The Write Stuff – Monday, April 9 – Interview With Ron S. Friedman

Ron S. Friedman is a science fiction novelist and a short story writer, a Calgary Herald #1 Bestseller Author and a Best Short Fiction finalist in the 2016 Aurora Awards, Canada’s premier science-fiction and fantasy awards. In his day job, he works as a senior Information Technologies analyst. During the Gulf War he served as an NCO in the Israeli Air-Force Intelligence.

Ron’s short stories have appeared in Galaxy’s Edge, Daily Science Fiction, and in other magazines and anthologies. Ron co-edited three anthologies, and he received ten Honorable Mentions in the Writers of the Future Contest. Ron is a Quora most viewed author in Space Exploration, Astronomy and Planetary Science, with over a million views. His first novel, Typhoon Time, a time-travel thriller, has been released by WordFire Press. A time travel project goes awry when a nuclear submarine goes back to 1938, resulting in Hitler gaining a nuclear weapon.

Ron came from a family of Holocaust survivors. Part of his fiction was inspired by the experiences of his grandfather during WWII. Originally from Israel, Ron is living with his loving wife and two children in Calgary, Alberta.

Ron describes Typhoon Time this way:

The Hunt for Red Octobermeets Timeline.

A nuclear submarine led by a Holocaust survivor, travels back in time to 1938 in an attempt to prevent WW-II.

###

MARTIN RICHER, a pacifist history professor specializing in pre-WWII Germany, has two passions in his life: history, and opposing nuclear weapons. That is why he feels torn when he finds himself traveling back in time to 1938 aboard a nuclear ballistic missile submarine.

When ERIC SOBOL, a terminally ill holocaust survivor billionaire, learns about the existence of a wormhole leading from present days to 1938, he decides to do everything within his power to change the past.

###

A modernized Russian Typhoon class nuclear submarine, manned by twenty-first century multi-national experts, and equipped with the best civil and military technologies money can buy, jumps the time barrier and appears in 1938.

Eric’s plan to stop the war falls apart when a saboteur steals a nuclear warhead and hands it to the German War Navy. As the crippled Typhoon is ambushed by a U-boat wolf pack and barely escapes the pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee, Hitler contemplates how to use his newly acquired weapon to make all of Europe fall to the Third Reich.

What do you want readers to know about your book?

World War II was the most devastating war in history, with countries destroyed, cities leveled, and with a total of over 60 million people killed, including 418,000 Americans. During the Holocaust, 9 million people were systematically murdered in industrial methods, including 6 million Jews, and others such as gays, Slavic, Romani and disabled people. Even someone like Stephen Hawking wouldn’t be spared.

If you, the reader, had a chance to prevent the war, would you take it?

How far will you go?

Will you create a new Holocaust to prevent another?

This is the main dilemma the main protagonists face when they take a nuclear submarine back in time to 1938.

Aside from the plot, is there a story behind it?

I would like to speak about two items under this umbrella.

The first issue is personal. I came from a family of Holocaust survivors. My grandfather was a Polish Jew who served as a lieutenant in the Polish army. In September 1939, Germany invaded Poland from the west, while the Soviet Union invaded from the east. My grandfather’s infantry battalion was sent to stop the advancing German panzers… It didn’t end well.

A couple of scenes are loosely based on his story.

The other issue I would like to discuss is the German resistance to the Nazis. In 1938, a number of high ranking German officers plotted against Hitler. In our history, later, many of those conspirators were executed following the failed July 20 1944 plot. I wanted to ensure the Germans in the story are presented as three-dimensional complex characters.

Why is your writing different from other authors in this genre?

The intention. The time travel mission is well planned, focused and goal oriented.

In many WWII alternate history and time-travel stories I read or watched, something happens by mistake and history is taking a new course. The characters are reacting to the events as they fold.

Unlike those, in Typhoon Time, the time travel mission is well planned in advanced. Eric, the person in charge, knows very well what he is doing. He recruits a nuclear submarine, hires the best scientists and engineers to the task. And he purchases the best equipment money can buy. Only then, they travel back in time to 1938 with a clear intention to stop the war.

Unfortunately, even the best plans can fail. Well… it’s not really unfortunate. At least not for me, the writer. Because, if everything works according to plan than we have no story.

What was your path to publication?

I faced many challenges. The biggest one was the language barrier. I immigrated to Canada from Israel in 2002. English is my second language. When I started to write stories, and submitted them to magazines, I got rejections in the form of: “You are not a native English speaker. It would be best for you to choose another hobby.”

