FAIRLY SAFE Author: Deborah Ann Davis Publisher: D&D Universe Pages: 356 Genre: New Adult
When Mistaken Identity collides with Secret Identity, who wins?
JACOB HAS COME A LONG WAY FOR AN ORPHANED FOSTER KID. He has a mentor, a great job, and has finally fallen in love. Granted, she mistook him for a stalker when they met, but every relationship has its little problems. Unfortunately, for the past few years, as the object of his affection pops in and out of his life, she has refused to share any personal info, like where she’s from, or her real name. Regardless, Jacob is ready to take their relationship to the next level. Now, if only he can locate her so he can tell her. CASEY’S FAMILY IS IN THE WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM. Safety has to be their only priority. Their cover has been blown before, so Casey knows at any given time they could be forced to disappear again. Obviously, a shy young man with hopeful eyes cannot possibly be added to the mix. You cannot build a relationship like that. Now, if only she can stop thinking about him. JACOB’S AND CASEY’S WORLDS UNEXPECTEDLY COLLIDE when Jacob inadvertently helps hide her family. Exposed to their 24-7 vigilance, Jacob realizes he must come up with a plan to keep them out of harm’s way, because this time if Casey disappears, she will be taking with her Jacob’s heart, and his hopes of finally having a family of his own.
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Jacob Kent stepped out of his car as he scanned the fair on the other side of the parking lot, his heart pounding. As with many country fairs, the parking lot was no more than an abused pasture. This one was about the size of two football fields. Fair employees decked in bright yellow directed the early trickle of cars to their temporary berths. Jacob ignored them, choosing instead a parking spot near the exit. Anticipating the possible need for a quick getaway outweighed a pimply teen’s futile attempts to redirect him. He regarded the rides twirling and spinning above and around the strolling families. Despite the morning sun, the lights flashed merrily, beckoning to all. At 11 a.m. it wasn’t crowded, but he knew that would soon change. Locking his car, he slowly picked his way through the beaten grass, combing all directions for a clue the girls were there. As the unmistakable sound of carnival music floated toward him on the warm summer breeze, he reviewed his plan. First, he would walk through the fair to familiarize himself with the layout they had printed out. Then he would adjust their escape route to where he parked the car. After assessing the grounds, he would plant himself somewhere along the concourse, and watch the crowd. That’s how he had always found Casey in the past, and that’s how he was going to find her again. A voice came over the loudspeaker, momentarily dimming the carnival noise. “Would the owner of a red ford truck, license plate AIP537, please return to your vehicle? Your lights are on.” Jacob tensed. Was that some kind of clue? He looked over the parking lot. No, he could see the lights of the red truck from here. He smiled ruefully to himself. Get a grip, Kent, he thought as he watched a portly balding man march exasperatedly toward the truck. He sighed. Intellectually, he had to acknowledge they might have pieced together a bunch of randomly forgotten items into a fantastical story, but emotionally, he couldn’t help but believe the items served an ultimate purpose. If The Herd was here, he was going to find them. He also knew if he wasn’t careful, he could spend the entire day jumping at shadows and following dead ends. Like that little commotion over by the edge of the fair. To his over-active imagination, that game of tag could look like a child trying to escape from the evil clutches of-- “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, WIPEOUT!” sang out over the loudspeaker. His head jerked up. As the pounding drums from the familiar song drowned out the carnival music, all doubt was erased. The loudspeaker was sending out a warning. His eyes darted back toward the commotion he had noticed. That was no game of tag. That was a child trying to escape a man in hot pursuit. Jacob couldn’t be positive at this distance, but it sure looked like Robin. With his heart in his throat, he broke into a run, zigzagging between cars, trying to intercept the fleeing child as it headed toward the side of the parking lot. In this surreal moment, the same song they had used for obstacle course training was being piped out like background music to a scene in a movie. But this scene was real, where a real menace was gaining. Caught in his own nightmare, Jacob was watching Robin run for her life, and he was not close enough to help. As the predator and prey crossed the area between the fair and the parking lot, the longer legs of the adult closed the gap between them, but once they reached the cars, the advantage became hers. Robin’s small size and training put some distance between them as she dodged around vehicles. However, her constant change of direction made it difficult for Jacob to maintain a course of interception. Watching Robin’s progress, Jacob realized she was trying to head back toward the fair. Silently applauding Robin’s decision to get closer to other people who could help her, Jacob altered his course accordingly. So did Robin’s pursuer. Suddenly, her stalker eliminated the space between them by clambering up and over two pickup trucks, and landing an arm’s length away. Skidding, Robin veered around another vehicle with the man on her tail. As Jacob frantically tried to reach her, a brunette Sam suddenly popped out from behind a car and neatly took the man out with one magnificent sweep of a skateboard to the head. Where did she come from? A stunned Jacob skidded to a stop, gasping for breath, his chest burning. With a quick high-five, the sisters raced back to the fair. Jacob tried in vain to get their attention, but he hadn’t quite recovered enough breath to formulate sounds louder than gasps. He shook his head as he tried to calm the burning in his lungs. He was a wreck, but they were able to run off. And I was going to save them? He weakly chuckled. What was I thinking? Sobering, he trotted over to the man who was staggering to his feet. With rage marshalling all of his strength, Jacob drew back and smashed his fist into the man’s face. The unexpected pain in his fist was nothing compared to the satisfaction of watching Robin’s former threat drop like an anchor. Shaking the pain out of his hand, Jacob aimed a vindictive kick at the ribs of his girls’ attacker. Any qualms he might ordinarily have about hitting a man when he’s down were nonexistent when it came to someone threatening his family. Satisfied the man was no longer a danger, he took off in the direction he had seen his girls disappear, trying to calm the fear rising in his chest. He doubted this man had come alone. The girls probably knew that, too, and would be hiding. How was he going to find them before their pursuers did? The light glinting off the speaker perched atop a telephone pole caught his eye. Jacob skidded to a stop and stared at it. Of course. When Robin had been trying to escape, that speaker had been blasting out WipeOut, but now he only heard carnival music. With a grin, Jacob decided it was time to stop believing in coincidences. Someone at the fair must be helping them. If he found that person, he’d be able to find the fugitives.
