collision.

The monstrous vehicle missed the cab, but ripped the side of horse trailer open. Above the sounds of the storm, crashing metal, and shattering glass she heard the screams of the three horses they were hauling. Then she was tumbling through the air. Chris felt an excruciating pain knife through her head as she impacted with a hard rocky surface.

It was difficult to determine the passage of time as she dialed back into reality. Pain was playing around the edges of her slowly functioning mind. How long had she lain in the rain? The fog was lifting from her mental process, but the downpour obstructed her vision. Still groggy, she attempted a sitting position only to fall onto her back. She made a valiant effort to call out to her companions, but nearly choked on the persistent rain. She slowly rolled onto her side and called out again, but her vocal cords refused to co-operate.

Chris couldn’t hear a thing other than the raging storm. Thunder echoed in her throbbing head. She felt warm breath on her face and in her ear. Someone was checking her out, but she couldn’t hear a voice.

Frustrated with her lack of response, he nudged her back. She groaned, so he stepped back, and waited for her to acknowledge him. She rolled onto her back, once more. Still, Chris had failed to speak to him, so he nudged her shoulder a bit harder. She screamed in pain; her eyes flew open. She had startled him. Backing away, he kept a watchful eye on her,

Chris was challenged to focus on the immediate area; it was very dark. She wondered if night was falling or it was the total lack of sunlight. Someone was out there, but she was unable to see. She figured since she was able to shriek like a banshee, she could try calling out once more. “Who’s There?” No reply. “Mr. Russell? Karen?”

Hesitant footsteps crunched over the rock-strewn ground; a twig snapped under his weight. Chris’s nerves were raw. She could feel his presence, but he kept silent. Suddenly, lightning lit up the darkness to reveal his huge form standing over her; another flash allowed her to see his big brown eyes as he kept his vigil. Her left arm was closest to him, but it hurt like hell and was essentially useless. She spoke to him in a calm voice. “Was that bump to my left shoulder really necessary?” She reached out with her right hand, slowly, so she wouldn’t startle him again.

He responded to her outstretched hand. When Chris made the connection he pulled her to her feet. The pain as he hauled her to a standing position threatened to return her to the void she had so recently escaped. She wrapped her good arm around his neck and leaned against his muscular chest; the move kept her from falling flat on her face. She feared losing consciousness, figuring that if she did she would never wake up. He stood, patiently, waiting to see what she would require of him.

“Well, handsome, let’s see if you and I can locate the others.” Each step was torture, but the fear of the others being in worse shape drove her on. She picked her way toward where she thought the road should be located. Flashlights and headlights lit the mangled remains of their rig.

When they’d started the short, but painful walk back toward the scene of the wreck he’d walked with her, and allowed her to use his body to support herself. Chris felt him hesitate. The odor of burnt tires, spilled diesel, and blood caused them both to momentarily lose sight of their purpose. They resumed the small climb back up to the highway when a huge sphere of lightning struck sending a charge through them both.

The storm had eased to a light rain as dawn broke. Boomer scanned the immediate area. He was hungry and thirsty, but he didn’t want to leave Chris. She was sprawled at his feet quiet and unmoving, but he sensed that she was alive. He was still standing guard when she, finally, opened her eyes. They heard voices. He waited to see if she would call out, but when she didn’t he remained silent. He was more focused on the dog-like creatures skulking in the trees below them.

Chris listened to the unfamiliar dialect as the voices drew nearer. She couldn’t find the strength to call for help, and prayed Boomer would do something to attract their attention.

“Don ́ think those folks are from these parts, Billy Jo.” The voice sounded young, to Chris—perhaps a teenage boy.

“Na, Travis. ‘Taint seen ́em ́afore.” The second person sounded much younger, and Chris was having trouble following his speech pattern. Then, it became eerily quiet.

Travis winced as he passed by the broken remains of the man and woman in the road; the horses were ripped open, and it appeared wolves had been at all of them. Their belongings were strewn over the road and the side of the mountain below it.

“Ana ́ thin ́ good?” Billy Jo inquired as he spotted some interesting debris further off the road.

“Not much. Some blankets, pots, an ́ a stick or two of furniture that ain’t busted. The rest is kindlin ́—Billy Jo, hold up, don’t go off on your own.”

Furniture? What furniture? Chris couldn’t figure out that comment, unless the truck that hit them had been a moving van, but her memory was vague about the rain-shrouded truck. The last clear memory she had, before dozing off, was the detour on I-40. Traffic had been rerouted, and she never got the chance to ask Mr. Russell if they had made it to I-75 before the accident. She listened to the boys argue, as they drew closer.

Billy Jo ignored his brother’s warning. “Trav! Somfins ́ stirin ́down yonder.” Chris could here the mud and rocks moving as the boy hurried toward them. She feared they would all be buried beneath a rockslide. Boomer snorted at the careless boy. Travis was in hot pursuit of his reckless little brother. He skidded to a stop, raised his rifle, then lowered it, and stood as transfixed as his brother.
Before them stood a beautiful blood bay stallion. Large blotches of mud covered his hide, but where the rain had washed it away his coat glistened in the morning sunlight. He stood his ground while he assessed the threat level of the new arrivals. Travis was doing much the same. He had seen plenty of horses; they were prevalent on the farms and plantations before the war, but he’d never encountered one like this. The horse was unusually marked: no leg markings, a star dead center of his forehead, and his eyes were ringed with white. The white around his eyes would have been enough to unnerve most grown men. It was common knowledge when you could see the white of a horse’s eyes you had trouble. They were either terrified or mean as hell, but this one only stood watching them. Travis heard a soft groan. The horse responded by lowering his head to inspect the limp form in front of his mud-covered hooves. A hand reached out to stroke his muzzle; he nickered softly, and then looked at the boys again.

