DEFENDING THE PEN – is all about murder . . . and romance . . . writing it! I post interviews, book reviews, and flash fiction, and occasionally it's all about me. Careful . . . you may end up the victim . . . of fun!
Year 2047, City of Samarra,
capital of the Republic of Islamic Provinces & Territories
Fifteen American travelers have
vanished. Surrendering to Mayor Aamir's demands, Captain Sharif becomes the
reluctant keeper of his city’s bloody secret – and the witness, Eliza MacKay.
The devout Muslim is horrified to discover that if he exposes the cover-up, his
family will suffer dire consequences.
The CIA has the lying Sharif in
their cross hairs. Sharif’s only hope is to prove his country's government is
free of guilt. Secretly, he hunts forensic evidence. Cryptic messages,
backstabbing informants, and corruption threaten Sharif’s resolve to see
justice served. When he discovers the shocking truth, he and MacKay become the
targets of a ruthless killer.
Sharif is tortured by his
attraction to the impetuous Eliza MacKay. In spite of her struggle with PTSD,
he’s drawn to her vivacious personality. Islam forbids the intimacy he craves.
In desperation to save Eliza, Sharif plots an act most forbidden and fatal.
One of my favorite things about
this book is the dedication. Once you read that you’ll know the heart of
Set in the year 2047, politics
and religion combine to create a volatile atmosphere for a coup. Police Captain
Hashim Sharif meets a feisty Eliza MacKay, after the brutal murders of her
companions. Working to expose the truth becomes a dangerous journey through
betrayal, government corruption, and multiple assassination attempts.
The setting, the politics, but
especially the principles and faith of the lead character, Captain Sharif is
both heartwarming and a breath of fresh air. His Islamic faith, intelligently
described, features prominently in the story as Eliza MacKay tests his virtue,
and he proves her determination.
Despite fighting PTSD, Eliza
MacKay surprises her protector every step of the way. No wilting flower, Eliza
starts out fighting and continues the fight all the way to the last page.
If I have any criticism, it’s
that I wish a few of the key players had been mentioned earlier in the novel.
Still, I highly recommend Forbidden, a novel that is superbly written, with
well-crafted characters, a twisting plot, and non-stop action.
James Patterson says to write a
novel as if it’s a movie playing out for the reader. Ms. Stone does this
Truly suspenseful this intriguing
novel tells a sweet love story and has the kind of ending you’ll love. Kudos,
Romance Under Fire
Author Feather Stone / F. Stone / Judy Weir:
On our cattle ranch, when an
animal was in distress or injured, I was put in charge of nursing it back to
health. Never mind that I was just a kid and hated the sight of blood, but I
had to muster up the courage to apply home remedies. My survival rate was
pretty good. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that I would progress to
nursing – humans. After one year into nurses training, I bolted. Bed pans and
chronic diseases pushed me in different direction; a career of dealing with
drug addicts, murder, suicide, fatalities, and biker gangs. In 1983 I graduated
with honors as a paramedic and worked in the City of Edmonton’s Emergency
For the next twenty years, I came
face to face with scenes most people would rather not think about. I loved it.
Having experienced life in the most deadly and gut wrenching events, and work
alongside the police service, I gained the fodder for creating intense novels.
My first novel, The Guardian’s
Wildchild, was published by Omnific Publishing in 2011. The setting is on a
naval ship, under the command of a surely man who is under suspicion of
treason. When a battered woman is brought to his ship for execution, he has no
idea that she is about to turn his disciplined life into chaos – and that she
is no ordinary woman. The Guardian’s Wildchild has a rating of 4.1 at Amazon.
Jenny threw her keys on the credenza and stormed upstairs to the attic where she kept her luggage. She’d just lost her dream job, and when she called her boyfriend, Hugh, he claimed to have car trouble. Except, Jenny heard a woman giggling in the background. Jenny’s heart sank. Recent doubts verified. Hugh was seeing someone else. Jenny knew it was time for a change!
“When the world decides to dump a load on you, why not on your twenty-fifth birthday?” Jenny shouted to the dust bunnies scurrying across the floor as she trampled to the back of the attic. She sneezed as the disturbed dust tickled her nose and decided maybe less frenzy would be wiser. She stopped. Closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths, behind her sleeve, to calm her rage.
Eyes open, she spotted her Grandmother’s desk. It looked pristine, not a speck of dust anywhere. She pulled out the chair and sat down. Running her hands across the hand-hewn wooden planks, she remembered doing her homework while sitting at this small but impressive work of art. Instead of placing this part of her inheritance in the living room, Hugh had put his stereo in the chosen spot. “That will change.”