DEBORAH ANN DAVIS has been writing since she was assigned to keep a Journal in her 5th grade English class. She began to look around for writing inspiration. Lo and behold, she found her world was full of funny stories just waiting to be told. As she grew older, occasionally she could manipulate one into some school assignment, but it never occurred to her to pursue writing, not even when she discovered her flare for telling stories at college parties. After a string of college majors, she realized she could have a captive audience EVERY DAY in the public school system. As it turns out, teenagers love to laugh, and what could be more entertaining than Biology, Earth Science, and Environmental Science? Then there's the added bonus that once kids know you like to laugh, they want to make you laugh. Go figure. In addition to Writing, she is also an Educational Speaker and a Certified Personal Trainer. She taught for 25+ years, although somewhere in the middle of all that educating, she stepped out of teaching for 6 years to do the Mommy Thing, and run the office for their family construction company. Even though they had followed separate paths, Deborah reunited with, and married her childhood sweetheart, twelve years after their first kiss. Together they coached their daughter’s AAU Basketball Team, which swept States two years in a row. (Yay!) Then, for several years their daughter and their money went to college. They currently reside on a lovely lake in Connecticut. She enjoys dabbling with living a sustainable life, writing novels for her Love of Fairs series, dancing, playing outside, and laughing really hard every day. She promotes increasing the amount of movement throughout your day via Wiggle Writer posts on Merry Meddling, her blog at www.DeborahAnnDavis.com. Follow her @DeborahAnnDavis. Remember, you can do anything if you set your mind to it— including becoming an author at any age— but it’s way more fun if you are grinning back when the Universe smiles down on you. For More Information
Don’t Take It Personally by Deborah Ann Davis I joined a writing group before I became a writer. I hung around the periphery, watching and learning, feeling like a poser who had snuck in. I didn’t have a story to write, just a bunch of ideas that had been generated by pop songs. Who knows why I hung in there, but I did. I finally started writing when a guest speaker said, “You don’t have to have a story in order to begin writing.” I thought, “Well, hey! I don’t have a story!” So I began writing, at first simply stringing together some of the ideas bouncing around in my head; then eventually producing a (great) manuscript. Now what? It was time to share my precious baby with somebody who wasn’t related to me. Following the examples of my writing group members, I entered several contests that provided feedback. Quite a while later, the results arrived from two of the contests from opposite sides of the country. One judge from the eastern contest said that she loved how strong my heroine was. Another judge from that very same contest said she completely disliked my heroine because she was weak. What? I checked the results from the western contest to see with whom they agreed. However, one judge said that she loved my hero and his geeky quirkiness. Another judge from that same contest said she disliked my hero because he was shallow. What? Epiphany! Ding! Ding! Ding! I suddenly understood. You cannot take their criticism personally because it is based on their opinions, likes, and dislikes. People whose taste is similar to mine are going to love what I write. People whose taste differs from mine are not going to get it…and that’s okay. I completely understand because I am the same way. For example, I do not read horror. Never have. Never will. So no matter how well a horror story is written, I will not appreciate it. A horror author should not take that personally because it is not a reflection on the quality of their work. I feel so fortunate that I received the results from those two contests during the same week. What if I had read them several months apart? I may not have been enlightened…and you would not be reading this. This understanding has served me well when it comes to book reviews. I have heard several times that authors should not bother reading their book reviews because they take you on a emotional roller coaster ride. I read every single one. (What can I say? I’m a new author. And I don’t mind roller coasters.) At first I was excited by all the praise… that is, until I was told that having all good reviews looks suspicious, like your family is writing them. What? C’mon, who has that many family members? But, I don’t care now. I finally got at one-star review! What did it say? “I don’t usually read this genre.” Did I take that personally? Nope. I was relieved. Now my book reviews would look legitimate to the entire universe. I danced around the house chanting, “I got a one-star review! I got a one-star review!” It was a classic example of me and the reviewer having different taste in books. Being different is not personal. The lesson here is not about growing a thicker skin to protect you from negative comments. Rather, it’s to reorient your understanding. If your book is well-crafted, snappy and intriguing, your job is to get it into the hands of the people who like your style, and don’t worry about the ones who don’t. There’s a whole bunch of people out there waiting for a book just like yours. Don’t let them down.