The thing is… I’m not a good listener. So, I ignored that advice and I continued to write. My first story was published in Daily Science Fiction in 2011. Since then I published 14 short stories.

When I finished Typhoon Time, I submit it to a few publishers. Granted, it was rejected, and in one case it was lost in the slash pile.

In late 2014, I decided to self-published it. But before I did, I heard of a writer’s workshop David Weber was leading at VCON. I registered to that workshop and submitted the first three chapters, just to get a few tips from David before self-publishing it. David liked it, and he asked to read the entire manuscript. The rest is history.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a sci-fi novel that takes place on Titan, after Earth goes through an apocalypse. Mad-Max in space.

What else have you written?

I published 14 science fiction short stories in various magazines and anthologies. My story Game Not Over was selected by Mike Resnick, and has appeared in Galaxy’s Edge in 2015. My name was listed right besides Robert Heinlein. Can you imagine that for an emerging writer?

You can find a link to that Galaxy’s Edge issue here: https://www.amazon.com/Galaxys-Edge-Magazine-Predestination-Tie-ebook/dp/B00RKM2Z3G/

Are there any awards or honors you’d like to share?

Typhoon Timeis an Amazon.ca #1 Bestseller in Time Travel.

Best Short Fiction finalist in the 2016 Aurora Awards, Canada’s premier science fiction and fantasy awards.

Calgary Herald #1 Bestseller.

Quora most viewed author in Astronomy and Planetary Science with over a million views.

Ten Honorable Mentions in the Writers of The Future Contest.

What is your writing routine?

I write for an hour or two every day. I do have a day job and a family, which makes it challenging to commit more than that. A large portion of my writing is posting on Quora.

Do you create an outline before you write? 

When I wrote Typhoon Time I didn’t write an outline. The story developed organically.

Lately, I started to spend more time on planning the plot and the characters. The recent stories I published were outlined. The novel I’m currently working on has an outline.

Why do you write?

Creativity. I want to do something creative, and I feel writing is the way to share it. I also used my writing experience as a tool to improve my written communication skills.

Tell us about your writing community.

I belong to a writing group in Calgary called IFWA (The Imaginative Fiction Writers Association). I’d been a member of IFWA since 2005.  I think writers should support each other rather than write in solitude, and IFWA had been a great source for support, both as a critique group and for social writing related events.

Do you have another job outside of writing?

I’m senior Information Technologies analyst with over 20 years of industry experience. What one learns in the computer industries could be a great material for science fiction stories.

In the late 1980s early 1990s I served in the Israeli Air Force as an Air-Force Intelligence analyst. I guess some military experience could be helpful when writing MilitarySF.

What motivates or inspires you?

The future. I think we are now at the start of a new era in human history.

Some of the greatest future revolutions will involve Genetic Engineering, Artificial Intelligence and Space Travel. I’m trying to promote those topics in my writing. Some of these revolutions were seeded in the 20st century. Some, during World War II. We want to make sure to learn from the past in order to navigate to a better future.

What is your greatest life lesson?

Persistence. If I may quote Tom Alan’s character from Galaxy’s quest: “Never give up, never surrender.” If you want to be successful in something, do it and don’t be afraid to fail. And if you do fail, try again. And again.

Thank you, Ron, for taking time to share. Before I present our visitors a Typhoon Time excerpt, as well as links where they can follow you and purchase your book, I’d like to conclude with a customary Lightning Round. Please answer the following in as few words as possible:

My best friend would tell you I’m: Hard working and honest.

The one thing I cannot do without is: Time

The one thing I would change about my life: No idea.

My biggest peeve is: Stress

The thing I’m most satisfied with is: Family

Do you have a parting thought you would like to leave us with?

Thank you for reading the interview. I hope you’ll enjoy reading Typhoon Time.

 

Excerpt:

Atlantic Ocean

April 13, 2018

Oh shit oh shit oh shit. Professor Martin Richter fiddled with the frayed fabric of the fresh bullet hole in his tweed jacket. How did Eric Sobol convince me to join this lunacy?

Alarms sounded. Dim, red light flooded the control room. Crewmen rushed to take their positions. Russian syllables rolled from the speakers all around as the Typhoon-class submarine prepared to enter the wormhole.

Martin looked to Vera Pulaski for a translation, and so did Steve T. Stiles and Eric Sobol. Of the four Americans who were invited to the control room, Vera was the only one who spoke Russian.