Boomer backed away as the boys approached Chris, but watched them closely for any sign of trickery. The older boy bent down and leaned over Chris.

The person on the ground was small—not much larger than Billy Jo—and covered in mud. It was obvious to Travis, based on the trousers, short hair, and strange-looking puffy vest, the injured person was a young male of indeterminate age. “Can you move?”

“No,” came the hoarse reply. “The others?”

“All dead,” he replied to the frantic question, as if it was an everyday occurrence to run across dead bodies scattered on the road.

“I think lightning hit me last night, and I can’t seem to move. My arm hurts, and my head feels like it is going to explode.”

Travis sent Billy Jo home on the old mule, they’d ridden to the scene of the wreck, to fetch their mother. “Go get Maw and the wagon. Looks like he’s hurt pretty bad.”

“Boomer?”

Travis was trying to figure out the strange question. Then the horse stepped forward a few steps. Maybe that was the horse’s name. Travis was afraid to move the injured person, and didn’t know how to render aid. So he sat next to the prone figure and talked. “Is Boomer the stallion’s name?”

“Is he injured?” Boomer was supporting her when she felt the charge flow through her.

“A few scrapes, bout all. The horse belong to you?” No answer. Travis examined the stranger’s face. The eyes were closed, and he was barely breathing. He wondered, for the first time, whether he should have sent his brother to fetch their mother; the stranger would probably be dead before they could come with the wagon. He scrutinized the strange markings on the horse that stood watching his every move. For the first time he noticed the white frosting on his hips. “You’re a strange lookin ́ nag! Put together nice, ́cept for those danged scary white-rimmed eyes. Could still be able to get a good price for you, if your friend goes on to meet the maker.”

Chris awoke in a strange bed, totally disoriented, and only vaguely able to recall the accident. Everything else was a jumble of nightmares and hallucinations. She scanned the dimly lit, sparsely decorated, room. Considering her battered condition, splitting headache, and the pain shooting through her left arm, a hospital was the most likely scenario.

On her next waking, Chris deleted any thought of having made it to a hospital or clinic. Well, I’m not dead she thought. She didn’t figure dead people felt the immense pain that wracked her entire body. She’d heard there were places in the Smokeys where time seemed to have stood still, but this room was extremely backwoods, and didn’t bode well for her level of care. To top everything off, she didn’t recall where her identification and medical cards were. Probably in her handbag, which had been in the cab of the pickup last she could recall seeing it.

“Good morning!” a cheerful voice greeted Chris, its owner tied back the thick drapes.

Chris squinted at the sudden intrusion of sunlight. “Good morning.” Her voice sounded as painful and raspy as it felt.

The woman halted midway across the room and looked at her askance, before hustling to close the door. Her bright warm smile had turned into a worried frown as she approached the bed; she seated her large frame on the side of the bed, and patted Chris’s hand. Then she proceeded to place her other hand on Chris’s forehead. “Fever is gone.”

Her nurse was comforting, and Chris hoped she would answer some of her most urgent questions. “Where am I?”

“You don’t know?”
“No. I can’t remember much after the accident.”
Her mocha complexion deepened as a frown increased the worried expression in her dark eyes. “Folks here bouts call me Hester. You remember your name?”

“Chris.” Her name came out weak, barely above a whisper.

“Child, tell me you ain’t a Yankee!”

“Does it matter?”

The folks in this here house don’t take kindly to Yankees. They’d like as not throw you back down the mountain.”

Chris filed away Hester’s reference to a house, not a hospital or clinic. “Terrific! Just what I need at the moment—people who don’t know that stupid war ended a long time ago.” Chris sighed deeply and closed her eyes against the pain behind them.

“Tell me, Little Miss Yankee, who won our stupid war?”

Chris’s eyes popped open to the sight of a tall, lean, blonde woman standing in the doorway. She was austere. Her hair was tied back in a tight bun, and her high necked long cotton dress was covered by an off-white bib apron. The forty something newcomer appeared to have stepped out of another century. Chris wondered if the person who was standing at the foot of the bed, peering at her with the intense blue eyes, also wore bloomers.

“I take it you aren’t willing to share the outcome with us?”

Oh boy, she thought, how do I answer that? “I’m sorry,” She choked out, “what did you ask?”

“Who won?” Her voice turned more hostile.

“No one.” Chris felt that imparting the outcome to this woman was not in her best interest.

The newcomer stood glaring down at Chris. Then the frightening woman crossed her arms and struck a more menacing pose. “You telling me the war comes down to a draw?”

“No, I only meant no one ever wins in something so destructive.”
“Hester, fix our guest some broth.”
Chris noticed the subservient way Hester curtseyed to the other woman. “Yes ́um.”

“And Hester, not a word about our guest being a Yankee.”
Hester nodded, and gave Chris an encouraging smile before retreating and closing the door behind her. Chris felt like Dorothy in the presence of the Wicked Witch of the West.
“Do you feel up to some conversation?”
More like some interrogation Chris thought, but maybe her interrogator could also supply some information. “I suppose so. How long have I been here?”

