Tuesday, October 23, 2012

In search of a Soul by Dannie Hill: Spotlight & Excerpt



Thank you for having me at your site once again, Laurie. It really is a pleasure to visit with you. You are such a great supporter for struggling writers like myself.

I would like to introduce my most popular novel, In Search of a Soul, to your readers. This is a sea and sailing adventure, but I have found that women enjoy the sometimes poetic flow of the story and feelings projected by the lead characters. Anyone who feels something special when they go down to the sea will enjoy this book as John Durian and the young girl he rescues sail to different island groups in the South Pacific. The beauty of the sea and danger follows them in their travels.
The excerpt I’m presenting is when John first finds the young child far out at sea as a storm is racing down upon him and his sailboat, Tirak.


I awoke with a start. Dreams of childhood did that to me and usually left me trembling but something else had brought me back to reality. My love, Tirak, was trembling and moving in an odd way. I quickly checked the compass and saw we were far off our heading and then I extended the range of the radar and saw a mass in our intended direction. There was a curious squeaking noise that had a familiar enunciation but I could not extract it from my memory. A feathery bump also radiated with the acoustic sensation.

I went up to the cockpit to see our world standing still. The sails hung like wet towels on a clothesline. The wind had dropped to nothing, the cloud cover complete, and the ocean had taken on the appearance of viscous oil. I scanned the horizon and looked upon a black, lightning-filled squall line perhaps five miles away.

The squeak and bump touched me again and emanated from the port bow area. After another hurried check of the sea I turned on the spreader lights, floodlights mounted high on the main mast, and I looked over my silent Tirak. No clinking, slating or creaking was heard. I moved forward, peering over the side and found, to my amazement, a large square of Styrofoam nesting alongside the hull. It was about twenty-five square feet in area and at least several feet thick. I had grabbed my flashlight, which put out nearly one million candlepower, and pressed the button.

Night vision became a thing of the past as my world shrunk to the circle of the beam. Something dark and spindly with a froth of a darker hue at one end blurred my perception. As it began to take focus in the reality of the moment, I looked down at a human form. I applied the tremendous beam of light toward the head and it moved slightly. The hair atop its head moved of its own accord. The hair made small thrashes in the oily water as it flowed over the side of this impediment to navigation. The body moved again and an ethereal sound emanated from within its core like the sound of a specter.

I ran back to the cockpit, took up my boat hook and ran forward again. I probed the body lightly to convince myself that this was not an apparition. The touch transmitted through the pole was solid and worldly. I hooked the ungainly piece of flotsam, not the body but the flotation, and maneuvered it towards the stern of Tirak. All this time Tirak made not a sound of protest at being becalmed before an incoming squall. I reached through the mainstays as I continued to motivate the flotsam toward my boarding ladder. I refused to think of the responsibility I was investing us in. There would be time for retrospect in the coming hours.

I raised my gaze to the approaching squall line and approximated time to impact to be about fifteen minutes. While making the precarious maneuver I looked more closely at the device which the body lay upon. I could see cracks in its structure, opening and closing as I propelled it aft. There were also a number of small white curved objects springing from its surface.

The hair on the body continued its eerie dance below the water line and as my beam raked the surface I could see small fish clinging to the hair in an apparent attempt to pull their victim onto their plate. I thought of the tenacity of the miniature predators and smiled, even while thinking, in revulsion, of the potential outcome. Animal life would turn any situation into opportunity without regard.

I attempted to imbed my boat hook into the substance of the Styrofoam but the raft quickly began to disintegrate. I lowered the boarding ladder, unhooked the safety rail and just had time to grasp a limb of the person before he slipped into the waiting school of obviously hungry fish. He was light, near childlike, and I lifted him onto my shoulder as the raft broke into numerous segments. With a hurried glance at the approaching weather, I secured the ladder, safety rail, and then hauled person, lamp and hook below.

Douglas Durian was a dangerous man, until a traumatic event on his last mission as a Navy SEAL took five years of his memory. He sails the ocean alone looking for answers about his life.

He rescues a young girl far out at sea and his life is turned around. She demands that he remember his past in order to save her from the man who held her in servitude.

She is abducted and Douglas must rescue her to save both their lives. He sets out to make sure that her captor will never harm her again.

In his search he encounters love and friendship as he rediscovers the beauty of the sea and his lost soul.

Sailing, humor, high adventure and desperate actions make this tale worth reading and enjoying.

paperback  |  ebook

I live with my wife in Thailand and on occasion in Houston, Texas. Most of my writing is done in Thailand. I have four published novels that are enjoyed by many readers.  

When not writing I love sailing, motorcycles and farming. My wife and I have a small farm in Thailand and it’s hard work but relaxes my mind while my daydreams take shape on paper. Thailand allows the sounds of English to quiet and my daydreams come to life. Learn more about me as a writer at my blog: A Writer’s Life in Thailand.

Website  |  Blog  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads


danniehill said...

Thank you so much, Laurie! I am so impressed with the way you set up post and interviews. You're a special lady and we authors are so lucky to have the support you give us!

L.Leander said...

What a lovely excerpt! In Search of a Soul is a book I definitely want to read. I am impressed by your vivid scenes and was drawn immediately into the danger and beauty of the ocean. Love the pic of you and your grandson too - charming!

Eden Baylee said...

Well, Dannie, I think you know I loved the book, so it's great to see this wonderful feature of it.

Your grandson is soooo sweet looking!

Dannie said...

Thank you, L and Eden. I'm vry proud of In Search of a Soul and the reviews I've received really tell tell the tale of the book.

Sells have been great month after month and I hope people who haven't read it will give it a try. I often read it hen I need a boost in confidence.

Tyler is such a wonderful child and he's growing up in a loving family that I'm so proud to be a part of!

twdittmer said...

Nice job on the way you do your Spotlights, Laurie.

Dannie said...

You're right, Tim. Laurie really does a great job presenting her post and making quest feel at home.

I want to apologise for my editing flaws in my presentation-- haven't made that many mistakes in a while, lol.