“They have detected a bomber on an interception course,” she said. “The captain gave the order to dive. We have less than four minutes.”

This is a mistake, thought Martin. I’m not the adventurous type. What was I thinking when I signed up for this suicidal experiment?

Martin always knew himself as the kind of person who remembered historical events. He could recount when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. He could recall the date Dr. Albert Schweitzer won his Nobel Peace Prize and when the demonstrators toppled President Mubarak from office. So, even if he forgot certain dates once or twice, he could still claim to be a person who was passionate about history.

But describing himself as a peaceful, non-adventurous sort, while standing on the bridge of a nuclear submarine about to enter a wormhole in a desperate attempt to violate the laws of physics and travel back in time?

Evidently, that specific self-assessment will now have to be revised. I can’t really claim I’m not a militaristic risk-taker, in the same way that Marcus Junius Brutus couldn’t claim that stabbing Julius Caesar on the Senate floor wasn’t like him. I guess, deep down, I’m not exactly who I thought I was.

A strange buzz filled the control room as a new image appeared on the main screen. A black and blue sphere, surrounded by dark clouds and electrical sparks filled the monitor. The way the dark sphere spun, devouring the ocean in its path, was both awe-inspiring and horrifying.

Cold sweat trickled down Martin’s forehead. He could barely stand up straight. What are our chances of surviving the wormhole? He didn’t think they were attractive.

“I’m scared,” Vera whispered. Her voice quivered.

Martin stared at her in silence. He was probably more terrified than she was. Mechanically, he lifted his shaking arm and put it around her shoulders.

“Don’t worry,” he said to comfort Vera. His mouth was dry. He cleared his throat. “It’ll be over soon. In a few seconds, we’ll cross the 1938 threshold.” He doubted he convinced her. He didn’t convince himself either.

Someone tapped on Martin’s shoulder.

Martin flinched. He nearly had a heart attack. Thank God Vera had been there to support him.

“This is so wicked!” He heard Steve’s voice. He turned and saw a grin spread across Steve’s face.

“Have you ever seen anything so cool?” Steve pointed at the wormhole image. “The first dudes in history to travel back in time. Boy, that’s what I call a thrill.”

Martin wondered if Steve had lost his mind. They were staring at certain death, and Steve found the prospect exciting?

“Hey, look.” Steve stepped closer to the monitor.

The sphere was now clear of smoke and electrical discharges. Caribbean water slowly poured into the rupture like honey into a bowl. The inside was black. Was Eric successful after all? Could this bubble really lead to 1938 Earth, or was the wormhole’s dark entrance their death sentence?

“That’s a good sign.” Steve stared at the monitor. “The submarine’s propulsion should work on the other side.” He made the victory sign with his fingers. “Let’s rock ’n’ roll!”

A rumble shook the vessel. Martin gulped.

As the submarine began to submerge, Martin held his breath. The crew seemed nervous.

The dark blue globe grew bigger. Then, the monitor turned black. Martin tensed. He forced himself to breathe; in, out, in, out …

“We’ve just crossed the threshold,” Steve announced. “Do you feel anything?”

“I feel like I’m about to throw up,” replied Martin, gazing at the black monitor.

“I mean the smooth motion.” Steve shrugged. “I wonder if it’s normal. I expected some kind of rumble or shake, something more … grandiose.”

The image of the Caribbean Sea slid back to the center of the screen. The operator must have turned the camera backward. They were looking at Earth from the inside of a wormhole.

“What’s that?” Back on the contemporary Earth’s side of the wormhole, something white was entangled with the rear cable line which fed power to the ultra-capacitor on Eric’s yacht. The same yacht that had brought them to the submarine and carried all the scientific equipment which made time travelpossible.

The image flickered.

 

Those of you who would like to follow Ron online can do so here:

Website:                     https://ronsfriedman.wordpress.com/

Amazon Author Page:          http://amazon.com/author/ronfriedman

Goodreads:                https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6979231.Ron_S_Friedman

Quora:                       https://www.quora.com/profile/Ron-S-Friedman/answers?sort=views

Facebook:                  http://www.facebook.com/friedmanron

Twitter:                      https://twitter.com/RonSFriedman

LinkedIn:                   http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/ron-raanan-friedman/a/904/770

Google+:        https://plus.google.com/u/0/?tab=wX#102514383771529750251/about/p/pub

SFWA speaker’s Bureau:    speakers.sfwa.org/profiles/ron-friedman/

 