“You’ve been flat on your back since Travis, Billy Jo, and I carted you home four days ago,”

“The others?”

“We buried what the wolves left.” Tears rolling down Chris’s face onto the pillow that cradled her head prompted the next inquiry. “Were those folks your kin?”

Chris struggled to control her voice. “No. I worked for them. They were good friends,”

The older woman eyed the frail girl skeptically. Perhaps she was an indentured servant. “Where were y’all going?”

Chris struggled to rid her mind of her grief, and control the increasing pain within her body. Thinking and talking were fast eluding her, but she attempted to answer. “Home.”

“Where were you coming from?”

Chris made one last attempt to comply with her inquisitor “Raleigh, North Caro….” Her voice faded as she lost consciousness.

Hester tended Chris. She fed her, bathed her, saw to the changing of her bedclothes, and even helped her relieve herself. Chris found the whole process extremely embarrassing, but Hester seemed to enjoy her assigned tasks and brief conversations with her patient.

Hester’s hefty, big-bosomed, form and sunny disposition were an immense comfort to Chris. Her nurse was the one constant as she drifted between murky oblivion and moments of clarity.

She had more lengthy visits with Hester, and vaguely recalled return visits from the scary blonde woman. Her surroundings continued to confuse her, but her nurse dismissed her disorientation as due to the effects of the laudanum that the sawbones who’d set her arm had prescribed. Hester’s reference to the doctor as a sawbones didn’t do a lot to relieve her patient’s mind.

Somewhere between worlds Chris began to have horrendous nightmares. Whenever she was alone during her wakeful periods, she would try to piece together what had happened.

Chapter Two will be posted next Thursday.

In the meantime here is the book trailer for “Uncharted Storms” which includes Riding Lightning. http://youtu.be/CTdtZIsYDUM

E-books: Smashwords:  http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jackieanton

Autographed paperbacks:

Janton’s Square Market Place: http://mkt.com/jackie-anton/

Can a tortoise rise out of the ashes?

shutterstock_244672861 copy“A Phoenix rises from a pile of ashes, Trudy, to become a beautiful new bird. You can begin a new life as a beautiful bird and stop hiding from the world at every little upset, like a tortoise.”

I hate my grandma’s use of metaphors, but I try to visualize myself as the mythical bird as I greet my companions for the trek over to the football stadium.

Bang, three more in rapid fire succession. Pavement pealed away skin as I dove for cover and prayed what I heard was only the back fire of a truck. How do I explain my strange behavior to my new friends who were looking at me as if I was an escapee from a mental ward.

I apologized for the concern evident on their faces. “Sorry, tripped over my own feet. I’m a bit of a klutz at times.”

Lindsay extended her hand, “are you hurt, Trudy?”

“I’m fine.” I assured her as my battered self rose from the walk.

“We need to get a move on,” Kyle grumbled, or we’ll be late for the kick off.

Not an auspicious start for my first game at Berkshire High. Lindsay was in many of my sophomore classes, but Kyle still belonged to the population at middle school. Tim, their older brother was a senior on the Hornets defensive squad. The two younger siblings resembled their mom’s oriental heritage, but Tim acquired the broad shoulders and the look of this Irish dad.

A bit of a mismatch, if you ask me, but my light mocha skin, hazel eyes, and black shoulder length hair only hinted at my mixed parentage. I use a quick pit stop to pull the tattered edges of my cool back in place. Lindsay touched up her already flawless face while I pretended to relieve my bladder.

“Hey, Lindsay, over here!” Paula waved her hands as she stood to gain our attention. Her blonde curls bobbled around her face.

I followed in the wake of my friend as she worked her way toward the saved seats half way up the bleachers on the fifty yard line. Kyle was already in his seat and resolutely ignored us.

My eyes roamed the crowd looking for potential threats.

My dad had always stressed to my brother and me. “Keep your eyes open and watch each other’s backs.” I wiped my eyes with the ripped sleeve of my hoodie.

“It will be okay, Trudy, we have plenty of time to win this.” Lindsay mistook my tears as a result of the visiting team’s touchdown. I forced a smile and tried to focus on the game.

I hope my grandmother is happy. “You need to get on with your life, Trudy. Go to the game with your friends.” My friends are in short supply these days. Shrinks tell me that I have PTSD as a result of the drive by shooting that took my mom and little brother from me.

Pain shoots through my arm as the wind kicks up, and the crowd around me roars their approval of something on the field. A small tremor begins in my stomach working it way to a full blown quake by the time it reaches my outer shell.

I try, but the vibrations of the stomping feet and defining noises have me retreating inward. Utterly alone in a sea of humanity, my rational side loses, as I make like a tortoise. I guess the whole rising from the ashes will have to wait a bit longer.

Story by Jackie Anton.

Check back for Trudy’s on going attempt to fit in and leave her nightmares behind her.

Website: http://talesbyjackie.com

My Worst Nightmare By Jackie Anton

Until this hellish bout of terror my worst nightmares were occasional out of body experiences that left me disoriented but relatively unscathed.

Writing in the wee hours of the morning before dawn even considers brightening the new day is commonplace for me. Inspiration often comes to interrupt my slumber, and I fire up my computer or latch on to the notebook kept on the nightstand. I jot it down before the brilliant revelation escapes.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Trapped in a cold dark prison!

Many of my works have a paranormal twist woven into the plot, but I don’t write horror.

