Sunday, August 7, 2011

Spotlight Interview & Giveaway with Linda Hadaway

One Step Ahead Of Danger

Abby Bergstrom is happily engaged to a handsome, powerful man…until she stumbles across a deadly secret. Abby, and her young friend, Stevie, flee Chicago, running for their lives. They head west, across the states until they end up in a small town she had been raised in. There, she reunites with an old flame and comes to grip with ghosts of her past.  The hunter is at her heels.



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Excerpt:
Abby ran frantically down the poorly paved street. The slim young
woman stumbled but somehow didn’t fall. She quickly glanced behind
her. No one followed them...yet. The cold Chicago wind whipped her
thick blonde hair in front of her face as if to taunt her further. She swept it away as she hurried to keep up with Stevie. Even though she worked out and jogged on a regular basis, she was quickly tiring. Her breath came in pants, and a burning sensation grew in her lungs as if she sucked in fire instead of the chilly Chicago air. Sweat beaded on her forehead and dampened her shirt; her heart pounded from the excursion.

"Come on!" Stevie yelled encouragingly. The dark baggy clothes bounced on the young teenager as he ran. It was a wonder they didn’t fall off his scrawny body.

For a brief second Abby wondered what in the world she was doing following this young boy down toward the Chicago River, into the frightening maze of where the most destitute people lived:
Lower Wacker Drive
.

"To save my life," she reminded herself. Stevie suddenly stopped and waved "this way," as the concrete cavernous roadways beneath the city streets, once again, split in two directions. Abby followed, hurried around the corner, and saw...nothing.

"Stevie!" She screamed. Just then, his familiar purple Mohawk peeped out from around the side of the cement wall. His adolescent face frowning at her. Stevie motioned, "come on." Abby caught her breath and ran around the corner so quick she didn’t see him standing there. They collided and sprang apart. Stevie put a finger to his lips, "Shhh." Abby obeyed and matched his pace, walking quickly, quietly.

Part of her still cried out; this was not reality. She belonged at home — with her comfy bed, walk-in closet, and twenty-two pairs of shoes. Instead, she walked among litter and broken items strung about the long concrete hallways. She passed a cracked mirror and glanced only quick enough to see her reflection — split, like in a kaleidoscope. The only life line she was aware of was Stevie; a young homeless kid. He had already saved her life once today. The reminder brought tears to her eyes, stinging in the bitter, frigid wind.

They made their way through the labyrinth of rusted pipes, garbage, needles, and used condoms. Abby caught a glimpse of a long tail and gasped; terrified she'd just seen a large river rat. Another movement caught her peripheral vision. She turned her head quickly to see a man sitting against the stained, cracked wall. He wore layers of the shabbiest clothes Abby had ever seen, like he was his own walking suitcase of used clothing. His hair, what was left of it, sprouted out here and there like some wild, dead weed. His face scarred and pocked, left over from a horrible teenage acne war, or from some dreadful disease, tilted upwards toward Abby. The lifeless fogged eyes squinted as Abby froze in her tracks. The wino’s grin grew wider showing a mouth of scabby teeth. A brown bag sat between his legs, the top of the wine bottle poked out like some phallic icon, and the stench of urine reeked from him. His nicotine stained fingers reached out, maybe to grab her. Abby didn’t know, but it was enough to make her yelp like a frightened puppy, and she hurried to close the space  between her and Stevie.

"I can’t do this. I can’t be here," Abby cried out. She trembled as Stevie stopped and took her hand.

"Right up here." Stevie led her around another corner, through a doorway, alongside another wall of dripping pipes, until finally one more entryway. Abby’s hopefulness dropped when she caught sight of a padlock. Then Stevie reached in his worn pants pocket and drew out a key. The lock opened and they took a cautious look up and down the
pathway before they stepped inside. Stevie pushed the rust-stained sliding bolt across the door, hopefully assuring their safety.

It was pitch black and Abby feared she would lose her mind. A hand touched her and she jumped before she realized it was only Stevie. He took her hand and Abby allowed herself to be led around another corner. He let go and a moment later she heard a match strike and saw a tiny flicker of a flame. Stevie cupped the flame and led it to a waiting candle. It stood only a few inches high, drooping sadly, as if middle age had caught up with it. The blackened wick took to the flame and a second later another candle was lit, and then another.

