First look at Beyond Resistance

I can’t wait a moment longer.

After three months of writing and a couple weeks of editing, I’m finally ready to give you this first look into Beyond Resistance, Part Three of The Ransom Series.

If you haven’t read Beyond Ransom and Beyond Revenge yet, avert your eyes from the rest of this post as this excerpt won’t necessarily make sense to you and will spoil your reading experience for the first two books in the series. The three books are meant to be read in order.

I was going to write up something here to preface this excerpt, but I think I’ll let it speak for itself. I’d love to hear about your reaction to reading it.

Without further delay, I present to you the Prologue…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The emblazoned sun fills the sky above me. It’s the same sun I’ve known all my life but feels completely different here with its dry heat over this barren desert terrain. I’m far from home, and I know it’s dangerous to be here, but this is something I have to do. My family needs this. I need this.

And he needs me, too.

We’ve only had this raging celestial body in the heavens to connect us all together, but its pull on the Earth is nothing compared to the pull of family. Resisting the primal need to be together is something we can’t do anymore. There is no moving on with life knowing that the final piece of our family is out there.

We understand the risks. We know what’s at stake. We’re ready to face whatever the hell life decides to throw at us, because honestly it can’t be worse than the difficulties we’ve already endured. It’s time for happiness and love to bring our family back together after being apart for so long.

It’s time.

I can feel the sweat beading on the back of my neck as I watch closely for any movement from the massive building in front of me. I’d like to think my body’s reaction is from the heat of leaning on this black car in the full sun of mid-afternoon as I wait, but I know nerves are playing their part. While our plan is well underway, this moment is where it could all fall apart. The next few hours will tell me just how risky this self-created situation is.

A blaring buzzer sounds from the building before a metal side door opens. For the intensity of the sound, I would have expected an army to emerge from inside, but only one man with a plastic bag in hand walks out before the door closes abruptly behind him.

He walks with his eyes trained on the ground and no urgency to his movements. Even at this distance, I can see the worn lines of age that travel across his skin. His hair is wiry and gray with white patches throughout. As he walks down the path toward the massive barbed wire fence that separates us, I fear the life within him has been as drained as it appears to have affected his body.

Even after the guard at the gate unlocks a door in the fence and allows the man to leave, there is no purpose to the man’s steps. He glances up only briefly to acknowledge that there is a car waiting for him as expected, though I see his expression long enough to recognize the look of confusion there.

When he’s within feet of me and the car, he finally looks up to meet my gaze and clears his throat. “You’re from the cab company?”

It pains me to hear the hopelessness in his voice. Given what this man has endured and what just happened to change his life around, he should be elated, full of anticipation, ready to take on the fucking world.

I smile and avoid his question completely. I won’t lie to the man. I will never lie to him. “I’m here to take you home.”

He laughs under his breath, a guttural sound full of sarcasm and discontent. I’m on the verge of putting it all out there right at this very moment to make him feel better and understand, but I have to wait until we’re on the road. I can’t risk anyone seeing his reaction.

Before I can move to do it for him, he opens the front passenger door and takes his seat, slamming the door shut behind him.

I take a brief moment to breathe and remember who I’ve just met and how long I’ve waited to meet him. There is no room for anger or frustration between us.

He will understand.

I move around the car and buckle into the driver’s seat, glancing only briefly next to me to confirm the scowl I expected would be on the man’s face. Without another word, I start up the car and get us on the road.

The car’s radio is silent. Only the sound of the air conditioner combating the heat of the summer sun fills the space between us, though the car feels thick with tension.

I need to make him understand, to put his worries to rest. Though I’ve been ready to do this for an eternity, now that the moment is finally here, it’s almost impossible to know what to say.

I turn to face him, fully intent on opening my mouth to speak and get the words out with no stopping until he realizes just how great of a turn his life has really taken, but there’s no need for me to say a thing. Understanding is written all over his face as his eyes remain fixed on my left hand on the steering wheel.

