Authors often agonize over whether their books will remain relevant, especially those who write young adult stories and others that use a particular setting or set of jargon to make their points. Even as I wrote the Color of Fear series, critique mates would point out the use of SoCal cadence in Valery Paz’s “Valley Girl speak,” and pop culture references in the banter of electrogeek Eddie Garrick. (It’s true, though–you can’t stop the signal.)
The series tells the story of a world hit by terrorism, and the apocalyptic plague that has wiped out most of the Caucasian population of the world. Mixed blood has saved some whites, but the majority of the survivors, especially in the hard-hit United States, are people of color. Blacks. Native Americans. Asians. Hispanics.
While those people are trying to recover and pull together the remains of the shattered nation, from out a concrete bunker in the northwest comes Bernard Ellison, the self-styled Gabriel, a ideological brother-son of the Posse Comitatus, the American Vanguard and other white nationalists. Gabriel commandeers an abandoned radio station and broadcasts to the faithful:
“How long, my friends, have those terrorists been watching and listening to our communications, so that they knew precisely when to strike? Bin Laden and his people clearly read our country’s weakness. The Universal Jihad Front that launched the Second Holocaust, they, too, understood how far our leaders had left us vulnerable. Listen to this.” He played the government spokesman’s clip Eddie had played on his show a few days before. “Does that sound like a government that can protect you, my friends? I think not!
“Without a strong, healthy government to keep those foreign devils off American ground, do you believe they just stayed home and played in the sand? How do we know they didn’t take advantage of the apocalypse to begin landing ships on our unprotected shores, spilling thousands of them out to take your wives and daughters? Will they recruit those of color who survived in this land? They are banding together, taking aim at the real Americans who are left.”
The propaganda-filled diatribe paused for a moment, then continued, “My friends discovered a nest of potential murderers right here in our heartland just last night. We’d tried to contact these rebels, to show them the truth, but instead, they returned threats and violence. They ruined a major highway!”
A note of stricken sadness came into his voice. “Now crossing our great land will be so much more difficult. Why do these people insist on destroying the world?”
At about the same time in the story, a small band of people trying to get to St. Louis, where the new capital is forming, have this conversation with a ham radio operator who’s keeping them informed of the state of the nation:
“KC-five-NXS, KC-five-NXS, this is K-two-JJB. Hang, are you there? What’s going on?”
“KC-five-NXS, yes, I’m here.” Hang settled onto the floor in front of the radio as the others gathered around. “Thanks for getting back to me. I wanted to let you know we’re going to be delayed—”
“What? I don’t think you can wait any longer, son. Word came down this morning that Gabriel’s on the move. His people set off explosives all along the stretch of I-Eighty between Omaha and Lincoln, knocking out the road. It’s impassable.”
“Cabron,” Valery hissed.
San eyed Charlie, his worst fears coming to life. Yeah, I do know what I know, fool. “We need a map,” he said.
“I got one in the truck,” Terry said, and he hurried out.
“Why would he do that?” Hang asked. “Don’t his people need to get around, too?”
“Word has it that some groups in the two cities planned to set up a blockade, aiming to take Gabriel out. Apparently he just got the jump on them. He’s celebrating on his damned station, claiming the other side was the attacker. I’m not sure how much of what he says you can believe, but we’ve got confirmation from our men on the ground that there are plenty of dead, and they aren’t Gabe’s people.”
“Whoa.” Deflated, Hang leaned back against the bookshelf where the radio sat.
“How many dead?” Marie asked.
“Reports range from just a few to hundreds, depending on who’s telling the story.”
Terry came back with the map, and they spread it out on the table. Mere inches separated Lincoln from their intended route on Interstate Seventy, inches that translated into only one hundred and seventy miles. And they still had three states to cross moving east.
Sound familiar? Does it sound like “Many sides” are at fault? How much more relevant can you get?
THE COLOR OF FEAR SERIES from Zumaya Publications and Lyndi Alexander
Xi San saved the life of a mysterious girl one night in his ravaged San Francisco neighborhood. He can’t get her out of his mind, but believes that she’s lost to him. Lin Kwan came to America to bring her scientist father Chinese medicinal herbs, hoping to stop the virus that killed most of the world’s Caucasians before it mutates to infect the rest of the world. On her way to finding him, she meets again the man who once saved her, a man she can’t forget.With a diverse group of fellow travelers, they head for St. Louis, where civilization is being rebuilt. Between them and safety, danger lurks—Gabriel, a self-styled religious leader and white supremacist, who has organized his army from Upper Midwest survivalist and militia followers, determined to take revenge for the white man.
But Gabriel isn’t their only enemy. Before they reach their destination, they will battle nature, prejudice and even those hidden among them who wish their destruction.
Book Three–ADVERSARIES Coming Soon!
After terrorists unleash a virus on the world that kills most of the Caucasian population, Lin Kwan has finally found her scientist father in America and can deliver the precious herbs he asked her to bring from China. But their reunion is nothing like she expected.
Survivalist and white supremacist Gabriel leads his army of Angels against the new U.S. capital of St. Louis, determined to punish those who lived through the horrors of the virus and re-establish whites as the ruling class. He plans to tear out the heart of the city by first destroying its heroes, then negotiating its surrender.
Xi San, Valery Paz, Eddie Garrick and the other survivors rally to fend off Gabriel’s attack, only to find their city under siege from a much more insidious opponent–the remains of the federal government bureaucracy, which insists on taking control.
And assassin Jin Piao has never been closer to his objective, now that Kwan, her father and the healing medicines are within his grasp. Will he follow his orders and kill them, to save his own wife and child?
