Rachel Thompson

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day – Chasing the Lost by Bob Mayer

Chapter Two

“What the hell is going on?” Chase demanded as he checked Chelsea once more. The bandage and seal were working; bleeding and losing air through the wound was stopped. That was good. Still no sign of an exit wound. That was bad.

“They kidnapped Cole,” Sarah said once more. She had her arms wrapped around her body, shaking. “I couldn’t stop them.”

“Who kidnapped him?”

“I don’t know.”

“Call the cops,” Chase ordered. On Sarah’s face, he could see shock setting in.

“They’ve got Cole.” She said it as if she didn’t believe it. She blinked. “We need to get your dog to a vet.”

Chase looked up from checking Chelsea’s wound and spoke distinctly, combat mode when trying to get through to someone in shock. “Call. Nine. One. One.”

She shook her head slowly. “We can’t go to the police, and we especially can’t go to Spanish Wells Security. You saw them today.”

“This is kidnapping. Not some dispute over a dog.”

She seemed adamant. “We can’t call the police.”

“The guys in the SUV have him?” Chase asked.

Sarah had not stopped shaking her head. “Two men in a boat snatched him off the dock where he was crabbing.” She nodded over her shoulder. “The house is on the other side of the street. Backs onto Broad Creek.”

Chase knew that boat was gone into the dark, up Broad Creek, into the Intracoastal and gone among the thousands of barrier islands and miles of wetlands. “I still think you should call the police and—” He stopped as Chelsea whined loudly, struggling in his arms. He grabbed some disinfectant, and gingerly poured it into Chelsea’s wound as he pulled back the bandage. She whined once more, but didn’t fight him as he pressed the bandage back on the wound.

With a shaking hand, Sarah pulled her cell phone out of her pocket. Using an ACE wrap, Chase secured the bandage and seal to Chelsea. She whined in pain, but didn’t try to pull away.

“Good girl.”

“Closest veterinarian!” Sarah shouted into the phone.

“Searching your location,” the phone replied. There was a pause, then the mechanical female voice continued. “I found three veterinarians. One of them is fairly close to you.”

Sarah did something on the screen of her phone and put it to her ear. There was a pause, then Sarah spoke rapidly. “We have a dog that’s been shot. She’s hurt badly.”

Another pause, then Sarah looked at Chase. “The vet will meet us at her office. Twelve-forty Palmetto Road. Do you know where that is?”


Once more, Chase scooped Chelsea up and carried her out to the Jeep, Sarah following. He laid the dog down in the back, then jumped in the driver’s seat as he tugged on a black pullover that had been draped over the steering wheel. As soon as Sarah slid into the passenger seat, he threw the Jeep in gear and raced down the driveway, spitting out gravel and taking the turn onto the hardtop too fast.

With the wind whistling past them and his focus on the road, there was no more conversation as Chase raced out of Brams Point and onto the Island’s main drag. He tried to remember if he’d seen a Vet’s office on his way to his new home in the morning, an event that seemed very long ago now.

“Eleven-ten,” Sarah called out, pointing to the right as she spotted an address. “It will be on that side. Soon.”

Chase saw a light go on in a window ahead and turned the wheel, skidding to a halt in front of the building. It was an old service station, painted bright green. Chase jumped out, picking up Chelsea and carrying her to the door. Sarah was ahead, opening it.

Chase came to an abrupt halt as he spotted a woman wearing jeans and a green smock waiting for him. Her red hair was fiery as he remembered, but cut short now, tight and efficient. “Erin?”

The veterinarian smiled. “Horace Chase. Been a long time. I got your message, but you didn’t leave a callback number and it just said private line.” The smile faded as she saw the blood on his and Sarah’s clothes. “Bring your dog in here.” She pointed toward a swinging door and led the way.

Chase carried Chelsea in, and gently set her down on an operating table. Erin already had a needle out, and expertly stuck it in Chelsea’s right front leg.

She looked at the ACE wrap, bandage, and seal. “You know what you’re doing. QuickClot. That’s good. And the seal.” She glanced up at him. “But that’s Army gear and Army training, isn’t it?”