“Oh my God,” he whispers in disbelief. Tears and sparks of life fill his eyes as he raises them to look at me. “It’s you, isn’t it?”

My heart momentarily jumps to my throat as I glance down at my left wrist and the small black symbol of infinity tattooed there. I slowly bring the car to a stop on the side of the desert road before turning to meet the man’s gaze again, swallowing hard before speaking.

“It’s good to finally meet you, Grandpa.”

~Beyond Resistance, copyright 2014 by A.T. Douglas, coming October 2014.

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Cover Reveal ~ Beyond Resistance

I’m very excited to present the cover for Beyond Resistance, Part Three of The Ransom Series:

Beyond Resistance Cover FINAL

It’s simple, symbolic, and in line with the theme of the other Ransom Series covers. I’m so proud of this series for finding the success it has for its story and not for its covers. Sometimes it’s better to step outside the box and do something different than everyone else. That’s pretty much how I’ve approached my entire life, and of course I have no intention of changing that now.

There’s no fun in being normal anyway.

~ Add Beyond Resistance to Goodreads ~

One year anniversary!

Today is August 11th, 2014. Exactly one year ago I clicked “Publish” on my debut novel, Someone to Listen.

It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life.

I remember that moment vividly. My hand was shaking. My mind was racing at the implications of what I had done. My words and story were no longer just thoughts in my head or a file saved on my computer. The daydreams and experiences and tears I put into those blank pages became a self-published novel, cast out into the world for anyone to read. It left me feeling completely exposed, but it also made me realize something very important.

That’s what it means to be an author.

Authors put themselves out there, stepping outside the lines of what’s comfortable and telling the stories that would otherwise stay safely locked away inside one’s head. It’s easy to be consumed with fear and doubt at the thought of exposing the parts of us that would otherwise stay hidden, but the whole point of being an author is to overcome that worry and set the story free.

Even though the ups and downs of being an indie author make for a bumpy ride, I wouldn’t change the last year for anything. I faced my fears all over again and then some in self-publishing The Ransom Series, a story I’ve had in my head for a long time that took darker turns than I ever expected when I actually started putting it down on virtual paper. People found this series and fell in love with the characters and the crazy ride of the story, and it took off in a completely unexpected viral sort of way among readers. It did better than I ever could have dreamed.

If I hadn’t taken the plunge to put the story out there, though, I never would have experienced the success I’ve seen with this series. It all starts with taking that first step, and I’m so glad I overcame that fear and went down that path a year ago. I’m proud to be an indie author. I’m excited about what’s coming next. I’ll continue to put myself out there and step outside my comfort zone to get more stories out into the world.

This is only the beginning.

~ The One Year Anniversary Giveaway ~

Queen City Author Event

I’m incredibly excited to announce that I’ll be one of the sixteen authors at the Queen City Author Event in Manchester, New Hampshire on September 27th! It’s an extreme honor to be among such a great group of authors including Rebecca Donovan and Jessica Park.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around that. I’ll be hosting an author table in the same room as two of my favorite authors who also happen to be huge sources of inspiration for me in my indie author endeavor.

It leaves me a little speechless, honestly.

One of the best parts about this event is that tickets are absolutely free. All you have to do is reserve them online at the event website. It doesn’t get much better than free.

There will be giveaways and lots of swag to go around. It’s shaping up to be a great event, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be a part of it.

I hope to see you there. If not, maybe I’ll see you at a different author event someday. I feel like my path as an indie author is as open to me as a blank page. The options before me are endless, just waiting for me to make a move and shape what happens next.

Who knows what the future may hold.

Beyond Resistance, Part Three of The Ransom Series

You wanted it.

You got it.

I never intended to write another book in The Ransom Series. The story was to conclude in Beyond Revenge, and that was supposed to be it. Not every question was answered by the end of the book, but that was my intent. I wanted to leave the reader wondering just a little.

It wasn’t until I found two simple posts in a customer discussion on my Amazon author page practically begging for book three that I actually considered writing more to this story. I don’t know why, but seeing that kind of desperation for more – a feeling I understand all too well as an avid reader myself – made something click in my brain. Why not answer some of those outstanding questions? Why not treat the readers to more of this story they enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing?