If you wish to die with dignity, you should move before you ever get sick to one of the three states that can realistically help you.
Oregon, Vermont or Washington
Be aware you’ll have to establish residency before anyone will touch you with a ten foot pole and that can take up to a year.
Montana and New Mexico laws are so conflicting that getting a doctor to assist may be impossible. While a court ruling allows doctors the right to assist in suicide if they get the patient’s written permission, it is still considered a felony crime.
Did you know $170 billion, of Medicare is spent on patients’ last six months of life? Six months of torment and pain that most would have preferred to escape.
Turns out, the more educated you are, the more likely you will request death with dignity.
Another interesting tidbit is that not everyone who gets the lethal prescription needed to die actually takes them. More than half do, but a great deal of patients use it as the back-up plan, hanging on as long as they can, but knowing they have an out, if the pain becomes too much.
In Oregon, the number of patients requesting Death with Dignity increases each year.
While the law allows anyone over the age of 18, mentally able, and a resident of the state to have the right to die, if they are fatally ill, the core ages requesting to die are age 66 to 74, with the median age of 71
79% of deaths are due to malignant cancers.
63% of the people dying have private medical insurance which doesn’t surprise me. This group will be likeliest to receive ‘medical care’ that cannot actually save the person, and often does great harm. Thus a person has more incentive not to be tortured and watch all their saving be siphoned off to doctors rather than leaving it for their spouse and children.
Honestly, after reading the massive paperwork required to legally die, I can understand why Cass didn’t even try to move to another state. She would have traveled all the way to New Mexico only to discover the right to die with dignity had been revoked. Then she would have flown up to Oregon and discovered by the time she became a citizen (1 yr) and filled out the mass of paper work she’d already be dead.
No she’s satisfied with her home alone plan.
Requires Rescue Series
When 80 year old Cass Goldman learns she has inoperable cancer, she decides to end her life, peacefully on her terms. So imagine her horror when she wakes to find herself in a hospital with strange rich people staring at her. It’s not until the doctor arrives to examine her that she realizes she’s no longer old. She’s in the body of a seventeen year old teen named Casey.
Unfortunately, her new body comes with some serious baggage. First of all, the kid has burned every bridge imaginable. Secondly, those ‘people’ in her room are her outrageously rich parents and while the Dad seems friendly, the mother wants nothing to do with her. The moment they take her home to a horrifically huge mansion, which she dubs Tara, she’s abandoned to the care of the butler.
While Cass is determined to turn this train wreck of a life around, doing so is far harder than she expected. In fact, without help, she’ll end up dead just like the last occupant of this body. Thankfully, her dad has his hunky head of security become her body guard. Between her eighty years of life lessons and hunky Troy’s help, she just might live long enough not to be jail bait.
Tears flowed again, not for Cass’s death, but for the distress her dear friend would suffer.
“Better than watching me die in a hospital,” she muttered and willed her tears away. She placed the letter in an envelope and put two stamps on it, uncertain of the going postal rate. It changed so often.
She then went upstairs and gathered the bottles of painkillers she’d acquired over her lifetime. Most had expiration dates from years ago, but hopefully they could still kill her.
Returning to the kitchen, she placed the garage door clicker on the table as promised. While pouring green tea into a large plastic bottle, she called her dog.
Jess didn’t respond.
Her small, beautiful old dog entered, tail down, eyes worried.
Did her dog know what she planned? Did he not wish to take this journey with her?
Did she have the right to do this to Jess? But who would want her twenty-year-old dog?
Tears streamed down her face and she sat down on a chair so she could pet her faithful friend. “You don’t have to come. You can stay here. I’ll put out enough food for you to survive until they come find me. I’ll ask Victoria to find you a good home.”
Jess whined and pressed his head against her legs.
“It’s okay. You’re not ready. But I gotta go while I still have a say about the path I’m taking.”
Leaning over, she kissed the dog’s soft forehead. “I love you and I always will.”
Her tears fell into Jess’s eyes, making him pull back and whine again.
She gathered her plastic bottle of tea, placed her three large containers of painkillers in her pocket, and headed to the door. Jess followed right behind her. Before she opened the door, she studied her dog. “You sure you want to come?”
He wagged his tail twice.
A sense of relief eased her pained heart. She didn’t want to leave her dog. Jess would be miserable without her.
“Come on then. Our last journey.” She led the way and locked the door behind them.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Liza O’Connor is a nut.
Not a real nut, but she is prone to being a smart ass at times, and not surprisingly her heroines say odd and inappropriate things in her book, as well. So even in a suspense novel you can expect to laugh along the way. That’s because Liza loves to see humor in the crazy world around her.
Saving Casey was actually the first book Liza published. Having recently reclaimed her rights to the book, she is happily re-publishing it as her 18th book. And because her books sell better when in a series, she using Saving Casey to kick of a new series called Requires Rescue. It will be different from her other series where the same characters show up in each book. This series will be about strong women who are trying to go it alone, only when help is offered, they have the good sense to accept the helping hand, because in all of our lives, there will come a time you need someone else to help you. Being strong doesn’t make us invincible. Book 1 is Casey/Cass’s story. Book 2 will be about an entirely different young woman who desperately needs help before she’s murdered on the streets of NYC. Book 3, well the plot is super unique, and more books will follow.
You’ll be able to read the series in any order you want, but in each case, you’ll have a strong young woman, a guy stepping up to help when no one else does, and danger galore with humor stuffed in anywhere I can.
I hope you’ll come along with me so you can laugh, love, and get revenge.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT
Today I’m featured at Liza O’Connor’s blog with a science fiction romance novel with an alien shapeshifter and a family mystery. This unique story is available both in ebook and paperback from Kensington.