You may purchase his book here:

https://www.amazon.com/Typhoon-Time-Ron-S-Friedman-ebook/dp/B07B7J2BJF/

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The Write Stuff – Monday, February 16 – Interview With Ann Charles

I first met Ann Charles in early 2011. We were co-contributors to the writers’ blog, Black Ink White Paper. Unfortunately for the blog, but very fortunate for her, Ann’s debut novel, Nearly Departed in Deadwood, had won the 2010 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense as well as the the 2011 RWA Golden Heart Award. Her career was taking off with such momentum she was forced to bid us farewell. Who could blame her? It has since turned into a five book series with the sixth book about to be started. In addition to the Deadwood Mystery Series, fans also follow her Jackrabbit Junction Mystery Series and her Dig Site Mystery Series. Not content what those successes, she has recently launched a new book that’s causing a great deal of buzz, because Look What the Wind Blew In begins a brand new series.

IMG_2994 FUNNY SEPIAA member of Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America for many moons, Ann Charles has a B.A. in English with an emphasis on creative writing from the University of Washington. She is currently toiling away on her next book, wishing she was on a Mexican beach with an ice-cold Corona in one hand and her Kindle in the other. When she is not dabbling in fiction, she is arm wrestling with her two kids, attempting to seduce her husband, and arguing with her sassy cat. Most nights, you can find her hanging out over at www.anncharles.com, on Facebook as Ann Charles, or as AnnWCharles on Twitter–especially around midnight when her quirky fictional world comes to life.

She describes Look What the Wind Blew In like this:

Welcome to the jungle … 

A headstrong and determined archaeologist.

A tall, dark, and unwelcome photojournalist.

Both are trying to unearth secrets that have been long buried, but an ancient Maya curse threatens to destroy them… unless they can learn to trust each other enough to make it out of the jungle alive.

Welcome to The Write Stuff, Ann. I’m so pleased you could join us. Please tell us about your new release.

At the end of January, I released my latest book, Look What The Wind Blew In. This is the story of Quint Parker, a photojournalist, who is also the brother of the heroine in my Deadwood Mystery Series. It’s the first in an archaeological mystery/adventure series that I’ve been wanting to get rolling for years.

What was the biggest challenge you faced writing this book and how did you overcome it?

A long, long time ago in a college far, far away, I took a class called History of Mexico. My major was Spanish and I was fascinated with all things south of the United States border—language, art, food, and culture to name a few. Oh, and margaritas, iced or blended, I wasn’t picky. But I digress … in that history class, I learned about the Maya. I read about their famous cities, such as Tulum and Chichen Itza, and I viewed artists’ renditions of their grandeur-filled past as well as current day photographs. I soaked up stories about what their lives may have been like, the day-to-day challenges, the rituals, the architecture, and the sacrifices.

During that class I met Dr. Angélica García, the heroine in Look What the Wind Blew In. I was looking out the window at the blowing snow, wondering what it would be like to be an archaeologist at one of those amazing sites.

From the moment Angélica stepped into my daydreams, she was giving orders to her crew and searching through Maya ruins, determined to find key pieces of history. One hundred percent alpha-female, she needed someone to show her softer side—hence, her father, Dr. Juan García, joined her in my thoughts. Next came the need for a hero who’d give her a run for her money, an outsider she couldn’t control. A photojournalist maybe, working for a renowned magazine, going by the name of Wayne.

Thus, Look What the Wind Blew In was born.

LWTWBI Final Ebook Quote low ResI wrote the first draft while I was in my twenties. It was the second book I’d written at the start of my career. Needless to say, I was still learning how to write a good book (and still am) and it showed in that first draft. My critique partners would agree, because they hated my hero, Wayne.

It’s never good when your readers cringe at the sound of your hero’s name.

I set this story aside and wrote another book, improving my skills. Then I returned to Angélica’s story, excited to try once again to bring her story to life. When I started this second version, my critique partners made me promise to shove Wayne into a closet in my brain and throw away the key. So, Wayne went away, and Quint Parker showed up for hero auditions. He won the role hands down, and I rewrote the story. This next draft was nominated as a finalist in the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart national contest, but it didn’t win with the final judges nor several of the literary agents to whom I submitted it after the contest. The time was not right for Angélica and Quint’s story … not yet.