I woke in a cold sweat and realized the room was like a deep freeze as well as black as pitch. I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. So I reached out in the direction of the nightstand to flick on the small lamp.

“What the hell?” I scrambled to my feet from where I assumed I had toppled from my bed. Must be a power outage, flitted through my still foggy mind. My bare toes were getting numb, and then I realized I wasn’t standing on the plush warm carpet of my bedchamber. The surface beneath my feet felt like frozen cobblestones.

“Tom?” I called out to my husband. No response.

“Kaila!” My large black German Shepherd slept at the foot of my bed and should have been at my side once I fell out of bed. Or Did I?

My heart was bruising the inside of my ribcage and I was beginning to feel lightheaded. The thought occurred to me that I was still asleep and suffering a heart attack. I pinched myself, hard. “Shit!” that hurt, but didn’t alter my reality.

The air was getting foul. It was the odor of urine; I vividly remember that smell gagging me when I would walk the halls to my mom’s room in the nursing home. Was I in one of those places, and if so how did I get here? Perhaps the fright had caused me to loose control of my bladder and the odor was coming from me.

I began to hope that I was dead and residing in purgatory. That scenario was definitely more appealing than being blind and confined in a nursing home, or being locked away in a cold dark prison by a maniac.

“Okay. God, where the hell am I?”

I heard a door slam and the reverberations traveled across the floor and up my legs, similar to aftershocks from a major earthquake. I heard my mother’s voice tell me “I thought you were smarter than to cuss when you’re talking to God.”

“Mom, are you here too?” No answer. It was probably my subconscious merely tapping into my memory of her voice. Then a heavy breathing filled the room. I covered my ears to block out the sound which brought to mind the heavy breathing of a phone stalker, but amplified a thousand times. Again the huge metal sounding door slammed and the awful breathing stopped.

“Hello, is anyone there?” Nada! Zilch!

I decided to pray, a bit more respectfully, that I would once more see the sun rise and not be trapped here until I died, or if I had already left the earthly plain that I wouldn’t be stuck here for eternity. “Lord, I mean, I wasn’t that bad. Was I?”

 

Author’s Note:

The above blog was a writing challenge that came my way via the promocave podcast to write something that makes you uncomfortable. A subject that you have never tackled previously.

Comments on this post are most welcome.

 

Author Website: http://talesbyjackie.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/backyardhorse

Jackie Anton at Loganberry Books’ Local Author’s Fair

AuthorAlley-art-2015-mAuthor Alley will be part of the annual Larchmere Festival, a community street fair that will also include special sales of antique, vintage and art items by Larchmere merchants, friends and residential neighbors.
Loganberry Books
13015 Larchmere Blvd.
Shaker Hts., OH 44120
216.795.9800
http://www.loganberrybooks.com

Uncharted Storm FINAL    Author Anton will join other local authors from 12noon to 4:00pm to greet fair goers and book enthusiasts. Authors will be signing their books selected by     Loganberry for this event. Jackie Anton’s Ya to Adult short story collection in “Uncharted Storms” will be available for purchase. Bookmarks will accompany each copy sold on Saturday during the Larchmere Festival.

Uncharted Storms http://youtu.be/CTdtZIsYDUM

Make sure to get your “Loyalty Card” from Jackie to be eligible for free giveaways.Wind River Refuge Cover 4613Wind River Refuge is the adult novel selected for Author Alley.

This mystery thriller with a paranormal twist and a turbulent love affair won the Next Generation Indie Book Award in the Romance Category. Early reviews are exciting:

5 Star review By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorit:

Wind River Refuge is a romantic suspense novel written by J.M. Anton. It’s 1973, and Jax is on her way home for Christmas break to Wyoming, from the east coast where she attends college. She’s expecting her friend Dexter to be picking her up from the airport in Denver; however, a call to her step-mother Maggie reveals that the dark and brooding Garrett McBride, Dexter’s cousin, is waiting for her at the airport. The two are instantly at odds with each other: he doesn’t approve of her behavior and language, and she doesn’t trust his flying abilities or the plane he came in. Garrett is suffering from PTSD after his service as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. Jax was orphaned and abused as a child by her foster-parents. The two are definitely wrong for each other, but somehow sparks keep flying.

J.M. Anton’s romantic suspense novel, Wind River Refuge, is fast-paced and exciting. The setting in Wyoming is stunning and beautiful, and the descriptions of the horses and cattle herding are marvelous. I particularly enjoyed the psychological thriller aspect of Wind River Refuge, and Anton’s original take on the police procedural genre. While this book is classified as a romance, the underlying suspense plot is strong and flows throughout the story. I also enjoyed Garrett’s Native American ancestry and the involvement of his relatives from his mother’s side. Anton creates a lively and plausible world in Wind River Refuge, peopled with real and compelling characters. It’s an enjoyable and suspenseful romantic thriller and is highly recommended.

Comming Events:

Book two of the “Troubles in Love-Land” Series has completed its final revision following the editing process and multiple proof reads. We are awaiting the cover to publish the e-book. Look for release date on this blog within the next two weeks.

Cassandra: Night Shades is slated for release August 31. 2015 at your favorite e-book place of purchase. Smashwords will have it first.

Smashwords:  http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jackieanton

I have a request in for a booth at the Medina County Fair August 3 – 9, 2015. More on this later.

Have a terrific Fourth of July.

Stop by at Loganberry if you are able. Click on their link above to find out more about this fascinating bookstore.