Jenny opened the drawer in anticipation of finding hidden treasure, but there was nothing. Disappointed, she closed the drawer, but it wouldn’t shut. She wiggled it, tried again, to no avail. She pulled the drawer out and stuck her hand inside.
“Aha!” She pulled out a stray document. Her name was written across the envelope.Jenny recognized her grandmother’s stationery.
White with pink flowers. She held it close to her heart. “I knew there’d be a surprise!” She carefully undid the flap and pulled out a crisp sheet of stationary. She read.
“Happy 25th! I’m sorry life has failed to meet your expectations, but I’m also glad. Because at this moment in time you’re ready for a new adventure. Am I right? (Smiley face) I’m always right!”
It was as though her grandmother was right there in the room with her, and knew her thoughts and emotions. “Yes, Grandma, you’re right!”
Jenny finished reading:
“Pack, go to the airport, and introduce yourself to the gentleman at the information desk, and he’ll take care of everything. Do you trust me?
“Well, what are you waiting for?”
Jenny laughed. “Exactly! What am I waiting for?” She did as instructed.
The man at the information desk smiled when he heard her name. He took her by the elbow and led her through the airport.
“Welcome to Galaxy Airlines, Miss Evans.” He hurried her to a private jet. Your flight is ready. Enjoy.”
Jenny boarded a converted 747 with all the comforts of home.
The pilot announced, “Please be seated, Miss Evans. You’re welcome to take advantage of the bedroom once we’re in the air. We’ll arrive in Antarctica in nineteen hours.”
“Antarctica?” she said in surprise.
“Yes, Miss,” the pilot responded. “Please fasten your seat belt.”
Jenny scrambled into a seat and buckled up.
“If you need anything just use the intercom. Enjoy your trip.”
The plane landed between two snow-covered mountains and taxied into a large structure. The pilot opened the exit door for her and bowed.
“Thank you,” she said, and descended the steps. A man in a tux greeted her. She felt underdressed in jeans, boots, and sweater.
“Miss Evans, welcome. Please, follow me.”
He didn’t offer her his hand, and she quietly said, “Thank you.”
He led her to an elevator and down a long hallway. She gasped when he opened a door into a large room filled with shelves of books at least twenty feet high. In the center sat a large desk, and behind that a sitting area with a massive fireplace.
The fire crackled, and Jenny was shocked to see her grandmother moving toward her. “You’re dead, this isn’t possible.” Jenny backed away. She felt joy and fear all at once.
“Don’t worry, dear. I’m just a hologram. You can put your hand right through me.”
Jenny reached out. Her grandmother's image fluttered but didn’t disappear.
“Questions, so many questions. Please, sit. They’ve provided tea and a snack. That plane is comfortable, but there’s nothing like being on solid ground, is there? How do you feel?”
“Fine. Curious. What is all this?”
Jenny’s mouth fell open. “Inheritance?”
“You’re an immortal, dear. A descendent of the Galaxy Sisters. It’s time to fulfill your destiny.”
“Immortal? Galaxy Sisters? Destiny?”
“Yes, you’ll live forever, looking just as you do today, all to serve the cause. Unless you decide to marry and have children, then and only then, will you begin to age in a normal progression just as I did. The universe has nine populated planets. The role of the Galaxy Sisters is to guide each planet to be its best.”
“Before man took over the earth it was ruled by women. Their insistence on making women a slave, a servant, and a whore took years to achieve, but they won the revolution, and we’ve fallen far because of it. Your job here is to rebuild what men have corrupted.
“My major contributions included the Russian Revolution of 1917, the strike for ‘bread and peace’ and Suffrage. And no, you won’t read about my contributions. Your role is to help those who will make change happen. In no way, do we make headlines.” She laughed. “If you’d turned twenty-five sooner we might’ve had a woman for president instead of a clown. Sa la vie, it is what it is, but our attempts at equality just took ten steps backward. So, my dear, what do you say? Do you accept the challenge?”
“I have a choice?”
“Of course, dear. This sort of thing isn’t for all women, even some descendants of the Galaxy Sisters enjoy their subservient role. The universe is made up of all kinds. Are you ready for an amazing adventure?”
I became a reader and a writer almost simultaneously. Reading increased my vocabulary, and my writing skills have improved with each story, essay, and novel.
I have heard other writers say that they don’t enjoy reading and seldom do. I can’t wrap my head around those kinds of statements.
If I could, I would own a large room filled to the brim with books, I would spend hours each day just reading. I would gladly give up food for the privilege! FYI: Here's a link to the Funds for Writers website - she posted links to Talking Book Services. Check it out!