Abby gazed about. An old metal folding chair stood next to a small beat-up wooden table. The table was injured and stood on three legs, while two concrete blocks acting as a fourth leg provided some stability. A bed made of frayed blankets lay against the cracked brick wall. Cobwebs hung in the corner as if to further taunt Abby. The air hung thick with the odor of mold, decay, and mpoverishment.
"Go on, sit down," Stevie encouraged.

Abby stared at the chair, knowing if this was yesterday she wouldn’t have been caught dead in this place. Dead! She could be dead any minute. Abby brushed off the chair, then brushed her hands off, sat down, and began to sob. Stevie gently patted her on the shoulder.

"It’ll be okay, Abby. Honest."

Abby cried harder and reached her arms around Stevie’s waist and clung to him. "How can it ever be okay Stevie? Ever?" For the second time in her twenty-four years her entire world had fallen apart. She held on to him and suddenly thought about her little brother, long dead now. Maybe that was why she felt the connection with Stevie. Abby squeezed her eyes tight, trying to shut down her river of tears. Was it just four days ago when her world was intact?




WIN A FREE EBOOK.  Linda Hadaway has two (2) books coming out soon that are posted on her web site (www.lindahadaway.com) – Check them out, then email Linda at ljhadaway@msn.com and in the email list or mention the book titles. Linda will pick two random winners on August 20th. Each winner can select the ebook of their choice - Life Choices  or One Step ahead Of Danger. For an extra entry leave a comment here, telling me you want to double your chance of winning. Please do not mention the names of the two books you found on the mini scavenger hunt. In your comment here.


INTERVIEW WITH LINDA HADAWAY

Hello Linda, I am so very happy to have you here this week as my guest author. And thank you so much for taking this time to chat with me so we can find out more about you and your exciting books.  Do you plan to have any printed books out soon?                                                      

Life ChoicesYes, as a matter of fact. I am working on a program at Amazon and hope to have Life Choices and One Step Ahead Of Danger out in printed books by this winter. I hope to have my upcoming books available with the e-book as well as printed books.

For people interested in writing, what is the most important advice to give?

Read, read, and read…write..write..write..and  join a  (supportive) writer’s group. I think constructive criticism is important—however sometimes too much criticism for a new /inexperienced writer may discourage instead of encourage. If (you) are attending a writer’s group and it isn’t helpful for you…look for another one. There are many on-line groups as well.

Your books sound versatile - is there a common theme?

Yes. They include everyday people that have challenges and problems, such as trust issues, mental health issues, chemical dependency, abandonment issues, etc. I also have humor within my writing, more so for my two books that will be later this year or early 2012. People need to laugh everyday! Sometimes it’s laughing at one’s self that helps us put our next foot forward in dark times.

You’ve stated you have worked in the Human Services field for many years. Any insight you’ve gained working with people in need?

I try to look at what people of capable of…instead of what they aren’t. What I mean by that, is  say..someone who is going through a chemical dependency treatment center that  is  developmentally disabled and I hear the question of, ”How can he benefit from treatment if he doesn’t understand the educational classes?” My response is, “Being clean and sober for an amount of time can benefit that person. They may learn more than you know.”
I look for the positive things someone may have going for them. Encouragement. Being positive. How can I be helpful? What resources does this person need that I can help with?

Do your stories have a happy ending?

Always! I may have twists and turns; surprises in my plots, but a good ending. I hate to read a book where the end leaves you questioning “what will happen next?” I feel cheated by the author. I want my readers to be intrigued, perhaps learn something along the way. I want them to cheer for the main character and encourage them along. I want them to feel satisfied at the book ending, and glad they were on the journey with the character(s).

Are you working on a new book?

Yes! I am working on a sequel to Dark Side Of Purgatory. At this time, I don’t have title for it.

Again, I want to thank you for sharing some of your ideas and thoughts here with us.  It's been a pleasure chatting with you and I wish you the very best in all that you do.

Thank you, Laurie!




WIN A FREE EBOOK.  Linda Hadaway has two (2) books coming out soon that are posted on her web site (www.lindahadaway.com) – Check them out, then email Linda at ljhadaway@msn.com and in the email list or mention the book titles. Linda will pick two random winners on August 20th. Each winner can select the ebook of their choice - Life Choices  or One Step ahead Of Danger. For an extra entry leave a comment here, telling me you want to double your chance of winning. Please do not mention the names of the two books you found on the mini scavenger hunt. In your comment here.

1 comment:

Robin said...

I want to double my chances of winning! Your books look great!

Robin D
robindpdx (at) yahoo (dot) com