Book Links:

Wind River Refuge: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wind-river-refuge-jackie-anton/1115864589?ean=9781493634255

E-book Uncharted Storms: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/uncharted-storms-jackie-anton/1118931568?ean=2940045770101

Print Book for Uncharted Storms:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Uncharted-Storms-Jackie-Anton/dp/1940834333

Jackie’s Square Market Place: http://mkt.com/jackie-anton/

Author Website: http://talesbyjackie.com/

Marketing 101 at odds with writing……

Time for an update on my 2015 marketing exploits. Earlier today I read a post on another blog where advice was given to an aspiring writer who wanted to know where to start with a published work. The blogger’s advice was to “just write.”

That sounds kind of trite, but then the pearls of wisdom, “hold yourself accountable.” One thing that I picked up on was to create a blogging and writing calendar with project deadlines.

Okay, I created this blog and my writing project calendar. Writing related topics on Thursdays, Sunday odds and ends, and Tuesdays horse related topics. Wednesdays are usually my marketing day. Since each week only has seven days that leaves me only three to dedicate to develop new manuscripts,revise existing works, and edit. Somewhere five books are waiting to be reviewed.

Oh! I forgot that I have to finish the book trailer for “Uncharted Storms.” A small disclaimer here: the collection of short stories and its stormy cover had absolutely zero to do with the record-breaking winter and early spring of 2015. I will cover some of the problems involved with making your own video book trailer in a later post.

Uncharted Storm FINALFreebies for Readers:

I uploaded a free story from the paperback version of Uncharted Storms yesterday. Here is the link to “Wicked Winds.” http://www.wattpad.com/110305926
A few months back I uploaded “Terra Beyond 2012.”
http://www.wattpad.com/myworks/21257202

Vote for your favorite.  Then comeback to this blog to let me know what you think of the Wattpad experience.

On my Calendar for the last half of March.

A six week fiction workshop begins at the Brook Park Library next Wednesday evening. In addition to learning and networking with other writers, which I hope will prime the writing pump, this workshop could also fall under the marketing end of things.

US March PC

Valley Tack Shop’s annual midnight sale. Friday March 27th will mark the fifth year that I will participate and sign books for repeat fans and meet new ones. This is always a fun evening with wonderful savings, door prizes, and more.

Sign up for my newsletter by emailing me at talesbyjackie@gmail.com type in the subject line 2015 Newsletter sign me up. Leave me a message if you would like the first chapter of the soon to be released novel “Cassandra: Night Shades.
Author Website: http://talesbyjackie.com

 

Autographed Print Books:

Janton’s Square Market Place: http://mkt.com/jackie-anton
Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/jackieanton

Valley Tack Shop, Inc. Valley City, Ohio

E-Book Links:
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iBook Links: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/uncharted-storms-short-stories/id842923962?mt=11
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/backyard-horse-tales-2-frosty/id570906228?mt=11&uo=4

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wind-river-refuge/id666563515?mt=11&uo=4

Contest Entry for new YA Book

new year 2015 1

Answer the questions below to win an autographed copy of the 2015 paperback version which includes bonus short story:

Uncharted Storm FINALCopy the questions and instructions below for some holiday fun.

A winner in each age category.
14 to 19
20 to 35
36 to 40
41 to 55
Prime Time readers 55+

Fun Facts
from
Terra Beyond 2012

1. How old is Erica when her story begins?

2. Where was she when the ground began to quake?

3. Something fell on her there. Do you remember what it was?

4. What color was the Earth the last time Erica viewed it?

5. Who’s voice keeps Erica calm when she realizes where she is?

6. Do you remember the name of the new world where Erica ends up?

7. What is the name of the ambassador sent to greet them?

8. What do you think the ambassador really looks like?

9. Eric’s adventures are just beginning. What other strange aliens do you think she will encounter, and will they be friendly or present a danger?
10. Most of the passengers who arrived with Erica are in their early teens or younger. Do the aliens have a sinister reason for the young age of the new arrivals? Also, do you think that only Earth Children and animals were transported to the new world?

Questions 8 – 10 are fun questions. A chance for you to help shape Erica’s adventures and destiny. Use your imagination and picture yourself on the new world with Erica. What will you find there? Note: If I incorporate one of your ideas, I will credit you in the extended version of Erica’s tale and see that you receive a copy when it is finished.

Attach your numbered answers to an e-mail with your name and age group. Winners will be notified on Jan. 31, 2015 by e-mail and posted on this blog https://jackieanton.com/
Email: Entries to: talesbyjackie@gmail.com

Go to the Smashwords link below, click on the Uncharted Storms title, and enter the code YN42D at checkout, for a 33% discount on the e-book, if you don’t already have it. Increase your chances to win the new print release by returning your entry before the code expiration date. Coupon code expires 1/25/15.

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jackieanton Once you are finished at checkout you will be able to pick the download of your choice. You will also find instructions to gift the e-book to a friend or family member.

An Introduction to Uncharted Storms By Jackie Anton

The birth of Jackie’s first YA book.

         What did you do duringwinter storm Vulcan? I hunkered down to finish the final story of this collection. My editor fast-forwarded the manuscripts of the stories back to me for final revision. Off  it went to the talented lady who does my e-book formatting for me, and it went live on Smashwords and Amazon March 15, 2014.

         I have to thank Judy at Goddess Fish for the cover design, and getting it to me before my self imposed deadline.