“All right. West Point, and all that good stuff. Never saw you again after you left for the Academy. Tried to call you, and you never called back. Tried to write, and you never wrote back.” Erin shifted her focus back to the dog. “She’s stable. You can go back out now. I’ll take care of her.”

Chase nodded and slowly backed up.

Erin smiled. “Good to see you again, Chase.”

Chase could only nod, then his back was against the door and he almost stumbled out into the front room. Sarah had collapsed on a rumpled old bean-bag couch at one end of the room. He half-smiled, thinking the couch and the rest of the waiting area fit Erin Brannigan as he spotted a large rocking unicorn in the corner. At least the seventeen year-old Erin Brannigan he remembered with surprising clarity from his teenage years. Weeks, Chase reminded himself. He’d only known her weeks.

“You need to call nine-one-one,” he said.

Sarah was about to answer when the door to the operating room flew open, and Erin stuck her head out. Her red hair was covered with a surgical cap and her smock had a splatter of blood on it, and Chase felt a moment’s déjà vu, remembering the Evac Center in Kandahar, waiting on the doc to tell him about one of his men.

“Get in here, Chase. I need help to get the bullet out.”

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Genre – Thriller

Rating – PG

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Website http://www.bobmayer.org/

Author Interview – David VanDyke

What genre are you most comfortable writing? Anything with a speculative bent – sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural. That’s what all my books are so farm and unless at some point I deliberately decide to write without those elements, they’ll probably always be there.

What do you consider the most challenging thing about writing a novel, or about writing in general? Finishing the dang thing. I find it gets progressively harder to wrap things up, and I’m not sure why. Other authors have talked about this phenomenon. I try to combat it by giving myself permission to write anything I want – sometimes I write the ending scene or the climax scene long before I’ve written the intervening parts – because I can always rewrite something later.

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? Yeah, how hard the whole thing is, and at the same time, how easy. Contradictory? Maybe, but here’s what I mean. It’s easy to get an idea and start vomiting words on paper. What’s hard, at the end of the day, is making it coherent and entertaining. The hard thing is the work of crafting, not the art of creating. I can create in my head all day, it’s getting it down on paper and then turning that hot mess into a smooth coherent story that’s difficult.

Do you intend to make writing a career? Oh heck yeah. It’s freedom, baby. I have more options than some people, because I am retired from the military and have a pension already that will put the food on the table. That will eventually give me the liberty to do it full time, once the last kid is out of college and we have sold our house to free ourselves of ties to one place.

What is your greatest strength as a writer? I’d say the ability to just get it on paper. I hear of people who take years to write a book. Not me. I feel antsy and behind if I’m not doing a thousand or two words a day, which translates into 3-5 books a year depending on length. I’d say I also am a pretty good copy editor, both of my own work and others. In fact I freelance as a copy editor, and I’ll also give writing feedback if the client wants it.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? Nope. I can always write something. Sometimes I can’t seem to make progress on a particular piece, so I rotate through my projects and see what I can add to any of them. once I have done all I can for a day I usually take a hot bath, read a book, watch a movie – and often I’ll get a second wind and go back to my computer to write or tweak something.

How did you develop your plot and characters? I write The Eden Plague pretty organically – in fact, my first draft and first edition was in first person, before I rewrote it into third person I could expand the character threads and plot. First person is very easy to do, but hard to do well – powerful but tricky to get right. This method did have the benefit of getting 80% of everything down on paper pretty fast – I think I wrote the book in about five weeks – and then all I had to do was tinker.

Who designed the cover? The cover is by James at Humblenations.com. He’s a great designer and he has a lot of premade covers at goonwrite.com, or he will do custom work.

Who is your publisher? I’m self-published through Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Apple, BestIndieBookStore, and maybe a few more. I’m always looking for legitimate places to sell my ebooks. That’s not to say I wouldn’t be happy to get picked up by a traditional publisher but I’m not actively seeking. I’m intending to go the route of Hugh Howey or EL James, which is to say, self-pub first, then let them seek me out. If they don’t, I’m doing all right so far as an indie, and perhaps that’s what I’ll always be.

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Genre – SciFi /Adventure

Rating – PG13

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Blog https://davidvandyke.wordpress.com/