Putting the book aside to be fine-tuned again after I’d honed my skills some more, I wrote Dance of the Winnebagos and Jackrabbit Junction Jitters. Then I returned to Angélica, took another swipe at this story, and sent it off to the agent I’d signed with in the meantime. It fell through the cracks somehow, temporarily forgotten as I wrote Nearly Departed in Deadwood and launched my publishing career with the Deadwood Mystery Series starring Violet Parker, Quint’s younger sister.

Now, many MANY moons after I sat in that classroom looking out at the snow, Quint’s story is finally ready to share. I spent several months working on it, revising yet again to make it the story I have always dreamed about, full of mystery, adventure, humor, suspense, and romance with just a sprinkle of paranormal.

So, to answer your question about how I overcame the challenges with publishing this book, I guess the answer is I just kept hitting my head against the brick wall until I broke through it.

Is there anything you want to make sure potential readers know?

I write mixed genre stories. I tried the traditional publisher route for many years, but in the end, after making it all of the way up the ladder to the “final acquisitions” meeting at a very large publisher out of New York (with my double-award winning book Nearly Departed In Deadwood), I was rejected by their marketing department because they did not feel I could find an large enough audience for the type of story I’d written. I decided not to let their opinion on potential readers stop me and pushed forward, publishing without them. I am so glad I did because they were wrong, and I feel very lucky every day to have found so many wonderfully, supportive readers who do like mixed genre stories.

What other novels have you written?

Currently, I have several fiction books published from multiple series:

Deadwood Mystery Series (in order)

  1. Nearly Departed In Deadwood (multiple award-winning book for both mystery and romance/mystery)
  2. Optical Delusions In Deadwood
  3. Dead Case In Deadwood (selected as one of Suspense Magazine’s BEST OF 2012 books)
  4. Better Off Dead In Deadwood
  5. An Ex To Grind In Deadwood

Jackrabbit Junction Mystery Series (in order)

  1. Dance Of The Winnebagos
  2. Jackrabbit Junction Jitters
  3. The Great Jackalope Stampede

Dig Site Mystery Series:

  1. Look What The Wind Blew In

Short Stories

  • Deadwood Shorts: Seeing Trouble (short story from my Deadwood Mystery Series)
  • Deadwood Shorts: Boot Points (short story from my Deadwood Mystery Series)
  • The Old Man’s Back In Town (a short story from an upcoming Goldwash Mystery Series).

Are there any occupational hazards to being a novelist?

I often joke with my husband that when we are old and senile, I’m going to think that all of these characters I’ve created are real people who we’ve known over the years. He thinks it’s going to make for an entertaining time at the breakfast table every morning over grapefruit, turkey bacon, and fiber-filled cereal.

Hah! I should have known that a writer who calls her children Chicken Noodle and Beaker wouldn’t keep her answers entirely serious. OK. Back on track. What is the single most powerful challenge when it comes to writing a novel?

I have trouble carving out the time I need every day to write. I have two young kids who I want to play with before they grow up, a wonderful husband with whom I love to spend time, and a writing business to run (the “business” part of which takes up 50% of my free time most days). Finding blocks of hours to write usually has to come at the cost of sleep for me, and there is only so much caffeine I can inject into my system before I keel over into a sleep-starved coma.

Got me grinning again. Please tell us about you “other” life. Do you have another job outside of writing?

Not anymore. For the first fifteen years while getting my writing career rolling, I was also a Technical Writer for a banking software company. Two years ago, I was able to quit that job and focus on writing full-time thanks to the awesome readers who have offered so much support and help by letting others know about my books.

Would you care to share something about your home life?

I have several addictions—frozen Coke Slurpees, fun throw rugs, and all sizes and shapes of tote bags to name a few. On top of that, I’m a slave to my sassy cat and I relax by putting together jigsaw puzzles.

I know life is never entirely smooth, so how do you rise above adversity?

I’d like to tell you that I do something wise like meditate to find my zen, but the truth is that I get frustrated, go through my cupboards and fridge in search of something that will make me feel better, and then paw the ground a few times before pushing through whatever is giving me grief. If that doesn’t work, I throw my computer out the window and go stare at the clouds

What has been your greatest success in life?

Doing well enough in the writing world to quit my 40 hour a week job as a technical writer so that I can focus on my 80+ hour a week job as a full-time author.

Before I give our visitors a taste of your new book, let’s try a quick Lightning Round. In as few words as possible, please fill in the blanks.

My best friend would tell you this about me…

“turtle”—I don’t like to rush into things, I like to ponder things for a bit first.

The one thing I cannot do without is…

My family

This one thing I would change about my life is…

I’d try to laugh more and worry less.