         Why the deadline of the Ides of March you may ask. Everything is a matter of timing. Again this year I will be signing books at the Valley Tack Shop’s Annual Midnight Sale on March 21st.  Horsemen from all over Northeastern Ohio flock to this event. The kind folks who own and manage this huge western store were the first to put my Backyard Horse Tales book(s) on their shelves. They have been well received by the equine community, and I wanted to do something special to say thanks to all my supporters.

         Uncharted Storms: Short Stories of Hearts at Risk will be offered to the purchasers of any one of my books as a free download. This offer will be extended to readers who purchase one of my books on the new Author’s Den Signed Book Store. To participate in this onetime offer, which will expire at midnight ET on April 15, 2014.

Blurb:

            Weather is our constant companion, and when it behaves like a benevolent parent we pay little attention to it. Angry or out of control it becomes terrifying and can change the landscape as well as lives. So I asked my characters to take a ride on the wild side ofweather. “Uncharted Storms” takes readers on a journey from a gentle summer rain to raging storms in the cosmos.

 Uncharted Storm FINALIntroduction Page:

            Three young women are catapulted via foul weather, and perhaps fate, into bizarre circumstances.

            Eleven-year-old Erica is sure the world will end in 2012, but it is eleven years later that her world is upended in the science fiction story Terra Beyond 2012.

           At eighteen, Annie is working her way through college. An extended shift at the diner where she works is responsible for her being caught in near blizzard conditions. Annie is hit from behind and sent sprawling into a pile of snow. Her night only gets more terrifying from there. A Tumble in the Snow is based on a larger work, which was my November 2013 National Novel Writing Month entry, and is still in the creative process.

            Chris is taking a break after completing her associate degree to travel the winter horse show circuit. She is on her way home with her best friend when she is injured in a traffic accident. The early spring storm, which is responsible for the devastation, catapults her and her friend on a journey back through time. Follow this pair through the storm and its aftermath in Riding Lightning.

             Rounding out the collection are two slightly modified excerpts from my published works authored as J. M. Anton, which is the pseudonym used for my adult novels.

             Flashflood Texas Style is an excerpt from Fateful Waters. The adult novel “Fateful Waters” was published in 2012.

             Casey’s weather tale involves a late night encounter in a steamy summer rain.      A Rainy Night is an excerpt from the pages of Cassandra: Night Shades.

            To purchase an autographed book follow this link to my Author’s Den www.authorsden.com/jackieanton  click on the book of your choice and follow the link to the Signed Books. All books are discounted at this store to offset shipping. Neither B&N or Amazon can match this, or deliver readers an autographed book.

 Jackie Anton author photoAbout the Author 

            Jackie Anton is an accomplished equestrian, with a life time of experience: as trainer, exhibitor, 4-H and youth club coach, as well as a horse show judge, the author brings many years of experience working with horses and young riders to her award winning Backyard Horse Tales Series:

           Uncharted Storms:  Short stories are aimed at the Young Adult and older reader. Look for more short tales in the future.

          Backyard Horse Tales: Sox 2nd Edition Brings to light the mutual love between a handicapped colt and a lonely child with a learning disability. Find out how this pair team up to triumph over life’s roadblocks, and why their story won the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award of Excellence for Family Friendly Media. (Reading level age 8 thru Adult)

          BYHT 2 “Frosty and the Nightstalker” was one of four finalists in the E-Book Fiction category for the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, then the paperback went on to earn the Mom’s Choice Award for Juvenile Historical Fiction.

            Jackie is hard at work on BYHT 3 Don’t Call Me Love. You can catch a peek at her beautiful cover on the Backyard Horse Tales Face Book Fan Page: : http://www.facebook.com/pages/Backyard-Horse-Tales/190283981002767

 Author Links: Email:  talesbyjackie@gmail.com

Facebook Adult Novel Fan Page:  http://www.facebook.com/authorjmanton?ref=hl

Website: http://talesbyjackie.com/

Smashwords:  http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jackieanton

Amazon:   https://www.amazon.com/author/jackieanton

A Doggie’s Christmas Past

Buddy's Christmas Visitor

            JINGLE BELLS, JINGLE BELLS, WOOF, WOOF, WOOF, WOOF …. Is my human mom’s way of singing that Christmas song. The carol doesn’t sound like that on her tapes or on the radio. Mom likes to play Christmas music when she bakes or decorates the tree.

            It was my sixth or seventh year at the farm where I live with my human family. My mom decorates me too! I’m kind of into the holiday routine, and have learned to take the jingle bell that she attaches to my collar in stride. Soon after Thanksgiving I ring like the proverbial belled cat until the New Year. I try to humor Mom by woofing along with her rendition of Jingle Bells. It makes her happy, and I usually get a treat for my participation.

            It began to snow the week before Santa’s expected arrival. The storm was so bad that the horses didn’t go out that day, and the barn cats didn’t budge from their warm spots in the hayloft. I took up my position as official cookie tester. Mom is a great cook, but always managed to break a few cookies, which she gave to me. She would ask me, “What do you think, Bud?” I would bark enthusiastically, and she would give me another taste.

            Dad put on his snowsuit, snagged a handful of cookies and went out to clear the walks and drive. I tagged along. I love the snow. While dad was plowing the drive and a path back to the barn; I rolled in the snow and dove into the drifts. We had finished, and Dad was putting the tractor back in the garage attached to the horse barn when Patty pulled into the drive. We helped her bring in her luggage and gifts. I sniffed each one perhaps one of the wrapped packages was for me.