It didn’t take long for me to figure out where I wanted to go with this continuation of the story, though it may not be exactly what you’re expecting. Nailing down a title was a little more challenging, but thanks to difficulty sleeping due to this baby growing inside me (see previous blog post if you missed that news), I had a 2:30am epiphany and the title Beyond Resistance came to mind.

I’m over 18k words into writing this book that was never supposed to exist, and I’ll be the first to admit that this is an entirely different ballgame for me than my writing process for Beyond Ransom and Beyond Revenge. Staying up all hours of the night or waking up at the first sign of dawn to write before work is impossible with the level of fatigue and difficulty sleeping that continue to plague me from this pregnancy. Also, it never occurred to me how vital coffee and alcohol are to the writing process until I tackled writing without them. I miss my sources of liquid writing fuel.

What I’m trying to say is I don’t know when you’ll have Beyond Resistance ready to devour on your e-reading devices. I’m hoping for a Fall 2014 release, but I’m making no guarantees. It’ll take as long as it’s going to take, but I’ll get it in your hands eventually. Waiting is better than never getting it at all, right?

My latest project

I’ve been busy lately. I wish I could say my recent absence from social media and the indie author community has been due to furiously working on my next book, but that’s not the case. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been busy creating something, just not what you think.

I’m creating another human being.

Nausea and fatigue have been my enemies these past few months. While I don’t remember these first trimester symptoms being this bad with my first pregnancy a few years ago, my body clearly remembers one of the strange aversions I experienced at that time.

My Kindle. Until very recently I’ve hardly been able to look at my Kindle without feeling nauseated. It’s the strangest thing, but it’s apparently what happens when you’re gifted a Kindle at the same time you experience morning sickness for the first time, which is what happened to me a few years ago.

Even worse, the feeling this time around somehow expanded to plaguing me while doing anything related to reading or writing. It’s been awful to constantly feel miserable and not be able to do the things I’ve come to love so much in reading other authors’ works, putting my own stories down on virtual paper, and interacting with the reader and author community on social media.

On the bright side, I’m through the worst of it. I’m absolutely determined to overcome what’s left of this nausea and fatigue to let my love for reading and writing fuel me through what I know are going to be increasingly uncomfortable and exhausting months to come.

Though I haven’t been actively writing lately, my indie author brain has been active as ever in working out the next story in my head. It’s something even more outside my comfort zone than The Ransom Series that I desperately want to tackle. There will be more details to come, but for now I’ll say that it’s a story fans of The Ransom Series should enjoy (in that guilty pleasure sort of way).

I’m really sorry for my recent disappearance and lack of explanation, but you should see a lot more of me in the days and weeks to come. Words can’t properly describe how excited I am to get back into reading and writing and interacting with the reader and author community again.

I hope you’ll join me on this continuation of my quest to turn daydreams and the realities of life into words the world can read. It’s been an amazing ride so far, and I have no plans to stop, regardless of what life throws at me.

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest news

The most amazing thing happened today. I saw an email from CreateSpace about the second round selections for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. I casually clicked the link, expecting to be slightly disappointed but not really surprised at not seeing my name there when I continued on to the Romance category.

Except it was there.

On the first page.

Second Round ABNA

Beyond Ransom has moved on to the second round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest!!!

I’m absolutely blown away that it was selected. Getting to the second round is further than I ever expected to get when I submitted the book to the contest last month.

The response I’ve received to Beyond Ransom will never cease to amaze me: from my supporters in social media who have helped me spread the word on it, to the readers who have come across the book on Amazon and given it a chance, to the Amazon-selected editors at the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards who found it worthy enough to continue on in this exciting contest. I’m absolutely thrilled and honored beyond words.

By giving my books a chance or devoting even a moment of your time to read my blog and social media posts, you’re providing me more support than I ever could have dreamed of, and I can never thank you enough for that.