The thing I’m most satisfied with is…

Where I live—in the mountains in Arizona. I’ve wanted to live here in the Old West since I was a kid watching John Wayne riding a horse through Monument Valley, Old Tucson, and Saguaro National Park on the television screen.

Ann, I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am you joined us. I wish you continued success in an already successful career.

As for our visitors, here is a sample of Look What the Wind Blew In:

 

Chapter One

Mal Viento: An evil wind that can cause sickness or death.

“It’s a curse.”

Angélica García frowned at her father over the beam of her flashlight, wondering if the heat had fried his brain. “It’s not a curse, Dad.”

“Go over it again, gatita. And this time, use plain, old English.” Juan García reached out and gently tweaked the tip of her nose. “Not all of us speak Mayan in our sleep.”

Angélica wiped away the sweat trailing down her cheek. She tilted the flashlight beam slightly away from the temple wall, grazing the surface so the shadows added depth to the blocks of Maya glyphs.

She pointed at the first set. “This shows Yum Cimil, the Lord of Death. It says he rode in on the wind with a traveler.” She moved to the next. “Here, the king is performing a sacrificial ceremony, offering his blood for the lives of his people. And in this one, Yum Cimil has turned his back on the king’s sacrifice and is devouring the village.”

“What about that last set?” Juan asked.

“It shows the Lord of Death crouching inside a temple. It says he ‘waits.’”

“Waits for what?”

“It doesn’t show.”

“Sounds like a curse to me.”

Angélica aimed the flashlight at her father.

He stared back at her, all traces of his usual grin absent. His silver-haired sideburns glistened with sweat.

She shook her head. He couldn’t be serious. “You’re losing it.” She pointed the beam back at the first glyph set. “Look here. The Lord of Death rode in on the wind with the traveler. That means the proof we need is at this site. I just have to find it.” She skimmed her fingers over the warm chiseled stone and smiled at him. “I knew Mom was right.”

“I still think it’s a curse,” he said, mopping his brow with a handkerchief. “You shouldn’t have read it aloud.”

She growled in her throat. After almost four decades of digging in tombs and temples throughout the Yucatán Peninsula, northern Guatemala, and Belize, how could he still believe in curses? “Be serious, Dad. That Lord of Death Waiting glyph is just the Maya equivalent of a ghost story.”

He lifted his eyebrows. “What makes you so certain it’s not a curse?”

Angélica scrubbed her hand down her face. She couldn’t believe they were even having this discussion.

“Listen, child,” Juan started.

“I’m almost thirty-five now, Dad.”

“Maybe so, but I’ve been on this earth—in temples just like this one—a lot longer than you have. It’s time you …”

She crossed her arms over her chest, bracing herself for the usual I’m-your-father speech.

He paused, glancing down at her arms then back up into her face. “And now you’re giving me that look,” he snorted. “I don’t know why I try to tell you anything. You never listen anyway. One of these days you’re going to learn that I’m almost always right.”

Almost being the key word there.” Her grin took the sting out of her words.

Juan chuckled, patting her on the head. “You’re getting more and more like your mother every day.”

Tilting her head, she batted her eyelashes several times. “You mean intelligent and beautiful?”

“Mouthy and obstinate.” He pointed at the carvings on the wall. “Whether you like it or not, this curse could mean trouble.”

Angélica heard a nervous-sounding groan from the shadows behind her father. She shined the flashlight over Juan’s shoulder into the wide eyes of Esteban, a nineteen-year-old Maya boy from a nearby village who had worked for her off and on over the last few years. He must have finished recording the artifacts in the other chamber and slipped into the room without her hearing him.

“Shit,” she said under her breath. The last thing she needed right now were rumors spreading through camp that an ancient curse had come back to life. She turned back to Juan. “Dad, it’s not a curse.” Clearing her throat, she glanced pointedly toward her Maya crewmember. “It’s merely an artist showing a grim vision of the future.”

“Call it what it is, gatita. It’s a curse warning whoever sees it that death is waiting for its next meal,” Juan argued.

 

For those of you who want to read more of Ann’s writing, here are a few links to help you:

Buy links on her website:       http://www.anncharles.com/?page_id=1744

Facebook (Personal Page): http://www.facebook.com/ann.charles.author

Facebook (Author Page):  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-Charles/37302789804?ref=share

Twitter (as Ann W. Charles): http://twitter.com/AnnWCharles

Ann Charles Website: http://www.anncharles.com