            Both of my human parents were relieved that their daughter had made it safely; she’d traveled from a place called Virginia. The weather was getting worse. It was snowing harder, and the wind was blowing. The lights flickered a few times, so the lanterns and flashlights were collected. Dad went out to give the horses hay and water. He also went into the shed to check something called a generator. I visited with each of the horses, and then followed him out.

            While he was working in the shed, I heard a strange rumble followed by a huge flash of light. I trotted up to the front of the house to check it out. Dad must have heard it too; he followed me up to the drive. I saw a hole in a tall drift near the road, I was on my way to investigate when a huge truck with flashing lights roared down the street pushing snow to the edge and into the driveways.  Smack, Crack, down went the mailbox and news box. Dad used a few words that will probably move him to Santa’s naughty list. I barked a few nasty words of my own; that contraption nearly buried me!

            While I was telling that snowplow a thing or two, I heard a faint call for help. I began to dig in the drift where the noise was coming from. Dad came over to see what I was doing. He helped me dig. We found a half frozen puppy! He was difficult to locate. The more he wiggled the deeper he went into the pile of snow, and the little guy was white as the snow.

            I thought that I detected a movement, so I plunged my head into the expanded opening. The small snow tunnel began to collapse around my ears, as I desperately grabbed for a squirmy ball of fur. Not very gently, I hauled that pup out of the bank, and fell backward onto the cleared portion of the drive. Dad picked up the shivering refugee and carried him into the house.

            The puppies cry for help brought back a cold winter night from long ago when I and the rest of my litter were tied in a burlap bag and tossed into a dumpster, but that is a tale for another time. Suffice to say that I have abandonment issues, and for years I have enjoyed being the only canine on the farm. I drive off stray dogs and cats that don’t belong here. All in all, I am not a very hospitable fellow. Maybe, it was the Christmas Spirit that made me save that puppy and share my home and family with him.

            The fuss that my family made over little Chris had me rethinking my heroics. Mom and Dad decided that the puppy must belong to a neighbor. Chris was the name on the little gold tag attached to his red collar. He was only about two months of age, and sure did a lot of tail wagging. He also figured out the cookie begging routine in the blink of an eye. He also barked out Jingle Bells in a harmony that I was unable to accomplish. I sure hope that Mom and Dad had some luck locating his owners.

            Day Two of the Chris invasion: Mom brought home some puppy chow and a set of red bowls. Patty got a doggie coat to fit Chris that looked a lot like the suit that Santa wore on many of the cards that Mom hung up every year. They even got him a red and white doggie bed. My eyes were beginning to take on a green cast. You bet, I was a bit envious of all the hoopla over our guest.

            Chris wasn’t in any danger of getting lost in the snow with his bright red coat and silly Santa hat. At least he had the dignity to refuse to wear the little black booties. He shadowed me everywhere; I mean, he was in jeopardy of getting watered when I went out to make yellow spots in the snow. I introduced him to each of my equine charges, and he wasn’t the least intimidated by their size. He licked each muzzle as it bent down to sniff and nuzzle him. The barn cats also treated him like one of them; they purred and rubbed against him. What the heck? This wasn’t normal doggie behavior.

            Not a soul in the surrounding area had lost a Labrador puppy, and it became apparent that Chris would be with us for a while. He didn’t make use of his new bowls, but preferred to mooch from mine. He drug his little bed under the tree. There amid all the wrapped gifts he would take naps. Of course all my humans thought that presented a great photo op. What they didn’t know was that at night he snuggled up to me on the big quilt that Mom had put down for me. I sighed and consoled myself with the thought that Chris would perhaps go back to Virginia with Patty. She sure seemed to like him.

            Day five arrived, and the sun warmed the air. Patty decided to take us on an outing that included a walk in a nearby park. We ended up at the pet store in town where we got our pictures taken with Santa. Chris whispered that the man in the red suit was only a stand in for the real Santa. I was about to ask him how he knew that tidbit when a big drooling dog interrupted.

            “Hey little sissy dog. How do you know he isn’t the real Santa? It’s not like you know the guy.”

            I took in his bowed legs, muscular build, and belligerent attitude, and hoped that Chris would just stay in the seat of the shopping cart where Patty had placed him as we left the Santa photo session. “Yes, Bruiser, I do know Santa.” That did it. The Bulldog got his back up over Chris’ claim.

            “Bull farts! You don’t know Santa, and little liars go on the naughty list.” He sneezed, licked his drooling choppers, and growled at the little Santa clad puppy in the cart. “And how do you know my name?”

            Chris cocked his head. “Would you believe that I am able to read your name tag?”

            “No. I don’t believe you can read. You probably heard my human say my name.”

            Chris wagged his tail and then wished Bruiser a Merry Christmas. I was grateful that it all ended peacefully, and I didn’t have to take on Bruiser to keep Chris from becoming his afternoon snack. I kept my questions to myself until we were safely away from any other eavesdroppers. “Okay, Chris, how did you know Bruiser’s name?”

            “I know every dog’s name. Those who are in shelters, those that live on the streets, those who are abused, and those who are lucky to have good homes with people who love them. You have a lot to be thankful Buddy.”

            “How can a little puppy, like you, know that?”

            “It is my job, but I’m only an apprentice. My dad knows the name of every animal in the world.”

