Jonathan D Allen
Bartender and songwriter Kelli Foster had always kept her eyes trained on the dream of stardom as a means to escape her small-town life. That focus blinded her to threat right in front of her: a bar patron who lulls her into a false sense of security and abducts her for a shadowy organization, taking her to a cabin in the middle of nowhere.
Desperate to escape and return to the world she thought she knew, Kelli bides her time, complying with her captors as they force her into a dream world where she must unravel the meaning of a song to free a hostage trapped inside a tree. Failure to free the hostage means only one thing: death, for her and the hostage.
Joined by an important test subject whose sanity unravels almost from the start, Kelli attempts to free them both. When the escape fails, Kelli’s life becomes even more difficult, and she learns that her assumptions about her life – and the world itself – could all be false. As events spiral out of control, Kelli finds herself caught in a battle between godlike beings that hold her fate, and that of the entire Organization, in their hands.
Lately I've been in a captivity phase, it seems I'm gravitating toward books where someone is trapped for one reason or another. So when this book popped up for tour, I thought it fit right in. Sounds like a crazy book, right? Today I have the author here for a guest post, and a giveaway at the bottom of the post. Thanks for stopping by!
by character Kelli Foster
Let’s get a complicated truth out of the way right up front: I’ve known what a “blog” is for a little less than a week. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s a complicated, but do you think I would have expected to write a “blog” entry, let alone for something involving my esteemed self? I sure don’t think so.
Who am I, you ask? Good question. The name’s Kelli Foster, and as to why you should care – well, I think I have a pretty unique tale. You’ve probably heard some rumors about the thing that happened in London back in October. You know, the whole “terrorist attack”?
Let’s just say I have some inside info and a unique perspective on the whole event, given that I was at damn near center of the whole thing.
People have told me that something about the event seemed off, from the get-go. How does a small band of home-grown terrorists manage to set up enough explosives to blow up damn near a whole neighborhood? London is not exactly an unmonitored city; the last estimate I saw put 1.87 million security cameras in the city, and that’s probably a low-ball estimate. A backpack bomb would be one thing, but this kind of planning and coordination rarely go unnoticed, at least that’s what your average pub-goer would tell you.
So the question remains: how do they manage something like that without the ever-nosey eye of the government raining on their parade?
Easy answer: they don’t. Not without help from some pretty important people and organizations. Not to mention just a pinch of supernatural abilities.
That’s where my story comes in – more accurately, the book that we’ve put together from my own journal entries leading up to “England’s 9/11”. So much of this story has gone untold until now: secret facilities experimenting on innocent women; an unholy alliance between government and a cabal of supernatural beings; and, at the center of it all, a very confused woman trying to figure out where she belongs in the world.
I know it sounds crazy. Sometimes I wonder if I’m going to wake up in a world that makes sense, in a world where I came out of a completely ordinary middle-class upbringing and have lived the life that’s expected of a woman like me, but every day I open my eyes and I’m still here, where I have never belonged.
This is the story that “they” don’t want you to know. The story that could change the way you look at the world. All I ask is that you read my story and consider it, for your own safety and the safety of the world in which your children will grow up.
They’ve already ruined my life. You could well be next.
This is the first time we see one of Kelli’s visions, following a an injection of the mysterious hallucinogen.
Something rustled in the corn. I whirled, but I knew who it would be before she even appeared. She always found me.
A little girl appeared from between the rows, pushing the bottoms of the stalks apart. She had blue eyes, dark brown hair, and a smile that could just melt your heart – the kind of smile that never, ever survives into adulthood.
She cocked her head. “How’d you know my name?”
She always asked me that.
“We’ve met, but I’ve told you that before, too.”
She put her hands on her little hips. “How come I don’t remember you?”
“I think it’s this place. It always makes you forget.”
“I don’t like that.”
I looked around. “I don’t like it much, either. But don’t worry about it. I’m here.”
Wheels turned in her head. “But why are you here?”
No clue how to answer that one. “You’re looking for something, right?”
I leaned down, putting my hands on my knees. “What are you looking for, sweetheart?” I already knew the answer, but this had gone down a certain path forever, and the show had to go on.
She rubbed her eyes. “Cici’s gone. I can’t find her.”
Cici. The girl forever searched for Cici. I had no idea if she even existed. “Now where did you last see your sister?” I said.
Her eyes widened, like I’d shown her the secret of the universe. “We did meet, didn’t we, that’s how you know about Cici?”
I nodded. “Where did you see her last?” Knew the answer to this one, too.
She pointed over my shoulder. “There.”
I knew what I’d see when I turned. I’d seen it so many times that I’d even started to see it in my dreams. It didn’t matter, though. Every single time I turned to gaze on it, it knocked me on my proverbial butt: an enormous, gnarled tree, soaring up into the sky. This wasn’t just any tree, though. Somebody had carved a wooden organ out of the trunk, with two levels of wooden keys and wooden pipes rising out of the higher reaches.
The largest keyhole you’ve ever seen had been connected to that organ, its details carved right into the trunk, between the keys and the pipes.
“She’s locked in there, isn’t she?”
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Jonathan D Allen
Born and raised in the rural Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Jonathan wrote his first fantasy/sci-fi novel at the age of 13. After studying writing and communication at James Madison University, Jonathan turned his passion for writing into a full-time technical writing career in the DC Metro area, working for companies like Sprint/Nextel, Time Warner Cable, and Sirius XM Radio, where he had an opportunity to combine his love of music with his love of writing. He may have drifted away from fiction at times, but it was always his first love – and he always returned to it. Now living in Bethesda with his wife, two cats, and two quirky guinea pigs for which his publishing company is named, he crafts the kinds of stories that he had always hoped to read but just couldn’t quite find.
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