            I got out of the car at home, made yellow puddles, and went to visit with Dad who was working in the barn. I ignored the puppy’s boast, and chalked it up to a youngster’s imagination, but how did he know the other dog’s name? I was there and Bruiser’s human never once spoke his name. I sidled up to Dad for a scratch between my ears and a reassuring pat.

            Our human family had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner that evening. Mom always makes extra meatballs for me, and I was drooling almost as badly as the skeptical bulldog that we’d met that afternoon. Great! In addition to being a bottomless cookie pit, Chris was inhaling my meatballs. “I held on to my temper and only growled a little. Mom to the rescue; she gave me a few more meatballs from her plate. I guess the meatballs didn’t agree with his tummy. Chris started tooting from the back end and leaving a trail of foul smelling air behind him. I was hoping that he got over the results of his gluttony before we bedded down for the night.

            December twenty-fourth started out like most days on the farm. We got up early and Chrisand I played in the new snow that had fallen overnight. The horses went out while Dad cleaned their stalls. I chased and barked at them as they bucked and played in the snow. Chris sat on the drive near the barn and watched me. “Come and play Chris!” I barked.

            “Sorry, Buddy, but I have to keep a watch.”

            I stopped my play, walked over to where he sat, and asked, “What are you watching for?”

            “I’m keeping a lookout for my ride home.” I didn’t know what to say, and I didn’t want to crush his hopes that his previous human would come to claim him.

            Dad was returning to the house, and we tagged along with him. “Hey, Chris, why don’t we go try to talk Mom into giving us a cookie or two?”

            He wagged his tale and his eyes twinkled with anticipation. “Christmas Cookies are my favorite treat in the world!”

            Things began to take on a different spin after lunch. Dad secured the horses in their stalls, and gave them hay. Mom decorated a huge tray of cookies, wrapped them up, and put several containers of food into boxes that were loaded into the car.

            Early that evening, my human family deserted us. Before they departed Mom filled our bowls, and Dad told me to guard the house.

            Chris barked a goodbye, and Patty stopped to pet him. “Now you be a good puppy and listen to Buddy while we are gone.”

            We ate a little out of our bowls—I should say my bowl. Chris still preferred to share my bowl than to eat out of his own.  Next we wandered from room to room patrolling the house. It seemed that my family had left eons ago, and I missed them. I walked over to my quilt on the floor, then looked over my shoulder to the inviting couch. The sofa won out, and I curled up on the soft cushions near the fireplace. I suppose Chris was worried that I was doing something naughty.

            “Buddy, should you be doing that on Christmas Eve? I mean Santa hasn’t arrived, yet. You don’t want to get bumped to the naught list, at the last minute.”

            He sounded distressed. The kid sure took this Santa thing to heart. “It’s okay, Chris, I do this whenever I have to guard the house. I can see all three entries from here.” That little white fib seemed to placate him, and he sat there for hours gazing into the fireplace. He was still sitting there when our family returned.

            Dad went out to give the horses their 10PM feed. We tagged along to decorate the snow. Chris kept stopping to scan the sky, the rooftops, and the drive. “Are you still looking for Santa?” I asked.

            “I thought he would be here by now to take me home.” He sounded so disappointed.

            “Well, perhaps Santa gave you a new home when you arrived here. This is a good place, and you can stay here with us—aah, with me.”

            “Really? You would share your home and family with me? I had heard that you didn’t like interlopers.”

            I was a bit embarrassed to have my scrooge like behavior pointed out to me by this youngster. I yawned closed my eyes and pretended to sleep. Chris was still staring into the fireplace when I dozed off.

            Christmas morning I woke and stretched. That is when I realized that Chris wasn’t sleeping next to me. I checked his doggie bed under the tree. It was gone! I trotted over to my food bowls, and his little red bowls were nowhere to be seen. I ran down the hall checking on the sleeping humans. Everyone was accounted for. Patty was still here, so Chris didn’t go with her.

            Everyone searched for Chris, after I roused the household. “Okay, Chris, quit fooling around and come out here. Hiding on Christmas morning is really naughty.” I barked, scolded, and pleaded with him.

            Gift giving was put off until after chores and breakfast. Patty played Santa and handed out the gifts. Every one of us was worried about Chrisand we were kind of just going through the motions. I usually ripped open my gifts, but I just laid my head on the stack in front of me. Patty found it at the back of the tree-skirt, It was a package wrapped in red with white puppy sized paw prints on the paper. I opened the yummy smelling package. Inside were four gingerbread cookies that were shaped like puppies. There wasn’t a name on the package, but I knew it was for me from Chris. Then Pat found one more package under the tree, and she read the tag. “This last package is for Buddy from Santa Clause.”

            Okay, little Chris believed in Santa, but I knew better. Every year there were always a few packages from Santa or Mrs. Clause, and they always had the sent of my human family on them. Pat handed me the package, it smelled strange, and I refused to open it. Mom took it from me. She opened the package and read the note inside.

            Thank you all for taking care of Chris, and making him part of your family. He is a rambunctious puppy and fell from the sleigh while we were training some new reindeer. Buddy, the shiny new bell is to remind you of Chris and your new Christmas attitude.

SC

            Patty said what we were all thinking. “Wow! The nametag makes sense, at last. It said ‘Chris’ and underneath ‘return to S.C.’ No wonder we couldn’t find his owners; he belonged to Santa.”

            I hope you liked my Christmas story.

            Merry Christmas!

 Buddy

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